Black and African American women statistically have the lowest breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of any group in this country. Incidentally, there is also a disproportionate amount of preterm, low birth weight, ill, and babies who die from SIDS, and other illnesses brought on by social, cultural and environmental factors. With the innumerable health benefits of breastmilk, it means that sometimes it is literally the difference between life and death for some of them. But not only that — for countless other reasons breastfeeding is important for ALL Black people! From governmental agencies, to non profit, grassroots organizations and individual advocates — the message of the importance of human milk is clear. Yet most–if not most all conversations on this topic remain centered around heterosexual normativity and cisgendered identity. For those who land anywhere along the LGBTQ spectrum, our thoughts and views on this tradition remain hidden far beneath the surface and, as a result, the varied outlooks and often unique experiences, feelings about the tradition, and/or the relationship to breastfeeding also remains unseen. Please see my recent post on this titled BLACK LGBTQ BREASTFEEDERS (and supporters): ‘Come Out’ Wherever you are!
This Blog Carnival is for Black and African American LGBTQ past, current or future breastfeeders (and supporters) who also identify as lesbian gay bisexual transgendered and queer, and looks to add these important perspectives to the conversation. Please note: You do NOT have to be someone who previously or currently plans to nurse a child. What matters is how you identify and your thoughts about this tradition. You are encouraged to share your personal narrative about breastfeeding success, challenges as LGBTQ and family, success with family/friends, complications you feel may be a result of your identity, or anything you’d like. Your thoughts and perspectives from whichever angle you’d like to bring is valuable, appreciated, and needs to be heard.
WHAT IS A BLOG CARNIVAL?:
A blog carnival is an online action that aims to utilize the growing power of our combined reach on social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) to jumpstart – and jump into! – a national conversation. This ‘BLACK LGBTQ BREASTFEEDING’ blog carnival will have blog posts ranging from the personal to the political, in a range of mediums, from text to video. I will collect and publish the individual blog posts. The links to all posts will then be gathered into one overarching post that will serve to host and introduce the blog carnival (information taken from mom rising). Here is an example
HOW TO SUBMIT: Please submit through the link, or you can email it directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE DO NOT FEEL you need to be a ‘writer’ in order to participate. Whether you consider yourself a ‘seasoned’ professional or not your voice counts! Bring your honest perspective, and you are welcome to be as personal, conservative or as politically-charged as you’d like.
- Your post! Can be previously published work, and there are no restrictions on length. You are welcome to use whichever format you’d like in order to convey your message, i.e. creative fiction/non fiction, article, poem, YouTube video, etc. Please note: If you decide to use a YouTube video in leu of a full-length post, include a paragraph or two explaining what your video will be discussing. This will be inserted into the body of the post. Here is an example. Please also include the url to your video.
- Post Title
- Your name and email address (or you can submit anonymously)
- A headshot
- A picture to insert into your article. This is not not required, but often times posts containing images related to the post topic are shared more frequently around the social networking sites (please make sure they are not copy written).
- A link to your website or blog (if applicable)
- A 2-3 sentence byline/’About Me’ (preferably in third person — he, she, they), and can include your Twitter @.
COMMENTS: Comments are maintained by Disqus. I suggest when your work is published here, you subscribe to the comments. To do this, navigate to your post (or any other that you’d like), and scroll down to the very bottom until you reach the ‘comments’ section. There, you will see two grayish links, which allow you to subscribe either by RSS or through email. By subscribing, you will be notified when someone has responded to your post, and you can make sure you engage your reader and answer questions, if necessary.
If you have any other comments, concerns, thoughts or questions at all, just ask! African American Breastfeeding
Deadline for submissions is when we reach 10!
So far, we have 3/10