It is Black B-feeding Week, the week in which Black parents are honoured and supported. There are people who will ask why such a week in needed. It’s a pretty narrow, after all, is it not? Are not moms in both awareness-raising and advocacy drives for it? Is there something different about it for people? The reply is yes , Black B-feeding is something unique.
In reality, many topics are summed up in a gut-thrilling poem by feminist author Hess Love, just one explanation for B-feeding Week.
“I wish I dried up
I wish every drop of my milk slipped passed those pink lips and nourished the ground
Where the bones lay
Of my babies
Starved while I feed their murderer
I wish I dried up
So the missus babies would dry up too
And be brittle
So I could crumble them to dust
Return them to the ground
Where all children of my bosom lay equal”
– Hess Love
Parents in America were only able to bring up a child of their own in the United States for under 160 years, according to Parenting Decolonized. That’s two 80-year-old grandmothers who practically go back and forth. For much of the history of the West, Black families were ripped apart from one generation to another. Mothers also could not feed their own babies or raise them, but had to feed and rear their children.
Black B-feeding meant for much of the US culture, wet nursing babies for white infants at the detriment of the own boys of a mother. And I mean it literally when I say “much of U.S. history.” It was the norm on our soil for nearly 250 years compared with 154 years after the abolition (and almost 100 of these years provided for legal discrimination). It is not just because it has ended and the Civil Rights Act passed the effect will vanish.
The historical consequences of it is not, however, the only reason why Black B-feeding Week is significant. The mortalities between mothers and babies in the United States are higher and, according to the CDC, the B-feeding rates between Black mothers and white mothers are “substantially” different. The question ‘Why Black B-feeding Week?’ becomes evident, in addition to the cultural and social concerns surrounding Black women’s bodies, continuing negative views of it and an absence of representation in the lactation aid region.
It has stopped a century ago. Get it done. I know some people would say in the comments, The influence of past traumas does not understand.They do not understand. They fail to recognise that hundreds of years of roughnenss and another hundred years of overt, legal segregation have an effect on generations, and that remains key in America’s Black Moms and Babies health statistics.
The national month of it which is celebrated in the month of August is discussing some of the social issues related to it such as mental fatigue, anatomical problems and the residual stigma. The B-feeding Week discussion met with me, where I struggled with ‘normal’ lactation issues. It was a tool which dealt with what it meant in public when you were already hypersexualised. Women and girls have some of the highest physical pressure statistics as society continues to think that our bodies belong to the collective – a lesson learned.