Saturday, April 28, 2018
Mic (Apr. 9, 2018): Black Mamas Matter Alliance is launching the first National Black Maternal Health Week, by Nataleg
“The goal of the week is to deepen the conversation around black maternal health and amplify black women leaders who are working on the issue,” BMMA steering committee chair Elizabeth Dawes Gay said.
As part of the inaugural National Black Maternal Health Week, organizers are hosting community events in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas to raise awareness about the racial gaps in maternal health and to discuss solutions to closing them. Events include screenings of Death by Delivery, a documentary about black maternal mortality; panels featuring black women advocates; and educational workshops on yoga for birth and postpartum stages.
The conversation around black maternity reached national headlines after tennis superstar Serena Williams revealed in a January interview with Vogue, that she had a serious health scare — blood clots in her lungs — after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis. But when Williams, who has a history of blood clots, first requested a CT scan and blood thinner medicine, her medical practitioners did not listen to her.
Lynn Roberts, co-editor of Radical Reproductive Justice and professor at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, spoke on the impact racism has on the treatment people receive, at the Schomburg Center for Research and Culture in Harlem in March.
“There is a different level of care afforded to people of color, indigenous people, poor people and trans people,” said Roberts.
Organizers for National Black Maternal Health Week are using social media to drive conversation using the hashtag #BMHW18.