Black women are integral to the well-being of their families, their communities and the nation as a whole. Through their work, entrepreneurship, caregiving, political participation, and more, Black women are creating opportunities for themselves, their loved ones, and improving the our economy and society. They have all the makings of what should be success, yet their contributions are undervalued and under compensated. Black domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because of the ways in which racial disparities, gender discrimination, and immigration status serve to further marginalize and disempower the very people who power our economy and push our democracy to be the best that it can be. Whether one examines Black women’s access to healthcare, earnings, or access to much needed social supports like childcare and eldercare, Black women are getting the short end of the stick, despite having contributed so much to the building of this nation.
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. This time of recognition and awareness is important to me considering the fact that I am a 44 year-old African-American woman who has dealt with asthma and allergies all of my life. My family and I are quite familiar with this disease in that my grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins as well as my own two children have all been diagnosed with some form of allergies and asthma.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lung airways. When someone is having an asthma attack, their airways become inflamed and narrow as a result of reacting to "certain triggers", making it extremely hard for that individual to breath.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 3 million African-Americans have asthma. As a result of several risk factors which include poverty, poor housing and the inability to access quality healthcare, African-Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma-related illness than their white counterparts. Asthma is also the leading reason why kids miss school.
Although there is no cure for this disease, people with chronic asthma can have productive lives by taking the necessary steps to keep asthma under control.