Over the last week I’ve had two opportunities to write commentaries for RH Reality Check. If you haven’t had a chance to check RHRC out yet, head over there ASAP. They do great work on political issues around social justice, politics, and identity, and they’ve been kind enough to publish my work.
The first piece is entitled “Chronic Pain and the Denial of Care for Black Women.”
[Medical] discrimination is compounded for women, as we are less likely than men to receive adequate pain management for chronic diseases like fibromyalgia. In an article for the New York Times, Laurie Edwards, author of In the Kingdom of the Sick, argues that women are sent to therapists, instead of provided pain management, in large part because they are frequently assumed to be overly emotional and hysterical by emergency room doctors. When the patient is young, Black, and feminine-of-center, her assumed lack of believability is compounded by the intersection of her identities. Many of the doctors I have encountered, after I moved to the South, were more willing to believe that I was a drug addict than a PhD candidate.
Next, last week RHRC published, “It’s Time to Rethink Black History Month.”
But what is often lost in Black History Month are the contributions of Black women and the present-day concerns of all Black people in the United States. It is with that in mind that I think it’s time to change how we, as a nation, in classrooms and in the public sphere, approach Black History Month.
Why not retool our February celebrations to honor the civil rights efforts of the past while supporting and honoring the social justice work being done today? By focusing on the work that activists all over the country are currently doing, we can bring attention to the struggles that Black communities continue to face, as well as lend our support to their understaffed and under-resourced work.
Check these articles out, share and leave a comment if your so inclined.