This week’s edition of Hood Health 101 features Hood Health Handbook co-author defining and explaining what “Hood Health” is

Black and Brown people in America are several times more likely to die from just about any health problem when compared to their white peers, even when you compare people whose income is the same. Why? What’s happening in urban communities and what can be done to change it? This became the reason why the Hood Health Handbook was written; to bridge the gap between race, the inner city and health. It also became the origin of the concept HoodHealth 101 on TheSource.com. When Supreme Understanding and myself looked at the landscape of books out there that focused on health geared towards Black and Brown people we noticed three trends…

1) There were hardly any books out there which were geared towards Black and Brown people.

2) The books that did exist didn’t address the unique issues that Black and Brown people in the inner city were facing.

3) The few that were are very “Black New-Agey” and mixed in with a lot of religious or mystic stuff that really had nothing to do with healing.

We created the HoodHealth model and presentation to address all of those concerns. HoodHealth is addressing the specific health and wellness issues that afflict all people in urban environments targeting Black and Brown communities. It is designed to tailor the solutions to those problems for the urban community in those settings and environments. This means that we show people how to tap into available resources that may even be in their own hood or resources that they may have thought were beyond their means. We also educate on racial health disparity which is a legacy of white supremacy, colonization, slavery and genocide. We aren’t afraid to tell people why they are sick and who is responsible for it (and in many cases who are still doing it). The HoodHealth ethic though puts the responsibility to get well back in the hands of the people. By connecting people to their indigenous/traditional healing resources we show them that the power to heal has always been with them.

One of the main positions of HoodHealth is that you have to come to the people as the people. It is not just what we talk about (health issues of Black and Brown people), it is HOW we talk about it. HoodHealth is about using humor, down to earth language and embracing the vehicle of Hip Hop to get our message across. In fact Hip Hop is a major dimension of HoodHealth because it is by looking at many popular Hip Hop artist that you can see the range of health issues currently plaguing the Hood. The health of Hip Hop is a direct reflection of the health of the hood. The overall plan is for our people not to be sick and poor. HoodHealth teaches that resurrection starts within mentally and physically.

Some keys of HoodHealth are:

– We champion our Original (indigneous or People of Color) life syles in terms of being in tune with the environment (even when we were living in cities)

– We acknowledge that optimum physical health involves, a nutritious diet, avoidance of toxins, clean water, air, sunlight, exercise, rest and relief from mental stress

– Having a plant-strong (heavy on veggies, fruits, nut, legumes, etc) diet is best

– Making sure the outside of the body is clean as the inside. Avoidance of beauty products that are heavily filled with toxins

– Not anti-Western medicine yet reserve the right to critique what is or isn’t beneficial to the health of Original People

– Hospitals, doctors and drug companies are part of “big business” and must be interacted with accordingly

– One of the strongest elements of health and wellness is prevention.

With HoodHealth we are going to talk about why Big Mama had a heart attack and you’re still ignoring why. We are going to talk about why Black and Brown people distrust doctors. We’re talking about how we started this “Captain Planet” thing (vegetarianism and environmentalism). We’re going to talk about that Pusher Man (the FDA). We’re going to build about where to cop that good herb (herbal remedies) in the hood. HoodHealth talks about all of this because we just want our people to be free! We want them to be free from sickness, illness and disease, and free in the mind.

– C’BS Alife Allah (@AlifeAllahor)

C’BS ALife Allah is the co-editor of the Hood Health Handbook and co-creator of the HoodHealth concept. Check him out at ALifeAllah.com and follow him on twitter @alifeallahor IG @Alifeallah

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