In the wake of situations like Ferguson and Baltimore,this week’s edition of Hood Health 101 will address the need for individual and collective first aid education in the hood

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No one denies that in many hood across the United States there are concentrations of violence. This violence is wide in its diversity. There is gun play between inner city elements, police violence against Black and Brown people and the violence that is the language of uprising. During these times people get hurt. In the hood though the response and treatment for those hurt by violence is stagnated and in many cases straight out denied. There is a lack of access to immediate trauma care by design. This trend in the hood was noted by Hip Hop group Public Enemy in their seminal song “911 Is A Joke”. Fire Departments and EMT purposely don’t respond quickly enough in certain areas. Marry that with the fact that cops will let victims bleed out dying or not allow EMTs into a crime scene to handle a situation often. The end result is that you have a messed up situation where Black and Brown people suffer and continue to suffer disproportionately to the rest of the total population of the United States. The saying is that if you stay ready you won’t have to get ready. With cops shooting Black men in the back, breaking spines and the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore it is time to bring back (or rather highlight) the old tradition of the trauma hood doctor.

If you are like the average person you probably know how to jump start your car yet don’t know how to perform CPR. For those who grew up in the hood you know that we take care of ours. Historically, we always had those in our communities who dealt with those who were injured severely. Do you think that after race riots happened with Black and Brown people being injured that they rushed to the nearest hospital? There was the Black Cross Auxiliary of the UNIA. Soldiers came back from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam with medical skills. They utilized these skills during the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Era. Quietness is kept, many of them utilized them during the (Crack) Rock era in hoods across the United States. Trauma rescue groups can react first before the cops, fire department or emt arrive to the scene or are even called. 


There are some modern day groups out there recognizing the need to address this inner city hoodhealth crisis. The People’s Community Medics ( organized after the death of Oscar Grant after finding out that the necessary response units delayed arriving to the scene and giving him the care needed. Their work extends beyond just providing emergency trauma care. They work to educate the community on basic first aid techniques, general rights and care specifically designed for the current uprising (treatments for tear gas, batons, rubber pellets, etc).

Being solutionaries the real question is how can we set up such groups in our own hoods?

-Find the CNAs, Nurses, people who work in programs with children or the elderly. Many of them already have First Aid Training
-Get a damn First Aid Kit for your house.
-Get First Aid Trained (Check out your local chapter of the Red Cross for classes) and get someone in your crew to become certified to teach First Aid to Black and Brown People

Do For Self. Care for Self. Care for the community.

Alife Allah

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