Black Americans, we are literally killing ourselves and we are doing it with the food we eat, the busy lives we keep, and the excuses we make to consistently indulge in the fast-food addictions in our lives. No other race in the Americas suffers as significantly when it comes to Chronic illnesses. Black Americans are consistently at the top of the list on these reports. Per CDC.gov data and statistics, their research report shows that Black Americans are more likely to be diagnosed and often die with diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and Strokes just to name a few. Often we think these illnesses come from hereditary traits but in truth it is mostly due to our environment. Your environment, diet, and lifestyle have more to do with your health than genetics. Cardiologist, Donald Lloyd-Jones states, “For most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk,” based on an article from webmd.com. However, there is hope. To keep our crowns on the top of our heads, we must feed ourselves the right nutrition.
I know, your great grandma, aunt, and cousins lived until they were 102 years old and they ate bacon every day. They also lead a very different life; they were more active and worked laboring jobs. I get it, fast foods and quick meals are in our faces and intentionally marketed in the Black community and we are eating the death-causing bait. The lack of access to healthy foods in Black communities is partially true. One solution is establishing Community gardens.
“The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit.” ~Ethiopian Proverb
Hear me out…
More community gardens will save Black people physically, mentally, and allow our communities to flourish economically. The benefits of a community garden can reduce the illnesses in Black people by providing access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in Black communities. We can focus on building health, educate the next generation on how to grow food and build bonds in our communities. A grand community garden can lead to Black-owned grocery stores, Black farmer’s markets, more stable Black entrepreneurs, and Black Community wealth. You can grow herbs in your kitchen, fresh tomatoes in your back yard or patio, the ability to obtain fresh food is doable. What is a people who cannot protect their own, grow, or slaughter their own food?
"Growing your own food is like printing your own money." -Ron Finley
Just ask South Central native Ron Finley. The “Gangster Gardner,” as he likes to say, began his garden on a strip of grass in his front lawn. Finley wants to emphasize the importance of growing your own food and using it for self-sustaining health and wealth. His purpose is to change the narrative of wanting to be a gangster and educating Black people about how gardening can be your multimillion-dollar hustle.
Check out Ron Finley on Ted Talk, tell us what you think and research what it takes to build a community garden in your hood.