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Celebrating Achievements, Managing Health: Black History Month

February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the rich contributions of various African Americans to American History and culture over the years. As we embark on this month-long journey of remembrance, education, and recognition, we also explore the health issues faced by the African American community that could impact their future.

Commemorating Triumphs Beyond Struggles

Black History is a tapestry woven with stories of resilience and perseverance, from inhumane slavery to the powerful civil rights movement. Figures like Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King Jr. have paved the way for a more equitable society and left an indelible mark on our collective narrative.

Moreover, Black History is not just an acknowledgment of remarkable achievements from past struggles. It extends to the present and future as a living testament to the ongoing journey toward equality and justice. As we honor Black History, we must also commit to fostering an environment that appreciates and acknowledges the stories of today’s Black leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists.

Fostering Empowerment and Inclusivity Through Education

Educating ourselves about Black History is crucial to building a more inclusive society. By integrating Black History into education curricula, we challenge stereotypes, combat ignorance, and foster unity. However, this commitment to education extends beyond history alone.

Bridging the Health Gap

The African American community must look forward and, in doing so, take control of health issues that may impact their future endeavors. In celebrating Black History, it’s the ideal time to spotlight healthcare disparities affecting both the Black community and minorities at large.

Recognizing historical and systemic factors, we advocate for breaking down barriers to create a healthcare environment that includes everyone. Time constraints, stemming from work and family responsibilities, impact all areas of life, including healthcare. Our commitment involves crafting flexible solutions to accommodate diverse lifestyles.

Insufficient preparation and awareness of health disparities persist. Advocating for education programs empowers individuals to navigate the healthcare system effectively. Destigmatizing healthcare-seeking behaviors is crucial, fostering an environment where seeking care is viewed as an empowered and celebrated act.

Honoring Black History Through Our Health Program

Due to the health issues the Black community faces, our Mid-Missouri Self-Management of Blood Pressure Program is tailored to address the urgent need for hypertension management. This four-month program, available to enrolled individuals in Boone and Cole counties, includes consultations, weekly check-ins, and seminars with our trained program facilitators.

Recent studies reveal that the Black community experiences hypertension at almost 20% higher rate than Caucasians. At Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, we recognize the urgent need to address this health disparity. In addition to commemorating achievements, we aim to empower the Black community in managing their health.

In conclusion
Our commitment to honoring Black History Month goes hand in hand with addressing these healthcare challenges. By including these current issues in our celebration, we acknowledge the intersectionality of history and health advocacy. We are dedicated to celebrating historical accomplishments and actively contributing to the future—a future where healthcare is accessible, inclusive, and free from disparities for every individual.