Monday, August 17, 2009

Holistic Healing

I am interviewing for a project where the researcher is looking to understand internalized racism for Black folks. Being that I am Black folk and profoundly wanting my people to get free, I have contemplated for many years what the process of liberation would/should entail.

To emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, we need to work on multiple fronts, from the personal to the collective to the political to the level of the body, spirit, and consciousness. Our colonization/internalization of racism and white supremacy has assaulted us on all of those levels afterall.

Today I am thinking about a personal journey towards holistic health, pure living, having faith, spreading love. It is a journey indeed, the road less taken, with all kinds of detours on the path. I've come to understand that Black liberation also includes emotional liberation, spiritual liberation, and body purification. A number of practitioners like Queen Afua, Jewel Sookrum, Dick Gregory and others have confirmed this. As long as we are immersed in bad dietary habits and addictions, we cannot free our minds and spirits enough to get to the work of re-education, unlearning Eurocentrism, teaching our generation of a new, gentle, connected way of being brothers and sisters, of being Africans, of accessing the stolen knowledge and regenerating our being throughout.

Sure, the health food, healthy living movement among us African diasporic folks is accessed mostly by a privilege few. And I'm always wondering how to spread the word, how to get organic tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, sacred prayer and meditation, insightful relationships and peaceful living into our communities. How does this peace of Black decolonization -- the piece/peace of right diet, true spiritual practice, righteous and clean living -- become a part of our movements for liberation? Ital? Im-hotep? Vitality that is our birthright. Cleansing, fasting, purification? Nubian consciousness? Sub-saharan insights?


  1. I agree that the process of liberating ourselves as a people in dyaspora is one the must be both collective and connective, internal and external. As such decolinization as a process with regard to access to alternative and Black positive knowledges, diets, nutrients, spiritualities, and art forms must be something that we do individually and with one another, in our homes and with our neighbood organizations or nonprofits. This decolonization must happen simultaneously at all of the levels. Because as a dispersed people we often "need a passport just to get to the rest of we," it becomes imperative that we connect, commune, and collect with the various parts of ourselves.

  2. hi, i'm reading this from the Caribbean, and I agree totally...we have to free ourselves from the man in the big house who used rum to subdue us...alcohol-free living is about freeing our minds from the traces of chains of plantations

  3. I agree with you, Sister Indigo. I think it is very hard but it can be done. As for changing our diets, I think growing and sustaining community gardens would truly encourage and help communities of color to grow their own healthy, organic food. I think if this were to happen in every urban, low-income community dominated by folks of color. Fast food restaurants, liquor stores, Church's Chicken would be out of business. The white supremacist capitalist patriarchal society intends on feeding us unhealthy things to keep us "in our place." But we can do something to change this.