Developing a Health Consciousness for Black Men. : ThyBlackMan

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Developing a Health Consciousness for Black Men.

September 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Health, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Negative health outcomes for Black men have been at a crisis point since the end of legalized slavery in America. It is no coincidence that as we came up from slavery we’ve gone down in health. The one enduring statistic by which to measure our overall health in America is our average life span. When compared to other ethnic and gender groups in America, it is painfully short: 67.8 years versus 74.7 years for White men and 71.8 years for Black women. Stated another way; the average White male lives 61,320 hours, 2,555 days, 364 weeks, 84 months longer than the average Black male.

Economic, environmental and social factors play equal parts in this reality. It is time, however, that we add our own individual responsibility and seek to expand our health consciousness. We can do in three ways.

Seek Individual Health

Our individual health as men of color leaves much to be desired. We have lost too many men in our communities to negative health outcomes due to sedentary living, bad eating habits and dysfunctional lifestyles. We must begin to seek wholeness and intentional balance. We must also develop ways to handle stress more effectively. Stress causes reduced sleep, ulcers, migraines, and lower back problems, among many other things.

Seeking physical health means eating a proper, well-balanced meal; sufficient cardio activity and exercise and also getting proper rest. Make it a point to sweat at least ten minutes a day by power walking, biking, jogging or swimming. Get and stay active.

Seek the Health of Loved Ones

It is said that the family that prays together stays together. Well, I’d like to suggest that the family that exercises together greatly improves their likelihood of staying together as a family unit. In fact, studies suggest that couples who workout together are more likely to work through their interpersonal conflicts and with greater success than those who do not exercise.

Seeking the health of the people we love and care about should flow from the consciousness created from our healthy living. Ultimately, if we are individually healthy but our mate or loved ones are unhealthy, then it distracts from the well-being we’ve achieved ourselves. Breast cancer and heart disease, for example, are killing our women with great alacrity.

We must also increase our awareness of the greater health issues happening in African American communities across the nation. Not only are breast cancer and heart disease killing our women, but overall obesity in the black community is occurring at epidemic levels and it’s beginning to negatively impact our children.

Seek the Health of the Ecology

How does the ecology factor into developing a well-rounded consciousness for black men? It’s mainly due to what we are witnessing in the environment on an almost daily basis. At this writing, Hurricane Harvey has left hundreds of thousands of people in Houston and along the coastal areas flooded and virtually homeless.

Harvey was an act of nature, but what we have done to the climate via emissions, manufacturing, drilling etc. has only aided and abetted these so-called ‘super-storms’. We must increase our awareness of the environment – how it is impacted by both nature and nurture – and get active to the extent our elected officials are paying attention to it.

After all, the people most susceptible to pollutants, compromised water supplies, coastal erosion, unchecked emissions etc. are our people. And we are often its first victims.

It is time we as Black men seek our greater individual health, the health of our loved ones and our communities and the health of the planet.

Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes

This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.

In October 2015, Eric released Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both, which shows readers how to use exercise to attract a feeling of wellness, success and freedom (Infinite Strategies Coaching LLC, 2015) –


One Response to “Developing a Health Consciousness for Black Men.”
  1. M Anthony says:

    It amazes me how many of you are still brainwashed to call yourselves BLACK. Black is not an identity and scientifically black is not even a color. It is next to nothing. Black is the “color” of your car tires, not your skin. The white oppressive slave trader called you black and himself white to set up a contrast and to attach negative images and denotations to you based on a lie about color. Look up BLACK in the dictionary.
    Research even shows that blacks are perceived by other groups as very different from African Americans. But we still keep calling ourselves what someone else defined us as, what we are not and what has a negative dictionary denotation in society. WAKE UP. LOOK AT THE REAL COLOR OF YOUR SKIN. YOU ARE NOT BLACK. You are an African American. The lie of calling us black and defining us by color (the wrong color) has been in place so long that our people accept it as truth – but it’s not. Know your colors.
    Native Americans do not allow others to call them red men. Asians do not accept being called yellow men. Hispanics do not answer to “what’s up brown man”. And Caucasians are not white, notebook paper is white. Wake up and see the plan where white racist supremacists plotted to redefine our people from Africa. STOP CALLING YOURSELF SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE NOT!
    Black is the “color” of your car tires, not your skin author. Being called “black” is a lie and it should be offensive. Haitians, Jamaicans and even Africans do not accept being called “black”, Why do you think that is? They are identified by tribes, klans, geographic areas and their respective countries. By using the very term black to describe us, we are doing the following:
    1. Using a term white oppressors and slave masters gave us.
    2. Letting someone else define us other than our own people.
    3. Calling ourselves something we are not.
    4. Buying into thee lie and the negative denotation. Check the dictionary.
    5. Being set apart in a way that no other ethnic group allows. Native Americans are not called Red Man. Asians are not called Yellow Man. Hispanics are not called Brown Man. They do not and will not accept being defined by color and by some other race or ethnic group at that.
    6. Ignoring our actual color (brown) which means brainwashing has worked. Any time someone can get an entire race, ethnic group or culture to ignore what they are and call themselves what they factually are not, THEY HAVE BEEN INDOCTRINATED, ASSIMILATED AND BRAINWASHED.
    7. Playing right into the oppressor’s profiles and stereotypes. Did you know studies show there is a different perception of black people than there is of African Americans? Words create perceptions and perceptions create actions towards us.
    WAKE UP. You know your colors. And even though others around the world equated our ancestors with the color of the soil in Africa or the meaning of negro/negroid, that does not change the fact that WE ARE BROWN – NOT BLACK.
    If you look in the dictionary or send an email to, I will send you the research. Facts are facts and YOU ARE BROWN, NOT BLACK. When you receive the revelation of why they keep calling African Americans “black” and Caucasian people “white”, you may just wake up!
    STOP LETTING OTHER GROUPS DEFINE YOU WITH AN OBVIOUS LIE that we have heard and accepted so much that we believe it’s true and forget our colors. The de-programming has to take root or African Americans will forever be defined, limited and oppressed by those who get us to accept a lie.

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