Every day we see more and more the prevalence of the mortality and morbidity rates with families of color. The CDC reports 11.4 of every 1,000 black babies will die before their first birthday. Contrast that with the 4.9 of every 1,000 non-Hispanic white babies. Because of this dirty secret finally coming to light, there are people working diligently to raise awareness of the issue of black infant mortality. There is a stark contrast between white and black birth outcomes; and these poor outcomes with black families are blind to the level of education, the size of homes or bank accounts, or level of fame, leading to undeniably higher death rates for both mother and baby. No one should ever know the pain of the death of their child, and it should never be that because your melanin is higher so is your risk of facing that reality.
The founders of Black Breastfeeding Week, Kiddada Green, Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka and Kimberly Seals Allers, also founded The Black Infant Remembrance Memorial. This gives the ones affected by the loss of a child a chance to share their story, share pictures, to give and receive comfort, and to see the life of their loved one meant, and still means something, and has touched the lives of more than just the mom and dad. These women lead busy lives, but see the intense and immense need for support, and therefore carved out time and money to assist the community. They’ve been affected by loss, and though they may have found ways of memorializing their loved ones, it’s seen all over how these grieving women gloss over their loss, because they don’t have a support system, or resources to assist them as they navigate through the empty and lonely path of grief and loss. If you have a moment, read also Kimberly Seals Allers article about the website, and ScaryMommy.com interview of the ladies about why we absolutely need Black Breastfeeding Week.