06 Jan 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The author is Atlanta obstetrician-gynecologist, media consultant and national speaker, Dr. Melody T. McCloud.
“Today’s black woman faces a myriad of new and unique circumstances, so it’s time for a new book with a new message,” said McCloud, who also penned “Blessed Health: The African-American Woman’s Guide to Physical & Spiritual Well-being” (Simon & Schuster, 2003).
In the forward to “Living Well”, Pauletta Washington – wife of Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington – writes, “‘Living Well’” is a comprehensive guide to help us ensure total health, and a thorugh look at the issues black women face.”
“Blessed Health” focused on the medical-spiritual connection; “Living Well” addresses the psycho-social factors that affect African-American women’s physical lives. These factors include disparaging images in the media (including some black girls “gone wild”), colorism, low marriage statistics, the risk of HIV/AIDS and the high incidence of men on the “down-low.” Such factors – coupled with the medical challenges of diabetes, cancer, hypertension, heart disease and other killer diseases – put African-American women in a unique class.
While government officials repeatedly mention “lack of access” and “lack of insurance” as key culprits in the state of African-American women’s health, McCloud said social stress also plays a major role.
To show the interrelation between social factors and physical health, McCloud crafted the “Societal Stress and Black Women’s Health: The ‘Rejection Connection’” flowchart.
Despite the challenges, said McCloud, many African-American women live well. “Living Well” is written as an aid and guide for those who aspire to do just that.
In the section “Life Lessons for Your Daughters,” McCloud gives young ladies a four-step approach to healthier lives: “Close Your Legs, Be Well Read, Tend that Body and Sweat that Head.”
McCloud’s social commentary is direct and, at times, calls many to task, including movie producers, television moguls and hip-hop artists. She also gives a prescription of “tough love” to African-American men and women in the community, and celebrates those who have done well.
“Living Well...Despite Catchin’ Hell:
The Black Woman’s Guide to Health, Sex and Happiness”
by Dr. Melody T. McCloud