Creating a Nu World Order: It starts with you!

Looking at the amount of work that needs to be done to create a Nu World Order across the African diaspora is daunting to say the least.  We took an overall look at the topic in the initial column in this series, Creating a Nu World Order.  We followed up by determining a path to follow with the second column, Creating a Nu World Order: Part I. Now, we begin to drill down to the individual in trying to determine “what can I do?” in order to contribute to building a better world for people of African descent.  Although the task at hand seems near impossible, a movement so grand can be achieved.  How do you begin to tackle it?  In the words of my mother; “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

Let’s start with the person in the mirror.  Remember that all of us have a storied lineage that led us to where we are today.  It was easy for some, difficult for most, but we are here.  And now that we are here we must realize that care of “self” should be at the top of our list.  That’s not easy in a world where our physical and mental well-being is constantly under attack.

First,  our physical well-being.

The way our societies are structured (promoting inactivity, poor eating habits, poor health education, stressful lifestyles, etc) one can see how physical health has become an issue with every group of people in western society.  Couple that with the stressors of being a person of color (bigotry, racism, lower wages, access to financial resources, fewer healthy food options, dumping of illegal drugs, environmental issues, etc.) then you have a group of people who face hardships on a scale of epidemic proportions.  Now multiply that over several generations. When you add global mistrust of majority held healthcare systems, one begins to get the picture.

Let me be the first to say that the above scenario does not hold true for all black people.  With the advancements of medicine, blacks moving into middle class status, and a better job of managing health in black enclaves throughout the diaspora, many people of African descent are doing quite well around the world.  Yet, even for those that are doing well, the number of people who are not is staggering.  A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015 study on the leading causes of death for black men and women help drive the point home.

Leading cause of death for Black MalesLeading causes of death of Black Women

Keep in mind these figures are reflecting numbers in the United States alone.

And the rest of the diaspora?

A report from the World Health Organization (WHO), The African Regional Health Report: The Health of the People, paints a challenging picture regarding the health of the people in Black Africa.

In fact, Dr. Clarence Spigner,  Adjunct professor at the University of Washington, states in his publication, “Race, health, and the African Diaspora”, what is already known by most people;

“Health inequalities exist throughout the African Diaspora and are viewed in this article as largely color-coded. In developed, developing, and undeveloped nations today, “racial” stratification is consistently reflected in an inability to provide adequate health regardless of national policy or ideology. For instance, African-Americans experience less than adequate health care very similar to Blacks in Britain, in spite of each nations differing health systems. Latin America’s Africana Negra communities experience poorer health similar to Blacks throughout the Caribbean. The African continent itself is arguably the poorest on earth. A common history of racism correlates with health disparities across the African Diaspora.”

A stark picture, yes, but not all is lost.

“How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

We all have to take control of our individual health.  This will then trickle outward to family, community, and so on.  The discussion of good health radiating from the individual outward will be covered in future discussions.  For now, let’s discuss nutrition and diet.  I want to stress that it is certainly not the intent of this column to pressure anyone into adopting certain dietary habits.  Determining what one should or shouldn’t eat can be a tricky business.  Many of us can point to uncle Earl who smoked, drank liquor, ate pork daily and lived until the ripe old age of ninety.  We can also discuss cousin Johnny who always ate healthy, yet died at an early age from heart disease.  There really is no simple remedy to all of this, BUT, there is plenty of science that provides powerful insight into how improving one’s diet can help address many of the ills listed in the CDC tables above.  Small changes to improve one’s diet while still maintaining a sense of culture can easily be found online (Remember, Google is your friend).  I’ll only state that one can joyfully eat to live, not just live to eat. Also remember, “moderation” isn’t a bad word.

Several items to note here:

  • First, following the diets of majority cultures is not necessarily in your best interest. (Please see Naturally Gina’s video below, The Dangers of The Standard American Diet For Black People)
  • Second, if recent news reports about what goes on in fast food establishments have not deterred you from eating the poison that’s peddled in your communities then we have a lot more work to do.
  • Third, an occasional trip to a farmer’s market, especially if it supports black farmers, wouldn’t hurt any of us.
  • And finally, I love seeing the growing phenomena of a return to growing our own food.  It really would behoove us to see this take off on a micro-to-macro scale.  More on that in an upcoming column

Remember…you, the individual should determine the best course of action in improving your diet, which in turn will improve your health.

A healthier you makes for a better diaspora as you are an important building block in the creation of a Nu World Order.

Let the conversation begin…


Don is an IT project manager for a Detroit area auto manufacturer who enjoys spirited discussions on current events.  You can follow Don on Twitter @donlang21 and on Facebook.

17 Comments

  1. Thank you, Don, for this much needed dialogue starter.
    In my opinion, we need to take charge of OUR health to eradicate or at least (markedly) reduce these staggering statistics. When I say “OUR health”, I’m talking about the health of our village. It’s OUR families, friends, and neighbors that ARE these statistics. We have to reach out to help our community fight this battle.
    I guess the first step is to educate ouselves on the causes and prevention of these diseases that plague our community. Then, feed those lessons back into our community. However, we also have to seriously incorporate what we learn into our own lives and especially our family life in order to be able to lead in the effort by example. We have already taught our children unhealthy eating habits that make us susceptible to disease because that’s what we learned. The secret ingredient that made my Aunt Nita’s Thanksgiving cornbread so good was the quarter pound of butter she melted and folded in right before it went in the oven. Talk about killer cornbread! I made that for my family for years. And then, shared the recipe with my children who probably make it for their children.
    Also, I must say, I have never seen so many overweight twenty somethings. They eat horribly and pass this lifestyle onto their children. But can you blame them? Healthy snacks are a lot more expensive and less prevalent than the $ .99 bag of hot Cheetos. Why is there a CVS on every corner in neighborhoods and not a fruit and vegetable market in sight for miles?
    I could go on and on…but I believe we as a people should come together and share knowledge about healthy cooking, gardening, fitness to help save our people from the destruction of stroke, diabetes, heart disease…. If we don’t, who will? It takes a village.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon, you’ve hit the nail on the head in describing one of the biggest issues in our communities, passing down poor nutritional habits from one generation to the next. Not having access to healthier foods in our neighborhoods is a problem as well. Thank you for your comments.

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  2. Love the topic. Health is so important. But we have been programed to live an unhealthy, unclean lifestyle. On top of that gym has been taken out of schools and community centers in the city are poor at best. And neighborhoods are not safe to walk and exercise. But at some point we need to change our behaviors to create envirnments that are condusive to improving our health. I know that I personally have reduced my intake of meat. No pork, no red meat and I have incorporated meatless days. Being healthy is a life style. It needs to be incorporated into our communities and culture. Farmers markets are great places to start when you think about food choices. Walking 2 miles a day is a start on exercise. Working out at home is a great way to loose weight and strenghten your body. These are just a few ways to get started. I’m going to continue to work on me and I am goint to share with others to be their best! Start with self and bring others along.
    #buildingourcommunityfromwithin
    Off to the gym for a late night work out!

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  3. Greetings to you, Don and to the rest of the commenters. Thanks again for initiating this discussion. I appreciate your thoughtful approach in breaking an enormous vision into smaller actionable components.

    I believe it is important to acknowledge we are not starting from scratch. In various nooks, crannies, crevices and corners of the Afrikan diaspora, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to advance the agenda of a ’nu world order’ which impact on all the levels you talk about (individual, family, community and so on)

    Much of the commentary out there by us, about us is about what is wrong with us. I would love to see more clearinghouses for information about what is right with us. In other words, the positive impactful things which are happening below the radar needs to be much more publicized.

    Regarding health, this would look like on-and-offline black media dedicated to documenting and disseminating what we are doing which is actually working: the lifestyle changes, spiritual practices, medicinal regimen etc leading to radiant health and wellbeing.

    This would contribute to a greater sense of “glass half-full” rather than “glass half-empty”. Genuine hope is impactful on the individual’s health.

    My perspective is that stress is the number 1 killer on the planet. It shows up as myriads of different pathologies as well as expressing itself as homicide, suicide, and other anti-social behaviors. If we kill stress then we dramatically improve health.

    And it can be killed. It’s not easy because it is about life style change and the cultivation of habits/practices which we may not be used to… but it is within our power.

    The journey to becoming an effective stress killer starts with realizing that stress does not have an objective existence. It is not a thing.

    Situations are not stressful. Stress is our response to said situation. It does not have to be.
    Mr. or Mrs. Stressor did not ‘stress us out’. Stress is our response to Mr. or Mrs. Stressor. It does not have to be.

    Owning our responses empowers us. The rest of the journey is about

    1. creating the physiological and psychological/metaphysical conditions for effectively reprogramming our responses
    2. unlearning the outdated response and reprogramming more skilful response.

    Adversity is baked into the experience of living…might as well learn how to dance with it.

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    1. I love your response Aboyade and I agree, we need to put much more emphasis on the great things that are currently working in our communities and continue to build on that. In my writings I will continue to point out the negative and counter that with the positive. I’ll need voices like yours, and others across the diaspora, to help us with that. Thanks for joining the conversation and I hope to continue hearing from you in the future. ~Peace

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  4. Great blog! However, most black people are extremely stubborn about diet changes. It seems to be one of those final frontier habits they don’t want to shake. Maybe blogs like yours will make a difference — one person at a time. We can only hope. With that said, we’re all going to have to grow our own food eventually. Monsanto is taking over and turning our produce into a toxic nightmare.

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  5. Don, I appreciate all that you do in Promoting; a mindset that Black Folks must assert ourselves to change our world. We must remember that Controlling Our Resources Will Control Our World 💯🙏🏿❤️

    Mr WaterMan is a Super Hero that Promotes Natural Alkaline Water to combat Childhood Obesity, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.

    Visit our website. http://www.awph2o.com

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  6. While reading this article I thought about my time (5 short weeks) in Senegal. A common theme I heard was the rebuilding of Africa not only from within but from the children of the Diaspora. Additionally we had conversations about the holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. I agree with what Raquel stated, “everything in moderation” from what we eat; to having a balanced lifestyle. In part we are a manufactured people, not only genetically but we and our ancestors were conditioned environmentally to do things a certain way and at the core of our manufactured being was “terror”. Through violence our social norms were changed; through violence our dietary habits were changed [I will add that some aspects of a plant based diet remained with our ancestors]. To use the metaphor, our bodies are our temples. We must take care of our temples.

    Those numbers you posted are sobering…I think back to illnesses that took my family members and friends. Additionally picking up on one of Raquel’s points about Africa holding the “key’s to our lives, I am a firm believer that with all of the chaos in global society, a “shift” will take humanity back to its root….Mother Africa. The question is, will her children throughout the Diaspora be ready; willing; and more importantly “able” to heed the call??? We can’t build community unless we are “healthy” enough to do it. Healthy within the context of; physical; mental; emotional; and financial.

    I truly believe that in this age of technology and knowledge it is important for us to take the steps to secure a better future for ourselves; physically; mentally; emotionally; socially; and economically. It goes back to what you said….”one bite at a time”! I’m a firm believer in “each one reach one”. In turn if we better ourselves we can help to better our communities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your voice on this topic. I’m of the belief that we must start with self first then work our way out. Stay tuned as this series discuss both Africa and it’s diaspora reaching out to embrace each other. Please please share this discussion with others and continue to lend your voice in helping move this topic forward. ~Peace

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  7. Well-Being (being well): the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. How do we achieve being comfortable in this society? We can certainly be healthy, and we can even achieve happiness – but can we find comfort in this world?

    Africa is considered the poorest continent, yet it is the richest in natural resources, which, to date, are pillaged by other governments and corporations leaving African countries decimated. Africans are considered savages, lazy, incapable of creating a decent living space for their own people… which sound much like the descriptors used to define African Americans or Blacks around the world. Yet, if we step back a bit so we can view the entirety of these claims, we may be able to identify the real matters and come to a new comprehension. We have been considered weak because we are, overall, far less destructive, greedy, and savage than those who have created those descriptors of us.

    Here are some facts from an article titled “Exploring the Natural Wealth of Africa” from http://www.mininafrica.net [my notes are in brackets]:

    “The African continent is home to an abundance of natural resources that include diamonds, gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, platinum, copper, cobalt, iron, bauxite, silver, and more. In this section we will explore many aspects of these resources. We will delve into how these resources are mined and processed throughout history and in modern times, and we will discover the practical applications of the resources. [The lands of Africa have always been rich in resources.]

    A Largely Untapped Wealth
    Because Africa has had a low local human density for a long period of time, it has been colonized and the treasure trove of natural resources discovered. From West Africa to South Africa and everywhere in between there are massive quantities of natural resources contained within the continent’s interior. Even though the world is fueled by commodity consumption, there is so much natural wealth on the continent that a great deal of it is as yet unused – the deposits are so abundant that some of it has yet to be discovered. Through the years these resources have been exploited by other countries including the United States, France, Canada and the United Kingdom for various practical applications. [The claim that Africa had a “low human density for a long period of time” speaks to the size of the continent itself. And while it is considered the 2nd largest continent, it is actually the largest. The people of Africa, throughout its many countries, have always had a respect for the land, the animals and the resources, much like that of the Native American Indians who honored nature.]

    Limitless Potential for Application
    The natural resources in Africa are used practically in many industries and in many countries every day. Industries include manufacturing, industrial, and energy, medical and infrastructure development. The natural resource economy of Africa greatly contributes to the buildings and structures constructed on the continent. Besides local use, some of the largest engineering projects are linked to the trade of resources like oil and minerals, and large quantities of natural resources are exported to other countries. Metals exported from Africa include uranium, platinum, nickel, bauxite and cobalt. Two of the most profitable mineral exports are gold and diamonds. The continent can produce close to 500 tons of gold a year and is responsible for a large percentage of the world’s diamonds.” [Destruction of the land on which they live was considered disrespect and they understood that same destruction would reflect back to themselves because you cannot dig out the center of your land and expect to have something to stand on. Greed has blinded many people from perceiving this simple concept, and, because of that greed, they continue to extract, pollute, and destroy, but fail to see the impact their actions have on their own health. The foolishness of corporations are leading quickly to the downfall of humanity as a whole. There will be dire consequences!]

    —————————————————————————————————————
    Let’s talk Health: True Healing and Health is Only found in NATURE. There is no chemical synthesized into a “medication” that can actually heal. Meds are created to treat symptoms, hence, while addressing one symptom, they cause tons of other symptoms, illnesses and diseases. Let us be conscious of the commercials for prescription drugs and the quiet, soft voice used to gloss over the “side effects” that accompany them – many of which are worse than what they were supposed to be treating.

    What we take into our bodies via our mouths, skin, eyes, and ears impact our health and well-being. Our bodies have an “immune system” which, when intact, will generally work to remove toxins, infections and foreign objects from our bodies in an attempt to heal itself. Anti-Bio(tics) are very dangerous and cripple the immune system, as it is indicated in the word itself (Spell-ing is KEY). How do we boost and strengthen our immune systems naturally? Colloidal silver, echinacea, and good daily habits such as:

    Don’t smoke.

    Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

    Exercise regularly.

    Maintain a healthy weight.

    If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

    Get adequate sleep.

    Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

    Try to minimize stress.

    These are also helpful for us to maintain healthy minds and emotions.

    GETTING BACK TO OUR REAL CULTURE & SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WILL DELIVER ALL THE INFORMATION WE NEED TO KNOW.

    I’ll stop here, since this is quite a long response.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful Raquel. This is the type of response I was hoping for. We need to get back to what our indigenous ancestors used in feeding and promoting good health for ourselves.

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  8. I would like to see those LCOD for black men and black women compared to our white counterparts in the United States to really get an understanding of the severity. In other words, do Americans in general have these issues with blacks being slightly more at risk? Or are we drastically more at risk than other Americans?

    I’m just curious. I am not by any means suggesting that these issues aren’t important. In fact, I know they are. But I’d like to see some context, especially considering we’re also looking at the impact of the American diet on us. . 🙂

    Thanks for the blog post, Don. Angeline

    Liked by 1 person

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