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The Concerted Effort To Cull the Black Population; Our babies matter:’ Efforts aim to lower infant mortality rate among African-American newborns

MILWAUKEE -- African-American newborns are dying three times more often than white babies across Wisconsin. That is according to new data which shows the state has the highest racial disparity for infant mortality in the country. Nowhere is that trend more evident than in Milwaukee.


Tonda Thompson

Five years ago this week were both the best and worst moments of Tonda Thompson's life.

"I was expecting to have a normal delivery; a perfect son," Thompson said.

As Thompson prepared to give birth to her first child, the then-25-year-old suddenly became ill.

"Within the first five minutes of me meeting him, I was told he wasn't going to survive," Thompson said.


Tonda Thompson


Tonda Thompson

Thompson's son passed away just 17 hours after coming into the world -- due to complications during labor.

"I had a lot of support, but nobody could give me my son back," Thompson said.

It is an emptiness many mothers across the city can relate to. In 2016, 88 children under one year old died in Milwaukee. That is a rate of nine per 1,000 live births, called the infant mortality rate.

A breakdown of the numbers from the Milwaukee Health Department may help shed some light on why these babies are mysteriously dying. The most recent data shows black infants like Thompson's remain three times more likely to not survive compared to white and Hispanic babies.

"Being a woman of color, being particularly a black woman is probably one of the most scariest things in having a baby," said Sabrina Foulks-Thomas, the first and only certified African-American midwife in Wisconsin.


Sabrina Foulks-Thomas

Foulks-Thomas' initiative "Birth in Color" tries to tackle the root cause of the issue.

"We are so segregated here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And it affects every area of living," Foulks-Thomas said.

For example, the biggest contributing factor of infant deaths is premature births. A direct cause of prematurity is stress during pregnancy. So it is no wonder the ZIP codes with the highest infant mortality rates in Milwaukee are also the most impoverished and have the highest concentration of minorities living there.

 

"If we have a pregnant woman carrying this baby, we've got the environmental, socioeconomic and then the genetic stressors -- all of that can be contributing to this unborn baby," Foulks-Thomas said.

Foulks-Thomas said adequate prenatal and postpartum care is key to helping reduce stress. That starts with training more experts in the field who understand what these mothers are going through.

"If you look at the research, if you have a provider of the same race as you, you can relate in a different way," Foulks-Thomas said.

It is an unexpected calling Tonda Thompson has embraced.

"We have to help African-American moms know that we are special and that we matter and that our babies matter," Thompson said.




Thompson now serves as the community engagement coordinator for the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families -- a branch of the United Way. Thompson spreads awareness about the risks of black mothers like herself face.

"That's healing in itself because it gives me comfort knowing that my son had a purpose," Thompson said

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Comment by theafricanunion on May 19, 2018 at 12:35am

In the beginning there was....#BlackLove from Black Love Matters on Vimeo.

"The Afrikan woman saw the Afrikan man as the personification of God on earth and the Afrikan man saw the Afrikan woman as the personification of Goddess on earth"
~ Merira Kwesi #blacklovematters

THE BLACK WOMAN IS GOD

Our elder, Dr. Yosef ben Jochannon said, “This is but a mere feeble effort in saying: without you, Afrikan Mother, there would have been no us -- Afrikan Fathers, Sons and Daughters. Do we need to say anymore Afrikan Mothers, our own true Goddesses! Let us praise you to the highest, telling all the world about your righteousness. Let us tell the entire universe about your sacredness, Afrikan Woman."

We establish her sacredness historically as the Mother of Civilization, the one through whom life came...via Central/Inner East Afrika, via Kush and Kemet, Ancient Egypt. We establish her sacredness as the model and standard of beauty so exquisite that she was projected into the heavens and recognized as the Original Guardian Angel. And we establish her sacredness spiritually as heaven, as paradise, a sacred temple.

And our elder again said, “Heaven is between a black woman’s legs...the proof for this is the Goddess Nut, represented through Kemet, giving birth to the God Ra (the sun in the morning) [adoration to Him as he rises from the eastern horizon of heaven in the morning] and receiving him back through her mouth in the evening. Adoration to Nut as she gives birth to Ra, represented by the Sundisc and symbolic to all Afrikan mothers when they debuted here on the planet Earth as Ntr Het-Heru [Adoration to her]." ~ Sutenet Tiye #BlackWomenMatter

Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan & Merira Kwesi & Ashra Kwesi provides insight into the ancient Kemetic goddesses and initiations in #Kemet.

Follow us throughout these social media networks and spread #blacklove within our community #straightblackpride
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Comment by theafricanunion on May 18, 2018 at 2:55pm

Comment by theafricanunion on May 18, 2018 at 2:51pm

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