Sickle Cell Cause support group nominated for Haringey Community Award 2017

The Sickle Cell Cause support group, based in Tottenham, north London, have been nominated for the Haringey Community Impact Awards 2017, following the hard work the group has put into helping raise awareness about sickle cell, and in helping those who suffer from the genetic condition.

Last year, the group won the Haringey Community Award for the  ‘Most Effective Community New Comers 2016.’ This year, they have been nominated for ‘Improving the Health & Well being of Community Members, 2017.’ Founder, Samantha Greaves, said:

We believe that we are making a difference, and because many of us in the support group live with the ravages of the sickle cell disorder, our work can be more challenging, Despite this, we love what we do and endeavour to continue with passion so we can serve our sickle cell peers and the wider community.

During October, the group, who work with the North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust, spent five consecutive days showcasing a sickle cell awareness table, where members and volunteers took it in turns to share information and handmade goods with the community.

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This is just one of many activities the support has put together to bring more attention to sickle cell. Earlier this year, they held a sponsored walk to help raise money for a blood cell separator machine which the North Middlesex hospital is in desperate need of. Donations are still welcome and the group is grateful for those who have helped and can help. To donate, click here.

On Saturday October 28, 2017, the Sickle Cell Cause will be hosting a Volunteers Workshop Day from 12-4pm at the group’s meeting point, St Ann’s hospital in Tottenham, The event will reveal what people can do to help raise awareness of sickle cell in various areas from hospitals, to schools, to welfare. The workshop is a wonderful opportunity for sicklers and non-sicklers to meet and provide support for each other where possible.

To find out what else the Sickle Cell Cause are doing for the community, click here. 

Keep up to date by listening to sickle cell supporter and community activist, Dr Aboo on Galaxy radio. Tune in on Sundays from 8-10am and Fridays from 3-6pm.
If you’re  convinced that the Sickle Cell Cause deserves to win the award for ‘Improving the Health & Well being of Community Members, 2017,’ click here to show your support! Voting has now been extended to Tuesday October 31, until 5pm!
The winners will be announced on Friday Nonmember 24, 2017!

Sickle Cell Experience Part Two Continued…

It was 3am the next morning. My mum was stable, so I left the hospital. An hour later my mum had called me to come back. She was bawling in pain. This was when I broke down. Seeing my mum in the state she was – I just let it all out.  It was like the nurse was taking the opportunity to ignore my mum when I wasn’t there. Hearing my mum tell me that she had to get out of bed to ask for help, and was told: “someone will be with you in a minute,” and left to wait again, was devastating for me. My mum usually has a crisis in her joints, so to have this one in her chest, was new for her and even scarier for us both.

I asked another nurse for help. It was a nurse beneath the previous one but I didn’t care, I just wanted help for my mum. The previous nurse tried to override me and told the second nurse to return to what she was doing. But, she could see how volatile the situation was so she stayed.

“The notes show that I got the medication”, the male nurse said.

“I’m fully aware that you have covered yourself but this is my mum’s life!”

His response exposed that he had a problem with me challenging.

“What do you know about sickle cell?” he said.

Coming into A&E, fighting for the medication and oxygen and being confronted with a poor attitude to care was a horrible experience. I don’t believe that sickle cell is taken seriously enough. All together my mum was given liquid paracetamol, diamorphine, tramadol & erythromycin – she was on a lot of medication, yet she could still feel the pain. That’s how serious it was. My mum had more than enough to deal with.

Even though the doctor dictated what medication needed to be given, the nurse was not prompt with it. Pain relief needs to be on time to avoid continuous and sudden bouts of pain. When my mum was moved to a new ward at around 8am, things did improve. The nurses were on time with the medication which made the pain more manageable.

My mum was in a serious crisis and she was poorly cared for. Being on a high dosage of medication for 10 days shows that she needed immediate attention but she didn’t get it. Had she received it upon arrival the serious nature of this crisis could have been avoided. Time is of the essence. This is something so essential that needs to change now.


Thank you to Samantha and her daughter Leanne, for sharing their stories.

If you would like to volunteer the Sickle Cell Cause, please e-mail

For more details about the support group, visit the website.

Sickle Cell Experience Part 2: Paramedics diagnosed my mother’s sickle crisis as a chest infection, and a nurse failed to do his job because of his ego

Hospitals are supposed to have a protocol in place for sickle cell patients especially with non-specialist nurses.  Two years after Samantha’s horrible experience at the National hospital, she and her daughter found that such protocols were still not being followed. This time it was at a different hospital.

My mum was alone at home when she had a sickle cell crisis in her chest. An ambulance was called and she was taken to a hospital, in Romford. I got the call and rushed to be by her side. When I got there I was surprised to find her in A&E. My mum had told the paramedics about her sickle cell but they decided she had a chest infection.

My mum told me that in the ambulance, paramedics had said: “… do you want to go to the hospital or not? Usually, we would just tell you to go to your GP. But because it’s 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, with no GP open we can take you to the hospital.”

The message that my mum was in a sickle cell crisis had not been received by anyone who came into first contact with my mum at A & E. In total, we waited for five hours before the first pain killing medication was given.

It was ridiculous.  Whilst waiting in A&E I repeatedly went to the desk asking: “what is happening? Why are we not being seen too?” My mum was worsening and her crisis escalated, and I called for help.

Finally a male doctor came and told us he will be with us in a minute. 30 minutes later the doctor returned and took my mum for an X-ray scan. I left at this point to collect some things for my mum. By the time I came back, my mum was completely in crisis. I don’t know where that doctor disappeared to. She was in severe pain. I was cradling her at this point.

Two hours passed. Another doctor came – he had just started his shift, and with a concerned look on his face, he asked: “What’s going on here?”

I said: “I need to speak to someone that knows about sickle cell,”

The doctor said: “I know a thing or two about sickle cell.”

I explained that my mum was in crisis and that we hadn’t been seen to. The doctor instructs a nurse to attend to my mum. “She needs oxygen and she needs pain relief NOW!”

My mum was moved to A & E major, put in a cubicle and left to wait again.  Fifteen minutes passed. There was a nurse outside our cubicle and I asked him: “Do you know who is supposed to be looking after my mum?”

He looked up and said “I am supposed to be looking after her.”

I said: “Well, we’ve been waiting a very long time. My mum is in crisis, we need help now.”

The nurse looked offended. “I take instructions from the doctor.”

Distressed, I said: “Ok that’s fine, could you get that instruction please? My mum really needs pain relief.”

Nurse: “Like I said, I take instructions from the doctor.”

I went to the desk and demanded for a doctor. The young man at the desk asked for my mother’s name. He told me that the computer system showed that my mum had been seen to. I was shocked. The young man apologised and assured me that my mum would be seen to.

45 minutes later, and the first doctor we met appeared again.  He came into our cubicle and said to mum: “How long have you had sickle cell for?” This is the doctor that was going to treat my mum and he asked her such a question. I was stunned. Sickle cell is genetic, a person is born with it.

Still, without pain relief, mum was in full blown crisis and the doctor continued to ask question after question. I was starting to think that he didn’t know what he was dealing with. He then instructed the same nurse I had previously spoken to, to attend to my mum. His response? “Well, I’ve got a lot of things to.”

I understood that he was busy, as all doctors and nurses are, but my mum did not need to hear him say that in front of her. I had to ask when the catheter (a medical device inserted into the body to treat diseases or perform a surgical procedure), was going to be put in.  When he did finally come, my mum asked him to place the needle because she knows where her good veins are. The nurse wouldn’t listen. Instead he insisted it went where he wanted it to go. He struggled to find a vein and did a bad job. My mum’s hand was inflamed like a balloon.  There was blood everywhere. It was a mess.

Instead of apologising he blamed the vein, gave up and aggressively said: “I’m going to get someone else to do this.” so we had to wait again. 30 mins later, my mum had her catheter put in but there was something wrong. It didn’t contain any fluid. It now took a new doctor to come and attach the pain relief, water and oxygen – all that should have been delivered to my mum upon arrival.

The new doctor authorised specific drugs to be given to my mum. She said: “When you need more, call by pressing the buzzer.” And she left.

The drugs didn’t kill the pain so 45 minutes later I called for the medication and the same nurse who messed up the catheter returned. He behaved like he didn’t want to bring the medication. He was annoyed and said: “You don’t need it.”

I told him “Yes she does and we got authorisation from the doctor” and he told us he’s not authorised to give it. I told him to call the doctor back. He went and came back, without the doctor, but with medication. He hadn’t bothered to read the notes which would have told him that the doctor had authorised the medication. The medication he came back with wasn’t what the doctor had prescribed – instead it was liquid Add to dictionary. It did the job but the nurse had a very poor attitude. It was as if he was thinking that we should be grateful for this favour he did for us, and it got worse.

To be continued…

Sickle Cell Experience: I thought I was going to die because medical staff didn’t know enough about sickle cell

Samantha Greaves, a 50 year old sickle cell warrior and founder of the Sickle Cell Cause support group, expected doctors and nurses to know how to prepare for an emergency operation she needed as a result of sickle cell complications.

I had severe headaches for a few years, and in 2015 I was finally referred for a head scan. I found out that I had a few aneurysms in my head. One was quite big and I was told it could burst at any moment.

My consultant called me, she was very concerned and commanded that I go to the National Hospital – the best in the country for anything to do with the head, so she booked me in. She told me to go now but I wanted to wait until the morning so I could sleep in my own bed. Reluctantly, I obeyed because she informed me that I’d been booked to have an emergency operation in the morning, however it was to be a week later before the operation took place.

On day one at the hospital, there was issues with beds and I didn’t have a drip – just really silly things which made me feel anxious. This operation was supposed to be an emergency, so why did I not have a bed?

Day two, three and four passed. I was still waiting for my operation. Each day I was prepped to go but each day I was returned to my bed. It was a different excuse every day. I could see that the doctors and nurses were unsure of themselves. It was like they hadn’t prepared at all. Two more days passed and I was getting nervous. My daughter who was with me, was nervous. I have sickle cell – I should have been on a drip the moment I arrived. I told the nurses and doctors this, and they didn’t like it, but my life was in their hands – what choice did I have? I have had sickle cell since birth. I have been in and out of hospital all my life – I know what care I should be getting. It was obvious that the nurses, doctors – nobody wanted to touch me because nobody wanted to be responsible if something went wrong.

On day seven, I had had enough, and I called my consultant from my hospital. My consultant contacted the haematology department at the hospital I was at, and told them what to before my operation. It wasn’t until then that I had finally got the operation done, the build-up put me in such a state that I didn’t feel as if I was in the hands of people I could trust. There was just no confidence in what they were supposed to do. By the time I was taken down, I didn’t want to go. I said to my daughter: “What are they going to do to me?” I was terrified. I give thanks to God that I did survive. But that wasn’t the end of it. The delay caused me to have the worst sickle cell crisis I ever had.

I was on a ward with people who had brain tumours and other life threatening conditions. My crisis took full hold and I was vomiting across the room. I screamed in pain, half my body off the bed. I felt embarrassed that everyone could see me like this. I was traumatised. Two cleaners would walk by and pray for me: “Lord Jesus….” they repeated, with raised voices.

I remember the moment I woke up after my violent episode. There were cards left on my bedside table. “What is this?” I remember thinking to myself. I later learnt they were Angel cards. The woman with the brain tumour had put them there. It was her way of trying to help me, spiritually. She left them there to protect me. The cards and the praying cleaners made it seem like the whole ward believed I was going to die; they too were traumatised.

What was meant to be a two day stay in hospital, turned into almost a month. I was still in pain, from my sickle cell crisis. The doctors didn’t know what to do so they continued to give me more and more morphine. My daughter contacted my consultant again, and I was transferred to my own hospital, North Middlesex hospital, so I could be under the care of my consultant. When the doctors were looking at my medical charts, I saw the shock on their faces as they conferred with each other. I asked them: “What’s going on?”

They said: “You’ve been overdosed, so we have to wean you off the drugs before you come off them completely, and until the pain from the sickle cell crisis recedes.”

I stayed in the North Middlesex Hospital for an additional 18 days after this, and I decided to report the bad practice of the previous hospital, but before I could do this; when I got home, I received a phone call.  It was a nurse, from the National hospital, following their protocol of finding out how a former patient is getting on.

I said: “Your service is terrible, you really need a sickle cell support practice in place. Her reply shocked me: “We have one.”

I didn’t want what happened to me to happen to anybody else, so I suggested that the hospital invite my support group to speak to staff about how to care for sickle cell patients. People are living longer with sickle cell, so doctors and nurses need to be aware that as we get older we will experience additional complications due to age.

They nearly killed me. This cannot happen again.

To be continued…

Blood donors urgently needed for sickle cell paitients

As we have recently become voluntary media correspondents for the Sickle Cell Cause support group, based at St Ann’s hospital in Tottenham, north London, our focus this month has been about Sickle Cell. Sickle Cell disease is a genetic blood disorder which pre-dominantly affects the black community. See our What is Sickle Cell Blood Disorder for more information.

10 year old Matthew Akinmuleya, from London, had his first experience of pain aged 6 months. The little warrior has undergone blood transfusions since birth, which he has needed every month. This means he is likely to have received over 100 transfusions. There are many children and adults like him who are going through the same thing. We as the black community, must do what we can to lend our blood.

To read the full story, please click here.

To register for the Community Mile for Sickle Cell annual sponsored walk on, Sunday July 23, 2017, please click here.

If you would like to sponsor us, please e-mail us at:

What is Sickle Cell Disorder?

Sickle Cell disease is the name for the group of genetic blood disorders. Our red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body, as well as transporting CO2 and hydrogen ions back to the lungs.

Sickle cell is inherited from both parents who carry the trait, and comes in many forms:

  • Haemoglobin SS
  • Haemoglobin SC
  • Haemoglobin SB (beta) thalassemia
  • Haemoglobin SD
  • Haemoglobin SB+ Beta Thalassaemia
  • Haemoglobin Beta-Zero Thalassaemia

Sickle Cell is pre-dominantly found in African and Caribbean people. Other people affected are Asian, Arab and Mediterranean. The most common form is Sickle Cell Anaemia. People with this have Sickle haemoglobin (HbS). This means that the red blood cells are devoid of oxygen and are unable to move around like normal blood cells (Hba), which are donut shaped.

Because the cells are unable to move, they stick together and end up blocking blood vessels which causes tissue and organ damage, as well as severe bouts of pain. Such episodes of pain are known as a ‘Sickle Cell Crisis’ or a ‘Vaso-Occlusive Crisis.’

A crisis can be triggered by:

  • A sudden change in temperature
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Infection

A crisis can last anywhere from a few minutes to a number of days or months.

So what causes Sickle Cell Anaemia?

A mutation in the gene that instructs the body to produce haemoglobin.

What are the health problems Sickle Cell Anaemia can lead to?

  • Iron over-load
  • Jaundice
  • Swollen joints
  • Migraines
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Strokes
  • Permeant damage resulting in the removal of the spleen
  • Reduced bone density
  • Ulcers
  • Blindness
  • Priapism (painful swollen and lumpy penis which can cause erectile dysfunction)
  • Aneurysms
  • Pneumonia
  • Organ failure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Gallstones
  • Death

How is it inherited?

You will have sickle cell when you inherit the ‘defective’ gene from both parents. If you only inherit the gene from one parent then you have the sickle cell trait. It is likely that your blood will contain some sickle cells, but you will still be able to produce normal haemoglobin, and you won’t usually experience any symptoms.


However, inheriting the trait means you are a carrier. This means that you could pass the gene on to your children – but not the sickle cell diseases, unless your partner also has the trait. This is why it is important we test our blood to see if we have the trait or not.

Sickle Cell Anaemia is a very serious genetic condition, which is why it is essential that we understand, empathise and advocate for our people who are living in their thousands in the UK, with this disease. And let’s not forget our Melenated brothers and sisters in parts of Africa and also in America too. Sickle Cell is real and it needs to be acknowledged individually and globally.


We are now media correspondents and advocates for the Sickle Cell Cause support group based at St Ann’s Hospital, George Marsh centre, in Tottenham, London. We will also be taking part in the Community Mile for Sickle Cell annual sponsored walk on Sunday July 23, 2017.


To get involved and to find out more about sickle cell, please click here.

If you would like to sponsor us, please contact us on:

The Jus’ Caribbean Festival 2017 is an official sponsor for the Sickle Cell Cause support group. The event will take place Saturday 19 – Sunday 20. Come and enjoy authentic tastes of the Caribbean, and support our own, food-wise and health-wise!


Eunice and Ogechi

67 reasons (and counting), why there should be a White History Month

Originally found on Instagram, we thought this was definitely worth sharing, because this is the white history everyone should know.  These are histories that have undeniably sought to destroy black people, yet we are told to ‘get over slavery’, when our ancestors were still subjected after this, to endless violent population control, spiritually, genetically, psychologically, economically and emotionally speaking.

Instead the UK education system only seeks to pay attention to the Tudors, Suffragettes, WW1 & WW2, Hitler, Holocaust etc.,. Well, pay attention to the 67 truths of white history, the white world doesn’t want you to know.

  1. Cherokee Trail of Tears
  2. Japanese American Internment
  3. Phillipine-American war
  4. Jim Crow
  5. The Genocide of Native Americans
  6. The Trans-atlantic slave trade
  7. The Middle Passage
  8. The history of white American racism
  9. Black Codes
  10. Slave patrols
  11. Klu Klax Klan
  12. The war on drugs
  13. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  14. How white racism grew out of slavery and genocide
  15. How white people still benefit from slavery and genocide
  16. White anti-racism
  17. The southern strategy
  18. The rape of enslaved black women
  19. Madison Grant
  20. the Indian wars
  21. human zoos
  22. how the Jews became white
  23. white flight
  24. Red lining
  25. Proposition 14
  26. Homestead act
  27. Tulsa Riots
  28. Rosewood massacre
  29. Tuskegee experiment
  30. Lynching
  31. Hollywood stereotypes
  32. Indian appropriation acts
  33. Immigration act 1924
  34. Sundown towns
  35. Chineese exclusion act
  36. Emmet Till
  37. Vincent Chin
  38. Islamaphobia
  39. Indian boarding schools
  40. King Phillip’s war
  41. Bacon’s Rebellion
  42. American slavery compared to Arab, Roman and Latin American slavery
  43. History of the gun
  44. History of the police
  45. history of prisons
  46. history of white suburbia
  47. Lincoln’s racism and anti-racism
  48. George Wallace Governor of Alabama
  49. Cointelpro
  50. Real estate steering
  51. School tracking
  52. Mass incarceration of Black men
  53. Boston school riots
  54. Man-made Ebola and AIDs
  55. Church bombs and fires in deep south to Blacks
  56. Church shootings
  57. How the Irish and Italians became white
  58. The perpetuation of the idea of the ‘model minority’
  59. Housing discrimination
  60. Systemeatic placement of highways and building projects to create ghettoes
  61. Medical experimentation on poor, especially Blacks including surgical and genealogical experimentation
  62. History of planned parenthood
  63. Forced Sterilization
  64. Cutting children out of pregnant Black mothers as part of lynching
  65. Eurocentric beauty standard falsification
  66. Erasure and eradication of all achievements of Ancient Africa and Kemet
  67. White washing of history and cultural practices

Girls, Guns and Gangs

Girls, guns and gangs, the three things that make young men wanna gangbang.

It seems to me that in his-story that the main mystery is the ‘thuggery’ that messes with the psyche-ology of these young prodigies.

Some ain’t surprised, call it the circle of life.  This ideology with the misogyny and the female physiology has always been used and abused. That’s just a third of this ideology.

Guns – these weapons of destruction are more than just a defence tool, some people are just fools to these things, fun as if just a calm thing to layin’ under the sun – this ain’t no pun I’m actually done! I’m sick and tired of these clowns who happen to be mostly brown with their ugly frowns causing terror on our streets. You can’t even sleep peacefully in between your sheets. Call them menace to society, this matter cannot be taken lightly, the state of this calamity is affecting humanity.

The last piece to puzzle is Gangs. Like the family that consists of the matriarch and Patriarch and solidarity between brother and sister, gangs are the last resort for all these misters. No father in the home, mummy on drugs, sisters with thugs, men ain’t growing to be men, no love from the home so they turn to what grown men know best – the streets, the ‘good life’ call it thug life. Brother love and a father like leadership got these young men in chains. Chains of bondage, no looking back your married to game, no hiding the shame, young brother can’t read so he goes all manic and crazy using that Uzi on these black ‘bourgeois’. His healing is that good Herb, you know the ‘dro, it kills the pain real slow, baby mama on the side lines – he also got a new hoe.


Men wake up! This is an epidemic too many young kids end up in prison, this is a mission. I hope you can see with your vision that we can all make an accurate decision to raise our men right and who’s not to say that may be viewed in a different light….

– Ogechi ©  –


This post is about a serious issue that a friend of mine has made a short film about, to raise awareness and bring courage to those who may be in the same situation.

“I wanted to do something different. Things like this happen all the time, but you don’t hear about it. Why? Because it’s seen as a taboo so the victims do not normally come forward to tell someone. Like the girl in this film, if a person does not feel the courage to speak out, it will only continue to happen…

I want to continue making films like this. I want to make a difference in the film making industry. It is a risk. People might react to it in a negative way. ‘Oh Alexia, you’re not allowed to show that’, but I think it needs to be shown. It has been kept in the dark for too long and it needs to come to light.”



Absent Fathers in the Black Community

IMG-20150723-WA0000On Saturday 25th July, I went to a seminar designed for black people to talk about the problems we face today, and the solutions we can put into effect, to change the narrative. On this occasion, the topic was on absent fathers in the black community.

I found out about this event through my partner, Ackeem who happened to know one of the speakers organising the event. The seminar took place at the Chinese Community Centre in Hackney, East London. The venue was full of black fathers and mothers, children, family members and friends. It was so good to see so many black men with their sons and daughters.  We are so used to seeing black women with the children but we don’t see enough of black fatherhood in our own community, let alone the TV.  At this seminar, everyone came together to ask ourselves – why?

To begin with, a guest speaker from Canada gave a speech on why we need to understand how the black family unit is broken and needs healing. I remember a fact he shared with us which was shocking. He said that in America, there are 1 million black men in  prison. These 1 million men could be fathers. That’s a possible 1 million children without their daddy.

After the speech, the seminar moved on to a workshop session. Everyone was placed at a table where we had intensive and enlightening discussions about the issue.  Sean, who was the leader of the table me and Ackeem were seated at, began by saying,

“Raise your hand, if you did not grow up with your father”

Sean had already expressed that his father was absent and Ackeem didn’t grow up with his either so I knew his hand would be up, but I did not expect the response that was to follow. I, out of 8 people (myself included), was the only one with my hand down. I was shocked. I was already aware of the issue but to be sat on this table seeing 7 hands up really struck a chord.

Sean asked us – why? Why is it that all but one of you grew up without a father? And what is the absent father in the black community? Well, let’s begin with the ‘what’, because this needs to be understood before we grasp the ‘why’.

A sister pointed out, that the absent black father is a generational cycle. She is completely right. She, and two other sisters revealed  that like themselves, their mothers also didn’t have their fathers around. That is when I really began to see the cyclical impact of  the problem. If a daughter grows up without her father, how will she know what it means to be loved? Who is there to show her how a man is supposed to treat and respect a woman? Respect goes both ways, so how will she understand that yes, a man should respect a woman but a woman needs to give him something to respect. How will she see that being a ‘bad bitch’ is not the way to do this?

Children are always watching and copying their parents. People say boys need their dads and girls need their mums. In some aspects this is true but I think it works both ways. Boys need to learn how to respect a woman and learning this has to come from both parents.  If a mother is not with the father of her child, how will she show her son that being a ‘bad boy’ and treating women as sexual objects is not the way forward? How will the son SEE this when his dad is not there to show  him? I’m not saying that all black boys and girls growing up without fathers will become adults who end up on the wrong path. Ackeem didn’t have his dad around but he has become a conscious, knowledgeable, respectable and inspiring man. But, the sad reality is, that too many black boys go down the wrong path because their fathers were not there to guide them, as there is only so much a single mother can do.

We all agreed that the main reason why so many black children grow up with absent fathers is due to the economic castration  of the black man.  How? Because the white supremacist system seeks to weaken the black man, meaning that he will have the most difficulty  compared to other races, to climb the economic ladder, and to secure his finances for himself and his family. The black man can even find it harder than the black woman to secure a good job.

Too many black people choose to reject their cultural heritage. Instead, some of us choose to assimilate to European lifestyles or ideals. Some choose not to seek their history. They’d rather watch TV than read a book.  When you reject your culture and history you are rejecting the building blocks for the stability of your self-esteem and ultimately, your family. How can you teach your sons and daughters to be conscious men and women when you’ve chosen to forget your cultural customs and traditions, which carry so much wisdom – a wisdom which is meant to be passed on from generation to generation. This is the cycle that we should be initiating, not the cycle of the ‘dead-beat daddy’.

So what can we do to break the cycle?

Communication is key. Black men and black women, we need to talk to each other, listen to each other,  understand each other and learn from each other – then the healing process can begin.

Education. We need to teach ourselves and each other what the system won’t,  regarding our true histories, our spirituality and our own cultures – who we are as a people, where we come from and why we carry so much pain. The passing on of knowledge from generation to generation has to be revived. In Africa, old people are not kept in nursing homes like in Europe. They stay home and TEACH their grandkids the way of life. We need to spend more time with  our elders and bathe in their wisdom.

Read books like one breathes air. Read to achieve. Learn your history. Share it. An absence of knowledge is a lack of living.  Feed your mind and the rest will follow.

Practicing home/group economics is a must. Black women spend ridiculous amounts of money on weave, relaxers, perms and skin bleaching products. All for what? To try ‘something different’ or to emulate European beauty standards? Stop throwing your money to the Asian man who owns hair shops for BLACK PEOPLE. Black men and women, stop throwing your money away to the white man who wants you to buy that Gucci purse or wallet. Stop and think. Think about what we could achieve if we invested in ourselves.

My dad bought a large piece of land in Ghana, for what was the equivalent to around £1000, to build a shop in honour of his late mother, and to build a petrol station to aid a new road. I am also planning on buying some land to build a healthcare centre for the disabled and mentally ill. Buying land in Africa and building on it is so easy I’m amazed more of us aren’t doing it. This is the investment we should be participating in.  Not only are you giving back to your people but you will be accepted by them. Whether you are black American or black British or whatever, you will be part of the community. This is a  great way for black fathers to make productive money for themselves, their family and their people. Make some noise with coins and see what happens. Build and protect your own. Change your narrative.

Remember, there is always a father figure in the family. Uncles, brothers or granddads – they too can do the duty that can lead towards breaking the cycle and healing the black family unit.

– Eunice – ©