What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
OR DOES IT EXPLODE?
by Langston Hughes
For the last few months our communities have been rallying behind the hashtags #togetherathome or #togetherwhile apart, but the ugly reality is that we are a country deeply divided. While we may have imaged ourselves unifying around our battle against the pandemic COVID-19, the truth is we continue to be deeply divided by the endemic racism that continues to poison our country and is killing our black brothers and sisters.
As a company, DC Birth Doulas condemns the racism that continues to lead to the deaths and discrimination of black men and women in America. We condemn racism in the birth room, on our streets, and in our parks and homes – wherever it takes root and manifests itself. We mourn with the families and friends of George Floyd and Amaud Arbery and the thousands of other victims of racism. Racism is a sickness that is killing Americans and we must come together to find a cure.
To our fellow black birth workers and birthing families, we see and hear your pain, your sorrow, and your anger. We are by your side. We are here for you to talk with. We will continue to hold space for you both in and out of the birthing room. We are sorry that our country, including our President and our maternal health care system, continues to fail you. We will try harder. We will continue to fight for change.
To all birth workers and birthing families who must birth and raise families in a country sick with deeply rooted and endemic racism, we see and hear your frustration, shared shame, and at times – feelings of helplessness.
What can you do? Begin by doing something.
While sympathetic words and prayers are still welcome, they are not enough. Raise the voices of your black brothers and sisters by following and sharing. Educate yourself. Expose and discuss racism – your own home and others – with your children and your community. Use your influence, positions of power, and money to support efforts to root out racism.
We are donating to the Black Midwives Alliance to keep black maternal health issues at the forefront of policy discussions and to support the training and maintaining of black midwives. We encourage you to do the same. Find an organization that supports and strengthens the black community or fights racism and put your money with your words are. We will never be truly unified in our battle against COVID-19 or any other challenge that comes our way unless we unite alongside our black brothers and sisters and fight the battle against racism together.