When I thought of what to name this project, I thought of the line by the songstress Mary J Blige…If you looked into my life and see what I see. The melody and the words make so much sense. My life is all that I really can know and the same for us as a collective. I looked up the word for Life and saw UZIMA. UZIMA means full of life in Swahili.
The children of the diaspora, Black Americans, through our journey as slaves, freedmen and citizens have always made the best of life. I remember watching the monumental series Roots with the birth of babies throughout the generations; there was always a celebration of life.
Today as we wade through life in this pandemic, Mary Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights explains in an interview that Black Americans since the collection of data on vital statistics, have always been sicker and died earlier than our white counterparts.
The virus much like the earlier virus of HIV is illuminating its pattern of attack and death along socioeconomic lines. Those who are already victims of health disparity and inequity. Healthy people 2020 defines health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked to economic, social, or environmental disadvantage. It is structural and preventable.
Uzima seeks to integrate the social, medical and political conversation so that communities of color can start to become empowered to strategically attack the social and political determinants of health that shorten our life span.
As the magazine grows, I want us to share struggles and solutions for better health. I want us to work towards Uzima, a full life.
Kendra Outler, MD, MPH
Founder & CEO