I shared this sentiment on my private Instagram and FB and it was recently shared on You Lingerie's Instagram.
“Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women. The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue.” (source)
Black Breastfeeding Week isn’t racist. It’s not furthering segregation, nor is it "reverse racism." It is hearing and understanding the specific concerns of a group of people in order to overcome them so future generations can have a healthy start to life. It is helping reduce rates of obesity, diabetes, and breast cancer. It is reducing infant mortality rates by providing babies the best start possible (learn more about "first food deserts" here, here, or here).
For as long as black infant mortality rates are as high as they are, and initiation and duration rates are as low as they are, I will shut my mouth and open my ears. Every culture and subset have their own barriers to breastfeeding that are unique. I may not have experienced them, but as an ally I will listen, try to understand, and work to support change for the better.