Black History is American History
(This is a copy of my February newsletter email. I didn't want it to just get lost there so I decided to share it here.)
This February let's decolonize! Let's decolonize our yoga, and the outdoors industry...but first, let's learn about the racist roots of diet culture!
Anti-fatness is based in Anti- Blackness.
Anti-fatness as a form of anti-Blackness has its start in the time of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. As far back as the 1600s, white people began to associate larger, curvier bodies with Black enslaved people, especially Black enslaved women. White people wanted to make sure there was a definite division between Black folks, who they deemed as lazy, inferior, and excessive (reasons they should be enslaved), and themselves, who they deemed as more intelligent, godly, and moral. Fatness was associated with Black femininity and white women did not want to be associated with that.
Don't believe me? You don't have to, here are the experts.
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia by Dr. Sabrina Strings (buy here)
Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da'Shaun L. Harrison (buy here)
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor (buy here)
Fatphobia: America's Acceptable Bias by Nicole Cardoza on Anti-Racist Daily
Book review of Fearing the Black Body by Dr. Sabrina Strings Hannah Carlan , UCLA
NPR interview with Dr. Sabrina Strings
Why Your New Diet is Anti-Black. Interview with Da'Shaun L. Harrison about Belly of the Beast
The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity in Scientific American
Diet Culture and Weight Loss Programs are a Scam by Da'Shaun L. Harrison
Food Psych Podcast interview with Sabrina Strings #196
Fatphobia (and foodphobia)is Anti-Blackness with Da'Shaun Harrison on Rebel Eaters Podcast with Virgie Tovar
The BMI is Racist
The BMI was never meant to measure the health of individuals. It was meant to measure the average white, cisgender European man.
Read more about the BMI:
The Racist History of Fatphobia and Weight Stigma Within Health
The Racial Origins of BMI by Dominique Stewart at Anti-Racism Daily
Black folks and Black experiences aren't a monolith, and just highlighting some for a specific month feels reductive and kind of gross. My goal for this newsletter is to illuminate folks that are in white dominated fields (western yoga and the outdoors!) so that we all can expand our learning and hear from folks with different lived experiences and knowledge.
Dianne Bondy. Dianne teaches I hold such deep gratitude for all that I have learned from Dianne. If you ever think about taking yoga teacher training, may I suggest taking it from her.
Shawn J. Moore sound healing, yoga and meditation
Nikki Adams trauma informed yoga teacher
Latoya Cooper yin yoga at Asana and Wellness
Kelley Nicole Palmer a creative, a space holder and advocate. Also one of the creators of The Sanctuary in the City.
Kween Werk Parker McMullen Bushman: Social justice and outdoor activist
Melanin Basecamp "increas(ing) ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ participation in the outdoors."
Diversity Outdoors "We are a coalition of social media influencers – bloggers, athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs – who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where people of color, 2SLGBTQ+, and other diverse identities have historically been underrepresented."
Nelson Holland @fatblackandgettinit
Teresa Baker "Working to increase representation of underrepresented communities in our parks and within the outdoor industry" The founder of the In Solidarity Project.
OutdoorAfro.org "Outdoor Afro celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. The network also connects Black people with our lands, water, and wildlife through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation."
The above are just a small handful of folks out there doing the work of educating and making these areas more diverse and welcoming.