Friday, August 10, 2012

Are Black Baby Boomers Invisible

While on Twitter the other day, I noticed a "tweet" from @huffpost50 that said something about baby boomers transforming aging with a link to an article. Since I knew the tweet was connected to the Huffington Post I decided to click on the article. Staring me smack dab in my baby boomer eyes were several people standing on a stage---one being Arianna Huffington herself. The caption under the photo made reference to the people in the photo as a panel on aging. Immediately I wanted to know where were the black baby boomers?

Of course I tweeted my concern (SEVERAL TIMES) and finally got a response from @huffpost50 indicating they were attempting to reach out to me about blogging. GREAT! (And yes, I'm still waiting to hear from someone).

But here's my issue: Practically every time there is a discussion or panel assembled to discuss the baby boomer generation, the black baby boomers are left out. It's as if we have no voice. Nobody thinks we have anything to say---or perhaps nothing credible to say.

I remember when Tom Brokaw's BOOM generation was broadcast. I just knew it was going to be fair and balanced because, after all, he's a journalist. Instead, he had two Ivy league blacks who certainly didn't travel down the same road as the OVERWHELMING majority of the rest of us. And not once did he mention Motown--which influenced the entire generation.

To add insult to injury, there are rarely any health studies exclusively for older black adults---unless it has to do with sickle cell anemia. But the cold, hard truth is we get the same diseases as white baby boomers and we should be studied individually for possible trends in health conditions. Why is it that black women have a higher rate and risk for breast cancer? How does menopause affect black women versus white women and how much of it has to do with heredity, environment, etc. And will someone please stop lumping ALL women in the same BMI (body mass index). We all know black women have a little more meat on their bones and it doesn't always mean they're overweight or unhealthy.

These are just a few of the issues plaguing a generation that calls itself "the greatest generation ever."

As for black baby boomers, stop trying to make us the invisible ones.