Dear MN Readers,
Now that Mercury retrograde is behind us, maybe we can breathe deeply and exhale longer. Perhaps, we can relax our shoulders and look forward to less cumbersome days, even though there’s still work to do. Contrary to popular belief, The Crisis In Jackson Mississippi Ain’t About Water, It’s About Whiteness; Puerto Rico, Florida and South Carolina are far from recovery in their current climate crisis and New Abortion Laws Could Impact Cancer Treatment For Pregnant Patients.
October not only ushers in the relief of negative energy but also the balance and spirit of Libra season and like lovely Libras, the goal is to bring a sense of equilibrium to our space. This month, MADAMENOIRE balances the weight of breast cancer, domestic violence and mental health awareness with feel good content around survival and thriving—and living a damn good life.
Black women are no strangers to adversity and trauma. Breast cancer is a healthcare crisis that impacts Black women exponentially. Globally, women succumb to breast cancer more than any other cancer-related death. However, in the United States, disparity is glaring for Black women, who lose their lives to breast cancer more than any other race or ethnicity. The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners list a “31% breast cancer mortality rate” for African American women; and when juxtaposed to white women diagnosed with breast cancer, the mortality rate is almost double for Black women at 42 percent higher.
I don’t need to roll out the extensive research around Black families who have been touched by domestic violence be it directly or indirectly. The unrelenting news of Black women and girls who are killed by angry, controlling and jilted lovers is a clear indication of how dire our safety is in our own communities. But I’d be remiss if I did not share National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s statistics stating “45.1% of Black women and 40.1% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.” DV is a conversation we must continue to have.
—And as a demographic who grapples with stigma, trauma, being overwhelmed and the mythology around resilience, discussion around mental health cannot be ignored. Black women are less likely to seek help and when we do, we rarely receive the level of care we deserve, particularly when compared to our counterparts.
Alas, catastrophes, the devastation of cancer diagnosis; the harsh reality of intimate partner abuse and the impact of mental illness exists, Mercury retrograde or nah. However, it cannot be overstated that on the other side of the worst shit is the best shit—and the best shit awaits us. In keeping with this post-retrograde theme, MN’s new travel column, People. Places. Things., takes us to Afro-Puerto Rico pre- hurricane Fiona. We want to share the beauty of the island that it is waiting on the side of its current status. Then we’re going Instagram Live with Elisabeth Ovesen to discuss the soft life and being FNF. Lookout for the return of the Melanin Awards, where we review and crown the best of the best Black-owned beauty brands across several categories and subcategories including: hair, makeup, nails, fragrance and skincare. We also have our Libra gift guide which shares the little joys and luxe picks that the charming air sign surrounds themselves with.
And as always, stick around for coverage that is informative, sometimes irreverent, humorous and most of all honest. Mercury retrograde be damned.
With softness and solidarity,
Ida Harris, Managing Editor
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