According to Martha Tesema in Shine, the Black Panther Party played a large part in bringing the idea of self-care to the general public, especially to the black community and people of color.
The idea of self-care began in the 1950s as a way for mental health patients to develop a better sense of self. Doctors and medical researchers saw it as a tool to treat PTSD. In the sixties, the Black Panthers — often known for their activism — adopted the idea of self-care, not only for themselves but for the community they served.
People think of the Black Panther Party as political activists — which they were — but they were also dedicated to helping the communities they were fighting for by providing education, health clinics, and food.
This extended to the concept of self-care.
The activists themselves recognized a need for their self-care and, by modeling that, were able to convince the community to take the idea seriously.
Angela Davis, a well-known activist, even extended her self-care to prison, where she practiced yoga and meditation. She knew that to fight for what you believe in, you have to take the time to care for yourself. She acknowledged as recently as 2016 that self-care is a part of social justice activism.
Today, black people, people of color, and the LBGTQ communities are least likely to practice self-care and yet the ones most likely to benefit.
So many things that people started fighting for in the sixties are no closer to being realized today — a shame.
Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog