Lupe Rivera

“I think diabetes and [high] blood pressure is a big health concern with African-American people. Like in the Latino communities also, we’re afraid to find out and want to keep eating all that good food. We don’t want to address that issue.”

Archie High

“The biggest problem with African-American people is their eating habits. The food that they eat and the water that they drink is not helpful for their body. They need the nutrition that is out here now. We have health food stores with organic foods, but African-American people base their lives on what it cost. They will spend $200 or $300 on a hair-do and won’t spend anything on their body. Constantly eating at fast food restaurants is why we are dying off, for lack of nutrition and no knowledge. The bible says ‘we parish for the lack of knowledge.'”

Audrea Smith

“I think the issue is obesity, particularly childhood obesity and diabetes. They are issues that will effect you over the long term, and can affect the entire health and well-being of African-American community. I’m involved in this issue because I work with the Eli Lilly Corporation. We are doing community outreach so that people will know how to manage diabetes, have good information and make responsible choices. I don’t think African-Americans are addressing the issue of diabetes at all. We are afraid to find out that we’ve been eating the wrong things, not exercising and not taking care of ourselves. But we have got to take a stand to make our lives and our children’s lives better, through better health.”

Adeline Bracey

“I believe it is hypertension and diabetes. Both are running rapid in our community because people lack the knowledge. I am a certified clinical Microscopist and I’m certified in the study of blood cells. With the microscope, I’m able to look at your blood plasma. We’re looking at the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, and possibly some uric acid crystals that are forming from the diet that we choose to eat. We must become more knowledgeable and informed about our diets.”

Cora Anderson

“Right now Hepatitis C, AIDS and HIV infection is the highest among our community. With the age group of 16-25, it is chlamydia, which is on the rise with our young people. And if they get chlamydia they are more susceptible to the HIV virus. I work for Task Force, located at 9 North Cicero. It does peer-to-peer [outreach], which means we will come to a home and do an in-home presentation. Individuals invite at least 10 of their friends. We’ll give you $100, plus we will bring statistics. We’ll do STD’s and HIV/AIDS workshops in your home for you and your friends.”

Dorothy Johnson

“The biggest issue for black folks is poor nutrition, poor diet and improper eating because it is the cause of all the illnesses that we have. Not eating right – eating too much cooked food, not enough raw fruits and vegetables, not drinking enough water and not taking the proper supplements. If you did that, most of the illness you have would not even exist. Malnutrition is the cause of 90 percent of all illness – plain and simple.”