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"Negro Diseases"

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By Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.

A physician for African American Slaves, Dr. Finnerty, said: “Hypertension is different in Black people. It develops earlier in life, is frequently more severe, and results in a higher mortality rate at a younger age”. These features + persistency and consistency in high intensity and duration characterize all “Negro Diseases” of unknown cause. The name “Negro Diseases” arose from certain organic problems--primarily those of the cardiovascular system and its main organ partners--present in disproportionately high numbers in the Slaves and ex-Slaves. Hence, they have contributed greatly to increased complications and premature mortality (by 8 years) from the beginning of slavery to the present. Entities in today’s “Negro Disease” category--although not limited to African Americans and not universally agreed upon by experts--include hypertension, strokes, diabetes, morbid obesity, glaucoma, and cancer. Excluded are those whose appearance occurred before slavery (e.g. the auto-malarial blood changes for sickle cell anemia); those quite prominent since slavery (e.g. tuberculosis); and those present now but not present back then (e.g. HIV/AIDS virus). Two diseases said to be “Negro Diseases” in the Slaves but which never existed are “Drapetomania” and “Dysaethesia Aethiopica” (Bailey, Special Minds). If the “Negro Disease” category can be stretched to embrace everything the word “disease” implies—i.e. ‘negative ease’ resulting from interruption, cessation, or disorder of body and/or brain functions, systems, organs, or parts (Bailey, Dictionary)—then gang wars, poor business practices, and problematic academia (and high drop-out rates) seen in many struggling Blacks are appropriate fits for the “Negro Diseases”. So are mental diseases like Non-sexual Masochism and Extreme Evasion Syndrome. Such "normal variants" are apart from the high levels of intelligence often seen in afflicted Black People.

Emotional stresses + Anger + Chronic Omnibus Brain overuse stimulate hormone output to tear down the body--either from excessive and prolonged use of hormones designed only for emergencies and/or from hormone gland exhaustion. Initially, each episode releases the stress hormone cortisol to give the body a quick burst of energy. But if too high and/or if too prolonged, destructive things happen: e.g. creation of blood sugar imbalance; decrease in bone density; suppression of the body's immune response making one susceptible to chronic inflammation; reduction in thyroid function; slowing down the body's metabolism; imparing the brain's thinking ability; increasing blood pressure; and impeding circulation. Lack of oxygen can cause severe chest pains. Even those with normal blood pressure are more likely to develop coronary heart disease and to have a heart attack. While chronic Rage/Anger is fashioning "Negro Diseases" (e.g. gastric and respiratory conditions), superimposed acute and uncontrollable Rage/Anger can burst a brain artery (resulting in a stroke) or lead coronary heart disease into causing sudden death. Being a mortality risk is especially high for women and men who bottle up their Rage/Anger.

Chronic Omnibus Brain overuse triggers eating binges, a compulsion for sweet foods, and weight gain to the point of morbid obesity by overstimulating the brain's hypothalamus. Also, its overuse, particularly in those having a genetic error reduction of D2 (dopamine) receptors in the accumbens nucleus, gradually become incapable of obtaining gratification from the common pleasures of life. Thus, they resort to "pleasurable" escapes--like alcoholism, cocaine addiction, impulsive gambling, and sexual conquests. Ancient Africans said Anger is a blocker of Spiritual Energy and its ability to promote Thriving and well-being in life. With diligence, the brain's "neuro-plasticity" (i.e. the brain changing with the type of learning to which it is exposed) capabilities can reverse all of these findings associated with Chronic Omnibus Brain overuse. My 29 books give approaches/methods for doing this.

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