Archive for the Community Category

Black Superwomen More Likely to Have Pre-Term Births

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by Noli

pregnant20woman

Black women are twice as likely to have babies before the 37th week of their pregnancy…though 38-42 weeks is the norm.  Since we are more likely to give birth early, we are more likely to also have problems with our preganancy or our babies are more likely to have problems.  Supposedly 12% of Black women have a gene defect that causes a decrease in collagen…and collagen is the protein that strengthens the sac that the fetus grows in.  This decrease in collagen increases the chance of pre-term births.  Black women should eat healthy, exercise, take vitamins, stop smoking, and lose weight if they want to decrease their changes of pre-term births. [WJZ-TV 13 Baltimore]

Black Superwoman Mentioned in Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Posted in Civil Rights, Community, Politics, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by Noli

annnixoncooper

During President Elect Obama’s acceptance speech, he mentioned a 106 year old Black Superwoman named Ann Nixon Cooper of Atlanta:

“This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations, but one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing…Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.  She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons…because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.  And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America…the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.”

In the interview on CNN about Ms. Cooper voting early in Atlanta, she said that she didn’t have time to die because she needed to see a Black President.  This victory is for Ms. Cooper and for everyone else that struggled and sacrificed so that Black people and Women could vote and have a voice. [CNN]

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 World Driving Championship

Posted in Community, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2008 by Noli

Lewis Hamilton, on the right with Pharrell, just won the World Driving Championship in Brazil.  He’s the first Black driver in the Grand Prix to win the championship!  How fitting that this took place a couple of days before Obama brings it home as the first Black President! [Huffington Post]

DL Hughley on Obama and Black Women

Posted in Community, Entertainment, Politics, Race and Culture with tags , , , , on October 23, 2008 by Noli

I was listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning and DL Hughley was on promoting his new show on CNN that will come on Saturdays at 10pm ET starting October 25th.  He’ll have guests on to discuss politics, entertainment and sports…you know, what Black folks want to talk about.  What was interesting was that he made a comment about Black women and Obama that had me thinking.  He said, and of course this is paraphrased: 

Black women hate to see a brotha with a White woman, and Black women LOVE Obama…so it’s ironic that without a brotha being with a White woman there would be no Obama. 

He said this in the context of discussing how if Obama wins the presidency, bigger than White America dealing with a Black president will be Black America dealing with a Black president.  He said that there are a lot of things that we will have to evaluate about ourselves…one major thing being that the Black man that made it where no Black man had ever been had been raised essentially outside of this country by White people.  I think the notion is fascinating …that it would take a Black man that is mixed and has excelled to be accepted by White America, and even more fascinating that maybe only a Black man that was raised outside of normal Black culture and without the normal burdens of a Black American could have the positivity and courage to reach for something so seemingly unattainable.  Makes you think, huh?

CNN is Tripping – Spike Lee is the TRUTH

Posted in Civil Rights, Community, Entertainment, Politics, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2008 by Noli

After seeing the second installment of “Black in America” which dealt specifically with “The Black Man,” I realized what the real problem is with this documentary.  THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION IS THAT ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE POOR AND ARE CRIMINALS.  So, in addition to the producers not giving “context” for why some Black Americans are in the situations that they are in, they also chose to present our community as though the GHETTO is our only experience…as though we are a one dimensional community. They profiled only a slice of Black life.

In “The Black Man,” there were an exhorbitant number of orange jumpsuits and men in handcuffs, talk of drug abuse and absent fathers throughout.  All of this and no mention of racism or stereotypes…until Spike Lee gets on the mike.  How in the world could CNN portray Black men this way and not mention neither racism nor stereotypes?  I’m shocked that Spike’s calm rant even made it into the documentary, but I’m glad it did.  Unfortunately, that short rant didn’t erase the further damage to America’s image of the Black man that was done throughout…it was worse than the evening news.

I really didn’t like that the Black men that were doing well (the children of the Little Rock 9 man and the guy in corporate America) all said that they didn’t fit in with Black people and that they were ostracized by Black people because they were “smart.”  Not saying this has never happened…but trust me, there are Black men that are educated and successful with Black wives and Black friends.  There are Black people that are successful that socialize with Black people and are comfortable with being Black.  There are Black people who’s great grandparents went to college in the early 1900’s, grew up privileged, and didn’t have to escape the ghetto.  We didn’t see them tonight though.

I accept the Black experience fully, the success and the struggles…primarily because I am proud of my heritage and aware of what my people have been put through in this country.  I do, however, also acknowledge that most Black folks don’t live in the ghetto.  Most Black folks aren’t in jail.  Most successful Black folks are not sell outs.  CNN, next time you do a documentary on a minority group, give us a full spectrum of the experience from an unbiased angle, and give us context for why they are experiencing struggle.  You can’t wholly increase awareness without that.

CNN’s “Black in America”…Can I Get Some Context?

Posted in Community, Entertainment, Love and Relationships, Politics, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by Noli

Last night after I watched the doc, I thought it was pretty good.  This morning when I awoke , I didn’t feel the same.  I mean, it was great to see the stories of Black folks, and I know that 2 hours is not that much time, and I also know that it was made for CNN’s White viewership.  I appreciated the stories, but decided that if I were a part of the demographic, let’s say a White conservative, I probably wouldn’t have received it well.  They didn’t provide context for the “situations” that Black folks are in, and I think it was necessary.

Ex. #1:  Black Family reunion with White family members; White Great Great Grandfather had 2 families, one with White wife and other with Black Mistress who was not a slave (which they stated clearly).  White Conservatives see: their Black Great Great Grandmother was a “ho”.  Reality when put in context:  I don’t care whether she had slave papers or not, because of the power dynamic in the 1800’s, that Black woman was being raped by that man.  Remember, women didn’t even have basic rights then, and this was a Black woman.  A one sentence mention of this power dynamic would have helped to frame this properly. 

Ex #2:  The Black high school drop out rate is much higher than that of White students.  White Conservatives see:  Black people are dumb and just can’t make the cut.  Reality when put in context:  They mentioned substandard schools, but didn’t address that even at top high schools the drop out rate for Blacks is higher.  The issue is that racism is still prevalent in schools, and Black kids are automatically pegged as being dumb, so they are not encouraged and they are not expected to achieve.  Could we have gotten some voiceovers giving us some possible explanations of why the rate is so high?

Ex #3:  Black women choose to date only Black men and because of that most are single and will never get married.  White Conservatives see:  Black women are racist and don’t want to date outside their race to their own detriment (trust me, White people throw around this “reverse racism” like candy).  Reality when put in context:  We definitely can be more open, but they didn’t mention that out of everyone, Black women and Asian men have been determined in multiple studies to be the least desirable by other races for relationships.  That means our choices are not limited solely by us.

Again, I appreciate the documentary, but I think that providing context for the specific issues of Black Americans even if brief would have served the documentary and its audience well. I’m sure that the conservative bloggers are buzzing this morning saying everything negative that they can about Black America and using this documentary as ammunition.

Meharry Developing “Chemical Condom”

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by Noli
Photo courtesy of Larry McCormarck, The Tennessean

Photo courtesy of Larry McCormarck, The Tennessean

Dr. James Hilbreth at Meharry Medical College is testing a cream that may be able to block the transmission of HIV.  The cream supposedly removes cholesterol, which is needed for HIV to be transmitted.  This is an important development, especially since Black women are disproportionately affected by HIV and possibly feel ashamed in many cultures to request the use of a condom.  If the cream can be used, women would not even need to make their partners aware of the protection, which may help to decrease the spread of the virus.  This is still being tested, but if the FDA approves it, it may be available as soon as five years from now.  This could save a lot of lives! [The Tennessean]