May 1 - May 14, 2014

 

 dr theo hodge jr/capital medical associates



Werk! Fitness Challenges for Sisters

 

black woman rock climbingAsk any Black woman, who does not regularly exercise, why exercise is not a priority in her life. And there is a great chance that she will tell you that she lacks the time, is fatigued after a hard day at work and/or lacks child care during the times she would work out. Yet, there are Black women who do exercise regularly. One group of such women have a thriving, motivating organization, Black Women “Do” Workout (BWDWO).

Crystal Adell founded the Texas based organization. The former quality assurance manager and personal trainer started the group to encourage fitness challenges. Through the organization, she has introduced thousands of Black women to kayaking, boxing, rock climbing, and other non-traditional workouts.  BWDWO simply debunks the stereotype that Black women are too vain and too lazy to exercise.  “When we do things in numbers, we have the ability to motivate others” says Adell. 

Adell even gets scientific when explaining how “werking” (physically exerting yourself ) can relieve the high level of frustration she sees in Black women.  “When we work out, endorphins are released and allow us to clear our thinking.  If we worked out regularly, there would be no angry Black women,” she explained with a smile.


Even as a zumba instructor, my first thought on following Adell and exploring something new - - rock climbing - - led me to the debilitating thought:  How often have I seen a Black woman rock climb?


The motivation to found the organization, ironically, started when she worked at a pharmaceutical company as a quality assurance manager and would regularly check the demographics of her company’s clients.  “I saw that the company was selling medications mainly to Black women,” says Adell. With such high levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and dependence on prescription drugs to control preventable conditions, working out is becoming a means for survival for Black women.

“We are a passionate race of women. We are trendsetters and it is this trendsetting phenomenon that we can use to change our world,” she coached. Despite her revved up passion, Adell started her crusade as a simple Facebook page.  “Based on the analytics of Facebook, I saw which cities had the largest numbers of people showing interest in the page and I started making chapters from them. Today, there are ten BWDWO chapters in the US and one in Canada,” she says.

Even as a zumba instructor, my first thought on following Adell and exploring something new - - rock climbing - - led me to the debilitating thought:  How often have I seen a Black woman rock climb? And while in an indoor rock climbing gym, I looked around and realized that there were only two other Black women in the whole place.  My second thought was: How motivating for me would it be to climb with the other Black women? You guessed it, I scaled the wall alone.

I was fearless at first, but the minute I looked at one of the walls I started to lose my nerve.  As I followed my instructor’s advice, I diligently placed each hand and foot on the rocks that were easiest to reach. Though a harness supported me, the thoughts of free falling crowded my mind.  On the descent, I quickly realized that looking down was not a good idea. When my feet finally hit the ground, I said “Whew! I scaled a 45 foot wall!”

Afterwards, I posted the pictures from my new adventure on my Facebook page.  Similar to what Adell said, “When we do things in numbers we have the ability to motivate others.” In this case, it only took one to get the rock tumbling. Within five minutes of my post, I had four other Black women asking me about rock climbing.  I was glad to have climbed the wall, but more inspired by Adell’s challenge to try something new and physical. 

champion services travel - group travel


Why Did They Bury Them Before They Died?



I was pacing past the array of goods for sale at the Latrikunda Sabji Market in The Gambia, West Africa when I noticed on the sidewalk, a neatly block of nice looking shoes for sale. Like many of the clothes and shoes sold at the market, the shoes were not new, but “gently used.”

Then, I began to wonder whose American or European feet where in those shoes?  And, I asked myself, “Why did they bury them before they died?” 

Sure, there will be some happy Gambian buyers who will purchase the shoes for up to $5, resurrect them from their premature death, and let them happily live a full life on earth before discarding them to their final resting place.

Yet, four in ten Americans report that they have less than $10,000 set-aside for retirement, the financial monitor Bankrate.com report that nearly one in three Americans have more credit card debt than they have in a savings fund. That means that if one third of Americans wanted to use their savings to pay off their debts at this moment, they wouldn’t be able to. Obviously, for many Americans, throwing away aged, but healthy shoes is not a prudent, wise financial act.

This experience forced me to look up the definition of economic materialism, it is:  the excessive desire to acquire and consume material goods. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being determined by affluence (see conspicuous consumption) as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through buying, spending, and accumulating material wealth. And that made me wonder even deeper if these shoes had died a premature death.

The Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership is collecting “gently-used” clothing and shoes.  However, in keeping with being a good economic brother/sister, we hope that you will donate items that you no longer need for any reason, except for you to have a reason to buy something new and increase your debt.

Click here if you have a tax-deductible “gently-used” clothing or shoe donation and leave me a message. Thanks!

 

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Your County?

cost of living 

Every year for more than 20 years, The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) releases "Out of Reach," a report on the Housing Wage: the wage one must earn in order to afford a modest rental home in communities across the USA.

In the District of Columbia, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,469. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,897 monthly or $58,760 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $28.25 per hour.

In Maryland, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,297. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,323 monthly or $51,871 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $24.94 per hour.

In Tennessee, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $729. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $2,431 monthly or $29,171 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $14.02 per hour.

In Arkansas, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $653. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $2,176 monthly or $26,115 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $12.56 per hour.

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Your County? - (See "View State Data?")

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South Africans Vote May 7

For only the fifth time since the beginning of majority rule in 1994, South Africans will go to the polls May 7. This will also be the first democratic election without Nelson Mandela, who died December 5, 2013. 

South Africans over 18 are allowed to vote, including prisoners. (In the U.S. 13% of all Black men are not allowed to vote because they have been convicted of felony offences.)

South Africa is Africa’s largest economy, representing 24% of the continent’s GDP.  However, the equality gap remains large with Whites having an unemployment rate of 4%, Coloreds 11%, Asians 29%, and Blacks 62%.


American Drivers Get New IDs

The REAL ID Act calls for new driver license standards and the Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the Act in April. 

Beginning May 1, DC resdents who get or renew a drivers license or identification card will need to bring: proof of identity, proof of social security number, and proof of residence in order to get a REAL ID.

Those who already have a D.C. issued driver’s license or identification card can still use what they have until it expires.

Several states including Maryland and Virginia have already conformed to the REAL ID Act from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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port of harlem gambian education partnership


Activities

Washington, DC
Anacostia Big Chair Market
2215 MLK, SE
Sats, 10a-4p, free

Kenyan Style
featuring Kenyan designer, Kirigho
Zawadi
1524 U Street, NW
Sat, May 3, 2p-6p, free

Cinco de Mayo
Forest Community Center
1200 Fillmore Road
Ft. Washington, MD
Mon, May 5, 7p-9p, free

Jazz 101 with
Veteran Jazz Broadcaster Rusty Hassan
(Four part series begins May 6)
The Hill Center
921 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Tues, May 6-27, 11a-12:30p
$12 per session, $40 for series

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Downtown Bethesda
Bethesda, MD
Sat, May 10, 10a-6p
Sun, May 11, 10a-5p, free

cr gibbs


African Americans Teens
in the Civil Rights Movement
CR Gibbs
Greenbelt Library
Tue, May 13, 7p, free




Baltimore
Ocean City Restaurant Week
Ocean City, MD
Sun, May 4 - Sun, May 18

2nd Annual African American
Children's Book Festival
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Sat May 10, 1-4pm, free

New York
Mrs. Obama at Ribbon Cutting
The Metropolitan Museum of Arts
Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing
Mon, May 5, 11a

Chicago/Gary
Cassandra Wilson
SPACE
1245 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL
Sun, May 4, 6p–9p, $35-$65


Older, Male White Supremacists Unchained

donald sterling"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?"

- 80-year-old Donald (Tokowitz) Sterling, owner Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team - April 2014

phil robertson“I never heard one of them, one Black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone White people'—not a word! ... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

-  68-year-old Duck Dynasty Reality TV Show and self-proclaimed ‘White Trash,” Phil Robertson- December 2013

cliven bundy“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

- 67-year-old rancher, anti-government, Fox News celebrity Cliven Bundy - April 2013

ted nugent“I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.”

-  64-year-old Ted Nugent, rock star and staunch Republican - January 2014


From March 20 - April 2, 2014 POH Snippets: Quvenzhané Wallis to Star as Annie – Racists Go Crazy

lorraine miller“The remarks attributed to Mr. Sterling are outrageous and remind us that racism is alive and well at every socioeconomic level. With the election of President Obama, many were sold the idea that the United States would be instantly transformed into a post racial society and racism would be eviscerated. People who bought that idea were sold wolf tickets.

- Lorraine C. Miller, NAACP Interim President and CEO - April 2013

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Celebrating the Life and Times of Benjamin Banneker

 benjamin bannerker

How many ways can you celebrate the life of one man? The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum has been finding a myriad of ways, including a recent exploration of the music during his times, to celebrate the life of the musician, author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher, urban planner, surveyor, and astronomer.

Coming celebrations include an observance of Summer Solstice (experience his being an astronomer) and a Colonial Marketplace (experience his shopping). The museum and park is on the land in which Banneker once farmed.

  • Colonial Market Fair
    Sat, Jun 14 – Sun, Jun 15, 10a-4p, free

  • Marking the Summer Solstice
    Fri, June 20, 8p-9:30, donation requested
 
 
 black pipe
 
 
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