port of harlem magazine

March 19 – April 1, 2015

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Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Measles at My Age?

measlesMeasles is a highly contagious acute viral illness. An estimated 250,000 people become infected with measles worldwide each year of who 146,000 die.  The United States is currently experiencing a national outbreak of measles linked to an amusement park in California.  The outbreak started in December 2014 and has spread to more than a dozen other states.       
The virus is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. The measles virus can remain infectious on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.

Illness begins with a fever (as high as 105 F), cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye), lasting 2-4 days prior to the rash onset.  The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed; however, the incubation period ranges from 7 to 21 days.  The rash spreads from the head to the chest, arms and mid-section to the legs.  Patients are considered to be contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.  Measles can cause severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and death.

In the decade before the live measles vaccine was licensed in 1963, an average of 549,000 measles cases and 495 measles deaths were reported annually in the United States.  However, it is likely that on average 3-4 million people were not reported.  Of the reported cases, approximately 48,000 people were hospitalized from measles and 1,000 people developed chronic disability from acute encephalitis secondary to measles. 

Encephalitis often results in permanent brain damage. Sub acute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare but fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by behavioral and intellectual deterioration and seizures that generally develop 7 to 10 years after measles infection.

In 2000, measles was declared eliminated from the United States.  Eliminated is defined as the absence of endemic (native to the US) measles virus transmission in the US for 12 months or longer in the presence of a well performing surveillance system.  High population immunity achieved with the measles vaccine was felt responsible for the elimination.
measles 2015
Outbreaks in the United States still occur because measles is still commonly transmitted in many parts of the world. Americans often travel and measles is imported into the United States as a result. The annual number of cases of measles has ranged from a low of 37 in 2004 to a high of 644 in 2014. In recent years, measles importations have come from frequently visited countries, including, but not limited to, England, France, Germany, India, and the Philippines.

Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated. 

Over half of the current outbreak cases in the US (as of the end of 1/15/15) were unvaccinated, one third had unknown vaccination status, and the remaining cases were vaccinated. The age of case-patients ranged from 10 months to 57 years.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children aged  < 5 years and adults aged > 20 years, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems such as from leukemia and HIV infection.

Vaccine Recommendations

  • CDC recommends routine childhood immunization for MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine starting with the first dose at 12 thru 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose. 
  • Students at post high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity need two doses of MMR vaccine, with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose. 
  • People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. 
  • People who are born during or after 1957 who will be travelling internationally should be protected against measles. 
  • Immunity can easily be determined by a blood test.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of measles in 2015. 

Anacostia River Expedition

anacostia river - bruce mcneil 
Photographer Bruce McNeil will lead a community photo shoot of the Anacostia River. Participants will take photos along the river’s Northeast Branch and will need to bring their own digital camera and wear comfortable shoes. 

“There are 13 tributaries to the Anacostia River and we explore the Northeast Branch which has been redeveloped to include park areas with fish, flowers, and trees in urban areas,” says McNeil.  “The Anacostia Community Museum will include some of the photos in a documentary,” added McNeil, who appeared on the Aug 2009 - Oct 2009 issue of Port Of Harlem.

The project will provide transportation from the Museum and back.  Participants will meet at the Museum at 8:30a on Saturday, March 28.  The bus should return to the museum at 2p.

To register, call the Anacostia Museum at 202-633-4844.

Household Carbon
Footprint Calculator

carbon footprint calculator

Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Most scientists have concluded that these gases are responsible for climate change.

You can use the following US Environmental Protection Agency online calculator to get a rough “ballpark” estimate of your personal or family’s greenhouse gas emissions and explore the impact of taking various actions to reduce your emissions. The calculator is broken into three sections:

  • Section 1: Estimate your current total household emissions.

  • Section 2: Explore actions you can take to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste disposal costs.

  • Section 3: See how much you can save (in dollars and emissions) by taking the actions you chose in Section 2.

    You will need your recent electric, gas, and/or oil bills or you can use an average of winter and summer values.
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Afro Latino Festival – Australia

 afro latino festival - australia
Live performances and workshops that celebrate African and Latin American people’s shared cultural heritage takes place March 22 in Liverpool, Australia at the Afro and Latino Festival. The Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre will host the event.   The Centre serves a community where the citizenry speak more than 150 languages.

The Island – Free Tickets

the island manMetroStage and Port of Harlem are offering readers another set of free tickets.   The winner in this drawing will see The Island, which depicts the psychological and physical abuse suffered by Black political prisoners in South Africa.

We will select the first person who sends us an e-mail by clicking here.

1 – the first entrant has 24 hours from the time we confirm by e-mail (today) that he or she is the winner to claim the free tickets by e-mail.

2 – if the first entrant does not claim the free tickets on time, we will select the second entrant who must meet the same conditions.  We will continue the process until we have a winner.

Recent Winners:  Lorraine Kelly, Senora Mitchell, Wayne Butcher, Sandra Jowers-Barber

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port of harlem gambian education partnership

One Cuba – Two Very
Different Discussions

congresswoman lee and cuba 

Two groups this week held discussions on the new relationship between the United States and Cuba that President Obama is pursuing over the objections of many Republicans. However, the views expressed by the panel that included Alexander Rodriquez of the Cuban Interest Section and the other that included Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) could not have been more different.

Rodriquez made it clear that “We are Africans, as well,” at the first event dominated by socialist and organized by pan-Africanist Gnaka Lagoke. “The question of racism is still an alive question,” but Blacks got a big bounce from the Cuban Revolution, added James Early, Board Member of the U.S.-Cuba Cultural Exchange.

Linking the relationship change with Cuba to the recent US declaration that socialist Venezuela is a “national security” threat,” Omari Musa of the Socialist Worker Party declared, “US hands off Venezuela now!”  Despite the panelists’ general discord with and emphasis on American capitalism, Obama’s break from the 56-year-old state of hostilities is “on the right track,” says Rodriquez.

At the second event organized by The Hill Center, Congresswoman Lee also addressed the plight of the Afro-Cuban. With Obama’s executive order, Cuban Americans, who are mostly White, can now send more money back to Cuba, which has the effect of putting money into European-Cuban pockets.  “The Afro-Cubans are now experiencing an income divide,” said Lee.

The second event, however, focused more on change and opportunities. The change, said Peter Kornbluh, author of Back Channels to Cuba - The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana has been a long time coming. Obama, he said, “was not the first (President) to try, but the first to succeed.” Added Lee, “A push from the (traditional Republican) business community,” will probably make sure the mutually beneficial change happens.

In the meantime, Americans can continue to travel the world including to North Korea, but not Cuba without using a licensed agent and with cash - - largely because Cuba still lacks the infrastructure to accept credit cards.  While the first group feared that the US will still seek change in Cuba, Kornbluh acknowledged that both countries will continue to pursue their interests. 

The US will pursue its goals “but, under a different, (more respectful) framework,” he said. Both panelists urged interested parties to look for news that will probably come from the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

Throwback Thursdays: TV's Good Times episode on Cuba, "The Investigation."

Kentucky Wildcat’s Turnaround

blacks and the kentucky wildcats Nearly a decade ago, my wife and I took our two basketball fanatic sons to the local theater to watch Glory Road, a movie about a Texas Western (El Paso) University basketball coach Don Haskins. He decided not only to recruit African-American student athletes to the school - - during the tough 1960 era of American segregation - - but to start them all in the 1966 NCAA Finals against the one and only University of Kentucky Wildcats, who had not yet broken the color barrier.
The pre-segregation Kentucky Wildcats team, coached by the legendary Adolf Rupp from 1930-1972, had won four NCAA titles and multiple Southeast Conference Championships by 1966.  They were successful without any African-American players until Tom Payne accepted a scholarship to attend Kentucky in 1969.

Although it has been reported that coach Rupp had actively recruited Kentucky natives, he also made no secrets about how difficult it would be for him to integrate Kentucky’s basketball team with a populace of racially intolerant students, parents, and alumni. So, Kentucky natives Wes Unseld and Butch Beard, as late as 1964, took their talents to the in-state Kentucky rival, the University of Louisville Cardinals.

Fast forward fifty years later to 2015 and the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program is now led by top recruiter and inclusive coach John Calipari, who is barely able to secure a minute of quality playing time for the White American players that are at the end of his team’s bench.

Under Calipari, the present-day Kentucky Wildcats chase NCAA basketball history as one of the few undefeated teams to enter the NCAA tournament at 34-0, with a chance to win it all at 40-0, with all African-American starters, most of whom will turn pro a month later. Maybe it’s time during “March Madness” to remind millions of younger basketball fans how far not only has Kentucky come, but hundreds of other American colleges and universities, who now offer scholarships to African-American student athletes.

Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, journalist, and NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction.

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ms. ross turns 70

Diana Ross Turns 71 - March 26 - NY Celebrates


Washington, DC
Studio Theater
14th and P, NW
through April 19, $

Considering the Anacostia
(Photography exhibit) reception
Vivid Solutions Gallery
1231 Good Hope Road, SE
Fri, March 20, 6p-8p, free

Annual Chili Cook-Off
Francis Gregory Library
3660 Alabama Ave, SE
Sat, Mar 21, noon-3:30p, free

Morehouse College Glee Club
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Fri, Mar 20, 12p, free

Brentwood Arts Exchange
Five-Year Anniversary Exhibition
3901 Rhode Island Ave
Brentwood, MD
Sat, Mar 21, 5p-8p, free

Fashion at the Mansion
Newtown White Mansion
2708 Enterprise Road
Mitchellville, MD
Sun, Mar 29, 5p, $

4000 Miles
Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD
We, Apr 1– Sun, May 24, $

New York
To Love Again:
The Second Annual Diana Ross Birthday Dance
The Monster, West Village
Sun, Mar 22, free

Brothers from the Bottom
with Tony Award winner Wendell Pierce
The Brooklyn Music School Playhouse
126 St. Felix Street
Thru Mar 29, Fri 8p, Sat 3 & 8p, Sun 2 & 7p, $

Santa Fe, NM
Sweet Georgia Brown: Impact,
Courage, Sacrifice and Will

(a documentary about African-American
women in World War II)
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Avenue
Sun, Mar 29, 2p, $

Series Finale
FOX, 8p-10p, free

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    Note: We featured Lindsey in the Dec 11-Dec 24, 2014 issue. She transitioned Jan 25, 2015. RIP.
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Senator Tom Cotton Warns That Iran Must Be Stopped: ‘They Already Control Tehran!’ (VIDEO)

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