Premier: Women in the Iron Coffin | Social Security Inequality | Happy Parenting
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September 27 – October 10, 2018
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The Woman in the Iron Coffin – Premiers October 3 – on PBS
The Woman in the Iron Coffin starts as a murder mystery and quickly turns into a relatively short mystery, history special, and dramatic performance that started on October 4, 2011. It was on that day when construction workers were shocked to uncover human remains in an abandoned lot in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York. So great was the level of preservation, witnesses first assumed they had stumbled upon a recent homicide.
Forensic analysis, however, revealed a remarkably different story. Buried in an elaborate and expensive iron coffin, the body belonged to a young African American woman who died in the first half of the 19th century, before the Civil War and the federal abolishment of slavery. But who was she?
Iron coffins were very expensive for the era and used by the wealthy and elite, including former first lady Dolley Madison, former President Zachary Taylor, and former Vice President John C. Calhoun. The coffins preserved bodies for sanitary storage and for transportation prior to modern embalming. Given that she was African American, what was the probability that she would have had the money to afford such an expensive burial?
"Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin
" follows forensic archaeologist Scott Warnasch and a team of historians and scientists as they investigate the remains. By piecing together the woman's story and the time in which she lived, the film explores a vivid picture of what life was like for free African American people in the North and their connection to the AME church.
Given that she was African American, what was the probability that she would have had the money to afford such an expensive burial?
The 60–minute program premieres nationwide Wednesday, October 3, at 10p on PBS (check local listings). The film will be available to stream the following day online at pbs.org/secrets and on PBS apps. Port Of Harlem will also post a reminder in Activities in this and the next issue of Port Of Harlem.
Chart Shows Social Security's Growing Inequality Problem
According to new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, big gains in life expectancy among the richest Americans, compared to much more modest ones for the less well off, have given the wealthy more time to collect Social Security benefits.
There are things you can do to make sure you get the most you can out of Social Security. The biggest is waiting as long as possible to start collecting. It's possible to start collecting Social Security as young as 62, instead of waiting until the full retirement age of 66 (for someone born between 1943 and 1954). However, that means accepting a big penalty — benefits that are only 75% of those you would stand to receive four years later.
Of course, if you're health is flagging you may not have any choice. Given the fact that wealthier Americans also tend to be healthier – it's yet another regressive feature of the system, says Rutledge.
Millennial Elected Officials Push Firearms Manufacturers and Distributors
"America's Cabinet," a project of the Young Elected Officials Network
(YEO), announced a joint action to engage gun manufacturers to prioritize responsible distribution practices and gun safety technologies. Members of the group representing gun–purchasing local governments sent coordinated letters to firearms manufacturers with which they do business, pushing for information on the corporations' distribution systems and gun safety technology. Their plan is to leverage the significant purchasing power of local governments, to compel gun manufacturers to meet with them, and plan together how to improve safety outcomes even as Congress refuses to act.
"The practices of an individual firearms manufacturer can have a huge impact on our communities," Baltimore City Councilmember Brandon Scott said. "We hope to send a signal that, as custodians of the public trust, we have high expectations from the companies we do business with to outfit our local law enforcement," he continued. Scott was sworn in as a city councilman on December 8, 2011 and elected at the age of 27.
"Forty percent of guns sold in this country are bought with taxpayer dollars," added 31–year–old Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick . "If public safety demands the purchase of these weapons for policing and other functions, then we have a responsibility to be safety–minded purchasers. We must ensure these manufacturers have adequate safeguards in place to protect our communities," he continued.
The group of young officials pointed to a shocking statistic as a rationale for focusing efforts on gun–maker business practices: 1.2 percent of gun dealers are responsible for 60 percent of guns used for crimes.
Spring 1968 Photography & Oral History Exhibition
The Spring 1968 Photography & Oral History project has been presenting a series of photographic exhibitions during the month of September 2018 at outdoor venues in the District of Columbia says curator Vernard Gray. The exhibition features the work of photographers Diana Davies, Ken Heinen, Jill Freedman, Roland Freeman, Joseph Daniel Clippe, and Gray.
They produced their images in 1968 with significant focus on Dr. Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign in the District of Columbia. The most significant public demonstration of the campaign was Resurrection City, a plywood "tent city" placed along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall, close to the Lincoln Memorial. Resurrection City remained on its location for six weeks, from early May through June 19, 1968, concluding with the Solidarity Day gathering.
– See the six photographers and some of their 1968 images
Note: Gray will be one of three panelist sharing information about preserving his legacy and interests and getting consultation on his projects from Morgan State University Archivist Dr. Ida Jones during "How to Preserve Your Legacy" at the Alexandria Black History Museum.
Joining Gray will be WMATA photographer Phil Portlock and mathematician Cherry Neill Humphreys, who worked on one of the Navy's earliest automated computer systems. Participants are invited to bring their own stories and network with others seeking to decide what to keep and how to preserve their legacies. The event is Saturday, November 17, 11a–1p––plus a one hour post–event networking reception.
1. Give up "supposed to" – We were conditioned by our own early family experiences to believe that parenthood or childhood are supposed to look a certain way. But if you hold onto the way things are "supposed" to be, you may miss enjoying how they actually are. Be willing to question what you prioritize as a parent and why.
2. Give up keeping score – What does your mental score–card keep track of: which parent does more? Who's most consistent? Which mom contributes most in your child's class? Who's most involved in your home school group?
Keeping score wastes energy. Just do what you feel inspired and able to do. Don't feel obligated by others' contributions. Don't obligate them to live up to yours.
3. Give up force – As a parent, you have a responsibility to set boundaries. But if a child consistently resists a certain boundary, don't just force them to comply. Ask yourself and your child, "Why?"
Think of yourself as your child's trusted and effective guide, not their dictator. When they experience you as their guide, they're more likely to listen, which means less struggle and frustration for both of you.
4. Give up yelling – If you're not a yeller, this one isn't for you. But if you tend to yell when you're feeling upset, consider this question: has yelling strengthened your relationship with your child or not?
Yelling usually happens in anger, and it often frightens and intimidates children. It destroys trust and a child's feeling of safety. Pay attention to times and circumstances when you yell and then commit to changing those scenarios in the future.
5. Give up your need to look perfect – Hear me now: there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Embrace your imperfections. Laugh at yourself. The best parents are willing to always learn, change, and improve.
6. Give up worrying – Compulsive worrying doesn't make your child any safer. It doesn't make you any happier. And it teaches your children to live in fear. Release your worries, and cultivate gratitude for your child's safety in the present moment.
7. Give up one–size–fits–all rules – – Every child is unique. What works for one won't always work for another. Certain standard rules apply across the board (for example, everyone needs to speak respectfully). But consider the possibility that being a fair parent doesn't mean doing the exact same thing in the exact same way for every child.
8. Give up the food fight – If you demand a certain number of bites from your children, you set yourself up for struggle at the table, and you set your children up for struggles with food later in life.
Guide, direct, encourage, and prepare healthy food. Let your child voice their preferences. Focus on healthy overall patterns, rather than forcing a certain regimen at a specific meal.
9. Give up your role as events coordinator – If you feel like parenthood is a treadmill you can't keep up with, you may be taking too much responsibility for your children's time. Make plans that support your children's development, but don't map out every minute for them.
Downtime is supportive for many children. Moments of boredom allow children to take responsibility for their own time. Make resources available, and then let your children create the experience they want. You'll all be happier.
10. Give up unhealthy self–sacrifice – – As a parent, you generously give love, time, and attention. But you shouldn't give up your core self just because you're a parent. When you ignore your basic needs, you teach your children that when they grow up, they shouldn't take care of themselves.
11. Give up guilt – Parents sometimes fall into the self–sacrifice trap because they feel unnecessary guilt. Guilt can be useful if you use it to recognize where you need to make changes. But overwhelming, paralyzing guilt that makes you feel worthless as a person or parent doesn't accomplish anything. You are enough, just as you are.
12. Give up one–sided decisions – As the parent, you often have the final say. But you and your child will both be happier if it's not the only say. When it's appropriate to do so, involve your child in decisions that will affect them. By enrolling children in the decision–making process, you'll empower them to make their own good decisions in the future.
13. Give up negative messages – So many messages are repeated to children: you're too loud, you're too quiet, you ask too many questions, you're exhausting, you're demanding, you're too talkative, you should make more friends, quit moving, speak up, settle down, smile more.
Try this instead: comment on the exact same behavior in a positive way. For example, you can see the trait of, "You're too talkative," as "You really make friends easily."
14. Give up your own childhood story – What did you experience that you most want your children to avoid? Being teased at school? Lack of money? Feeling not–enough? Your fears may actually set up that same pattern to be re–created. Don't trap your children now in your fears of the past. Let them go. Create what you want, not what you don't want.
15. Give up on giving up – I've heard from parents who worry that they've damaged their child, or that they've made a mistake that will last a lifetime. I've said this many times:
It's never too late to be a better, happier parent. Whether your children are 4 or 40, they respond to genuine love from their parents. The effects of mistakes may take a little longer to overcome if your child is older, but it's never impossible to show up as the happy, supportive parent that you are meant to be. Don't give up! You have everything you need to be a good parent. OK, deep breath. It's time to let go of whatever keeps you stuck and let the happiness in!
New Look Coming to Port Of Harlem
Port Of Harlem will update its look and feel to make it easier for you to read the publication, share articles, increase readership, and remain competitive. We are scheduled to release the new format with the next issue, which we will release Thursday, October 11 at 11a. The publication remains free.
With the new layout, you will still get eight headlines. However, instead of getting all eight full stories on the same page, you will just click or tap on the headline to go and read the full story. This will allow you to easily share individual articles with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, e–mail, and many other platforms.
This format is the norm for many publications and suggested by one of our readers in our last survey. Yes, Port Of Harlem listens to you and welcomes your feedback on our new format.
Fall Artisan Bazaar
(Cindy Williams, Anthony Driver, Esther Iverem,
Esther Williams, Idriys Abdullah, and Millee Spears)
6025 North Dakota Avenue, NW
Sat, Sep 29,2p–8p, free
Walter Mosley Book Launch and Reception
by Sankofa Bookstore
Calvary Baptist Church: Woodward Hall
733 8th St, NW
Wed, Oct 3, 6:30p, $40
2018 Evening of Cultures: Where Beauty Meets Diversity!
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring Civic Center
Silver Spring, MD
Fri, Oct 5, 6:30p–11:30p, $25–$30
Bladensburg Waterfront Park
4601 Annapolis Rd
Sun, Oct 14, noon–5:30p, free
Kunte Kinte Festival
Susan Campbell Park
Sat, Sep 29, 10a–7p, free
Wealth Diversity Summit 2018
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
830 E. Pratt Street
Sat, Sep 29, 10a–2p, free
Awe of Nature Festival
Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve
155 and Crossword/Pulaski
Sat, Oct 6, 11a–3p, free
Zora Returns To Harlem
Neuenburg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut St
Thu., Oct 4, 7:30p (One Show Only), $10–$20
"Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin"
Wed, Oct 3, 10p (check local listings)
"Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin
Thu., Oct 4
Afro–American Historical and Genealogical Society Convention
Valley Forge Casino Resort
King of Prussia, PA (Philadelphia)
Thu., Oct 11–Sat, Oct 13, $