port of harlem magazine

October 4 – October 17, 2012


Sexual Freedom Summit Encourages Americans to Talk About Sex

video iconThe Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in Silver Spring, MD was more than about who is having sexual relationships with whom or how and when they have sexual encounters.  “It’s about making society more inclusive,” says Robin Mandell, who led the discussion, “Sexual Rights for Disabled People: Group Homes, Grassroots and Beyond .”  For many of the participants, the biggest barrier to sexual freedom in the United States is the view that sex is only for reproduction and not for pleasure, too.

During the discussion, Mandell reminded the audience about the liberated view former U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day Connor publicly shared when she discovered that her husband, who suffers from Alzheimer's, was having an “affair” with another woman at his nursing facility.

Audience members added more examples of what sexual freedoms mean including:  In Amsterdam, the government will pay for the sexual pleasures of the disabled.

For the United States to become more progressive, participants called for more erotic materials in braille for the visually impaired to enjoy and creating space for disabled youth to learn about sexual encounters from their peers just as other young adults are able to create their own spaces to do the same.

robin mandellNoting that sexual health is part of our general health, one participant discussed (for mature audiences only) erotic dancing from a wheelchair (for mature audiences only).

However, the biggest audience agreement came when Mandall (pictured left) discussed how social service agencies will encourage the cognitive and physically disabled to take birth control pills to prevent the birth of children. “They don’t want to provide the support to any children they may have,” Mandall explained.  However, the agencies will not place the same pressure on physically and mentally abled people who cannot provide for their children without government assistance, but continue to have them.

Full Story | Your Comment

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Snippier Snippets

  • Magician David Copperfield has purchased the recently discovered audiotape of Martin Luther King, Jr. and will donate the tapes to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Appraisers say the tape has a $100,000 value.

  • Former POH Contributor and Gambian-American Omar Bah, who has written for and about POH, has been accepted into a program at Harvard.

  • Since closing its physical doors July 31, Hue-Man Bookstore is planning special events and selling books online.
  • Brooklyn’s Calabar Imports has left Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights and has re-opened on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights.

  • kemba smith pradiaMillions of United States citizens are denied the right to vote because they have been previously convicted of a felony offense, according to a panel hosted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at the United Nations.  The panel included POH cover woman Kemba Smith Pradia.

  • troy davisNAACP Remembers Troy Davis.  The NAACP’s Ben Jealous says, “We lost Troy Davis to an unjust criminal justice system. But we find solace in Troy’s words, ‘They can take my body but not my spirit, because I have given my spirit to God…the struggle for justice doesn't end with me.’”  In honor of the anniversary of Troy Davis' death, the NAACP is asking Americans to print and share the poster they have created to shine a light on the need to end the death penalty in the United States. (click image to get larger poster)

Our Space Contributor
Releases First Book

sherry waysIn her first book, Feel Good Spaces: A Guide to Decorating Your Home for Body, Mind and Spirit, Port Of Harlem Our Space contributor Sharon Burton-Ways provides questions, suggestions and exercises that help you create an environment that brings you peace, joy, balance and comfort while also providing a refuge from the stresses of the outside world.

feel good spaces"Everybody's feel good space will be different, but they will all have that 'home' feeling, a feeling of warmth and acceptance for the person who inhabits it.  It will provide a relaxing moment in time that takes the person back to themselves, elevates their mood and empowers them for the rest of their life," she says.

Burton-Ways presents concepts from which you can choose color, furniture style, shape, texture and function, art, cultural and symbolic items, personal items and a clean and clutter-free environment. She provides separate chapters on these designs elements, which you can spin like a color wheel and make your selections.


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Election 2012

At a Republican primary debate in Tampa, Romney criticized the notion of paying more taxes than owed. He said, "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more."  He continued, "I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."

However, he  took steps to pay more in taxes than he had to last year.  According to an announcement by his campaign, Romney could have had a lower tax rate than 14.1% in 2011 if he had only claimed more charitable deductions.  He says he flip-flopped to keep a campaign promise.

Latest Polls:
Massachusetts, Where Romney was Governor
Obama-57, Romeny-34
Illinois, Where Obama was a Senator
Obama-47, Romeny-34
Delaware, Where Biden was a Senator
Obama-62, Romeny-37
Wisconsin, where Ryan is a Representative
Obama-51, Romeny-45
Michigan, Where Romney was born
Obama-52, Romeny-43
Hawaii, where Obama was born
Obama-72, Romeny-27
Pennsylvania were Biden was born
Obama-52, Romeny-41
Wisconsin, where Ryanl was born
Obama-51, Romeny-45

Voter ID Information for Your State (Send to at least one friend)

Defining Official Campaign Videos
Obama (2:03 min)
Obama (0.33 min)
Romney (1:01 min)

Romney haunted by freeloading 47 percent remarks: A new Washington Post poll finds that a majority view Romney’s comments at the fundraiser negatively, 54-32. And even worse, 61 percent of Americans, and 64 percent of independents, now view his whole campaign unfavorably.

Ads for Obama that are Hilarious
With Samuel L. Jackson “Wake the F***k Up
Let My People Vote

Eating Kenyan in Bethlehem, PA

emily Who would ever imagine finding authentic Kenyan food in Bethlehem, PA (population 75,000)? However, you will find Emily Nyindodo’s Alando Kenyan Cuisine among several wonderful restaurants along Main Street in Christmas City, USA.  It’s interesting to note that Indian fare has influenced the East African country’s cuisine, but Nyindodo explained that Kenyan samosas, for instance, are more “spicy” than those made by Indians.

video iconWhile at Alando’s, I tried the ribs (no, they were not barbecued), collard greens, and ugali, a cornmeal mush that is similar to grits.  They were all great, but the ribs were spectacular! Nyindodo took time out from the kitchen to explain to me how she prepared those, too.  (See video).

Within the three blocks of Main Street in downtown Bethlehem, you will also find other interesting restaurants including Irish, Italian, and Spanish Tapas and intriguing shops including a bookstore and olive oil and vinegar taproom, the later sells a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegar.

A visit to downtown Bethlehem is made easier with a stay at the Historic Bethlehem Hotel.  The inn has maintained much of the charm of an older hotel, but has modern amenities such free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and gym.

The city is about an hour from New York City and Philadelphia.  Gambling is available at the Sands Casino and if you have young kids, a two to four hour visit to nearby Easton to visit the Crayola Experience is a must.  From the makers of Crayola crayons, this creative center features a create-it-yourself coloring page featuring you, large doodle in the dark glow boards and other fun activities for a super child-adult creative bonding experience.  The cost of the adventure is $12 per person aged 24 months and over.

Bethlehem is a small town.  However, it offers enough unique experiences to satisfy a more metropolitan taste. And with Alando’s, I can say international taste.

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Things to Do


Sankofa Dance Theater
Harvest Fest Concert
Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD
Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 10a & 8p, $10-$25

Baltimore Black Pride
Fri, Oct 5– Sun, Oct 7, cost varies

A look at the history of Latino Muslims in the Americas
America’s Islamic Heritage Museum & Cultural Center
 2315 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Washington, DC.
Sun, Oct 7, 2p-4p

Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe
The Walters Art Museum
600 North Charles Street 
Baltimore, MD
Sun, Oct 14, 2012– Mon, Jan 21, 2013, $

A Passion for Living
Us Helping Us Annual Celebration
Arena Stage
1101 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC
Sat, Oct 13 6p-9p, $125


Acts of Alterity
NOMAD Gallery
99 rue de Laeken
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Open until Sat, Nov 3, free


Florida Black Expo
Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center
Jacksonville, FL
Fri, Oct 5- Sat, Oct 6
, $


Restoration Rocks
MC Lyte | Brand Nubian
Fulton St, btwn Macy and Brooklyn
Brooklyn, NY
Sat, Oct 6, 12-5p, free

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire
Fri, Oct 5 –Mon, Oct 8

Green Festival 2012 Shows
More Black

This year’s annual Green Festival at the Washington Convention Center seemed smaller than previous expositions, but seemed to include more Blacks and particular Black interests including Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar, Tosheka Textiles and Solar Publishing.

At Khepra’s booth, I tasted several dishes including “fried” plantains. They are not really fried says Khepra, “it’s a play on words and they are really dehydrated.” I generally like every one’s fried plantains (sprinkled with sugar), Khepra’s plantains were somewhere in the middle of my taste spectrum and I am looking forward to visiting the bar at 400 H Street, NE in Washington, DC to try them again.

One of the most impressive products or services on display were shoulder, handheld, beach, and messenger bags and accessories made from natural fibers and recycled materials in Kenya by Toshekadesigns. In addition, women make the bags using traditional woven, knit, and crochet techniques.

What makes Solar Publishing’s books for children unique are the multi-cultural characters presented in books such as “My Mom Hugs Trees,” and “My Mom Eats Tofu.”   The company also produces the My Mom series Apps for iPad and iPhones.

The festival also included workshops, entertainment and speakers including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ben Jealous, Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader.

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Us Helping Us – A Passion for Living
Annual Celebration

Us Helping Us honors Beryl Koblin, Ken Mayer, Darrell Wheeler, K&L Gates,  ABilly Jones-Hennin, Sheila Alexander-Reid,  and Ronald E. Morgan at its annual fundraising event.

Arena Stage
1101 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC
Sat, Oct 13, 6p-9p, $125

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