May 15 May 28, 2014


champion services travel - group travel

Surviving the Fear of Losing Your Job

greg bearstop“What is this?” My supervisor yelled at me over a cubical wall as I heard the sound of him slamming his pen down.  “What’s that?” I replied.  “Gregory, come here!”  He commanded as if he was talking to a child. I dragged myself into his cubical.  “You were talking about a client’s high heels in your narrative, but you spelled the word incorrectly as ‘hills.’  I am sure that she was not wearing high hills.  Your client notes need a lot of work.  I am not pleased,” he barked as he shook his head in disapproval. I returned to my cell, I mean, cubical, with a sense that the sands of the hour glass was running out for me.

I dreaded going to work at the substance abuse treatment clinic, although I found the work to be very fulfilling. Every day I would cower at my desk as my boss berated me for not doing one thing after another the “right way.”  Never once did I hear of anything I did right. There were several tasks that I performed well, as my co-workers could attest. But, these tasks seemed invisible to my supervisor’s eye. He only seemed to look for and focus on my oversights and deficits which matched his aberrant image of me as an incompetent.  I was imprisoned in a sea of never measuring up to his standards. I was drowning in my depression in a boat of fear. 

What will I do without a paycheck? How will I pay my bills? Will I become homeless?  These were all questions that haunted me day and night.  It’s a shame that one person in a management position with a subjective, fear-based, punitive supervisory approach could turn the job you love into a nightmare. My work environment became so toxic and abusive that I eventually took my mother’s offer.  She invited me to stay with her in her apartment until I could find a more congenial workplace. To my relief, I immediately resigned from this job to look for greener pastures, somewhere I could thrive. Yet, I felt fortunate that I had my mom and I couldn’t help wondering about those in my situation, but who had nowhere to go.

Over the next 10 years, I worked at a private addictions treatment clinic.  Soon afterwards, I got a big break; I became a manager of a substance abuse clinic just like the one where I floundered.  In fact, on one odd occasion, I attended a regional managers’ meeting and sat directly across from the supervisor who use to belittle me. He could hardly look at me with an expression planted on his face that said:  How did you, of all people, make it to become a manager?

Through the years of working with diverse groups of people and watching the adverse effects of various management styles, I have learned two things: 

First, do everything that you can to minimize your stress level even if it means leaving a job; what good is a job where the stress of that job will ensure that you will never come close to seeing a day of retirement. 

Second, I am less caught up in buying a lot of stuff, becoming entangled in the materialism trap, instead, I rather put some money away from every paycheck for a safety net; I never want someone to be able to push me out of a job without me being able to have a place of my own to stay and the means to live.

Black Civil War Soldiers in White Regiments

black civil war veterans in white regimentsMany have rightfully focused on the contributions of Black soldiers who fought in Black regiments during the American Civil War.  However, Dr. Juanita Patience Moss takes an in depth look at Blacks who fought in White Regiments in the newly released, “Forgotten Black Soldiers Who Served in White Regiments During the Civil War.”

Ironically, it was the unveiling of the Spirit of Freedom monument  in Washington, D.C., that honors the Black soldiers and sailors who had served in Black units during the Civil War, that promoted her to conduct her research.

“Since my great grandfather had been a Civil War soldier, I expected that I would be able to find his name inscribed there. Not so. I discovered that since he had not served in one of the segregated regiments, his name was not included,” explained Moss.

“I highly recommend Mrs. Moss' book,” says POH contributor CR Gibbs.  “Her painstaking research is a major advance in Civil War historiography and almost single-handedly has opened a new vista  in our awareness and comprehension of African American participation in the Civil War.”

Malawi Votes May 20

joyce bandaPresident Joyce Banda is campaigning to retain her seat as president.   Malawi will have presidential, legislative, and local elections Tuesday, May 20.

Banda took office as president following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012.  She is Malawi's fourth president and its first female president. Before becoming president, she served as the country's first female vice president.

Within the last year of Mutharika's presidency, Britain, the United States, Germany, Norway, the European Union, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank had all suspended financial aid. Within the first week of her presidency, Banda launched a diplomatic offensive to repair Malawi's international relations   Later that year, Banda suspended all laws that criminalized same gender loving relationships.

World Economic Forum ranks the East African country 119th out of 133 countries on its Global Competitiveness Report.  In comparison, since 2010, Switzerland has led the ranking as the most competitive economy in the world. The United States, which ranked first for several years, fell to fifth place due to the consequences of the financial crisis of 2007–2010.

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Election 2014

election 2014 
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he will not appeal a January court ruling against the state’s controversial voter ID law. is the website of computer scientist Andrew S. Tanenbaum. The site's primary content is poll analysis to project the outcome of U.S. elections. The site also includes commentary on related news stories. The site correctly predicted the winners in all 33 Senate races for the 2006 midterm elections. For the 2010 midterm elections, it correctly projected 35 out of 37 Senate races. It currently has the Democrats holding the Senate, 55-45. There are now 53 Democratic senators, 45 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats

Election Projection has the Democrats barely holding the Senate 49-49 with 2 Independents who caucus with Democrats giving the Obama Team the upper hand.

How Well Do You Know Basic
U.S. Geography?

us map 
There are 16 questions.  How many can you get correct? Here are three of the 16:

1. Which Great Lake is the red arrow pointing to?

10. Where is the mouth of the Mississippi River?

16. Which state is Indiana?

indiana state flag

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 cr gibbs
CR Gibbs
Washington, D.C.
The Monkey On My Back
(An Intimate Evening with Debbi Morgan)
Publick Playhouse
4554 Landover Road
Cheverly, MD  
Fri, May 16 – Sat, May 17, $40-$50

Our Black Shining Prince
Film on Malcolm X on his 89 b-day
6200 Oxon Hill Library
Oxon Hill Road
Mon, May 19, 7p-8;30p, free

The Secret History of Juneteenth
CR Gibbs
Greenbelt Library
Tue, May 27, 7p, free

The Art of Sesame Street: From Pictures to Pages
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
35 Market Place
Through Mon, Sep 1, $13.95 for ages 2 and up

18th St. Brewery, Three Floyds
 & MB Cafe Epic Beer Experience
Gary, IN
May 18, 5p-8p

Black Immigration Network
Little Haiti Cultural Center
Miami, FL
Fri, May 23-Sun, May 25, $

The Gambia
Women Advancement Forum - 2014
Kairaba Beach Hotel
Sun May 25-Sun, May 29  

POHGEP Visits Latrikunda School – Sponsors Children

latrikunda school
(left to right) POH publisher Wayne Young with
Omar Jaw and BYDA's Demba Bah
The Baobab Youth Development Association (BYDA) is the leading organization that the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership works with intimately.  One of BYDA’s community projects is providing scholarships to children in need at Latrikunda Lower and Upper Basic Schools.  BYDA selects students in need such as Omar Jaw, grade 1, whose father was the family’s bread winner and passed away.  While in The Gambia, POHGEP president Wayne Young met Jaw and his principal Jerreh Dampha.  

The public school holds morning and afternoon classes to accommodate Omar  and the other more than 2,200 students.  More than half of the students are female. On the school’s wish list is a library and assembly hall.

POHGEP and BYDA cannot solve all of the school’s or their students’ issues.  However, we are seeking to make sure that 17 of its students have the funds to complete the 2014-2015 school year.  Schools fees are only $75 for the entire year. 

The $75 for the entire year provides students like Omar the following: books, uniform, shoes, lunch, school bag, dictionary, geometrical set box,, and a t-shirt.  And during Christmas break, your Gambian child will personally send you a picture and letter thanking your for making a big difference in his/her life and that of his/her family.


BYDA - Latrikunda Lower and Basic School Scholarship

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Debbi Morgan at Publick Playhouse

debbi morgan“All My Children" soap opera star Debbi Morgan returns to Publick Playhouse in Cheverly, Maryland in “The Monkey on My Back!”  The 90-minute performance is a personal memoir chronicling Morgan’s journey through three generations of fear and abuse. “Fear seemed to be all I knew as a child, as I witnessed the many beatings my mother received at the hands of my father,” Morgan said in an e-mail interview.

But as dramatized in the performance, the legacy started with her grandmother. “Her abuser was her husband, my grandfather,” says Morgan, who has been married four times, including to actor Charles Dutton.

“My mother lived in constant fear for her mother,” she continued.  “Because of fear, I was afraid to stand up for myself, fiercely terrified of confrontation because I feared it would result in being physically hurt. Therefore, I was physically and emotionally abused at the hands of men, and bullied as a teenager because of my crippling fear. It's what I define as the legacy of abuse I was born into.”

Morgan says she tells her legacy of abuse with emotion and humor.  And she reveals how she broke the cycle.

Most Popular Page and Searched Word
on the Website for May, to Date 

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