port of harlem magazine

May 28 June 10, 2015

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Millennials: Prison, Race, and Church

t michael colbertMy hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., poignantly said, “Sunday is the most segregated day in America.” Even today, the most holy day in the United States remains the day when the races separate into their distinctive houses of worship for instruction, reflection, and repentance.  Here at the Jessup Correctional Center, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services provides distinctive religious services, from Baptist and Muslim, to Catholic and Wicker. 

The best attended services are Apostolic and reflect the preferences of the population, which is largely African-American.  Catholic and Reformed services consist mostly of White inmates. 

The Millennial inmates, who are among the 87-million Americans born from 1982 – 2001, do not regard race as an issue as much as the older inmates.  They are more open than the older residents to mingling with every race, whether it is in the recreation room, outdoor sports field, celling together, and even attending religious services.

All Millennials are not Christians, but they offer some hope, maybe even divine hope, that more of America, with or without church leadership, will be race cancer free.

young prisonersI believe that Millennials are struggling to be post-racial.  Many of them view the Civil Rights Movement as their parents’ and grandparents’ struggle.  A recent Pew Research poll says, “Millennials are the most racially tolerant of any recent generation.”   The same research also revealed that 93% of Millennials are for interracial dating.  

Millennials generally admire the same icons and have no problems with it. They are more likely to share an affinity for the same sports heroes and entertainers.  Millennials are more likely to joke about someone’s age rather than their race.  Maybe integration has accomplished some good, after all the children of the integrated generation helped elect the first African-American president.

But America as a whole has a cancer called racism and it continues to affect every aspect of our lives including how we worship.  Much of the segregation is a symptom of racism; some of it is not.

Churches are rarely explicitly segregated by race. Segregation occurs in a quiet, defacto way through social pressures and often the need to not face the unexpected. Psychologists use the term homophily, which means a deep seated preference to be associated with people who look, think, and sound like themselves. 

Howard Ross, a business consultant and author of Everyday Bias, states, “We’re drawn towards each other because we feel very comfortable with people like ourselves, because we kind of know what to expect.” The separation of the races is partly the product of cultural upbringing. 

While all segregation is not the result of racism, America’s cancer is not in remission.  The issue of race relations in America is once again front and center partially with the eruptions in Cleveland,  Baltimore, New York City, Ferguson, and elsewhere.  If anyone believes that racism is an antiquated issue, that person needs only to google the phrase to learn that the issue remains significant. And, it is time for the church to act.

My favorite 18th century biblical writer, Mathew Henry, puts it succinctly, “When Christians unite in love and charity, it is the beauty of their profession that invites others to join with them.” All Millennials are not Christians, but they offer some hope, maybe even divine hope, that more of America, with or without church leadership, will be race cancer free.

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Going Natural-Going French

Boucles 'd Ebene (Ebony Earring), the largest Black businesses exposition in Europe, has chosen Going Natural, How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair as the only American book it will translate into French. Going Natural is also the number one book in the Hair Care and Styling category on amazon.com.

Aline Tacite, CEO of Boucles 'd Ebene, will release the French version in Paris at the biennial event, which starts this year on May 30. Mireille Liong-A-Kong, the book’s author, will also sign books and deliver talks during the three day event.

The Brooklyn resident of Surinamese descent wrote the book as she was dealing with relaxer induced alopecia at a time when natural hairstyles were still unacceptable to the American masses. “Relaxer induced alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by chemical hair straighteners that affects 73% of African American women,” explained Liong.

The book and supporting site, going-natural.com, help women transitioning from processed to natural hair with inspiring styles, information on hair products and hair care, and other valuable tips to make the transition easy. The book also includes recipes.

Liong also helped to develop a digital revolution by creating the website going-natural.com to support her efforts. “When I developed the site, the concept of launching a website to support a book was very new,” she said. The company now maintains an 80,000 member social media network and sponsors America's Next Natural Model, a six-year-old online pageant that promotes natural beauty.

Israel to Some African Immigrants: Plane or Prison

 isreal and afrcans
The Israeli government appears to be serious about sending perhaps more than 50,000 African refugees out of the country. The immigrants have largely come from Sudan and Eritrea over the last 10 years, but the Israeli government is now taking action to ship them out, The Washington Post reported.

Israeli officials will soon send letters to the immigrants offering a choice: $3,500 plus a one-way ticket to another destination, or stay and live behind bars. The immigrants have 30 days to make up their mind. Some critics have accused Israel of hypocrisy, saying a nation that was founded by refugees fleeing war and poverty should be more gracious to others in the same predicament.

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Future of Food

“Conflict is a huge block to accessing people,” said Jon Brause, Director of World Food Programme - Washington at the Future of Food:  The Nexus of Food and Health conference. He went on to say, “Generally, the world produces enough food, but much of it is wasted and what is left is not distributed equally.”

An objective of the session sponsored by Mars, was to get people across disciplines to talk about food and its affect on our health.  Former United States Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman said, as an example, doctors don’t regularly meet with agriculturist and agriculturists don’t regularly meet with nutritionist. “How do we get the communities together to talk about these issues,” he said.

New USPS Digital Product

Nine out of 10 consumers participating in a Northern Virginia product pilot are checking daily on their mobile devices to see what's arriving in their physical mailboxes, says USPS Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

The Real Mail Notification added Brennan will allow marketers to further marry the digital and direct mail channels in campaigns and programs.  From a consumer’s perspective, she explained to EcommerceBytes.com, "If you see that you're receiving a mailpiece from a favorite retailer, you can click on that piece for an additional offer that drives you to open that mail when you get home. Or, you might jump directly to a transaction. In either event, the physical mailpiece draws you into the interactive experience."

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amar group

Discounts for the 50+


While Port Of Harlem provides a link to the Mogul website that lists companies that provide discounts for those over 50, for the asking, the website states it got its content from a Facebook post by Steve Herman.  Herman reports that he is 70-years-old and living in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Though Port Of Harlem has not verified the list, we think you may want to see if your favorite vendor is listed and try to see if you or someone over 50 can save money.

50+ Employment Expo


The Jewish Council for the Aging is hosting its annual 50+ Employment Expo in Bethesda, one block from the White Flint Metro Station at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel.

There event will feature dozens of employers, including non-profits, government, healthcare, retail, and technology organizations. Seminars will include resume-writing, interviewing skills, surfing the net for jobs, changing careers, and online applications.

Marriott Bethesda North Hotel
5701 Marinelli Roa
Bethesda, MD 20852
Mon, Jun 1, 10a to 3p, free

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Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

Washington, DC
Murder Ballad
Studio Theater
1501 14th St
Closes May 31, $

Jumpers for Goalposts
Studio Theater
1501 14th St
through Jun 21,$

Sensuality II
Howard Theater
620 T Street, NW
Sat, May 30, 7p, $45

On The Cutting Room Floor:The Image of The Black Female in American Film
CR Gibbs
South Bowie Library
15301 Hall Rd
Sat, May 30, 2p, free

The Old Town Arts and Crafts Fair
Market Square
301 King St
Sat, Jun 13, 3p-8p, free

Go West Alexandria
Food Truck Rodeo
4901 Seminary Rd
Fri, Jun 5, free

Green Festival
Convention Center
Fri, Jun 5, 12p–6p
Sat, Jun 6, 10a–6p
Sun, Jun 7, 10a–5p, $

Around the World with Fashion
Global Mission Society Gambia Fundraiser
New Hope Academy
7009 Varnum St
Landover Hills, MD
Sat, Jun 6, 2p, $10, $12 at the door

Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley
Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place, SE
Tue, Jun 9, 11a-1p, free

Jammin with Save the Dunes
Washington Park
Michigan City, IN
Sat, Jun 6, 5p-11p

New York
Hamilton Heights – Sugar Hill Cultural Festival
Hamilton Place, and West 142nd and West 143rd
Sat, Jun 6 and Sat, Jun 13, Noon-5:30p, free

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