port of harlem magazine

February 19 Ė March 04, 2015

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Dadís Heart Attack

kenny and cynthia tuckerMy mother (pictured left with my father) asked, “Kenny, do you need to go the hospital?” I looked on as she placed her hand on my father’s shoulder and helped him to the bathroom. Knowing that clutching one’s chest is the universal sign of a heart attack, I gauged my father’s reaction and started walking toward the phone.  My father, still clutching his chest, insisted that he was only having heart burn. He asked my mother repeatedly to fix him tea to help ease his pain. But my mother and I were not convinced. I called 911.

The dispatcher asked me if my father had the following symptoms: dizziness, sweating, cold and clammy skin, and chest pains. She also asked if he was vomiting. I reported that he had five out of the six symptoms. He was not vomiting. She told me that the ambulance was on the way and disconnected.  I went back into the bathroom to check on my father and by this time he was walking to the sink and beginning to vomit. I raced back to the phone to call 911 again and updated the dispatcher.

As I walked backed to the bathroom, I thanked God that my father was still talking and able to move around. But, his face was all contorted revealing just how much pain he was enduring.  Then, I thought:  “Where’s the ambulance? Will this be my last night with my dad? Please not like this.”

When the EMTs arrived, they began to work on my father and the knot that had built up in my stomach started to subside. He was fully conscious and in extreme pain, but at least he was able to talk to the EMTs and able to move around by himself.

My father was loaded into the ambulance and as my mom and I walked to my car, I dialed my sister. Before the ambulance reached the hospital, it stopped abruptly on Branch Avenue.  “Why did they stop?” my mother asked.   But, I couldn’t respond.  I was too busy waiting for the EMTs to step out, walk over to my car, and tell me that my father was gone. After eight minutes, the ambulance started up again in the direction of the hospital.  Oh, Thank God! I thought. Later on that night, we would learn that the EMTs had a hard time finding a vein to attach my father to an IV and that is why they had stopped.

My father is 63-years-old and has a history of heart problems. He was told to adopt more healthy eating habits and engage in mild forms of exercise.  As a fitness instructor, I encounter so many clients who have health conditions. I constantly give advice about what foods to eat, ways to reduce stress, and how to exercise more.  I know the foods my dad should eat and how he should exercise, but I also know that he is going to follow his own advice.  I cannot force my dad to be healthy.

As a fitness professional, I thought what did I learn from this event that I could take to my clients? I came up with the following reflections that can be used for any one regardless of their health and fitness status:

  • Get CPR certified every two years! Knowing how to handle an emergency health situation can mean life or death if someone is able to assist the person having the emergency before first responders arrive on the scene.  Time is often the single most deciding factor for survival and may give someone a fighting chance to live during an emergency.

  • Know your health status and the health status of your loved ones.  The more information one can provide to emergency health care professionals during an emergency, the better. My mother was able to tell the EMTs that my father suffered from a weak heart, had congestive heart failure, had a pacemaker, and internal defibrillator.

  • Stay current on health care tips for emergency situations. For example, chewing an aspirin during a heart attack can help the victim.

  • Follow the doctor’s orders! If a primary care physician recommends dietary changes and exercise along with medications to help with whatever health conditions that you have, follow her advice. My mother and I learned that my father had actually done damage to his heart by not taking the heart medications his doctor had prescribed for him.
My father’s heart attack in February was the single most impactful event in my life last year.  Even as a fitness instructor, my abilities to prevent his heart attack is not as robust as I would like, however, my hope is that any person who faces a heart attack can respond calmly and possibly help to save a life.

Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibit

 ebony fashion fair exhibit milwaukee
The Milwaukee Art Museum is showcasing an exhibit on the Ebony Fashion Fair now until Sun, May 3, 2015. The Chicago History Museum in cooperation with Johnson Publishing Company organized “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair,” a multisensory retrospective on the fifty-year history of the charity fashion spectacle that redefined the concepts of beauty, style, and empowerment for African Americans.  The Fair ran from 1958 to 2009.  However, the cosmetic line continues.

National Liberty Memorial

 national liberty memorial
The National Mall Liberty Fund DC has gotten the green light from Congress to establish a memorial in Washington’s Monumental Core, at the northeast corner of 14th Street and Independence Avenue.  The space is currently a surface parking lot next to the Department of Agriculture.  

Before it can honor tens of thousands of African American soldiers, sailors, marines, patriots and liberty seekers of the American Revolutionary War with the memorial, The Fund needs to raise 6 to 10 million dollars.

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Our 20th Year

After printing Port Of Harlem for 16 years (1995–2011), we went completely green in 2012.  Click here to read our history. Subscriptions are free.

Black GOP Celebrates History

 black GOP celebrates history
At the historic Howard Theater in Washington, Black Republicans gathered to honor and celebrate their success. TV One’s Roland Martin and CNN’s Tara Love hosted the luncheon event which honored (pictured above, left to right):

  • Senator Edward Brooke, III of Massachusetts, the first Black American popularly elected to the United States Senate.
  • Representative Mia Love, the first Black Republican woman to serve in Congress.
  • Representative Will Hurd, the first Black Republican elected to Congress from Texas.
  • Senator Tim Scott, the first Black Senator elected from the South since Reconstruction.
The Brooklyn-born Representative Long strongly declared that her constituents judged her for “who I am as a person.”  She continued “I refuse to fit in this mold that society” dictates.   She continued to talk of her immigrant parents who struggled to become economically independent and spoke of dependency as a new from on enslavement. “the slavery of being dependent of people with power” she explained.

Scott also spoke of being self-defining.  “Don’t let anyone define you, but you,” said the former insurance agent.  The Republicans also celebrated the establishment of College Republicans club at Morehouse College and Central State University.

The three honorees are part of the most diverse Congress in American history with 48 persons of African descent:  46 in the House (including two non-voting delegates), and two in the Senate. There is also a record of 20 African American women serving in the House, but none in the Senate.

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ivan brown realty

Self-Test: What is Your
Learning Style?

Have you ever wondered why you do better in some classes than others? It may depend on your individual learning style. Your learning style influences the way you understand information and solve problems.  Education Planner developed a short, interesting, and free test for you to discover or reconfirm your learning style.

More African Migrants Die

More than 350 African migrants have died since the start of 2015, compared to 12 lost during the same period last year, trying to cross the sea from Africa to Italy the U.N. refugee agency said.  The survivors are from Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Mali and Mauritania the International Organization for Migration reported. 

One survivor told Port Of Harlem via Facebook, that he has been in a camp for seven months now waiting for his immigration hearing.  “And expecting another 7 months again,” he said.

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Family Poetry Open Mic Night
Black History Month Celebration
Annie's Art Gallery
5814 Allentown Way
Camp Springs, MD
Thu, Feb 19, 6p–9p, free

Malcolm X Black Power Conference
National Black United Front
Blackburn Center
Howard University
Fri, Feb 20, 6p-Sun, Feb 22, 6p, $

I Am Not My Hair?
(lecture, discussion, and exhibition)
Newton White Mansion
2708 Enterprise Rd
Thu, Feb 26, 6:30p-8:30p,
Over 18, free

ASALH Annual Luncheon
Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road, NW
Sat, Feb 28, 10a-12:30p, $

Naturally Yours
Natural hair women photographs by
Jason Miccolo Johnson
Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
3rd and Q St, NW
Thu, Feb 26–Sun, Mar 1
Discussion:  Sat, Feb 28 from 3:30p-4:30p, free

3rd Langton Hughes Book Fair & 24th Black History Program
Forest Park Senior Center
4801 Liberty Heights Avenue
Sat, Feb 21, 10a-3p, free

Gary, IN
Stewardship Days at Miller Woods
Paul H. Douglas Center
100 N. Lake Street
Sat, Feb  28, 9a-12p, free

Green Drinks
(environmental discussion)
18th Street Brewery
5725 Miller Ave,
Tue, Mar 3, 6p-8p, free

New York City
Texas In Paris
The York Theatre Company
Theatre at St. Peter's
619 Lexington Ave @ East 54th Street, $67.50

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Fri, Feb 20–Sun, May 24, free - $16

The Harlem Chamber Players
7th Annual Black History Month Celebration
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street
Sun, Feb 22, 3p, $10-$15

Selma, AL

Bridge Crossing Jubilee
Thu, Mar 5-Mon, Mar 9, free - $

American Masters -- August Wilson:
The Ground on Which I Stand

PBS (check local listings)
Fri, Feb 20, 9p, free

george stinney
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  • lashawn lindsey
    (2nd consecutive Snippets)
    Note: We featured Lindsey in the Dec 11-Dec 24, 2014 issue. She transitioned Jan 25, 2015. RIP.

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septima clark and rosa parks

You probably recognize the lady on the right as Rosa Parks. But do know the lady on the left? She's often referred to as the “Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement." This daughter of a former slave was born in the spring of 1898 and went on to co-found the first "citizenship school" to educate blacks in literacy, state government, and election procedures. Her name is Septima Poinsette Clark.

Dr. King acknowledged Clark when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 by insisting that she accompany him to Sweden.

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