I have to admit that I love the Real Housewives of Atlanta, it is over the top fun, so I looked forward to the Real Housewives of D.C. Silly me! Only one of the housewives is black. In D.C.??? Can I repeat D.C.??? In the Chocolate City with the first Chocolate President? There seem to be black party planners, black stylists and luxury goods sales men, on the fringes of the show, yet no other other sister was cast?
I can only surmise that most high powered black women are to busy with the real work of the Capitol to be on a T.V. show. Okay I figured that I would give it a try anyway. Unlike Kim, the wig wearing floosy from the Atlanta cast, these white women have clearly not used to being around black people. Mary interrupts a conversation between Stacie and the black celebrity hairstylist with a drunken rant on how hair salons need to integrate. Another doyen, Linda has a big , dark skinned black boyfriend that she frequently strokes like a dog. Kat, a British woman who has only lived in the area for a few months attacks Tyra Banks for being ghetto and praises George Bush over President Obama because the ex-prez was had time to come to her wedding and the current President was busy running the country! Kat, the Brit also was visibly uncomfortable in a black environment. When Stacie invites her new friends to a good old fashioned Southern Sunday dinner and Kit is so frazzled by the food, wine and Stacie’s extended family that she leaves before dessert.
After diner the husbands grab some man time during the dinner festivities, the men go downstairs and embarking on a bizarre conversation on penis measurement. Catherine’s husband is so uncomfortable that he starts making jokes about his Irish Catholic deficiencies. Linda’s boyfriend describes his Mandigo skills after the uncomfortable conversation. After watching two shows and a preview it seems that uncomfortable racial moments are going to be the benchmark of this variation of the series. Sadly like a bad car crash I will check in this debacle from time to time while I wait for the Peach State divas to come back on the air.
This post is kind of a departure. If you are a news junky, some of these thoughts may have occurred to you recently.
I am a news junky and have been a fan of Anderson Cooper for years. It is now wonder that I wind down my day with a dose of the silver haired super-reporter. The top stories on Anderson Cooper360 were on race. I cannot remember a news broadcast like this since I was a child and the tension between blacks and whites were at their highest in the history of America. The first story was about the recently incarcerated serial killer that has been on the prowl since March. Since I have set up my news feeds to black news everyday I have been following this since before the mass killing in New England. I wondered as the body count continued, when this would hit the national new and waited for months. Elias Abuelazam was arrested, let go once and on his way out of the country after attacking 17 black men, one Hispanic man and two whites, killing five black men. After all of this there are still talking heads saying this is not racially motivated. It seems that their is a massive amnesia in this country around the history of racial violence terrorism in this country. There is case being adjudicating in South Carolina where a white man killed a black man, that in itself is no big whoop. But he then tied a noose around his neck and dragged him until hewas dismembered. As most people who have been conscious since the 1990’s know that is post-modern way to lynch black person. Based on the very recent history of this country (wasn’t the Jena protests less than two years ago?) why do I wonder how many black men you have to murder these days to be called a racist?
The second story was the outcome of a recreation of the Kenneth and Mamie Doll test that was one of the primary pieces of evidence in Thurgood Marshall’s defense in Brown v. Board of Education. The test has been reliably repeatedly over the decades and correlates good characteristics with white skin and bad ones with darker skin. The test subjects were black children between six and ten. The test is still valid. Young black and mixed raced children still think that it is better to be white than black. It was painful to see these beautiful children express the belief that they were ugly, dumb and undesirable just like their peers sixty years ago.
The last story made my jaw drop. Conservative talk show host Laura Schlesinger let loose a rant that made Tea Party “satirist” Mike Williams look like Martin Luther King. I was aware that she was a hard right social conservative but I was unaware that her racial animus rivaled Beck and Limbaugh. She basically said that a black woman who tired of her white husband’s family racist comments. She proceeded to call her hypersensitive, whine about how can white people can’t say the n-word, that blacks should stop whining now that there is a black President, that blacks are demonizing whites as racist because of black activism, to top it off she said that the woman that she had no sense of humor, should not married outside her race, and cavalierly dropped the n-word at least 15 times. Today she halfheartedly apologized, but if you have ever been on a blog or news site about race in the Obama Age the same ideas come up in different combination during every electronic “conversation about race.” As a first generation civil rights baby and scholar in this area, I think much more about this the average person, but am hoping that these stories along with calls for changes to 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution are not the harbinger of some moral panic stirred by fear of future? I think I will go watch the brain numbing goodness of AdultSwim now.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | 5:27 p.m. CDT; updated 10:34 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 27, 2010
BY Theresa Berens
COLUMBIA, MO. — Rashanta Bledman grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a mostly black and Latino neighborhood, where curves were prized. When she moved to a largely white college in Orange County, CA., she noticed she didn’t look like everyone else. Thinness was considered more important than shape, she discovered. Bledman had conversations about this with her friends, particularly her black, female friends.
“We didn’t want to be really thin, but we didn’t want to be heavy,” she said. “We wanted to have a small waist, but at the same time have curves.” Despite this, Bledman said she believed that the topic was not something that was discussed in the open — instead limited to small circles of friends.Today, talking about body image is part of Bledman’s academic work. Her studies have explored how black women feel about their bodies, because existing research had indicated a mixture of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the way they look.
Earlier this summer, her research won a graduate student award from the American Psychological Association’s. Bledman surveyed 79 black women, mostly MU students to find out how satisfied they were with their bodies. Using a set of images, she asked them to select their actual body shape and their ideal.Most participants said generally, they were satisfied with their bodies, but given the chance to change something, they would.“Many of the women said that they would have a smaller waist, a flatter stomach and a bigger butt,” Bledman said. “That’s a hard shape to really maintain, unless you’re, like, Kim Kardashian.”
Although she said her research cannot be generalized to the entire African-American population, she said she hopes her research will validate women’s experiences and let them know other women feel the same way. “There’s a societal idea that you should be thin, or you should look a certain way, and sometimes you can’t look that way,” she said. “It’s really hard for an African-American woman to look like a thin white woman.”
Columbia native Renella Ballinger, 45, identifies with Bledman’s findings. She said she is pretty satisfied with her figure but sometimes struggles to keep weight off. “I’ve always been naturally thinner,” Ballinger said. “The weight that I’ve gained has mainly come with age. I’m not really dissatisfied; it’s just hard to maintain without being active.”
“They call us thick,” she said. “We’re built that way.” Ballinger’s sister, Twanda Thomas, 41, agreed with the findings.
She said her concerns about weight have less to do with body image and more to do with health.
“I think we get more worried about (weight) because of diabetes and hypertension,” Thomas said
San Francisco Examiner
July 25, 2010.
The XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna this week announced that a new vaginal gel has been shown to significantly reduce a woman’s risk of being infected with HIV. The microbicide gel contains an antiretroviral drug commonly used to treat people living with HIV, and was found in a clinical trial study to be 39% effective in reducing a woman’s risk of becoming infected with HIV during vaginal intercourse.
Black and Hispanic women have the highest rates of HIV infection in the country. In 2006, Chicago women accounted for 20% of diagnosed HIV infections, a percentage that has remained unchanged over the last six years. The gender gap, however, varies considerably by race and ethnicity. Women represent 29% of all HIV infections among Blacks, 17% among Hispanics, and 5% among Whites. The leading mode of transmission for women is heterosexual contact. Among female HIV infections diagnosed in 2006, 79% were transmitted through heterosexual contact, and 20% through injection drug use.
At the Chicago-based Children’s Place Association, which provides an early-learning program for HIV/AIDS-infected or affected children, the organization’s president, Cathy Krieger, is welcoming the news out of Vienna.
“If other studies confirm the vaginal gel outcomes, this could prevent thousands of new HIV infections in Chicago over the next two decades, saving the lives of not only adult women, but also improving the lives of their children.”
Krieger noted, “Approximately 65% of the mothers of the 83 children in our pre-school program have HIV/AIDS. We know that disease endangers not only the fragile health of the moms, but also puts at risk the academic and social development of their children.” And one Chicago lawmaker is promising legislative action if the gel proves effective.
“The breakthrough on HIV/AIDS prevention for women announced at the Vienna conference is deeply welcome news,” said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee, the legislature’s leading HIV/AIDS expert.
“If further clinic trials were to confirm that the microbicide gel reduces HIV/AIDS transmission, I would sponsor legislation to ensure low-income Illinois women have access to the gel to save lives and save tax payers expensive HIV/AIDS treatment costs.”
Some African American racial essentialists promote a bunch of pseudo-scientific gobbledygook about melanin. Melanin is a hormone produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes.It gives color (pigment) to hair, skin, and the iris of the eye. It provides some protection again skin damage from the sun, and the melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure. This is a valuable job, but this is all it does. Following in the footsteps of white racial scientists at the turn of last century, a few deluded black social scientists are trying to assert black supremacy by attributing all sorts of miraculous characteristics to this humble hormone. Unfortunately African American women who know about the real function of melanin may be too reliant on it’s cancer fighting potential.
A review of patient information collected in the Florida Cancer Data System showed that the incidence of melanoma has increased by 60% among black women when compared with data collected by the National Cancer Institute. Conversely, Hispanic women living in Florida were 30% less likely to develop melanoma compared with nationwide trends. Researchers reviewed data from 73,206 patients in the National Cancer Institute database and 36,427 patients collected in the Florida Cancer Data System. Between 1992 and 2004, age-adjusted incidence rates of melanoma per 100,000 person-years among increased 1.5-fold for blacks during that same period, 0.5 to 0.8.
It is time to put on sun screen, ladies!
Written With contributions from Paul Obi @ allAfrica.com
Women politicians in Africa are a rare sight. It is nice to see sisters doing it for themselves.
Considering the numerical strength of Nigerian women and the forth coming 2011 general elections, the First Lady, Patience Goodluck Jonathan and the outgoing US Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Renee Sanders have insisted that come next election, government in collaboration with women groups in the country must ensure that 35% benchmark for women in elective positions is met. The women made the announcement at a gathering made up of women from across the 36 states of Nigeria, who were addressed by Josephine Anenih, the Nigerian minister of Women Affairs who said, “the time has come for Nigerian women to stand up their responsibilities”
Ms. Anenih was Born in Sokoto, Nigeria in 1948, she moved frequently as her father, since her a civil servant with the Public Works Department, served postings all over the country. She completed her secondary education at Queen’s College, Lagos.Studying Law, she received a B.Ed, LLB, and B.L. from the University of Ife (1974/75) and the University of Benin.
She was the chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers from 1994 to 2000, and was the first National Woman Leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999-2005. She was a Special Adviser on Women Affairs to President Obasanjo until 2006.She co-founded the Women Foundation Nigeria, an organization to help Nigerian women exchange views on global women’s issues and to help empower women in politics. She is a member of the Gender Electoral and Constitutional Memoranda Committee, which aims to incorporate women’s perspectives in Nigeria’s Electoral Laws.
In agreement with Ms. Anenih the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Renee Sanders called on the women to emulate African-American women who in spite of suppression, fought hard to attained freedom. According to US envoy, “since Nigerian women constitute 75 million people, your numbers should make you seek for change, you should continue to work to be dynamic, to ensure that issues of health care, education and employment are tackled, you should be the agent for change’, Sanders charged. Prior to that she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Congo (2002-2005) and as Director for Public Diplomacy for Africa for the State Department (2000-2002). She served twice as the Director for Africa at the National Security Council at the White House (under former Presidents Bush 1988- 1989, and Clinton 1997-1999.); was the Special Assistant for Latin America, Africa, and International Crime for the Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the State Department (1996-1997); and served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor for a member of the House International Relations Committee – working on democracy, reconstruction and nation-building issues (1994-1996). Ambassador Sanders holds a Master of Art degree in International Relations and Africa Studies, and a Masters of Science degree in Communications and Journalism from Ohio University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Hampton University. It is great to see black women from around the the Diapora work on improving conditions for us all.
When I first saw the edited tape I was suckered like the NAACP, the Agriculture Department and the White House. When the story began to trickle out I watched it again and you can clearly see that the audio does not match the movement of her lips. Andrew Breitbart is an anti black conservative who planned to besmirch this woman and in order to promote his agenda that blacks are more racist than whites have ever been. There are still people in America that believe that blacks are lazy, childishly dependent on the government and so intellectually deficient that the Democratic party leads us around by the welfare dollar. People like this have used the idea that black women are immoral and lazy for decades. Reagan’s emphasis of the “black welfare mother” is still used by conservative political activists, even though whites have always been a larger proportion of the welfare roles in America than African Americans.
The War on Drugs was hyped by reports of black female hypersexual crack addicts while havoc that users of powdered cocaine produced was disregarded. Images of lazy, immoral black women pumping out a generation of crack debilitated babies on the government tit, helped push through the racist drug laws that have incarcerated three generations of black and Hispanic non-violent drug offenders. It is time that these anti-black conservatives like Andrew Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh are called out and denounced. Bill O’Riley and FOXNEWS needs to start calling themselves FOXENTERTAINMENT or learn journalistic ethics. I applaud Ms. Sherrod for her courage and steadfast efforts to help poor people no matter what their race over a 45 year period. When racial conservatives state “we need to forget about slavery”, they erase the 100 years in between slavery and the passage of civil rights legislation. Ms. Sherrod is a survivor of the long campaign of domestic terrorism that that is so often dismissed by racial conservatives. Despite the fact that her father was murdered by a white man who was never prosecuted and the KKK threatened her family, Ms Sherrod remained in the South during an era when the danger of racial terrorism was an everyday concern. She soon learned that poor vs. rich can trump black vs. white, rose above her pain and loss and devoted her life to helping those without the resources to help themselves. Watch the entire speech an see how amazing this woman’s journey really was.
African-American women are 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women, they are 34 percent more likely to succumb to the disease. Black women also contract the disease at an earlier age. The likelihood of finding breast cancer in black women at age 33 is the same as in finding it in white women at age 40. This breakthrough could increase the longevity African American breast cancer survivors.
Black women in the lowest socioeconomic category were treated less frequently with surgery and had a lower five-year survival rate.
Researchers at Northwestern University combined a drug therapy, which is effective against blood cancers but not solid tumors, with nanotechnology and the end result was a combatant of a powerful type of breast cancer that is most common in young, African-American women.
This aggressive cancer, called triple negative breast cancer, cannot be treated by any sort of life-saving therapies or traditional chemotherapy. More often than not, women with triple negative breast cancer have a low chance of survival.
The drug therapy, arsenic trioxide, which is now commonly used by Western oncologists for certain types of leukemia, is not effective against solid tumors on its own because it is excreted too quickly after being injected into the bloodstream for it to work. The amount if arsenic trioxide injected into the body cannot be increased either, due to its toxicity.
But now, researchers have combined the arsenic trioxide with a nanoparticle called a nanobin, which travels undetected after entering the bloodstream until it reaches the tumor and “attacks” it directly. The nanobin contains nanoparticulate arsenic trioxide embedded within a liposome (a tiny, thick vessel), and is cloaked in a chemical that both extends the nanobin’s life and prohibits other cells from seeing it as it passes through the bloodstream. In addition, exposure of the toxic drug to normal normal tissue as it moves through the bloodstream is limited, and when the nanobin reaches the blood vessel of the tumor, the arsenic nanoparticles are released and buried in the abnormal cells of the tumor.
Richard Ahn, a student in the medical scientists training program at Northwestern, along with Vince Cryns, associate professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine, and Tom O’Halloran, director of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern, have all authored a research paper on the nanobin, which was published in Clinical Cancer Research on July 15.
The nanobin was first tested on mice that contained triple negative breast cancer tumors. Some mice received the nanobin while others received regular arsenic trioxide therapy. The nanobin proved to decrease tumor growth while arsenic trioxide alone was not effective at all.
“The anti-tumor effects of the arsenic nanobins against clinically aggressive triple negative breast tumors in mice are extremely encouraging,” said Cryns. “There’s an urgent need to develop new therapies for poor prognosis triple negative breast cancer.”
The development of this arsenic nanoparticle has opened the door to many other opportunities, such as making other existing cancer drugs, which have been set to the side due to their level of toxicity or because they’re excreted too quickly, more effective in cancer tumor treatment. Researchers are now looking to improve the nanotechnology associated with cancer treatment by “decorating the nanobins with antibodies that recognize markers on tumor cells to increase the drug’s uptake by the tumor.” They’d also like to find a way to deliver two drugs within the same liposome to the tumor.
“Everyone said you can’t use arsenic for solid tumors,” saidO’Halloran. “That’s because they didn’t deliver it the right way. This new technology delivered the drug directly to the tumor, maintained its stability and shielded normal cells from the toxicity. That’s huge.”
The idea that black women are aggressively sexually wanton has been circulated in America since slavery. The truth is that many black women do not have the skill to negotiate their sexual behavior or fear loosing their partner if they do not give in to risky sexual behavior. In South Florida a group of committed black women are working to change these behaviors.
”When wishing won’t, work will”
Originally posted 7/14/201 by Yolanda Reed The Westside Gazette
On June 15, 2010, Broward House’s SISTA Program, (Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS), held their annual Booster Bash inside the Delevoe Park Conference Room. Over 70 women, men and children participated in this beautiful celebration. Led by Patricia Fleurinord and Mychell Stoakley under the direction of James Hill, the bash exemplified the unity and good times that are had during the SISTA sessions. From the prayer and welcome, given by Belinda Knox and Christine Williams, to the Spoken Word by Butterfly Vaughn, to the closing remarks by James Hill, a good time was had by all.
Speakers at the event included Commissioner Carlton Moore, Seth Leverence of Commcare Pharmacy and Dr. Kimberly Holding of BCHD. Com-missioner Moore expounded the virtues of hard work. He attributed his success to his mother and her teachings on the five W’s: ”When wishing won’t, work will.” Commissioner Moore advised the women to apply the five W’s in their lives and success would surely follow.
Congratulating the women on their desire to educate them-selves about HIV and being proactive in the management of their health and lives was the message of the hour. Dr. Kimberly Holding, an infectious disease specialist with the Bro-ward County Health Department, Paul Hughes Center, encouraged those in attendance the way only Dr. Holding can. She spoke of growing up in New Jersey with a working class family and the struggles she endured. She inspired the audience with her acronym of SISTA and celebrated the women with her reading of Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.
Seth Leverence and Commcare Pharmacy donated the refreshments for bash. Commcare Pharmacy is a Specialty Pharmacy that expands the accessibility of special medications used in the treatment of chronic and acute illness.
What is SISTA?
SISTA is a social-skills training intervention for African American women that gives women the social and behavioral skills they need to adopt HIV risk-reduction strategies. It is aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behavior by hetero-sexually-active African American women at highest risk for HIV. It is composed of five sessions, two hours each, delivered by Pat Fleurinord and Mychell Stoakley in various community settings, such as MODCO, Susan B. Anthony’s and Broward County jails. Each session is gender and culturally relevant and includes behavioral skills practice, group discussions, lectures, role-playing, a prevention video, and take-home exercises.
The five core elements of the SISTA program include: Convening five group sessions facilitated by a peer health educator; Educating participants about condoms through hands-on exercises; Emphasizing gender and ethnic pride as a means to reduce HIV risk behaviors; Educating participants about HIV and other STDs; and Teaching sexual assertiveness and communication.
For more information on Broward House’s SISTA program and/or to sign up, contact Patricia Fleurinord at (954) 806-5335 or Mychell Stoakley at (954) 568-7373 ext. 2247 or ext. 2229.
Ruth J. Simmons was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown University on July 3, 2001. Brown is one of the most prestigious schools in the world and the irony is that a major chunk of the endowment to start the school was from profits from the slave trade.
A French professor before entering university administration, President Simmons also holds an appointment as a professor of comparative literature and of Africana Studies at Brown. She graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and completed her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard. She served in various administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. At Smith, she launched a number of initiatives including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college.
Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. She has been a featured speaker in many public venues, including the White House, the World Economic Forum, the National Press Club, the American Council on Education, and the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture at Harvard University. She is a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Instruments, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees. Read more about her on her wiki