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04 August 2016

Women of Color Trending in Fencing & Gymnastics: Olympics 2016


Ibtihaj Muhammad - Sabre Fencer
It's been a eye-opener for this senior citizen to find that there are African-American women perfecting their skills in fencing and honing their craft to the point of participating in this year's Olympics.  I have a sense of pride and curiosity as to how they were introduced to the sport and what was it about fencing that piqued their interest. Ibtihaj Muhammad is a lovely Muslim woman from New Jersey and 2007 graduate of Duke University.  From what little I've read and of course the source; it was her religious beliefs and strict dress codes that led to a sport where she would be fully covered. She's been a member of the United States Fencing Team since 2010.  Competing with her skills is the fact that she is the first woman to wear a Hijab to the Olympics.

Nzingha Prescod - Foil Fencer

Nzingha Prescod is returning to the 2016 Olympics after competing in the 2012 at age 19.  She's from Brooklyn, N.Y. and is a recent graduate of Columbia University.  The accolades and awards cited on her bio are many.  She has continued  to hone her skills during the interim and she as well as Ibtihaj will keep us spellbound  as they both compete for the gold. 

Three Gymnasts of Color Lead 2016 Team

There are many black female athletes competing at the 2016 Olympics. As the world witnesses this 'magic' in traditional and non-traditional sports; our young girls will know no limits!    

Simone Biles (bio)

Laurie Hernandez(bio) 

Gabrielle 'Gabby' Douglas(bio)


Photo Credit:  —Mike Blake / Reuters
*Gabby, Simone, Laurie, Aly & Madison

05 July 2016

Memories: Summer Sights & Music

 In the midst of all that is going wrong these days, we all have the capacity and drive to find joy and promote good times that sustain us.  This brief collage and a timeless song and video by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince captures the adage "music is what feelings sound like."  Enjoy your summer!

17 June 2016

An Anniversary of Pain & Anguish: The Charleston Nine

A Re-posting of June 17, 2015 Massacre 
Nine Souls Taken From Us 


 Ethel Lance, 70
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Cynthia Hurd, 54
DePayne Doctor,  49
State Sen./Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Susie Jackson, 87
Myra Thompson, 59
Rev. Daniel Simmons
Sharonda Singleton, 45 

07 June 2016

Muhammad Ali: January 7, 1942 ~ June 3, 2016

Leonard Pitts article on Muhammad Ali's transition with the assertion that he may have been one of the first 'truly free black men in America' was not only a honest tribute but a glorious one. 
The Image Many Choose to Remember

01 June 2016

B. Smith's & Dan Gasby's Struggle With Alzheimer's

With Michael Shnayerson
'Before I Forget'   is a love story, informative piece and survival guide on one of the most insidious of the brain diseases--Alzheimer's. Usually, book reviews are on my side bar or linked to Goodreads, however, I believe this memoir deserves both side bar and prominent spaces.  

There was also an initial assumption about this post.  The book would have been of greater interest to senior citizens who worry excessively, at times, over periods of forgetfulness or other age related maladies or issues. This disease has a significant impact on many age groups which entail caretakers, immediate and extended family members. Youth who are especially close to their grandparents or elderly relatives are perplexed when they see them slowly drift away with intermittent periods of the here and now to only set sail again in turbulent waters. 

As I read the book, black folks were cited as being stricken with it moreso than other groups.  We tend to be the less tolerant of mental disorders and or bizarre behaviors which become more prominent as the disease progresses.  We as a group are the least informed or suspicious of drug trials or fail to research the disorder than other groups. Economics may play a role and a history of or ongoing  less than adequate treatment by mainstream doctors could be rationales for this perception.  Frankly, I'm rather exhausted and mind weary of our tribe being the "poster child" for designated dysfunctional or passive societal/medical maladies and issues.

B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby with a few exceptional passages are not condescending in their approach to using their struggles with the disease to think of every avenue of hope, resources, research and familial strategies condensed in this lovely book, "Before I Forget" .    

It is one thing to read about them, however, to actually view and listen to the video short {below} regarding the dynamics of this disease...truly makes it real! 

26 April 2016

The Complexities of Jackie Robinson: A Hero After All

“I’m a black man first, an American second, and then I will support a political party—third.”  

Sunrise  01/31/1919 ~ Sunset 10/29/1972