Sunday, December 30, 2012

How Ethnic Are We..Or Do We Know?

Photo by Hanumann
If you call me "Sis" without knowing my name or assume that we are all "brothas" and "sistahs" because we carry some version of the hue of the same genealogy should I trust that you understand me? Right now I think I woke up in a new day and the day says that so-called black folks are the same, but not the same. We are one but we're different. We have a range of ethnic characteristics, languages and dialects, cultural variances and upbringings but we're still and are so-called "black."  Falling in line with the new-month question of "What Is Black?"--well, what is it? Is black something you call someone who is anywhere from the palest of brown hue to the bluest of ebony and everything in between including a straight nose, light eyes, thin lips, wide nose, tiny squinted eyes and thick lips and then all the hair textures we can throw up in between? Is black also the context from which all humankind first existed but stayed connected to its roots through other things like political and social partisanship, suffering, sacrifices and the like? Because it seems like that's what we're talking about now--today--last week--next year at the panels during the year-long celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and bet I still will walk away from 2013 asking what the hell "black" is! Is black different from being African American or the same?

And if I go along with the new-age new-day talk about Latinos being black too (and I'm supposing we're only talking about the brown ones and not the blue eyed pale ones that I notice are never a part of the conversation) and the 1 drop rule applying still to all the people from the diaspora who that once (and still) applied to tell me how I'm free and what do I call all the people who feel like me--like us--like those who still don't know?


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Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday #MentalHealth #MythBuster: Psychotherapy Is For "Crazy" People

#Psychotherapy is open to all people on both a voluntary and involuntary basis

#Psychotherapy is a therapeutic relationship between a professionally trained mental health provider and a client

#One does not have to feel "sick" to see a psychotherapist

#Psychotherapy is provided by a licensed Social Worker, Psychologist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or a Psychiatrist

#Psychotherapists come from all social/economic backgrounds, ages, gender identities and ethnic groups
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

National Action Network Civil Rights Film Festival 2012

(Click to Enlarge)

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Guns, Violence & Mental Illness--Why Don't They Go Together?

Photo by Michelle Hebert Fashion
Unkempt. Smelly. Homeless. Impulsive. Mumbling and reciting Biblical verses aloud in public places-- all describes some of the things we believe and see about people with severe mental illness. But there's more and if given the time and space you could say what more you know about this. However, my purpose here is not to degrade or demean anyone who is suffering from mental illness but rather to expand the reality of what mental illness looks like.
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday #MentalHealth #MythBuster: PTSD Occurs Immediately After A Traumatic Event

#PTSD: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

#PTSD typically occurs within several days following a traumatic event, however PTSD can also arise years after a traumatic event has occured

#PTSD does not have a time limit on how long symptoms may last though they must persist for a duration of time to qualify as PTSD
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Tragedy Strikes

Photo From Wiki CC
 When I sat down to write this blog I thought about what to title it. In the end, I came up with what you see. Mostly because there is no easy way to talk about tragedy nor get around it. I suppose when any one of us is confronted with this type of devastation a loss of words is not the only thing we're gripped with. Sometimes a loss of rationale trails right behind. At what age does anyone prepare for tragedy? Is there any? And when do any of us have the words to describe how we feel about it when it happens?
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Living Life While Single & Judged Because Of It

Photo by Dinner Series
What is it about women who do it all while single? Well, last year I was told by someone in my life that it's because of my work ethic---working too much, being "too busy" that has kept me from finding Mr. Right(now)and getting married. WTH! Once again, women get boomeranged with the burden of what is wrong with some of the things in the world, including failing to secure a committed relationship.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday #MentalHealth #MythBuster: Alzheimer's is an Old-Age Disease Everyone Gets

#Alzheimer's is a brain disease that affects memory and thinking

#Alzheimer's is not a normal part of the aging process though it's the biggest risk factor of the disease

#Although it's not as common, Alzheimer's can occur in people in their 40s & 50s

#Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease and there is no cure currently
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Photo by FutUndBeidl
In a world where multitasking is the norm where do we find time for reflection? Self reflection is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. For me, it's the most precious part of my day. It keeps me in tune with what I did, mistakes I made, things I want to do better, things I want to do at all. Some people may call it a form of meditation but whatever you call it, it feeds the soul. Sometimes, I include prayer in my self reflection. Prayer is like that snack you have---anywhere in the day, it just fits right in! It's what I look forward to; it's what gives me hope. As we approach the holidays and especially following the tragedies from Hurricane Sandy, gifts may be fewer this year, so I offer this gift to my readers. This is a prayer I wrote last year. Feel free to re-gift it:

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Social Media: The Spoken & Unspoken Side Of Things

Photo by: Stuart.Bassil
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and so many other social media vehicles have become the way we advertise our personal interests and our social platforms. And they've also become the mediums by which some relationships have ended. The question is, should people be more responsible with how they use social media?
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday #MentalHealth #MythBuster: Hallucinations Are Not So Serious

#Hallucinations are distorted perceptions of reality

#Hallucinations can be auditory, visual or tactile

#Chronic (long-term) hallucinations can begin very early in life, even in childhood

#Some, not all, people with mental illness hallucinate

#Psychiatric medications can assist people with mental illness to have less commanding hallucinations

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Can You Have One Without The Other?

As a community organizer, one of the things I get the most thrill from is coalition building--bringing together different organizations, groups and people--for a common goal. The word "community" takes on various forms to various people. For me, community is something that co-exists, that is multifaceted, big and small, diverse and the same. The challenge is how to build community and sustain it.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Am...More

Since 2000, I've been listening to songs that use phrases like "I Am Not My Hair" or "I Am Not This Skin" as antithetic lyrics to the saturated, popular songs by  musicians who espouse the complete opposite of the empowering aforementioned anthems. But at a time too, when women are cutting off their hair or wearing naturals, do we need anything else to partialize the aspects of our being that does make us unique and identifiable? I know why songs written by India.Arie  and others like her are important (and I am a big fan of her music) but whether we shave our heads or lighten our skin doesn't change really that much about who we are on the inside.  That's really the point of it all. Those songs are also not just written for those of us who know that.
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