Monthly Archives: November 2012

49ers knock Bears out of first!


Three weeks ago, the Chicago Bears were rolling along at 7-1 thinking Super Bowl with a dominating defense and leading the NFC North. Two weeks ago, their quarterback Jay Cutler took a vicious shot to the head on a pass play versus the Houston Texans and suffered a concussion; he has not played since. The Bears later lost that game last Sunday 13-6 to the Texans and Monday night were beaten soundly on the road by the San Francisco 49ers 32-7. It’s the eighth straight time the Bears have lost at San Francisco; three of those losses have been in the playoffs. They have not been close to winning (41-0, 52-14, 44-7, 26-0, 17-0 and 44-15), and Monday night they trailed 20-0 at half before losing 32-7. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Division I hoops: big gap between number of Black players & coaches



Mike D’Antoni will begin coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, a couple of weeks removed from former coach Mike Brown’s firing. Brown’s untimely dismissal after five games this season, and a lockout-shortened 2012 campaign last season, prompts the following question:

Are Black coaches put on a shorter patience leash than their White counterparts? The Lakers players reportedly didn’t like Brown’s Princeton offense. “The pros are set up for two or three passes that go to your main guy, who is going to get you the majority of shots,” explains U-M Assistant Coach Vince Taylor, a former Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach. “The Princeton is more equal opportunity to keep the floor spread…backdoor passes, and I think it just didn’t fit the Lakers because [guard Steve] Nash has to have the ball for the pick-and-roll. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Diabetic eye disease on the rise in U.S. — African Americans at higher risk

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States. In addition, another 79 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts people at increased risk for diabetes. All people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are at risk for diabetic eye disease, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the disease and includes cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years of age. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Insights from experts at starting anew



Hello to all the followers of the “Starting Anew” column. I am pleased to announce that after many triumphs and struggles as well as other issues, I have landed a permanent working position at St. Stephens Human Services. It was four years ago this month when I was given the opportunity to start this column. I have gone through quite a bit since then. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

America’s Black First Family symbolizes rise of African culture

Hotep (Be at peace, be at rest, be free)

In this the second in a three-part series, I want to share another core idea: “SIA” an ancient African teaching that I have had the great honor of having verified in travels to the elders in Africa and in the 20 years of study in the International Khepran Institute. In both classrooms, I was able to verify that this idea is preserved through the trials and the awful terror of our existence in this country. The “SIA” refers to the intelligence of the heart. Cerebral intelligence depends upon the senses, the recordings of observed facts, and the comparison of these facts and ideas of the mind. The first four senses — touch, taste, smell and sight — pass through the brain; the fifth sense, hearing, passes through the heart without speaking directly to the brain. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Living (the early years)

Part two of a series


 Many of you may be wondering what my disability is. The medical term for my disability is “left side hemiplegic.”

Simplified, I am partially paralyzed on my entire left side. My left leg is two inches shorter than my right leg. The shorter leg causes a noticeable limp. Until my thirties, my left arm was bent at the elbow and wrist. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Thanksgiving meals & Christmas toys information list

These are all limited-quantity events. Please note that agencies may run out of food, toys or other resources.  

Thanksgiving food and meals

These listings are all free unless otherwise noted. No income qualifications are needed. First come, first serve:


Tru Breed Motor Cycle Club Turkey Giveaway

Sat., Nov. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Children shouldn’t receive a life sentence

My 99-year prison sentence started in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota’s only maximum-security prison. Built into the side of a hill, the prison has acquired the unsettling myth of being underground. Upon my arrival, I believed it was true. To enter the cellblock, I rode an elevator that slowly descended three levels. I felt condemned to a deep dungeon and thought I would never see daylight again. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,