Recent Articles

Understanding how food affects the body


Happy New Year! I pray that my last column (MSR, Dec. 11) gave you insight into how to live healthier and longer by understanding three simple concepts, including increasing vegetable and water intake and decreasing complex carbohydrate intake. I was hopeful that you were able to start using the three concepts as you move into this new year. This month, I want to help you understand what happens when you eat food. Continue Reading →

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New year, new career?


I witnessed several acquaintances embark on new career journeys in 2014. Some returned to college, others obtained new jobs, and others switched to new careers. In each case, calculated risks were taken, values were identified, and transferable skills were marketed. To be exact, in every case they had to identify their next job or career target. Some had just reached the conclusion that their current field no longer met their needs and they chose to act on that awareness. Continue Reading →

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With new ideas, things can change


A biweekly column in which various contributors from both sides of prison walls explore common ground for effecting change. I currently have four years remaining of a 24-year sentence. Throughout this time I have witnessed many changes. As the years passed, it seemed to be the norm for a memo of a new rule or policy change that usually wasn’t beneficial for many. As discouraging as it all can be, I have in ways found myself numb from the “take-take” effect, but it has always been a fundamental core belief of mine to give voice when the opportunity presented itself. Continue Reading →

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Affirmations for African American health

MSR Health

In 2015, many people will make various New Year’s resolutions, from losing weight to going into business for themselves. While it’s a proven fact than many people don’t keep their resolutions after the second month, what needs to happen is that people move from making resolutions to declaring affirmations they will embrace throughout the year. And you don’t have to wait until 2015 to declare these personal oaths. Here 12 affirmations to enhance the mental, physical and spiritual health of the African American community:

1. We will value the life of all persons regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Continue Reading →

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What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a condition that affects a person’s ability to focus, concentrate, stay on task, stay organized, plan things, stay seated, and think before acting. ADHD has three symptom clusters including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  It comes in different types including “inattentive type” (some refer to this as “ADD”), “hyperactive/impulsive type” and “combined type” (meaning a combination of inattentive type and hyperactive type).  

Why should I care about ADHD? Because ADHD is one of the most common disorders in children and adolescents, it is important to recognize it as it can be very impairing. More specifically, if it goes unrecognized or untreated, ADHD can lead to behavior issues; school difficulties such as failure and dropping out; substance use; depression and self-esteem problems; anxiety; and sleep difficulties. In adults, it can lead to poor work performance and productivity issues.  

What causes ADHD? Because ADHD is a “brain-behavior” disorder, it is thought that there is a dysfunctional region in the brain, the frontal lobe, which is generally responsible for regulating concentration, organization, planning and impulse control. As a result of the dysfunction, those with ADHD exhibit symptoms such as distractibility, an inability to focus, an inability to sit still, and behavior problems, to name a few. Continue Reading →

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Preventive medicine: Police stops, a discussion for the times





Part two of a three-part column

Last week, in this three-part preventive medicine series on safe and effective ways of dealing with police-citizen encounters, I discussed how to handle vehicle stops conducted by the police, specifically how to avoid such stops in the first place and how to respond when approached by a police car with lights and sirens on. This week I discuss how best to conduct yourself during the remainder of such an encounter with law enforcement. This is something everyone needs to review personally and review with family members and children. Right after you stop 

• When interacting with anyone, courtesy is appreciated. This is not the time to be angry or argumentative. Continue Reading →

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Kente Circle: a model for mental wellness

As we gear up for another year, we must not be remiss in dealing with our mental and emotional health. As we set forth our resolutions, we must conduct a self-check and ask, “Is my head right?”

The year 2014 has been an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish for the Black community. Racism and anti-Blackness has been in the forefront of most news stories from the beginning of the year until the past few days. Many people have become hopeless, frustrated, depressed and angry over the past few months. It’s been a huge toll on our emotional health, and it seems like there is not an end in sight. Continue Reading →

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What is mumps and why should I care?


Mumps is an infectious disease that primarily affects the saliva-producing (salivary) glands. This includes, most notably, the parotid gland (in front of and below the ear) and also the glands under the tongue. In fact, the term “mumps” is an old-fashioned term for “lumps in the cheeks.” Mumps are most common in children, and in children the disease is relatively mild and runs its course. Common presentation of the mumps includes:

Painful swollen glands on one or both sides of the face

• Fever

• Headache

• Weakness and fatigue

• Poor appetite

• Painful chewing or swallowing

Unfortunately, mumps is not limited to childhood. There have been recent outbreaks on college campuses and, most recently, throughout the National Hockley League. Continue Reading →

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