Michele Alexander is a lawyer, legal scholar, advocate and author who has written a comprehensive, well-researched examination of what is happening to our young men and women, to our families, to our future generations at the hands of the criminal justice system.
It seems that nearly every black family has a child, cousin, nephew or uncle who has been incarcerated. It’s happening to our college students, business professionals, working dads & mothers, drug involved and not. At every level, all over the country, black men, in particular, have been stopped and questioned multiple times. Now, that level of intrusion into black life is resulting in more than overwhelming legal costs and delayed goals for families. The fact that our men are constantly being sought out for examination of their being, is resulting in staggering numbers of deaths. We can no longer blame it on the boys, the neighborhood, our color. It is way bigger than that. We need to understand exactly what is happening and why. You cannot negotiate with an enemy that you cannot identify. This book identifies the problem AND the solutions.
Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy. Cotton’s family tree tells the story of several generations of black men who were born in the United States but who were denied the most basic freedom that democracy promises—the freedom to vote for those who will make the rules and laws that govern one’s life. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.
Cotton’s story illustrates, in many respects, the old adage “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” In each generation, new tactics have been used for achieving the same goals—goals shared by the Founding Fathers. Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union. Hundreds of years later, America is still not an egalitarian….(read more….)
Children who are bullied or who are bullies themselves may be at greater risk of becoming psychotic as adults. Psychosis usually occurs in the form of hearing voices, seeing things that no one else can see and many other alterations in reality caused by the brain malfunctioning. From a study done at the University of Warwick in the UK, researchers found that some children were almost 5 times more likely to suffer from psychotic episodes by the age of 18 if they were bullied. This increased percentage occurred even if other factors such as home environment or behavior problems were taken into account. It occurred at 4 and 1/2 times the normal rate if children were the bullies themselves.
Researchers found that there was increased risk of psychosis when the bullying happened for brief periods as well as when children were bullied over a prolonged period of time. Psychosis is often diagnosed as schizophrenia and/or paranoia. It is usually treated with medication. Some people experience psychosis only when under extreme stress. Some experience it chronically and for some it is not known what triggers their psychosis or when it may be triggered. There is some thought that increased tendency to psychosis occurs due to genetic factors, brain allergies, chemical exposure and/or vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the diet.
This study highlights the importance of getting adults involved in preventing bullying of children and making sure your children are not bullies.
Source: University of Warwick (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/childhood_bullying_shown/)
Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at Murdoch Children’s Research at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria in Australia, found that many of the problems associated with ADHD – poor behavior, school readiness, irritability and impulsiveness, declined with increased sleep.
When parents are taught how to establish night time routines, clear bed times and the removal of electronic equipment from childrens’ rooms, children were able to achieve better sleep. Their behavior was improved during the day as well as at home in the evening. Researchers noted that parents are so exhausted in the evening and may need to make a concerted effort to implement changes but noted that the results were often positive.
Researchers are examining the effect of blue light from computer screens on brain stimulation and the body’s signaling system. It has been suggested that this light overstimulates the brain making it difficult for people to fall asleep..
Do your kids eat chicken nuggets? This first week in April, 2014, Tyson Foods has issued a recall of 5 pound bags of chicken nuggets sold at Sam’s Clubs. They reportedly received calls from customers reporting plastic particles mixed into some of their packaged nuggets. And while we’re looking at chicken nuggets, there have been a number of reports about how other manufacturers make chicken nuggets and the sources and types of meat used to make them. While Tyson, in the current press release notes that their chicken nuggets are made from white meat, reports of questionable nugget content associated some brands with a form of chicken “pink slime”.
Some clinicians have noted that children presenting with ADHD and other neurological problems reported daily or weekly consumption of chicken nuggets and some higher sugar-content breakfast cereals.
Many pure food advocates feel that ALL cereals are poor nutrition for children and expose them to a number of additives & chemicals used in the processing of grains into cereal. In addition, many children may be missing important minerals and vitamins because they consume these processed foods instead.
High quality protein to start the day is associated with better behavior, longer attention spans and better memory. Sources of protein are lean meats, eggs, fish and various beans. Morning smoothies made with frozen organic fruit, a few kale leaves, nut milks, hemp protein powder and no added sugars, juices or syrups provide a quick, healthy start.
What?! No waffles, pancakes, pop tarts, granola bars, biscuits, donuts and other forms of the same stuff the cereals are made of on the recommended list? Certainly not.
A study released today by the US Department of Education shows that racism is alive and well in public schools across the country. This study included data from every school district in the country which showed:
Black students were expelled or suspended at triple the rate of whites
Black girls were expelled more often than most other students and at more than double the rate of white students
Black students had less access to qualified and trained teachers than white students
25% of school districts pay teachers in less diverse schools up to $5000 more than teachers in predominantly black or Latino schools
This disparity in treatment begins early with black preschool students representing 43 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once when they are only 18 percent of the preschool population.
This early pattern of school mistreatment shapes black children to fit into the school to prison pipeline, with 16 percent (black students’ population) comprising 27 per cent of students referred to law enforcement and making up 31 per cent of students arrested in school. Recall the case of the five year old Florida girl who was handcuffed with her ankles bound for throwing a temper tantrum in 2005 or the six year old Georgia kindergartner who was handcuffed and taken to the police station for having a meltdown over candy.
Find a black therapist, black counselor or African American psychologist near you