To tell, write, or express a joke takes thought. First, you have to make sure it is funny. If you share the joke beyond your immediate company, you should make sure it doesn’t offend anyone - or your joke will bite you in the ASS; big time.
The Volcano Vista High School of Albuquerque, New Mexico is in my neighborhood. A couple of students decided, as a joke they claim, to photoshop a classroom picture by pasting a Ku Klux Klan ‘white hood’ over the faces of all of the students except the Black students. This doesn’t by any personal, academic, community, or national standard approach anything near funny.
How about Evil? Yeah. How about hateful? Certainly. How about Stupid? No, you don’t get to high school by being stupid. How about the worse thing you could ever subject a Black person to in 2017 United States of America? Bingo!
Now, classmates have to either defend or repudiate the offending students. Parents have to either defend or repudiate the students. The community has to either defend or repudiate the students.
Doing nothing is not an option. The Black students are traumatized, scared, and out-numbered. Somebody has to make them feel safe within the halls of Volcano Vista high School. We all have to do something.
First, we have to educate all of the students, teachers, parents, and the community about the Ku Klux Klan - or KKK.
The Ku Klux Klan, commonly called the KKK or simply the Klan, is the name of three distinct movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism, anti-Catholicism and anti-semitism. Historically, the KKK used terrorism—both physical assault and murder—against groups or individuals whom they opposed. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations. For starters, go to Wikipedia and branch out from there for more in-depth information about this terrorist group.
That said; now we are left with the call for healing and rebuilding trust, not only at Volcano Vista High School, but in the surrounding community and beyond. Healing is going to take a long time. Case in point; people have migrated from places where the KKK continues to be prominent and where crime and drugs are prevalent to afford a better life for themselves and their children. They come to places like Santa Fe and Albuquerque to raise their children in a safe environment. Creating that doctored picture and then distributing it on the internet, those students have expressed to the world that, at least, Volcano Vista High School and Albuquerque is NOT that safe place. Damage done.
Now, those students, with a chance at redemption, must be the leading agents in healing the community they tore asunder. They must, beyond their deserving punishment, lead in the effort of healing their school, parents, and community. And they must play a major role in rebuilding trust for Albuquerque and beyond. Our community must come from behind the adobe walls and make it known where they stand on the issues of hatred and bigotry. Those offending students started this. And that’s no joke.
The African American Community Service Agency (AACSA)
Asus Chromebox M004U - WELL WORTH THE PRICE! ($142.00)
This computer boots up in seconds! Really fast!
Initial setup took minutes; from opening up the package/swapping out my Acer chromebook/updating the OS (chrome)/and checking my email took maybe 15 minutes. I decided to add more memory (rather than waiting to see if I actually needed it) and that took maybe another 15 minutes. I'm comfortable with the Google ecosystem so this is fantastic for me. So far, the unit is quiet and hasn't turn 'hot to the touch' after several hours use. As of this writing, I've clocked perhaps 24 hours of use; having receiving the unit via Fedex. The Chromebox arrived on the promised date. The packaging from Overstock was more than adequate. I couldn't be happier!
Thank you ASUS and thank you OVERSTOCK.COM!
Let's Support Our Brother's Establishment!
So far, the mainstream media news on Patrick Mapalo's new business, KUMBA COFFEE, has been rather light. As of today, 07/02/2017, I have seen only one article. Here it is:
"... [May 30, 2017] ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s only been a couple of months since Patrick Mapalo opened the doors to his new coffee shop in downtown Albuquerque. Kumba Coffee is a dream that Mapalo had from his time growing up in the African country of Zambia.
Since following all the legal procedures to become an immigrant to the United States, Mapalo says he has a great appreciation for the process which he worked for that brought him here to become a citizen. Part of the American dream is now owning his own business.
Mapalo has also joined with the Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation, which according to their website, builds bridges between the cultures of the international cities tied to Albuquerque. This is also in the effort of strengthening the areas of education and business which ultimately create strong bonds of all the cities involved.
Kumba Coffee is located at 700 2nd Street NW or you can learn more from their Facebook page.
700 2nd Street, NW
What say ye? please comment!
Tommie and I were contemplating our post-high school fate, on the back porch of the Urban League building. We were smoking pot.
“Broome Community College”, puff.
“Upper Front Street High; two more years”, puff puff.
An upperclassman from the 4-year university, Harpur College, finds us.
“So, here’s Binghamton’s famed Black radicals. Stoned out of their minds”.
“How can we help you, bourgeois college boy?”
“What if I can get you into the Big School this Fall?” We listened.
“Book the Urban League community room, then escort the New York chapter of the Black Panther party from the Greyhound bus station, and fill the seats”.
Tommie got his Mom’s bright yellow Chevy Caprice and met the Panthers at the Chenango Street bus station.
I went door-to-door in the neighborhood; houses, apartments, jook joints and businesses. Mission accomplished.
Upstairs in the community room, the Panthers insisted that Tommie and I flank them as they spoke. The upperclassman stood in the back by the door.
One of our homeboys, Paul, decides to flex his brain muscles by challenging the Panthers with questions about the necessity of self-policing our neighborhood or their even talking to our community.
“Binghamton is a quiet, peaceful town without the racial problems of a big city like New York”, says Paul.
Tommie and I glanced at one another with that ‘he ought to be shot’ look. Then we remembered that the Panthers were armed. Afterwards, someone remarked that our knees were shaking.
That Summer, we attended some special admissions classes and were admitted into the 4-year big school in the Fall of 1969. Thank you Black Panthers! And thank you, bourgeois college boy.
What to do with all those selfies and pics? Ah, share them with folks! And that's what I'm going to do with the images of family and friends, here, in New Mexico. I hope you enjoy and read the text (there's micro-stories and clues of things to come).
Peace & Blessings,
"Guided by the Ancestors"
From the editor
People of Color and others in the diaspora must take an active role in the education and health of family and community. Storytelling is a way of helping us to understand one another and the effects that environment can have on our development. We explore these issues and more in the GEDER WRITES newsletter. Enjoy and please comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace & Blessings!
George Geder, Founder & Editorial Director.
1. Write a thank you note or letter.
My grandmother always said, “Give people their flowers now; they can’t enjoy them when they are gone.” It is important to let teachers know the impact they have made. Teachers are walking away from the profession daily. Your letter could be the motivation for them to stay. I keep a folder of letters I have received over the years near my desk. It is always nice to read them to get me through a tough day.
2. Make a homemade gift.
It’s not about how much a gift cost that matters. What’s most important is you taking the time to make something just for your teacher.
3. Support their classrooms.
Teachers buy many items out of their own pocket to support students’ learning. If you can donate your time or resources to support learning, it would make a teacher’s day.
Don’t wait until Teacher Appreciation Week or a holiday to thank a teacher. Your support helps keep good educators in the classroom, but it also allows you to witness and be part of the academic and social growth and development of your child or children in your community. Remember, the absolutely best way you can thank teachers is to show them love and give your support year-round.
Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from the body's immune system responding to an unknown substance, most likely something inhaled in the air. While there is no cure for sarcoidosis, most people do very well with little or only modest treatment. In half of cases, sarcoidosis goes away on it's own. In a few cases
however, sarcoidosis may last for years and may cause organ damage.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on which organs are affected. Sarcoidosis sometimes develops gradually and produces symptoms that last for years. Other times, like in my own personal diagnoses, symptoms appear
suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. I remember my experience very well. I remember getting a very dry hard cough that lasted for over 2 weeks.
I had thought that I had contracted pneumonia. I'm usually pretty good at shaking colds, especially since I don't catch colds often. But I couldn't shake this, so on the advise of my co-workers, who knew something wasn't
quite right, I trekked to the doctors office. They took the necessary tests and low and behold they were complexed. I was like bugs bunny...Ahh what's up Doc? The doctor says; "well, we think you have sarcoidosis but we're not
sure, and we want to look at your lymph nodes in your neck to see if the condition is not cancerous."
was like WHAT? I believe I was in my mid 20's.
After the operation it was determined that the nodes were not cancerous but the condition sarcoidosis was apparent. So I asked how and why? Since this condition at that time were reported among Mediterranean people for the most part, and I wasn't Italian or from that part of the world. Well, after taking steroids for a week I was a lot better and haven't had a relapse since.
For many people, sarcoidosis begins with these symptoms:
There really isn't to much to talk about as far as treatment, since there really isn't a cure as we know it. But there are certain Meds to help.
This information was obtained from the mayoclinic.org/diseases.
Til next time....G
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Growing up I attended two churches on alternate Sundays. The other was the ‘Negro Baptist church’ where my father was the piano and organ player. The sermons were long and the benches were hard on the behind. Saving grace came afterwards when the feast of fried chicken, potato salad, pies and cupcakes were served to the congregation. I have no other memories of this church.
At the Episcopal church the sermons were 50 minutes max. The seats had cushions and the prayer books were in mint condition. The stained-glass windows had Jesus staring at you from every angle. Christ church had a massive pipe organ and I never saw the player. Kinda like the Wizard of Oz. If God wasn’t in the building, you felt he was nearby.
I remember seeing a photo of me, as a toddler, in a nativity scene at this church. My confirmation was here as well as our family weddings and funerals. I was told by one of my sisters that our Ancestors once had a section of the front pews with our family name tagged. This was our primary go-to church in Binghamton, New York.
Father Dorst congratulated me on attending college. I apologized for not attending services lately (actually for a few years).
Returning to the bus stop I noticed the temperature dropping and looking back at the steeple, I saw the clouds coming into the valley and realized what my pastor had done.
From the editor
We are pleased with our steady growth at GWMP. The feedback that we have received suggests that the long-form article is preferred.. Our readers get the opportunity to know and engage 9via comments) with our writers.
We write for everyone with an emphasis on the multi-cultural, LGBTQ, and disability diaspora. We want to represent and give voice to under-represented communities as well as informing and educating folks on a variety of issues and concerns.
We are always looking for writers who are knowledgeable thought leaders in their specialties. Our email newsletter is published on the second and fourth Sundays of the month and we also post to Facebook.
If you are interested in contributing or subscribing to our newsletter, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you!
Peace & Blessings
George Geder, founder & editorial director.
GEDER WRITES MEDIA GROUP
Guided by the Ancestors
George Geder - Founder & Editorial Director
505-490-6250 (lv msg)
From The Editor
People of Color and others in the diaspora must take an active role in the education and health of family and community. Storytelling is a way of helping us to understand one another and the effects that environment can have on our development. We explore these issues in this issue of the GEDER WRITES newsletter. Enjoy and please comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace & Blessings!
George Geder, Founder & Editorial Director.
Partnering with Your Child’s Teacher to Expand Your Child’s Educational Experiences
by Shawnta S. Barnes
A child’s first teacher is his or her parents. As an educator, I view parents as partners in helping their child become a well-rounded person who will grow up and become a productive citizen local and/or globally. For this to happen, it is important for children to also learn from their parents and have their support inside and outside of the classroom.
Good educators make efforts to ensure they are responding to the needs of all students by teaching culturally responsive lessons. Even the best educator cannot cover nor provide all of the experiences your child may need to become the best version of him or herself. Below, I have outlined three possible ways you can partner with your child’s teacher.
Talk to your child’s teacher about the curriculum
It is important as a parent to know what topics, themes, and subject areas will be taught during the school year. For example, I have worked in a school where administration decided to cut science and social studies to improve reading and math. If all subject areas are important to you and you don’t have conversations with the school, you won’t be able to advocate for your child.
Schools typically have a scope and sequence where they have mapped out the curriculum. If there is an area that is missing inquire about it and brainstorm with your child’s teacher ways he or she could incorporate it.
Volunteer/observe in the classroom
My twin boys are in kindergarten and I have observed their preschool classes and their kindergarten classes. As a parent, observing your child in class is your right, but it is important to know your school’s policy. When I have observed my children, I show up unannounced, but I have to check-in at the front office. In the school where I currently work, parents cannot show-up unannounced; they must notify the teacher in advance.
Observation allows you to get of feel of the culture and climate in the classroom and how your child is or is not adjusting. If your child seems to be having difficulty then you will have a basis for discussion because you have viewed this also.
Teachers love volunteers and parents can be a good resource. Sometimes children need to hear information from a different voice. Also, you may have experiences that are helpful to the class. My father fought in the Vietnam War. When I was studying it in middle school, my father provided information about his experiences during this war.
Visit local, national, or global locations
Many times having a hands-on experience or a field trip is not an option due the curriculum constraints or the school’s budget. There is no reason your child cannot continue to learn about a topic he or she learned in class or a topic of interest that was not covered in class.
Living within my means is important to me especially knowing that one day in the future I will have two children entering college at the same time. To stay informed about local activities, I sign-up for electronic mailing lists. Many cities offer educational activities free of charge throughout the year. My boys have attended an International festival, participated in STEM activities, and visited many museums. Some museums, like the Smithsonian museums are free and some museums have free or discounted days.
During spring break this year, we went to Washington D.C. In school, my boys had learned about Martin Luther King Jr. They also learned there was a monument in honor of him in D.C. During our trip, we were able to take them to the monument and talk to them about his many achievements from our point of view. We also informed their teachers about the trip which gave my sons the opportunity to share their experiences with their classmates.
Yes, if you send your child to school, the school should have a good plan in place to help your child learn, but the burden should not be carried by the school alone. If your child observes you being engaged in his or her education and partnering with his or her teacher, it will help your child take school more seriously and know how important obtaining a good education is.
Borders, Fences & Boundaries
by George Geder
My first fence was the one around my crib. Plenty to look at, not much ground to cover. Beyond the crib, the boundaries became the stairs and kitchen where fences kept me corralled.
The playground and schoolyard had really tall fences. The ‘Negro section’ of Binghamton, New York was in the center of town and had a border you couldn’t see but everyone knew where it was.
In 1956, we moved to the south side of town. I was five years old and the only borders I saw were the ones made by nature. Creek, canyon, wild orchard, tall pines, river.
In the creek we caught minnows and pollywogs. One had to look upstream in case some kid was peeing in the stream, as that was not the time to take a sip. We would pick the berries, apples, pears and rhubarb from the wild orchard.
By 1960, I was one of the big kids and had the responsibility of looking after the little ones. Aaron, the showoff, would run ahead to climb the lone tree at the top of the canyon. Sandra’s face would become purple from all of the blueberries and blackberries that didn’t make it to her basket. Jeffrey and Philip were engaged in a crab-apple war. I was gathering rhubarb and pears. The July mid-day heat reminded me to make sure that everyone drank some water and ate their lunches. I would tell them to watch out for snakes and poison ivy.
When I called out to Aaron, I expected him to climb down - not drop like a rock from the third highest branch. His arm was in a cast for the rest of the summer. The rest of the kids only suffered minor scratches, stomachaches, bee stings or pinches from baby crabs in the creek.
On most occasions I was the only Black kid. I learned these outdoor skills from a Polish kid who was older than me and my next door neighbor. He had a Boy’s Scout manual that he read and treated like a bible.
During my fifth grade school year, I would go to the wild orchard, alone, and run along the paths. I was free. In this wide open space that went on forever (and into Pennsylvania), the wind would try to catch me, but I was too fast. I would beat it to the tall pines every time.
I would start at the last street, then down the embankment to Felter’s Creek, hopping on the wet slippery stones to the other side, dashing past the spooky abandoned barn, around the rim of the canyon, slap the lone tree, through the rhubarb, stop for raspberries, flash past the apple and pear trees, up the hill to the tall pines and on to the final landmark; a part of a stonewall with a chiseled inscription; ‘1843’. On this particular day, I was running at top speed and the ground became soft and mushy. I began to lose traction and my balance and I couldn’t see the stonewall. I continued to slip, and decided not to fight gravity and just fall.
I looked up. Instead of seeing ‘1843’, I read a sign. ‘Keep Out, Private Property, Site of The New Orchard Park Homes, Coming Soon’. The ground had been made soft by bulldozers.
This new boundary or border contracted my once expanding universe. I was forced to make a retreat. In short order the tall pines, wild orchard and canyons were gone. The creek was converted into an underground tunnel emptying into the Susquehanna river. I had to make a retreat to the concrete sidewalks and asphalt playgrounds reminiscent of the ‘Negro section’. Back to fences, boundaries and borders.
Health is Wealth: 5 Deadly Health Issues for African Americans -
Blacks face alarming differences compared to all other racial and ethnic groups.
April is National Minority Health Month and is as good a time as any to begin a conversation that matters.
This week's article is from Black Enterprise Magazine posted April 17, 2015, by Kandia Johnson. Your comments will be appreciated
Til next time