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Welcome to More Black Success Volume 4. This free e-book is a follow-up to Black Success Stories and contains two success stories and two articles. I trust you will enjoy this e-book and find it educational, inspiring and uplifting. Peace, Zhana
The views expressed in this eBook are those of the individual authors and not necessarily the views of the Editor. This e-book is copyright © Zhana 2008 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No copy or duplication of this e-book or any of its contents may be made without express written permission from the author. Individual articles remain copyright of the authors. You have permission to distribute this e-book freely. You do not have permission to sell it
Page 4. Black men spend more time and money and devote more attention to their cars and wardrobe than on their own physical health maintenance. The Black Barbershop Project is promoting awareness of cardiovascular disease to Black men. DNA Testing – The Key to Our Ancestral Heritage – Veronica Henry’s personal journey. Senses Of Love – an article about appreciating our senses from natural health specialist and partially-sighted sistah Linda K. Romera. Paediatric Treatment for HIV Positive Children – a story of hope from Uganda. Articles by Zhana Resources About Zhana
11. 15. 16. 18.
Black Barbershop Project By Francis Taylor Let’s face it. Black men, already among the leaders in acquiring many preventable diseases due in large part to our general lack of health care and other resources and our individual failure to see a doctor on a regular basis for check-ups, tests, screenings and other methods that may identify disease, spend more time and money and devote more attention to our cars and wardrobe than on our own physical health maintenance. Dr. Bill Releford, founder of the Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation (DAP), has created a program that may well offer Black men, locally and domestically, their only hope, if not increase their awareness, of the importance of completing some basic health screenings that signal the onset of medical problems that may be fatal if not identified and addressed in a timely manner. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach, launched recently at the – barbershop in Inglewood and simultaneously conducted at over 22 Black-owned barbershops throughout Los Angeles, and sponsored in part by Bayer Pharmaceutical, One United Bank and Radio Free, KJLH Radio 102.3 FM, offered free diabetes and high-blood pressure screenings to African American men. “The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program will utilize the existing community-based infrastructure of Black-owned barbershops to conduct cardiovascular screenings.” Releford said. “It is the first event of its kind in Los Angeles and will address the growing concern of undetected cardiovascular disease in African American men where over 40% of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21% of white men.” The launch event in Inglewood was broadcast live on KJLH Radio’s Saturday morning community affairs program, hosted by Jackie Stevens, and featured an impressive list of health professionals, community group health advocates and elected officials. Among the dozens of men who took advantage of the free health screenings, several were referred for immediate medical treatment as a result of, primarily, elevated blood pressure readings. “Black men suffer far worse health conditions than any other racial group in America.” Releford explained. “There are a number of reasons for this,” he continued. “They include racial discrimination; a lack of affordable health services; poor health education, cultural barriers; poverty, employment that does not carry health insurance; insufficient medical and social services catering to Black men.”
According to Dr. Releford, the mission of the DAP Foundation’s Black Barbershop Outreach program is to increase public awareness of diabetes and its complications by early detection, information dissemination, and referral to the appropriate medical resource.
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To order, visit http://cdbaby.com/cd/zhana “Our goal is to screen over 1000 African American men from Watts to Wilshire Blvd. and provide preventive education about preventable diseases and their complications.” The event was a tremendous success judging by the turnout and the subsequent response Releford received from across the nation, apparently as a result of the worldwide, internet broadcast of KJLH’s community affairs program. “I have received calls from Oakland, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and a host of others, from individuals interested in implementing a similar program in their community.” Releford explained. “The goal now is to raise the funds necessary to expand the program in the Los Angeles area and to expand it across the nation by the spring of 2008.” “The Black Barbershop has traditionally been a place where black men from all segments of society could come together to talk about life, family relationships, regardless of their social status, and now I am hoping we can start talking about our health,” explained Donte Kelly, the Black Barbershop Outreach Coordinator. The DAP Foundation’s African American Men's Outreach Program seeks to partner with community groups and organizations to reduce the incidence of health conditions that adversely affect African American males by utilizing education, prevention and early detection by screening activities. Eventually, it is anticipated that Black barbershop owners and operators will be trained to administer simple cardiovascular screenings to their patrons on a regular basis. “Since Black men generally do not go to the doctor,” Releford concluded. “We will make essential cardiovascular testing available to them in non-traditional venues so that they may take advantage of procedures that may save their life.” For more information about the Black Barbershop Health Outreach, visit www.blackbarbershop.org
DNA Testing – The Key to Our Ancestral Heritage By Veronica Henry DNA Testing – The Key to Our Ancestral Heritage By Veronica Henry For years, I felt adrift. I was like a piece of debris, scattered and floating across the oceans – the result of an explosion of human matter. That explosion was the infamous middle passage of the Transatlantic slave trade. I have someone to thank for guiding me back to solid ground. One evening, I watched in wonder as Dr. Henry Louis Gates talked about the process of DNA ancestry tracing, part of a PBS series entitled “African American Lives”. This new technology would at last provide the keys to my ancestral past. I sat on the edge of my seat as one by one, the participants' results were announced. Enviously, I watched as some made the pilgrimage to their native homes. Not to be outdone, I selected the only African American owned DNA tracing company at the time and sent away for my test kit. Waiting has never been one of my strong suits. But wait I did, rather impatiently, for the test kit to arrive. When it did, I swabbed with a fury, quickly sealed, checked and rechecked that I'd done everything correctly and sprinted out to mail it. One week, three weeks, four weeks – I waited, trying not to think about the fact that for some people, results are inconclusive. For others, there's also the possibility that their ancestors trace back to someone of European descent – a notion that I flat out rejected for myself. Still, I wondered how such a prognosis would impact me. I envisioned myself launching into a tantrum befitting a two year old, screams of rage, kicking, pouting. Luckily I didn't have to resort to such actions. My results arrived. I literally ran from the mailbox back into the house and ripped opened the package. The first words: /Congratulations..../ I exhaled, then read on. My mitochondrial DNA matched 100% with the people of modern day Sierra Leone. I read and reread my results, studied the certificate, danced around, grasping it to my chest. I decided to find out everything I could about my ancestral home. I
found a forum of people from Sierra Leone, lurked about, listening to the rhythmic way in which they spoke, how they referred to home as /Salone/, how though most lived abroad, they were still connected to home. Eventually, I got up the nerve to join them. What I learned about Sierra Leone broke my heart. Devastated by civil war, this was a place still struggling to recover. I sought out ways to help, engaged in partnerships and have begun down the road that I hope will leave a greater legacy than I ever imagined...helping to rebuild a people, a country.
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Realizing the power of understanding my own ancestry was a first step. I also recognized the fact that there is power in reconnecting not only with our ancestral homes, but also reconstructing the bonds between all members of the African Diaspora and the continent of Africa. Imagine what we could accomplish with our combined knowledge and skills. Imagine the power of us united. This idea led my partner and to launch our website, harnessing the power and reach of the Internet to facilitate that connection. We've just begun, but already have learned much, met fascinating people from around the world and feel confident that our vision of a united Diaspora will come to pass. Knowing has been a life changing experience, one that's difficult to put into words, but that I everyone should experience. My perspective has changed, so have my goals. I no longer believe my legacy will be one of a life swimming the shark infested waters of Corporate America. I hope to create a movement. My legacy will be that of helping others to help themselves and seeing a restoration of strength and pride in peoples of African descent. Some argue the validity of DNA testing. The beauty of science is that it evolves as we do. The science isn't perfect, but I fully understand and accept the limitations of what it can provide me today and anxiously await the answers it will provide in the future. I'm ready for this gift, it's more than I've ever had before. The MyAfricanDiaspora Team www.myafricandiaspora.com www.cafepress.com/kndredgear firstname.lastname@example.org 800-504-7184 Visit Veronica’s website today at: www.myafricandiaspora.com
Senses Of Love By Linda K. Romera One of the key factors that have shaped my journey in the last few years has been through the senses (both physical and spiritual) – the process of developing them, trusting them, opening to what my senses may bring and adapting to changes that were unexpected. In 2001, I was told by doctors that I was partially sighted and my central vision would fade, similar to having a large blind spot in the middle of my vision (a condition known as Stargardt's macular dystrophy) - a condition which not too many people in my daily life pick up on, as it is unnoticeable with no difference on the outside. In the beginning, I developed a love-hate testing relationship with my eyes (in particular my vision sense) as I came to terms with change, which then gradually evolved into an exploration of enriching my life through the senses, energy healing and holistic health. I would ask my Self: Does changes in the senses mean I have to lead a "different" way of life? I soon realised that adjustments and adapting to change is just a normal part of the life journey. I wanted to share some thoughts with you that have been good exercises for reflection in exploring the senses. A few questions to reflect on: What is your definition of physical, mental and spiritual sense? Decide how you will define the positive and negative effects of your whole sense spectrum. Use your eyesight as a camera. What if every time you blinked, you can visualise it as being a snap of a camera? What pictures would you capture with your eyes? What can you focus on that would stimulate your emotions? We are constantly surrounded by details and actions in our 'Now-moment'. Use your vision as a tool to surround and divert your attention in everything around you that makes you feel great – What are you really seeing now?
A different route. Are you taking the same journey to work everyday? Is there a particular spot that you always return to? What if you could change your routine and take the time to explore new physical routes in your life? New places, new experiences for your senses to fuel and feed on. Close your eyes. I was talking to a colleague a few months ago who is also partially sighted – he mentioned there was a restaurant in London where every visitor is in complete darkness for their whole dining experience. The general feedback from people was amazing – apart from feeling unique in this environment, there was a real sense of the food and atmosphere – the smell, the taste, the touch, the energy connecting with other diners who you couldn't see. Sounded like fun to me lol! But in getting back to the point of this story, I feel that our vision can be a sense that we often rely on far more than any other physical sense. When one of our strongest key senses is no longer open, it's amazing how the body adapts and the rest of the senses sharpen up. What could you learn in any random now-moment by just closing your eyes? Expression-able. If eyes are the windows to our soul, then maybe our facial expressions are divine insights? There is something about people's expressions in their face that amaze me – when talking, laughing or in quiet moments. And as we age, the marks begin to show in more obvious ways, with the expressions in our wrinkling/aged skin… the laughter lines, the deep dents, the movements that can't hide how we have expressed our Self through our face and emotions throughout our life. It's a precious thing! What are you observing about others through their facial expressions alone? And what do your own reflect to others? The simple life. Your possessions are often an extension of who you are and what your senses enjoy connecting with. The simple life can have so many meanings to each individual – what can you do in your environment (home, office, planet, etc.) to make simple living a rich experience for your senses?
With every random object you pick up in your home environment, what senses do you feel are being stimulated by this item? As simple living can often mean removing clutter, what can you remove from your daily environment that causes negative effects to your senses? By living simple, we can enhance our daily life experience by choosing our material-spiritual connection carefully. Sound off. Try watching a favourite movie without any sound. You can now compare what you remember to what you now can observe without your hearing sense. What can you see and feel about the movie that you may have missed before? What is body language telling you in the movie? Can you tell what the actors/actresses are saying without hearing them? How sensitive are you to the emotional energy of the film? Sixth, seventh, eighth, infinite sense. If not all our senses are physical – then how many other tools can you use to discover your senses? Let your senses of love energy guide you! Live Be-You-To-Full. Copyright © Linda K. Romera Linda is a holistic natural health specialist, writer and Reiki healer/teacher. Based in London, her services aim to explore creativity, Self growth, Self development and a healthy positive lifestyle. For more information on Linda's therapy work, courses and online services, please visit her website: http://www.purelyholistic.co.uk
Paediatric Treatment of HIV Positive Children By Elijah Amooti Uganda is the first African country to use a new drug that improves the health of children whose bodies are resistant to the first line of antiretroviral drug (ARV) treatment. Eight-year-old Tim (not real name) was born with HIV/Aids. He survived on ARVs for six years, after which the virus became resistant to the drugs. For the last two years, Tim's life has been hanging in balance because there was no alternative drug that would reduce the viral load (the level of the virus in the blood). "We have been giving him tablets to treat the opportunistic infections like cough, but his health has been deteriorating every other day. I really don't know why he became resistant to ARVs," said Tim's mother, who prefers to be identified as Namubiru. As Tim's parents were still searching for a way to prolong their son's life, the government through the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) contacted a drugs company in the United States to supply Uganda with a paediatric AIDS drug that improves the health of children whose bodies are resistant to the first line of ARV treatment. The World Health Organisation recommends use of this drug as an option for the treatment of children who no longer respond to the first line of HIV medicines. The US department of Health and Human Medicine also recommends the same medicine for initial treatment of children with HIV. Uganda is the first African country to use this paediatric drug and Tim was privileged to be the first child living with Aids in Africa to receive the drug. President Yoweri Museveni handed over a packet of the drug to Tim after launching it at JCRC on December 1. Parents thronged to JCRC on World AIDS Day to register their children for this medication. About 60 children will be the first people to benefit and thereafter, the drug will be distributed countrywide. More than two million children living with HIV in the endemic countries stand to benefit from the drug. Better option The Director of JCRC, Dr Peter Mugyenyi, said the introduction of the second line treatment for children living with HIV/Aids will help restore hope for millions of parents and children who would otherwise face a bleak future, adding that the new drug will enforce compliance because it is easy to swallow, doesn't need to
be refrigerated, and one doesn't have to take a meal before taking it, as is the case with other medicines. “Adherence to ARVs has been difficult, especially among children, because of lack of paediatric formulation,” he said.
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According to him, JCRC will get a grant of $1m (about Shs1.8b) from President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFA) to restock all their branches with life saving drugs and also establish new ones to reach out to more people. The Regional Director of the drugs company said their effort to provide for African children is part of its five point global strategy to expand access to HIV treatment around the world. "We developed [this drug] with distinct needs of children in the developing world in mind," he said, explaining that nine of every 10 children with HIV live in SubSaharan Africa where Uganda falls. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/ AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2006, an estimated 2.5 million children under the age of 15 were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Last year alone, an estimated 530,000 children were infected with HIV, and 380,000 others died of AIDS. He also said that HIV/AIDS is a global problem that demands shared commitment and responsibility, adding that the company is investing more than $100m in developing countries through their global AIDS care programmes focusing on strengthening health care systems, helping children affected by HIV/ AIDS, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and expanding access to counselling and testing. According to the Director of HIV/ AIDS communication and policy at the drugs company, it took them seven years to develop this drug, which is being supplied to Uganda at a cheaper price. “The government will spend about $250 per child per year. This drug is cheaper than any other generics. We are giving a bigger discount to African countries than to Europe," he added. Statistics indicate that about 110,000 children who are less than 15 years of age in Uganda are living with HIV/ AIDS and of these, 47,000 have advanced AIDS and are in need of antiretroviral therapy.
Only 9,500 children were accessing treatment by the end of September 2007. President Museveni said children who are well treated can live a pain-free life, grow normally, and become responsible adults. "Children should not lose hope. We are going to protect them so they can grow up, study and exploit their talents." Protecting the children He believes poor adherence to antiretroviral drugs is one of the factors responsible for drug resistance. Health experts say patients are not adhering to treatment due to stigma associated with the disease, drug exhaustion and lack of defined formulations, especially for children. President Museveni also says the management of paediatric AIDS in Uganda has lagged behind that of the adults and that it should be given the necessary attention, adding that prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/ AIDS is an important intervention in preventing the spread of the virus among children. "We should stop children from contracting the disease rather than waiting for them to get infected to seek treatment. Supposing all Ugandans become infected, will we manage the burden of treating them?" Mother-to-child transmission of AIDS is the second largest mode of transmitting the virus and it accounts for about 21 percent of the new infections, while sexual transmission accounts for 76 percent and the three percent is through other modes, including blood transfusion. Every year, about 250,000 children are born with HIV in Uganda. A mother who is HIV positive can transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, labour and delivery, or breastfeeding. Women who have reached the advanced stages of the disease require a combination of ARVs for their own health. Doctors say ARVs reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission by 50- 60 percent. The Director General of Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, says currently, mothers are being encouraged to test for HIV whenever they go for routine antenatal care at health centres and that those found with HIV are given treatment to improve their health and avoid passing on the virus to their unborn babies. The First Lady, Ms Janet Museveni, said Ugandans have become complacent due to availability of ARVs, cautioning that these drugs are not a cure, they
simply reduce the viral load and that preventive strategies should be re-activated instead of relying on the drugs. "Relying on treatment alone is negligence. These drugs simply treat opportunistic infections but they don't cure Aids," she said, adding that although more children get the virus from their mothers, very few HIV-positive pregnant women have access to drugs that reduce the risk of mother to child infection. "We need to do more even, if Uganda has been applauded as a success story in the fight against HIV/ AIDS. The prevalence rate that has stagnated at 6.4 percent is bad enough and we should not allow this to continue," she advised. Elijah Amooti Senior HIV Treatment Advocate The African Eye Trust Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.africaneyetrust.org.uk Registered Number: 06124839 TAET providing clear HIV Treatment information to African communities
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My work focuses on the healing of humanity and our planet, with a particular focus on the healing of the people of the African continent and Diaspora. Individual and collective healing. Physical, mental and emotional healing. Healing our families and our communities. To that aim, I have written several books including Black Success Stories, Success Strategies for Black People and What They Don’t Want Us to Know, and I edit the More Black Success free ebooks. I also lead workshops to support the healing of our communities, the healing of our history, the healing of the legacy of enslavement and the Maafa. To do this work, I draw on ancient traditions as well as modern methods. By healing our past, we can move forward into the future we deserve. I am experienced in metaphysics and traditional Afrikan American ritual, as well as Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT) and Creative Communication. I am a committed Buddhist. Creative Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication/NVC) is the single most effective method I have found for developing self-love, selfworth and a positive self-image. To read more about it, visit: Improving Communication Nonviolent Communication Connecting with Our Feelings and Needs I recently wrote the choreopoem "Harriet" which celebrates the lives of Harriet Jacobs (author of Incidents in the Lives of a Slave Girl) and Harriet Tubman. Click here to hear a short audio from my choreopoem. I have studied the lives and work of many successful people of African heritage, and this inspires my own work. Click here to order Black Success Stories. Click here to read interviews with me. Click here to hear audio interviews with me. I have written Success Strategies for Black People and Black Success Stories as part of my ongoing commitment to global prosperity and global peace. Continued next page.
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