Posts tagged with "black history month"

BHM: Holistic Health And Wellness In The Black Community

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

As we close the month of February marking Black history in America, it’s important to reflect on our collective journey since the Diaspora out of Africa. And the stories that highlight our diverse experience as Black folks, like Anansi folktales, continue to shape our culture and humanity. The anthem, “I’m Black and I’m proud” takes on a whole new meaning when put in proper perspective these days. Our ancient life lessons are evident in countless modern stories, including that of Nathanial “Nate” Mines, a holistic health guru, retired firefighter and owner of Dynamic Health & Wellness in Washington, DC.

Nate, as most people affectionately call him, for years has advocated a return to nature and holistic living, especially for Black people. “Natural living is what I advocate for my people,” he said during our interview at his H St. NE location. And his holistic health and wellness business is growing, especially amongst his target audience: Black folks. And it’s a welcome sign Nate says, especially when data continually show African Americans have the greatest need for improvement when it comes to their health. And long-standing social factors—racism, poverty, education, housing, access to healthy foods, environmental exposures, violence, criminal justice—are still the main determinants of these health disparities.

Nate says our salvation lies in nature. And when we can’t access nature, supplements, exercise and healthy eating can make a difference. He says the holistic supplements, oils, herbs and books he carries have personally changed his life and he works to share the blessings of nature and holistic living and healing with others. “Everyone has a calling and this is mine.” Nate and his grandsons are planning to open another store in Atlanta and they’re in the middle of planning a Grand Opening in the coming days for the newest Dynamic Health & Wellness in Waldorf, MD. In addition to his herbs, oils and supplements, Nate leads a weekly Chess Club with fellow instructor, Vaughn Bennett. The two advocate teaching Chess to Black youths as a way to overcome structural racism and to break barriers. Bennett recently started a petition in partnership with Change.org to help end systemic racism in Chess.

To learn more about the petition click HERE.

Here’s my conversation with the wise holistic health guru, Nate Mines:

29 Facts Black People Should Know In Honor Of Black History Month

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

  1. The Thirteenth Amendment, (Amendment XIII) to the U.S. Constitution made slavery illegal. It was adopted on December 18, 1865.
  2. The 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  It changed the legal status under federal law of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans.  
  3. Harriet Tubman used the Underground Railroad, a secret escape system, to lead hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. She was known as, “Moses of her People.”
  4. Alex Haley wrote the 1976 book, “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.”
  5. The initials NAACP stands for, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  6. Carter G. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History. He worked tirelessly to establish Black History Month as a nationwide institution. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month.
  7. Opera singer Marian Anderson performed her famous 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial after the Daughters of the American Revolution barred her from singing in Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall because she was black.
  8. The civil rights protests in the South in which blacks and whites rode together on buses were called Freedom Riders.
  9. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared that all people must be treated fairly no matter the color of their skin.
  10. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.
  11. The Tuskegee Airmen was an African American fighter pilot group formed during World War II.
  12. Explorer, Matthew Henson, is the first African American to reach the North Pole during his 1908–09 expedition to Greenland.
  13. Thomas Dorsey is considered the Father of Gospel music.  
  14. In 1993 for the induction of President Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou became the first woman and first African American to read a poem at a presidential inauguration.
  15. The Color Purple, a novel by author Alice Walker, earned her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
  16. Brown v. Board of Education was the name of the Supreme Court case that opened all public schools to black students. The unanimous (9–0) decision was handed down on May 17, 1954.
  17. Charles Drew’s breakthrough work on blood storage and blood transfusions helped saved numerous lives during an era when blood transfusions were denied to black people. He also developed large-scale blood banks during World War II.
  18. Bessie Coleman was the first woman of African-American descent, and also the first of Native-American descent, to hold a pilot license. She was also the first black person to earn an international pilot’s license, which she obtained in France.
  19. Maggie Lena Walker was the first female bank founder and president in the U.S.
  20. Sidney Portiere was the first African American to earn an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie A Raisin in the Sun, a film adaptation of the play written by Civil Rights icon Lorraine Hansberry.
  21. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress.
  22. Mae Carol Jemison was the first black female NASA astronaut. 
  23. Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest Jazz musicians was nicknamed, “Satchmo.”
  24. Ralph Johnson Bunche, an American political scientist, academic, and diplomat received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for helping end the first Arab-Israeli War.
  25. Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. He successfully argued several cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education.
  26. John H. Johnson created Jet Magazine in 1945.
  27. Lewis H. Latimer received a patent on his invention of a longer lasting light bulb in 1881. He made the light bulb more practical and contributed to the invention of the first telephone. Latimer drafted the drawings that Alexander Graham Bell used to patent the first telephone in 1876 and also worked for Thomas Edison.
  28. The tallest structure in DC, The Washington Monument built in 1884, is the oldest symbol of resurrection honoring the traditions of ancient Egypt. The original, (6000 years old) African structure was first created in Kemet, (ancient Egypt) to represent its founding Father, Assad. Today, the Monument is attributed to America’s founding father, George Washington, but its design was taken from Africans.
  29. Anthony Browder is an author, publisher and cultural historian. Browder, founder and director of IKG Cultural Resources, is leading the excavation and restoration of the 25th dynasty tomb of Karakhamun in Luxor, Egypt. He’s unraveling the thread of knowledge, connecting black people to their past, hidden in plain sight across America and especially in Washington, DC, in an effort to empower us with stories of our ancient past and contributions that continue to shape and impact the world today. Knowledge of self is love of self. Make every day a celebration of your black history.