Tag Archives: african

#BookClubMadu August 2016

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We are so excited to share with you this month’s book!

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing has been the latest rave in the world of literature and we thought it would be super awesome to have our readers right in!

IN ADDITION TO OUR AUGUST BOOK RELEASE, AfroMadu has teamed up with Urban One Radio to host a #BookClubMadu BI-WEEKLY PODCAST!!!!! Yes, a podcast to talk about books, culture, and everything in between. How cool is that?!?!?

Here’s how this month’s book will work:

-Discussions will be held on afromadu.com and on twitter, @afromadu.Throughout the week, we will be posting questions and quotes from Homegoing. 

-On August 14th, we will host our very first show, highlighting the first portion of the book. Readers are able to email us thoughts and questions about the book. Submission emails must be in before Thursday, August 11th.

We are so happy to be back with all of this exciting news. Are you? Happy reading! #BookClubMadu

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Homegoing’s schedule is as follows:

August 1st-14th: Part One (pages 1-153)

August 15th-31st: Part Two (pages 154-300)

Tweet us, email us, or find us on our social media sites using the hashtag, #BookClubMadu!

#BlackHealth365 Spring Detox Giveaway!

Rejoice, Spring is finally here!

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We want you to get excited about the fresh air, rising flowers, and yummy seaonsal fruits coming your way! #BlackHealth365 is hosting a giveaway contest, beginning Friday, March 20th through March 22nd, and everyone is invited to participate! The object is to get our bodies ready for the new season via a 3 day detox utilizing fresh smoothies, juices, and clean meals. We have beautiful prizes to give away to the most creative and active participants who follow the rules:

1. You must share pictures of your smoothie/juice/clean meal on twitter and/or Instagram telling us what it is and how long it took you to prepare using the hashtag #BlackHealth365 so that we can see your unique creation.

2. You cannot post the same smoothie/juice/meal recipe twice. Variety is the spice of life, so each detox component must be something different to share with spectators and participants!

3. You must upload at least twice a day for the 3 days.

4. All ingredients must be fresh!

5. Have fun and good luck!

There will be a total of 5 giveaway winner who we know will be more than satisfied with the fruits of their hard work! We are more than excited to be coming into the new season with you beautiful people on such a healthy start!

At the end of the contest we encourage everyone to comb through the hashtag and write down recipe’s and ideas never tried before. We also ask that you continue to use the hashtag because you never know when we may do a surprise giveaway for folks who frequently share the wealth!

Tweet @BlackHealth365 with any questions you have about the contest, beginning March 20th. 😉

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Sustaining the Black Community with Holistic Health

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“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own.” -Wangari Maathai

The Black body has endured more than the growth-halting grip of former enslavement. We have suffered trauma to the African trinity of health (mental, physical, and spiritual), which greatly affects how we interact in the world, “post enslavement.” With media messages telling us to eat this sugary saturated fat to feel good, and drink that 80-proof poison to be as cool as our favorite rappers, the abuse to our bodies and overall well beings live on. Faced with limited access to life-sustaining foods due to socioeconomic status, the burden of low self-esteem from living in a racist society, and a general lack of knowledge about “living well,” a comprehensive timeline comes to mind about exactly how we have landed in the reality we are in today. Best believe this exclusion is systematic and purposely enacted. Though unfair, it is no one’s responsibility but ours to undo the mass confusion around health in the Black community and begin the journey towards healing from post-traumatic slave syndrome.

pirkle_jones_black_panther_free_breakfast At the best moments of the Black freedom struggle we recognized that we did not just need to change laws, we also needed to change our living patterns. Organizations like the Black Panthers not only told us to change our diets, they also imposed breakfast programs and other sort of community-oriented food programs so that people would have healthy living options and they understood the relationship between healthy living and a community, they understood the relation to building a Black nation and having healthy diets. – Marc Lamont Hill

Taking control of our lifestyles is not a new concept in the Black community. As Marc Lamont Hill suggested in the above quote from 2012 documentary “Soul Food Junkies,” we have always stressed the importance of proper nutrition and lifestyle in our movements in the past and can do so once again. The same fervor Black Panthers displayed in picking up guns to protect themselves from the quick bullet of the racist can also be used to pick up plant foods, herbs, and spices to aid in the body’s defense against diseases.

black-man-and-child-hospital-bed1With the rise of genetically modified foods, mineral-depleted soils, and processed foods being more affordable and available, many of the traditional foods we are eating today in our soul food dishes look like what our ancestors ate growing up, but chemically are not the same. Altered genetic makeup of foods and the addition of sugars, salts, and harmful preservatives aid in the development of chronic diseases Blacks are dying from in droves today. Food-related diseases which plague the community like heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes hold us back from being the fully functional beings were born to be. These many health issues act as blockades to our struggles towards freedom. Instead of actively working to defeat white supremacist oppression and earn back our rights as human beings, we’re fighting against our sickly bodies, and worrying heavily for our lives. This will change. It has to.

By embracing an attitude of  “self-care as healthcare” (Queen Afua), we can operate on an optimal level. Centering the importance of clean eating with whole foods, healing herbs, and antioxidant-rich spices, we can refocus our energies to where they need to be. By feeding ourselves well, we can expect a boost in self-esteem and a fulfilling sense of purpose, two things we, as a whole, lack for various reasons. Hope is not yet lost when we trust in our own capabilities and utilize the resources here on this planet to fuel us on our unique journey.

slide-03I propose purifying oneself through proper nutrition and a lifestyle that caters specifically to the Black body, promoting sound mental health, and welcoming a more freeing approach to spiritualism that pays homage to ancestors. As acts of self care as means of liberation and fortification to be pushed to the forefront of the many movements towards Black freedom.

Restoring Your Chilly Season!

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I always find that the colder seasons allow me to reconnect with my purpose in life. I mean, I’m not able to sit on the beach or be outside as much, so I am now reluctant to be faced with, well, me. And it is clear that everyone can relate.
During this reflective time, following a  few guidelines in making sure that my hibernation season is effective as possible. Here are some tips:

 

1. Self Empow. 5Saving money: Although the holidays are quickly approaching, we want to remind ourselves that although we want to spend uncontrollably for our loved ones, they will still love us the same if we bought the 16GB IPhone instead of the 32GB. Becoming more knowledgeable about money and learning how to save more, invest more, and ultimately make more, is always a good skill to rely on. Besides, who wants to be broke anyway? Getting an upper hand on your green by learning some things during the fall and winter time. And stay tuned on our site, we might even help you reach your financial success!
2. Cleaning house: Yup, Exactly what I meant. Your space. It’s getting colder now, who wants aSelf Empow. 2 cluttered space? Take a weekend (or two) and begin organizing, disposing, and rearranging things in your home, room, car, office, etc. It pays off to have a clean space, especially when you feel that life is cloudy and cluttered with mental and even physical THINGS. Control what you can and CLEAN HOUSE! Trash things that you don’t need, organize things that you do need, and you will thank us later! De-clutter that mind and embrace your hibernation season with a little winter cleaning.
3. Self Empow. 3.Recovering connections: Even though it is cuffing season and everyone wants to call and remember the old friendships and old flings that was once started, it’s always best to reconnect with old, GENUINE, friends and family members that you missed during the summer nights with friends or loud music at concerts. Recovering connections can also allow you to get in conversation about things you would have never talked about through the basic text message or the small comments on Facebook and Instagram. Get creative with reconnecting! Have small get-together or coffee dates with the VIP’s in your life and reconnect! You will be amazed at the relationships and friendships you will make.
4. Self Empow. 4Becoming productive: With all this extra time on your hands, you can always do a little more with your productivity. Digging deep and finding that special hobby that you once loved will be great during this cold season. Whether it’s curling up with a good book, writing your life away, cooking up good eats, or even that blog site that you never get to, do it! It is never too late to catch your forgotten hobbies. Being productive with the things you like to do will only cross some things off your mega to-do list, but it will also bring you that inner happiness that is comparable to those warm, eventful summer days.

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5. Having Fun! There’s nothing like having a boring chilly season. Being bored AND cold is not too much fun. Just remember that although the warm season is months away, use this time to find your inner peace and happiness.

Foods & Habits to Maintain Radiant Melanin.

As children of the Sun, “melanated” peoples have an inherent glow that needs to be maintained. With the consumption of daily Sun, whole foods, and a useful skin care regime, this natural glow of “Black gold” will effortlessly shine. BlackHealth365 introduces foods and methods Black people can use to help maintain the natural beauty of their skin:

The Importance of Sun Exposure:

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Melanin is the pigment in our skin which makes humans the different hues we have come to be. It’s also present in the hair, eyes of not only us, but other species of animals. It is responsible for the tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. As people of African descent we have some of the highest content of melanin. In places closest to the equator, where sun exposure is more prominent, the people of such lands harbor a darker hue, giving them this glow of “Black gold” raved about. Melanin is produced as a response to UV ray exposure from the sun, so it is essentially protection from the harmful aspects of the life-giving ball of heat. The more melanin you have, the better protected you are from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This also means that in order to get essential vitamins from the sun, like the essential vitamin D, it is important for people of color to spend ample amount of time in the Sun on a daily basis. Sun rays contain rare dosages of Vitamin D, which provides humans with minimal free radical damage and maintains skin moisture and even tone.

Black people with a medium to darker hue are recommended to spend at least 35-45 minutes daily in the sun. For extra protection & moisture during time of exposure, apply either shea butter, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel on skin instead of chemical-laden, harmful sunscreens.

Foods For Skin Health:

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There are many foods that aid in the maintenance of beautiful skin. These are normally fruits high in vitamins A, E & beta-carotene or fatty nuts like almonds that the expansive organ loves. Here are a list of 10 foods to consume which are loaded with the vitamins & minerals necessary to promote beautiful skin:

1. spinach
2. mangoes
3. papaya
4. sweet potatoes/yams 5. raw almonds
6. aloe vera juice
7. carrots
8. blueberries
9. avocados
10. pomegranates

The best way to receive the nutrients from these foods listed is by way of smoothie drinks! This way the nutrients enter the bloodstream easier and can be sorted through the body accordingly without the added task of having to be broken down in the digestive system. In addition to these skin health boosting foods, water is a MUST for attaining beautiful skin. You can also add antioxidant-rich teas (green teas) & fatty fishes like salmon to your regular eating regimen to feed skin cells.

Hygiene Habits:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 7.28.46 PMThis goes without saying, but showering on a daily basis, at least once a day is a must. Skin requires water nourishment inside and moisture provided on the outside. Going through this world filled with germs and bacterias, and harmful chemicals lingering in the air, especially those of us who live in cities, it is imperative that we wash that off our organ every day. In addition, remember that skin is a detoxifying organ, meaning it releases toxins collected within the body through the skin. You need to wash those toxins off or else they’ll linger on the skin and cause possible unwanted bumps & marks. You also want to incorporate sugar or coffee scrubs into to hygiene regimen to scrub off dead skin cells and help maintain your melanated casing’s youthful radiance.

Raw unrefined African Black soap is recommended for daily deep cleansing of the skin. This natural soap not only works better than commercial soaps filled with skin drying chemicals, such as Dove, but it cheaper, rich in real nutrients, and lasts longer. I, personally, use raw unrefined African black soap for facial and body cleansing.

 

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Keeping the skin moisturized on a daily basis is very important! Throughout the day the skin gets dry from movement an exposure to the outside world and needs replenishing. The best time to give the skin moisture it needs is right after a shower or nice bath. Literally as you’re soaking wet out of the shower, apply coconut oil (my favorite) or a shea/mango/avocado butter mixture of some sort and let it air dry into your
skin. Towels drying is unnecessary unless you want to pat dry. An ideal skin oil mixture for appliance after bathing would be a mix of vitamin e oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. I only typically use heavier butters in my hair or during “dry seasons” like winter.

 BlackHealth365 Recommended products:

-organic cold pressed and unrefined coconut oil
-raw unrefined African black soap
-Nubian heritage soaps or other shea butter/vegetable glycerin based soaps
-whipped Shea butter (belle butters, Whipped, or your own homemade mixture)
-vitamin e oil
-almond oil
-brown sugar or black coffee to make scrubs

Following these suggestions will guarantee an improvement in the health of your skin and will surely make melanin shine bright! We must not forget that the skin is also an organ and needs to be fed to be at its best, like every other organ in the body. Remember, if it’s not safe to ingest then it isn’t safe to put on the skin. The skin absorbs so if you’re loading it with chemicals, these same harmful agents will eventually end up inside your body. You don’t want that. Eat right, drink PLENTY of water, spend quality time outside under sun, wash daily, and moisturize and you will glow like the child of the Sun you are!

Dairy Milk vs. Alternatives: Your Bones Deserve Better

Time and time again we’ve been told dairy milk is an essential staple to the human diet, that we need it in order to be well. It has been promoted by the dairy industry as one of the only sources of calcium. Without it you run the risk of being calcium-deficient and possibly developing osteoporosis. Is there truth to this statement or yet another genius marketing strategy by a lucrative big business?

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For starters, dairy milk is in fact a source of calcium, an essential mineral for bone density. The highest source when consumed in it’s raw state. The catch is, raw milk is illegal in most places here in the U.S., so what’s sold in stores all across this country is most likely pasteurized. This pasteurization process strips the creamy substance down to a watery, non-nutritious, hormone infested pus that should not be consumed by humans.

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Raw milk from organic dairy farms is booming with nutritional benefits. The complex whole food has been used to diminish allergy symptoms, eczema, and asthma symptoms. In addition, studies show that raw dairy milk consumption promotes the production of good bacteria in the body and increases the likelihood of healthy weight gain. Dairy products sold nationwide are not unpasteurized, therefore most of the milk and calcium alternatives are safer and healthier to consume.

 

Foods like dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, dried figs, beans, black strap molasses, and salmon are calcium-rich alternatives to milk. With the rise of health consciousness and people converting into vegetarians & vegans, calcium/vitamin D fortified milk substitutes created from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, coconuts, and soy are becoming more popular in delivering our nutritional needs. The Silk brand almond milk contains 50% more calcium and vitamin D than dairy milk. It is said that fig juice was used in ancient Africa, as a replacement for human breast milk because of their high calcium and potassium content which helps to reduce the loss of calcium in urine.

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Knowing the state of dairy here in the U.S. and the benefits of alternatives, it is wise to weigh your options and make the whatever decision you feel is best for you. We recommend frequently incorporating the foods listed above into your diet if raw unpasteurized milk is not an option. Your bones and overall bodily health will thank you for ceasing to pollute your being with the added toxins present in dairy, replacing the source of needed minerals like calcium from milk & cheese to whole foods.

Kwanzaa: Ujima and the Accountability of the Community.

To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

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The principle that is similar to Umoja, Ujima shows the second step in executing unity effectively. Not only making sure we are together and on the same page, but being responsible and accountable for the entire community. This principle not only shows the means to stick together when the roads are rough, but to walk hand in hand and fight the powers of struggle together. 

Ujima is very important because it shows that the fight for African freedom, in all parts of the world, is necessary all the time. No unjust should be silenced. In order to fight, we must accept the responsibility of serving for our community and fighting the powers that stand in the way.  

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Public service workers, workers in the non profit sector, community organizers and activist are thanked for their plight of  Ujima everyday. Taking their jobs and civic duties to help the people is very much appreciated in taking responsibility for the community. Implementing programs for the youth, decreasing cost for government programs, enforcing assistance, and creating a space to bring the community together is very much the accountability that is needed. 

AfroMadu challenges you to become responsible for your brothers and sisters. Unite because your life depends on it. And when the rough gets tough and the forces are against us? Fight like you can’t fight anymore.

Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility.