Ms. Pearline Davis was born in Sumter County, Georgia on December 15, 1947 to the parentage of the late Mr. Wilbert Davis and the late Mrs. Eva Frederick. She is preceded in death by a son, Timothy Jordan, two daughters, Ms. Roslyn Johnson and Ms. Patricia Jordan and a sister, Melinda Linen.

She leaves to cherish her memories, a daughter, Ms. Minnie Davis, Americus, GA; four sisters, Ms. Eva Dean McFarley, Ms. Rosa Lee Robinson, Ms. Wilma Merritt and Ms. Angel Green; seven grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

Michael Ealy joins the cast of ‘Being Mary Jane’ for season 4

Photo by Kevin Mazur/American Broadcasting Companies Inc via Getty Images)

Photo by Kevin Mazur/American Broadcasting Companies Inc via Getty Images)

Michael Ealy is joining the cast of “Being Mary Jane” for its fourth season and is slated to appear opposite Gabrielle Union in a lead role.

Ealy will be playing the character of Justin Talbot, the new producer of Great Day USA as well as the man who got Mary Jane Paul fired from CNN.

While Ealy had been considering several offers for next year, he admitted that he wasn’t interested in doing another show but heard Union out because she is a friend.

“I had turned down several network offers, as I really was not interested in doing another show at the time, but because Gabrielle is a friend, I told her that I’d seriously think about and talk with my team,” Ealy said.

“At the end of the day, I felt like we all have a social responsibility to help elevate material with people of color in any way that we can, and if there was an opportunity for me to help my friend and the cultural perceptions of our work, then I would do my part.”

We’re excited to see Michael Ealy in this new role, and for the next season of “Being Mary Jane”!

Deacon J.D. Colbert, Sr

9073928Deacon J.D. Colbert, age 98, passed away on September 23, 2015 at the Montezuma Health and Rehabilitation Center in Montezuma, Georgia.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 P.M., Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Railroad Street, Oglethorpe, Georgia.  Elder James Grier will officiate. Burial will be in the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery, Whiteline Street, Montezuma, Georgia.

Deacon J.D. Colbert, Sr., favorably known as J.D. or Jam Boggy, was born in Macon County, Montezuma, Georgia on December 19, 1916 to the late Mr. Ben (Cora) Patterson. Deacon  J. D. departed this life on September 23, 2015 at the Montezuma Health Care in Montezuma, Georgia.

Having been reared and lived his life in Macon County, he received his early education in Macon County Public School System.  He was employed by the Southern Frozen Food, Inc. for over forty years. Deacon  J. D. accepted Christ as his Heavenly Father at a young age.  He joined New Phillip Primitive Baptist Church of Montezuma, Ga. He later moved his membership to Brown Chapel Primitive Baptist Church in Leslie, Georgia.  He served as an outstanding Deacon and was known for his “mighty spiritual praying”.

He later was married to Mrs. Abbie L. Caldwell Colbert-Weaver. Their union welcomed three children and supported in the rearing of his children. He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Mamie Aniton; two sisters, Catherine Porter and Corrine Colbert; and two brothers, John Willie Patterson and Ernest Patterson.

In January 1991, Deacon J. D. Colbert was blessed to join in marriage to the late Mrs. Annie Ruth Harris-Colbert, of Desoto, Ga. He was accepted into the Harris-Clayton Family by her son, Minister George (Elaine) Clayton, Jr., and the family affectionately called him sweet names, such as the following: ”Shugg” by Ruth; “Dad” by George; and “Grandpa” by the children. Deacon  J. D. and Ruth abided together in the Montezuma Health Care Center, until she departed on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

He leaves to cherish his memory: seven sons, James D. (Larether) Colbert, Sr., College Park, Georgia; Gene P. (Shelia) Colbert, McDonough, Georgia, Robert (Marilyn) Howard, Augusta, Georgia, Jewel (Linda) Howard, Georgia, Curtis (Alice) Howard, Pastor Marvin (Susie) Howard, Savannah, Georgia, Minister George (Elaine) Clayton, Americus, Georgia, Larry (Janet) Daniels, Oglethorpe, Georgia, Jimmy (Thelma) Daniels, Oglethorpe, Georgia; six daughters, Evangelist Carolyn (Abraham) Cokley, Americus, Georgia, Mary Ann Rucker, Montezuma, Georgia, Denise Colbert, Montezuma, Georgia, Elizabeth Colbert, Linda (Leon) Smith, all of Reynolds, Georgia, and Emma Rumph, Fort Valley, Georgia; 14 grandchildren and 17 great great grandchildren; a host of many special nieces and nephews, friends, and neighbors.  He was proud and loved all his grandchildren but would say ”Thank You” to his granddaughter, Colonel Rolanda D. Colbert-Mitcham, for serving our country in the United States Army.

Ms. Nanniel James

2222Funeral services for Ms. Nanniel James will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Friendship Baptist Church in Americus, GA with Rev. George F. Monts officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Ms. Nanniel James was born on November 8, 1950 in Americus, Georgia to the late Mary James Porter and the late Roscoe Lamar, Sr.  She received her education in the Sumter County School System. Nanniel was a faithful member of the Zion Hope Baptist Church. She was employed for several years at Davidson Textron and at Woodgrain Mills in Americus, GA. She was preceded in death by a son, Carlton James and her grandparents Christine & Rev. Pearly Brown. Nanniel passed away peacefully on Friday, October 9, 2015 at the Phoebe-Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Georgia.

She leaves to cherish her memory, three children: Kelvin (Alegtha) James, Markell (Lachelle) James and Cheri James all of Americus, GA; two sisters: Jennifer P. (Reginald) Carter and Norma (Duke) Hurley all of Americus, GA; three brothers: Johnny B. Thomas, Willie Lamar both of Americus, GA and Roscoe Lamar Jr. of Hartford, CT; seven grandchildren: Jamarcus (Jade) Thomas of Jacksonville, NC, Brayli James, Quay James both of Texas, Hasanwon Smith of Idea, GA, Aaliyah James of Savannah, GA, Kaylan James and Jala James both of Atlanta, GA; two great grandchildren: Jaela Thomas and Joy Rose Thomas of Jacksonville, NC; five aunts: Alice Wise of Chicago, IL Catherine Shaw, Nadine Picket and Doris Pope all of Americus, GA. and Mae Francis Baker of Jacksonville, FL; one uncle, Homer Shelton of Chicago, IL; several other relatives, friends and neighbors including Sabrina Daniel, Shirley White, Gwen Bateman and Katrina Campbell also survive.

Tiffany Lawrence

Tiffany Lawrence

Tiffany Lawrence

Tiffany Lawrence, age 34, 305 South Pleasant Hill Road, Warner Robins, Georgia, passed October 9, 2015.

The funeral service will be conducted at 1:00 P.M., Thursday October 15, 2015 at Union Baptist Church, Norris Street, Montezuma, Georgia.

Tiffany Valeria Lawrence was born on April 29, 1981 in Decatur, Georgia to Willie C. Lawrence and the late Fredenia Kenny Smith. “Tipp,” as she was affectionately called, attended the public school system of Macon County and was a 2000 graduate of Macon County High School of Montezuma, Georgia.  She was employed for over 6 years with Perdue Farms.

She is survived by her four kids, Jermaine Lee, Jr., Yazmine Lee, Shyianna Lee, Aaliyah McGhee, all of Warner Robins, Georgia; her father, Willie C. Lawrence; a brother, Corey Lawrence (Constance); four half brothers, Dante (Michelle), Vic (Teresa), TiaMaine, and Anthony; five half sisters, Shawndre, TyShawnda, Towanda, Serina, Chirrikkia; a grandmother, Marva Kenny, of Atlanta, Georgia;  a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, beloved friends, and other relatives, including two loyal and devoted friends, Terri Laney and  Jakia Lee.

Elder Alfred Mott

Elder Alfred Mott

Elder Alfred Mott

Elder Alfred Mott, age 78, 401 South Hampton St., Americus, Georgia passed Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at his home.

The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, September 26, 2015, at the Americus Pentecostal Church of the Apostolic Faith, 820 Magnolia Street, Americus, Georgia, where Reverend Osby Mosley is pastor. Elder Fletcher Williams will officiate. Interment will follow in Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus, Georgia.

Elder Alfred Mott was born March 19, 1937 in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia to the late Zack Mott and Rosa Cameron Mott.  Being blessed to be one of four children, he was preceded in death by three siblings, Mildred Mott Jones, Oneida Mott and Calvin Mott, and a daughter Geraldine Mott Jackson.

He acquired his education from the public school system of Sumter County, Georgia where he attended the historic Staley High School.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and joined the Americus Pentecostal Church, 820 Magnolia Street, Americus, Georgia.  He later desired then to become a minister and was ordained into the ministry by Elder Osby Mosley.

He was united in holy matrimony to the former Nettie Climpson June 28, 1986, and to this union they were blessed with three children, Geraldine Mott (who preceded him in death), Darrell Mott and Valerie Patricia Mott.

He leaves to mourn his passing: a beloved wife of twenty-nine years, Nettie Climpson Mott, Americus, Georgia; two children, Darrell Mott, Sr. and Valerie Patricia Mott, both of Atlanta, Georgia; eleven grandchildren, Lawanda Jackson, Dannis Jackson, Taurus Jackson, Jarvis Jackson, Tawan Traylor, Kimberly Traylor, Kenya Jackson, Nicola Crittendon, Kesha Crittendon, Darrell Mott, Jr., and Alonzo Mott; 18 great grandchildren; 4 great great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Berta Mae Mott, Rochelle, New Jersey; a host of nieces, including one devoted niece, Pamela Christmas Leverett, Americus, Georgia; a host of nephews, other relatives and friends including his caregiver, Sandra Harris, Americus, Georgia and a devoted friend, Tommy Leverett, Americus, Georgia.

Eddie Gaines Brown, Jr.

Eddie Gaines Brown, Jr. age 42, 121 Howell Street, Apt. 19A, Leslie, Georgia passed Thursday, October 8, 2015.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 P.M., on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Jackson Grove Baptist Church, Pryor Road, Desoto, Georgia. Reverend Eugene Hall, Pastor, will officiate. Interment will follow in church cemetery.

Mr. Eddie Gaines Brown Jr. was born in Sumter County, Georgia on May 3, 1973 to the parentage of Eddie Gaines Brown Sr. and Easter Kate Laramore Brown. He received his education in the public Sumter County School System. He was married to Mrs. Felicia Angry Brown, the love of his life for 19 years, and they both became members of Jackson Grove Baptist Church. To this union, two sons were born: Eddie Gaines Brown IV and Jy’kobie Brown. He was preceded in death by his step son, Kelvin Toriaho Walton Jr.

He leaves to mourn his passing: four sons, Mr. Javaris Dariso, Mr. Eddie Gaines Brown III, Mr. Zyreick Allen, and Mr. Jamarcus Deriso, all of Americus, Ga; three daughters, Mrs. Shotavis Dariso, Mrs. Keonna Brown, Mrs. Eryn Brown, and one step daughter, raised as his own, Mrs. Berlisha Jaleen La’shune Walton; four grandchildren, Mr. Jordon Dariso, Mrs. Mckenzie Dariso, Mr. Jayden Brown and Ms. Jalia Walton; siblings, Ms. Antiqua McClendon of Tennessee, Ms. Tyran Brown, Ms. Anita Brown, Mr. Patrick (Kimberly) Brown, and Mr. Gregory (Sylvia) Brown, all of Americus, Ga; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Ms. Gennifer Bridges and Mr. Anthony (Latasha) Bridges of Americus, GA; father-in-law, Mr. Emery Bridges of Americus, Ga. He also leaves to mourn his passing a devoted friend of many years, Charles Stewart, and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.




Mrs. Juanita Foster was born in Leesburg, Lee County, Georgia on November 28, 1934 to the parentage of the late Mr. Flake Wright, Sr. and the late Mrs. Reatha Hubbard Wright. She was one of eleven children. She received her education at the Mt. Able Church School and Chockee Jr. High School, Lee County. Two brothers, Donald and Ruby Gene precedes her in death. In 2013, she lost her beloved daughter, Mrs. Shirley Wright Adams. She was married to the late Mr. Roy Foster. She was known for her cooking and feeding people. She was employed for many years by Mr. Thomas Harrell.

Mrs. Foster leaves to cherish her memories: five sons, Mr. Antonio Cutts, Los Angeles, CA, Mr. Wayne Wright, Atlanta, GA, Mr. Warren (Carol) Wright, Columbus, GA, Mr. Kerry (Janice) Wright, Montezuma, GA and Mr. Moralis Cutts, Stockton, CA; two daughters, Mrs. Codane (Samuel) Colwell, Columbus, GA and Ms. Theresa Parkinson and friend, Mr. Leon Green, Jr., Americus, GA; five brothers: Mr. George (Gladys) Wright, Desoto, GA, Mr. Floyd (Joanne) Wright, Minlopark, CA, Mr. Arthur (Virginia) Wright, Albany, GA, Mr. Flake Wright, Jr., Stockton, CA and Mr. Hubert West, Dallas, TX; three sisters: Mrs. Bobbie (Coley) Cannon, Sunnyville, CA, Ms. Reather Miller and Ms. Mary Ann Thomas both of Pleasantville, NJ; a son-in-law: Mr. Jimmy Adams, Atlanta, GA; twelve grandchildren, twenty-nine great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.


Mrs. Minnie Lee Jackson Volley

Mrs. Minnie Lee Jackson

Mrs. Minnie Lee Jackson Volley was born in Sumter County, Georgia on October 1, 1935 to the parentage of the late Mr. Ernest Jackson and the late Mrs. Agnes Jackson. At an early age, she joined the New Bethel Baptist Church, where she served faithfully and was president of the Mission and a member of the choir. She received her education in the public schools of Sumter County. She was married to the late Mr. Leonard Volley and to this union three children were born. She is preceded in death by five brothers, Mr. Waymon Jackson, Mr. McArthur Jackson, Mr. Willie Jackson, Mr. Eugene Jackson and Mr. Ernest Jackson, Jr.

She leaves to cherish her memories, three loving and devoted children, Ms. Maxine Volley, Mr. Anthony (Lakeshia) Volley of Powder Springs, GA and Mr. Billy Volley, Washington, DC; five grandchildren, Deven McGaughy, Anthony Volley, Jr., Akira Volley, Angelique Volley and Marnissa Rumph; one great granddaughter, Hannah McGaughy; a devoted and caring sister, Mrs. Janie Cross, Americus, GA; two sisters-in-law, Ms. Evelyn Jackson, Plains, GA and Ms. Joyce Jackson, Jacksonville, FL; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends, including devoted friends, Ms. Bertha Williams and Ms. Charlene Aldridge also survive.




Veteran Darin J. Williams was born in Sumter County, Georgia on January 24, 1965 to the parentage of the late Mr. Allen Williams and Mrs. Yinestra Williams, who survive. He was born the youngest of four children. He was a 1983 of graduate Sumter County Comprehensive High School. Briefly, he was employed with Warren Scott Construction Company. In 1985, Mr. Williams joined the United States Navy, where he proudly served our country for eight years. While on duty, Seaman Williams completed two sea deployments aboard the USS Nimitz, for which he was awarded two campaign ribbons for his service. On the Navel Deployment, he completed two world tours. In 1993, he received an Honorable Discharge with a recommendation to transfer to the Naval Reserve. While stationed at sea, his beautiful daughter, Ms. Nihchondra Hollis was born. After brief travels across the United States, he returned to Americus. He became employed with TCI Powder Coating, Ellaville, Georgia. In 2005, he was married to the former Ms. Thomasene Freeman, who preceded him in death.

In addition to his mother, Mrs. Yinestra Williams of Americus, GA; he leaves to cherish his memories, a daughter, Ms. Nihchondra Hollis and two grandchildren, Kanala and Narquavious Harris of Americus, GA; two stepchildren, Ms. Elushia Rutherford, Jonesboro, GA and Herman Rutherford, Jr., Atlanta, GA; two brothers, Mr. Anthony (Bernice) Williams and Mr. Durante (Thereases) Williams of Americus, GA; one sister, Ms. Drunell Williams; six aunts, Ms. Lucy Stinson, Ms. Leila Stinson, Ms. Delois Blount, Ms. Alice Williams and Mrs. Rosetta Williams all of Flint, MI and Mrs. Inez (Jerry) Collier, Plains, GA; two uncles, Mr. George Williams, Smithville, GA and Mr. Clarence Williams, Flint, MI; a sister-in-law, Ms. Anita Freeman Pope, Atlanta, GA; he is also survived by a host of very supportive and loving nieces and nephews whom he loved and adored, Mr. Tavires (Noelle) Williams, Mrs. Sabrina (Markus) Wright, Mr. Cerrome (Maura) Russell, Mr. Ante Williams, Mrs. Sheena (Robert) Burton, Mrs. Tameal (Franako) Smith, Dr. Brittany Williams, DC and a devoted niece, Ms. Yernisha Russell; his godmother, Mrs. Mattie Russell, Americus, GA; eighteen great nieces and nephews, cousins other relatives and friends, including very dear friends, Ms. Janice Rowell and her daughter, Ms. Jasmine Rowell also survive.




Mr. O.B. Wilson, Jr. was born on April 20, 1946 in Terrell County to the parentage of the late Mr. O.B. Wilson, Sr. and the late Mrs. Freddie Bell White . He was educated in the public schools of Terrell County, he was graduated in the Class of 1965. He was a member of the Mt. Salem Baptist Church.  In addition to his parent he is preceded in death by one brother Mr. Sammie Lee Wilson.

He leaves to mourn his passing a devoted wife Mrs. Gloria Wilson; children Ms. Kisha Wilson, Ms. Paige Wilson, Ms. Gloria Tyson, Mr. Wilbur (Nora) Tyson, Mr. David Tyson, Mr. Tony Tyson, Mr. Daron Tyson, Mr. Cedric Tyson and Mr. Bradley Tyson; two brothers, Mr. George (Norma) Wilson and Mr. Fred (Daisy) Wilson; three sisters, Mrs. Dollie Latimore, Mrs. Hattie Pearl Lockett, and Mrs. Marie Wilson both ; one aunt, Mrs. Annie Will Ford; 6 sisters-in-law and 10 brothers-in-law; 74 grandchildren 20 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives also survive.




Ms. Shaniya M. Jenkins was born in Sumter County, Georgia on January 2, 1997 to the parents of Mr. Corey Hagan and Ms. Cartasha Jenkins. She attended the public schools of Sumter County.

In addition to her parents, she leaves to mourn her passing, three brothers, Mr. Cedric Hagan, Mr. Braxton Jenkins and Mr. Corey Hagan, Jr.; four sisters, Ms. Kyra Thomas, Ms. Tyra Thomas, Ms. Jada Jenkins and Ms. Serenity Thomas; her grandparents, Ms. Lillie Scott, Ms. Brenda Jenkins, Mr. Larry Hagan and Mr. Otha Moye; her great grandparents, Ms. Hattie Jenkins and Ms. Florine Tyler; her aunts & uncles, Mr. Lawrence Hagan, Mr. Cedric D. Hagan, Ms. Whitney Hagan, Mr. Johnnie Key, Jr., Ms. Lakeria Angry, Ms. Kiyta J. Banks, Ms. Martika Martin and Ms. Keyundra Jenkins; and a host of other relatives and friends also survive.


image36861Infant Earnest Calvin Durham, III was born in Sumter County, Georgia on September 12, 2015 to the parents of Mr. Earnest Calvin Durham, Jr. and Ms. Briana Hall. He is preceded in death by his grandfather, Mr. Alonza Mack, his grandmothers, Ms. Mary Ann Sims and Ms. Leanna Clark and a great grandmother, Mrs. Nancy Hall and Ms. Essie Mae Mercer.

In addition to his parents, he leaves to mourn his passing, two brothers, Mr. Jase Durham and Mr. De’Vonte Durham both of Americus, GA; one sister, Ms. A’Mijah Durham, Moultrie, GA; his grandparents, Ms. Peggy Hall and Mr. Trevor Hall, Ms. Lisa Collins, Mr. Robert Collins, Mr. Earnest C. Durham, Sr. and Mrs. Tammie Durham all of Americus, GA; his great grandparents, Mr. John (Darlene) Hall, Mr. Samuel (Josephine) Mercer and Ms. Lizzie Sims all of Americus, GA; three aunts, Ms. Lasandra Burton, Ms. Tra’Kema Hall and Ms. Salonda Mercer all of Americus, GA; five uncles, Mr. Jarrian Walters, Mr. Nikkolis Walters, Mr. Trevor Hall, Jr., Mr. Marquis Hall and Mr. Ja’marcus Durham all of Americus, GA; his cousins, Trevor Hall, Trevon Hall, Kenkara Mercer, Torriano Mercer and Shaquasia Mercer all of Americus, GA also survive.




Miss Beverly Joyce Tyson was born in Sumter County, Georgia on May 26, 1961 to the parentage of the late Mr. Richard Tyson and Mrs. Ossie Stephens Tyson. She attended the public schools of Sumter County. At an early age, she joined the Antioch Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by her daughter Kenyatta Monique Wilborn, father Richard Tyson Sr. and a brother Eddie “Boobie” Tyson.

Beverly leaves to cherish her memories a son, Courtney (Jamedrica) Tyson, Mableton, GA.; her mother Mrs. Ossie Mae Tyson, Americus, GA; sisters, Lacy Thomas, Americus, GA, Angela (Tony) Ramsey, Boynton Beach, FL and Tracie Thomas, Americus, GA; brothers, Richard (Josephine) Tyson, Jr., Albany, GA, Terrell Tyson, Griffin, GA, Lee (Barbara) Thomas, Americus, GA, Jerryle (Nikki) Battle, Americus, GA, Rodriguez (Sabrina) Thomas, Americus, GA and Willie Laster, Americus, GA; six grandchildren, with a devoted grandchild, Tyrone Wilborn, Americus, GA, Makayla Tyson, Americus, GA, Janeque Stephens, Kimoni Stephens, Jakia Moore, and Ki Brien Moore all of Mableton, GA; a devoted companion of 32 years, Kurt Pride, Andersonville, GA; aunts, Frances (Roger) Zabalos, Americus, GA, Johnnie (Rev. Roosevelt) Kee, Americus, GA, Emma (Leonard) Pope, Americus, GA, Juanita (Johnnie) Varner, Gainesville, GA, Minnie (Roy) Mitchell, Hartford, CT, Ruby Tyson, Hartford, CT; uncles, Alvin (Mary) Tyson, Albany, GA, and Eddie (Doris) Tyson, Bronx, New Jersey; devoted nieces, Heavenly Tyson, Albany GA, Jasmine Sims, Jalisa Thomas, Renecia Waters, Sienna Waters, Kanell Tyson, Shanbreeka Thomas, Sharkeela Thomas all of Americus, GA, and LaShawnda (James) Mann, Macon, GA; nephews, Brandon Thomas, Darius Tyner and a devoted nephew, Otis Floyd; two devoted cousins, Betty (Charlie) Wallace, Macon, GA, and Lawanda Nelson, Americus, GA; and a host of other relatives and friends also survive.




Mrs. Annie Ruth Clayton Colbert was born in Sumter County, Georgia on June 8, 1935 to the parentage of the late Mr. Will Walker and the late Mrs. Anna Lou Harris Ware. She was a faithful member of the Brown Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, where she served until her health failed. She was employed by Magnolia Manor Nursing Center as a CNA. She was joined in Holy Matrimony  to Mr. J. D. Colbert, who survives.

In addition to her husband, Dea. J. D. Colbert, she leaves to cherish her memories her loving and devoted son, Mr. George (Elaine) Clayton, Americus, GA; her brothers and sisters, Mr. James (Henrietta) Walker, Tampa, FL, Minister Willie Lee (Leslie) Walker, Ms. Vonnie Dean Walker, Americus, GA, Mr. Henry (Gail) Walker, Albany, GA, Ms. Mattie Hullin and Ms. Katie Horton both of Riverdale, GA; five grandchildren, Mrs. Alecha (Carie) Burns, Ms. Katrina Clayton, Ms. Adrienne Clayton, Mrs. Shanita (Antonio) Daniels and Mr. Elliot (Jacqueline) Clayton; sixteen great grandchildren, fourteen great great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

The time is ripe for economic justice – #BoycottChristmas

By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent-,

In his call for ‘Justice Or Else,’ the 20th Anniversary gathering of the Million Man March on October 10, in Washington, D.C., the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan also called for a boycott of Christmas. Leading experts and economists agree the time is now and the time is ripe for the Muslim leader’s clarion call for economic justice, they told The Final Call.

“Absolutely, the timing is perfect!  I think that Black people in America are reaching another level of consciousness,” said Dr. George Fraser, CEO of FraserNet Inc., which works to increase opportunities, wealth and jobs for Blacks.

The Black Lives Matter movement is pricking the consciousness of Black folks. Black women are even changing their hairstyles to be more natural, and youth—dubbed the Millennials generation—are wearing more dashikis and African garb, Dr. Fraser pointed out as examples of what he sees as a result of an increasing awareness.

He said it reminds him of the 1960s and the Black Power movement, a time when Blacks were really conscious and knew who they were and what they were about.

“From a timing standpoint, from a psychological moment, I think yes, the timing is precisely right.  But I think the timing is always right, but it’s up to the elders,” said the marketing guru. The Black community needs leadership and he feels it’s up to people like him, Minister Farrakhan and others who have generations of consciousness to guide the younger generations, he said.

Minister Farrakhan in various cities around the country leading up to October’s gathering said the plan for economic success had been laid out by Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King shortly before he was assassinated.  Redistribute the pain Blacks suffer because of injustices in America, particularly the extrajudicial law enforcement and vigilante killings of their men, women and children, he pointed out.

“You’re either going to treat us right, or we’re going to withdraw from you our economic support. … We intend to boycott Christmas but not Jesus,” Minister Farrakhan said during a one-hour interview on September 10 with Roland Martin, host of TV One’s show News One. “We choose not to spend dollars on Black Friday, Black Saturday, Black Sunday, Black Monday.   We are not going to spend our money for the rest of that year with those companies that we have traditionally spent our money on,” the Minister added.

Dr. Fraser echoed sentiments that while the whole notion of economic boycott is not a new idea or notion, it must be constantly repeated.  “This is what Minister Farrakhan is reigniting, this whole consciousness about the effectiveness of economic boycotts in an unjust system in America,” said Dr. Fraser.

Cedric Muhammad, an economist and Forbes contributor, said Minister Farrakhan’s call for economic justice comes at a time when though there’s been progress made over the last eight years under the helm of America’s first Black president, people are more aware that governmental stimulus programs are insufficient to address their pressing needs.

Blacks remain double the national average of those unemployed since the Department of Labor began compiling data in 1972, said Mr. Muhammad.  According to the Bureau of Labor, unemployment statistics, Blacks are at 9.5, compared to Whites (4.7 percent) and Asians (3.5 percent).  And Hispanic unemployment ranked 16.9 percent.


Massive crowd gathers at a “Black Friday” sale. The yearly spectacle nets billions for corporate giants, but many activists are calling for Blacks and others to withhold their spending this year to bring light to injustices suffered in America. Photo: MGN Online.

Now that Blacks have exhausted the political option in terms of understanding its limitations, now they can return to a dialogue, consideration and exploration of alternative economic solutions and models, and sustaining them, Mr. Muhammad said.

“Any boycott must be married to a ‘buycott,’” he said, underscoring the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint.  The first things the Nation of Islam patriarch taught is to save five cents a day, then buy land, and then begin to build a banking system, Mr. Muhammad said.

Philip Jackson, executive director of Chicago-based Black Star Project said the battle for economic justice should have been fought a long time ago.  “The Minister’s call for an economic boycott is something that can gain respect for our community in ways that nothing else can,” Mr. Jackson said. Among programs his organization offers Black and Latino youth are presentations on finance and economics.

Because America is the modern home of capitalism, one of the only things she understands is dollars, he said.  Unfortunately, that’s also one of the things that Blacks in America don’t grasp, he continued.  So much so, collectively they lack an understanding of the power of money, how to multiply it, and how to use the power of dollars to get what they need in their schools and communities to help their children, seniors and themselves, said Mr. Jackson, a long-time community activist and convener of the Million Father March, in which Black men take children to the first day of school.

“Black America is projected to have $1 trillion in earning power in 2015. That $1 trillion in earning power we allow this country to use against us, when in reality, if we harvest that $1 trillion in earning power, in spending power, in budget power, we wouldn’t have to ask anybody for a job,” said Mr. Jackson, echoing Minister Farrakhan.

When the Nation of Islam re-launched Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint to End Poverty and Want during Min. Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day address in February 2013, he asked Blacks to sacrifice five cents a day, 35 cents a week, to create a fund for Black economic development and job creation. That investment by 16 million Black wage earners would net over $291 million in one year. Minister Farrakhan said investing pennies, nickels and dimes would allow Blacks to secure businesses like a 70,000-acre Texas cattle ranch for just $34 million.

Just six cents of every Black dollar is spent in Black businesses but if that was doubled to 12 cents, it would create nearly 600,000 additional jobs for Black workers and reduce Black employment by three percentage points, Min. Farrakhan noted.

But part of the problem has been America’s used Madison Avenue to trick Blacks into spending with others on bad food, cheap alcohol, and junk, according to Mr. Jackson.

“His (Minister Farrakhan’s) picking the holiday season as a time to exert that pressure is perfect.  That’s when America counts our dollars before we spend them,” he said.  And as a matter of course, he continued, other communities throughout America already do what Minister Farrakhan’s asking.

“Chinese people shop with Chinese people.  Korean people shop with Korean people.  Pakistani people shop with Pakistani people. … The people who are not doing what the Minister is asking for is us.  We take our dollars and what that means is we take our power and we literally give it away,” said Mr. Jackson.

Durham’s ‘Black Wall Street’

DURHAM, NCN.C. Mutual Building on Parrish Street

Nathan Garrett still remembers when downtown’s Parrish Street was the address of “Black Wall Street” — a black-owned financial district just around the corner from Main Street, in the heart of Durham’s white business district.


“It was unique in Durham because you had this concentration of black executives and professional people who were doing the same things as whites in their communities,” says Garrett, a retired Duke trustee and chairman of theParrish Street Advocacy Group (PSAG).


As early as 1910, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois both visited Durham and hailed it as a national model for the black middle class. From the 1890s until the 1960s, Parrish Street was the home of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, the nation’s oldest and largest black-owned insurance company. (The company moved to Chapel Hill Street in 1966.)


Parrish Street was also home to two banks, the Mechanics and Farmers and the Mutual Community Savings, which offered home mortgages and small business loans to Durham’s African Americans.


Now, Garrett and others want to use the history of Black Wall Street as a model for revitalizing Durham’s downtown and establishing a “museum without walls” on Parrish Street.


“We want to tell that story,” he says. “We want to invite visitors to learn about the history and see a redeveloped downtown area.”


Duke and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) students will help tell that story this semester in a Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) fieldwork course offered jointly by both universities. Students will learn documentary techniques and, through field trips and interviews, experience the history of Black Wall Street.



Watch an excerpt from a documentary on Durham’s “Black Wall Street” made by students in the CDS fieldwork course (RealPlayer). Download the film from iTunes U.

“This is a way to bring students off campus, to help them understand more about Durham’s rich history,” says Barbara Lau, a CDS folklorist and instructor for the course, co-taught by NCCU mass communications instructor (and Duke graduate) Brett Chambers.


With students from each university and weekly meetings alternating between the campuses, the instructors also hope to promote cross-campus communication. It’s one of two CDS courses bringing together Duke students with those from NCCU and the community. The second is “The South in Black and White,” which is being taught at the Hayti Heritage Center and is open to students from Duke, NCCU, the University of North Carolina and members of the public.

Lau serves on the PSAG’s History Committee and has invited other group members to address the class. These include Garrett, the first African American certified public accountant to practice in North Carolina; and Carl Webb, another Durham native whose company, Greenfire Development, has recently purchased several historic properties in and around downtown.


Lau first taught the Black Wall Street class in 2005 with News & Observer columnist and author Jim Wise. Victor Gordon, a Durham city official, audited the class.


“It was invigorating because [the students] come to the discussion with different questions, different perspectives,” Gordon says. His office of Economic and Employment Development has worked with PSAG on the new plan for downtown.


The 2005 class provided opportunities for students to conduct original research. Megan Moskop, now a Duke junior, started her course project by interviewing female employees of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank. She then received a summer grant to continue the study to include businesswomen such as Viola Turner, a secretary who rose through the ranks of N.C. Mutual to become the first woman on its executive board.


“A lot of research has been done about the men who were instrumental in making Parrish Street the Black Wall Street,” Moskop says. But women were powerful players as well, and Moskop plans to turn her interviews into an audio documentary. She would also like to see a reunion of the surviving female employees from all Parrish Street companies, as well as a memorial.


For another student, Neil Williams (Duke ’06), the research carried his post-graduation career in a new direction. He and a classmate produced a short video about R. Kelly Bryant, a retired officer of N.C. Mutual.


At the time, Williams was a business major with his eye on a film career — in Hollywood. Taking the class piqued his interest in documentary work.


“The more I learned in Professor Lau’s class, the more I realized, Durham’s a unique place to tell the story of black entrepreneurship,” says the 22-year-old Williams, now an independent film producer in Durham. He’s currently working on a full-length documentary, “The Silver Rights Movement.”


“I’m trying to use that history of the Black Wall Street and black entrepreneurship to start looking at some of the national issues that are affecting African Americans,” Williams says.


Students say the class has changed them as much as it has changed their view of Durham. “Doing this project has made me more excited to be a part of Durham,” Moskop says. “Durham has its own identity and that gets forgotten by a lot of [Duke] students. This helped me learn more about that identity.”


“It’s about getting beyond the surface,” Lau says. “We begin to chip away at the misconceptions and stereotypes about Durham and what it means to live here.”

5 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

credit-card-rewards-300x231by Denise Campbell Laidler,

Americans can’t pass up a good bargain. That’s why we clip coupons and spend hours in line for Black Friday deals, and buy toilet paper and frozen foods in bulk. Many credit cards feature either cash back or rewards programs to “reward” you for using them with cash back incentives and rebate programs.

Yet when it comes to maxing out on credit card rewards, consumers are far less vigilant and determined. According to a 2011 study from Colloquy and Swift Exchange, the average household enrolled in a rewards program failed to redeem a third of the rewards they earn each year; including credit card rewards. Most don’t even realize they have points on their cards.

However, not all cards are created equal, even if they offer a similar type of rewards program. Here are five tips to help you use credit card rewards programs to your greatest advantage and avoid common pitfalls, such as leaving points on the table.

Choose the Right Rewards Credit Card
One of the best reasons to get a credit card is the ability to treat yourself to the perks of its rewards program. Get the most out of your rewards credit card by choosing the right one. First, make sure the credit card and rewards program you choose fits your financial lifestyle. If you travel significantly, a hotel or airline card is a good fit for you, and you can quickly accumulate bonus mileage and usage towards vacations. A Capital One or store card may be great for parents who are small business owners, and is valuable when purchasing supplies or to stock up the home office.

Consider Cash Back Credit Cards
For practical shoppers who like instant gratification and an uncomplicated rewards system, cash-back credit cards are a great option. Cash rewards are as easy and straightforward as rewards can get. Many cash-back cards come with numerous ways to redeem your rewards, such as checks, in-store cash, statement credits, gift cards or charity donations. Others will automatically deposit your rewards directly into your bank account. Cash-back cards can also involve a little advanced planning. While most cards offer 1% to 2% cash back, there can be restrictions or requirements; such as caps on spending in different categories or more rewards for purchases on dining, gas or groceries.

Know the Rules and Read the Fine Print
Rewards credit cards come in many flavors. Some require meeting a spending threshold before you can earn rewards or cap the amount of rewards you can earn in a certain period. The inconvenience of blackout dates for redeeming travel rewards are a standard joke for many would-be travelers. Know the rules, because ignoring them could mean disappointment and lost opportunities. For example, some cash-back rewards programs have rotating categories that require quarterly registration. Therefore, consumers have to pay keen attention to fully take advantage of their credit card.

Look for Bonus Opportunities
Sometimes you will need to enroll in these quarterly cash-back specials, so be on the lookout for special mailings or online alerts to register. Also keep an eye out for opportunities to double or triple your rewards earnings power. Many issuers offer an increased cash-back return rate every quarter or season in certain categories. For example, some issuers will reward travel purchases more during the winter holidays.

Online shopping offers almost unbeatable deals and give customers an easy way to maximize their rewards. For example, Discover cardholders who shop through the ShopDiscover portal, which features such retailers as Best Buy, Kohl’s, and the Apple Store, can earn up to 20%  in cash back on their purchases.

Make Smart Credit Choices
Even with all the perks and savings, keep in mind that a rewards credit card is still a credit card. That means sticking to the tried-and-true rule of paying off your entire balance, or as much of it as possible, every month. Use your rewards card wisely. Remember: if you keep a balance, you’re really funding your own rewards program. Most credit card issuers fund rewards programs by charging higher interest rates on rewards cards. So keeping a revolving balance won’t help you garner the most out of their rewards, plus you’re usually paying a higher interest rate. Whatever you’re earning in points, miles or cash back, you’re likely giving it right back to the issuer in interest.

Don’t pay late and never miss a payment. Missed payments often results in forfeiting the rewards you have earned. Another drawback is long periods of inactivity on your card; you may lose the rewards, or cash back on the credit card itself. Redeem your rewards periodically instead of hoarding them so you’ll get the full value without the risk of losing them. To find out how much bang you’re getting for your rewards, check out your year-end summary that issuers provide; by dividing the rewards you earned by how much you spent, to see if you’re coming out ahead. If you don’t like the results, consider switching credit cards.

NeNe Leakes Says She’s ‘much happier’ After Leaving ‘Housewives’

NeNe Leakes attends the Shop Your Way #RealPersonal event at Ink48 on February 5, 2014, in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Shop Your Way)

NeNe Leakes attends the Shop Your Way #RealPersonal event at Ink48 on February 5, 2014, in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Shop Your Way)

by theGrio,

While many Real Housewives of Atlanta are mourning the loss of NeNe Leakes, Leakes herself isn’t at all sad to be away from RHOA.

“I feel like I’m happier. When you work in a lot of negativity, it becomes a part of who you are and I feel like I’m getting back to me, myself and I. It’s happy and free. It’s been a refreshing time away from the girls,” Leakes said when asked about her time away from the housewives.

But that doesn’t mean Leakes has ruled out a return indefinitely. In fact, she went on to say, “No. I’m a part of the Bravo family. I love Bravo, they love me — I have a great relationship with Andy Cohen. Everybody over there loves me. We all have a good relationship. I started the show and I’d go back whenever I felt like going back. I just don’t ever want to say never.”

Leakes isn’t leaving television entirely, either, and will be hosting a show with Betty White called To Tell The Truth. 

“It’s going to be an amazing show. It comes out in the new year. Anthony Anderson is hosting it, Betty White is on the panel, myself and Jalen Rose. It’s the same as the old show ‘To Tell the Truth’ — they revamped it and we turned it into something that’s a little hilarious,” Leakes said.

Janet Jackson’s ‘Unbreakable’ becomes seventh No. 1 album

Janet Jackson (Unbreakable album cover)

Janet Jackson (Unbreakable album cover)

by theGrio

Janet Jackson’s album, Unbreakable, is breaking into the Top Ten on the Billboard Charts.

According to Billboard, the album, which debuted to the number one slot on the Billboard charts, is her seventh chart-topper. Additionally, this number one spot makes her only the third act to achieve number one albums in all of the last four decades.

This latest win also puts Jackson in rare company among female artists and performers, with only Barbra Streisand and Madonna (with ten and eight wins, respectively) having more albums in the number one spot.

Streisand and Jackson also join Bruce Springsteen as the only three performers to have wins spanning the last four decades.

Interestingly, Jackson’s album debuted to such high numbers despite the fact that she has not done any press interviews in order to promote her album, although she is currently on tour for her Unbreakable World Tour, which she has been doing since August, and she has premiered a musicvideo for one of the hits on her album, No Sleep.

Currently, the Top Ten are lead by Jackson during a relatively quiet period for the charts, in which there are only three new albums on the charts. This relative calm comes after two weeks in which seven debut albums ran through the Top Ten.

Lamar Odom Leaves Las Vegas Hospital, Flies To Los Angeles To Continue Recovery

GTY_lamar_odom_serious_nt_130826_16x9_992by Sally Ho and Christopher Weber, Associated Press,

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lamar Odom left a Las Vegas hospital and is now in the Los Angeles area to continue his recovery a week after he was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel, a family representative said Tuesday.

The former NBA star was transported by helicopter from Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas around 5 p.m. Monday, according to a statement from Alvina Alston, publicist for Odom’s aunt JaNean Mercer. She did not say where he was taken in Los Angeles.

The statement from the Mercer and Odom families thanked the hospital and Odom’s fans and said his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, his father and his two children from a previous relationship are with him.

“He continues to make miraculous progress, taking a few steps in Los Angeles,” the statement said.

Kardashian posted a separate statement to her website saying Odom made “incredible strides” at the Las Vegas hospital and thanking the doctors and nurses “for their kindness and diligent work.” The family has received strength from the outpouring of support from Odom’s fans, she said.

News of his release comes a day after a family statement said Odom’s condition was improving. It said he was overcoming “insurmountable obstacles” and defying the odds.

The hospital and Odom’s relatives have not revealed his prognosis, but the family has hinted at a long road ahead, saying they realize his “continued improvement” won’t be easy.

Odom was found in extremely critical condition Oct. 13 at the Love Ranch brothel in the rural community of Crystal, Nevada. He regained consciousness and communicated for the first time Friday.

The brothel said workers saw him drink alcohol and take supplements sold as “herbal Viagra.” TheFood and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2013 against one brand he took, Reload, after it was found to contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in prescription Viagra.

He also told at least one of the women that he had done cocaine, but the brothel says it did not see him take any drugs or find any there.

Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof has said that Odom arrived Oct. 10 for a four-day stay and spent $75,000 on two women who accompanied him in a VIP suite.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. Test results from blood samples obtained through a warrant still are pending, and authorities have not ruled out the possibility of taking action against the brothel or Odom.

KeKe Palmer Defends Racial Stereotypes on ‘Scream Queens’

Keke Palmer on Fox's 'Scream Queens.'

Keke Palmer on Fox’s ‘Scream Queens.’

by theGrio

KeKe Palmer doesn’t think there’sanything offensive about what some are calling offensive stereotypes on Scream Queens. In fact, she thinks part of the charm is the show’s over-the-top nature.

“I love that she’s from Oakland. I also love that she has attitude, she has kickback. She’s smart. She’s not a one-note character. Yes, she has funny lines, one-liners, but ultimately, she is the one that can obviously see that something is not right,” Palmer said of her character, Zayday Williams.

“Being the only African-American female that’s part of the sorority, I think as an actor, it’s up to me to be honest about what I am comfortable with and what I’m not comfortable with. I get to work with people every day that respect my opinion just as much as they respect everybody else’s. That plays a big part in why I was not offended by any of that,” she added.

Palmer went on to say that even though Zayday is often the butt of the jokes, she isn’t offended.

“I definitely did think about some of the jokes. Ultimately as an actor, you have to try to find a way to not be personal, but really look at the artwork for what it is trying to show,” she said. “‘Scream Queens’ is a satire, and it’s meant to exaggerate the thoughts and desires of the millennial today, as well as have fun in totality.”

According to the L.A. Times some reviewers of Scream Queens are offended by the series attempt at humor, citing”the “white mammy” and Gone With the Wind references” as off-base, and indicating that “slavery and the subservient black images from that film were not a laughing matter.”

Tracy Morgan, bouncing back from bad crash, returns to ‘SNL‘

In this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, photo, provided by NBC, comedians Jack McBrayer, from left to right, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Alec Baldwin stand on stage during a monologue on the show, in New York. Morgan returned to a familiar stage, hosting "Saturday Night Live" in his first appearance on the show since a vehicle crash that left him in a coma. (Dana Edelson/NBC via AP)

In this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, photo, provided by NBC, comedians Jack McBrayer, from left to right, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Alec Baldwin stand on stage during a monologue on the show, in New York. Morgan returned to a familiar stage, hosting “Saturday Night Live” in his first appearance on the show since a vehicle crash that left him in a coma. (Dana Edelson/NBC via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Tracy Morgan returned to a familiar stage, hosting “Saturday Night Live” in his first appearance on the show since a vehicle crash that left him in a coma.

“I was in a terrible car accident more than a year ago. It was awful, but it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” the comic said in his opening monologue.

“People are wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity?'” he asked. “The truth is, I never did. I might even be a few points higher.”

In one sketch, he was joined by “30 Rock” co-stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer. Fey broke character to inject a serious note: “We’re so happy you’re OK. We’re even happier you’re ready to make people laugh again.”

Morgan also brought back a couple of his familiar characters — Astronaut Jones (stranded on Mars, a la Matt Damon in “The Martian”) and animal expert Brian Fellow (joined by a real camel, who mostly cooperated).

Morgan suffered severe head trauma in June 2014 when a truck on the New Jersey Turnpike slammed into the back of the limo van he was riding in. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, a mentor of Morgan’s, was killed in the crash. Morgan was in a coma for two weeks. Three other passengers suffered serious injuries.

FDA approves combo therapy for pulmonary hypertension

BY LUCAS FRANKI in Respiratory Medicine on October 6th, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the combined use of ambrisentan (Letairis) and tadalafil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension based on positive results from the AMBITION trial , according to Gilead Sciences.

In the trial, 605 PAH patients with World Health Organization functional class II or III symptoms were randomly assigned to receive either ambrisentan, tadalafil, or a combination of the two. One-month outcomes were significantly better in the combination group, with only 8% of patients needing to be hospitalized for worsening PAH, compared with 22% in the ambrisentan group and 15% in the tadalafil group ( N Engl J Med. 2015 Aug 27. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1413687 ).

Improvement from baseline in 6-minute walk distance after 24 weeks was also higher in the combination group, where patients walked a median of 24 meters farther than did the ambrisentan group and 20 meters more than did the tadalafil group.

Side effects tended to be more common in the combination group than in either of the single-drug groups, with the most common side effect, peripheral edema, affecting 45% of the combination group, 38% of the ambrisentan group, and 28% of the tadalafil group. Other common side effects included headache, nasal congestion, cough, anemia, dyspepsia, and bronchitis.

“Patients receiving ambrisentan and tadalafil up front are less likely to experience disease progression or be hospitalized, and have more improvement in exercise ability than patients receiving either effective therapy alone. As such, this combination represents a new treatment strategy for patients living with this debilitating and life-threatening disease,” Dr. Ronald J. Ortiz, professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an AMBITION investigator, said in a statement.

Ambrisentan, an endothelin receptor antagonist, was approved in 2007 as monotherapy for PAH to improve exercise ability and delay clinical worsening. Tadalafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, was approved in 2009 to improve exercise ability in PAH patients.

Marketing Aggravates Obesity in Black Children


WASHINGTON (NNPA)—Today, close to one in four Black children—as young as 2 years old—is obese. And the $161 million spent on advertising unhealthy foods to Black and Latino youth at most recent count is not helping.

“We see more of this in our community in general … in the placement of billboards in our community, [and] the fact that there’s less of the healthier products in our community,” said Vikki Lassiter, executive director of the African American Collaborative Obesity Network at the University of Pennsylvania.

A report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut details how this aggressive advertising is magnifying the obesity epidemic. And although companies are pursuing Latino children and teens most aggressively (in terms of dollar amount), Black children and teens have the highest levels of exposure to ads for processed foods. Candy and gum brands in particular increased their Black-targeted advertising spending by 39 percent, amounting to approximately $140 million.

The report examines all restaurant, food, and beverage companies with $100 million or more in advertising spending in 2013—a total of 26 companies, representing a few hundred brands. It also includes all of the companies participating in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which pledges to only advertise their healthier choices in child-targeted media.

These companies represented 75 percent of all food-related advertising on Black networks—and less than one percent of it was for healthy products. In addition, Black children are getting a “double-dose” of these ads.

“The double-dose relates to the fact that mainstream media is something that Black and Latino children are definitely watching, but then there’s targeted advertising/marketing to Black TV networks,” Ms. Lassiter said.

Even without the double-dose, Black children have the highest levels of exposure to ads for processed and junk food, viewing 70 percent more food-related TV ads than their White peers.

The nation’s demographic changes are a primary reason for the level of this targeted marketing. There’s also the general marketing technique of exposing people to the product when they are young to create lifelong preference and loyalty spending. But Black kids have their own particular appeal.

“Then you have the other piece of it, in terms of, urban communities and Black youth being trendsetters,” Ms. Lassiter explained. “Marketers … want to test things out first with Black youth to see how that might trend out.”

Among the 267 most-advertised brands of these 26 companies, only one healthy brand—Yoplait Light—was advertised to Black people.

“There’s this disconnect … when you look at how some of these companies will support athletic events, or concerts to bring community togetherness, yet in the same regard they have more of their products that are unhealthy throughout that same community,” Ms. Lassiter pointed out.

“One thing that’s important is for children to have an understanding of what marketing is—the fact that this message is purposely meant to influence you, that not everything is meant to be taken at face value. That if you drink soda, you’re not going to be living the life,” she explained.

She also recommends that parents talk about nutrition and their purchase choices while grocery shopping, to help young people understand what they are putting in their bodies.

A Primer on Intermittent Explosive Disorder

IED has comorbidities, including mood disorders, lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse.

IED has comorbidities, including mood disorders, lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse.

Batya Swift Yasgur, MA, LMSW,

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterized by recurrent, problematic, impulsive aggression. IED is now understood as being more common than previously thought.

According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, the lifetime prevalence of IED is 7.3% by “broad [DSM-IV] criteria” and 5.4% by “narrow criteria.”2 “Narrow” IED requires at least three aggressive outbursts during a year, and is more severe than “broad” IED, which stipulates at least three aggressive outbursts during the course of a lifetime.3 Age of onset for males is typically earlier than for females, although women are as likely as are men to develop IED.4

IED has many comorbidities, including mood disorders, lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders, personality disorders (especially antisocial and borderline), and substance abuse disorders.4 A significant percentage of individuals with IED have a history of childhood trauma.5,6

Neurophysiologic Correlates of IED

The core behavior in IED is impulsive aggression, which is modulated by limbic brain structure — especially the amygdala and hippocampus. In borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, amygdala and hippocampal volume are reduced.

A recent study1 using high resolution structural 3T magnetic resonance (MR) scans found that IED was associated with “localized, inwardly directed deformation in both the amygdala and hippocampus” and “significant loss of neurons in these brain regions” The authors concluded that these changes “may play a role in the functional abnormalities observed in previous fMRI studies and the pathophysiology of impulsive aggressive behavior.” Additionally, some studies suggest that individuals with IED have altered serotonin function, compared to individuals without IED.7,8

Categorizing and Diagnosing IED

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) includes IED among impulse control disorders, marked by problems controlling emotions and behavior, which violate social norms as well as the rights of others.9

Table 1.
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Failure to control aggressive impulse that leads to behavioral outbursts, as manifested by either:
    • Verbal aggression (eg, temper tantrums, tirades, arguments, or fights) or physical aggression directed toward property, animal or other individuals that does not result in physical damage or injury, with outbursts occurring on average at least twice weekly for three months
    • Physical assaults that damage property or injure animals or other people, occurring at least three times in a 12-month period
  • Aggressive behavior grossly out of proportion to the provocation or precipitating psychosocial stressors
  • Behavior outbursts are not premeditated (ie, are impulsive or anger-based) and are not committed to achieve some tangible objective (eg, money, power, intimidation)
  • Marked distress in the individual or impairment in occupational or interpersonal functioning, or associated with financial/legal consequences
  • Chronological age ≥ six years
  • Aggression not accounted for by another disorder.

“Although the DSM-5 includes IED under impulse control disorders, it does not neatly fit into that category or any broader category,” commented Rene Olvera, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Research Imaging Institute at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“IED may appear to be a mood disorder,” Olvera told Psychiatry Advisor.  But mood is “something pervasive and emotions are more dynamic, while IED is unprovoked and episodic and does not fit either of these.”

Olvera noted that at some point in their lives, “individuals with IED might meet the criteria for mood disorders. Or there are other disorders with anger as a component, such as antisocial personality disorder or oppositional defiant disorder in children. So the best way to categorize IED is through exclusion factors—what they are not.”

Perhaps because there is so much overlap between IED and other conditions, it is underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed as other conditions.

“Most people who come to our clinic do not come independently seeking treatment for anger,” Olvera said. “They may be seeking treatment for another psychiatric condition such as depression, or because their wife wants to leave, or because they are having trouble with the law.”

“Disentangling” the issues and teasing out the presence of IED is challenging and often depends on assessing whether there is secondary gain from the explosive behavior, said Olvera. This will emerge from taking a careful history of patterns of the outbursts. When did the person become upset? What was the precipitating incident, if any? Was there something the person hoped to achieve through the anger? “Sometimes, explosive behavior takes place because the person gains something from it. A man might threaten his wife so she will not leave him. A child might throw a tantrum so his parents will allow him to go out with friends.”

But if questioning reveals that there was no history of a precipitating event or purpose for the outburst, a diagnosis of IED would be reasonable.

Treating IED

Treating IED begins with helping the patient recognize that the behavior is not accomplishing anything positive and, in fact, has serious negative consequences, said Olvera. “Some patients can see that the explosiveness causes problems and nothing was gained from the behavior — in fact, much was lost. We want to get them to the point where they seek treatment because they are motivated to change.”


No pharmacotherapies are specifically FDA-approved for the indication of IED, said Olvera. Several studies have supported the use of fluoxetine10-13 or divalproex for reduction in impulsive aggressive behavior.14 Some evidence also supports the use of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, b-blockers, a2-agonists, and phenytoin.15

“We try to tailor pharmacotherapy to the individual presentation,” reported Olvera. For patients whose presentation includes depression, anxiety or PTSD, “SSRIs have the best track record.”

For patients with the primary symptoms of impulsive aggression and paranoia, second-generation atypical antipsychotics — particularly risperidone, aripiprazole and quetiapine — are most helpful. Mood stabilizers can be useful in some patients, while others patients respond to b-blockers that slow down heart rate and blood pressure, leading to less adrenergic response.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that includes relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, and coping skills training has been shown to reduce impulsive aggression, anger, and hostile automatic thoughts.16 This approach might be especially helpful for those with poor reality testing, Olvera said.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be helpful for people with patients with cluster B personality disorders, while patients with PTSD might need more trauma-focused therapy, he said. Role playing can be beneficial to teach patients how to self-soothe instead of exploding.


Because IED is a heterogeneous disorder, no single approach will be appropriate for all patients, Olvera noted. IED, like many other psychiatric conditions, is “dimensional” in nature, and cannot be regarded as if it is a distinct category. When symptoms of other disorders are addressed, the impulsive aggression may also improve. “We try to see what else might be driving the anger and try to use the best empirical literature we have to treat that profile,” he concluded.

Batya Swift Yasgur MA, LMSW, is a psychotherapist and freelance writer who lives in Teaneck, N.J. She practices therapy in New York City.


  1. Coccaro EF, Lee R, McCloskey M, et al.  Morphometric analysis of amygdala and hippocampus shape in impulsively aggressive and healthy control subjects. J Psychiatr Res. 2015;69:80-86.
  2. Kessler RC, Coccaro EF, Fava M, et al. The prevalence and correlates of DSM-IV intermittent explosive disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:669-678.
  3. Coccaro EF. Intermittent explosive disorder as a disorder of impulsive aggression for DSM-5. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169:577-588.
  4. Coccaro, E.F., Posternack, M.A., Zimmerman M. (2005). Prevalence and features of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 1221-1227.
  5. Fanning JR, Meyerhoff JJ, Lee R, Coccaro EF. History of childhood maltreatment in intermittent explosive disorder and suicidal behavior. J Psychiatr Res. 2014;56:10-17.
  6. Lee R, Meyerhoff J, Coccaro EF. Intermittent Explosive Disorder and aversive parental care.Psychiatry Res. 2014;220(1-2):477-482.
  7. Coccaro EF, Lee R, Kavoussi RJ. Inverse relationship between numbers of 5-HT transporter binding sites and life history of aggression and intermittent explosive disorder. J Psychiatr Res. 2010;44: 137-142.
  8. Coccaro EF, Lee R, Kavoussi RJ. Aggression, suicidality, and intermittent explosive disorder: serotonergic correlates in personality disorder and healthy control subjects.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010; 35:435-444.
  9. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 2013.
  10. Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ. Fluoxetine and impulsive aggressive behavior in personality-disordered subjects. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997;54:1081-1088.
  11. Coccaro EF, Lee RJ, Kavoussi RJ. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of fluoxetine in patients with intermittent explosive disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2009;70:653-662.
  12. Silva H, Iturra P, Solari A, et al. Fluoxetine response in impulsive-aggressive behavior and serotonin transporter polymorphism in personality disorder. Psychiatr Genet. 2010;20:25-30.
  13. George DT, Phillips MJ, Lifshitz M, et al. Fluoxetine treatment of alcoholic perpetrators of domestic violence: a 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011;72:60-65.
  14. Hollander E, Tracy KA, Swann AC, et al. Divalproex in the treatment of impulsive aggression: efficacy in cluster B personality disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003;28:1186-1197.
  15. Olvera RL. Intermittent explosive disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and management. CNS Drugs. 2002;16(8):517-526.
  16. McCloskey MS, Noblett KL, Deffenbacher JL, et al. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for intermittent explosive disorder: a pilot randomized clinical trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008;76:876-886.

Stroke risk skyrocketed after intracranial hemorrhage in warfarin users

By: BRUCE JANCIN, Family Practice News Digital Network,

BARCELONA – Patients who have an intracranial hemorrhage while on warfarin for atrial fibrillation are at sharply increased risk for an ischemic stroke during the following year, a period when many of them are off warfarin, according to a Danish national study.

The absolute risk of a first ischemic stroke among survivors of an intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) while on warfarin was roughly 10% within the first month, 20% within 3 months, and 32% at 1 year. These rates exclude strokes that occurred within the first 7 days after an ICH, Dr. Peter B. Nielsen reported at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.

He reported on 58,815 warfarin-treated Danes with AF with no prior ICH, ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or systemic embolism at baseline who were followed for up to 13 years, during which 1,639 of them were diagnosed with ICH.The design of this real-world national registry study doesn’t permit definitive conclusions to be drawn regarding causality. It is telling, however, that the rate of warfarin use among Danish atrial fibrillation (AF) patients in the year after an ICH plunged by 72%; thus, only about one in four of patients who regularly filled warfarin prescriptions up until the time of their ICH did so afterward, according to Dr. Nielsen of Aalborg (Denmark) University.

During 261,681 person-years of follow-up of the cohort that remained free of ICH, 6,843 patients were diagnosed with a first ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or systemic embolism. Among the group who had an ICH, that rate was 3.67-fold greater.

Moreover, all-cause mortality occurred in 946 patients with an ICH during 2,404 person-years of follow-up, a rate 5.6-fold greater than in those who remained on warfarin and free of ICH.

When the analysis was restricted to only 2 years of follow-up, the event rate ratios became even more dramatic: AF patients with an ICH were at subsequent 5.4- and 11.8-fold greater risks of ischemic stroke and all-cause mortality, respectively, within the next 2 years, compared with those who were free of ICH.

ESC: Strong coffee raises hypertension and prediabetes risk

BY SARA FREEMAN in Euro Society of Cardiology Annual Congress on October 13th, 2015


LONDON (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Drinking three or more cups of caffeinated espresso per day predicted increasing blood pressure and rising blood glucose, according to the results of the Hypertension and Ambulatory Recording Venetia Study (HARVEST), a multicenter, observational study that began in Italy in 1990 and recruited more than 1,000 patients aged 18-45 years who had stage I hypertension and did not have diabetes.

Further, the risk of a cardiovascular event was increased by 50% in these study participants based on a total of 60 events during a mean of 12.5 years of follow-up.

“Controversy still exists about the long-term cardiovascular and metabolic effects of coffee consumption in hypertension,” Dr. Lucio Mos of Hospital San Daniele del Friuli in Udine, Italy, said during a press conference at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.

Stage 1 hypertension was defined as a diastolic blood pressure of 90-99 mm Hg and a systolic blood pressure of 140-159 mm Hg and diagnosed on the basis of six office-based readings obtained on two separate visits. Enrolled participants underwent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and three office-based measurements were repeated at 1, 2, 3 and 6 months, and at 6-month intervals thereafter. The endpoint was hypertension requiring any antihypertensive treatment according to international guidelines.

During the study, 24-hour urine samples were collected to assess catecholamine levels. Lifestyle factors such as body weight, physical activity, smoking status, and blood glucose were measured. Patients underwent echocardiography.

They were divided into three groups according to their caffeinated coffee intake: 316 (26%) were designated as abstainers because they did not drink coffee; 767 (64%) drank 1-2 cups a day and were categorized as moderate drinkers; and 119 (10%) drank three or more cups of coffee a day and were defined as heavy drinkers.

“I want to underline that, in this part of Italy, we have a population that drinks mainly espresso coffee and drinking American-style coffee is not usual,” Dr. Mos said.

Around 70% of the study population was male, with similar baseline blood pressures and heart rates among the groups. Heavy coffee drinkers tended to be older (37 years) than those who were more moderate drinkers (34 years) or those who abstained (31 years). They had significantly higher body weights (P less than .001), with a body mass index of 26.1 kg/m2 vs. 25.7 kg/m2 and 24.6 kg/m2, respectively.

Dr. Mos reported that in multivariate analysis, coffee consumption was a significant predictor for developing hypertension that required antihypertensive therapy, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.19) for heavy drinkers and 1.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.19) for moderate drinkers, compared to abstainers. The difference was significant (P = .004) only for heavy coffee consumption.

“Coffee consumption was also a predictor of future prediabetes,” Dr. Mos reported. Indeed, the incidence of prediabetes was highest in the heavy coffee drinkers, and significantly predicted the risk of developing prediabetes compared to abstainers (HR, 2, 95% CI, 1.3-3.1. P = .0017). There was a nonsignificant trend for moderate drinkers also to be at risk for prediabetes when compared to nondrinkers (HR, 1.3, 95% CI 0.9-1.7).

Looking at the risk for prediabetes in relation to caffeine metabolism by analyzing patients by their CYP1A2 genotype, it was found that heavy coffee drinkers who were slow metabolizers of caffeine were at highest risk, with a HR of 2.78 (95% CI, 1.32-5.88). Furthermore, individuals were particularly at risk if they were also overweight or obese.

There was a significant (P = .0017) linear relationship found after multivariate adjustment between coffee intake and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, with the risk increasing with higher coffee intake. Even moderate coffee intake, defined as one to three cups per day, could up the risk of a cardiovascular event when compared to that of non–coffee drinkers.

“The coffee story was very topical a couple of years ago so it is interesting to see it revisited,” said Dr. Ian Graham of Trinity College Dublin and one of the experts who chaired the press briefing on the study results. “We need a randomized controlled trial,” Dr. Graham suggested, noting that there were several prior studies that suggested there were beneficial effects of coffee.

Cochair Dr. José Gonzalez-Juanatey of Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela in Spain observed: “The recommendation could be that if you are a young or middle-aged, stage 1 hypertensive patient probably you have to reduce your coffee intake. This is the take-home message based on the results of an observational study well performed and well conducted.”

As Charleston pays family of Walter Scott $6.5 million, true justice is as elusive as ever

Officer Michael Slager executing Walter Scott

Walter Scott shot and killed in cold blood by Officer Michael Slager

We’ve seen this before. In its largest police brutality settlement ever, the city of North Charleston paid the family of Walter Scott $6.5 million because of his wrongful death at the hands of Officer Michael Slager. Aside from discussing how the cost of a life is calculated, we’ve seen this before.

The family of Freddie Gray just settled for $6.4 million.

The family of Eric Garner just settled for $5.9 million.

Rekia Boyd: $4.5 million.

Laquan McDonald: $5 million.

Jonathan Ferrell: $2.5 million.

This list could have thousands of names on it.

New York City alone has paid billions of dollars in settlements for police brutality, and Chicago is not far behind.

Wanna know the one consistent theme in all of those cases?

Not one officer was found guilty of a crime. Not one.

How could it be that billions of dollars are spent in an admission that wrongdoing took place, but nobody is ever held truly responsible for that wrongdoing?

Even the officers who fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo were found not guilty. The city paid millions for it, but the officers all got off.

It’s simply not enough for these families who are destroyed by police brutality to receive huge taxpayer-funded settlements. Officers and departments must be held truly accountable for their actions.

This isn’t justice. These are payoffs.

The Right Time, The Right Call, The Right Man



The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the terrace of the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Michael Muhammad



(Top Photo)Panoramic view from the U.S. Capitol on October 10, 2015. Photo: Monica Morgan (Bottom Photo, L-R) Tamika D. Mallory; Ishmael R. Muhammad; Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant; Leonard F. Muhammad; Rev. Willie Wilson; Nuri Muhammad

WASHINGTON ( – Responding to the call of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a virtual sea of determined faces, different ages, races and ideologies gathered at the U.S. Capitol with their numbers swelling down the National Mall.

Supporters felt it was the opening salvo where the weapon of unity was fired in a coordinated battle and budding unity at those who designed and benefit from systemic oppression of the darker people of the Earth—and even poor Whites.


National Mall Oct. 10 were filled with throngs of people.

“I am honored beyond words to be here standing on this rostrum, in front of this hallowed building,” the Minister said, standing on a stage at the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol. “I thank Almighty God Allah for every single one of you that decided to answer the call to demand Justice Or Else!”

The Minister was pleased with the display of unity by the aboriginal people of the planet as Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos joined in march organizing and turnout. He pointed to the global suffering of the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere, and said Native Americans are a key element in the demand for justice.

“They’re here because they are the original owners of this part of the Earth, and we honor them with the honor that they are justly due,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Their suffering in their land is very great, so all those who cry for justice—no cry is greater than those who have suffered the most,” he added.

A joint resolution was steered through Congress by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and it passed both houses, which allowed the Minister’s message to be delivered from the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The weather couldn’t have been better, with a brightly shining sun, moderate autumnal temperatures and a calming gentle breeze.

The gathering started at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, the crowd stretched down the National Mall and it wasn’t an accident. The U.S. Capitol was built by Black slaves. Blacks have fought in all of this country’s wars and were forced to fight and die for civil rights while denied the human right of self-determination. The blood, sweat and tears of Black ancestors soak the soil of the National Mall, which at one time was a central location where slaves were sold, said Min. Farrakhan.


Looking and listening to powerful words at 10.10.15, the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. Photo: Erick Muhammad

“I feel the cry of our ancestors; the pain of those on whose shoulders we stand. I feel that the ancestors are happy that a young generation has arisen,” said the Minister. “We who are getting older—and I’m speaking now of myself and my generation—what good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry the torch of liberation to the next step? What good are we if we think we can last forever, and not prepare others to walk in our footsteps?”

Youth are looking for uncompromising leaders who cannot be bought or sold, and it is becoming increasingly hard to find such leaders in a society rife with inequality and corruption, the Minister observed.


Family and supporters honor their slain loved ones at Justice Or Else in Washington, D.C. Photo: Toure Muhammad

“You’ve got to have wisdom to lead our people today out of the clutches of a deceitful, satanic mind,” he said.

Those who prepare youth for the future will not be those who would pass on a legacy of cowardice, or would sell out for nearness to those with political power or to those who promise great wealth, the Minister noted.

“To the young that are here, we honor you, we know who you are and we will not forsake our duty to you,” said Min. Farrakhan. “We are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.”

“These are not just young people who happened to wake up one morning. Ferguson ignited it all. So all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson, all the brothers and sisters that laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters that challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.”

“Justice or Else!” was the theme for the 20th Anniversary Million Man March at the National Mall.

New leaders for justice

The time is up for selfish, tyrannical, corrupt leaders who oppress those whom they actually need to make them rich, said Min. Farrakhan.

All corruption “is an enemy of the progress of man,” he said.

There will have to be new leaders of good character, unafraid to lay down their lives for those they are working to liberate because the lives of the many are greater than the one, the Minister said.

“There can be no freedom, no justice, no equity without the willingness of some to sacrifice for the rest,” Minister Farrakhan continued. “The demand for justice demands integrity; the demand for justice demands selflessness; the demand for justice is bigger than all of our lives.”

“You’re yearning for something that the government can’t give you,” said Min. Farrakhan, referring to a universal cry for justice.

America cannot give you justice, you must build your own nation—we are not integrationists as Moses called the children of Israel out of Egypt, he said.

“They can’t give you what is not in their nature to give you,” he said. The gathering was to show the world America’s hypocrisy and express outrage over injustice, not as a false expectation that the United States would change, the Minister said.

Min. Farrakhan chided those who are constantly talking about forgiving their enemies, even in cases where those who have done harm have not shown remorse, as in the case of Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine Black people in a historic Charleston, South Carolina church.

“Find me a Jew that forgives Hitler, and you say they are the people of God and they don’t have any forgiveness in them!” he said.

The hypocrisy of America

Min. Farrakhan said many wonder why he’s so bold and challenges those others fear. Freedom from fear allows for truth to be spoken to those who seem powerful, he said.

“Our problem is that there is too much fear among us! A fearful people can’t be free!”

Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers, feared divine retribution for slavery and its heinous acts. The Minister noted Black suffering and racial animus has increased. “This thing has reached the point of explosion. Even those in high places are saying ‘ “we can’t take this much longer.’ ”

“You’ve played with the lives of poor people, indigenous people, Black people and women. You’ve played with the lives of soldiers who have given their lives on a foreign battlefield only to come home and be rejected and die while they are waiting for treatment and service,” he said. “I want to show the world the hypocritical America that is telling everybody that they are violating human rights while in America there’s all this dissatisfaction,” he said as the crowd cheered.

“We’re trying to show the world that there are problems here and these problems demand resolution!” continued Min. Farrakhan. “Justice for Pharaoh is not the same as justice for the children of Israel! Justice for the oppressed is not the same as justice for the oppressor! Mercy is for the oppressed!”

Min. Farrakhan also called for the FBI to open up all the files related to the killing of Minister Malcolm X in the face of slander trying to connect him with the death.

“Don’t redact a damn thing and let the people see what really happened to Brother Malcolm!” he demanded. The Minister pointed out that Malcolm X’s bodyguard, and the man over him after he was shot, was an undercover police officer. Min. Farrakhan again declared his innocence, noting there is no statute of limitations on murder. The enemy would not hesitate to jail me if they had evidence, he added.

The murder of Blacks by police officers must end and fratricidal violence must cease, he said.

If the United States repents there is a small window she could survive as a nation but if she fails, America is finished, he declared boldly. God has come for Black people and will destroy America to save Black people, the Minister added. The divine hand is striking America through unusual, destructive and deadly weather like storms that devastated South Carolina, he said. More is to come if America does not stop her evil, added Min. Farrakhan.

Blacks must also respect and cease slaughtering one another, he said. Women must guard the fruit of their wombs lest a great one who could fulfill the needs of a suffering people be aborted, the Minister said. He stressed the value of women in society and the need for women to be fully respected.

Women in the Nation of Islam then walked up and formed a line across the stage dressed in beautiful pastel garments. No man is worthy of you except he is your husband, the Minister said.

Min. Farrakhan again called for a holiday spending boycott to punish a nation steeped in oppression and Christmas holiday activity rooted in pagan beliefs and commercialism. Let’s devote this Christmas to Jesus and celebrate it by showing the love of Jesus to one another, he said. The crowd roared its approval.

At another point in the program when the Minister said he was closing his address, a vocal wave swept that Mall and Capitol with a resounding, “No!” coming from his listeners.

Put the Muslim Program Before Congress?

Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad’s desire was written of in his book titled “Message to the Blackman in America” in a chapter titled “Put The Muslim Program Before Congress.”

The Muslim Program which appeared in The Muhammad Speaks newspaper and appears inside The Final Call, it is not just for Muslims. It calls for justice regardless of creed, class or color.

The Minister said his teacher could not think of one that he would trust to do it so, “I came to bring it myself, as his student.”

The greatness of the day and beyond

Despite the deliberate distortions, mischaracterizations and devious strategies designed to dissuade participation in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, another glorious historic gathering is forever etched in the minds of those who experienced it.

Over 1.7 million Black men came together in 1995 under the banner of “Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility.” Detractors tried to separate the Message from the Messenger but that was impossible. Many said that spirit of peace and tranquility of Oct.16, 1995 could never be recaptured. But peace reigned on Oct. 10, 2015, despite a newsletter published by a U.S. Capitol Police employee without permission or approval of Chief Kim C. Dine, who leads the force. The letter falsely said there were concerns of violence.

Crowds gathered early, touched by a morning chill, and stayed all day, touched by the warm rays of the sun. They brought signs demanding justice, blankets, cameras, photos of loved ones lost to violence and proudly proclaimed “Justice Or Else!” on a myriad of t-shirt designs.

Young leaders and entrepreneur Russell Simmons were there and hosted a reception the night before the march. Young Jeezy sat on stage next to Revolt TV owner P. Diddy as did Snoop Dogg, J Cole, Common and others like Dave Chappelle enjoyed standing with a throng calling for justice.  Revolt TV broadcast the day live.

The day included messages, cultural expressions in hip hop and the music industry. Black, Native American, Latino and indigenous leaders recited their grievances as did youth, women and activists who touched on other domestic issues like forced vaccinations and international issues, like Palestinians rights.

Present were Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Mike Brown, Sr., the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr.; Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of motorist Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop and Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant who was fatally shot and killed by a transit cop as he lay facedown handcuffed on a subway platform.

The families of the slain sat in a special section and walked across the stage holding huge placards to humanize their losses, call for justice and an end to killing.

The mother of Kendrick Johnson, who would have been 20 years old Oct. 10 was there—her son’s bruised body was found inside a rolled up gym mat in a Georgia high school gym.

The Minister saluted the families for their willingness to stand for justice and young people in the Black Lives Matter movement for their bravery. These young people are on a right course, he said.

March co-conveners Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist church in the District of Columbia; young activist Tamika Mallory, Pastor Jamal Bryant of Empowerment Temple, Nation of Islam top officials Ishmael Muhammad, Leonard F. Muhammad and Dr. Ava Muhammad, National Spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and Min. Farrakhan were among speakers. Young activist Torry Russell from Ferguson, Mo., delivered words as did Jay Winter Nightwolf and Yo Nas Da Lonewolf on behalf of Native Americans while Emma Lozano and others spoke to the issues of the Latino community.

Mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, mass deportations, statehood for the District of Columbia were just a few of the issues discussed.

The Minister brought the children of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad on stage and thanked his spiritual teacher for fathering children that are committed to raise a nation. Elijah Muhammad planted part of his family in Mexico to solidify the unity of the Black and the Brown, he said.

Preacher Melech E. M. Thomas was seven years old when the Million Man March took place in 1995. Twenty years later, he was a speaker at the march commemoration.

“They attacked us with the U.S. Capitol Police, they attacked us with Fox News, but we also know that even though Satan is prince of the airwaves, Satan is also the father of all lies, so this is just the proof that Satan ain’t nothing but a lie because there’s nothing here but peace, joy, love and passion and calling for Justice Or Else!” he said.

“We live in the age of Ferguson and there is a new moralist militancy among the younger generation and this younger generation broke the back of fear,” added Dr. Cornel West, a leading intellectual and activist. “Once you break the back of fear, you organize, mobilize and stand up,” he said. Organizing is the next critical step, he said. That work is already underway in Local Organizing Committees and over 1,500 people showed up the day after the march for a planning meeting at the Marriott Marquis Hotel where the Minister spoke again.

Attorney L. Londell McMillan, owner of the group that publishes The Source magazine, described the Minister’s message as “fearless, loving, thoughtful and refreshing.”

He is ready to work on the specific assignments to give people the “knowledge and science of economics” to create profit and prosperity in their communities.

“I know that there’s a lot of details that will have to follow but it was just very well said and well thought out; and I think he also was very considerate of a lot of people’s feelings and their issues and interests,” he said. “A lot of times you hear people speak and you hear agenda all woven into what they are saying, but when you can hear just truth with consideration of feelings and growth and an allowance for us all to come together, it is just powerful.”

Noted theologian Dr. Jeremiah Wright said, “I think it is an historic moment. I think it is building on what the Minister started 20 years ago in that we have awakened the nation and the international community to the fact that this is not just about the injustices done with Black on Black crime where Black men atone to one another and to our women and our families, but it is a larger issue in terms of the struggle that we have on our hands that Black lives matter, that Black women’s lives matter, the Native American lives matter, the Palestinian lives matter.”

“What is being done to us by the powers that be that control the military and the money needs to be addressed now. We’ve had enough pray-ins and sit-ins and worship services and singing and praising God.  It’s time for some legal action to be taken or else something else is going to be taken,” he said.

Jamilah Lemieux, senior editor of Ebony magazine, felt Black people are making progress by squarely confronting challenges.

She was 11 years old in 1995. Her father went to the Million Man March. She stayed home from school and watched it all day on C-Span—which carried the 20th anniversary march live as did radio stations like WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, New York and other cities.

The Farrakhan Twitter Army, led by Jesse Muhammad, set the internet ablaze furiously sending out photos, videos and information that had the march anniversary trending over social media.

“To be here 20 years later as an adult, as a parent, as a journalist, it really has been an emotional day,” said Ms. Lemieux. “To see hundreds of thousands of Black people gathered in love and solidarity in a belief in the same things, in peace, you have different religions, different sexual orientations, different backgrounds, different parts of the country—we don’t all have the same lens but we are here for the same reasons.”

All roads led to Washington and all cries demanded justice—Or Else!