Posts Tagged ‘June’


As many know we are in the month of June. The 6th month for me is I’m looking at 6 more months towards age 42. Hard to believe. It’s also the month of Summer, Juneteenth Day, Father’s Day, the Wear Orange for Gun Violence Awareness, Black Music Month and of course, Pride Month for our LGBT community folks.

On the health tip: Men it’s our health awareness month. Start wearing the blue. As usual for this I’m here to give you a summary report of my health condition. Going back to January, I went to the Eye Doctor for a long awaited Eye Exam. My vision at the time was very well overall. But the one thing had on my mind was the then blood pressure. At the time: 152/74. That’s like in the red area and screaming to go to the ER. The second option of this was the obvious one: get checked! So the same day, after realizing stress and not so baked foods can be a factor dealing with death, I made an appointment to go back to a Aurora Health Care clinic in Wauwatosa. So it came, and I chose the week of February 19th for a strange reason. It was the same February 19th that I saw my late father alive in 2017. 4 and a half days later, he died at 69 years old. After that was set, I began to do a four week exercise thing in which I changed my diet, and my weight began to go down slightly. It worked for a while. In February, after I had the physical done, I took a blood test to see where I was in all. Most was good. Even my blood pressure improved. But the next day, I got the worst news of my life about being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In the same week that my Father passed a year ago. My glucose reading was at 237, with a 9.6% rating. That right there, was Diabetes status. And like many who got it was not a happy camper. And I’m still not a happy camper. Since then, I’ve been going back to the doctors and registered nurses to talk about the status and also trying to manage the symptoms. First I was prescribed with medications like Metformin and Atorvastatin to help reduce the numbers. Plus also I had to exercise yet again at least 30 per day along with a steady diet. Biking, Treadmill, and regular walking. Most of this was relatively new. And some old. Also I had to track my weight daily along with additional blood pressure checks. I keep a list of blood pressure numbers DAILY! Not once in a blue moon. And I use the Color Doctor to examine and review my blood pressure. It really works.

Around April 20th, (aka 4/20) I had to go back for an another appointment to see how I was doing. It was more of a repeat of information that I explored in February. Most of the tests were normal including my prostate and liver. Plus I had to get a Tetanus Shot that hurt like you know what. For prostate checks, Men don’t overlook that. They will do blood checks on those.

Then came May 21st of checking my A1C. Went in, had the blood drawn out with urine samples and waited for 24 hours for the results. Here is the shocker: At around 5:00 in the afternoon, I got a message from my doc’s office and my A1C was reduced (REDUCED) from the 9.6 to 5.8!!!!!!!

I was shocked that with all that grind, prayers, positive music of Hip Hop, Rap, and Rock that woke me up, the stuff worked! Even though that I still have the diabetes, but I felt this was a “small” victory.

Now why I am saying this? It took an act of a male second opinion to go to the doctor. I know us Men don’t like this because of a level of trust. We’ve heard this before. Just to think that I was reading an article about Black Men getting blood pressure checks in Barber Shops. Many of them said they didn’t trust the physicans, worked at least 2 shifts due to the demand of the work they do. But when like me, had their blood pressure checks, it was a wake up call. A wake up call to eat the right foods, get plenty of exercise, take the required medications to ease the diagnosed problems and repeat on point every single day.

Yes like every family member, you think about those whom had diabetes, some other diagnosis, and others, it began to wonder on you like really?! I had a classmate that I knew since high school died at age 39 years old. He was a big dude! But I think his health wasn’t that normal seeing my friend in a oversized casket. And yes when it’s male family members whom passed at 53 or 69, many might look at them being young. My father, at the result of his passing was heart related. His final diagnosis was Coronary Heart Disease and he had that for several years. What led to that, was Type 2 Diabetes. I had an uncle who passed in 1999 unexpectedly at work with a massive heart attack. And he was a type 2 diabetic . This was around 6:30am in the morning!

If that didn’t woke me up going to the medical folks, I don’t know what will. They say that stress, going back and forth between houses, extra difficult work could lead up to issues like Diabetes or other disorders. Mainly that can happen to anyone, but specifically, us Men! Why? It’s in our families. Our history, etc.

Even though that yes Men who like reading my blogs, we don’t at times like doctors. I think they suck. However in fairness, we have to stop this feeling of being scared. Or like, “that ain’t gonna bother me.” What if it did? Then what?!

We know the women will push us in going back. They will. But I feel that us MEN need to talk to other MEN about going to doctors. My Eye Doctor did the same to me. Just us Men. Not only Women. When we are at our Men’s meetings, Golf Outings, Fraternity Meetings, or any other Male thing out there, I know that when stuff like this comes, we want to be there for our kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, or our young dude or girl looking at us. Specifically our boys.

Health is wealth, Gents.

Dudes: we know this sucks. And I hate this also. But like NFL Hall of Famer and Packers Legend Jerry Kramer said earlier this year, “If you want to go to a ball game……..get checked!”

Get checked and screened, gents. Not just for Men’s Health Month, but for any month on the calendar! And take your boys also.

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I had to do some reflection yesterday. February 29th as we know was Leap Day, that extra day that comes every four years. Just like the Summer Olympics and the Presidential Campaign.

But as Black History Month was coming to a close for another year, and making preparations for Black Music Month for June, there are those who all through February had to ask this question of “why can’t we learn about this everyday? ” Or on Facebook recently about those posting the “on this day” stuff they should post it everyday.

My question is why are those who are whining and complaining and NOT SETTING THE EXAMPLE?!!!! 

What I’m saying is that those who keep asking the the same old questions are most likely hating or just wishful thinking. I’m not knocking everyone. Like me, I have my point of view like everyone else. But in retrospect, where is the someone who can set the tone and ACTUALLY show how to it’s done? The only people that I know that do this, are teachers who teach African American history, the African American Historical Societies of any kind, my church, and my family. Plus, any old-school person that is very knowledgeable or street-smart about Black History. That’s it.

But for those who don’t show it, and whine and complain, CRINGE, moan and groan will continue to troll like everyone else. I’m just saying. No matter what race you are. And yes this does include black folks! (Not all but some) So I feel that there better be a better example of a this. Am I venting? Not really. Just sick and tired of the whining of the so-called “why can’t we have black and history moments everyday”. Word to the globe: If you want to be talking Black History Month everyday, just remember to quote Scott Hall from his wrestling days: “Don’t sing it. Bring it! ” Or like The Rock – JUST BRING IT!

BE THE EXAMPLE!


 

Did you know that the month of June is Black Music Month? Really, yes it is! To me it is like celebrating black history month again, only around the summertime. Some of you are asking or saying, so what? So what? You should know where most of the originations of Hip Hop, Rap, Funk, Soul, Rock, R&B, Country, Classical, Opera have really started. – Oh I forgot about Jazz, Gospel, Cuban/Carribean, Jamacian and Inspirational music too. Most of would say the south, or the east coast. Well you’re half right. All forms of music were born and originated in Africa. Everyone should know that. It has been around when slavery was more of a cancer that a state of mind. As well as fighting for civil rights, freedom and the pursit of happiness. But more, (the music) it has generated a mainstream effect in America. Let me clarify with some examples:

First, last summer I was at a family reunion in Detroit, Michigan visiting the original Motown museum. The same museum that housed Berry Gordy, and gave Stevie Wonder, The Tempations, Smokey Robinson, and other Motown legends a voice to America, and the world. Particularly, Black America. I also looked at the pictures of album covers. The first of the four covers I looked at were made by black artists, but they couldn’t show the faces because back then, African-American Artists weren’t allowed to show them. Kind of racist, eh? Also did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. recorded his first Motown record? Yes he did. Go to your libraries and see if they carry his “I Have A Dream Speech” on a 78 record. And by the way, his album cover is displayed at the motown museum. Check this, did you know that Motown gave rock music a voice? I am not lying! Yes they did. They were first label to not only give blacks a voice, but to spread to other races too. Speaking of rock music, never forget that Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Fats Domino helped gave birth to Rock and Roll music. Yes, Elvis, the Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Doors,  Poison, Guns N Roses, even Whitesnake, were given credit to steamline the rock phenomic blast, but remember it was black musicians that started it all! Take the time to listen to Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Kira, the lead singer from the rock group Sevendust,  Jimi Hendrix, Black Rock Coalition (which is on myspace!) and I dare say Wicked Wisdom also. Just to let you know that there are some black artists out there are embracing the rock! Feel me?

As for country music: not to many sing the genre, but three individuals came to mind: Ray Charles, yes Ray Charles had some country songs in his collection. He also was the first to combine Gospel and R&B music together. Sort of like Kirk Franklin almost. And people thought it was against religion. Charley Pride, often called the first brother of country, sung the genre, and a new person which most of us never heard of is Rissi Palmer. She too has a myspace page, check her out. I would say Cowboy Troy from Nashville Star also, but I think he’s more of an entertaniner than a singer. Just my opinion!

R&B/Soul/Pop: I think of James Brown, Nat King Cole, Curtis Mayfield, Gordon Parks, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, (or the Jacksons) Janet, Issac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Aretha Franklin (whom by the way sung America The Beautiful twice at Wrestlemania)Sam Cooke, The Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Tempatations, O-Jays, Levert and others. To me without them, there would be no Usher, SWV, EnVogue, Jade(where they at?) , Mary J. Blige- although she’s been a legend for 15 years, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Ciara, R-Kelly, Tank, Carl Thomas, and countless others that are peeking in the music game. – Even Beyonce. So, know your history!

The Rap Game: This is somewhat easy! With the recent attacks on rap music these days carrying the n-word, we must not forget the fun side of rap music.  I know in my 30 years that rap music or hip hop, has changed my life of being me, period. We can talk about 50 Cent, The Game, Dirty South, Diddy, NWA, Death Row, Bad-Boy, and whatever. We can talk Jay-Z, Tupac, too. And we could bring up Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, in whatever also. And yes Timbaland & Magoo. I want to say that without a doubt, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Sugarhill Gang, Treacherous Three, Public Enemy, MC Hammer, Will Smith,DJ Jazzy Jeff,  Kool Moe Dee, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, MC Rob Base/DJ E-Z Rock, Salt-N-Pepa, Whodini, Biz Markie and others I can think of, there would be no hip hop or rap music right now. Oh, even Doug-E Fresh, Slick Rick, and yes MC Lyte should be added because of their contribution to the game. Just because you have one hit doesn’t make you hot. You need to be hot for atleast 15-20 years of a lifetime. Not MIMS’ lifetime, not Lil Wayne’s lifetime but our lifetime. As far as the languages that are demeaning to women, races, men, gays and all, not all rap music is not against human life, ok? When I think about rappers like Run-DMC, Sugarhill Gang, and Grandmaster Flash/Furious Five they to me were all about party anthems and having a good time. Even D.J. Kool Herc was about this. Never forget, it was Hip Hop Music gave a voice for the poor. It was Hip Hop Music, along with Michael Jackson that gave a boost to MTV when there was no black artists on the channel. The only black person on there in MTV’s beginning stages was the late J.J. Jackson, whom was the first black VJ. (VJ means Video Jockey)  It was also hip hop that gave Run-DMC exposure to Live Aid, Reading Rainbow, WWE, and the first black group on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, that’s right I said it! Check the record books! Plus, either you like it or not Three-6-Mafia is credited for making hip hop history of “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from Hustle and Flow. – Oscars that is. Hate him or not, MC Hammer was the first black rapper I saw did commericals before LL, 50, Diddy, Xzibit, Kanye, and Kris Kross came along. And we thought he was a sellout? Gimme a break! To end this, let me say that don’t judge a book by its cover and assume everything is bad about rap. There is some good here, but you just have to listen, take notes, and then decide. Rev. Al Sharpton said at James Brown’s Funeral that Rap Music and Hip Hop Music came from him. When we say: “Check yourself”, or “Shake your money maker” or “Shake what your mama gave ya”(I think),  “Hit It”, “To The Bridge”, and if you hear it in rap/hip hop music, that came from James Brown! God rest his soul. When Chuck D used the rap line “Our freedom of speech, is freedom of death we got to fight the powers that be” guess what? that came from The Isley Brothers. So, Rap/Hip Hop Music does have similarities with the music our parents grew up listening to. Based on the beat, lyric, and sound.

As for Jazz: There was a time that Jazz that was considered “the devils music”.  But thanks to Duke Ellingtion, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Charlie Parker and Cab Calloway, jazz is not devilish, it is a state of mind and poise of soul. I only wish that some of today’s folks could embrace it than abandon it. I know it has gotten smooth, as in Smooth Jazz. Like rock music, although white artists have given credit for the craft, never forget it was african americans that started it.

Opera has been overlooked. Really it has! I don’t know too much about black opera singers but one sticks out the most was the late Marian Anderson. She was an opera singer, probably the best there was.  In 1939, there was a controverisal thought of not allowing blacks to perform at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. by the Daughters of the Revolution. This also involved her. But Marian’s craft carried her over the barriers of hate since 1955. And since then many few african american opera singers have kept the door open since.

So, in conclusion, the month of June is in effect. And so is black history, musically.