Why Aren’t Mentally Wounded Inner City Youth Recieving PTSD Help As Well?

Numerous research studies show there are some inner city children that may experience post traumatic stress disorder symptoms at rates comparable to veterans of war. Some of these youth are being immensely affected by traumatic experiences, which can cause haunting flashbacks, paranoia, emotional detachment, unwanted thoughts, and violent outbursts. When an inner city African-American youth experiences traumatic/stressful situations, & commits an illegal or violent act, their mental health & experiences are rarely emphasized. Inner city youth like Michael ‘Little B’ Lewis, a 13 year old sentenced as an adult for the murder of a man in 1999, do not receive professional mental health support. Michael ‘Little B’ Lewis grew up in the drug-infested & neglected ‘Bluff’ area of Atlanta. His only guardian was addicted to drugs, he was homeless by age 11, not enrolled in school, and experienced a plethora of traumatic events while trying to take care of himself. Yet, he remained invisible to most until his first arrest…and when he finally got a ‘home’ it was in a Georgia state prison with adults at the age of 13. Michael ‘Little B’ Lewis is still incarcerated, and there are still questionable inaccuracies in the case that do not support true justice for the victim or the accused.

If a young inner city black boy rob’s someone, he is often quickly deemed a thug or menace to society, but if his white counterpart commits a crime like a school shooting, then he is labeled as a troubled mentally ill youth that did not receive adequate help. Both boys may have experienced traumatic events, but only one gets sympathy or a diagnosis. Racism isn’t the only reason because there are older African Americans from previous generations who also look at these children as thugs with no hope as well. Neglected inner city children like Michael ‘Little B’ Lewis never receive mental health resources, help, or immense sympathy after all of the traumatizing events they’ve experienced. Of course, we cannot always give a PTSD diagnosis to every person who commits a crime with their own free will. However, it is wrong and dangerous to just help certain groups of victims while neglecting others.

There is a substantial amount of youth/children that are mentally wounded, neglected, suffering from un-diagnosed PTSD, and by the time many people care to pay attention to what they are going through…the damage has been permanently embedded. These children have never fought in Iraq, the Vietnam, or Afghanistan…but they are experiencing PTSD like some war veterans. They’re often quietly traumatized and mentally affected by what they’ve experienced, but do not receive enough genuine support to help them. Instead they are often conditioned or forced to think it is enough to just ‘stay strong’, ‘keep their heads up’, try to rise above their situation, and ‘move on’ with life while still struggling mentally.

Here are a list of good organizations that support and focuses on the mental health of youth/children:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

MindRight Organization 

Covenant House

Baton Foundation

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Snowfall: Season Two’s Crack Era Retrospective 

Season 2 of John Singleton’s FX show Snowfall will likely detail more of the effects caused by the Crack Epidemic during the infamous Reagan Era. Predictions for next season include the main character Franklin, the rising ambitious drug dealer, and how some of his own family members will become addicted to crack (likely his father and one of his friends). Will he choose to sell the product to his own blood or a pregnant woman? Will his conscience bother him after witnessing what crack is doing to his neighborhood or will financial desires triumph over virtue? The thing is, some people during the Crack era like real life drug dealer Rich Porter (portrayed by Mekhi Phifer in Paid in Full) and others may have saw selling crack as a way out of poverty, but in the end there was more tragedy than long term success. Crack money came with betrayal from “friends”, countless enemies that wanted them dead, and the people who changed into walking zombies after using the drug. I suppose some may think a multitude of different cars, fresh fits, jewelry, and other material things was worth the tragic end…but it was not a good trade. The significance of Snowfall is not to make the Crack Era seem like a desirable/glamorous time, but it’s importance involves telling true stories from different perspectives. We see why Franklin is doing what he does, but we also see how it is affecting everyone around him in a variety of ways on the show. During the Crack Era, the dealer may not have been affected in the same way as the user or a child, but each one has an interesting story that is still relevant to reflect/analyze on over 30 years later. 

Robot Bees Are Our Future? How Recent Testing on Artificial Pollination Possibilities Will Never Replace Nature’s Original

Some people may not care to emphasize how important preserving the bee population is…until one day we have no choice but to rely on artificially created bees to pollinate plants. Nothing man makes can work as hard or be as nutritious like a honeybee or solitary bee, but scientists are trying to come up with an alternative if the worst case scenario happens. Recently at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, there has been researchers who are creating drones that can possibly polinate flowers. Instead of focusing on creating insect drones, perhaps it is better to invest in helping the bee population grow and let them thrive without pesticides that harm them. 

Education/knowledge on the issue is a great key for all of us. This process affects all of us, so why not learn and genuinely care about it more? Most of our healthy foods are pollinated by bees when they move from plant to plant for nectar. Pollen gets all over their bodies, and with cross pollination the bees are a vital necessity for plants’ seed making process. The Honey Bee species then takes the sweet nectar back to their beehives/colony, while solitary bees do not live in colonies, and they just travel from flower to flower collecting pollen. The bees work hard, and for Honeybees in particular, the honey they create gives them energy and other health benefits that are important for us as well.  If more bees continue to consume neonicotinoids (pesticides) that cover many plants and the nectar, then precious bees will die off until they are officially an extinct species. If these solitary and honeybees go extinct, then we can say goodbye to healthy foods like apples, mangoes, peaches, plums, berries, watermelon, peppers, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, avocados, coconut, and the list goes on and on. Artificially created pollinators will not provide us with the same nutrients that bees do. So instead of researching ways to live on without the Bee, it is better to focus on how we can grow and responsibly take care of the populations. Banning neonicotinoids is crucial, and how interesting it is that some of the deadly pesticides that are allowed in America is banned in a lot of other countries. Although magazines like Time has created issues focusing on the dying bee population, our media in America does not continuously focus on these types of issues in an in-depth matter. Yet, if our little blessings like bees’ are taken away from us…everyone will be forced to pay attention. However, it will be too late. Right now, in the present, it is not. Let’s not forget that the resources from nature we continuously use & exhaust are vital to our survival, but nature does not need us to survive or thrive. Preserving and growing the Bee population is not just a eco-conscious concern to occasionally reflect on, but it is a matter that correlates with our own survival and existence.
****For more information and great ways to help & learn more about the importance of Bees ,Bee Native.org, The Honey Bee Conservancy, & The Bee Cause Project are wonderful resources****

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Hypocrisy?

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (signed in 1968) is supposed to be about stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and only five nations are ‘allowed’ to have nuclear weapons…United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, and France.  Although it is better to be a nuclear-weapon free world, it is a form of hypocrisy for America or the other four nuclear weapon nations to not want places like North Korea and Pakistan to build nuclear weapons, but we are creating weapons with nuclear technologies/energy.  Political leaders have even threatened to ”push the button’ (use nuclear weapons) if another country that is not ‘allowed’ keeps testing their missiles.  Yet, America dropped atomic bombs on two full cities (Nagasaki and Hiroshima)…no one else has ever used nuclear weapons for warfare in history.  In my opinion, the Non Proliferation treaty is less about having a nuclear weapon free world for the future, but it is more so about power and control. It’s like: ”Yeah we can drop nuclear weapons on other countries if we have to go that far…but you guys are not allowed to build any or do what we do. Those are the rules.”  Nothing good comes from using nuclear weapons on nations no matter who is ”allowed” to have them or not. America has it’s good, but hypocrisy has always been prevalent. Destabilizing nations and then trying to ‘help’ them is one of the many problems America has when it comes to international relations. Yes, we should all help/aid other places & people if they need help or rescue…but playing/imitating the ‘hero’ is different from actually being a genuine one. The treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is supposed to be about promoting peaceful usage of nuclear energy and a future free of nuclear weapons. However, it seems as if the ‘future nuclear disarmament/elimination goal’ that the NPT claims to promote does not apply to everyone because there are people who prefer power & control over true positive change.

Positive Thought: ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul Analyzed

The thought provoking lyrics and perspective of the 1995 classic ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul is a great song/video to analyze. How I perceive this song is that it’s okay to question and feel deeply bothered with the state of our world,  but we should always try to not let this reflection prevent us from encouraging more positivity and good progression within our planet. I love this song and whenever I listen to it, the overall composition is compelling to me. I encourage all to never give up on our world…to never be comfortable or numb to the evil & unfortunate happenings that may be prevalent in our world. One of the many beautiful reasons why hope still lingers on is because this world also includes inhabitants/souls who are conscientious, good-hearted and genuinely care to implement/spread positive change. Therefor, let’s never feel as though this world is mainly full of only gloom and despair…because it is not. We all are each equally important & vital in implementing positive change, and there are people who still sincerely care for the pain/suffering others experience.  If we can’t seem to find many, then let’s be one of the light-filled souls we seek and desire. I also love how this video encourages people to never give up on life and that there is always inspiration/positivity we can grow from and contribute to.

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why

Are we listening
Hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I’ve been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into one

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why, don’t know why

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below

And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

Songwriters: ED ROLAND, ROSS BRIAN CHILDRESS
© KAREN SCHAUBEN PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION

Boogie Down Bronx:Classic Photography

1520 Sedgwick Avenue and D.J Kool Herc are names forever synonymous with a part of the origins of rap music. In 1973 on August 11th, Kool Herc hosted a back to school party for his sister at the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue apartment building. At the community house party, he introduced a technique that involved two turntables, a mixer, two copies of the same record, and playing another song at the beginning or middle of the record while focusing on ”the break” in each one. With D.J Kool Herc presenting his technique, his friend Coke La Rock began to rap and many legendary rappers like Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash all claimed to have witnessed this historic significant event in music history. In honor of The Boogie Down Bronx, here are some truly amazing and influential photos that shows why  The Boogie Down Bronx will always be considered a birthplace of the rhythmic poetic art we call Hip Hop.

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dj kool herc.jpg

mixtapes

coldcrush

gman 2

 

boogiedown1

party1

red alert

zulu1

John Coltrane’s Blue Train: A Classic Revisited

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John Coltrane’s 1958 released album Blue Train is one of his gems that is both timeless and significant in any era. Not only was the label Blue Note Records a legendary & important part of music history, but it is Coltrane’s brilliance playing the tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan on the trumpet, Curtis Fuller’s trombone skills, Kenny Drew playing the piano, Paul Chambers on base, and Philly Joe Jones as the drummer that completes this album in such a compelling manner . The album was produced by Blue Notes Records co-founder Alfred Lion and Coltrane wrote nearly all of the music, with Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern writing the song ”I’m Old Fashioned.” The album has two sides, which includes ”Moments Notice” and my personal favorite ”Blue Train” on side one. Side two includes ”Locomotion”, ”I’m Old Fashioned”, and ”Lazy Bird”.  In 1997, alternate take bonus tracks were released of ”Lazy Bird” and ”Blue Train”. This was only Coltrane’s second solo album & although it is considered ”Hard Bop”, I think all of his music is beyond just one specific genre. Of course, not long after releasing Blue Train, Coltrane would go on to create an album that was chosen as one of the 50 recordings picked by The Library of Congress & added to the National Recording Registry…the groundbreaking & innovative classic Giant Steps.