Monthly Archives: January 2017

Who (should we) be wit?

I watched…no…experienced the farewell words of President Barack Obama.  Before a standing audience of almost 20,000 and millions across the nation and around the world, Mr. Obama brought to the people of the United States a message of continued hope, a call for increased engagement, and for all of us to seek the very best for our country.  Beyond touting his achievements, he laid bare missed opportunities and painful losses but, in his measured tone, reminded, these are things that come with democracy.  With his last formal goodbye, among cheers and tears, the whispered hopes and unimagined dreams of our ancestors, waded into the crowd, marked the countdown to his last days of office, and began the solemn steps into history.

This saddened me, but that sadness was turned into a silent rage when I came across a newsfeed about an upcoming “fight” between actor/singer Chris Brown and rapper Soulja Boy.  My mind was now, as a disabled airplane, descending rapidly from cultural and national pride to the depths of nonsensical marketing.  To go from a man worth of admiration to a situation worthy of admonishment, that is where I crash landed in the span of a few seconds.

Normally, in most articles, this is where one would take the time to explain the nature of the beef between these two talented, accomplished, and admired artists.  I use the term artists because both of these young men demonstrate their God-given talents through various mediums and rightfully earned their title. So, as artists, as accomplished men, it is difficult to dignify their profane rationales for a fight which can only be characterized as middle school dissing. Their need to express their virility of sexual conquests, and their ability to rag on one another…not face to face…but through the safety of Instagram posts represents a disturbing continuation social engagement.  If you want to know all the trifling details, there are other sources to visit.

Whether this fight is real or just a marketing ploy to play consumers to purchase the music that follows this minstrelistic calamity, it doesn’t matter.  We are at a place and time in this country where the promotion of the destruction of one another should not be packaged as entertainment.  This is not a professional fight where individuals who have trained in this sport are competing for a prize; it is an exhibition of the worst kind of exploitation, the selling of self-destruction.

The self-destruction spoken of is not just between the two faux-combatants, it is between all of the fans who are sucked into this pseudo-rage.  Fans who are asked to be participants through their hard earned dollars.  Fans who can’t wait for somebody to be destroyed…to get “F**ked Up!”  The worst part of this whole internet-based charade is that the Chris Brown and Soulja Boy know this.  They will be laughing to the bank while the audience cheers for something that isn’t even real.

Every day in this country, families are impacted by gun violence.  Every day in this country, families are torn apart by domestic abuse.  Every day in this country; assault, murder, road rage, physical and mental abuse…and it is all free for you to see on television, on the web, and in the newspapers.  You have to ask yourself, Haven’t I’ve seen enough?  Do I now want to pay to see two talented men, with futures, and money, and influence slap each other for about thirty seconds before they’re bent over huffing and puffing, all the while calling each other a punk-ass this or a Nigger that?  Are we that starved for entertainment?

The next generation for beef resolution has to be who can get more people registered to vote.  Who can organize the most feed the homeless programs?  Who can get kids to read the most books? Who can fix up the most neighborhoods (I’m sorry) the streets…which they both claim to be from.

In a couple of days, a new administration is set to enact policies that will negatively impact people all across the country, those without the means or those just holding on…and especially people of color.  While these two are going tit for tat, get ready for Stop and Frisk to go national.  While these two growl and grit like two pit bulls goaded into a fight, people will be fighting to get base level health care.

We just can’t laugh this one off.  KRS-ONE and the crew said we’re headed for self-destruction.  Sometimes you have to ask yourself.  Are we already here?

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation

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Book Review Raising Hasana: A must have for parents with ADHD

Raising Hasana: Summer Adventures

Subtitle: A parent’s guide to building enriching experiences for your daughter with ADHD

Author:   Rhashidah Perry

Copyright:   2016

Pages:  48

 

Raising children is challenging. The Greek philosopher Democritus put it down like this; Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry.  Even in the best of times, situations, and environments of health, support,
resources, and love, the quote above still holds true.  Raising children is extremely challenging, a true labor of love. For parents of children (ages 5-17), approximately 10% are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  For boys of the same age range, their percentage spikes to 14% while 6% of girls are identified with ADHD.  Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Although ADHD can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed, and some symptoms may improve as the child ages.

There is a clinical side to understanding and experiencing ADHD and how children manifest it but author Rhashidah Perry, a certified parent trainer with CHADD, a nonprofit organization that operates as a national resource on ADHD, chronicles a more personal experience and journey as a mother and family member with a child with ADHD.  She journals over the course of a summer the challenges of transitioning from the structure of school year to the less structured summer vacation, the change in medications and dosages, navigating dual parenting roles, and ensuring attention is shared with siblings and other family members.

Almost technical and jargon-free, Perry shares significant moments in her, her daughter, and the other family members lives as if sitting with you over a cup of coffee or in a car on the way to take care of errands.  Her comments, observations, frustrations, and celebrations are honest, clear, and helps to paint the picture that it is not only the child with ADHD, the entire family experiences ADHD.

Although the book’s focus in on guiding parents of children with ADHD, it is a revealing look at the challenges, frustrations, battles, and balancing acts Perry has on a daily basis, such as meticulously setting out clothes the night before to ensure a smooth morning and carefully monitoring prescriptions.  Perry also has to fight to ensure proper and appropriate IEP (Individual Education Program) in school, confronts family members who don’t understand what ADHD is, or even how to find moments simply to rest.

Perry’s book exemplifies the sometimes fatigued filled, repetitious, and nerve-wearing existence that she and other parents of children with ADHD experience.  Because of the unpredictability of school, home, and other places of activity, the parent is always on alert, which is draining and has a significant impact on the family environment.

Raising Hasana is a book by a parent for parents.  In its succinctness, Perry reveals the everyday challenges faced but, in all things, shows that love and commitment are the greatest tools to help children with ADHD.

You can get your copy at Amazon.com

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation. 

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