Mental Illness: A Misunderstood Disease

Check out the blog I wrote, “Mental Illness: A Misunderstood Disease” on the site, Familiar Minds. It’s a great blog which discusses mental illness. People share their personal stories of friends and family, who have illnesses. In the blog, I share some myths that people have about mental illness. The myths are based on my experiences with friends and family, who have mental illnesses or depression. Teens should educate themselves too, since illnesses can start during the teen years. I am sharing these myths, so people can help friends and family get the help they need. As many of you may know, discussing mental health is very “hush-hush” or taboo in the African-American community, as well as other communities of color. Many people don’t want to talk about or hide it from others. I hope my blog post will encourage an open dialogue and help to alleviate the shame people have about mental illness.

Jen:)

Familiar Minds

I met Jen a little over a year ago at a leadership seminar hosted by the organization where I work in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  I immediately connected with her and her young daughter Dawn.  Little did I know, Jen and I would share a deeper connection over both having a loved one with mental illness.  In this piece, Jen takes on the many misconceptions about mental illness.  An honest reflection on one’s own misconceptions and ignorance is most definitely  a prerequisite for eliminating the stigma of mental illness.

Mental Illness: A Misunderstood Disease

If you think mental illness is like the 1970s Jack Nicholson movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” then you may need to update your knowledge of mental illness. Like Beyonce said, “Let me upgrade you.”   There are many books and organizations to help you learn more about this misunderstood illness.  Understanding the kinds of depression…

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Vote!

Exercise your right today and vote!

I can go on about the historical significance of voting, but you already know about that (I hope). Simply put, your vote impacts all the decisions made by elected officials on your behalf over the next four years. If you don’t exercise the right to vote, then you cannot really sit down at the table to discuss any suggestions or complaints you may have. Plus, it doesn’t cost anything to vote. We are lucky to live in a country where everyone is granted this right. If you are not the legal voting age of 18, you can support those around you by asking questions and going to the polls with them.

Happy Voting!

Click here for information on voting in NYC or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY (1-855-697-7263). You can also call 311.

See a Double Dutch Competition Live at the Apollo!

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The biggest and the best double dutch competition is coming to the Apollo on Sunday, December 2, 2012! The National Double Dutch League (NDDL) will host its 21st Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic.

I can testify that this is the best, because I was was able to witness the greatness of this event first-hand. If you think the sport, double dutch is jumping between two ropes, you need to see how this sport has evolved. It has grown beyond the streets of New York City and is now an international phenomenon. In fact, Japan has won the “Best in Show” award every year since 1996 except during 2001 following the attacks of 9/11 when they did not compete and in 2004 when Brooklyn’s Jumpers in Command were victorious. The NDDL is also working hard to promote double dutch as an Olympic sport. Read about the competition in the Double Dutch newsletter HERE, which also features some great pics by photographer Mike Brown.

This is a great event for you and your girls or you and the fam!

For more information, visit the Apollo Theater website.

Be Careful Selling Products on Facebook

Thieves in Brooklyn have lured teens to subway stations to rob them. What? Yes, that’s right! Unsuspecting teens tried to sell iPhones and sneakers, but were instead robbed by internet-savvy thieves posing as potential buyers.

Read about it the thefts here on New 12 Brooklyn.

Here are some ways to stay safe if you’re selling items on Facebook or other social media sites:

*Talk to to the potential buyer on the phone before you meet. If you don’t have good feelings about them by phone, you save yourself time by not meeting them at all.

*See if it’s possible for the buyers parents can talk to your parents before you meet.

*Take an adult or parent with you to sell the item.

*Meet in a public place like a restaurant, library or coffee shop.

*Try to sell the item for cash, so there is not any chance for fake checks.

Stay Safe:)

Jen

Take the Black Girls Rock Pledge

This is a great way to boost your mood for the day. Take the Black Girls Rock! pledge written by spiritual counselor, Iyanla Vanzant and watch the awards show in November on BET. I’ve seen two different dates, the 4th and the 7th, so check your local listings for the correct day and time.

Btw, if you haven’s seen Iyanla Vanzant’s show, “Iyanla Fix My Life” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, you are missing out. It’s a very inspiring show. It will make you want to clean the emotional garbage out of your life and as Tamar Braxton says, “Get your life.”

-JT

MC Lyte Rocks the Mic in Brooklyn at Restoration Rocks!

On Saturday, October 6, 2012 crowds of old-school and new-school hip-hop fans gathered on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, NY to to celebrate the arts and culture of Bedford-Stuyvesant at the 6th Annual Restoration Rocks! music festival.,  The event was presented by the Bedford-Stuyvesant Corporation and the Soul of Brooklyn.

Brand Nubian at Restoration Rocks Festival

The festival featured the music of Brand Nubian, whose love for hip-hop was shown in their high-energy performance. Because they are so talented, they make the art of rhyming and performance look easy. If you try it, you’ll discover how much they’ve “put in work” to be in the hip-hop game all this time. Plus, their lyrics of empowerment are still relevant. The rocker chicks of Black Women Rock, led by jessica Care moore was as unique as it was phenomenal.  The Black Women Rock performance represents the emergence of a new, fresh sound on rock music.

Black Women Rock at Restoration Rocks

At the Restoration Rocks music festival, MC Lyte shows that her lyrical skills still reign supreme!

MC Lyte at Restoration Rocks

MC Lyte shut down the Restoration Rocks! event with a classic hip-hop performance. Lyte performed her songs, Cha Cha Cha, Ruffneck and lines from collaborations like Self-Destruction and the 90s remix of the hit I Wanna Be Down, featuring Brandy, Queen LaTifah and Yo-Yo. And if you think for a moment that she has not kept current, she will hit you with a freestyle verse, which she did at the Restoration Rocks! festival. Here’s a reminder of why MC Lyte is still a dynamic lyricist that is unmatched in the game. Period. End of story.

MC Lyte Performs Ruffneck .

It was a good day in Brooklyn.

-Jen Threat

See Mickalene Thomas’s Art at First Saturdays!

Viewing the paintings of Mickalene Thomas should be on your to do list this weekend.

The first Saturday of each month, The Brooklyn Museum hosts its Target First Saturdays event. Each event has a theme and includes free admission to the museum after 5 pm. This month’s theme is 1970s to celebrate the exhibit of painter, Mickalene Thomas. See a full schedule of the First Saturdays events, here.

My family and I had the pleasure of seeing Mickalene Thomas’ work last Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum. Thomas is a painter, whose work features a twist on African-American images from the 1970s. Her technique is to take photos and then transform those images into wood paintings adorned with rhinestones. In her exhibit, “Origin of the Universe” she reinterprets paintings from artists that include Romare Bearden, Gustave Courbet and others. Mickalene Thomas’ work was also inspired by her mother’s photos from the 1970s. She has a strong message of empowerment, which illustrates the beauty of African-American women. The images she presents are rarely seen in the art world. Kudos to the Brooklyn Museum for highlighting the work of this dynamic artist.

Photos and more information is on the Brooklyn Museum website. I highly encourage you to see the paintings in-person, because the rhinestone features are not easy to see on photographs. The exhibit began on September 28, 2012 and ends on January 20, 2013.

Enjoy!

JT

It’s a Lifetime Network Weekend: The Carlina White Story and Steel Magnolias

If you’re looking for some great TV this weekend, go to the Lifetime Network. There are two great movies on Saturday and Sunday featuring African-American actresses.

This Saturday, October 6, 2012 tune in to “Abducted: The Carlina White Story.” You may remember this one from the headlines. The movie describes the story of Carlina White, who was abducted as a baby from Harlem Hospital in New York City. As the baby grows into a young woman she begins to have suspicions about the woman that she has been raised to think of as her mother. Ke Ke Palmer stars as Carlina White and Sherrie Shephard is Joy White, the mother of Carlina White.

On Sunday, October 7th the Lifetime Network will air the remake of “Steel Magnolias” with a cast that features Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Philicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard and others. I loved the original cast which included Sallie Field, Juila Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and Dollie Parton. This was a fantastic film at the time and I look forward to seeing the updated version.

Let’s support some quality films with African-American casts. Sometimes people in our community express their frustration with the lack of people of color on TV. Show your support, so we can bring more films like this to the big and small screen.

MC Lyte Returns to Brooklyn!

This Saturday October 6th, hip-hop artist MC Lyte returns to Brooklyn for Restoration Rocks! The 6th annual music festival is presented by the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, in collaboration with Soul of Brooklyn. The event kicks off at 12 pm and ends at 5 pm.

The festival features a performance by one of the best female lyricist, MC Lyte. Lyte also founded the organization Hip Hop Sisters Network to promote positive images of women. The event will include performances by Brand Nubian, Maimouna Youssef, Martin Luther, poet phenom jessica Care moore, along with Steffanie Christi’an and Black Women Rock. Black Women Rock also includes one of my fave rocker chicks, Res. Restoration Rocks! will be hosted by Tai Allen of Vice Lounge and Dr. Aletha Maybank, assistant commissioner for the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

As you can tell, I am super-hyped about this event. I will be one of the many in the crowd bobbin’ my head to what promises to be one of the ultimate hip-hop events in Brooklyn. And, if you live in Brooklyn and are not planning to be there, you are really playing yourself.

See what happened when Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def graced the stage at the 2011 Restoration Rocks event with the Brooklyn Phil (Philharmonic).

See you this Saturday at Restoration Rocks on Fulton Street!

P.S. If you want to see and hear the skills of MC Lyte on You Tube in the song, “Cha Cha Cha” click here and here’s a hot performance from MC Lyte in Baltimore.

5 Easy Fall Fashion Tips

Staying in fashion does not need to be hard. Here are five fashion trends to keep you in style.

Click on the 5 Fall Fashion Trends below and you’ll see an example of each.

  1. Jeweled Collars: This gives you the look of a necklace, but it’s attached to your clothing.
  2. Mixed Prints: In this look, two different patterns are worn together. A small pattern and a large pattern are worn together, but have similar collars. For example, a dot pattern and a checkered pattern.
  3. Printed Jeans: Jeans are given a twist with metallic, Olymic-style hues in gold, silver and bronze.
  4. Fall Floral: Flowers are blooming in Fall with this trend.
  5. Boots: One of my favorite trends for Fall are boots. There are different looks to choose from like booties (short boots with a heel), buckle boots and Equestrian or Riding boots (boots to the knee). Although they are called Equestrian boots in the fashion industry, they remind me of the boots worn by Mary J. Blige. I will call them the “Mary boots.”

Hope this helps to get you fashionably ready for Fall!!

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