Sunday, April 20, 2014
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AA Boomers



Lois-Ann Clark, Publisher

Occasionally you hear a song on the radio that brings a smile to your face and makes you pat your feet. The song Happy is infectious, and like “I Can’t Help Myself, another song with a similar effect, you simply can not help your self, you begin dancing, singing along, and patting your feet. Although ‘I Can’t Help Myself” (also known as Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) is almost 50 years old, it still sounds good and elicits the same response. Why is that? Well, as the old saying goes ‘music can soothe the savage beast”, and we certainly need something to soothe the savage beast in today’s society. Before American Bandstand began broadcasting nationally, it was a local Philadelphia TV. show.. When new songs were introduced, they were rated by the regulars on the show, and reasons were given for the scores they received. They were given points for the beat, “it’s easy to dance to”, and the lyrics.If the song Happy were being rated today, I’d guess it would receive a 100 for both the lyrics, and the beat. Why, because, the song simply stated, makes you, happy. The beat is infectious, you can’t keep still when it comes on, as was evidenced recently by a video of the venerable Congressman John Lewis (D,GA.) dancing to it in his office, or school children singing it in their uniforms on YouTube.From the first few beats of the song, you can see people’s demeanors change. Smiles begin forming on their faces, and they begin patting their feet and singing along. In a society where we’ve been feed lyrics that were, well, less than positive, someone singing about happiness, inviting you to “clap your hands if you know what happiness means to you” and, “if that’s what you want to do”, is refreshing. For a moment we can forget about all the bad news we are fed constantly by the news media. The daily robbing, killing, and other senseless acts of violence, we are bombarded with can be dismissed, for just a few minutes, and we can be happy. In fact, Williams invites the news media to “give it all they got” and he’ll be fine, because he’s happy. Hearing that, we’re happy, too. What does happiness mean to you/ I’d guess that for us as Baby Boomers, it’s not the things of our youth we thought we needed for happiness, but other things we have come to appreciate through maturity. For me it is seeing my eight year niece and hearing her greet meet me with, “Hi, Auntie LoLo, “, or a beautiful spring day with the temperature of 70 degrees, and very low humidity (especially after the winter we’ve had), or my nephew appearing unexpectedly from out of town for a day visit, or when my sister who is several years younger, but suffering the early stages of dementia has a very lucid day, and seems to be herself again. We know that we have to face the problems of daily life, but because of songs like Happy, and other things that bring us joy, we can “clap our hands because we know that happiness is the truth!” What is does happiness mean to you? Share it with us here or on our Facebook page,

Pharrell Williams - Happy (Despicable Me 2 - Lyric Video)


Keywords: Happy. Despicable Me, Pharrell Williams, Good Morning America, BabyBoomers


Chronic Disease Prevention: It’s Never Too Late


Chronic Disease Prevention: It’s Never Too Late

Prevention! It is one of the buzz words that pops up these days during conversations about health and wellness. We all know that it is important to eat in moderation and increase our exercise routine to help avoid serious diseases. On the other hand, what does it mean for those who already have a chronic disease or have extra weight to lose? I deal with this question daily in my Long Island, NY practice and I always say, “It’s never too late
for prevention.” For example, if you have diabetes, it is important to eat three to four healthy meals per day and exercise to prevent some of the other issues that could be more devastating. If you are already overweight , it’s important to prevent even moreweight gain. Here are a few tips for weaving a little prevention into your daily routine, regardless of your health status.

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Chaka Khan’s Weight Loss



Nearly 40 years after entering the music business, Chaka Khan still proves that she’s “Every Woman” with her voice and weight loss . Chaka takes time to describe what motivated her to lose over 60 pounds:“My weight loss  had to occur, because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure. And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year. And I ended up going, “Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.” And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here. … [She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.”High protein diets are not a new way to lose weight, the most famous one being the Atkins diet, which promotes weight loss  through the nearly complete exclusion of carbohydrates from one’s meal plans. One of the reasons they tend to work so well — as is evidenced by Chaka’s fab new figure is that protein itself seems to curb hunger more than fats or carbs. This allows people to eat less, which is of course the main key to losing

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The Injustice of Justice Pt1

Express Yourself


P.S. Perkins: Human Communications Institute

For those of you following(or at least aware of) my AABOOMERS writing contributions, this one is a bit of a deviation from my usual upbeat, informative, self-help, communication message. This one is not about the power of positive words, but the cultural historical residue that plagues our communities. I think you may understand once I share a recent exchange I experienced:“Excuse me mam, do you have any change so I can get something to eat?” I looked closely at the young man: tall, thin, brown-skinned, dreaded, sweet-faced, ill-fitting clothes, and a small stack of wrinkled papers in his hands. Proof - proof of his neediness. I told him the truth. I had no money on me. I asked him why he was on the metro begging and he explained that he had just gotten out of jail and was trying to get something to eat before making his way back home. The wrinkled papers were his “release papers” from jail and his probation orders. I wondered, “why not eat at home?” I decided not to ask. Before I got off at my stop, another young Black man boarded selling perfume oils. I love oils and I support buying from most street vendors but again, as he passed by asking, I had no cash. They only deal in cash. The two men recognized each other and greeted one another quite endearingly. I could tell they had some history. The young man on probation launched into discussion about his most recent brush with the law and explained to his comrade (while I over-listened) that he was picked up after going to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled for his Mom, and when they found the medication they questioned him about it. He explained and they called his Mother who concurred and they let him go. Later that week, he was picked up on a charge of drug possession! He exclaimed, “Man, they were just f#@%# with me! They lied that I was off the hook! Now, I got this to deal with on top of everything else I’m trying to beat.” His friend listened attentively then offered words of encouragement as he left to exit the train and continue his business. As he was leaving, the young “felon” asked, “How is the oil business going.” The entrepreneur replied, “It pays the bills, man, it pays the bills! Stay out man! Stay out!” The businessman exited and the young probate moved down the train staring, just staring at the papers. I felt his hopelessness. I felt his dismay. I felt his questions. I felt helpless.

Let us look at some facts:
• Source: Calculated from Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2008 – Statistical Tables, March 2009 (Revised 4/8/09); Population stats from US Census Bureau
• For every 100,000 black males, an estimated 4,777 are held in federal or state prison or a local jail. By contrast, for every 100,000 white men, only 727 are estimated to be incarcerated.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2008 – Statistical Tables, March 2009 (Revised 4/8/09),

• The leading cause of incarceration of an African American male is a non-violent drug offense.               Source:
• “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began”
Source: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

Community, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Many of you reading this would say that the above stats are common knowledge and if you “don’t do the crime you don’t have to do the time”. However, I hope you noticed the drug war fact above – a large number of these brothers are in for non-violent drug offenses. Re-read the shocking quote from Michelle Alexander’s above quote. How is this possible? Check out another recent issue a transit employee in a metropolitan city gave me insight into. When I first moved to this city, the trains were filled with loud and yes, sometimes-obnoxious Black youth going and coming from school. I consistently saw them illegally boarding the train by jumping the “turnstile”. Finally, I asked a transit employee why they were not stopping them. He said, and I quote. “Mam, they told us to leave them alone. The city only makes about 5 cents a rider and it’s not worth the trouble.” Then he lowered his voice, pulling me to the side as if he was an undercover brother, ok, a whistle blower, “Mam, it’s a felony.” What is a felony, I replied? “Jumping the turnstile…they started with $300.00 tickets, reduced the fines to $150.00, and after a kid gets enough fines, they pick them up. They didn’t use to, but they already started picking them up in the next state! It’s a FELONY!”


The New 70

Topic of the Day

(Editor’s Note: As we close out Women’s History Month, let’s give accolades to these remarkable women who have managed to defy Mother Nature and Father Time! Something to look forward)

Tina Turner's Tips for staying sexy at 70 as she embarks on another world tour

Her face is remarkably unlined, her figure as trim as ever and those famous legs are still sensational. At 69, Tina Turner seems to just get better and better
with age - a phenomenon the singer believes is down to a combination of great style, health and attitude. And now, after an eight year retirement that everyone including Tina - believed was final, the evergreen soul star is doing a comeback tour. Tina has been a legendary performer since the early 60s but her second taste of the big time began in 1985, with the multi-million selling album Private Dancer. Tina was already 47 then, an age when many rock stars are looking to slow down. However, the sexy star has always thought age was irrelevant. "A 50-year-old woman is equivalent to 40 when I was growing up," she insists. "If you take care of yourself, 60 is nothing for women these days. In today's world you can be the kind of woman you want to be."

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