While Traveling

She discovered that she and Ben Green shared a birthday—September 5th—which was also, supposedly, Jack Daniel’s. “There was no escaping the birthday thing,” Weaver recalls, implying a cosmic angle to the story’s magnetism.

Throughout 2019 I have been a regular passenger on Amtrak, and while most of the times I work as I travel, occasionally I distract myself by reading Amtrak’s The National Onboard Magazine. This article is among my 2019 highlights, How Fawn Weaver Rewrote the History of America’s Biggest Whiskey Brand.

“[Fawn] Weaver, an African-American author and real estate investor from Los Angeles, was moved by the notion of a hidden history at the root of America’s most valuable spirits brand. At home, she bought a biography of Jack Daniel, written in 1967 by a journalist named Ben A. Green (no relation to Nearest), and in it found Nearest and his descendants mentioned some 50 times. Weaver became deeply curious about how, and why, they had since vanished from history. She discovered that she and Ben Green shared a birthday—September 5th—which was also, supposedly, Jack Daniel’s. “There was no escaping the birthday thing,” Weaver recalls, implying a cosmic angle to the story’s magnetism. Who was Nearest Green? And what, exactly, was his role in establishing one of America’s most iconic brands? She felt herself called to unravel the thread.” To read the full article Click Here.

Food for thought

New research supports a direct link between racism, especially when experienced in childhood, and life-threatening illness.

My observation over the years as friends and family members encounter illness is that there are things that don’t quite add up, and I had come to the conclusion that one important thing missing from the equation was the affects of racism on the whole being. The results of research have been slowly trickling out. Please click the link to the article: Racism Experienced In Childhood Lasts a Lifetime.


“the effects of discrimination and enforced segregation, particularly when experienced in childhood, were significantly greater than that of traditional health risk factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, and low SES [socioeconomic standing]. While addressing SES/risk factors is important, the study suggests it is insufficient, as the impact of exposure to racism during childhood is a powerful predictor of serious, chronic, life-threatening illness in adulthood.”

Black, Homeless and Burdened

Peter Lynn, the longtime head of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said discrimination played a major role in the origins of the crisis. “There is a staggering overrepresentation of black people in homelessness, and that is not based on poverty,” he said. “That is based on structural and institutional racism.”

U.S. manufacturing of black homelessness and the destruction of lives: pervasive and relentless. As young children of six and seven, no one dreams of being homeless. This is one article that attempts to speak of the hearts of people that institutionalized systems are bent on destroying…

The Work of Joy

With the current state of our world, it is easy to lose sight of personal and community health and well-being. While acknowledging the problematics of the holiday season (a list too numerous), I hope we all find places/spaces to engage in the life saving practice of collective Joy. The below article was published more than 2 years ago in the Harvard Gazette , offers a scientific perspective on the role of joy to human health and wellbeing-being.

“Those who kept warm relationships got to live longer and happier, said Waldinger, and the loners often died earlier. “Loneliness kills,” he said. “It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”

According to the study, those who lived longer and enjoyed sound health avoided smoking and alcohol in excess. Researchers also found that those with strong social support experienced less mental deterioration as they aged.

Thoughts of the Week


Celebration of the Life of Toni Morrison at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine – Thursday, November 21, 20194:00 pm – 6:00 pm

MOMENTUM: A Race Forward Podcast

“In this episode of Momentum, Hiba and Chevon take on ‘cancel culture’ in the comedy world, discussing “Joker” director Todd Phillips recent comments about not being able to make comedy films because of “woke culture”, and Saturday Night Live’s recent hiring and firing of Shane Gillis. 

Race Forward’s Research Associate Yirssi, joins the conversation to talk about her work with “Shattered Families” around the intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system, and gives us insight into the current state of the work and what she saw on her recent trip to Arizona and Mexico. “

LBD Peace Institute

Enacted in 2000, the annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) was created in an effort to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of murder on families and communities and uplift the peace-building efforts of survivors. Join us as we recognize and honor the survivorship of those in our community

William Augustus Hinton


60 years after his death, groundbreaking bacteriologist Hinton honored at HMS


“Dr. Hinton understood what it meant to be black in America,” said Joan Reede, HMS dean for diversity and community partnership.

Hinton also understood that social and economic factors play a role in health and that disease often unduly afflicts the underprivileged, she said. 

Reede noted that not only did Hinton refuse scholarships designated for black students, preferring to compete and succeed academically on an equal footing with Harvard’s white students, but he also declined the 1938 NAACP Springarn Medal for achievement by an African American, concerned that his research might not be evaluated fairly if other scientists realized he was black.