Black Male Educators Are Necessary

© Black Men With Beards 2017 // Jeff Clark

© Black Men With Beards 2017 // Jeff Clark

When you think of late August and early September, a few things should come to mind; football, grilling out and back to school! For most children this is the time they get to reconnect with old friends and show off their new gear and parents are able to take the lock off the refrigerator and save a little money. This is the time where students are able to start fresh and refocus on their academic goals and teachers are there to educate and guide them in the right direction.

Guilford County is just one of 100 counties in the state of North Carolina. Within the last few years North Carolina has witnessed educators go on strike due to budget cuts that would froze any raises on teacher pay and eliminated the majority of teacher assistants. According to the National Education Association report, during that time N.C ranked 47th in the country for the average teacher rank. Due to teacher strikes and a roughly five percent increase of salaries the NEA reports that the average teacher salary in 2017 puts North Carolina 35th in the nation.

© Black Men With Beards // Jeff Clark

© Black Men With Beards // Jeff Clark

Despite a slight increase in wages there are certain struggles that never seem to fade away. The academic performance of minority students in Guilford county, and the huge disparity between how black students are disciplined when compare to their white counterparts. The youth justice project reported that during the 2014/2015 school year only thirty one percent of black students were “college and career ready” during the end of course exams compared to sixty eight percent of whites. The report also revealed that black students account for seventy one percent of short term suspensions where as whites accounted for only fourteen percent. Mass incarceration begins early as blacks accounted for eighty percent of detention admissions compared to five percent of white students; all for the same offenses.

I was able to speak to a former classmate of mine who is now an educator with the Guilford County school system. I asked a few questions and he was able to speak on his experiences as a teacher and some of the hardships both students and teachers endure daily.

Lacy:  What inspired you to embark on a career in education? 

Kev:  For me, it wasn’t what inspired me, rather it was who inspired me to embark on a career in education. My good friend Christian Hill (former GCS Recruiter/former HP Central Assistant Principal) talked me into working in education when we were hired as football coaches at Mendenhall Middle School.

Lacy:  As a black educator, what's a hindrance you can identify that minority students face? 

Kev:  There are too many things to truly list that hinder our minority students. I’ll name a few with hopes of not rambling or boring you, discipline, reading levels, and cultural/ethnic representation. A student's behavior will directly disrupt their learning and it usually shows when it is time to read. Most black and minority students don't open up to receive the teachings from someone who doesn't come from the same cultural background or ethnicity as them. 

Lacy:  Do you think that black students and other minority students would benefit from having more educators that resemble them in the classroom?

Kev:  I absolutely think black students and other minority students would benefit from having more educators who resemble them in the classroom. This goes back to the above-mentioned cultural representation as well. Nobody can reach a child like someone who speaks like him or her, and lives or has lived like him or her in my opinion. Of course there are lots of kids who are reached by those who don’t share the same cultures or ethnicities, but the majority need/want to see someone who resembles them being successful in a positive way to be reached.

Lacy:  Do you plan to stay in education? If so, what are you hoping to achieve? 

© Black Men With Beard // Jeff Clark

© Black Men With Beard // Jeff Clark

Kev:  I hope to stay in education for as long as I can and guide the misguided youth, as well as return to coaching football in the near future. The only thing I have ever wanted out of this when I first started was to save a kid going down the wrong path. It was really all about football for me until I saw the impact I had on a kid’s life. Being able to say I’ve had former players/students go on to play at Florida St, N.C. A&T, ECU, WSSU, and more is more than enough of an accomplishment, but when a former player/student tells you that they don’t know if I would have made it without you that is priceless.

Lacy:  What's one of the biggest challenges teachers face in the classroom that most are probably unaware of?

Kev:  I think race and lack of understanding are the two biggest challenges teachers face in the classroom. Too often black students and minority students want to play the race card with a teacher who is willing to give them the shirt off of their back. I can’t tell you how many times a student has called a teacher racist because they weren’t given their way and allowed to be a stereotypical (by society’s standards) black or minority. This makes it harder for that educator who doesn’t have the same cultural or ethnic background as he or she to reach them. Students also have to understand that everyone who doesn’t look or sound like you isn’t against you. Once that is understood the education process seems to get easier from there.


Article written by Lacy D. Colson III. Colson is a student at N.C. A&T State University, studying African American studies. Lacy is also a mentor for the African American male initiative program through United Way and is a loving husband and father living in Greensboro, N.C.

Wellness Wednesday: HIIT vs. Cardio

HIIT or cardio? Which is the best exercise for fat loss? THERE are two main factors to consider when looking at what kind of exercise burns fat in the most efficient way.

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Firstly we need to consider which energy source the body is dipping into to fuel your workout. Is your body using your fat stores or your glycogen (basically sugar) stores?

Secondly, we need to consider the effect the exercise has on your resting metabolic rate. Is there an after effect where you continue to burn more fat post workout from cell recovery (increase in resting metabolic rate) or are you only burning fat while you’re actually doing the exercise? To lose 1 pound of body fat, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume over a period of time. In a long cardio workout, you exercise at a consistent, moderate level for the entire session; in a high-intensity interval training workout, or HIIT workout, you alternate periods of moderate intensity with bursts of high intensity. Either type of exercise can help you lose weight.  

SO WHICH EXERCISE IS BEST?

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An extended gentle cardio session burns a higher percentage of calories from fat, a HIIT workout of the same length will help you lose weight faster. When you exercise at a higher intensity, you burn calories at a much faster rate, so you don't have to spend hours on cardio equipment to burn fat. Try one of these HIIT cardio routines for faster fat loss.

As always, consult with your physician before beginning any exercise or exercise program.


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A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Wellness Wednesday: Advantages of A Healthy Lifestyle vs. Dieting

The way to total health is through complete generosity. It's about taking care of your mind, your body, and your spirit. When you are generous to your body, you nourish your body with physical activity, good foods, water, and sleep, so that you have plenty of energy to meet life's daily challenges. 

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Your eating and lifestyle habits are what makes you put on weight, so create good habits. When something is a habit, you don't have to think about it. You just do it. You don't talk yourself out of brushing your teeth. You don't forget to have your morning cup of coffee. Make small lifestyle changes which will last forever. You don’t have to change your whole life, unless you want to obviously, but you can add a few small changes which can make a big difference. The problem about maintaining the weight is in the whole ‘dieting’ concept. You follow a weight loss diet/plan/regime for a certain amount of time and then you stop, and then what? Most weight loss diets tend to be more specific and are for a limited amount of time. Use such diets to get to a weight loss routine or to kick start your plan but don’t depend on them. Escape the ‘diet’ and adapt that into an everyday habitual eating which will still promote weight loss and weight management. Finding a method to achieving slow and gradual weight loss will not only be sustainable for long-term weight loss goals, but will also have no negative impacts on your health, leaving you succeeding, rather than crashing.

Here is a list of adaptions that you can start incorporating in your everyday routine, to begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Cut down your portions and consume fewer calories
  2. Introduce greens and vegetables and reduce chips and breads (refined carbs)
  3. Adopt some exercise in your week
  4. Instead of deep frying you food,  roast or steam
  5. Don't binge: If you start giving food a special role like a reward then you are creating ‘food’ habits and perceptions which then you are struggling to break. You don’t have to do the ‘man v food’ challenge on the take away night and consume all the weekly calorie allowance in one sitting. Ex: If you believe that the deep fried chicken covered with triple cheese and chips (an imaginary dish for example) is your reward for doing well then this automatically becomes something special which then you have to convince yourself that you must not eat all the time, so then it feels like you punishing yourself.
  6. Don't obsess: You want to lose more weight, you weigh yourself every day, you are like a maniac with calorie counting and before you know it your stressed out self will have enough. Do weight yourself once a month just to keep in touch with your weight and if you notice a big difference (not a couple of lbs!) then be slightly strict for a couple of weeks. Obsession will only make you hate weight loss! Well done for working hard and losing weight but don’t obsess. You can sustain the weight by keeping to some healthy habits and still enjoy life.
  7.  Exercise: Exercise alone is not the answer to weight issues and just because you exercise it doesn’t give you the green light for eating just about everything under the sun (in one sitting). If you do follow some good exercise principles you will gain both health and weight related benefits. Exercise can contribute in a number of ways which can all help in maintaining the weight loss. Apart from increasing your metabolism and the calories you use daily, it can boost your confidence, help improve psychological health. Sometime these things are more important than calorie counting in losing and maintaining weight.
  8. Motivators: Why did you lose the weight, what got you through the weight loss, what motivated you to start and finish it? Whatever your motivator was, is it important to you? Then write it down and stick place it on any wall in your home. Keep reminding yourself what was so important and why you worked hard to make the changes in your life.

Most importantly, throughout your journey, love yourself! Regardless of your shape or weight you want the best for your body. It's not about being skinny or overweight, it’s about being happy and healthy and loving whatever it is you have, because if you love what you have you will look after it and you will want the best for it. Continue to be generous to your mind, body and spirit and the rest will fall into place.

 

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Meet Jean Titus

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Wellness Wednesday: Why Detoxing is Important to Your Weight Goals by Jean Titus

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The initial step in any detox program must begin with decreasing toxin exposure. This allows your intestines and liver to take a break from processing new toxins, and enhances their ability to focus on processing and getting rid of previously stored toxins. The body's systems and organs that are responsible for cleaning out unwanted substances become completely over-loaded to the point where toxic material remains inside bodily tissues. Our bodies protect us from dangerous substances left behind from toxins and residue from processed foods that we ingest, by setting them aside, surrounding them with mucous and fat, so that it will not cause an imbalance or trigger an immune response (some people carry up to 7 extra kilograms of mucous that harbors this waste). So, where do we begin to decrease toxin exposure?

We start with foods and products used on a daily basis -- buying more organic foods to limit exposure to pesticides, and eating more whole foods to decrease exposure to additives and preservatives (processed foods). Also, be cognizant of cleaning products, i.e. opt for natural alternatives. Be mindful of chemical-ridden soaps, lotions, beauty and personal hygiene products used on a daily basis and explore more natural alternatives, i.e. natural soaps, deodorants and lotions.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, with pollution found in the air, the water and food we eat, our bodies have a hard time keeping up. Due to the consumption of chemicalized diets inclusive of too much animal protein, saturated and trans fats, and caffeine and alcohol, radically changing our internal ecosystems.


The Detoxification process is of the utmost importance for successful weight loss. Through adjustments to your diet and exercise, you can assist your body’s natural self-cleaning system. It is especially important for immune-compromised diseases like cancer, arthritis, diabetes and chronic fatigue. If you decide to do a program for your own health and to fight your own weight problem, here’s a few things to consider:

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Certain cleansing programs target a specific organ as opposed to the entire detoxification system. For example, a colon cleanse will cause a purgative effect on your colon and won’t necessarily support the other detoxification organs. It is much healthier, safer and more effective to support the entire detoxification system on a cellular level.

Some programs will cleanse your body but leave you more depleted. This can have negative consequences on your health. It is imperative to cleanse your body with a program that simultaneously replenishes the nutrients that your cells need to function optimally.

Being guided by a health care professional while following a cleansing system is a smart idea. The support and accountability can make all the difference in the world and when working with a professional you will have the proper guidance to get the most optimal results. A good whole body cleanse will rebalance the body and create a lean, healthy and energized YOU!

Finally, be sure the air you breathe and the water you drink are free of contaminants. You may also want to consider airing out your home daily, if possible and drinking alkaline water.


Meet Jean Titus

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

 

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Back that hass up!

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Hey y'all, Quinn here! I'm sending this e-mail because a colleague of mine told me that he mashes up avocados and puts them in his beard (insert the emoji eyes here). I looked at him crazy at first because it just sounded so...messy, but he laughed it off and proceeded to demonstrate it for me. He took one ripe avocado, mashed it up with a spoon, and applied it to his beard (it was definitely messy and made me kind of hungry lol). Right after washing it out, he allowed me to run my fingers through it, and I noticed an instant difference in how soft it was!

So, I went ahead and did my own research and whoa, I was shocked at some of the things I read on the health benefits alone! One thing we encourage over at BMWB is healthy eating to live a well and balanced life. We know that eating processed foods is the first step to creating disease in the body, or dis-ease as our Baba Dr. Sebi put it. Processed foods are laden with harsh chemicals, preservatives, antibiotics and binders, but a good start to changing the way we eat is finding healthier alternatives. The avocado is a fruit, and it's high in healthy fats. It is proven to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels; it also helps absorb nutrients from other plant foods, and assists in helping you lose weight. Considered a super food, avocados are incredibly nutritious and includes the following:

• Vitamins K, C, B5, B6, and E

• Fiber

• Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

• Folates

• and more Potassium than bananas

So for our bearded brothers, avocados are pretty much beard food - in more ways than one! Noted for its high amino acids and proteins, avocados ALSO nourish the hair and skin (which reduces dryness and itching).

For your intake of this super food, the next time eat you salsa, add guacamole instead of queso, substitute an avocado spread instead of using mayo, or chop it up and add it to a salad. Or you can do as my friend did and mash up an avocado and massage into your beard and the skin for 15 minutes, rinse it off in the shower and apply a good conditioner. Let us know how avocado has helped you!

5 Ways to Setting Powerful Intentions

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As the Eclipse passes over, it's important to keep in mind the possibilities from this historical and yet rare occurrence. Our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. As creators and god like beings, we can literally transform our reality with our thoughts. However, creating that reality takes patience and discipline. To assist you in this process, we've borrowed Deepak Chopra's "5 Ways to Set Powerful Intentions", and with both a full moon and the eclipse, this is an opportune time to take advantage of both.

1. Meditate
Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.

2. Release Your Intentions and Desires
Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in the quiet field of all possibilities. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.

3. Remain Centered in a State of Restful Awareness
Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. Stay centered and refuse to be influenced by other people’s doubts or criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.

4. Detach from the Outcome
Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity, while detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.

5. Let the Universe Handle the Details
Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Trust that infinite organizing power to orchestrate the complete fulfillment of your desires. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge, that obsessive vigilance is the only way to get anything done. The outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.

Black Beard Love: Gabe & Witne

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Love is stronger than pride, word to Sade. Love is something we appreciate more from the actions of those we love and those that love us. If you let society tell it, the black family is struggling for existence, becoming a thing of the past and no one wants to be in a committed monogamous relationship (insert side eye emoji right here).

We're here to not only tell you but show you just how much stronger and thriving the notion of black love is with positive imagery of the resurgence of the black family.

Meet Gabe and Witne, a Chef and a Sales Manager living in the charming city of New Orleans. The love these two have for each other not only poured out of the beautiful pictures of their engagement session (they've been together since high school and are getting married on January 20, 2018), but can also be felt in the words they expressed for one another in their interview. When asked to describe each other using only verbs (words like grow, love, care, see, focus and motivate), it's clear that their love is genuine.

Black love is when two people jointly understand, acknowledge and appreciate the uniqueness of and greatness in each other. Black love is the essence of self love. When our little black babies grow up confident and proud of who they are because we've been the shining example to them - that is black love. It embodies the strength, beauty and power in one another as well as together. Our relationships have been illegitimately demeaned for so long, the truth is, we are the strongest when we are together. - Gabe & Witne

Black love is when two people jointly understand, acknowledge and appreciate the uniqueness of and greatness in each other. Black love is the essence of self love. When our little black babies grow up confident and proud of who they are because we've been the shining example to them - that is black love. It embodies the strength, beauty and power in one another as well as together. Our relationships have been illegitimately demeaned for so long, the truth is, we are the strongest when we are together. - Gabe & Witne

Love is one of those things that has to be worked at and nurtured in order for it to continue to grow. When you're in a relationship, you have to commit to doing those things that got you to love even after the sparks simmer down. Gabe and Witne keep the romance alive by having dinner together every night, making sure to give one another their undivided attention at the dinner table by banning the use of cellphones. Witne mentions that her friends would attest that she hardly ever answers the phone once she is home with Gabe.

"We're able to keep the romance by listening to each others needs. We eat dinner together almost every night. It's just the two of us, no cellphones or other distractions. Dinner time is our peace. This is the time we talk about what's to come in the future like where we'll travel together or how many children we'll have."

"We're able to keep the romance by listening to each others needs. We eat dinner together almost every night. It's just the two of us, no cellphones or other distractions. Dinner time is our peace. This is the time we talk about what's to come in the future like where we'll travel together or how many children we'll have."

Keeping active, doing those things that makes your partner happy and smiling, things that let them know they are not only thought of and cared for, they are demonstrating that love is a verb and not just a word. So how do Gabe an Witne accomplish this and enjoy each other as a couple? With food! Being in a city like New Orleans where food is made with love, the two are always on the hunt for the latest food festival or newest and hottest eatery. Even when they are traveling they make the exploration for good food part of their couple routine.

One thing that Gabe appreciates about Witne is her acceptance of him. For Witne, the thing she loves most about Gabe is his eageneress to make her happy.

"His answers are always catered to my liking. I can hear him saying 'I am always going to like what makes you the most happy'".

Their devotion to one another is the epitome of black love.

Keep up with Gabe and Witne on IG to see how their love unfolds!

"What I love most about Witne is that she accepts me for who I am and she brings our the best in me." - Gabe

"What I love most about Witne is that she accepts me for who I am and she brings our the best in me." - Gabe

Keep up with Gabe and Witne on IG to see how their love unfolds!

Photography provided by Jeremy Tauriac

Louis York

Claude Kelly be sanging! And Chuck Harmony know he be playing! Put these two musical geniuses together and you have the recipe and responsible parties for the hits we love across the music spectrum for the last 15 years. It's an honor to feature the creatively expressive group known as Louis York.

The amount of accolades among the mulit-Grammy nomiated prodcution/songwriting duo rolls like a never ending playlist to our lives. It would take more than a hour long conversation to hash it all out, but to familiarize you all with two of the most talented amazingly artistic men of our time, allow Black Men With Beards to enhance your musical knowledge and taste. 

Louis York makes feel good socially conscious music. No matter what the subject matter, heavy or light, it just feels good.
— Black Men With Beards

As successful songwriters and the embodiment of HITMAKER penning hit after hit for others, the formation was their response to the missing pieces they knew to be true and had been feeling in their hearts. The cross over into artist putting out your own music still gives them those "what if" jitters.

"Its like life or death every time you put out a song." Ultimately breaking from behind the scenes to main stage, it wasn't just a choice, it was a necessity. As Claude would put it: Music is art and there really is no other choice but to create. Louis York was something they had to do for the love and life of one thing, GREAT music. If you were to listen to either of the LPs you would find it very hard to pinpoint the type of album Louis York created. They did an amazing job creating music while remaining confident in their artistry.  

During our interview, I put the men in a fast break situation by calling out words and asking them to say the first thing that came to mind. Their answers are just a better peek into the mindsets of these black creatives. These men are focused on breaking barriers and creating new normals for other black men in the world. In speaking with the gentlemen more in depth we learned their look and approach is strategic to the messages they want to send out to other black men globally, that being colorful and being smart is OK. There is no hyper masculinity code that is indicative to the black man. 

BLACK WOMAN:
”I think of creation”
— Chuck Harmony
BLACK MEN IN AMERICA
”A dangerous good, the most feared and the most valued”
— Louis York

"Nerds" is from their debut album Masterpiece Theater- Act 1 release in 2015 and is by far one of our favorites from the duo. The song is not only musically arranged impeccably, the visuals are an eye treat, creatively displaying the woes and perils from a place we personally can relate to. I recall my own awkward little black girl moment of awkwardness which was also coupled with color-ism and body consciousness. 

“Nerds isn't just a song, it's a call to action. We had to make sure the visual was equally as powerful. We all feel a little nerdy at times and it helps to have a song that reminds you that you are okay being who you are,” stated by Claude . “Standing up for what you believe in can be scary and this video let's all the weirdos know that we are right there with them, wondering if we're making our heroes proud and trying to figure out how to be better for ourselves and the world.”

With their follow up release Masterpiece Theater: Act II, they revved up the musical creativity and left the genre niche at the door. From pop and R&B to gospel and rock, Louis York has given their listeners something everyone can listen to. Our favorite joints from this project is Good Drinks, Dumb Jokes. The 90s r&b jazzy hip hoppie melodic  jam is something you can ride to, get dress to or just throw on to get the party vibes started. We look forward to more music and amazing videos coming from Louis York.

Beard Foods: Kale

Although there aren't any magic potions to ingest to magically make your beard flourish, there is what we call Beard Food, those nutrients that aid in making your hair grow. Just like it's important what you put on your beard, it's equally important what you consume that promotes healthy hair growth. Take for instance Kale. Rich in Vitamin A, Kale is considered a super food. All cells in the human body need Vitamin A in order to grow, and this includes the fastest growing tissue in the human body, the hair.

Vitamin A also helps your skin glands make #Sebum, the oily substance your skin produces to keep your hair moisturized and also prevents split ends. Sautéed in avocado oil or eaten raw as a salad, incorporating this Beard Food into your diet will get you on the right path to a healthier beard!

Let us know in the comments what your favorite thing is to do with kale!

The Essence of Essence Festival

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans during Essence Festival weekend, you can’t deny the enormous surge of black pride and honor the flows through you as one walks around town. From the Convention Center to the Superdome, all the corners bent in between, the energy around you is Black Excellence.  Over the years, Essence Festival has expanded from music and entertainment to everything black people are, what we do, everything we create, all the things that make us in the eyes of others “magic.” What we loved more than anything this time around was the expansion of events as well as the networking and collaborations outside of the normal dwellings of the festival itself. We knew people would be all over the city. Black Men With Beards had a mission, and that was to receive and tell the experience of Essence Fest 2017 from the people moving about the streets and get genuine collective accounts from others. We launched a full on street campaign with crew beating the pavement. We randomly approached as many bearded brothers we could find and got their take not only on the festival, their enjoyment, and of course the beard; but we really wanted to know from the men - What that beard do? Let’s just say we made a lot of new friends, no one was shy and all were #BMWBApproved.

In addition to our street campaign, BMWB were invited guests and presenters at the 2nd Annual Nola Nobles Dandy Affair. Our VP had the prestigious honor of co-hosting with famed comedian Michael Colyar during The Beard and Barber showcase. Seeing all the dapper clad gentleman and their glorious beards coupled with all the brotherhood flowing through the Ace Hotel was refreshing. It was an honor to highlight some of the best barbers New Orleans has to offer.

We wrapped our weekend by engaging in all the glory that goes down in the Convention Center and ended the night attending the Essence Festival concert, where we witnessed some historical moments in music, like the reunion of Xscape. Thousands upon thousands of people shut down the 3rd floor of the Superdome in hopes to see Kandi, Tiny, Tamika and LaTocha, but the capacity of the super lounge was reached within minutes of the ladies taking the stage. We were lucky enough to catch them right after the performance in the press room - and we can't forget about some of the others we met, like June's Dairy, Shaggy, Chante Moore, Tweet, and the list goes on.  

Sunday night was like a breather to a whirlwind of non-stop engagement over those last few days. As we enjoyed views from the floor with the who's who and what's what in everything major, it hit me -  this is the true "essence" of Essence, the people. Not just those who are famous or recognizable, each and every single person partaking in the entire experience of Essence and the spirit of New Orleans. We witnessed girl gang bonding, black love, brotherly camaraderie and the pure enjoyment of dope bonds and friendship. We can't wait for next year! 

BIKE NIGHT BIKE LIFE

How dope would it be to dress in all white and ride glowing bikes in and around New Orleans during one of the biggest festival weekends celebrating black excellence. Its exactly what Black Men With Beards and a gang of our supporters who were in town for Essence Fest 2017 did Saturday evening. Guided by none other than the bike life ambassadors, Getup N Ride NOLA, we took to the streets looking like angels and bent a few corners pedaling across those cobble stone streets of the French Quarters. Get Up N Ride NOLA, a company specializing in social bike rides, bike rentals, and tours of New Orleans is owned and operated by to young black bearded entrepreneurs Blake Owens and Nick Reed.  These guys have cultivated and opened the eyes of many to an elevated experience one likes to call- BIKE LIFE. 

Our culture did not really ride bikes after childhood, therefore most of us had forgotten how fun it was. This was the reason why almost everyone who comes out for bike night, leaves feeling like it was the most fun they had in a long time.   
— Blake Owens

What started out as a group of friends meeting up every Tuesday night bar hopping by pedal bike, has turned into a business, spawning rides as deep as 600 at one time, cycling all over the inner-city streets of New Orleans. The byproduct of their natural downtime is the cultivation of a vibe and the nurturing of a community of people from all walks of life who share a few things in common. Who knew bikes could bring people together like this? What these men have been able to accomplish over the last year is nothing short of historical. People from across the country who were already fascinated with the city now have a way to experience it like never before, on a bike! Building long lasting relationships with every bar and eatery the riders frequent and leaving life long memories in the hearts of those who ride - do yourself a favor and put this on your bucket list. 

Outside of how fun it is, there is also a sense of calm and community building within. These gentlemen have a system in place providing safety, guidance and security. The rides are still mysterious in nature as the routes are never disclosed, yet the city receives them. The energy of the riders ricochets off each glowing wheel lit, from the route to the stops along the way at some the best watering holes the city of New Orleans has to offer, Get Up N Ride NOLA is a black owned business we proudly endorse and are excited to be able to share with all of you. Of course we had to ask a few signature BMWB questions. 

BMWB: What are you most proud of?

Nick:  Being black and coming from where I do but using that as motivation to be successful in realms I never could have imagined is what I'm most proud of.

BMWB:  What do you feel about the social climate of black men in America?

Blake:  I feel we are making just as much progress as we are going backwards. Some things are the fault of other races or classes holding us down, and others are the fault of our own. We are the most interesting and diverse race on this planet, but our stereotype is too often basic and ignorant.

We salute these men on their historical journey. In addition to the Tuesday Night rides, Get Up N Ride NOLA also offers special edition tours and  are available for private group rides from birthdays to corporate events, click here to contact for more information. 

BMWB Celebrates Black Fatherhood

BMWB Black Fatherhood

 

Black men are often portrayed as deadbeat and absent. As women who grew up in homes with our fathers, we understand the importance of Black Fatherhood and how it helps navigate the lives of their children. We want to help dispel that perception. We are excited to bring to you some of the most adorable moments from our recent collaboration with Creative Soul Photography, honoring some amazing black fathers with beards this Father's Day!

 


Shaun Woodly, Ph. D.

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It would be to lead by example and never, ever take anything for granted. Also, know that fatherhood is a learning process in and of itself, and one must embrace new knowledge in order to grow, but trust yourself as well. Lastly, to understand that every moment is an opportunity to give love to your child, help him or her learn, and be great at the same time.


Leslie Lewis

Being a father has impacted my life, because my daughters have made me a better person. I've grown so much since having my them. It's my responsibility to lead them to Christ and model how a good man is supposed to treat them. I'm the first example of a good man they see, and I want them to know that daddy is a man of God, patient, generous and loving.


DeAngelo Ellison

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Becoming a father has taught me so many things beyond measure. It appears that my children look to me for guidance when in fact they are leading the way. As my children grow I've continued to grow.


Derrick Morton

Its impacted my life in so many ways, its help be smart about my time and how we spend it as a family. Its helped me to start planning ahead and being proactive about what to expect from my them. Its has also and most importantly inspired me to make an impact in his life being just being 'daddy'. It helped me to realize that the most important thing you can do as a father is to create experiences and memories with your kids such as spending more on vacations and trips to foreign lands and spending less on toys and objects.


Omar Kinnebrew

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I have been given a higher level of joy. Landon just makes everything better, brighter, more enjoyable. I also have a greater purpose as a father because I (along with my wife) am responsible to guiding him on a path to becoming the best man he can possibly be.

We Dat's Chicken and Shrimp

Greg Tillery, the New Orleans 7th ward native and Tuskegee graduate, is a shining example of hard work and perseverance. His story is truly remarkable as to all the adversity and hard times he has endured while making his dream a reality. Greg is the owner and operator of the now We Dat's Chicken and Shrimp Restaurant, the only black owned restaurant on the historically famous Canal St. in New Orleans that started out as a food truck. Currently, a second location is set to open its doors in just a couple of weeks during Essence Music Festival 2017 in the graceful neighborhood of Gentilly. If you've ever had the chance to patronize We Dat's, you've for sure encountered Greg's warming nature, infectious smile and that above and beyond customer service!

Wuzzam Wings

Wuzzam Wings

Before We Dat's Chicken and Shrimp became brick and mortar, they began as a food truck during a time when there weren't many black owned food trucks in NOLA. Chicken wings, shrimp/fish baskets and wraps (and what about those deliciously amazing "Wuzzam Wings", We Dat's signature flavor - a must have if the sounds of lemon pepper and buffalo sauced together makes your mouth water like ours), Greg was determined to feed his people while giving them hope they too could do and be whatever you set your mind to. We Dat's is more than just chicken and shrimp, or a cool spot to hang out and catch some of the celebrities that dip in and out of the restaurant. It is a beacon and sign of hope for the black man struggling to find his place and keep it in a country that doesn't revere him. It's also an establishment for the black community.

If you've ever had the pleasure of sitting down with Greg and asking his story, he'll tell you how corporate America's disloyalty indirectly affected his life, and he took it upon himself to make the biggest leap of faith. Greg used to be a district sales manager, and the company he worked for did a mass lay off of over 2,000 people. Although the layoff did not affect Greg's position as he remained employed, it forever altered his life both mentally and spiritually.  The road to success has no where near been easy for Greg. We Dat's has broken him down to nothing and rebuilt him in the same space. He prides himself and his business on customer service, the #1 thing on the menu. Everyone that walks through those doors are family. It is truly a New Orleans gem.

Black Men With Beards All White Affair 

Black Men With Beards All White Affair 

If you are you headed to the city for Essence Music Festival 2017, make sure We Dat's Chicken and Shrimp is on your list of things to do! We had the chance to go and kick it at the restaurant to get a first hand feel of just how much Greg and We Dat's mean to the community. So much love and pride in the atmosphere, check out the footage of our visit below!

Big Beard, Better Health

As a bearded man, I should say big bearded man because size matters right? I have been told how unsanitary beards can be and the germs they can carry. That line is enough to deter some from embracing their beard and allowing it to grow freely. Among the many reasons men such as myself choose to ignore the talk of why it's beneficial to shave, there is finally scientific evidence that those that are considering shaving their mane should put down the razor immediately.

Photo of @lord_jamaal

Photo of @lord_jamaal

Early last year there was a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in regards to men with facial hair and cleanliness. The Journal of Hospital Infection prides itself on publishing high quality research relating to Infection and Prevention from various infections. This particular study took 408 Hospital staff members and swabbed their faces, those with and without facial hair. The results were surprising.

The results showed that clean shaven men are actually three times more likely to to carry methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) compared to their bearded counterparts. The study also showed that clean shaven men are also about ten percent more likely to carry colonies of staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that causes skin & respiratory infections and food poisoning. MRSA was first discovered in 1961 and is now reported to be resistant to methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin.

Pre-Order our Motto T-shirt and receive free shipping on all domestic orders!

Pre-Order our Motto T-shirt and receive free shipping on all domestic orders!

Dr. Adam Roberts, a microbiologist at University of College London tested his own hypothesis where he grew over 100 bacteria in Petri dishes that were taken from beards. In a few samples he discover that a certain microbe was killing off the other bacteria.

Health is something to be taken seriously and with this new study bearded men have more reason than ever to put down the razor and shaving cream. Ladies, feel free to pass this information along to any barefaced gentlemen you come across.

 

 

Article written by Lacy D. Colson III, a financial retirement plan specialist in Greensboro, N.C. and a mentor for the African American male initiative program through United Way. Colson is a bearded loving husband and father.

April is National Autism Month

Did you know according to the CDC, white children were 30% more likely to receive an ASD diagnosis than black children?

In order to bring awareness to anything, one must first understand what it is and what its not. So what exactly is autism? According to the site Autism Speaks, Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to conditions characterized by things such as challenges with social skills, speech and Non-Verbal Communication and Repetitive Behaviors. Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder are all housed under the umbrella or complex puzzle we have come to know as Autism. The Autism Awareness ribbon puzzle pattern represents the complexity of the autism spectrum. The colors and shapes represent the diversity of those living with and affected by the condition.

 We feel it's important to bring more awareness to this developmental disorder because of the disproportionate rates it affects the black community. Lets be clear, Autism effects every, race gender and creed, but it's our black boys and girls who receive less then adequate care and miss or late diagnosis. We find that organizations tailored specifically for us such as The Color of Autism Foundation, who's mission is to provide support and resources for those individuals and families affected by autism and are particularly devoted to empowering African American families in the process. The earlier the intervention and access to health services and resources, the better the quality of life can and will be for those who suffer from the disorder. 

Raise Awareness

Take Action

Create Inclusion

 Normalize Acceptance

Show Appreciation

Being aware and raising awareness is just part of providing a solution to the problem. People with autism are unique, special and require us as humans to reach deep inside ourselves to show compassion, empathy and acceptance. We polled our Instagram followers recently and were blown away by some of the responses.

“I am in the field of early detection/intervention/evaluation for children with autism and other related disabilities. It’s a gift.  Children on the spectrum navigate the earth on a different frequency. Their sensitivities are beyond our understanding. They touch your soul and make you appreciate the smallest victories in life. 
— @kokopuffs77
“Having a brother thats autistic allows me to be more understanding of families that have children like him, and I am now more sensitive to people who struggle having an autistic family member, cause my brother could have not been able to talk or feed himself so because of him I have become a better person.”
— @glamorous_luv
“I have become less judgemental, more understanding and appreciative of parents with autistic kids. My baby cousins are within the spectrum.”
— @tequila.sunset

Bearded In Corporate America

Many young black men deal with scrutiny daily, but to be bearded, black, and in corporate America is a different ball game. Some men of color struggle with wearing their beard in the workplace for the same reasons some African American women struggle with their natural hair in the workplace; the fear of appearing too ethnic or too black. Looking at the history of beards and how it has always symbolized masculinity, aggression, and strength and considering that black men have always been perceived as aggressive and a threat; having a beard in corporate America doesn't help.

There are many employers that enforce a no facial hair policy and no beard. This rule that many employers enforce can be considered discriminatory towards black men because most black men suffer from a medical condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae better known as PFB. This is a skin condition that causes inflammation and bumps to develop on the skin due to shaving. In the early 1990’s one specific employer was Domino’s pizza. A man named Langston J. Bradley was hired as a delivery driver for Domino’s and was told after a few weeks to either shave his beard or lose his job. Bradley, who was also an investigator for the Nebraska Equal Employment opportunity office, thought this was discriminatory against himself and other black men.

 What’s odd is that the year prior Domino’s put out a survey to their customers and a clear majority had a negative view towards delivery guys with beards. Nevertheless, judges Pasco M. Bowman, Roger L. Wollman, and Frank J. Magill stated that “We hold that reasonable accommodation must be made for members of the protected class who suffers from PFB. We note that the burden of a narrow medical exception for African-American males who cannot shave because of PFB appears minimal. ”They went on to say , “the existence of a beard on the face of a delivery man does not affect in any manner Domino’s ability or deliver pizzas to their customers.”

There have been other incidents where a “beard ban” has caused a man to lose his job. In 2015 officer D. Jemes filed an EEOC complaint against his boss siting racial discrimination as the cause. Officer Jemes was diagnosed by three different dermatologists with folliculitis and suffers from severe razor bumps. Eventually, the Atlanta police department did say that facial hair would be permitted only to those officers with medical documentation of a skin condition.

Present day, the bearded movement has grown and black men are wearing beards of all sizes and styles while excelling in the corporate world. The are many barriers to overcome in the journey of being a bearded black man in corporate America; it is beginning to look like being bearded is one less thing to worry about. Let us know in the comments if you've been discriminated against because of your beard.

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Article written by Lacy D. Colson III. Colson is a student at N.C. A&T State University, studying African American studies. Lacy is also a mentor for the African American male initiative program through United Way and is a loving husband and father living in Greensboro, N.C." 

Beard History Month - Dr. Sebi

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Dr. Sebi was a pathologist, herbalist, biochemist, and naturalist. He studied and personally observed herbs in North America, Central and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, and developed a unique approach and methodology to healing the human body with herbs that is firmly rooted in over 30 years of experience.

Dr. Sebi, born Alfredo Bowman on November 26, 1933, in the village of Ilanga in Spanish Honduras. Dr. Sebi is a self-educated man. He took cues on being obedient to the procession of life from his beloved grandmother, "Mama Hay." His early days of play and observation by the river and in the forest, coupled with guidance from his grandmother, afforded Sebi the foundation to be obedient to the Truth in his later life.

Donate to the NOLA Relief Fund

Donate to the NOLA Relief Fund


Sebi came to the United States as a self-educated man who was diagnosed with asthma, diabetes, impotency, and obesity. After unsuccessful treatments with conventional doctors and traditional western medicine, Sebi was lead to an herbalist in Mexico. Finding great healing success from all his ailments, he began creating natural vegetation cell food compounds geared for inter-cellular cleansing and the revitalization of all the cells that make up the human body. Dr. Sebi dedicated over 30 years of his life to develop a unique methodology that he could only obtain through years of empirical knowledge.

Inspired by the personal healing experience and knowledge he gained, he began sharing the compounds with others, which gave birth to Dr. Sebi's Cell Food.

There are many who believe that Dr. Sebi, who was not a licensed physician, became a threat to a multibillion-dollar medical industry that not only relies on continued sickness but also needs it; it profits from it.

On May 28, 2016, Dr. Sebi was arrested at Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport in Honduras for carrying some $37,000 in cash. He was released pending a court hearing, only to be rearrested June 3 by the Ministerio Público, Honduras' version of the FBI, and charged with money laundering. Dr. Sebi remained in custody until Aug. 6, when he was rushed to a local hospital reportedly suffering from complications of pneumonia. Dr. Sebi died en route. He was 82.

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Beard History Month - Brandan "BMike" Odums

Brandan “Bmike” Odums is a highly sought after visual artist and filmmaker who uses these chosen mediums to tell stories and make statements that transform the minds of viewers as well as the spaces in which his work appears.

In 2016 Brandan debuted his first solo show in New Orleans in a 35,000 sq ft warehouse named #StudioBe. Welcoming hundreds of visitors a week as well as school tours from around the region.

In 2013, Brandan completed a series of graffiti murals depicting iconic African American civil rights leaders at the Hurricane Katrina damaged Florida Avenue public housing complex in New Orleans’ 9th Ward. Given the name #ProjectBe, the space unexpectedly received national attention bringing spectators from all over to see the art before the deserted complex’s set demolition date.

Following the success of #ProjectBe, Brandan came across another abandoned five-story apartment building on the West Bank in New Orleans in 2014 and began working on #ExhibitBe. The completed space was the largest street art gathering in the South gaining national attention and welcoming over 30,000 visitors during its three month opening.

Brandan’s other passions lie in the New Orleans community. He is the founder and director of 2-Cent Entertainment LLC – a New Orleans based youth education social enterprise that produces mixed media content and workshops in the overlap between pop culture and social awareness. Partnering with organizations like Scholastic and Better World Books to give away tens of thousands of books to local youth, 2-Cent services countless youth in New Orleans. 2-Cent Summer Session – media arts camp, in New Orleans I currently entering it’s 4th year.

As a Filmmaker his directed music videos has appeared on MTV, VH1 and BET, Brandan has been honored as one of “20 Artist You Should Know” by Complex.com, Presidential volunteer award from the white house, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship recipient.

 

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Dick Gregory

Richard Claxton "DickGregory is an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, comedian, and actor whose social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians since he first performed in public. 

Born October 12, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri, 

entered the national comedy scene in 1961 when Chicago's Playboy Club (as a direct request from publisher Hugh Hefner) booked him as a replacement for white comedian, "Professor" Irwin Corey. Until then Gregory had worked mostly at small clubs with predominantly black audiences (he met his wife, Lillian Smith, at one such club). Such clubs paid comedians an average of five dollars per night; thus Gregory also held a day job as a postal employee. His tenure as a replacement for Corey was so successful — at one performance he won over an audience that included southern white convention goers — that the Playboy Club offered him a contract extension from several weeks to three years. By 1962 Gregory had become a nationally known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums.

It's important to note that no biography of Gregory would be complete without mentioning that he and his beloved wife, Lil, had ten kids who have become highly respected members of the national community in a variety of fields. They are: Michele, Lynne, Pamela, Paula, Stephanie (aka Xenobia), Gregory, Christian, Miss, Ayanna and Yohance. The Gregory's had one child who died at birth but they have shared 49 years of historic moments, selfless dedication and tremendous personal love.

Gregory began performing comedy in the mid-1950s while serving in the army. Drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale on a track scholarship, Gregory briefly returned to the university after his discharge in 1956, but left without a degree because he felt that the university "didn't want me to study, they wanted me to run." In the hopes of performing comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago, where he became part of a new generation of black comedians that included Nipsey Russell, Bill Cosby, and Godfrey Cambridge. These comedians broke with the minstrel tradition, which presented stereotypical black characters. Gregory, whose style was detached, ironic, and satirical, came to be called the "Black Mort Sahl" after the popular white social satirist. Friends of Gregory have always referred to Mort Sahl as the "White Dick Gregory." Gregory drew on current events, especially the racial issues, for much of his material: "Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?"

From an early age, Gregory demonstrated a strong sense of social justice. While a student at Sumner High School in St. Louis he led a March protesting Segregated schools. Later, inspired by the work of leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Gregory took part in the Civil Rights Movement and used his celebrity status to draw attention to such issues as segregation and disfranchisement. When local Mississippi governments stopped distributing Federal food surpluses to poor blacks in areas where SNCC was encouraging voter registration, Gregory chartered a plane to bring in several tons of food. He participated in SNCC's voter registration drives and in sit-ins to protest segregation, most notably at a restaurant franchise in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Only later did Gregory disclose that he held stock in the chain.

Gregory's autobiography, Nigger, was published in 1963 prior to The assassination of President Kennedy, and became the number one best-selling book in America. Over the decades it has sold in excess of seven million copies. His choice for the title was explained in the forward, where Dick Gregory wrote a note to his mother. "Whenever you hear the word 'Nigger'," he said, "you'll know their advertising my book."

Through the 1960s, Gregory spent more time on social issues and less time on performing. He participated in marches and parades to support a range of causes, including opposition to the Vietnam War, world hunger, and drug abuse. In addition, Gregory fasted in protest more than 60 times, once in Iran, where he fasted and prayed in an effort to urge the Ayatollah Khomeini to release American embassy staff who had been taken hostage. The Iranian refusal to release the hostages did not decrease the depth of Gregory's commitment; he weighed only 97 lbs when he left Iran.

Gregory demonstrated his commitment to confronting the entrenched political powers by opposing Richard J. Daley in Chicago's 1966 mayoral election. He ran for president in 1968 as a write-in candidate for the Freedom and Peace Party, a splinter group of the Peace and Freedom Party and received 1.5 million votes. Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey lost the election to Republican Richard Nixon by 510,000 votes, and many believe Humphrey would have won had Gregory not run. After the assassinations of King, President John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy, Gregory became increasingly convinced of the existence of political conspiracies. Gregory wrote books such as Code Name Zorro: The Murder of Martin Luther King Jr. (1971) with Mark Lane, world famous author, attorney and documentary filmmaker, whose findings published in the best-selling 1966 book Rush To Judgment Gregory credited with reversing the nation’s opinion on who assassinated the president and the facts which contradicted the official government version contained in the Warren Report. Lane’s book contained answers and facts, which Gregory has espoused in Numerous lectures from then until now. Lane and Gregory have been best friends, co-authors and have lectured together for over 40 years and both livein Washington D.C. Gregory and Lane’s book on the assassination of Dr. King was recently released under another title, Murder In Memphis, as a trade paperback.


Gregory's activism continued into the 1990s. In response to published allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had supplied cocaine to predominantly African American areas in Los Angeles, thus spurring the crack epidemic, Gregory protested at CIA headquarters and was arrested. In 1992 he began a program called "Campaign for Human Dignity" to fight crime in St. Louis neighborhoods.

In 1973, the year he released his comedy album Caught in the Act, Gregory moved with his family to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he developed an interest in vegetarianism and became a nutritional consultant. In 1984 he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. In 1987 Gregory introduced the Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet, a powdered diet mix, which was immensely profitable. Economic losses caused in part by conflicts with his business partners led to his eviction from his home in 1992. Gregory remained active, however, and in 1996 returned to the stage in his critically acclaimed one-man show, Dick Gregory Live! The reviews of Gregory's show compared him to the greatest stand-ups in the history of Broadway.

In 1998 Gregory spoke at the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Clinton were in attendance. Not long after that, the President told Gregory's long-time friend and PR. Consultant, Steve Jaffe, "I love Dick Gregory, he is one of the funniest people on the planet." They spoke of how Gregory had made a comment on Dr. King's birthday that broke everyone into laughter, when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride "in the back of the plane," on an Air Force One trip overseas. In 2001, Gregory announced to the world that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer. He refused traditional medical treatment – chemotherapy –and with the assistance of some of the finest minds in alternative medicine, put together a regimen of a variety of diet, vitamins, exercise, and modern devices not even known to the public, which ultimately resulted in his reversing the trend of the Cancer to the point where today he is 100% Cancer free.

Gregory's going public with his diagnosis has helped millions of his fans around the world to understand what Cancer specialists have been trying to explain for decades, which is that "Cancer is curable."

His most recent book, Callus On My Soul, (Longstreet Press, Atlanta, Ga.) which became a best-seller within weeks of publication, is an autobiography that updates his earlier autobiography (Nigger), because as Dick says, "I've lived long enough to need two autobiographies which is fine with me. I'm looking forward to writing the third and fourth volumes as well."

In 2001, Gregory escaped death once again when a massive tree fell on his car in a storm in Washington D.C. crushing it completely, causing him to have to be extricated from the car by emergency crews. One witness said, "I knew the driver and his passengers had died when I saw the tree fall." Gregory said, "I knew that God had more work for me to do when I saw the tree falling. " He saved his own life by driving into the oncoming lanes of traffic. The word of the accident circulated the globe immediately in the media, underscoring the power, influence, and support that Gregory has earned from people of all nations.


Doctor's at George Washington Hospital refused to release Gregory for a few days causing his first-ever "State of the Union Address" to African Americans to be delayed by a month. Gregory gave the first "State of The Union" address live on the Internet from Los Angeles on April 21st. 

 

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Beard Food: Mushrooms

Did you know there are many health benefits to eating mushrooms? Often used as a substitute for meat, #Mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants in general as they contain polyphenols and selenium.

Some mushrooms even have specific health benefits, like the Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). This mushroom's heath benefits include:

• Antibacterial, antiviral (Herpes, Epstein-Barr), antifungal (including Candida) properties

• Anti-inflammatory, useful for reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

• Immune system up-regulation

• Normalization of blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure

• Reduction of prostate-related urinary symptoms in men

Mushrooms are a powerhouse of potent nutrition, and we highly recommend adding some to your diet. Mushroom Burgers are a personal fave, but also adding them to a salad or sautéing them up with some fresh veggies make for quick, delicious and nutritious meals! Here's a vegan recipe to make your own!