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Men, we NEED you!

Oscar-nominated director and filmmaker John Singleton died this past Monday after having suffered a massive stroke on April 17, 2019. Gosh, darn it!!! Another loss of an influential black man. There are conversations surrounding the topic of ” high blood pressure -HBD or Hypertension- in African Americans [particulartly our black men – our brothas].

picture of john singleton
Rest in Peace to Filmmaker John Singleton GettyImages

While scrolling through my Instagram , I came across a nbcnews.com article titled, “John Singleton’s family urges black men to get their blood pressure checked.” I didn’t realize John had been silently dealing with HBD. I know a little about HBD since I have a couple family members who deal with it. Well, after reading the article, maybe I do know more people, but maybe they, too, are dealing with it silently.

I realize that people have different reasons why they don’t go to the doctor, but the fact that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is quoted as saying, “African American men are at [the] greatest risk of having a stroke at a younger age.” Brothas, your families need you, your children need you, OUR community needs you to live a long, healthy and prosperous life. Men, we NEED you!!! So, please don’t put off going to the doctor for checkups and please take your prescribed medicines. With that said, I am a HUGE supporter of holistic and alternative medicines, so go have a consultation and checkups by a naturopath provider. Whatever you do, please TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH!!

person taking blood pressure
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

By the way, I feel inclined to mention that I am not placing any judgment on John because much of what has been reported about how he treated his HBD has been a bit of speculation combined with information shared by his family. I appreciate John’s family, in the midst of their grief, spreading awareness about the condition, also known as the “silent killer.”

I encourage EVERYONE, regardless of race, socio-economic background, or gender, to take care of yourself to the best of your ability; I am talking to myself as well. According to CDC, “High blood pressure affects 1 in 3 adults in the United States.”

Rest in peace John Singleton.

To learn more on the deadly impact of high blood pressure in African American men, please take a look at the CDC publication PDF (A Closer Look at African American Men and High Blood Pressure Control .

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Oakland’s 2nd Annual Black Joy Parade Experience!!! (2/24/19)

Soooo, I’m supposed to be getting ready for bed, however, I need to capture the raw emotion from yesterday’s Black Joy Parade experience.

Yesterday, February 24, 2019, I had the plum pleasing privilege to be apart of Oakland’s 2nd Annual Black Joy Parade with my amazing dance team aka my 100sUnit dance sisters.

I was really going to wait to write about my experience simply because I’M TIRED and the last few weeks wore ya girl OUT but reading an article from The Mercury News inspired me.

What is the Black Joy Parade?

Oakland did an amazing job bringing a positive experience where thousands celebrated our beautiful black heritage. Check out The Mercury News article Oakland’s 2nd annual Black Joy Parade celebrates energy, creativity, excellence for more great information and pictures about the awesome parade. Make plans to attend next year.

My AMAZINGLY talented 100sUnit dance sister Rochelle Westbrooks

So, as you can imagine, 100sunit came to represent our black girl magic and sisterhood; WE DID JUST THAT!! Check out our 100sunit Instagram page for more highlights.

Back to Rochelle Westrooks of CheNailsBeauty based in Sacramento, CA. The Mercury News photographer captured “Rochelle Westbrooks, of Sacramento, raises her arms as she dances during the Black Joy Parade in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)”

There is sooooo much more to Rochelle than the amazing nail designs she creates. This sista is TALENTED as she is a makeup artist, dancer, makes her own extraordinary costume/outfits and is a great mom. Don’t sleep on my sis Rochelle.

My 2019 BJP experience

Pictures are worth 1000 words so I’m going to let the pics share my experience. Check out pics from many of my 100sunit sisters shared on social media. These pics show my AMAZING experience at the 2019 Black Joy Parade.

Thank you Oakland for hosting such a powerful event for so many vendors, performers, and many more to celebrate OUR BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. As usual, thank you Venetia James and Phyllis Cook who are the founders of 100sunit.com . Their creativity and choreography caused us to WIN for BEST OVERALL at yesterday’s parade.

Thank you to all those who made yesterday a BLACKIFUL day!!

Article by Blogger Bianca LaTrice of Destiny Inspired Consulting Instagram. Like us and FOLLOW us on Instagram and/or Destiny Inspired Facebook .

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Hold up!! The 100sUnit is NOT Exactly What They Claim…

As a woman who has been an active member of the Hundreds Unit (100sUnit) for nearly one year, I can say the group is truly MUCH MORE than they claim. I have a firsthand testimony about 100sUnit. Oh yaaasss hunty!!! I got some stuff to say boo boo.

Who Is The Hundreds Unit?

According to the 100sunit.com website, the group was designed to “bring women together through fitness and dance.” The unit, co-founded by, Venetia James and Phyllis Cook, emphasize how 100sUnit’s mission is to “incorporate every woman.”

In the KCRA article, “How 100 amateur dancers took center court at Sacramento Kings game,” it’s noted with special emphasis on how the “health and fitness group is inspiring women to break stereotypes and build confidence, with a little help from the Sacramento Kings.” 

“health and fitness group is inspiring women to break stereotypes and build confidence, with a little help from the Sacramento Kings.”

In the strong and empowering words of Venetia, “Do Not Give Up!”

I did not realize how much I needed to be reminded not to give up. Being a person who organically inspires others, especially women and mothers, 100sUnit gave me what I needed. Their theme is Breaking – Building – Believing; Breaking through barriers, building women, and believing in the power of unity while meeting wellness goals.

While I knew the dance group was about women’s wellness and empowerment, I had NO idea that the ladies of 100sUnit would allow me to create such a strong bond and sisterhood with so many.

My First Day of 100sUnit

I remember the first day I walked into the Fit Republic in Natomas, California where the 100sUnit meets for conditioning with fitness trainer Duante Moore and then upstairs to our private practice room to learn our dance choreography. It was in that moment, nearly a year ago, when all sorts of insecurities arose that had been lying dormant. I remember looking in the mirror wondering what had I become? I remember doing the warmup dance moves being so winded, out of breath, and just so out of shape. Facing the mirror while doing the simple dance moves forced me to take a good look at myself. Wow. It was more than the physical fitness ability to do the moves, I was experiencing something deeply emotional. With every huff and puff, I would ask myself how did I allow myself to gain 40+ pounds in under two years. As a person who has dance background, I looked in the mirror feeling defeated. Where is dancer Trice? I didn’t see her in the mirror. However, I looked around me and saw women of all sizes, races, ages (over the age 20), and diverse cultures who were pushing beyond their own feelings of defeat. These ladies were supportive and encouraging so it kept me pushing.

Eventually, after fighting the “I want to quit” mindset, I kept returning to the practices because I simply enjoyed the ladies and I was noticing my progress. Not to mention my momma and sister wouldn’t let me miss practices. Ughhh. Lol

Geez…sometimes we are our own worst critic but we gotta get out our own way. Point Blank PERIOD!!

Depression?

Instead of focusing on learning the dance moves, I found myself wondering how I had allowed life’s rough (unfair) circumstances to kick me into a depression. My sister and mom were instrumental in having me join the 100sUnit; it was an intervention. They knew I needed a positive outlet to focus on outside of my children and everything I had dealt with in the past two years. I can truly say that the ladies of 100sUnit, my family, and of course my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, are who kept me from falling into a deep depression. Being apart of the unit introduced me to a support group of ladies from all walks of life. No matter what we experienced in our lives outside of the dance room, when we come together it is all about sisterhood, support, networking, and encouraging one another to push beyond the norm to reach our wellness goals.

Fun Fact About Venetia

Just to show how life connects and reconnects people when you least expect it. Walking into those doors for my first 100sUnit practice, I was familiar with many of the ladies, particularly Venetia. Many many years ago, I met her in dance classes at California State University, Sacramento in dance with the amazing dance professor, Dr. Linda Goodrich. My favorite memory is when a year or so after I met her, Venetia came to substitute teach for Dr. Goodrich. Let me tell you that Venetia was NINE months pregnant and due to give birth within one week yet there she was teaching the HELL out of that Afro Caribbean college dance class. Can I tell you that we were just doing a “not so light” techniques from the famous dancer and choreographer, Katherine Dunham. Well, I just remember Venetia dancing across the floor with such graceful, fluid, and perfect technique without missing a beat. So, it is safe to say she was inspiring me long before 100sUnit was birthed.

Quitting IS NOT an option!

Anyone who has been apart of the 100sUnit for one unit or several different units knows you will continuously hear one of our founders or leadership say, “Do Not Give Up!” Recently at practice, Venetia said,” Yes, I know learning different styles of dance can be hard, but don’t give up on us and don’t give up on yourself either.”

Just so you know, this was supposed to be a quick reflection on my experience on this most recent Bohemian Rebel dance unit where our dances were influenced by various African and Jamaican culture dance particularly in honor of Black History Month. #ProudBlackWoman  Welp it looks like I was trying to write a novel. Oops… My bad.

In conclusion, I was thinking about 100sUnit and my amazing 100sUnit sisters and I HAD to write about how the group is soooooo much more than a women’s empowerment group who dances. Oh no boo boo. They (WE) are soooo much more. I LOVE 100sUnit and all that it represents. I would be remiss if I did not express how our leadership emphasizes doing things in excellence. What does that mean? That each unit is practicing approximately six weeks to prepare to perform at a major event. So, during those weeks we come together and work hard to bring a polished product. Whenever excellence is not given to us in return, our leadership makes sure to address it with the strong message that we will never lower our expectations to accept less than God’s very best.

So, you have a glimpse of my testimony. For more about 100sUnit, go to http://www.100sunit.com to see what we are up to in the coming months in Sacramento, California and beyond.

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Kamala Harris for President??

On this day Monday, January 21, 2019, when we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., I wake up to read the HuffPost article, “Kamala Harris Is Running For President In 2020.”

Say what?? California Senator Kamala Harris (Democrat) decided to make it official and run for president.

Yaaaaasssssss!!!! I’m so here for it!!!

The article quoted one of Senator Harris’ motivations for her decision to run for president as,

“I love my country,” Harris told ABC. “This is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”

Kamala Harris for President sure sounds good to me.

Who is Kamala Harris?

From CNBC article,“Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris Jumps Into 2020 White House Race,” Harris, 54, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, enters the race with the potential advantage of being the Democratic candidate who looks most like the party’s increasingly diverse base of young, female and minority voters.

You may only have seen how classy and strong Senator Harris handled herself during the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. If you haven’t seen those online Facebook or YouTube videos, then check her out.

I’m excited about Senator Harris’ decision; however, I want to know YOUR thoughts on Kamala Harris’ bid for president in 2020.

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Comfort is Killing Your Dreams

Ain’t that the truth?! I saw this on Broadcast Journalist, Shaun Robinson’s LinkedIN page.

“Comfort is killing your dreams” is a beautiful reminder to step outside our comfort zone, take risks, and move in faith.

There was a time when I could see this type of post, agree with it, but never launch into new territory. Not anymore. I’m not saying everyone is supposed to live on the edge, yet encouraging you to be empowered to color outside the lines.

Remember, even a small step in the right direction is a good thing.

Be encouraged and let’s encourage one another to MOVE AWAY from comfort.

Don’t let comfort kill your dreams.

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