When the country was first introduced to the First Lady, I think her credentials were touted. I knew she was a lawyer making six figures and I knew she was working in the highest echelons of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

I only really started hearing about her fashion in relationship to the exorbitant style of Mrs. Cindy McCain. When Michelle appeared on The View and was sporting that classy, yet unassuming number from White House/Black Market the country was captivated by her penchant for making “inexpensive wear” (I don’t spend $150 on dresses but I can definitely see how that is frugal for a woman in her position) look appropriate and timely. On the other hand, when it comes to style I remember talking about how Cindy’s ensemble for the convention was about a third of a million dollars (though she didn’t look much more lovely).

I think the media had it set in their minds waaayyyyyyy in advance no matter who the First Lady was going to be, they were going to scrutinize her image. That’s what they do. I don’t see any inclination that she prompted this. Also, I like to she how she looks because she’s gone through a bit of a transformation. Her look now is much more natural and appealing.

Though Michelle is beautiful (her stylish should be getting paid overtime because if you look at pictures back in 2007 and early 2008 she tended to look like a garish drag queen with too heavy of makeup and sever shape to her eyebrows) during the campaign her ensembles from J Crew, H & M, etc were nice, but didn’t make her stand out or be the center of attention. I think that’s commendable! There was an opportunity she could have capitalized on, but why? She didn’t need to

I don’t want the media to STOP talking about her style, I just want them to talk more about the other projects she’s working on. It’s a reoccurring theme, it’s unbalanced (The media could balance the situation a bit more if they didn’t just talk about Womenswear, but the Menswear too). The truth is, if you want to know about her, you can easily find out, it’s just not as likely to be right their when you turn on the tube. Get a book. The biography Michelle by Liza Mundy is a good place to start. You have to be actively interested in the first ladies to know about them beyond the media which will undoubtedly present image and eventually if they are or aren’t keeping their promises for the country, in this case working with the military families.

Fashion Fashion Fashion

If you initially thought this was going to be about her “looks”, here’s my 2 pennies:

Swearing In

She wore a Cuban designer to the inauguration. I assumed she would wear American, but I have no issue with it. It was a memorable color, at first seeming gold, but then hues or yellow and green. The color literally was “brilliant”. The texture looked lush. I loved the neckline accent and the gloves were fabulous.

12 Inaugural Balls

She put the 26 year old Taipei-born New Yorker Jason Wu on the map with her Ball attire. At first glance, she looked stunning. I love texture, but on tv the dress kinda looked like it had a bunch of unwieldy puff balls all around. The light cream/bone color was nice, but I kinda wish it was echoed in the Presidents bow-tie instead of the pearl white he wore. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an off white bow-tie, that could have been a unique plus. She had her hair down for the inauguration, so I would have liked to have seen it in a stately up-do for the ball. (A la Palin… just kidding) Obviously the dress was too long! That is a negative for the designer. Shame on your Wu!! The team had to know their were going to be dancing ALL NIGHT. They could have taken an inch off the bottom. It was totally distracting the way they were both tripping over it and she had to keep getting it out of the way. Total bummer. Now you know I’ve lived in Hollywood, because I was half expecting her to do a wardrobe change or two. Ha! I mean, she did go to 12 Balls (source: Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I only stayed up to watch 6), though they were late to most of them, she could have slipped in to a snappy red number? No?

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I have chosen to become a naturopathic physician to assist a growing team in offering a safer, all inclusive health practice for all things, worldwide. I am interested in botanical, homeopathic, and Asian medicine, drama therapy, nutrition, and the history of naturopathic medicine.

In my early twenties, I began having innate feelings about how to deal with my own health conditions and concern about how my current healthcare situation was going. I would investigate alternative ways to deal with my most concerning conditions. I did not like the way I felt in my body and mind taking so many prescription drugs. Unfortunately, I did not feel comfortable bringing these concerns to my primary care physician. I was looking for something more without knowing it.

All things, organic and inorganic, suffer from a lack of naturopathic principles and influence. The term holistic in reference to medicine is “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.” We need all inclusive, conventional, alternative, progressive medicine. I do not believe anyone can fully recover from anything significant without addressing all aspects of the person. We can stimulate our bodies’ natural defenses, first. Finding the safest way to support our bodies into protecting itself should be healthcare’s first concern.

The naturopathic principle that speaks to me most clearly is Do No Harm. This idea lends to truth, honesty, cleanliness, purity and peace. In all aspects, it is the most logical way to live. I prefer natural remedies over synthetic drugs which do not work with our bodies as well as botanicals and herbals. I truly believe living more naturally in every aspect will promote better mental, emotional, and social health. Many have no inclination this is possible. Therefore, it is my obligation to add to this health and healing. The best way for me to do this is to become a physician of naturopathy. I want the opportunity to help in the healing that naturopathic medicine provides.

African-American identities have been perpetually based on lies since the first captive was brought to the Americas. There is no evidence that supports there was ever a class delineation or hostility among household and field slaves, yet this plot has grown to iconic proportions in the Black community even influencing the modern African-American communal identity. The conniving household slave is a myth supported by peer pressure, media popularity, fraudulent, suspect text, and leader endorsement.

There is a constant fear of being seen as a person who oppresses and subjugates your own. The impact and peer pressure evoked by the notion of classism among Blacks is strong. No one wants to be an “Uncle Tom”, or the morally cannibalistic “Sell Out” devouring those like you to get ahead. The household slave and field slave myth even suggest that some people are born to be lapdogs of society, moved and manipulated to do their bidding, for lack of character strength, and common sense.

While I have yet to find any slave narrative support the idea of slave class delineations, they often reference differences among the various labour sects. Most household slaves were female and their jobs were strenuous. They may have kept the longest hours, rising before everyone often beginning their day by milking a dozen cows or more in the dark of the morning. Then resting after everyone at night once preparation and service of dinner and other duties were done. However, it is historically noted that field slaves had the more backbreaking work of the two. In his slave narrative, fugitive slave James Curry notes that not all slaves were “driven” like the field slaves.
“My mother’s labor was very hard. She would go to the house in the morning, take her pail upon her head, and go away to the cow-pen, and milk fourteen cows. She then put on the bread for the family breakfast, and got the cream ready for churning… After I was sixteen, I was put into the field to work in the spring and summer, and in the autumn and winter, I worked in the hatter’s shop with my uncle. We raised on the plantation, principally, tobacco, some cotton, and some grain. We commenced work as soon as we could see in the morning, and worked from that time until 12 o’clock before breakfast, and then until dark, when we had our dinner, and hastened to our night-work for ourselves. We were not driven as field slaves generally are, and yet when I hear people here say they work as hard as the slaves, I can tell them from experience, they know nothing about it.”

In her slave narrative The History of Mary Prince, Prince paints a much more all inclusive work load, where she is demanded to do both household work and field work. This takes place directly after her relatively kind mistress has died, she’s been sold from her mother, and separated from her sister.
“The next morning my mistress set about instructing me in my tasks. She taught me to do all sorts of household work; to wash and bake, pick cotton and wool, and wash floors, and cook. And she taught me (how can I ever forget it!) more things than these; she caused me to know the exact difference between the smart of the rope, the car-whip, and the cow-skin… She was a fearful woman, and a savage mistress to her slaves.”

The household and field slave myth is historically accepted, though not historically noted. This is not to say that there was not conflict and even deception among the slaves. In The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano, he recounts a time when an elderly slave woman told on him for accidently killing a chicken while he was helping her cook.
“…I happened to toss a small pebble at one of them, which hit it on the middle, and directly killed it. The old slave having soon after missed the chicken, inquired after it; and on my relating the accident (for I told her the truth, because my mother would never suffer me to tell a lie) she flew into a violent passion, threatened that I should suffer for it; and my master being out, she immediately went and told her mistress what I had done. This alarmed me very much, and I expected and instant flogging.”
Equiano goes on to say that he hid in fear all day, expecting to be found and punished, but when he went undiscovered for the better part of the day, everyone assumed he had fled as a runaway. The next morning he is discovered by the elder slave woman and she conspires to help save him from grave punishment.
“She was very much surprised to see me, and could scarcely believe her own eyes. She now promised to intercede for me, and went for her master, who soon after came, and, having slightly reprimanded me, ordered me to be taken care of, and not ill treated.”
In this case, there was no backstabbing because the old lady was a house servant and he was not. They were both working on the same task, she became angry and impetuous, and later helped save him from certain whipping.

Stories of household slaves betraying field slaves inundate media, books, radios, talk shows, songs, and movies. However, there is little to no evidence of these animosities ever taking place. The atrocities of slavery are horrendous, but no where in the narratives of Prince, Curry, or Frederick Douglass are there any account of scheming spies, working in the house, plotting against the others. This household slave Sell Out character does not exist in their time, but modern people believe this sniveling traitor did. The modern Black community has become an instigator in a fight that never took place. How unfortunate for the image of the household slave!

These myths are long-standing. We have black and white footage of formidable leaders, such as Malcolm X, educating and preaching to the masses about the strife between household and field slaves. Warning those in the audience to not act like the household slave, the eager subject of the master.

One of several speeches in Malcolm X Speaks is entitled The House Negro And the Field Negro. Malcolm X begins his speech talking about the federal governments lack of protection for the millions of Blacks in America against such forces as the Ku Klux Klan and the police. Then he goes on to speak about this notion that there has always been two types of Black people in America: The House Negro And the Field Negro.
“Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ‘em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this.
There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro. And the house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negro got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put ‘em back on the plantation.
The house Negro could afford to do that because he lived better than the field Negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He lived right up next to his master-in the attic or the basement. He ate the same food his master ate and wore his same clothes. And he could talk just like his master-good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. That’s why he didn’t want his master hurt.
If the master got sick, he’d say, “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” When the master’s house caught afire, he’d try and put the fire out. He didn’t want his master’s house burned. He never wanted his master’s property threatened. And he was more defensive of it than the master was. That was the house Negro.
But then you had some field Negroes, who lived in huts, had nothing to lose. They wore the worst kind of clothes. They ate the worst food. And they caught hell. They felt the sting of the lash. They hated their master. Oh yes, they did.
If the master got sick, they’d pray that the master died. If the master’d house caught afire, they’d pray for a strong wind to come along. This was the difference between the two.
And today you still have house Negroes and field Negroes. I’m a field Negro. If I can’t live in the house as a human being, I’m praying for a wind to come along. If the master won’t treat me right and he’s sick, I’ll tell the doctor to go in the other direction. But if all of us are going to live as human beings, as brothers, then I’m for a society of human beings that can practice brotherhood.”

The Willie Lynch Letter is a speech purportedly given by William Lynch on the James River in Virginia in 1712 about how to control slaves in a colony. His advice in large part was to pit slaves against each other based on their differences to squash any unity among them and make them weak in the mind while preserving the body for slave labor. Supposedly, the inferiority was going to be felt psychologically by the slaves and their offspring for more than three hundred years.
“I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves, and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies, and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little test of differences and think about them. On the top of my list is “Age”, but it is there because it only starts with an “A”; the second is “Color” or shade; there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action–but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration.”

The Willie Lynch Letter supports the notion that slaves were divided into two groups who fought based on differences of class and complexion. There were more than two labour forces of slaves. Besides house and field, what about the welders, the blacksmiths, the hired out slaves, the breeding slaves, and the slaves used as messengers?

The Willie Lynch Letter first appeared on the internet in 1993 after publication in The St. Louis Black Pages a University of Missouri reference librarian posted the text on the library’s server with the warning that its’ origins were not clear. William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D., historian and associate professor of History at Spelman College specializing in post-Civil War African American history, believes the letter is an internet hoax. There has been debate over this though many believe it does not matter if the text is fake or not because the tactics described were certainly used by slave owners to assert more power and manipulate slaves.

Even though the Willie Lynch Letter is absolutely fraudulent, in the 2007 movie The Great Debaters, Denzel Washington’s character Melvin B. Tolson, real life Speech and English professor of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas in the 1920s and 1930s, references the Willie Lynch Letter in 1935.
“Anybody know who Willie Lynch was? Anybody? Raise your hand. He was a vicious slave owner in the West Indies. The slave masters in the colony of Virginia were having trouble controlling their slaves so they sent for Mr. Lynch to teach them his methods. Keep the slave physically strong but psychologically weak and dependent on the slave master. Keep the body, take the mind.”

Why is there no objection? What does this mean for Black youth that grow up with no indication that this is all myth and fallacy? Will they live up to low expectations of themselves? What does this mean for Black elders that may in fact be crippling children, and therefore stumbling the community’s hopes for future advancements? Where does a myth like this come from?

While slave narratives lack accounts of field and household slave strife, they are full of accounts of slaves helping each other get by. Through them it is also apparent how the slave owners knew very little about their slaves true feelings and intentions. Mary Prince said, “Oh the Buckra [white] people who keep slaves think that black people are like cattle, without natural affection. But my heart tells me it is far otherwise.” Frederick Douglass’ narrative tells us that slaves would often claim to have a kind master and to being contented with their lives.
“…when inquired of as to their [slaves] condition and the character of their masters, almost universally say they are contented, and that their masters are kind…a still tongue makes a wise head. They suppress the truth rather than take the consequences of telling it… If they have anything to say of their masters, it is generally in their masters’ favor, especially when speaking to an untried man.”

Mary Prince’s recount is full of affection between slaves. Time and time they are helping each other survive and get by. Hetty the slave woman who looks after Mary, and whom she refers to as her Aunt, and the kind Black man Anthony and his wife who feed her on her four week long journey to Turk’s Island, to name a few. She also has tales of confrontation among Blacks. In one case, a bi-racial freedwoman named Martha Wilcox was very unkind to the slaves no matter there labor position.
“Mrs. Wood…hired a mulatto woman to nurse the child; but she was such a fine lady she wanted to be mistress over me. I thought it very hard for a coloured woman to have rule over me because I was a slave and she was free… she was a saucy woman, very saucy; and she went and complained of me, without cause, to my mistress, and made her angry with me… The mulatto woman was rejoiced to have power to keep me down. She was constantly making mischief; there was no living for the slaves- no peace after she came.”
At another time, a slave who had long doled out harshness to other slaves, is very remorseful for the deeds his master has made him do.
“The husband of the woman I went with was a black driver. His name was Henry. He confessed that he had treated the slaves very cruelly; but said that he was compelled to obey the orders of his master. He prayed them all to forgive him, and he prayed that God would forgive him. He said it was a horrid thing for a ranger to have sometimes to beat his own wife or sister; but he must do so if ordered by his master. I felt sorry for my sins also. I cried the whole night…”

History has failed to act as a guide for the present. These myths have become a poor substitute to fill in the blanks on an otherwise scattered history. The Black community clings to these myths because we do not have a solid foundation for our history. We are always seeking our true selfs and our true origins, constantly trying to figure out why this could have possibly happened to us, where we have come from, and where we are going. So much power, influence, manipulation, and contention is wielded by myths. Fights have been waged over accusations of being a Sell Out. The notion that we will always be divided comes from the notion that we have always been divided. If we can attribute some of this to descention between us it may give us a semblance of an answer.

I, like most scientist, believe that global warming is an imminent threat to life on Earth. When predicting the effects of global warming on the Earth over the next century, we must take two scenarios into consideration. First: What will the Earth’s conditions be like if people do nothing? Second: What will the Earth’s conditions be like if people act? Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic about the outcome of either scenario.

Global warming is often called “climate change” because the atmosphere warms due to green house gas emissions, traps heat inside, forcing the Earth to cool. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most common emission that makes Earth warmer. It is often released by factory pollution or burning fossil fuels. Trees absorb CO2, but the rainforest is being obliterated. Eleven of the twelve hottest years on record since the invention of the thermometer were between 1995 and 2006. In 650,000 years, CO2 levels never exceeded 300 parts per million (ppm), today we are at 380 ppm. Some scientists speculate that in 91 years (2100) we will be over 500 ppm.

Let’s imagine society as a whole does nothing to stop global warming. Those who don’t believe in global warming often cite that the Earth has only gotten about one degree hotter in the past 60 years and that the atmosphere has sustained severe climate changes in the past such as “The Little Ice Age” of the 17th and 18th centuries that froze the River Thames, the cooling of the Earth during the Jurassic Period, and the warmer climate of Europe during the Middle Ages. This is very distressing to some environmental advocates because regardless of the seemingly slight change in degrees the adverse effects of global warming are very obvious.

The orangutan, polar bear, and tiger are threatened and I predict more animals will become endangered in the next century as a direct result of global warming, and danger to their environments and food sources. Glaciers will melt all over the world causing water levels and temperatures to rise, and more frequent hurricanes and tsunamis. Kilimanjaro has less and less snow on its summit every year, soon it will have none. Shorelines and coastal lands will go under water. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina will be common. Precipitation will be disastrous as some places flood and others drought. We’ve already seen the tsunamis and tornados of Asia and the droughts of Africa. Seasons will deform, birds will hatch before their food, starve, and die. Property rates will skyrocket as people move inland to escape the perilous water. New diseases develop in an eco-system at war with itself and diseased living conditions persist. Like crabs in a barrel, people will scrapple to survive creating a breeding ground for social unrest, marshall law, and starvation when flood waters consume agricultural fields. Worldwide, many of this is already taking place as people continue to die.

Now, let’s imagine that people get on board to save the Earth’s thinning atmosphere. Thanks to celebrity environmental advocates such as former Vice President Al Gore for his global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth and Noah Wyle with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for bringing awareness to the public. The more concerned generated on this issue, the better the chance for positive change.

In order for the world to improve, legislation need to ban the manufacture of products we know harm the Earth. We know aerosol cans, gas burning vehicles, and other items damage the ozone, so they shouldn’t be made. Give incentives to live eco-friendly. Tax breaks for those committed to using alternative fuels, renewable solar and wind powered energy, abstaining from aerosol cans, car pooling, using eco-friendly cars, restoring forests, and recycling. Years ago, Al Gore suggested a CO2 tax for companies harming the ozone. Implement a pollution tax to discourage people from polluting. The best thing we can do is try to make the damage as little as possible. These are some of the best solutions available.

I hope and believe the global warming situation will improve eventually, but only if mankind effects change. It took much damage for us to effect the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, but not too much that cannot be undone. However, perhaps it is just too difficult to get everyone to unite on anything. I’m not sure if enough people care to make the drastic changes needed to get it back on track so future generations can enjoy Earth as we’ve known it.

Black Theater: Ritual Performance in the African Diaspora by Paul Carter Harrison, Victor Leo Walker II, and Gus Edwards is not a book that focuses on directing theater. Its focus is not even directing “Black Theater.” Rather, it is a study of African-American theater and how it is produced today. However, by examining African-American theater practices, traditions and history, the book highlights key points that directors should not forget. Any director that takes on the task of bringing Black drama to life on stage must acknowledge the need for call and response, repetition and ritual, and finding the relevance of African traditions in theater.
A large part of African-American culture and performance history is the usage of call and response. In call and response the performers and the audience share in the experience as participants in a time-honored ritual. This technique can be observed throughout the history and present day activities of African-American people, from church and religious gatherings to all different forms and variations of music. Call and response is a large part of blues, gospel, Negro spirituals, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and hiphop. Musical selections like Stevie Wonder’s rhythm and blues hit “Fingertips”, Ray Charles’ blues anthem “It’s Alright”, and Donny Hathaway’s gospel ballad “I Love the Lord” welcome, demand, and even require audience participation. Hiphop’s Emcee, popularly referred to as a “rapper”, is derived from the initials M.C. which stand for Master/Mistress of Ceremonies. At social gatherings where hiphop was present, M.C.’s began to host such events with crowd participation routines, which later grew into full-scale verses of musical spoken word. The writers within this book insists that these traditions in African-American storytelling are also found at the core of Black theater.
It is important for a director of Black theater to understand the important role of call and response and that proper arrangements are made to accommodate it. Black audiences will respond to a moving and compelling story and the way it is presented, with both verbal and non-verbal communication such as claps and stomps. It is important that they not be discouraged by this or bound to the rules of traditional “western theater”. In Paul Carter Harrison’s essay Forms and Transformation, he asserts that Black Theatrical tradition dates back to a slave ritual know as “The Ring Shout”; in this event Africans in the Americas shared their stories while witnessing the stories of others in a circle with dance and audible praise. This tradition is similar to religious testimonies and hiphop ciphers, where the audience and performers are peers sharing experiences. The essay explains that this builds an unbreakable kinship between the performers and the audience, allowing for a give and take of energy and security between the two parties. A writer from the Negro Ensemble Company states, “We never needed to look in the papers to find out whether or not we had a hit, we could tell by the way the audience responded” (pg.325).
Repetition and ritual are focal points, often mentioned throughout the book. A continuous pattern of actions and words are the building blocks of Black performances. In other words, rhythm is a needed storytelling tool when dealing with the African Diaspora. This is also reflected in music and religious ceremonies. Paul Carter Harrison says that rituals are spiritual and that spirituality is a cornerstone of the Black drama. “Without the benefit of a forceful, spiritually expressive character, the dramatization of black experience becomes frozen in sociological analysis” (pg.323). The contributors argue that Black theater is rooted in ritual not realism.
They proclaim that the overtly spiritual rituals found in plays like Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow’s Enuf, are what causes the audience to respond. It is not a simple portrayal of events, but a dramatized, sermon-like depiction of true life experiences, that draws the audience into the story. “It is widely accepted that, owing to the incantory power of the preacher to rouse emanations of the spirit, few leave the black church ritual the way they entered. At work here is not merely representation of the Gospel…; it is the mimetic figuration of myths conjured with a language that signifies the conjunction of ethos and cosmos, a ritual reenactment of earthly issues” (pg.326).
“Transformation requires a procreative process whereby the retrieval of the old is transmuted into concrete image or idea in the new experience. Thus in addition to rhythm, one of the important performance devices found in African Diaspora cultures is repetition…”(pg. 327 Snead:50-57). The usage of repetitious action and speech is vital to the communication of Black theater. So it is important that even if there isn’t repetition in the text, repeated words or phrases, that characters performing African-American stories exercise repetition in the way that they speak or in their actions. A character rhythm must be created, actors must conjure up the ideas expressed throughout the piece. It is important that the performance follow a ritualistic pattern of rhythm and repetition.
Finally, it is important that directors of Black theater understand the importance of the history of African traditions in theater. This is important for contextualizing your work, as well as breaking new ground as an artist and storyteller. In her essay The Sense of Self in Ritualizing New Performance Spaces for Survival, contributing writer Beverly J. Robinson describes briefly the history of African drama in the Americas. According to the text, dances like “The Limbo” were formed during the Middle Passage to “keep Africans as physically presentable as possible”. She also contends that Negro spirituals and later songs developed on the “chain gangs” by African-American prisoners were games and codes, that not only aided the escape and revolt of Africans, but kept them safe from harm during their demeaning tasks. Mrs. Bessie Jones, granddaughter of slaves, recounts, “the older men would teach the younger ones how to sing certain songs to keep the field boss at bay. Because if you get too still the captain will think you might be doing something wrong.” “If you want to please your captain/Sink em’ low boys, raise em’ high,” went one slave song. “Sink the shovel low in the dirt to get a shovel full, and then throw it up high. A light shovel always meant a whipping or punishment” (Robinson 334). We can gather from this that the traditional usage for Black drama and performance are practical at their core. For example, certain games, codes, and dances developed by slaves are still used as teaching tools for children today.
“Two ritual elements universally common to theater are dance/movement and storytelling/oral tradition” (Robinson 332). It is clear that African-American movement and storytelling techniques are different in style and culture than traditional western ones, so directors of Black theater would need to acquaint themselves with African-American styles of dance and oral tradition in order to successfully direct Black drama. It is also necessary that we take into account the context of each performance tradition for Black Americans. These dances, words, and other forms of expression are often created as defense mechanisms in hostile environments and tools for everyday survival. It is important that we not minimize or forget that history when addressing each performance method.
African-American theater must not be an imitation of mainstream white theater that is most common. Rather it is something wholly different and should be directed as such. It should use the methods of call and response to engage its audience in fellowship and camaraderie. “Stanislavsky’s ‘magic if’ treats ‘if’ as a word that can transform our thoughts… This particular doctrine becomes destructive for many African Americans, whom ‘if’ can make very angry. ‘If there had not been slavery,’ ‘If I were white,’ ‘If there were no racism,’ ‘If I could get a job’ …” (pg.353). It is clear that our methods must be different. Black theater should be based in ritual and repetition so as to serve the play and drive home the spiritual core of the story. The director should utilize the history that it is built on as a blueprint for the future or as possible rules to strategically break while setting a new standard and covering new ground. Barbara Ann Teer, founder of the National Black Theatre of Harlem said, “My vision of theater is one rooted in the heart, not the mind. I want to add another dimension to theater-the dimension of human spirit, so that people will get to experience who they are when they come to the theater…”(pg.352).

The Future of Healthcare

January 15, 2009

Where do I envision the naturopathic medicine profession heading in the future? More practice, more schools, more licensure, more accreditation, more physicians, more patients, more consistent progress. This profession is constantly advancing. More locations are offering licensure for naturopathic doctors, most recently Minnesota on May 23, 2008. Many states in the United States are seeking licensure like New York and Illinois. I believe that when more of the population learns about the benefits of naturopathic medicine the profession will continue to grow. I hope it will not be long before government health programs will include more naturopathic avenues for patients to explore. I am excited for an opportunity to add to the future of this healthcare method.

The future of naturopathic medicine is in the hands of its physicians. Physicians should be using natural medicine and conventional medicine together to have the most positive impact. Naturopathy was popular in North America until the 1930s when practice of natural medicine declined, after the discovery and development of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. It is distressing that in this modern world naturopathic medical treatment still escapes the majority of healthcare facilities.

The cost effectiveness and energy efficiency of naturopathic medicine ensures its future in the world of healthcare. We are living in a time when more and more people are seeing the value of clean natural resources. We even have advertisements on television about using windmills for power, and U.S. presidential candidates talking about alternative energy sources as opposed to off shore drilling. The world we live in is more prepared than ever to open its mind to the benefits of naturopathic medicine.

I have chosen to apply to Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine because it is seriously committed to naturopathic medicine as an alternative for those seeking healthcare in these times. In my search for the ND program that would best fit me, more than any other institution, I found ND doctors with degrees from CCNM. This college is highly recommended by working professionals in the medical field and the university faculty have the credentials that prove for a well structured and professional environment. I believe deeply in the work that CCNM offers and I have no doubt that I can be an asset to this program. However, I want to give much love and support to all the other naturopathic programs out there. We are fighting a lot of odds, so there is camaraderie over competition. Peace-Love-Blessings-Awareness-Wealth

Dreams Don’t Come True

January 15, 2009

Recently my husband asked me to describe my dream job. It was surprisingly hard for me to do. I had to write it down, when I was done, I was even more depressed than ever because I realized its not even flippin’ possible!! Yeah, it was an interested exercise, because I’ve been vacillating over what to do with my life,– funny how my undergraduate education didnt point me in the infinate direction… life, sheesh, anyway this was my dream job fantasy conclusion/delusion:

I’m here to example tolerance, help heal bodies, society, and Earth, tell under-told stories, do no harm, learn at every age, and acknowledge beauty in everything.
I am a community organizer with a passion for social activism. The city of Chicago pays me to plan and host free events for the community year-round. I enlist help from local artists, small business owners, and volunteers. Focus and importance is placed on involving the community in enriching their environment whilst evoking a feeling of ownership and pride. Youth and families are encouraged to get involved.
I own a large south-side duplex. I’m one of a team of physicians working out of its first floor clinic that is devoted to holistic naturopathic treatments. This need-based clinic is open to everyone. Fees are determined by financial need, though free to some, and accepts donations. Upstairs, this duplex houses a distribution center where my husband distributes films that he writes and we both produce and direct. Towards the back of the first floor and leading out to the backyard is a blackbox theatre where performances, classes, drama therapy and playwriting workshops are held. Artists work with special needs children and abuse victims to collectively write and produce plays for the blackbox. A small cafe in the duplex serves concessions during the performances and cocktails in the evenings and early morning hours when the blackbox hosts a burlesque/cabaret show.
The Healthy ‘Hood Clinic, Move The Crowd Printing Co., O. Micheaux Distribution Co., Mark Mai Words Concession Stand, and Elemental Performance Arts Ensemble Blackbox all sponsor individual scholarships open to any student showing financial need.
I want to be an example, I want to be a role model. I am here to be a wife and I hope to be a mother, I am here to teach and to learn. I am here to let everyone know that you need never stop learning. There is beauty in everything. I want to promote tolerance and convince everyone that God works in mysterious ways and that no one should judge anyone because we don’t know how God is working with anyone. My purpose is to heal the world and heal the bodies of people I am here to tell people’s stories that are not told.

Social Activism is my heart’s desire for my life. I hope to improve the quality of life for my family and community by broadening awareness of natural medicine. I will earn my Doctor of Natural Medicine certification, become a physician, open a practice and advocate the licensure of naturopathy in Illinois, New York, and Indiana before fighting for national licensure. I will support the growth of this branch of the medical field worldwide by making it more assessable to the general public and dispelling myths. I want to encourage government health programs to include more naturopathic avenues for patients to explore. The future of naturopathic medicine is in the hands of its physicians. Naturopathic and allopathic (conventional) medicine should be used together to have the most positive impact. Naturopathic medicine has proved to be cost effective and environmentally sound. I hope to visit naturopathic facilities abroad and strengthen networks of naturopathy worldwide. I want to add to the future of this healthcare method by giving patients options, and doing as much good for as many people as possible.
Plsease don’t assume I don’t advocate conventional med. That’s silly, I just don’t think its the be all end all of healthcare, and leaving natural medicine out of the spectrum of common discussion is nonsensical. There are many myths about it, some one actually asked me if it has to do with crystals and light. NO, that’s not it, its science and mental health among other things. I think anyone who would advocate one without the other is not acting wisely. I also feel its my duty to advocate its use. Not that its completely synonymous with allopathic medicine but i AM against over medicating people and charging them for that malpractice.

Uncle John David is fourth of six boys. My uncles are the finest examples of strong, successful, enduring American men. It’s easy to look up to them, and they’ve always been loving and supportive. However, Uncle John D. has taken special interest in me from a young age; teaching me chess and encouraging me in violin. He’s fun loving, a man I take after most.
Uncle John D. is well-travelled, having served the Air Force in Germany. For years, I’ve enjoyed listening to his stories of traveling in Italy, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Australia. Thumbing through photo albums, I’d imagine the foreign smells, native foods, and the music. Uncle John D. implanted the insatiable desire to see the world in his young niece: wanderlust.
The first time I travelled abroad I was a sophomore in high school and I went to France for two weeks. On my way back, I got him a silver and gold clock in the shape of a small airplane, to commemorate his time in the Air Force. I’ve travelled Sapin, Europe, and Mexico, and lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and soon Toronto.
I hope one day to name a son Langston John David Heath.

Very recently I’ve started wondering if my wanderlust is a virtue or a vice. It’s always excited to go on an adventure and move to a new place. I love to explore the world. But sometimes, it makes me feel like I’m scatterbrained and flighty. I’m an adult, I should be able to settle down right? Why don’t I want to stop moving until I’m 30 or something. I feel like maybe I’m running away from myself. Is it healthy to nurture this, or is this going to be a catastrophe? Am I setting myself up for failure? I hate the idea of getting old, death, settling down, owning a home, being boring. I dread not being on the cutting edge of life, but just because I’ve got wanderlust doesn’t mean I’m on he cutting edge of my life. I live in my own head way too much. I have to force myself i write it out.

Entering college is a fun and exciting rite of passage and new chapter in life. However, my adventurous college experience would be marred if I didn’t have one essential item: a home remedy pack with garlic and 100% tea tree oil. That’s right, some good ole’ home remedies and naturopathic know-how. Your school may bombard you with Sudafed or the very popular NyQuil and DayQuil or other pharmaceuticals to keep you hopped up and going to class day after day, but once you find out the utter uselessness of those man-made products and the expense once you get hooked on them, then you will be glad you know how to support your body into healing itself. Naturopathy has been around for way over a hundred years, its a branch of the medical field where only natural materials and formulas are used to heal or treat patients from the common cold, to anxiety or cancer. For many, college is the first time away from home and the first time living with roommates. Many people will be taking care of themselves for the first time. This is why I encourage ALL college students to take a garlic when they are sick and use tea tree oil for topical dermatological care. Garlic is like bleach for your body, seriously. If you have a bacterial or fungal illness garlic will help. If you have food poisoning, garlic will help. You should take 2 cloves (that a little wedge like segment, not to be confused with a head of garlic, thats the whole bulb) of garlic, diced into pill size, don’t chew them, swallow the diced piece whole with a large cup of orange juice. Do this 3 times a day until you are better for at least 48 hours. If you have a skin condition that is fungal, or acne, or itchiness, or even sensitive skin, tea tree oil can help. It can soothe and disinfect. Its also a good idea to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand, it’s great for gargling with! Don’t just take my word for it, make sure you do some research via internet or your school library to see the use and benefits of this items. You will find they are way more cost effective then visiting the pharmacy all the time and better for your body in the long haul. Mai sources come from Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil.