Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary n on September 22nd, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not cease their rebellion by January 1st, 1863, then Proclamation would go into effect. When the Confederacy did not yield, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863.

Five months after the Emancipation Proclamation. It outlawed slavery and freed over 500,000 enslaved African Americans.

Many people did not realize that this monumental decision had taken place and because of this it resulted into many people being remained enslaved until the news reached them…two-and-a-half years later.

As news broke two and a half years later many Slave owners headed West to avoid freeing their slaves. Texas, being the farthest west and still apart of the South they became the last to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. There are many rumored stories that that gives presumption of why Texas did not receive the news of freeing slaves.

One of the versions told throughout the years is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. Another is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. We may not really know what the actual reason behind the Texans not having knowledge of the Emancipation Proclamation, it remained a stays quo.


The Emancipation Proclamation freed over 500,000 enslaved African Americans, many challenged the fact of letting go the enslaved African Americans and challenged the Proclamation. More over, some of the the reasons why Texans did not free slaves was partially due to intentional prevarication on the part of state governments, as well as slave-holding individuals.

General Granger road into Texas delivering one of his first order after the defeat of General Robert E Lee and the surrendering of his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S Grant which ended the American Civil War.

General Order Number 3

General Granger read to the people of Texas the General Order Number 3 of which began with:

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

After Granger announces the General Order Number 3, on plantations many Slave owners did not want to announce the news — or wait for a government agent to arrive — and it was not uncommon for them to delay until after the harvest.

Nevertheless, justice prevailed, however, and the first African American community to formally celebrate their freedom was in Galveston, TX.

Galveston was the site of the first public reading of the proclamation in the south, as well as the first community to celebrate the holiday now known as “Juneteenth,” so named for the date of the reading of the historic Proclamation.

June 19th

Today, every June 19 many African American celebrate Juneteenth with music, festivals, outdoor cookouts etc.

Fathers Day

What does it mean to be a father?

A father is a male partner of a child. In that sense he is the child’s progenitor. They share the same DNA. Fathers who are active in the child’s life will play a role on how the child grows up. To have an impact on the child’s behavior, psychology and their development.

On the other hand, not all fathers are active in their children’s lives.

There are many fathers that believe that once they have a child that thier role is done like a donor. Of course they are still their father by DNA, he might pay bills on time, provide food and money or even provide for the family. But if he does not know anything about his child such as thier likes and dislikes, what is going on in their life from personally, or even life in school. More likely that child will it consider him thier dad.

What does it mean to be a dad?

A dad is a term of affection. He constantly participates in the child’s growth and development. A dad may or may not be a biological father, and he fulfills his responsibility associated with the role of a father.

A father may be an adoptive father, the stepfather, or just a nurturing male figure in the child’s life such as grandfathers , uncles, cousins, big brothers, family friends, mentors, and much more regarding an individual that fulfills some of the fathers responsibilities.

Dads are always there for his child through the good and the bad times. They lead, protect, and helps that child to grow spiritually, emotionally, and wisely.

In addition, he shows the his child right from wrong. Moreover, he demonstrates and teaches what it means to respect self and others.

Dads will attend the child’s events with them. Events leading from school, musical recitals, plays, sport events, etc. as well as the child’s practice no matter what it may be.

This builds a bond and shows the child that dad is interested in their endeavors.

Also, teaching them how to drive a car, and give them away on their wedding day.

He provide guidance to nurture them. There is also a two way street to this relationship, and speaking, listening, and understanding the whys are very important in understanding one another.

Good dads set aside time throughout the day to give the child an undivided attention to each child, and pray together.

They talk in order to find out what has taken places throughout their days, in order to see a different side without using perception.

Sometimes listening and communicating with the child we tend to find so much more details about who the child is.

A good father also takes the family out for a good fun and leisure. He has good conversations with the child about values and balance discipline and support.

Being a good father is especially critical to people of color mainly Hispanic, Afro Caribbean, and African American families.

Many children of color without a father for various reasons such as incarceration, death, drugs, lack of stability and guidance, etc. when the children grow up without a father figure, mainly young boys, they venture out to find that father figure.

A few will learn from the streets what they think is manhood, they will feel secure and protected with gang members, young girls will tend to find the attention elsewhere. All in all they are lead by the wrong crowd and influence etc.

A dad will surround himself with friends that will demonstrate to him and his child what it is to be of good moral and stature.

There are so many single women that has had no choice but to be both the mother and father. This comes with a strong will power and perseverance which is a challenge for most women, this also shows the child determination, morality, perseverance and character.

They see the difficulty that the mother has to deal with on a daily basis, and it sparks a fire inside to do better for both the child and the parent.

Hats off for all single mothers that held it down and helped to grow their child in a way that they are proud of.

The guidance and support that has to be showered upon young children mostly males from a single mothers is definitely not an easy task.

To make sure that the child is involved with outside task such as signing up the child for an after school program, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, swimming lessons, Boys Scout, Girls Scout, etc. there are so many different ways that a child will find mentorship, and they will find a BIG brother or BIG sister that they admire and determine to walk in their foot steps because that person too is like a father to that child.

We all came in this world with the DNA of our fathers but it takes something special to be called a dad.

Happy Father’s Day to those that know they are a little more than a father, no matter if it is your biological child or not. In your being, your heart, and soul. You have always been more than a father to that child.

Jamaica Bans Plastic

Jamaica used to be one of those countries to top the scale for the countries to contribute most to pollution when it comes to plastic and materials biodegradable . The people of Jamaica loved the use of plastic bags otherwise known as scandal bags.

When walking through many parts of Kingston, and throughout other providences I see so many plastic bags, plastic containers, etc. with the material these are made from the decomposing effect and length of time for it to return to earth is unbearable and inconceivable.

In the year 2018, Daryl Vaz, the minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said the ban will take effect from 1 January 2019 and will be part of an international effort to reduce pollution.

Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation displays a plastic shopping bag at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew on Monday, September 17, 2019. Vaz announced a ban on single use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam effective January 1, 2019. 

The ban would be pertaining to:

The ban extends to the import, manufacture and distribution of plastic bags smaller than 24×24 inches (60x60cm), including black “scandal bags”, common in Jamaica and apparently named because the colour prevents others from seeing the scandalous contents within.

But the ban will not apply to those single-use plastic bags “utilised to maintain public health or food safety standards” such as those used to package raw meats, flour, rice, sugar and baked goods such as bread.

Polyethylene, known as Styrofoam, will also be prohibited but local manufacturers and importers will be able to apply to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for limited exemptions until January 2021.

In February of 2019 I took a trip to Jamaica and I was prepared for the change as I was already aware of the change. I made sure to Cary two reusable bags for when I need to carry groceries, clothing etc.

Many individuals did not gravitate to the new changes when it came to banning plastics. As I went to various places in Montego Bay and St. Elizabeth I heard the frustration of the people. Many complained of why the government had to implement such law and how the scandal bag (plastic bag) was much more useful.

This is what the people of Jamaica is saying regarding the ban on plastic in Jamaica.

As I visited a hotel in Montego Bay the premises and staff had fully what adapted to the implementation of banning plastic. I utilized the reusable bag I had with me and there was no vision of seeing any of the guest with plastic bags.

This was a sign that it was being received well in the hotel, on the other hand you would have to also think that most of these people that were at the hotel might have been tourist that may have done research as I did about what to expect before traveling.

As I began to leave Jamaica I decided to eat before boarding my flight. The restaurant I decided to get food from in the airport seemed to have recycled paper napkins and the straw was made out of paper as an alternative option for plastic straws. The straw was firm at first, but slowly you could feel the texture dissolving in your mouth as the liquid from the beverage ran through the papered straw. This was an unusual experience but well worthwhile.

paper straws

In closing, I would highly recommend anyone traveling to do their home work when traveling to other countries. When it comes to going green I would advise for you to carry at lease 1 or two reusable bags. Carry a LED Flashlight, water bottle, if you can a packing dish with utensils if needed. This would really help to play your role as a conservative citizen when it comes to going green and reducing plastic in the world.

Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyn

Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne currently serves as an assistant program scientist for the International Space Station, based at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Her roles as assistant program scientist include communicating the ISS’s scientific accomplishments with the general public, the leaders at NASA, the U.S. Congress, and scientific and educational communities. She is the only woman of Caribbean descent in a top position at NASA.

Alleyne was born in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and left the island in 1983 at the age of 17 to study at Howard University in Washington, D.C. There, she earned her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with an aerospace option. She went on to pursue a Masters from Florida A&M University in mechanical engineering with a specialization in composite materials and became one of two persons in her program recruited by NASA to work at the Kennedy Space Center as a flight systems engineer. She worked there for two years before she attended the University of Maryland to pursue another Masters in aerospace engineering with a specialization in hypersonic aerodynamics and propulsion.

After graduating with her second Masters, she was recruited to work with the Missile Defense Agency under the U.S. Department of Defense on several ballistic missile defense projects as an aerospace systems engineer.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKQMOxLrjmU[/embedyt]

After her projects with the Department of Defense, Alleyne applied to NASA’s Astronaut Program in 2003. Out of the 4,000 applicants in the elite program, Alleyne made it to the final twelve but did not make the final round.

Shortly after the experience, Alleyne was hired by NASA. Her return to NASA coincided with their Constellation and Orion programs, where she worked as a lead system engineer, crew module systems engineer, and test manager.

This aerospace engineer Dr. Alleyne is truly an inspiration to the Caribbean especially young girls. Dr. Alleyne and her foundation:

The Brightest Stars Foundation (a non-governmental organization that is dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring young women to be future leaders in the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Founded in 2007 by Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne, the Brightest Stars Foundation has inspired and empowered over 3000 young people, globally, to see their potential and to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits.)has empowered 10,000 girls from the Eastern Caribbean, 1,500 from each island.

Her message to them is “to dream big dreams and to know that there is no limit to what they can achieve with hard work, determination, focus and a belief in themselves.” As a well accomplished university scholar in the STEM field she plans to visit several islands starting with Trinidad in order to motivate girls in the Caribbean.

Awareness of Breast Cancer in the Caribbean.

What is Breast Cancer?

Cells in the body grows and multiply abnormally is the start of breast cancer. When the cells that normally control cell growth does not work properly anymore this cause the development of breast cancer also.

As a result of this the cells grow uncontrollably and may result in the formation of tumors. One of the most recognized symptoms of breast cancer are lumps and mass within the breast tissue.

Lumps may be felt under the skin and most individuals do not find out about signs of cancer until they revealed by image test such as mammogram (breast -X-ray)


In addition to the signs of lumps and masses it is important to also observe and be aware of any other changes of the breast and nipple.

Such signs include:

  • a lump or thickness in or near the breast or under the arm
  • unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast, particularly on one side only
  • dimpling or puckering of the breast,nipple discharge (fluid) other than breast milk that occurs without squeezing the nipple
  • breast skin changes, such as redness, flaking, thickening, or pitting that looks like the skin of an orange a nipple that becomes sunken (inverted), red, thick, or scaled

Breast cancer in Men

You should not be surprised to find out that men can retrieve breast cancer. Even though breast cancer occurs mainly in women; breast cancer starts out within the breast tissue. Cells in nearly any part of the body can cause cancers.

Between the age of 9 and 10 both young boys and girls have a small amount of breast tissue consisting of a few ducts located under the nipple and areola.

Even after puberty, boys and men normally have low levels of female hormones, and breast tissue doesn’t grow much. Men’s breast tissue has ducts.

When to get evaluated?

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
  • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
  • All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.
Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away. Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI’s along with mammograms.

George Alcorn

Growing up

Born March 22, 1940 George Edward Alcorn Jr. was born to George Alcorn Sr., and Arletta Dixon Alcorn. He was an excellent student with the support of his mother and father who instilled in him and his young brother Charles the importance of education.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80tRuGBXBA8[/embedyt]


While in high school George excelled in his academic work as well as an athlete in baseball and football on the high school varsity team. He received an academic scholarship to Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

He also graduated with honors with a degree in physics in 1962 and followed this by enrolling in the Nuclear Physics program at Howard University. He completed his Master’s work in 1963.


During the summers if 1962 and 1963 he worked at a leading aerospace company at North Rockwell in the space decision and was assigned to perform computer analysis on the orbital mechanics and launch trajectories for rockets and missiles.

Some of his work involved the Titan and Saturn rockets from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo space missions and well as the NOVA missile.

In 1967 he was enrolled in the Physics program at Howard University and received a PhD in Atomic and Molecular physics. After he settled and got married to Marie DaViller in 1969. Soon after George worked in the aerospace division at the Ford Motor Company and served as a senior scientist in that division.

He later worked as a senior physicist for Perkin Elmer, a multinational technology corporation and then as an advisory engineer for International Business Machines (IBM). His relationship with IBM proved quite valuable in 1973 when he was selected to teach as an IBM Visiting Professor in Electrical Engineering at Howard University (eventually becoming a full professor).

As if his schedule was not already busy enough, he also taught Electrical Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia as a full professor.

In 1978, Alcorn left IBM and joined NASA where he invented an imaging X-ray spectrometer which used thermomigration of aluminum. X-ray spectrometry is used to provide data which can be analyzed for a number of applications, including for obtaining information about remote solar systems and other space objects.

He would receive a patent for the device in 1984. As a result of the significance of this work, he was the NASA/GSFC Inventor of the Year (GSFC is an acronym for the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA’s first space flight center established in May of 1959). In 1986 he developed an improved method of fabrication using laser drilling.

In 1992, Alcorn was appointed the head of the Office of Commercial Programs at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He was then placed in charge of GSFC’s Evolution program where he oversaw the development of the space station.


In 1999, he was awarded the Government Technology Leadership award and two years later was awarded special congressional recognition for his work for aiding business in the Virgin Island in employing technology. Finally in 2005 he was named the Assistant Director for Standard/Excellent – Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate for GSFC.

Throughout his career, Alcorn received numerous awards for his contributions to science. Additionally, he received the NASA-EEO medal and the Heritage of Greatness Award from Howard University for his efforts in diversifying NASA and the world of science.

Interview with George Alcorn

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpK5D_9zwTc[/embedyt]

Should Caribbeans Celebrate Kwanzaa?

What is Kwanzaa?

In 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles, California Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University decided to come up with a solution to bring African Americans together within the community. Dr. Karenga researched intensely on African Harvest and combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations such as those of the Zulu and Ashanti in order to start the basis of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa derives from a Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits”.

Kiswahili was chosen because it is a non-tribal African language which encompasses a larger portion of the African continent. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26 through January 1st. Families that celebrate Kwanzaa may implement in their celebrations: songs and dance, storytelling, poetry reading, and large traditional meals.

Each of the 7 night when the family gathers together a child would light the candle on the Kinara (the candle holder) once this is done one of the seven principles would be discussed.

What are the seven principles?

In Swahili the seven principles are called Nguza Saba these seven principles are values of African culture which contribute to the building and reinforcing community among African Americans.

The seven principles are

Unity:Umoja (oo–MO–jah)

To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah)

To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah)

To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah)

To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH)

To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah)

To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee)

To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

These are the seven symbols of Kwanzaa

Mazao (The Crops)

These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.

Mkeka (The Mat)

This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.

Kinara (The Candle Holder)

This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people — continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn)

This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles)

These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup)

This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts)

These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.

The candle lighting ceremony occurs each evening and provides the opportunity to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa. The lighting of the candles begin on the first night by lighting the black candle that is located in the middle. Once the candle is lit the principle of Umoja/ unity is discussed.

Colorful Celebrations

Families gather for the great feast of karamu on December 31st. Karamu may be held at a home, community center, or church etc.. Celebrants enjoy traditional African dishes as well as those featuring ingredients Africans brought to the United States, such as sesame seeds (benne), peanuts (groundnuts), sweet potatoes, collard greens, and spicy sauces. Especially at karamu, Kwanzaa is celebrated with red, black and green.

These three colors were important symbols in ancient Africa that gained new

recognition through the efforts of Marcus Garvey’s Black Nationalist movement.

Green is for the fertile land of Africa; Black is for the color of the people; and red is for the blood that is shed in the struggling for freedom.

Kwanzaa has been adapted by people of African descendants outside of the United States also. Particularly in the Caribbean and other countries across the world.

Kwanzaa was conceived as a nonpolitical and nonreligious holiday which also does not take the place of Christmas.

Here are some traditional food and drink menus used in the celebration of Kwanzaa throughout the Caribbean:

Red Sorrel: is a Jamaican variation on hibiscus tea, and is traditionally paired with black cake during Christmas.

Turron : A Spanish delicacy of nougat studded with nuts (usually almonds) or seeds, turrón is popular as a Christmas treat in Puerto Rico and Cuba

Arroz Con Dulce : Rice puddings pop up in Christmas spreads everywhere, from the Caribbean to Scandinavia to the Philippines

Rice and Peas (Arroz con Gandules) : Although the name suggests otherwise, there are no peas in Jamaica’s rice and peas. Instead, “peas” here refers to beans. And while rice and peas is an everyday dish in Jamaica

Black Cake : Fruitcake has a deservedly bad reputation in the States, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying its Caribbean counterpart, the black cake. Popular in Jamaica, Bermuda, St. Vincent, and other Caribbean islands.

Inclosing, should Kwanzaa be celebrated more in the Caribbean, Latin and Central America, and other parts of the world of African descendants?







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