Black Men Are Dying

Vol. 1, No. 16, April 27th, 2021

When I revamped this newsletter to what you see before you, I had two main objectives in mind. First, provide myself an outlet where I can nurture my creativity and hold myself accountable to creating content. Second, I created Rewriting The Narrative to address a need of Black men owning their own media. Stories for Black men, about Black men, and curated by Black men. There’s a disconnect between who we really are and who we are portrayed to be. My mission is to not only empower us to control our image, but provide us with options on how we can be our best selves. 

As Black men, our lights have shined brightly since the beginning of time, yet are now extinguishing prior to the highest peak of their flames. Black men are dying. We’re well aware that State-sanctioned executions (death by law enforcement) are one of the contributors. There’s not a week that goes by that yet another unarmed Black man has been gunned down by the police. Not as sensationalized by mainstream press, Black men are finding their demise at the hands of silent killers. We’re continually losing our lives due to poor health. The results are a continual mourning.

In the past few weeks, the Hip Hop community has lost two Black men due to some type of health complication. DMX passed away a couple of weeks ago from a heart attack due to a drug overdose. In the following week, rapper Black Rob passed away due to kidney failure after surviving several strokes. Countless Black men have transitioned early not just in Hip Hop, but in various communities. Black men have one of the lowest life expectancy rates of any demographic. It’s time we become more aware of our mortality and go to work on changing our fate.

By no means am I a medical professional or can give any sort of advice on individual health conditions, but I can speak to my own experiences. Sometime after graduating from college and entering the workforce, I saw my weight quickly balloon to numbers on the scale that I was not familiar with seeing. Having been on the more slim side the majority of my life, I would have welcomed those pounds with open arms, had they been muscle. A mixture of making “real” money and partying excessively caught up to me in the worst ways. I hardly cooked, consumed alcohol excessively, and only worked out when it was convenient for me. In short, I got fat really fast. Somewhere around that time, I unwillingly went to see a doctor for a physical and some blood work. My lab results were sobering when they returned. I was diagnosed with prediabetes and prehypertension, much later I would be diagnosed with sleep apnea. What the entire fuck was I doing to myself?

I had to make some drastic changes, if I continued down the path I was traveling, I would probably not have made it into my fifties. With the help of my wife, I switched up my diet, incorporated fitness back into my life, and had regular check ups with my primary physician. Since that diagnosis, my weight would fluctuate up and down due to whatever my commitment was to the foods that I ate. Currently, my weight is in a decent place, but could be much better. I’ve given up alcohol entirely for almost two years now, yet sugar keeps calling my name. Additionally, I stay active through training for various races and using the makeshift gym in my basement. I’m taking ownership over my health through the things that I have control over. So many of us brothers aren’t always as fortunate to have access to decent health care and non-processed foods at the ready.

In therapy, I’ve learned to control what I could and learn to respond appropriately to the things that were not in my control. I’m privileged enough to not only have decent access to health care, but be in the financial place to take care of myself in the event of a serious issue arising. Not all of my brothers have the same luxury, from North America to Africa to Europe, our lives are being lost often before we can fulfill their potential.

Black men are dying. Black men are living as well. We’re surviving and I want to see us thriving. The State would rather see us eliminated than being our best selves. Let’s make our health our top priority, because we can’t secure a legacy when our bodies aren’t performing optimally. Rest in power to all of the Black men that became ancestors far too soon and let’s use their lives as the spark to light our flames of greatness.


Business Moves

Curren$y releasing NFT-only album

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have been getting attention lately on the internet. In an effort to seek an opportunity in the growing market, rapper Curren$y has released an NFT-only album available to his fans. The seven track EP titled Financial District, will be a part of various tiers that will be available to fans. An NFT is data stored on a digital ledger and certifies an item is unique. NFTs can represent audio, video, photos, digital art, and a host of various digital files.

Sports

D. Wade purchases ownership stake in NBA team

A big congratulations goes out to former NBA player, Dwyane Wade, as he’s purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz. Wade becomes a small collection of former NBA players that have ownership stakes in various teams within the league. Wade joins majority team owner, Ryan Smith, and a host of other individuals as team owners.


What I’m Listening To

As a writer and an introvert, I often live in my head. My imagination often flows free and I dream of careers for myself. One job title that finds itself recurring in my daydreams is, trapper. I spent the majority of my older childhood in the suburbs and school has always been my hustle. A man can dream though. A rapper that’s given me more content for my fantasies is Bankroll Freddie. Hailing from Arkansas, he’s one of the latest additions to the QC label. His album Big Bank, is legit unskippable. Stand out tracks include: “Last Real Trap Rapper”, “Real Street Nigga”, “Pop It”, and “Rich Off Grass (Remix)”.

Notables

As we continue to maintain our peace during troubling times, there are more opportunities out there to strengthen our mental health. Did you know there is a new free therapy program for Black men? Black Men Heal, is a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization that provides access to mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources to Black men.


“Changes cannot be accomplished and will not be forthcoming if the diet has not changed.” – Dr. Sebi