Buy Black #BlackFriday now #BlackDecember

Invest in our community.  Support our own.  Black Friday is an opportunity to show businesses the power of our pockets! Check out these sites, apps, and organizations that #support #blackowned #businesses:

 

Apps

Around the Way App: Find Black Owned businesses in your area

This app is not very good and I hope that it either improves or someone comes up with a better option.

 

Lists

List of Black Banks across US

Houston Directory of Black Owned Businesses 

Black Dollar Project (Houston)

Huffington Post Article, Old but still relevant: Buy Black Friday 

Another list of Black Businesses by Nerdy Girl Swag 

40+ Black Owned Businesses to Support

101 Independent Black Owned Businesses to Support

Mad Black Girls List of Black Owned Businesses  

38 Black Owned Businesses in Nashville 

Blackout Black Friday List of 12 Fab Boutiques by Mommy Noire

25 Black Owned Online Stores for #BlackonBlackFriday   

Organizations that Support Black Owned Businesses 

Support @ablacklifeLLC: They market and support black businesses.

PurchaseBlack.com 

DC Black Pages 

 

Organizations that Actively Support the Community

Concerned Black Men (DC) 

 

Products

B Nude Essentials: Natural Spa and Bath Products

Eden Body Works

 

Apparel/Accessories 

Ingenio BoutiqueUnique woven items

Coliseum Apparel: Quality HBCU and other Apparel

Black Girls are Magic Tees/Sweatshirts

Superior Co., DC based business Apparel and Accessories 

Abysnia: Beautiful handmade jewelry with a unique touch:

Because of Them We Can 

 

Services

Photography 

Wana Image LLC: Amazing photographer and videographer in the DMV area

Wedding Vendors 

Pantora Bridal  by Andrea Pitter, NYC (Brooklyn)

The Flower Guy Bron, Richmond, VA area

Legal

The Law Office of Steven E. Bullock, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Corporate/Business, Entertainment

 

MORE TO COME

Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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Finding Specialized Care for Your Family Member

After many years of dealing with a rare muscle degenerative disease, my grandfather finally accepted my advice and sought a second opinion from an expert.  He did not trust the doctors in Connecticut and heard about a provider at Hopkins that specialized in his condition.  After a few phone calls, delivery of his medical records to the new doctor, and the solidification of traveling details, my grandfather received an appointment at Hopkins that would change his life.

Even though many people are related to or know a health care professional, they casually solicit advice, but never discuss the details of how to seek specialized care. When you or someone in your family is diagnosed with a disease, you have the right to seek a second opinion. Many times people accept what their physician says without questioning their opinion. A second opinion does not undermine the physicians knowledge or experience but an acceptable way to back up their findings. Your physician or insurance company can refer you to a qualified practitioner that will cross reference their own findings against the original finding a.

If you are interested in going to a specific institution, you can contact the institution directly and discuss your needs. Many times the operators are able to connect you with the right departments and the medical assistants can help you find the right practitioner for you. Many of the larger institutions have experience in rare disease processes or cases that other institutions may never see. You want to be treated by people who understand your diagnosis and are prepared to treat you holistically.

My grandfather’s specialist knew immediately what was going on with my grandfather and provided him with a prescription that slowed down his disease, braces to help him walk, and physical therapy. The ability for my grandfather to remain independent for a few more years gave him hope and helped with the frustration of losing his muscle strength. This experience renewed his faith in medicine and pushed him to do all that he could to stay healthy.

Many insurance companies have hot lines that allow you to call in and get guidance on choosing providers, specialist, or understanding your treatment options. There are support groups for patients and families who have been diagnosed with a life changing ailment. Additionally, there are specific organizations that provide resources and information for many common and rare conditions.

Reach out and know that you are not alone. Your health care experience should be empowering and not debilitating. If you have questions, write them down and ask them at the end of your doctors visit. Stay abreast on the new things that are going on with you or your family’s diagnosis. Help is not out of reach and you can make it through this.

Get a second opinion. Ask questions. Feel empowered. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Suicide Isn’t For Black People

I sadly believed this statement up until I began working for Dr. Donna Barnes at the Mental Health Center at Howard University.  At that time, I had never personally dealt with suicide, and I had only heard of a situation that occurred on campus the previous summer.  That incident was discussed more as an accident than a potential suicide.  I wrongly assumed that this was not an issue that affected people who looked like me and therefore I did not have to deal with it.  Working with Dr. Barnes on Suicide Prevention on campus and learning more about suicide changed my outlook and way of thinking.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall, but the 3rd leading cause of death in persons aged 10-14, and the 2nd leading cause of death in persons aged 15-29 (CDC Vital Statistics 2011).  Suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among young black males from 2001-2010 (CDC Report 2010).  Comparatively, African-Americans commit suicide at a lower rate overall,  but there still remains a concern amongst our Black youth.  Black youth are affected by suicide at a higher rate than Black adults, and on average, die from suicide a decade earlier than White Americans.

The numbers may not be alarming enough to make people wake up and realize that we have an issue on our hands, but the reality is that we cannot wait any longer to discuss this topic.  Now is the time to begin to look at the root of the issues that are affecting our youth.  Suicide is not a comfortable conversation to have.  As a health care provider, I have never become comfortable asking someone about their mental health status.  It is a very private and personal topic that very few feel comfortable sharing.  Understanding suicide, the warning signs, and knowing where to go for help, may not be able to save every single person, but may be able to teach us how to reach someone who may need our support and save a life.

The first thing we have to do is stop putting a face to suicide.  We see suicide as a White issue and that barrier prevents us from taking the time to discuss, understand and recognize suicide as our issue.  Secondly, we have to be ready to relinquish the idea that we have to be strong to survive.  Yes, our strength and resilience can be an asset you our success, but it also can be a trap that leads to someone feeling overwhelmed trying to live up to that image.  Lastly, we have to support each other and check-in on one another.  Many times someone crosses our mind and we brush it away, instead of picking up the phone and reaching out.  When people say things that show that their troubles are beginning to overwhelm them, we have to express empathy and patience, instead of ignoring or sweeping it under the rug.

Suicide is not a new issue and will not quietly go away with any one solution.  There are so many pressure points that we have to recognize, address and deal with in order to provide people with options.  We have to change the way we talk about suicide, mental health, depression, counseling and even the use of prescribed medicines.  The conversation may be hard to start but once we are honest with ourselves and each other, we can grow and empower others.

After working with Dr. Barnes I became more aware of suicide and the potential signs, but it did not prepare me to lose someone close to me.  To this day, I think of my dear friend often and I have vowed to continue the conversation as a way to honor her life and all that she was to so many.  The pain that those left behind endure after losing someone to suicide is indescribable, but I can only imagine the pain that she was dealing with that led to her decision.

On September 20th I am walking in her honor at the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, to appreciate her contributions and to continue the conversation.  Feel free to support or send words of encouragement.  I continue to pray for her family and loved ones.  We will never forget who she was to each of us. This conversation is deep and has so many layers.  This is the first installment of many that will help to facilitate the conversation.

Know that you are not alone.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Donation page: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=585209

Resources to learn more: 

http://www.nopcas.com/absu.html

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/