Summer Love

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KELLY J [Kelz] NEWSON

Summer Love

From the lost files of I AM KELZ. For the ladies.

Copyright 2020 by Kelly J. Newson

I’ve been dreaming ’bout you

And when I’m awake

All I do is think of you

And of our past summer romance

And what could have been

Had we stayed together a few seasons longer

Instead of just being a summer love

But a lifetime love

‘Cause I see now that I have fallen for you,

I have fallen for your lovely personality,

Your gorgeous mind and smile

And one of a kind beauty

It felt like I was in a dream when we met

A dream I never wanted to wake up from

I wanted to be lost in your love forever

Wrapped in your arms

As we awaken together every morning

And fell asleep together at night

Man I miss those mornings, rising right by your side

As we looked forward to the day ahead

So I’m looking for your love

Walking on the beach every morning, noon and night

Hoping to find you yet again

Hoping to rekindle our past summer romance

I want to create more memories

But this time make it last past summer

So as I walk the beach

Even writing our names in the sand

I look for you

I look for that familiar face

I hear a familiar voice

But as I turn around

I’m only disappointed in what I hear

But I won’t give up

I’ll keep searching this beach for my summer love

Hoping to find you

And just before the sunset on a Sunday evening in August

There you were standing at the pier

I rushed over to you

Calling out your name as I approached

You turned to acknowledge

And as we got close enough we embraced

That’s when I felt myself waking up

And you weren’t there next to me

So it seems it was just a dream

A dream I didn’t want to end

For in my dreams I had found you

But here in reality you so far gone

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Prada “The Student” Is Back

From rapper to writer, Prada “The Student” is continuing work with her pen as she looks to take on the publishing world with her debut poetry book COMPLICATED MELODY. Here is an exclusive sit down with the Dallas area artist, Prada the Student.

Kelz: First off, let the readers know who you are and where you’re from?

Prada: My name is LaToya Vines-Derrick and I am a motivated visionary, college graduate, and entrepreneur that loves creating and connecting with creative minds. I was born and raised in Dallas, TX.

Kelz: That’s amazing, it’s always interesting to know how an artist creates and what their creative space is like. Describe your creative/writing space and what inspires you?


Prada: My writing space is usually anywhere that something comes to me; I could be running errands and have to stop to write down my thoughts on my phone when I get inspired. I’m inspired when I have a chance to sit outside with pen and paper, or I’m doing something on my laptop and come up with a few sentences that I don’t want to loose. It’s everyday, in the moment surroundings.

Kelz: Tell the readers about your upcoming project?

Prada: I am working on a poetry/spoken word book that encompasses the minds journey to find harmony, understanding, and express the friction of the process.

Kelz: What makes this book different than others like it?

Prada: The overall range of content is different and the idea that these pieces of creative work can be transformed onto the screen visually as short films. Two authors with two different styles that compliment each other and brings the edge to make the reader relate and reflect.

Kelz: Where can readers find your book?

Prada: The eBook will be made available via Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Kelz: What is on your night table at home?

Prada: Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges.

Kelz: What does success mean to you in regards to this book?

Prada: First, to reach the GoFundMe goal, so that the visual content can be created and follow the release of the book. This would allow the readers to really continue the journey of any thoughts that where provoked by the book, but also have that resolution on-screen that they can feel attached to. Secondly, reaching the younger generation with the visual content (which is heavily dependent on the crowdfunding support), at a rate that is comparable to some of the hottest music videos.

Kelz: What motivates you?

Prada: Most of us have heard the sayings, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “Everything is a test.” I take from that and enjoy the process of reaching my goals.

Follow Prada on twitter at: @pradathestudent for all updates on her latest poetry collection.

You can donate via GoFundMe by clicking here.

Two Roses

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

KELLY J [Kelz] NEWSON

Two Roses

From the lost files of I AM KELZ 6

Copyright 2020 by Kelly J. Newson

Two roses that grew from concrete

A love so pure

From two amazing souls, K & Y

The greatest love to ever exist

True love

Twin flames, built for each other

Loving one another

Growing together

Erasing all toxic friendships,

Heartbreaks, let downs

And situationships around them

As their love comes forward

Can’t any more fuckboys or jokers get between them again

For their love is solid

Purely made for one another

Their souls knew of each other at birth

They were just lost in this chaotic world

Mixed in with the wrong crowd

A toxic environment

Surrounded by stained concrete

But still their love rises

Two roses out the mud

Rising from the cracking, stained concrete

So pure

So real

As new life begins

A new chapter is birthed

K and Y, real love forever

The storyline continues

And their love redeemed for all eternity

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Crown me


KELLY J [Kelz] NEWSON

Crown me

Copyright 2020 by Kelly J. Newson

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Crown me king

Crown me queen

For I am great like my ancestors

As I think now of dropping this English/Irish name inherited by my father’s family

The name they were forced to take on

Forced forgot their own

Maybe I will make my last name X, because for now, there is so much unknown

But still I am the legacy of my ancestors

I am their wildest dreams

I am the prayer they prayed for

The subject of their wildest dreams

With their intelligence running through me

I can feel their guidance daily

As I speak daily to the universe

They inspire me

They push me to be my best

As I read their great works,

listen to their speeches and other great masterpieces for inspiration and motivation

As I look to add my own contribution to this great culture of ours

I just want to make them proud

And make art that will inspire the next generation

As I rock my Kenta cloth daily

With my black tee, jeans and boots

No high fashion needed here

Just colors representing each country in the motherland

From Egypt down the Ivory Coast to South Africa

I’m reppin’ each country

For its the blood of Africa within me

I’m just looking for my direct connection,

My ancestors

The Queens and Kings of my culture, my people!

For I am their descendant

So crown me now

As I celebrate our rich culture

My blood line

And my beautiful black skin

Photo by Nicholas Swatz on Pexels.com

Lockdown Fatigue

By Gunjan Seth

Check out Contentory on Twitter (@Contentoryhouse):

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Lockdown Fatigue

The effects of lock down has taken a toll on uncertainties and menial work routines resulting in anxiety and restlessness.

A battleground of COVID-19 led to mental trauma balancing work and personal life. This pandemic made us question our psychological health and proved that EQ is equally necessary in human just like IQ.

Go easy on yourself! Whatever you do today, let it be enough. Eliminate negative bubbles and culminate your wisdom.

How can you focus clearly without being edgy and exhausted?

Home gym is the new normal. Cycle your way out in the lap of nature. Practice breathing exercises and chanting to gain vitality. Intake of greens and proteins in diet to boost your energy so that you don’t feel lethargic. Inculcate habits of performing without equipment movements at home and dance to the rhythm of gratefulness.

Get organized and do something productive or lay down and rest your eyes for every time you feel tired. Do things you never tried before and get creative in your personal space. Do not let your moods dictate your actions. Do not be too overwhelmed as everybody is sailing in the same boat. So, connect with people and talk it out.

Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

Transform your conviction to follow proper hygiene habits, to move your body daily, to take a break from tech and don’t consume too much news and listen to music. Because this too shall pass…

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Blurred Vision 2 [A Short Story]

Blurred Vision 2
KELLY J [Kelz] NEWSON
[From ‘I Am Kelz’ now available on BN.com]

Checkout ‘Blurred Vision‘ the prequel.

Copyright 2020 by Kelly J Newson

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

In a cold dark tunnel sits a girl on the curb crying with her head between her legs facing the ground as a lifeless body lay next to her. And just up ahead she sees a black Chevy Malibu leaking gas, flipped on its roof, with a man trapped inside

There is no sign of another car involved or anyone around that appears to have heard anything. The only person who could have saw what happened is the little girl and the man trapped inside of the vehicle.

The girl then notices a truck approaching and moves to the middle of the street in attempt to have the driver to stop. The driver comes to a screeching halt, almost hitting her but the truck swerves off the road. The driver turns off the engine and sees the little girl still standing in the middle of the road. Frankie, the driver, gets out of his truck and begins approaching the little girl and asks “Are you alright?”

The little girl gives no response. She turns her attention to the woman lying lifelessly in the street. Frankie hurries over to the woman lying in the street, checks her pulse but he doesn’t feel one. Frankie asks the little girl who is now standing beside him, “Do you know what happened? Do you know her?”

The little girl is silent for a few moments then points to the car, “He did it!”

Frankie looks up just up ahead at the car on its roof and sees the driver trapped inside who appears to be still alive. Frankie begins approaching the car and sees the gas leaking but before he can get within 10 feet, the car explodes, killing the driver.

Frankie retreats to his truck with the little girl, he calls 911 and places a sheet he has in his crime scene kit over the woman’s body. He puts up caution tape around the scene as the little girl sits in the truck. When the police and coroner arrive, Frankie approaches the officer who arrives first and begins telling him what he saw and about the little girl who is now gone from his truck. For hours they search the area but the little girl appears to have disappeared without a trace. A broadcast is put out statewide but no leads.

It’s just after seven in the morning and Frankie is walking in the door of his home where his wife and kids are still sleeping. He quietly enters into the kitchen for a glass of orange juice then heads upstairs to check on the kids. Terri, his youngest daughter is sound asleep. He walks quietly into her room and gently kisses her and afterwards he checks in on TJ who is tossing and turning in his bed. He peaks in quietly and whispers, “Good morning sleepy head!”

TJ turns to the door, still half asleep, yawning, and says, “You just getting in?”

“Yeah and about the batting cages you mind if we go later in the afternoon, I’m beat from work,” Frakie responds.

“That’s fine,” TJ says.

“Ok,” Frakie says closing TJ’s door and beginning down the hall to his and his wife’s room. Frankie goes to the bathroom before proceeding to get in bed. His wife Nikki is awake and asks, “Long night?”

“Yeah, and we have a missing child too. We put out a broadcast but nothing yet. I told the local police to keep me posted on any new updates,” says Frankie.

“I know all too well how that child’s parents must be feeling. Losing a child is difficult,” said Nikki. “Yes it is but we’ll find her. But for now I need some rest. I’m exhausted. Been up long enough,” Frankie says pulling his wife closer and wrapping his arm around her as they both fall asleep.

1pm

Frankie is waking up and to his surprise there’s a little girl standing at the foot of his bed crying. At first glance he thinks it’s his daughter Terri, but the figure is too tall and after taking a second look he hears his wife coming down the hall. As Nikki enters the room the girl disappears. Nikki places their one year old daughter on the bed as she goes into the bathroom. Frankie begins playing with Terri.

“We should take a family vacation,” Frankie says to Nicki’s surprise.

“Vacation? We haven’t had a vacation since, since TJ was five, Nikki says.”

“Exactly! We are long overdue.”

“Well, anyway I can’t right now. I’m on a very important case and from the looks of it, it’ll be months before I’m free,” Nikki says.

“How far along are you?” said Frankie.

“Opening arguments,” Nikki says crawling onto the bed and lying next to their daughter who is between them.

“It just may be months, huh?” says Frankie.

“Yes, and the defense is not making my job any easier. I have to be on my A-game for this one,” Nikki says.

“As you always are,” Frankie says smiling at his wife. “Well, its July now, let’s shoot for a winter getaway to Aspen in January, how does that sound?”

“Sounds good, I should be free by then and I’ll try not to take on another case that’ll get in the way,” Nikki says leaning in to give Frankie a kiss.

TJ walks in on his parents’ moment, “Sorry am I interrupting something?” he says shyly backing out the door.

“We were just talking about a family vacation to Aspen in January,” Nikki says.

TJ returns to the door way, “Awesome!”

“Wait, everything isn’t set yet it’ll all depend on how long this case takes. However, I was just thinking if we don’t make Aspen in the winter how about Hawaii in the spring.” “Awesome! Either will be cool with me.”

“Everything ok?” Nikki asks TJ.

“Yeah, I think so,” says TJ.

“What’s up?” Frankie asks.

“It’s just, I don’t know…” TJ begins.

“Perhaps you and your dad should talk over some baseball,” Nikki says looking over at Frankie.

“Yes, perhaps we should. Just let me get dressed and grab something to eat and we’ll head out. How does that sound?”

“Sounds good! I’m just gone play some Xbox until you ready,” says TJ.

“Ok,” Frankie says

“Yes, and as for us, we’ll just go for a stroll through the park while they’re gone,” Nikki says playfully to Terri who just smiles and coos.

Frankie and TJ arrive at the batting cage

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

TJ grabs his helmet and batting gloves from the backseat as Frankie heads to the cashier to get bats and tokens. As Frankie begins to walk back over, he sees TJ who is standing in front the 70 mph batting cages and chatting with some kids from school. Frankie stands back for a second and allows TJ some time with his friends. However, after a few seconds Frankie overhears the conversation and learns that they aren’t friends of TJ but they are teasing him. Frankie approaches. One of the kids notices and says, “Mr. Encarnacion, how do you do sir? We were just chatting with TJ for a sec. How are you?”

“Eric, right?” Frankie says starkly.

“Yeah but my friends call me Eazy E, you know like the rapper,” Eric says jokingly.

“Uh huh, how’s your father Eazy?” Frankie says sarcastically, “Tell him I said hello. You know we’re old buddies right?”

Eric becomes embarrassed, “Yes sir, I know.”

“Good, and next time I see him, I’ll be sure to tell him about you harassing your fellow classmates,” Frankie says candidly.

“No need sir, just like you and my dad, TJ and I are best friends,” He says giving TJ a friendly hug.

“Dad, we’re good!” TJ says jumping in. “We were just discussing a recent lost we had,” said TJ. “Uh huh. Well, I guess that means the team needs some practice, huh? Frankie responds. Come on first round on me and if you can collectively hit 40 pitches I’ll buy pizza for everybody,” Frankie says. “This should be easy, I got this!” Eric says confidently.

The whole team bats and they reach 40 collective hits. As promised, Frankie takes them all out for pizza afterwards. As they sit at their table, Frankie excuses himself to the restroom and upon exiting calls Nikki to let her know that they’ll be home a little later. After he hangs up, he notices a little girl standing in the doorway of the women’s restroom crying. He begins to approach her but she disappears. Frankie heads back into the restroom to re-gather himself then returns to the table.

In the truck

TJ asks, “Dad, could I ask you something?”

“Sure.” Frankie says turning towards him.

“Who were you talking to back at Kelz Pizza Palace?” TJ asks.

“What do you mean?” Frankie asks.

“You were talking to someone near the women’s restroom; you even kneeled down and had your hand out as if you were calling out for someone.”

“You saw me?” Frankie says.

“Yes I did, Dad,” says TJ.

“Do you think anybody else seen me?” Frankie says panicking.

“No, I’m sure it was just me,” replied TJ.

“Oh.”

“What were you doing?” TJ asks.

“It’s nothing for you to worry about ok,” Frankie says starting up the truck and pulling off.

As they exit the freeway and prepare to make their final turn a little girl runs out into the street, causing Frankie to swerve to the side and upon looking back he notices that she is gone. Frankie gets out the truck and looks around but there’s no one on the poorly lit street. Frankie gets back into the truck. With a look of confusion on his face TJ asks, “Dad, are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Just a little bit stressed I guess. Let’s get home,” Frankie says.

As the weekend passes, Frankie finds himself walking into work Monday morning with a lot on his mind. The first thing he does as he walks into his office is power up his iMac and begins researching “Ghosts in Washington D.C.” But all he finds are sightings of past presidents, senators and congressional members.

After about 15 minutes he comes across an article with the headline, “Parents Die in Fury Car Crash, Young Girl Missing,” and the tags at the bottom of the page are ghost girls, sightings, crying girl, sightings, and ghost.

Frankie nearly spills his coffee after reading the article but he continues looking over the article and other related articles in hopes of seeing a picture of the girl but he comes across none. So instead Frankie Google’s the parent’s names who appear in the articles. First he looks them up collectively then separately and after searching the mother’s name he comes across a photo of a young girl and some other information he didn’t expect to find.

He reads over his new find and learns that the article was written back in 1980, the same year his parents died in a fatal car crash. Frankie becomes fixated and continues reading and clicking links that lead to more information but nothing leads to a photo of the girl he has been seeing. However, he does come across an article of a missing girl that was never found but with no photo.

The girl was about 10 years-old, curly brown hair, brown eyes, and of Caribbean descent but no further specifications. Frankie begins cycling through some old newspapers he has stored away in a file cabinet and again comes across another article that is similar to the one he was reading on the computer.

The two stories are so similar that one would think they were linked in some way. After hours of searching the internet and newspapers, Frankie decides to take a break and heads out for a late lunch. After lunch Frankie heads for the lab to work on another case for a bit and when he returns to his office he notices a yellow envelope on his desk that wasn’t there when left.

Inside the envelope are photos of a little girl in happy times with her mom at a park, a theme park, and at home baking cookies. There’s another set of pictures as too, this set has Frankie’s mom and a little girl. Frankie keeps looking through and can’t help but wonder who this little girl is with his mom.

He comes across a letter that is written by Frankie’s mom. Her life was threatened previously before the fatal car crash and the little girl that was in the car, was taken from the vehicle. In the letter Frankie’s mom closes by saying, “To my sons, you may never read this but if you do just know I loved you more than life itself and I never kept secrets from you but the girl in these photos is your sister and our lives are in danger for as long as she stays with us. Your sister had a very high IQ to the fact that she was considered a genius and therefore the government in the Dominican Republic wanted her for tests but your father and I refused and fled to the U.S. But they found us and made our death look like an accident. Your father and I knew something was going to happen soon but before we could relocate they found us.” The rest of the letter is unreadable from water damage but Frankie manages to read most of it.

As Frankie finishes the letter he notices the girl standing on the other side of his desk, he closes the door and begins conversing with her but she says nothing back just cries. Frankie looks through the photos once more and to his astonishment realizes that the little girl is the girl in the photos with his mom. Frankie still in shock nearly drops the photos, “You’re my sister aren’t you?”

The girl stops crying and nods her head.

“Do you know what happened?”

“I was taken away. They wore black pants, black shirts, black sunglasses and had a big black truck but. We crashed just a few miles away.”

“You remember where? Can you take me?”

“Look closely at the photos, you’ll find the answers,” she says as she begins to exit. “Wait!”

The little girl continues exiting as Frankie looks over the photos once more and in the third photo with his mom and sister he notices a house. It’s the same house his older brother set fire to killing his twin Tahj.

“Oh shit!” Frankie says stunned.

Frankie also notices another building in another of the photos which is in D.C. Frankie grabs his keys, phone and heads out but on his way he gets into a head on collision with another car and slips into unconsciousness before the paramedics arrive.

Frankie is rushed to the hospital and shortly after his arrival his wife Nikki arrives and waits in the waiting room with their two children and her mom.

After surgery doctors tell Nikki that everything went well but Frankie may never walk again and that he slipped into a coma while in surgery.

Nikki goes in first to see Frankie and after about 15 minutes calls for TJ and they have some time together before Nicki’s mom takes TJ -and Terri home for the night. Nikki spends the night at the hospital by her husband’s side. With Nikki by his side asleep in the chair next to his bed, Frankie sits up suddenly and as he begins to unwrap the bandages that are on his head, he learns that everything isn’t always what is seems.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Toxic (A Short Story)

Toxic

Copyright 2020 by Kelly Newson

Kelly J. [Kelz] Newson

Toxic – A Short Story

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the city of Caven, crime is no different than anywhere else. The city is far from perfect and Officer Moore is looking to solve one more case before he retires after 36 years on the force. He is looking forward to escaping to Caven and return to Florida where is vacation home will now become is primary home.

As he strolls into the office like any other morning, with his coffee and greeting his fellow officers, Captain Waters ask to see him for a moment.  They settle into a conference room where Moore is briefed on a unique murder case.

“Hope you had a good night’s rest because we have an interesting one. The victim was about a 30 year-old female, shot to death then burned in her car and then dropped in the lake 30 miles from here. We are pulling the remaining wreckage from the lake now,” The Captain briefs.

“Jesus,” Moore says going over the file and photos.  “The killer really didn’t want her to survive.”

“Exactly,” The Captain exclaims. “She also has a sliced throat and knife wounds to her abdominal. But she died from the gunshot wound to her head.”

“Geez,” Moore replies.

“Yes and here’s the kicker. One possible suspect was found near the body and the woman is cooperating,” the Captain informs Moore.

“Has the victim’s family been notified?” Moore asks.

“Yes, the victim’s name is Carly, the family is headed down to the station to identify the body,” the Captain says.

“Ok so we have one possible suspect?” asks Moore.

“Wait, there’s a second suspect. I don’t think this is the woman who has committed the crime. I think she is covering up for someone else. She hasn’t said a word but the evidence shows there is a second suspect. There was no gunshot residue on her hands or on her prints or anything. There is a second person,” the Captain explains.

“She’s covering up for someone else? Maybe hoping to buy time for her and the killer to get away with it.” Moore says.

“That’s very possible,” the Captain says. “Whoever it is, they are clean from the scene just like our friend. No one saw anything, no extra foot prints. Nothing.”

“Ok. I am going to head to the scene and investigate. Maybe I can find something.  Is this the address?” Moore asks looking over the file.

“Yes, we have to move fast or this case goes cold fast,” the Captain says in a hurry.

“And that’s what our friend in there wants. Does she have a bail set?”

“Not yet, her lawyer should be coming in shortly,” the Captain responds.

“She has this all planned out.”

“We’ll see,” responds the Captain.

“Let me check out the location and I’ll get back to you, maybe the killer left some DNA or some type of print we can analyze,” says Moore.

“Hurry because the landlord wants us out as soon as possible so he can start cleaning and put the apartment back on market.”

“Will do sir.” Moore replies, “But first, please interrogate our friend. Can we get her into an interrogation room for questioning?”

“We’ve tried that,” said the Captain. “She said not without a lawyer who is on the way.” But by the time you finish your investigation and return, the lawyer will be here.”

Photo by kat wilcox on Pexels.com

“Ok, headed to the scene and I will be in touch shortly,” replied Moore.

“Be careful, I think it was a domestic dispute so the killer may return.”

“Noted,” said Moore.

Moore turns to head out and walks to his truck. The police department is just five minutes from the scene and when he arrives he finds a suspicious person lurking around.

“Hey!” Moore says, loudly.

The person begins running and Moore chases but is unable to keep up with the unknown person. Moore walks back to the scene frustrated. He wipes his forehead, pulls out his notepad and continues his investigation. And as the captain said, Moore finds nothing.

“Man, this was a well-executed crime,” Moore says almost in surrender. Just as Moore prepares to head back to his truck he is met with a thud to his head knocking him out cold. The suspect runs into his vehicle, grabs an envelope, and takes off running. A few minutes later Moore awakens, dazed and calls for backup. When back up arrives Moore is driven back to the police department with his Captain urging him to go see a doctor. But Moore resists and headed back to his office to work on this investigation with an ice pack. “Give me 10 minutes,” said Moore.

Moore sits at his desks with the ice pack on his head looking over what he collected. “Is there not justice in this case?” he mutters.

“Press conference,” the Captain says barging in Moore’s office. “Our current suspect is about to walk and this case is now cold.

”Aye Captain, I am off this case after this. I’m retired effective immediately.” Moore exclaims. I’ve had enough of this. I feel for the family, but after that encounter I just had that’s my sign to retire and enjoy my life with my family. Good luck!”

As both the Captain and Moore enter the press conference room their alleged suspect steps to the microphone. “First, I am glad the police are doing the right thing by releasing me and dropping all charges for I am innocent and soon to be free woman. No hard feelings to the police for arresting me today for a murder I did not commit. I was an innocent bystander. I called the cops. I reported this murder. But was never questioned about who I was. It was just assumed I was a suspect. I am not and have no knowledge of who is or exactly what happened. I am an innocent bystander who heard gunshots and called the police and waited for them. I want to say sorry to the family of the victim. May your justice and peace serve you soon. God bless and no, I am not willing to give you my name for my own privacy,” the allege suspect says. “Now I would like to get back to my life, thank you and hope that the police can leave me alone, thank you.”

The alleged suspect steps down from the mic and is led by her attorney out of the police department and to a black truck, disappearing out of city limits.

INSIDE THE TRUCK

The woman asks, “ Do you think they suspect anything?”

“No, and if they ever do we will be long gone from here. Private flight, non-stop to Cuba. Cheers to our new life and happiness! No more toxic abusers in our life ever again!”

“Amen to that. To happiness,” the women say happily as they hold hands and fly away in their private jet.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

African Americans at highest risk of death from Colorectal Cancer

  • Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the third most common cause of malignancy-related death in men and women in the United States.
  • It is estimated that 134,490 new cases and 49,190 deaths occured in 2016.
  • Among all racial and ethnic groups, African-American men and women continue to have the highest rate of death and shortest survival for CRC.
  • African Americans have the highest mortality rate of CRC of any ethnic group in the United States.  
  • African Americans also are often diagnosed at a younger age (median ages, 66 and 70 years for African American men and women compared with 72 and 77 years for white men and women, respectively)
  • Moreover, African Americans are two times more likely to be diagnosed with CRC before the age of 50 years, which justified the recommendation to begin endoscopic screening at the age of 45 years instead of 50 years. 
  • Some of this difference can be explained by tumor stage and socioeconomics, but the disparity remains even after accounting for tumor stage at diagnosis and after adjusting for socioeconomics, comorbidities, and treatment. The effect of body mass index on survival was assessed, and although it had an effect on survival, it was determined not to contribute to the disparity.  

Medical Study Results: Differences between African Americans & South African Blacks

  • Incidence rates of CRC are vastly different for African Americans (60 per 100,000 per year) and South African blacks (5 per 100,000 per year). 
  • Of the many differences that characterize the environment for these different individuals, diet can play an outsize role in the incidence rates for CRC. 
  • The diet for rural South African blacks is highly enriched in fiber and low in meat and fat, whereas the Western diet is low in fiber and high in meat and fat.
  • O’Keefe and colleagues conducted a diet switch in which they gave Pittsburgh African Americans the traditional South African black diet, whereas they gave rural South African blacks the Western diet. They then examined changes in the gut microbiome and fecal metabolites. Reciprocal changes were observed in the gut microbiome and the metabolome within 2 weeks of diet switch. 
  • African Americans receiving the high-fiber, low-fat diet exhibited increases in the abundance of microbial species involved in fiber fermentation, including species that metabolize butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids and the hydrogenotrophic microbes that remove hydrogen, including methanogens, acetogens, and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Concomitantly, there was suppression of microbial species that process bile acids, including bile acid deconjugators and the pathogenic sulfidogenic bacteria Bilophila wadsworthia and Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • South Africans receiving the low-fiber, high-fat diet exhibited the opposite pattern (ie, a lower abundance of species engaged in saccharolytic fermentation and higher bile acid deconjugating species). In addition, there were also reciprocal changes in gut epithelial cell proliferation, which is a marker for cancer development.  

What We can Do:

  • It is estimated that genetic factors contribute as much as 35% to the overall risk of CRC. Our understanding of genetic risk factors is anchored in mendelian genetics (ie, in single-gene defects that are associated with a high risk of CRC development). Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are linked to familial adenomatous polyposis.
  • 90 percent of all colorectal cancer cases and deaths are preventable by removing polyps and cancer can be successfully treated — and often cured — when detected early. That is why screening for prevention and early detection is so important.
  • Experts suggest that African Americans get screened beginning at age 45. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, talk with your health care professional. You may need to be tested earlier or more frequently.
  • Colonoscopy, when performed by a well-trained endoscopist, gastroenterologist or surgeon, is the most effective screening test.
  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Diets that include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colon or rectal cancer. Eat less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats), which have been linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Get regular exercise. If you are not physically active, you may have a greater chance of developing colon or rectal cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk. Learn more about how to meet diet and exercise goals at cancer.org/foodandfitness.
  • Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of getting and dying from colon or rectal cancer. Eating healthier and increasing your physical activity can help you control your weight.
  • Don’t smoke. Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colon or rectal cancer. If you smoke and you want to quit, or know someone else who does, see the American Cancer Society guide to quitting tobacco, or call us at 1-800-227-2345. Getting help increases your chances of quitting successfully.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. A single drink amounts to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor).

Ocean and Ashes

Ocean and Ashes

A poem by KELLY J [Kelz] NEWSON

Copyright 2020 by Kelly J. Newson

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Ocean and Ashes

From some shores it looks beautiful
From others it’s unsightly and stinks
Don’t dare drink, for we may be tasting the blood of our ancestors

Their ashes are scattered among that deep blue sea
You cannot see
But many years ago
They were taken from their homeland
Families separated
Names lost
Ancestry untraceable
History erased in many instances
Bodies thrown overboard

So the next time you’re on your yacht,
Swimming, surfing, or on a cruise
Remember the many bodies thrown overboard
And the helpless humans stolen for free labor
Treated less than human
With every human right refused
And now just a memory to those who want to remember
A dark thought in American history
A past we must not forget, nor repeat

So when you hear cries while out to sea
Or you’re just hanging out on the beach
Remember the lives lost at sea
Remember the lives cut short because they were deemed not good enough
By those claiming to be masters

You know the ones who broke up families
Scattering about a whole race in a country whose only freedom was for everyone but them
But now they aren’t lost at sea anymore
Now they are resting peacefully
And free from the chains of slavery

In that deep blue sea
For the ocean is a mass graveyard for my ancestors
For it’s their flesh,
Their bones,
Their blood that we feel,
Their ashes that float among each ocean
Must we never forget them
For their stories go untold
But they are not forgotten no matter what’s in the history books
For they live forever in the deep blue sea

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Black Business Profile: Bridgewater Interiors LLC

Founded1998
Revenue2,000,000,000
Employees2,400
  • Bridgewater Interiors LLC is a Detroit-based joint venture between privately-held Epsilon Technologies LLC and Adient (NYSE: ADNT). Established in April 1998, Bridgewater is an automotive interiors manufacturing company specializing in just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, sequencing and delivery of seating, overhead and center console systems.
  • The company assembles seating systems for automotive industry OEMS at its three facilities in Michigan and one in Alabama. Bridgewater is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) employing more than 2,000 employees and is one of the largest African American owned companies in the U.S.
  • President and CEO Ronald E. Hall, Sr. was identified to lead the organization after a long and successful career in corporate management, entrepreneurship, and economic development, including a distinguished tenure heading the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
  • Bridgewater quickly established relevance in the automotive supplier space, as its initial five-year GM contract was the largest contract ever awarded to a racial minority-owned business by an automaker.
  • Today, the company is a joint venture between Epsilon and publicly traded Adient plc (NYSE: ADNT) and has expanded from one Detroit location with 133 employees to four facilities in two U.S. states with 2,400 employees. Its customer list, meanwhile, has expanded from one automaker to four, including GM, Honda Manufacturing of America, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – supporting 11 different vehicle models.

Ronald E. Hall Jr.

Ronald Hall Jr (Left) and Ronald Hall Sr. (Right)

Ronald E. Hall Jr. is the president and CEO of Bridgewater Interiors. He joined to company in 2007, and prior to his role as CEO, he served as vice president and general counsel. Hall earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a bachelor’s in international political economy from West Point.

Ronald Hall Sr. was a well-known business leader before the creation of Bridgewater. From 1992 to 1998 he served as president of the Michigan Minority Supplier Business Development Council. During his tenure, he negotiated with 20 companies to begin, or improve, contract benchmarks for minority-owned suppliers.

He also Served as president and CEO of equipment leasing company Renaissance Capital Alliance and was former chairman and CEO of New Center Stamping. He also owned the travel agency Departure Travel Management.

He served as assistant vice president of New Detroit Inc., a coalition created by former Gov. George Romney, former Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh and The J.L. Hudson Co. founder Joseph Hudson Jr. to gain more minority procurement from major projects in the city.

Hall Sr. had served on the boards of Fifth Third Bank’s local operations, Boy Scouts of America Southeast Michigan, American Diabetes Association, Booker T. Washington Business Association and the former Detroit Renaissance (now Business Leaders for Michigan).

Hall Sr. earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and an MBA from Wayne State University.