Tag Archives: racism in America

Black History Month: Toni Morrison and The Black Female Experience

This Black History month, I would like to feature Toni Morrison, for her literary excellence. Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize Winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Morrison is an American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. Let's take a moment to honor this literary genius this, black history month.

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Toni Morrison for Black History month

Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, (born February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.—died August 5, 2019, Bronx, New York), American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Morrison grew up in the American Midwest in a family that possessed an intense love of and appreciation for, Black culture. Storytelling, songs, and folktales were a deeply formative part of her childhood. She attended Howard University (B.A., 1953) and Cornell University (M.A., 1955). In 1965 Morrison became a fiction editor at Random House, where she worked for a number of years.

Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast
Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast

Toni Morrison The Bluest Eyes

Morrison’s first book, The Bluest Eye (1970), is a novel of initiation concerning a victimized adolescent Black girl who is obsessed by white standards of beauty and longs to have blue eyes. This book was my introduction to Toni Morrison.  I loved this book.  I loved the character, how Morrison showed a poor black girl struggling not only with her looks but with becoming a young lady, and wanting to be beautiful like her white blue eye dolls. At the time when I read this book a lot of black women were putting in blue contact lenses including my daughter.  This book really brought it home and allowed black women to start loving our skin, eyes, hair and black features.

In 1973 a second novel, Sula, was published; it examines (among other issues) the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the Black community.

Song of Solomon (1977) is told by a male narrator in search of his identity; its publication brought Morrison to national attention. Tar Baby (1981), set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex.

Transform Your Mind Amazon
Transform Your Mind Amazon

Toni Morrison's Beloved

Toni Morrison became mainstream with her critically acclaimed book called Beloved (1987), which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1998 and starred Oprah Winfrey. The again was powerful for me. The character of Beloved was played to perfection by Thandiwe Newton and showcases how Sethe’s guilt,  played by Oprah Winfrey can reincarnate and haunt us in this life.

In 1992 Morrison released Jazz, a story of violence and passion set in New York City’s Harlem during the 1920s. Subsequent novels were Paradise (1998), a richly detailed portrait of a Black utopian community in Oklahoma, and Love (2003), an intricate family story that reveals the myriad facets of love and its ostensible opposite. A Mercy (2008) deals with slavery in 17th-century America. In the redemptive Home (2012), a traumatized Korean War veteran encounters racism after returning home and later overcomes apathy to rescue his sister. In God Help the Child (2015), Morrison chronicled the ramifications of child abuse and neglect through the tale of Bride, a Black girl with dark skin who is born to light-skinned parents.

Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora
Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora

Toni Morrison and the Black American Experience

It is great to showcase Toni Morrison's work for, Black History month, because The central theme of Morrison’s novels is the, Black American experience; in an unjust society, her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture. In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour. Two years later she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of FreedomToni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) is a documentary about her life and career.

Additional Resources

How Black Fathers Can replace the Absentee Dad Myth

Paradigm Shifts that can Heal Racism in America

Dr Jeff Gusky shares paradigm shifts that must occur, for America to heal after the, COVID 19, pandemic and Systemic, racism. Paradigm shifts are vital to our safety and recovery in America. These paradigm shifts could restore humanity and save America from destruction.

Dr. Jeff Gusky is a board-certified emergency physician now in the front lines against COVID 19.  Dr. Gusky is also a renowned National Geographic photographer and Explorer his discoveries and photographs are now featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American history and culture. He found a secret hidden for over a hundred years that should change the way we see, racism, in America.

We open our eyes to the danger of the indoor air we breathe and, COVID 19

The air we breathe is an invisible killer. The, COVID 19, coronavirus spreads like wildfire because of the dryness of indoor air.  We spend 90% of our lives indoors and the right humidity saves lives.

There is a simple plan that makes invisible danger, visible and that is a device called a Hygrometer. Indoor humidity is between 50 and 60 percent, so I believe that this is the most important public health measure.

Americans can do right now because it helps to prevent small viral outbreaks from becoming massive viral bombs.  Property humidity will save lives and will get America back to work sooner and safer.

It is almost like a bulletproof vest for our respiratory tract. We have mucous membranes that goes from the tip of our nose and our mouth all the way deep into our lungs and what lines our mucous membranes; but mucus when the air is dry is impaired.  It dries out and cracks and pathogens like, COVID 19,  can get into our bodies.

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Sponsor The Transform Your Mind Podcast

I like to say, It’s the weather stupid! Because it turns out that outdoor weather affects indoor air. We know about humidity because we get the relative humidity from the weather forecast; but that has nothing to do with indoor humidity.  It turns out that indoor air is bone-dry  and that is why the, COVID 19, virus spreads in nursing homes.

The tragedy of nursing homes is also the problem with inner cities.  The inner city poor are also affected. In both situations you have high population density indoors and dangerously dry indoor air acts like an accelerant.  You should go out and you buy on Amazon or Walmart a digital hygrometer. They only sell  for like $12 or $14.  a digital hygrometer  is a little device that gives you a real-time readout of your indoor humidity.

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Transform your Mind Soundcloud podcast

Paradigm shift  – Addressing, Systemic Racism,  in America.

This podcast interview was recorded before the murder of, George Floyd, by a Police Officer in Minnesota. Dr Gusky said in this interview long before the entire world got to see a black man’s life ebb away while the Police Officer just continued to kneel on his neck for close to 9 mins, killing him. So it is surreal that a White man said that we need  a paradigm shift  to save America from self-destruction because of, racism. Dr Gusky said when we belief in each other, healing race is possible.

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Author interview Transform Your Mind Podcast
Author interview Transform Your Mind Podcast

The paradigm shifts that must occur in America to remove, systemic racism, are the following:

  • We must remove racist ideas.  A racist idea is an idea that one race is superior to another.  It is removing White supremacy. All races are created equal in the eyes of God.
  • Systemic racism, reveals itself when White people feel that they are superior and that, Black Lives Don't Matter.  Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, All Lives Matter

  • We must remove racist policies. A racist policy is any policy that leads to inequality and Systemic injustice Like the police officers profiling Black men or employers not hiring Blacks because they feel like they are lazy. Just one of the stereotypes that contributes to, racism in America.
  • We must become Anti-Racists and not just call ourselves, non-racist. A non-racist does nothing.  A racist has racist ideas or racist policies by action or thought.   A racist idea is is any idea that promotes that one group is better than another group it promotes racial hierarchy so the opposite of that is that is not non-racist but Anti-Racist. There is no middle ground.  
Racism in America - How to become an Anti-racist
Racism in America – How to become an Anti-racist

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Transform your Mind Stitcher
Transform your Mind Stitcher

As an explorer, Dr Gusky found a secret hidden for over a hundred years that should change the way we see, racism in America.  It's a dignity story about African-American heroes who faced down a frightening infectious disease pandemic during the Spanish-American war and won their courage back. They were a shining example of how we can win against the, COVID 19,  pandemic we are facing now. In crisis we should see differently,  we shouldn’t see race, because the virus doesn’t see race. It kills Black, White, Yellow and Brown alike. So we should see A human race. Two African American patriots who lived more than a century ago, show us what it means to be an American.  When we face extreme danger together,  and trust in each other, it is the glue that gets us through.

Dr Gusky found a hidden world from world war 1, that was basically unknown to the outside world.  These were underground cities, hidden beneath the former trenches with tens of thousands of soldiers. One of these places turned out to be the only trace of an African American combat unit.  These discoveries are now featured in the exhibit at the SNM of African American history and culture near the White House.  The exhibit will probably be there through September.

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Download on Spotify

We got, racism, wrong in America and  we now have a second chance to get, racism, right.  This black unit was the only all African-American unit in the US military with all black soldiers and all black officers and  they fought been together for America for 49 years.  The story shows African American political power and self-determination that had existed long before Dr. Martin Luther King was born.

The sad news is that we are still fighting for racial equality in this nation.  It has been 40 years since the march at Selma over the bridge and we as Black people are still marching over bridges, protesting and the White supremacist still don’t see us as human. We have been saying, black Lives Matter, for decades.  We have shouted it from the pews in churches, we have shouted it in marches, we have shouted it in congress and they turn a deaf ear.  Now since, George Floyd’s death, they are finally listening.

Racism, it's not an intellectual thing it's a visceral thing.  The Civil War was the beginning of a long difficult journey to demand the end of, racism in America, but America got stuck along the way because it benefited them financially to keep their, knees on our neck!

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iHeart Radio

Paradigm shift – Radical Transparency in the media.

A  new approach to protecting free speech while protecting society from human predators who manipulate media to incite fear and rage during times like now, when people are vulnerable angry and afraid.  I've witnessed the dangers of mass media without transparency in a very personal way.  I was the first fine art photographer to go behind the former Iron Curtain and documented the hidden world of the Holocaust after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I've walked the ground remote corners of Europe and the former Soviet Union where millions were murdered in modern times because no one stopped a few bad people from turning civilized nations into weapons of mass destruction using media. So mass media without transparency gives people with a pathological essence of conscience, like  the Harvey Weinstein's of the world.  Unimaginable power to do evil and they all use the same tired old formula of myths amplified by media to incite rage and crowds for power.

Predators love media, because it gives them enormous power over the rest of us while concealing who they really are and what they're really up to.

The paradigm shift only works when transparency doesn't work because when media has no checks and balances, we have almost no way of knowing when it's fake news.

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TuneIn Radio

Dr Gusky is  a professional speaker I'm represented by National Geographic speaker's bureau.  If anyone wants to have me come speak or even online they can contact National Geographic speaker's bureau or  online at www.JeffGusky.com. and if they can if the are  in Washington before September please stop by the Smithsonian exhibit.

If you have not done so yet, please rate, review and subscribe to the Transform Your Mind podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast. I also want to invite you to join my private Facebook group called Life Coach.

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Additional Resources 

8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody

No Fear : How to Live with Courage

Coronavirus: How to Protect Yourself