100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Real Men Magazine April 2023 Issue

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REAL MEN Magazine

S.H.I.N.E. Men’s Ministry debuts in April

Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and surrounding communities hosted the first Empowerment & Transformative Men of Color Youth Summit

APRIL 2023
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CONTENTS COVER STORY page 26 SHINE Men’s Ministry COMING Page 18

Editors Page........................5


Travel Time..........................14

Remembering Charter Member Franklin Martin.....16

Improving Our Health Literacy Saves Lives.........................32

Howse Bytes......................36

Time seems to fly by; we are into April already and are about to set it off with our membership retreat. First, I would like to thank many of our sponsors for supporting us this year and the ones who will partner with us, providing many activities for our mentees.

In today’s economy, it’s essential to cut costs, but eliminating some things, such as insurance, is not wise. Insurance is designed to protect you in the case of an accident, but a few slip-ups in trying to save money on insurance could cause your financial health harm. For expenses you pay annually, such as insurance premiums, I want you to break them down into a monthly numbers. Just take the entire amount you pay annually and divide it by 12. Enter that on the right with the totals. You don’t need to break it down into weeks. We do this because we want to earmark that money for the premiums we must pay and make sure we plan for them.

This money is not “extra” cash. It will be used for these expenses at some point in the year. For that reason, it should impact how much you spend monthly. You may not have a particular monthly cost, but you need to plan and save money for that purpose. Saving money is something we should all learn how to do. But it isn’t as simple as one would think. People try various ways to save money, yet what’s important is to do it regularly and make budgeting a habit. You can’t expect to sock away thousands of dollars overnight. You need to take several steps before you can even think about investing in the stock market, retirement plans, or anything else above and beyond what you use for paying bills.

I often hear people say, we do not have cable anymore, or Most have eliminated many extra channels. One cost saying I heard of the other day was why not send individuals to get treatment for $3,000 instead of sending them to jail, which costs 200,000 dollars.

Follow us online www.100blackmencle.org

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James W. Wade III


Robert Bankston

Brandon Curry

Delaun Dillard

Robert Dix Jr.

Christopher Howse

Retanio Rucker





Rodney L. Brown

James W. Wade III

Earl Williams


Bob Ferguson

The Real Men Magazine is the official publication of The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Chapter. Published monthly electronically, which means information is distributed utilizing a computer network or produced in a format for use with a computer.

For any questions or feedback about the publication, contact us at info@100blackmencle.org


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The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is recognized as the nation’s top African American led mentoring organization. Every African-American person should have the ability to create the life they’ve always wanted and that’s what The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. provides.

Committing ourselves to personify the type of people our children will look up to and emulate, we embrace the immense responsibility we have to our mentees and our communities. Providing these children another choice in life by being around likeminded individuals who have similar aspirations and goals.

As we have grown The Network of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. more companies and programs have been formed to assist in delivering the education and empowerment needed to change the course of these children’s lives. This is done through the 100’s Four For The Future focus areas; Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Empowerment.

Through the expansion, we’ve created 100 Black Men Chapters that delivers unique programs that address specific needs in local communities. Through 57 years of testing, we’ve created the 100’s successful model. A proven blueprint for mentoring and developing young people into future leaders by surrounding themselves with a positive network and giving them the opportunity that they may not have thought was possible.


Our ongoing commitment to continuously improve and implement our programmatic initiatives is what drives us. Helping shape our mentees realize their potential by showing them how to be successful and significant, stressing the importance of obtaining and applying education, and providing them the tools that empower them for self-sufficiency, cultivated civic, and business leadership

The overall concept of “The 100” began in 1963 in New York City when a group of concerned African American men began to meet to explore ways of improving conditions in their community. These visionaries included businessmen and industry leaders such as David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate, Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson. On October 2, 1986, representatives from 100 Black Men Chapters converged in Washington, DC, for a final meeting to establish a national organization. During previous meetings, they determined the structure, governance and model that would provide the most effective physical and financial resources to support the communities and Chapters. At the final gathering, the organization’s name – 100 Black Men of America, Inc. – was unveiled and attendees elected four accomplished, professional men from within their ranks to serve as its first and founding officers.

Each of the four were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to give back in a holistic way that addressed the educational, social, emotional, and cultural needs of youth in their own communities. They put their hands to the plow and did the hard work necessary to establish a foundation for a network of Chapters in their infancy, which today is an international nonprofit organization that positively impacts more than 125,000 youth across the United States and abroad. Throughout our history, the leadership of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. has been impeccable. The men chosen as national leaders all have contributed to the growth and strength of the organization. Their unique contributions have helped The 100 to become one of the premiere mentoring organizations anywhere. Consider the impact each leader has made. On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed mentoring organization held its first national conference and introduced itself to the nation. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.

On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed mentoring organization known as 100 Black Men of America, Inc., held its first national conference and introduced itself to the nation. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.

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Lee V. Fields Jr. Chairman

Gregory Lockhart Vice Chairman

Brett Horton Esq Secretary

Lucien Blackwell Director of Finance

Anthony Peebles Director of Development


Rodney L. Brown

Grady Burrows

Brandon Curry

Edwin Hubbard Jr.

Darian Johnson

Tyson Mitchell, Esq

Dr. Ernest Smoot

James W. Wade III


Director of Communications & Public Relations, James W. Wade III

Economic Empowerment

David L. Taylor - Chair

James Ferguson - Co Chair


Grady Burrows - Chair

Health & Wellness

Marvin Ferguson - Chair


Darian Johnson, Chair

Dr. Ernest Smoot, Co Chair


Aqeel Seals - Chair

Midwest District Representative James Duke

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Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. 13815 Kinsman Road Cleveland, OH. 44120
354 - 0896 www.100blackmencle.org
100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. Leadership Team
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Spring is here, with summer approaching fast, giving folks the itch to get out and go. The mere mention of travel or vacation will bring an instant smile and excitement to any conversation. People tend to delight in the thought of going somewhere and having fun, if just for a quick staycation to relax at a nearby hotel not far from home.

Today the onset of the internet has made it very convenient to compare travel costs, come up with an affordable flight, hotel, or tour package, and with the click of a button, confirm instantly. However, not too long ago, African Americans were denied access to the most basic vacation and leisure travel services that we now enjoy. From the the1930s up until the late 50s, the great migration was when millions of Black Southerners headed north for betterpaying jobs and a new way of life...With significant wage increases and the manufacturing boom of the automobile, black folks purchased nearly a half-million dollars in cars. They hit the road and started to drive across the country knowing full well the sign “We’ll leave the light on for yuh” would not be lit up for them.

Most gas-filling stations, hotels, motels, restaurants, toilet facilities, and other travel convenience stops were unavailable to us. You had to continue driving for miles or until you reached your destination.In 1936 a postal worker, Victor Green, and his wife Alma created and published a directory, “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” a travel guide listing all the overnight spots, eateries, and other service places where blacks could stop, not be harassed or turned away while on the road.

Also, during the 1960s, a black travel service in Cleveland, Cooper Travel, located on E. 105th, and Chester in the Call & Post Building, was a part of this network and assisted black folks stopping or passing through our city headed to other destinations. Unfortunately, Black travelers had to depend on this book well after The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.

From its inception in 1936 until the final edition of the Green Book was published in late 1965, the book sold over two million copies. In 2020 it was reported that African Americans spent well over 100 Billion dollars on travel and tourism, with nearly 17% of them taking at least one international trip each year. Today African Americans have many destinations they favor, Africa, London, Paris, Spain, Italy, and everywhere around the globe; you’ll see Black travelers. However, the Caribbean, namely Nassau Bahamas and Ochos Rios Jamaica, are the much-loved destinations.

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One growing popular vacation spot is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, with miles and miles of snowy white beaches and all-inclusive luxury resorts. You’ll find it easy to select and treat yourself to whirlpool massages in most master suites, poolside and beachfront lounge bars, plus 24-hour gourmet dining. You can also enjoy an 18-hole PGA golf course at most resorts or spend the afternoon unwinding in a full-service spa getting a manicure or pedicure or chilling out in a sauna.

Since the mid-70s, cruises have made an enormous hit with black vacationers. It offers 24-hour lifechanging experiences to those seeking to enrich their imagination and bring their wildest fantasies to life while at sea. You, as a single or with a companion, will have the opportunity to explore jawdropping experiences as you island-hop or just one port of call for a destination. Cruising is truly one of my favorite all-inclusive ways to vacation. Plan an unforgettable journey of the most pleasurable kind, where romance is exploded into passion, and the fun aboard never stops. Bon voyage.

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June 22, 1950 ~ April 11, 2023

Franklin Farnarwance Martin significantly contributed to the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. He came into the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland in June 1997 as a Charter Member, sponsored by Gregory Johnson, who was then the Vice President of the Greater Cleveland Urban League; since that time, Franklin has served faithfully in various positions, such as Vice President with three different Presidents, Public Relations chair, and many times as the Gala Chairman and Membership Chair chaired the Daniel E. Morgan Mentoring program and also the Chief Operations Officer for eight years,

If you attended many of the annual Galas, you knew Franklin chaired them. He is the son of a retired Baptist pastor who is now 96 years young. Franklin has retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Benefits Counselor for eight years. His job was to assist Veterans in receiving disability benefits. We are highlighting Martin in Real Men Magazine for him being a Vietnam Veteran, A Retired Business Owner, A Civic Leader, and a Humanitarian. Our own Christopher Howse had a chance to have a candid conversation with Franklin, and his story is a story of faith, hard work, resilience, and confidence.

Franklin joined several business and professional organizations and accepted leadership roles. I became President of the Shaker Heights Rotary Club, The Black Professionals.Association, The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc., and The Northeast Ohio Girl Scout Council. I participated in former Mayor Michael White and the Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board.These volunteer opportunities contributed to my business growth, increased my network of professionals, and helped market my business.

After 40-plus years working at The Plain Dealer and running his own printing business, he decided to retire. Later he was approached by a fellow board member, the Director of the VA Regional Office here in Cleveland. She was impressed with my military background and asked if he was interested in working for the VA. The regional office and hospital needed someone to assist veterans with their benefits. It was very satisfying to work. Franklin agreed to work there but only for a short period of time. Well, that small stint turned into 11 years. Franklin then retired again from work, but continued to stay active with his friends, family, church, and a select few volunteer and social organizations. But most of all was still giving great advice to his brothers of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.

Franklin’s journey inspires us all and reminds us that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and a never-give-up attitude. Kudos to Franklin F. Martin, a 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Charter Member, a father, a husband, a retired business owner, a veteran, and a living legend. When discussing those that have shaped our country and race, we must consider Franklin F. Martin and all the paths he created as a trailblazer. The future is bright because of his tireless work and service to the country. We stand on his shoulders! Thank you, Franklin!

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S.H.I.N.E. Men’s Ministry debuts in April

Once a month, I have to listen to Cynthia come home all fired up because she just left S.H.I.N.E. In case you have not heard about this beautiful ministry, God gave the vision to Danita Harris. You know the name, the WEWS TV News Anchor you see Monday thru Friday mornings delivering the news. Harris is one powerful and anointed lady who has preached and spoken at many churches throughout Greater Cleveland and the surrounding area.

Well, after all these years, starting April 22, 2023, at the Marriott Hotel in Warrensville, Danita is showing some love to the men, finally giving them a place to worship and let themselves go. “As a woman who loves and serves God, I genuinely believe it is the perfect time for a vehicle like SHINE Men of Integrity to be born. It’s a vehicle driven by God to remedy men’s ills by addressing issues affecting their minds, body, and soul. These quarterly meetings will be a safe space for men to feel free to be authentic. It’s a place where men can fellowship with other men from all walks of life and feel a sense of unity and empowerment,” said Harris

The morning will have prayer, praise, and strong messages emphasizing the need for self-work. Self-work is the process of reflection and introspection that helps us better to understand our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Leading the charge are two men who love God, are passionate about empowering young and seasoned men’s minds, and have the heart to serve the community. Josh Cribbs, former N.F.L., and Cleveland Browns Player, is the Director of S.H.I.N.E. Brothers. S.H.I.N.E. Brothers is our mentoring program for Cleveland Metropolitan School District boys. Cribbs also hosts a daily television show with his wife, Maria, and is known for his community service work in Northeast Ohio. Kerry Pope is a businessman,

author, and S.H.I.N.E. Board Member. His book Authentically Me! is a guide to help people gain a healthy sense of self-love, self-respect, and self-worth.

Together, they will execute the pillars of S.H.I.N.E. by giving the men practical tools to live better lives, philanthropic opportunities as they give back to a designated charity at each meeting, and an empowering word that will

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encourage them to walk in their divine purpose. It’s time for men from all walks of life to unite and feel safe and empowered! Men talk about issues that concern the mind, body, and soul in a comfortable and safe atmosphere. Men who stand on their faith are unafraid to lift their voices to create positive change. Man to Man, Brother to Brother, SHINE Men of Integrity will unify men in Northeast Ohio as they let their light SHINE!

The charity for this meeting is the City Mission’s Crossroads Men’s Crisis Center. We ask that the attending men bring socks, underwear, hygiene items, bus tickets, and gift cards to Target or Walmart. Together, they will execute the pillars of S.H.I.N.E. by giving the men practical tools to live better lives, philanthropic opportunities as they give back to a designated charity at each meeting, and an empowering word that will encourage them to walk in their divine purpose.

Real Men Magazine had a chance to interview Kerry Pope about this upcoming service because I wanted the readers to understand how important this is for men.

R.M.: Tell us what to expect from this new ministry

SHINE Men of Integrity is an extension of Danita Harris’s ministry called “SHINE.” She started this movement seven years ago, and I am blessed to be a part of this next edition of her vision. This ministry will speak to man’s totality; Mind, Body, and Spirit. If we look at the conception of man first in God’s mind and then in his creation, we will find a significant disconnect between who we are today as men and who God created man to be. Emphasis will be placed on self-care, husbandhood, fatherhood, and parenting being present in an ever-changing world. Men will come broken but leave happy, whole, with a renewed life full of confidence and integrity.

R.M.: Tell us a little bit about you.

I am married with six children and four grandchildren. I was called into ministry at 16, and 39 years later, I am still on fire for God. I am

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“No Matter How dark the issue, we all have the ability to SHINE”

a businessman, author, preacher, and musician. I love vacationing and seeing the world. We all are born with a purpose, and I strive to empower people to live the life God ordained for us. I am highly passionate about all things men. We have seen a significant decline in how men treat women and women’s respect toward men. I aim to change that one man at a time! I believe that it’s a man’s responsibility to raise

R.M.: There’s a real need for this ministry for men; explain why it is essential for men to come out and support this ministry.

I have experienced significant storms and can speak directly to men’s pains. One of my greatest passions is seeing men standing in our birthright’s power and authority. Having worked one-on-one with men for many years, I see a common thread over and over, the little boy trapped inside a grown man. Boys are taught never to shed tears, for it’s a sign of weakness, but when you suppress that which is natural (emotions), you are creating a ticking time bomb. I believe in therapy, for I, too, have experienced freedom from my past traumas through regular counseling. God is a healer, but He has also provided healing through a licensed therapist to heal the little boy inside. My ministry is geared toward the mind where all creation flows. EVERYTHING in life starts with the mind and manifests from here. SHINE Men of Integrity will work to reprogram how we think and create the life we desire, one thought at a time.

R.M.: Share your vision for the ministry.

My vision for SHINE Men of Integrity is to meet men from all walks of life right where they are. I want to empower them to be the Kings God destined us to be. Men need a safe place to take off their Superman cape and be themselves, Clark Kent. Instead of feeling like you have to save the world, save yourself. Men have never been taught how to give themselves self-care. From being a little boys, we have been told not to show our emotions, which is a sign of weakness. The only way Clark could save the

world was to find a hidden place to transform, and poof... Superman to the rescue. I want men to have a place where it’s okay to be vulnerable, knowing that strength comes in unity. There is no safer place than SHINE Men of Integrity!

We are a group of men who love God by giving back to charitable organizations. Working throughout Cleveland to make it a better land is something we have adopted from Danita Harris. SHINE Men of Integrity will restore dignity and integrity to men’s lives while helping men become better husbands, fathers, and friends. We are ready to spread our wings and SHINE!” said Pope

“We are living in unprecedented times. The pandemic has shifted all of us to value life and home. For some, being quarantined at home triggered undiagnosed traumas. As a journalist, I report on the rise of mental health issues as a result of the pandemic. Guess who’s been impacted the most? Men. Black men, in particular, are experiencing increased depression and anxiety. When we look at homicides, the blood of men, especially young men, are staining our streets. Lives are being slashed by senseless violence almost daily. Cleveland is the second poorest big city in the country, and we know poverty breeds a spirit of hopelessness,” said Harris.

Men come out, and let’s show the women we have faith and the love of God in our hearts too. S.H.I.N.E. is a spiritually-based organization that provides women and men with practical life skills and spiritual knowledge to improve their lives. It promotes unity among women and builds relationships based on the common goal of living a victorious life.

So, men, getting your ticket for an excellent event visit like this is still possible. Visit https:// itsyourtimetoshine.ticketbud.com/integrity to purchase your ticket.

“My prayer is that with the help of God, the men will help each other face fears, heal from pain in their souls, open up and be transparent about

where they are spiritually and not be ashamed to say, “I need more.” Men tend to stay in their corners and never share the experiences that placed scars on their hearts and soul. It’s time for men to come out and speak their truths...even if it’s raw! A closed mouth never gets fed, and one will never conquer what one chooses not to confess,” said Harris

Many Black Men Supported The First Empowerment & Transformative Men of Color Youth Summit

On March 31, 2023, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and surrounding communities hosted the first Empowerment & Transformative Men of Color Youth Summit to inspire young male scholars of color. Nearly 900 scholars, parents, educators, and community members attended the event, organized by the CMSD Men of Color sHaping Academics (MOCHA) Network, an employee resource group of the school district. Members of the planning committee were Anthony H. Brown and Lorenzo Russell, both 2022 inductees.

The Youth Summit forged a partnership with the Division of Student Life at Morehouse College, one of the most esteemed HBCUs in the country and one of only four men’s colleges nationwide. Through its “Get On The Bus” Tour, 55 scholars from Morehouse College could share their experiences, both triumphs and struggles, which have helped shape them into men of Morehouse. This enriching opportunity aligns seamlessly with the guiding principles of MOCHA, and its collaboration with Morehouse College positively impacts the lives of CMSD students and the broader community.

The GOTB excursion is an impactful extension of service on behalf of Morehouse students, specifically to encourage young Black scholars to reach higher and recognize that their dreams are possible. This initiative has previously traveled to New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. Therefore, we are privileged to bring this to our home in Cleveland, Ohio.

The prominence and influence of Morehouse were amplified by the fact that 10 of its collegelevel scholars hailed from Cleveland/Northeast Ohio. Among the Morehouse, the delegation was distinguished graduating seniors Mark C.

Nichols, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District graduate from John Marshall High School, and Douglas Burnett, a Willoughby South High School graduate. These two individuals were instrumental in bringing this transformative experience to Cleveland.

Mark, also the 91st Student Government Association President, shared, “As graduating seniors, we realize the extent and the impact of the role that the CMSD and the overall Greater Cleveland Community have influenced us. Considering that, we deemed it necessary to return home and ensure that we leave an indelible mark on all of the scholars today.”

“Our goal is not solely to recruit scholars to Morehouse; we hope we will inspire a student

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Rev. Jawanza Colvin

to want to consider continue learning and have the desire to attend college,” exclaimed Douglas. Douglas also shared his appreciation and robust engagement, “We want to extend our sincerest gratitude to the entire Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Morehouse College, and every community partner that played a role in making this event a success.”

Eric S. Gordon, CMSD Chief Executive Officer, offered these words, “Since launching the “My Brother’s Keeper” Task Force in 2016, CMSD has worked with community leaders and with local, state, and national partners to ensure every one of our students is college and career ready in Cleveland, regardless of a student’s challenges and limitations. Hosting this event as part of that long-standing effort was a privilege.”

Lisa Farmer-Cole, CMSD Chief of Schools and a Spelman College alum, shared, “I firmly believe this event has the power to shape the course

of scholars’ lives, just as my time at Spelman has had a profound impact on my journey. Morehouse, Spelman, and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich heritage of producing exceptional leaders. I have no doubt this Summit will inspire a new generation of visionary trailblazers.”

Throughout the Summit, attendees participated in various dynamic and engaging educational workshops to cultivate leadership skills and showcase the value of pursuing a college education. These empowering and transformative sessions tackled critical issues relevant to young men of color, including character development, safety, personal growth, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and navigating familial dynamics. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from diverse panelists and keynote speakers whose insights and experiences were impactful and inspiring.

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Photo by: Marlin Helsel Photography

Workshop presenters and program partners included the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc., 1,000 Ties, Frat Dads, Cuyahoga Community College Black American Council, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., African American Male Wellness Agency, A. B.etter Way Productions, Ohio Army National Guard, Morehouse College alums, and Real Men Teach.

Anthony H. Brown, MOCHA Co-Chair, stated, “The youth summit aligns with the mission of Morehouse College, which is to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.” He said, “Even more, this event aimed to motivate scholars to ‘Do Better, Reach Higher, and Get More Together’ by unlocking their potential!”

The day-long program commenced with a poignant opening ceremony that featured the John Marshall Drumline and a re-enactment of the “Morehouse Welcome to the House” ceremony. Throughout the event, attendees participated in informative morning and afternoon breakout sessions and engaged in

a virtual/interactive lunch and learn session. The culmination of the day was marked by a remarkable 1,000 Ties Ceremony, where every scholar was presented with a necktie, and every gentleman in attendance demonstrated the fundamental concepts of not only tying a tie but also embodying what it means to be a man of color that is “Well-Read, Well-Spoken, WellTraveled, Well-Dressed and Well-Balanced!” --

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Improving Our Health Literacy Saves Lives

African Americans (adults and children) suffer disproportionately from various chronic disease states and health disparities due to several contributing causes. Some examples of health disparities experienced by black populations include much higher rates and poorer outcomes of disease states such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea, colon, prostate, lung, breast, and cervical cancers, to name a few, all of which contribute to the shorter life-expectancies observed in blacks compared to whites. “Life expectancy (2020) for Black people was only 71.8 years compared to 77.6 years for White people and 78.8 years for Hispanic people. Life expectancy was even lower for Black males at only 68 years” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2022).

Hereditary causes account for some of the observed health disparities, as do some behavioral practices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and diets high in salt, sugars, and fats. However, up to 80% of health disparities are related to the “social determinants of health” (Health Affairs Forefront, 2021). For example, lifeexpectancy data in Cuyahoga County demonstrates that a person’s zip code determines their life expectancy more so than their genetic code, in that a person living in inner-city Cleveland has a more than 23 year shorter life expectancy than a person living merely five miles away in an affluent suburb such as Shaker Heights (Plain Dealer Newspaper, 2018).

Some examples of social determinants of health (SDOH), more commonly experienced by minority populations, including poverty and unemployment, which contribute to lack of access to quality health care, living in polluted environments and lead toxicity environments, lack of transportation, living in food deserts, racism, and chronic stress states as a result of systemic and personally directed racism (overt and microaggressions), historical distrust of the health care system, which prohibits many minorities from seeking medical care or undergoing routine preventive health checks, and lack of education, which includes deficiencies in health literacy and more (Healthy People 2030).

But we should not accept the existence of these health disparities which disproportionately afflict us as black people. While overcoming these health inequities may seem insurmountable and impossible to overcome, in reality, there are many steps we can take as individuals and as communities right now to improve our health outcomes. But, in this article, I will discuss one crucial action we can take to improve our health outcomes. Specifically, the step each of us can take is for each of us to improve upon our own and our family’s health literacy.

Dr. Charles Modlin is a urologist and kidney transplant surgeon, one of fewer than 20 African-American transplant surgeons in the United States. In more than 22 years at the Cleveland Clinic, he has transformed interest in why African-Americans suffer a disproportionate share of diseases into programs assisting the minority community. He is a proud 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc member.

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34 Real Men Magazine Do what builds a better future. Dollar.Bank We are proud to support 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. Copyright © 2022, Dollar Bank, Federal Savings Bank. CMD251_22
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Berry, Berry Good!


As we close the winter months of eating comfort foods, it is time to spring into a new season of lighter meals This month’s special feature recipe includes a fruitpacked dessert that combines fresh berries macerated in a sweet-tart mixture of balsamic vinegar and sugar While it might seem odd as vinegar does not typically come to mind when you think about dessert, when macerated, fruit softens and releases its natural flavors, aromas, and adds a complex sweetness that is sure to fulfill you or your family’s sweet tooth when served over shortcake or vanilla ice cream

Active Time 15 minutes

Inactive Time 1 hour

Servings 8 servings


 1 pint of strawberries, sliced

 1 pint of raspberries

 1 pint of blueberries

 1 pint of blackberries (optional)

 ½ a cup of good balsamic vinegar (I prefer Bertolli’s or Trader Joe’s Organic Balsamic Vinegar)

 ¼ teaspoon of black pepper

 2-3 tablespoons of sugar

 Lemon zest

 1 pre-packaged shortcake or angel-food cake


1 In a large bowl, place all of the berries

2. Sprinkle the pepper, sugar, and lemon zest over the berry mixture

3. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the berry mixture Give a gentle toss with a rubber spatula to make sure the ingredients are combined

4 Cover the bowl of berries with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour

Note: Do not keep refridgerator for longer than an hour as the berries will begin to get mushy

5. After an hour, give another gentle toss to the berry mixture Using a ladel, spoon the berry mixture over the shortcake

6 Top the berry mixture and shortbread with either fresh whipped cream (see bonus recipe) or vanilla ice cream Bon Appétit! -100BM

*Editor’s Note: Good balsamic vinegar does not need to cost a lot of money When looking for a good vinegar you want to find one that is aged at least 5 years Typically, you can find one like what was used here for less than $6


BONUS RECIPE: Homemade Whipped Cream

Sometimes that container of Cool Whip does not do a dessert justice Try this quick homemade whipped cream recipe to take your dessert to the next level

 1 cup of cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

 2 tablespoons of granulated or confectioners’ sugar

 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

 1 tablespoon of lemon zest (optional)

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract on, and optional lemon zest on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3–4 minutes Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks, and are the perfect consistency for topping on desserts If you accidentally over-whip the cream, and it looks curdled and heavy, pour in a little bit more cold heavy cream, and fold it in gently by hand with a spatula until it smooths out Use immediately or cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours

 Whipped cream (optional; see bonus recipe)

 Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

**Editor’s Note: This recipe can be adapted based on your dietary preferences, especially with regard to sugars As you can see, this can be served over your preferred dessert or within a parfait Whatever you choose, make sure that you ladel some of the sauce that is produced from the macerated berries as it will send your dessert over the top!

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healthy does not necessarily have to sacrifice taste By changing a few common items in the recipe, you can transform any mystery meat concoction into a marvelous masterpiece In this monthly section, we will feature recipes that are not only filling but also are sure to satisfy even those finicky eaters
will be “berry” fond of this dessert!
42 Real Men Magazine
43 Real Men Magazine COMMUNITIES THRIVING in a Changing Economy June 21–23, 2023 ■ Attend in person or virtually REGISTER NOW at Clefed.org/PS2023
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