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Change your thinking, change your life

Perspective Young Men’s

November 2013 Fall Edition/Vol. 3


The Diana MizzDr Escotto story

From video vixen, to literary author

The Power of Transformation

"I can put out a message to other females that there's other things you can expand to, like a lot girls are not aware and capable of transitioning into other things because they think that modeling,is their only goal in life." Diana MizzDr Escotto

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine


elcome to Young Men’s Perspective Magazine, a socially conscious magazine and experience we know will impact your life by engaging you the reader in the issues facing today’s youth. We hope to not only create a platform for discussion, but also for change Though we maybe adopting a similar design aesthetic to that of a print magazine, our digital magazine publication will enable our readers access to links with a greater depth scope. In addition, unlike a traditional printed magazine our subscribers will have unlimited access to useful information and insight complete with links to our partners and many authors. We are far from anything your average reader will have ever seen or experienced. Our publication is interactive, so along with our articles, video's and radio broadcast the information is disseminated in every form of media.. Young Men’s Perspective magazine is a quarterly publication Published by YMPmedia1Network LLC ISSN # 2326-0904 at 3535 Williamson rd. suite 140 Macon Ga. 31206 Letters and editorial contributions should be sent to com or Young Men’s Perspective magazine 3535 Williamson rd. suite 140 Macon Ga. 31206 Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner, without permission, is prohibited. Copyright 2008 by YMPmedia1Network LLC All rights reserved. Advertising rates and specifications available via email YMPM was founded in January 2008. A publication of YMPmedia1Network LLC.

Mission Statement YMPmedia1network LLC is your premier conscious digital company. Our mission is to use the magazine and radio show to engage, encourage and enrich our youth so we are ensured more of them achieve in school and succeed in life. We will focus on developing solutions that provide valuable information and vital inspiration to our youth that we believe will help them strengthen their character to lead more productive lives.

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From our Founder Je Hodges

"The bridge shortens for our youth, as the gap widens for the next generation. Who sees past tomorrow? Everyone definitely has a story to tell, and because I'm a strong advocate for transformation an a mentor to our youth. I find it's only befitting to share such a powerful cover, with an equally powerful back story for this November 2013 edition. I sit down with Video vixen, medical student turned author Diana a.k.a. MizzDR Escotto to get her story. We all hear how Oprah Winfrey’s leading the charge to rescue troubled celebrities from themselves by taking Lindsay Lohan under her wing as her mentor, well stay tuned as we share how Dr. Elisa English is mentoring this young lady Diana MizzDr Escotto! "Be careful how we judge folks - they may not be as dumb as you assume...simply living their authentic self and working on their transformation as WE all should be, always room for improvement in life!" Dr. Elisa English Also in this edition, we take a poetic justice approach introducing our new section of perspective poetry with writers from all over the globe sharing their insight seeking poetic justice. Being your leading provider of socially conscious media, we present to you our conscious coroner touching on some very important topics of the day our youth face on a daily and so much more. So prepare for a journey of a lifetime once again, as we take you there and back with Young Men's Perspective Magazine providing an enriching alternative to mainstream media and stimulating our youth with conscious truth and exchange vital knowledge, wisdom, and understanding pertaining to today's vital issues. "Create the content that resonates with your audience, and produce more of it." YMPmedia1Network,LLC is a publishing company with a new outlook. Our productions have purpose. We seek to create a positive outcome through the publication of relevant materials. We not only talk about change, we are the change, with a dynamic founder and staff who gives relentlessly to the mission of the company. As a publisher, we not only seek quality materials, but also see the authors as an integral part of the process. Each and every member of our team is valued. Our company works closely with its writers and will respects the artistic integrity of all. So prepare for a journey of insights from contributing writers from all over the world, sharing input to enable you the readers to make the necessary changes to enhance your life.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Conscious corner

Parents: Who Is Trying to Sex Your Children On Social Media Wm Jackson, M.Ed. Fathers, Teach Your Daughters Wm Jackson, M.Ed.


Why We Love Sports 8 Tyler Arnold

Rugby: The Next Big Thing 10 Tyler Arnold

NCAA: The Farm System Summer Break And Black On Black Education 12 Tyler Arnold Wm Jackson, M.Ed. Home Court Advantage STOP. 14 Tyler Arnold Carolyn Hei-Kyoung You A Call For A Better Tomorrow By Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako)


The Call Of The Cactus Honey Novick Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence (HAGV) The Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council (HHSYC)


Young Minds Perspective

Transitioning With Transparency Cedric Dean


Take The Lead Ed Toney


Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence (HAGGV)


Charles & Randy Fisher

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Health & Fitness

Unhealthy Doctors 18 Are Poor Role Models For Patients Dr. Corey Mote

Charles & Randy Fisher



Defining Your Personal Style by Lakia Fashae’




From video vixen, to literary author: The Power of Transformation


Suicide: Has it become the Rx for depression? 58 Dr. Elisa English

Living In A World Where Success Is Hard To Define John “J.Ransom” Futrell


The Silent Killer Marteise Shelton

34 Power of Positive Affirmations Kwatoria Blalock-Bryant


Don’t Look Back By: kelsey from kingston

36 I’ Want To Be ‘I’; Then ‘I’ Can Say ‘I’ Am Successful. Mahasty Eslahy


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From A Women’s Perspective

Death Cheater Chinedu Ichu

In Every Edition


The Marlboro Man Hurts too: the Other side of Domestic Violence Queen Afi

68 Mistaken Supremacy  Chinedu Ichu


Through A Teacher’s Eyes Melinda Cochrane

72 Coyote Song #3- Suski cries Eri Marcus


Young, Gifted & Black Series By Taki S. Raton

74 THE C-OLD SHREW Gina Nemo


Introducing Eric “Crow” Draven Melinda Cochrane



Definitions of Success  Linda Oquendo

78 A Child Bride Patsy Ross


Daughter Of The Night Silva Zanoyan Merjanian


Collateral Damage  Silva Zanoyan Merjanian


ROOFTOP  Silva Zanoyan Merjanian


Basement apartment  Michael e Casteels

82 TONIGHT  Silva Zanoyan Merjanian


Purvis Young in dialogue with Bill Traylor Robert Gibbons

83 Till Death Do Us Part Silva Zanoyan Merjanian


going South to a very old place Robert Gibbons

84 Prostituted Love  By Slashfire


the old soul Robert Gibbons

85 It Takes Two To Tango By Slashfire


Untitled on Justice Robert Gibbons

86 Martin’s Hoodie Ishmael Street


In the Bride Market Dr. Shruti Das

88 Eyes Wide Open Timothy Duncan



Maintaining Balance I-Cee Justice

Perspective Poetry Seeking Poetic Justice


November 2013 | 5

Style Credits Wht Suite: INC, Shirt-Nordstrom, Pocket Sq- Nordstrom Grey Suite: Nordstrom, Shirt- Thomas Pink, Pocket Sq- Nordstrom, Bow-tie American Apparel Grey/Blue Blazer-Pal Zileri, Wht-Vneck-Calvin Klien, Pocket sq- Nordstrom, Jeans- H&M Photography : Eric Ganison Make up; D' Ann Lynch Models: Sierra Loren, John Charles Dickson, Neron Maryland

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Journey with a young man determined to make it in the hood by any means necessary only to find in the end his methods never justify the means by which he tries to make it out. He eventually finds his journey has him in the belly of the Now half man half gladiator and from the cold concrete and bars of the cages all beast. Realizing one day after his release, this can’t be living and this definitely not a life of one with destiny. They say change comes when you’re sick and tired, he was both and ready for change. Fast forward to mentor,community activist strong positive black man. No longer a part of the problem perpetuating our communities but a pillar of strength. He details his transformation while sharing with a young mentee how and what resources he used, to make his necessary changes based on a series of profound discussions from some of our most prominent individuals.�

Purchase link: Jeff Hodges 478-775-6346 Founder-CEO- Author-Host-Producer

November 2013 | 7

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Parents: Who Is Trying to Sex Your Children On Social Media Wm Jackson, M.Ed. Educator, Blogger Parent, Mentor and Speaker WilliamDJackson Blogging at My Quest To Teach


he recent sex stings in Clay County Florida and Colorado Springs, Colorado are showing that sex is a potent influencer; online Social Media environments are dangerous for minors. Cases of children committing suicide from Bullying and Cyberbullying, intoxicated girls of minor age being raped and videotaped, Sexting and CyberStalking shows how dangerous and violent online behaviors can be, and posted pictures and videos are showing violent acts. Every parent needs to know what their children; teens and young adults are doing online, who they are friending, chatting with and sharing online content. This could literally mean the difference between life and death for boys and girls. As a youth consultant and educator on Social Media, teens and young adults on Social Media platforms are becoming more dangerous and exposed to unforeseen dangers. I often hear students in fourth and fifth grades talking about their online activities. If parents were to hear these discussions they would be terrified and potentially turn-off their Internet access or monitor their children more. Youth and teens are involved in Social Media discussions that are very graphic and sexual in nature. The reality is too many parents are either in denial, ignorant, trying to be their children’s friend or just don’t care about what goes on in online environments. The reality of the dangers of Social Media platforms

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and the far reaching affects can be seen in Operation Wrong Destination where men as far away as Pennsylvania, Alabama and as close as neighborhoods in Northeast Florida were arrested trying to have sexual relations with minor girls. Even though the young girls were not real (undercover detectives) the threat was real. In this situation 13 men were arrested ranging in multiple ages and careers fields. The Internet is a dangerous place for youth; girls and boys, it is unfiltered, unmonitored and unsupervised. The story of online predators is typical, using friendship, coercions, suggestions, attention, and affection. These are the tools that predators use to befriend and eventually try to seduce young girls. As the predator befriends a child they convince the child to send partially to totally nude photos and videos. This is not a quick deal, but a gradual process to gain the trust of the child and eventually a relationship develops. Parents need to know who is potentially Sexting, Stalking, Catfishing, Chatting, and Friending their child or children online before the events turn tragic. Even family members can contribute to Social Media challenges by setting up the child with an account despite the parent saying “NO”. Child sex stings show that men involved are calculating, know what they want and have a “specific profile” to look for online. Parents need to know their children’s online profile and personal

information that is posted. My suggestion is to Tag their children’s photos, Google their names, nicknames, photos and other personal information. Fathers spend more time with your daughters; attend events like the Daddy Daughter Dance and have a more trusting relationship that is built on communication http://www.girlsincjax. org/daddy-daughter-dance.html

arships, internships, employments, careers and lifestyles in the future. Even Sheriff Judd shares his opinions about the parents and Social Media.

Dangers are not just through laptops, but through all digital connective devices: Smartphones, Tablets and even gaming systems that allow interactive features. Regarding the use of Blogging, Micro-blogging through Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Youtube, Vimeo and other platforms, parents must have a dialogue During a recent presentation to high with their children. The dangers online are not conducive to school students participating in Mayor parents being “friends” with their children. Parents need to be Alvin Brown’s Learn2Earn Experience I parents!!!!! suggested students do a search on themselves online, a few criticized my idea until Sheriff Judd in several interviews emphasized that parents check they actually did it and found some amaz- their children’s Social Media accounts, phone and other devices, ing and even scary information that was in order that parents to be responsible and accountable for their available in photos, videos and what others children’s actions and not to put anything past their children. had posted about them. Too many parents As an educator teaching Engineering and Technology, I agree. It are in denial about their children, stating would scare the parents to hear some the discussions I’ve heard their children would never do this or that of children and talking to them, and these are no Halloween stothey only use the Internet for research for ries. They are true and very real. school. The death of Rebecca Sedwick is tragic enough, but when her attackers and stalkers seemingly don’t care that their actions caused Rebecca to commit suicide. Even one of the girls stating, “IDGAF” and got 30 Likes posted to this comment online. What morals and values are these youth being taught about the value of human life? Social Media is opening a Pandora’s Box of actions and involvement that will have lasting effects for years to come. Parents and youth, teens and young adults must understand that online content when posted never goes away. It will affect schol-

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Fathers, Teach Your Daughters In the spirit of Fatherly solidarity: Every Father and Every Man in America Should Take A Child to School on the First Day of School and stay involved to the last day of school. Wm Jackson, M.Ed. Educator, Blogger Parent, Mentor and Speaker WilliamDJackson Blogging at My Quest To Teach


million fathers are needed to help raise confident intelligent, positive, motivated and stable young ladies. Research has shown that a father’s involvement in the academic lives of their children will last beyond their childhood; in fact their influence will expand well into the child’s early adult lives (Rosenberg & Bradford, 2006). Fathers have an accountability and responsibility to teach their daughters that their bodies and minds are not the place for temporary visitors, and that their minds and bodies are temples that should be respected, nurtured, protected and valued. Their minds and bodies are not places for chaos, confusion, torture, drugs and multiple visits by multiple men and multiple ejaculations. The duties of a father are to guide, teach, mentor, provide correct discipline, offer support, and engage their daughters with high self esteem and social wisdom. In The National Center for Fathering Gallup Poll, 97% of children participants suggest that fathers need to do more to be involved in the their children’s education. Children need to see their fathers visiting their schools. As an elementary school educator I hear girls state they wish that their fathers’ would visit them, to eat lunch and to speak with teachers.

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I see the pride and the love girls have as their fathers walk them to class when they do visit, arrive to eat lunch with them and provide hugs and kisses before they leave. The United States is ranked 17th in Math and 24th in Science (“Barrington Irving: Teaching From the Skies”). Imagine how much better our girls and boys can be if fathers are more active and then the impact to our nation. What has happened when girls are dressed up like they are two or three times their age? And is it cute to cuss and perpetrate being older? There is a fine line between cute and pretty, and sleazy and sexually suggestive. The use of Social Media is showing us that more girls are violent, sexually promiscuous and verbally violent with profanity. The absence of fathers as models and being pro-active teachers is seen in schools and churches. There was a time when fathers taught their girls to be ladylike, intellectually quiet, socially polite, cordial and learned in the social graces that allow girls to create the perceptions of social acceptance. Girls must be taught the skills, abilities, wisdom, and strength to compete when it comes to being successful in a competitive world. This school year, schools across this nation need a million fathers to support their chil-


dren. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, step-fathers and other men in communities, and those of the clergy are allowing schools to be closed in our nation’s cities. Men of Color should be volunteering at their children’s schools, chaperoning field trips, eating lunch at least five times a month, attending parent/teacher meetings and school board meetings. Women are rising in the poverty statistics of this nation and in order to compete need to obtain a quality education. Fathers are key to emphasizing how important education is. President Obama has stated that, “the best antipoverty program is a quality education.” Fathers, support your children’s education. Classroom discipline issues are on the rise, the school to prison pipe line is flooding like the pipes of crude oil flowing from the Middle East to the United States. In each case billions of dollars are being made. Children of Color are worth more in the prison systems than they are in the educational systems. Slavery is still strong and growing in the 21st century. Even as the March on Washington has shown there are still injustices, People of Color especially fathers need to be proactive and involved. There are hundreds of thousands of Fathers of Color doing the “Right Thing,” but there needs to be “Millions of Fathers of Color” doing more. Fathers need to be reading to children, sharing wisdoms of life, mentoring and taking children to libraries, visiting museums, and attending cultural events. Daughters, step-daughters, granddaughters and nieces need the wisdom of the men in their lives. If men don’t take the time to teach their daughters the streets will.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Summer Break And Black On Black Education Inspired by: Phillip Jackson Exe. Dir. The Black Star Project Wm Jackson, M.Ed. Educator, Blogger Parent, Mentor and Speaker WilliamDJackson Blogging at My Quest To Teach


ummer break is at a conclusion, Labor Day festivities, traveling, cookouts, parties, and all the fun thrown in; the “business of education” begins for many schools across the nation. 180 days of learning, 180 days of educational strategies, curriculums, differential instruction, ESOL, Benchmarks, Common Core, reading initiates, state assessments and the goal to finish another academic year and on to the next grade or graduation. In the 20th and 21st centuries as the agricultural demands diminished because of technology innovations, the educational structure did not change. Summer months are turning into missed educational opportunities at an enormous cost. Black on Black Education is a missed opportunity for the expansion of learning in the months that are summer break. The Department of Education has shown the consistant levels for Children of Color to be lower than non-children of color. The levels for math are affected and shown that reading levels affect success in math and science where high paying careers are: STEAM is now an educational movement. The mentality is that summer is a “break

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from school,” thus a break from learning. This needs to change if America is to continue to compete in a global learning network where students globally are attending schools year around whether traditional, hybrid or completely online, learning is now year around. Students are losing two months’ worth of math skills each summer, two months of science learning and even up to three months of reading, literacy and comprehension abilities. Students of Color are being placed behind the educational eight-ball as they are released for summer break because too many already are not reading on grade level and struggle with literacy and comprehension. The key element to student success is parental participation; Parents of Color must break the course of educational directions of non-involvement, the dangerous practice of not reinforcing learning at home and blaming teachers for THEIR child’s challenges. Observe cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Jacksonville, Chicago and others. Nationally libraries are closing, learning centers are shutting their doors and tutoring services once abundant are disappearing. Parents



of Color are not fighting, working, striving for equal educational opportunities as they did in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The dangerous thinking of too many parents is “let the schools teach the kids, it’s not my responsibility,” Empowering Parents, http://www. The “March on Washington” is a “Movement not a Moment” and it should be continuous in its growth, progressive in its involvement in education, politics, religion, and economics. What happens when the speeches are done, when the singing stops, when the reminiscing is over and the MOW is over? So many issues were addressed, the reality is nothing will be achieved nor changed if Children of Color do not improve their educational levels. Black on Black Education by churches, learning centers, and community organizations is needed. Blacks cannot wait on anyone to change the failing schools in THEIR neighborhoods. Parents of Color are the FIRST teachers, mentors, role models and supervisors of learning. Parents of Color set the expectations for success.

a. Teach Black boys and girls to read before entering school. b. Enter Black boys and girls in activities that support discipline and high self esteem c. By third grade they should have a library card and museum memberships with parents. d. Provide positive role models for Black boys and girls. e. Allow and encourage Black fathers to nurture and spend time w/ their children. f. Expose Black boys and girls to libraries, museums, cultural centers. g. Control negative influences of movies, music, video games on Black boys and girls. h. Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women and Black girls to respect themselves. i. Black parents volunteer at schools and religious organizations. j. Involve Black boys and girls in academic clubs and organizations. k. Invest in reading libraries in the home. l. Use technology to learn with not just sharing gossip or bullying. m. Connect with other parents of similar interests and goals. n. Have high expectations for success in Black boys and girls o. Learning and education are not trying to be white. p. Black parents get out of traditional thinking and traditional actions be involved in schools in any way. q. Black fathers get involved even if you have a criminal background. You have a right to visit your child’s school. r. Divorced fathers get involved at the school your child attends you cannot be denied or turned away. You do have rights to help your child. s. Step-fathers you are a STEPUP so get involved also in all your children’s educational and academic pursuits. s. Black parents learn from the elders and their past experiences. Don’t forget their wisdom and accomplishments. Blacks use to honor and praise their elders. Too many times they are now forgotten and ignored.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

STOP. Carolyn Hei-Kyoung You

STOP. STOP. I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop myself. The cycle of violence has so much momentum. Use your strength. To stop it. STOP. It’s easy to condemn. But what’s really going on inside, when a person lashes out? It’s been said that what gets reported is the bang, not the splat. The violence, not its effect. Much as I agree, I also ask, what about before the bang, before the splat?

be experienced as a source of weakness. So what to do with power, with feelings, with powerful feelings? Think. Stop. Before you act. In the space of stopping, there is the power to make oneself, to literally create oneself. Without that space, there could be self-destruction. Destruction of another. And in either case, there would also be destruction of the space between you.

Before the bang, before the splat, there is something even more private than what goes on in your living room, your kitchen, your hallway, your bedroom, and maybe even your bathroom. What I’m talking about is what goes on in the mind.

What is strength? Is it measured by brute force? Is it measured in power? What might that power look like? Could it be the power to choose?

What actually happens inside?


Do you know?

The power to think, the power to feel?

Have you looked?

This power lives inside. The power to choose one’s actions. And so choose one’s life.

It might be so ugly that’s it’s easier to call her ugly and hit her, with fist, with words, or even with silence, than it is to look oneself, in the eye, in the heart. I couldn’t stop myself. Are we responsible for our impulses, our reactions? Perhaps ultimately it is even more important to ask what fuels our actions. I believe feelings have a key role to play. Feelings can give power and strength; they do not have to

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The power to

The power that knows that the other is an equal partner with the self. And that to crush another is to crush oneself. Equal, you say incredulously? But we aren’t born with a blank slate, as a blank slate. Some of us get a silver spoon, others get a mouthful of coal, some get a tarnished spoon, others get a mouthful


of poison. Really, it is a dizzying set of circumstances we’re each born into. So what? What does this have to do with domestic violence? Well, for starters what kind of home were you born into? It’s worth considering. The good with the bad. Many would say that it’s what we make of ourselves that matters. And I would agree. I also think that the circumstances - the particular ones - matter. In some ways, you could say we’ve been set up. Born into a hyperviolent world. But we are each born into different places in relation to this world, I think. Violence is almost expected of men. It’s what makes a man after all, isn’t it? To be macho, to be strong, to be feared. And women so often end up fearing violence from men, taught that they’re inferior. In these broader social circumstances, what is strong, I believe, is to resist all these currents. The ones in which men fear being vulnerable and women are only defined by vulnerability. The harsh binaries that leave us with no flexibility, no middle ground, locking us into a single mode, trapped in one way of being. Strength then is to find the freedom of the full spectrum of our human possibilities. Strength is to take back, or maybe find, for the very first time, the power that lives inside. The power to stop. The power to choose one’s actions. And so to choose one’s life. Carolyn Hei-Kyoung You is a writer and poet who lives in Kingston, Ontario. She has been practicing Insight meditation regularly for about five years. She aspires to live peacefully in a culture of violence.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

A Call For A Better Tomorrow “If you cannot be the best for yourself, do it for those who were denied the opportunity to be the best. If you cannot dream the dream for yourself, do it for those who could dream but could never make their dreams come true…” By Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako)


hese opening verses from Harvard 8/9/85, a poem by Harlem’s Bernard J. Keller has remained in my head since first introduced to me from the wall of a Brooklyn high school classroom 27 years ago. It is a constant reminder that we owe a debt to all of those who never had their opportunity of “The American Dream” due to the rampant racism and bigotry in America. Those who were lynched in the name of justice from southern trees throughout the 20th Century into the 21st Century, Trayvon Martin who was murdered for walking while Black in America and wearing a hoodie. So, what does this mean to young men? Today’s young men may be unclear of their responsibility as recipients of Dr. King’s “Dream” of a world where all are accepted and judged by the “content of their character”, while some feel they are not judged by skin color and multiculturalism is the norm of today. But, for many, that dream has not yet become reality, and there is still a need to make America live up to its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States and the Emancipation Proclamation, documents of our democracy, but only words on paper unless we put them into practice daily; unless we hold those in

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power accountable; unless every American feels equality is real. Young men should be able to walk safely through our city streets today, free of fear. But this is not the case. Too often we read about men, women and children shot or killed by stray bullets, incidents like Trayvon Martin being stalked by an overzealous citizen’s watch member. We hear of youth beaten by an out-of-control parent or growing up with the void of an absentee fathers. This too often is reality. Why do so many teens believe their rite of passage to adulthood is found in a correctional center rather than a high school? Why do so many return to prison over and over, finding no better path to follow? This may not be the way of the majority of our youth, but all are affected by the hundreds of thousands who do. There are no simple solutions. However, once a young Black Man, now a seasoned Activist Librarian and active role model to many, I’ve found success. First, through my strong faith in The Creator, knowing my professional journey was His Master Plan I have given it my best. Secondly, recognizing The Dream comes through the acts of reading, teaching and mentoring. Reading opens the mind and broadens one’s worldview, provides personal growth, and encourages creativity and imagination.


“Life isn’t how you survived the storm, it’s about how you danced in the rain.” Author Unknown Having taught in the City University of New York for over ten years, I’ve gained a reputation for challenging graduate and undergrad students while assigning relevant projects and papers that offer a realistic understanding and practical use of the coursework as opposed to being strictly academic for academic sake. I’ve spent a great deal of outreach time in City schools through Read-Ins, Black History talks, explaining the principles of Kwanzaa and listening and answering student questions and concerns. I’ve sought to mentor students and young librarians, in person and online, to provide honest feedback, encouragement and guidance. Mentoring allows for support as well as honest critique. It has been the catalyst for my career growth and opened doors to new challenges and opportunities I would not have attempted otherwise. I seek that same impact on those I mentor, to challenge them to be more than they think they can or will be. I inherited this responsibility from those who have and still mentor me today. “I am, Because We Are” African Proverb We have survived everything from slavery to freedom. Through it all, Black people suffered, but our strength and faith as Family brought us through. Although we still struggle, our task today is to seek new solutions to issues that affect families across this country and to grow a stronger through knowledge, belief of self and the use of education to build a strong future. We owe it to our Ancestors to do no less. Andrew Jackson is Executive Director, Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center-Queens Library; adjunct professor Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (CUNY) and York College Department of Social Sciences and History and Philosophy (CUNY); Past President, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

The Call Of The Cactus Honey Novick


o clouds in the sky. A blue canopy over a city relieved of the winter’s struggles. With almost a skip in my step, I got out of my car parked on a busy residential street. There directly in front of my view, the view where I had to look to take careful steps when getting out of a parked car on a busy street was a man planting and hoeing CACTI in his front yard!

That same morning I had attended the annual general meeting of AIDWYC, the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted, founded by world-renown boxing great Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. I’m astounded by the level of injustice in the world and my own seeming inability to make an obvious difference, so I try to be friendly and sincere and fair-minded and hope that translates into some kind of difference.

Without thinking I walked over and said, “Excuse me but I was born in Toronto and I am inspired by the efforts of all who work cacti are not indigenous to southern On- on behalf of the innocent, the wrongfully tario.” convicted. It was this inspirited sense of goodwill and tenacity that brought me to Very pleasantly this man said, “They’ve pay attention to my surroundings, espebeen growing here for 3 years even in the cially the prominence of the garden of cacti winter buried under the snow.” Then he and a banana tree growing so near to the showed me how he cares for these spiky urban sidewalk. ears nestling quite comfortably in the dark arable earth. Yes, Chef Anthony came to a meeting and came again and tells of his work based on He said, “Come back in two weeks and a dream of starting a Caribbean Culinary they’ll be decorated with yellow roses. Network. This network would strive to be They’ll be spectacular!” a mentorship for youth. The young people would be given opportunities to look at I said, “I will. I come to this neighbour- their surroundings in relation to culinary hood just about every two weeks to attend tourism and bring a taste of the islands to a Soka Gakkai (International Society for the tourists. Usually when tourists from the Creation of Value) Nichiren Buddhist North America or Europe grace the beachmeeting where we all chant ‘Nam Myoho es and soak up the sun and ingest the fruits Renge Kyo’.” of the tropics, they come with a taste and expectations looking to be fulfilled. What He said, “I’m interested in Buddhism.” Chef Anthony intends to do is provide the young people of the Caribbean a way of HE is the internationally respected and looking at culinary tourism as a means of highly accomplished culinary Chef An- self-empowerment. thony Mair. Anthony would connect the young people

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enrolled in cooking courses in schools, or those that have an interest in cooking, to his network via social media. He would share recipes and educational tidbits and ways of being creative in the kitchen, thus translating these skills into a more sustainable and profound way of developing self esteem. This is like providing a platform to enhance the youth’s abilities. Chef Anthony wants to get the youth to look at their surroundings differently. By looking at how food is grown, how it is prepared, how it is served, Anthony is aligning his energies and efforts in the hope of developing a new branch of tourism – culinary tourism – redefining and allowing a reawakening to the tastes and textures of Caribbean Cuisine. This message was delivered by the song sung by the cacti. It is sung about beauty and food and friendship and trust and hope – all in an invisible yet inexplicably powerful tentacle reaching out, like a siren’s song, to my sensitive ears and eyes on a sunny afternoon. This connection was the immediate response to an unseeable desire to create new friendships of trust after supporting the work of those who recognize change comes in ways not always expected but always welcomed. Honey Novick is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher/poet who lives in Toronto, Canada. Swirling in the dance of the falling leaves, she sings to the changing colours of autumn. November 2013 | 19

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine



ew York, NY, October 15, 2013— To keep New York the safest big city in the country the HHSYC and their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project completed their second annual campaign to curb gun and gang violence while also working with NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to improve relations between the Police and community residents. To support the 109-day campaign, which started Memorial Day Weekend and ended Labor Day, Proclamations once again were presented to the HHSYC by Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC Council and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano declaring May 24-27, 2013 as Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Weekin NYC and Nassau County. The success of the campaign is measured in two parts: first by the number of deaths by firearm over the 96-hour Memorial Day Weekend period; second by the number of firearm deaths between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day. According to statistics the proactive groundbreaking initiative that kicked off during Memorial Day Weekend (the unofficial start of summer when gun violence spikes) was an overwhelming success for the second

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consecutive year. There were 10 murders by firearm in 2011 compared to 6 in 2012 (a 40% reduction from the launch of the 2012 campaign). There were 3 in 2013 (a 50% reduction compared to 2012 and an amazing 70% reduction when compared to 2011). In addition, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day (the unofficial end of summer) there were 111 murders by firearm in 2011 compared to 93 in 2012 (a 16.2% reduction) and 66 in 2013 (a 29% reduction when compared to 2012). When you compare 2011 to 2013 there was an unbelievable 40.5% reduction. The numbers speak for themselves and leave no doubt that this tested, innovative approach to curb gun and gang violence during the most violent season of the year is a winner. This collaborative approach shows that when the community and NYPD work as a team they can keep crime down which keeps the city safe. Community policing is a very affective tool to help improve public safety by deterring and detecting crime, especially now that we no longer have Stop, Question & Frisk. Some initiatives coordinated by the HHSYC with their partners to support the campaign included: the coordination


Mayor Bloomberg, Randy Fisher, Charles Fisher and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in the Mayor's office at City Hall holding the HHAGGV 2013 Proclamation. of “Solution Summits,”which rewarded young citizens for telling us creative ways to curb gun and gang violence; promoting a series of gun buy back events with the NYC Council and NYPD; working with Nassau County Executive Edward Managno to launch the hot new “Shot Spotter” crime fighting technology that provides video footage of gun shootings making it easer to solve gun crimes; working with Geraldo Rivera, host of Geraldo At Large (on Fox News) to promote the exceptional work of a host of community parterres who were risking their lives to end gun violence; launch of the Community Ambassadors for Peace (CAP) initiative to detect and deter crime; working with Def Jam Records, Hot 97 radio, the Source Magazine, Dr. Jays, and the Daymond John Academy

to offer perks, internships and jobs to those that signed up to be a part of the solution and not the problem; and by sponsoring “Rap 2 Bridge the Gap” sessions to improve relations between NYPD, students and the community. Since the end of Stop, Question and Frisk gun violence has increased 13% and gun seizures have declined by 17%. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is going. In order to keep the community safe without Stop, Question and Frisk citizens and the private sector must step up to the plate and play a more proactive role to improve public safety and that is the message we are preaching citywide. If you eliminate an affective policy, you must find a viable replacement to keep the criminals in check. Stated Mayor Bloomberg “N.Y. is proud to be a national leader in the efforts to keep illegal guns out of the hands of dangerous people. As a result of our commitment and hard work, crime in the five boroughs is down to historic lows, but of course, there is always more we can do to ensure the health and safety of all our

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Gun murders were also down by 40.5% between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day in 2013 compared to 2011 thanks to a new Community Code of Conduct residents. Strong partnerships among the police, government, schools, and community-based organizations are key to sustaining the progress we have made, which is why we applaud the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council for its efforts to build a better city. Together, we can not only prevent violence, but also help young men, especially, access the opportunities they need to stay on the right track in school and beyond.” In 1990 NYC experienced 2,245 homicides. To reduce the violence 10,000 officers were hired peaking to 41,000 in 2001. NYPD now has34,000 officers, 7,000 fewer than 2001, but yet crime continues to decline. This displays the tactical crime fighting experience of the Commissioner and his unique ability to help NYC remain the safest big city in the country with fewer resources. “After the chaos caused by the crack epidemic of the 80’s and the terrorist attack on 9/11 there is nothing more important

to the citizens and tourists that visit New York than public safety. Crime and violence are bad for the economy and like him or not, Ray Kelly is doing an outstanding job. I hope the next Mayor does not play Political Roulette with our safety. You know how the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and any experimental change could become a public relations nightmare for the party and administration in charge. Especially with a new poll showing that 50% support Stop, Question & Frisk and want Ray Kelly to remain as Commissioner,” ended Charles Fisher, Founder, HHSYC. “Through this initiative I get to talk to rookie officers and let them know that the community appreciates their dedication to the job. This goes a long way towards improving community and police relations. By working with Community Affairs officers, the Precinct Community Council, students, community groups and local businesses we can also keep crime down. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC Council, and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for the Proclamations. I also want to thank Commissioner Kelly for believing in our program and allowing us the opportunity to creatively work with the Department to help reduce crime the last several years during the hot summer months and improve relations between NYPD and the community,” stated Randy Fisher, Executive Director, HHSYC. Reprint from the " Source Magazine"

ABOUT THE HHSYC The HHSYC was founded in July 2001 by Charles Fisher (also known as the former manager of LL Cool J, the Lost Boyz and co-discoverer of R. Kelly). The organization was created to help implement commitments made by record companies, artists, community leaders and elected officials at the historic 2001 Hip-Hop Summit in New York City. Participants are taught how to constructively use their time, talent and the HipHop culture to improve social, political and economic conditions in their school, home and community. Randy Fisher is the organization’s Executive Director. For additional information, visit

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Transitioning With Transparency Cedric Dean


grew up in Charlotte, N.C. as an only child. My loving (18 year old) single mother did everything to stop me from running wild. She took me to Church, taught me right from wrong, but only God knew I was already gone. Thirteen years old, the devil got my soul. I never could have imagined that life could be so cold. With a gun in my hand, I thought I was a man, until I ended up doing over five years in the pen. (From 16 to 21) Those were my transitional years - senseless crime, drugs and violence. I was not able to respect anyone else because I did not even have respect for myself. I was never taught how to treat others the way I wanted to be treated - the way I needed to be taught. I was taught by a courageous Black Woman who simply did not have enough time to perform the dual duties of a woman and a man. (Over 70% of other single mothers face similar struggles.) I really needed a man to teach me about manly things - to teach me how to be a real man. Am I saying a woman cannot raise a boy to be a man? Absolutely not! Too many strong Black Women have successfully proven that it can be done. Countless single mothers have raised young black boys to be men. But, for me, when it came to an intimate relationship with a woman - that was something my mom never cared to talk about. She avoided the sex talks with the words of former First Lady Nancy Regan by telling me to “JUST SAY NO!”

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But I did not say NO! I said YES to everything but the right things - mistreating women, disrespecting women and men, and engaging in crime, drug dealing and violence. I could easily try to place the blame on my Missing In Action father. I could even put it on the 43.6% black youth unemployment rate or the 50% black graduation rate. But the true blame is on Cedric Dean. I made the wrong choice to say YES when I could have easily said NO. But after nearly 19 years of consecutive incarceration – and in it a never-ending reflecting and regretting - I finally said YES to everything that my mother had ever told me was right. I said YES to protecting women and children; YES to being a woman’s man; and YES to accepting God’s plan for my life. And as a result of transitioning NO to YES, I am no longer reflecting and regretting. When I changed my life with transparency, my circumstances changed and God’s grace and mercy gave me a 3rd chance to be a real man. And He’ll do the same for you, if you say NO to the wrong things and YES to principle-centered living. I have laid it all down before God and for the last 10 years my life has been lived in transparency and acceptance of the responsibility for my former life. I have written over 15 books to show communities how to avoid, look for and stop violence, drugs and gang activity, In


2009, at the calling of President Obama, I launched Safeguard Atone Validate Educate (SAVE), which is now the largest prisoner-led movement in America dedicated to saving young people from premature death and imprisonment. I have partnered with many other great organizations such as, Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags and launched Save a Child Month to help young black men be father, college and career-ready instead of jail-ready. January 2014 will mark our 3rd annual Save a Child Month initiative. I implore you to continue to transition with transparency and touch someone else to make a difference.

Cedric Dean, the President of the Safeguard Atone Validate Educate (SAVE) Program, is the founder of Save a Child Month (SACM), as well as one of the world’s leading prisoner activists on human rights and social justice. He is the author of 18 books including the forthcoming: How to Stop the Killing (December 14, 2013 - For more information, please visit: or email

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Take The Lead Ed Toney


ne thing about learning and understanding the chemistry of what constitutes who you are… is learning and knowing your ancestry, culture and background, processing it to allow you to diversify your thoughts and actions. To be able to accept those things and embrace the scope, the importance in the power of its history, while observing and participating in the present and allowing that to influence and propel your everyday thought process. Then with comprehension and applying the background of your race, your ancestors, family and people like yourself, helps you embrace yourself, grow and become individualistic. With that comes the importance of sharing it, giving back, making sure those who don’t quite understand their make-up, culture or the importance of who they are or where they come from, be confused by the way other races stereotype, dictate or hypothesize about who we might be. Or to speculate with a naïve perception. My mother always instilled in her sons, my brother and I, to “lead by example and don’t be a follower.” I was not sure at a young age what she meant, but later as I grew older I knew exactly what she was talking about and also learned that her advice would keep me out of trouble, keep me a step ahead and make me unique. One of the reasons why most young men have a hard time reaching their goals and excelling is that they’d rather choose to follow the herd than lead it, going wherever in the direction the herd goes, doing

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exactly whatever the herd does, and that does not set you apart or help you to be different. And in our most popular mainstream of today’s culture, being that of Hip-hop (funny many critics said it would not last) which dominates and controls much of entertainment, music, fashion, dialogue, and even in some cases what we eat and drink. Not to mention all the messages and images it creates, it has become worldwide sensationalism. But it also has created images and dialogues of negativity, adversity and unwarranted stereotyping. And much of it sometimes, does not portray the importance or true diversity of our culture…ironically, at the same time, it has incidentally enriched our culture in artistic expression and made lots of people wealthy - including a large population of our poor and underprivileged youth. Unfortunately in some cases I watch the clones of young men, who have embraced many of the negativities of the hip-hop culture portrayed artistically and media-hyped, but they not so culturally advantageous… in the dynamics of pants hanging, foul language (degrading n-word usage) the blatant disrespect of our woman, violent behavior and actually the glorifying of drugs, guns and hatred to one another. This, all in the name of thug, being down, or being relevant to the “herd” or even controlling one’s turf. And these dynamics go back to even when I was a teenager, but then not as prevalent, dangerous or destructive as today. In raising my godson, who is extremely smart, he told me in a conversation while


Morehouse College Class of 2013! he was still attending high school that it was lame to be smart , and smart people were nerds. This he gathered by those he got caught up in “following”. Immediately it brought to mind a close friend I grew up with. When all us young boys were on the block playing/ hanging outdoors, his mother always called him in early for homework. He couldn’t hang like all of us “cool” dudes hung out and we laughed and teased him. He is today one of the top surgeons in Kentucky and he also drives race cars. The tires alone on his race cars are a week’s salary for me. Although my parents were strict, but not as strict as his…there were still others on the block who I was envious of, ‘cause they got to do whatever they wanted to do. At times I was even considered a nerd…but as I look back on “the followers” as my mother called them and most of them didn’t graduate, some of them went into the armed forces, some went to jail or prison, some of them were in gangs and there were others that were killed. I remember wanting

to hang out in school, be caught up in cutting classes, running the streets, drinking and “following”. I made the conscious decision to set myself apart…and peer pressure has a slightly different connotation to me. Peer pressure is what it states, being pressured to do something that is against your will. “Following” is a much easier mind process and can be very unconsciously suggestive…not so much demanded upon by others. It’s basically just liking and wanting to do what a large group does… I enjoyed the lessons and learning of my ancestry, my culture and those individuals who looked to make it better for their people; the lessons and history of Garvey, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington and the countless others who set themselves apart and became leaders…those were my influences and still are! They were my inspirational and motivational examples, and included the teachers I looked up to, professors and instructors, and even family members that were all mentors in the sense that they aimed to steer me in the direction of being individualistic and unique. You start by learning who you are, knowing your past, deciding to be different and knowing that progression can’t exist with everyone doing the same thing, in the same manner… someone has to venture outside the normality and be different, be a self-starter and thinker, be and become a leader. And if you do choose to be a “follower” at least follow the leaders heading in the right direction.

Ed Toney in addition to other prose writing, writes poetry as well, and is also a Chemist in the Brooklyn area. There his concentrations are applications and technical service for the company Ulano, which makes all the products for the screen printing industry.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence (HAGGV) As we honor Hip-Hop History Month other initiatives will be launched by the Hip-Hop Community to address Unemployment, Education, Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Obesity, and Gun & Gang Violence Charles & Randy Fisher


he Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council continues to pick up steam as the agency has partnered with the Phoenix Music Group and New York’s #1 Hip-Hop Radio Station Power 105 to acquire artist, celebrity and executive support for their successful and groundbreaking work to end gun and gang violence through their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project (HAGGV). The group’s innovative multi-faceted, cost-efficient initiative uses a public health and safety approach to accomplish its mission. According to NYPD statistics the project has a track record of success and is being touted as the “Model Violence Prevention Program of the Future” receiving praise and Proclamations from NYC Mayor Bloomberg, the New York City Council, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, NYPD and the New York Department of Youth & Community Development just to name a few. As we approach another holiday season Christmas came early this year as Power 105 held a star-studded super concert at the new Barclay Center. The histori-

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cal event rocked the Borough of Brooklyn blowing the minds of a packed house of screaming fans who enjoyed each and every second with stars such as: Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Trey Songs, Big Sean, Fabolous, A$AP Mob, Sevyn Streeter, K. Michelle, Lil’ Kim and Mack Wilds. While the artists were working hard on stage, the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council was backstage with artists, celebrities and executives urging them to support their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project. By using the power and influence of celebrities the initiative will be able to build on its successful model and continue to win the “war on gun and gang violence.” During the holiday season the group will continue to work with Power 105 and the Phoenix Music Group asking citizens, artists, celebrities and executives to join the movement and use their power, resources and influence to improve the safety and life of citizens in poor and disadvantaged communities. Regardless of all the negative media you may hear about Hip-Hop, we are now us-


Superstar Kendrick Lamar holds up Randy Buzzelli and Brad Patrick the Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang of the Phoenix Music Group Violence (HAGGV) “Power Sign” show love & support. with Charles Fisher backstage ing our influence to curb gun and gang violence and are taking a lot of positive action to make neighborhoods safe again. Addressing gun and gang violence is a monumental task, but so was the reform of the draconian and destructive Rockefeller Drug Laws, in which Hip-Hop played a key role in repealing. This year we are asking the Hip-Hop Community to be even more “socially responsible” as we celebrate some very important milestones in the culture. This includes the 40th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop; the 30th anniversary of Video Music Box; the 25th anniversary of the Source Magazine; the 20th anniversary of Hot 97 Radio’s Summer Jams concert, and the birth of the Wu-Tang Clan (the greatest Hip-Hop group in history). Each has played a major role in the growth, identity and development of Hip-Hop, the greatest international cultural phenomena ever created. The art transcends race, religion, culture and ethnic backgrounds and is the lifestyle of choice for millions of youth and young adults worldwide.

Charles Fisher, Power 105 Program/Music Director Gee Spin & Randy Fisher holding “Power Sign”

“I’m all about ending gun and gang violence so whatever y’all need from me to help save lives and make our streets safe for our young people out there, you got my support,” stated Kendrick Lamar. “We are very appreciative of the hospitality that Gee Spin, Power 105 and the Phoenix Music Group extended to us during the Powerhouse concert. Being able to speak to artists, managers, radio personalities and record label heads directly about supporting our campaign to curb gun and gang violence is invaluable. We will use this new partnership to help get young people to understand that gun and gang violence is a dead end road. We will be working with both parties in the future on this and other campaigns to help empower our schools and communities,” stated Randy Fisher, Executive Director, HHSYC. “As a member of the ‘Entertainment Committee’ for the Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project I will be working to solicit the support of artists and execu-

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Charles Fisher and Def Jam Exec. Atlantic Records President of VP Shawn Pecas holding HAGGV Black Music Mike Kyser holding “Power Sign” HAGGV “Power Sign” tives who want to help us reduce the level of violence we have on our streets. My partners and I are looking forward to introducing this initiative to radio stations and venues that we service nationwide because it is needed in our communities and is the right thing to do to protect our children,” ended Brad Patrick, Phoenix Music Group.

DJ Envy supports HAGGV holding “Power Sign”

take the lives of the young and innocent everyday. We stand behind this project and will do whatever is asked to help save lives,” stated Mike Kyser, President, Black Music, Atlantic Records Group. “This is a hot project and I love when the Hip-Hop Community takes the lead on stopping the violence and saving our neighborhoods. We all need to support this great project because it will save lives and it’s a good look for Hip-Hop,” said DJ Envy.

“The Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project is a great initiative and Power 105 will do all we can to help reduce gun and gang violence in our schools and communities. We are looking forward to really supporting this project,” said Gee “You guys got my support, I’m ready to Spin, Program/Music Director, Power 105. do whatever it takes to keep the peace and guns off our streets,” stated DJ Clue. “Working to reduce gun violence is a no brainier for us, so whatever we need to do “This is a great project because we need to at Def Jam to stop the violence and keep get these guns off the streets and educate our communities safe let’s make it hapour communities about the dangers of pen,” said Shawn Pecas, Executive Vice gun and gang violence, so count me in,” President, Def Jam Records. stated ScHoolboy Q. “I support the Hip-Hop Against Gun and Gang Violence project because we need to do something about all the shootings that

30 | Change your thinking, change your life

“When Hip-Hop was first founded in the Bronx it was created to stop the violence, address drugs, gangs, unemployment and


DJ Clue holds up the HAGGV “Power Sign”

ScHoolboy Q supporting HAGGV Mack Wilds supports HAGGV holding the “Power Sign” holding “Power Sign”

dropout rates in our schools. As we celebrate Hip-Hop History Month this November we are ready to take on the task once again. I want to thank Kendrick Lamar, Mack Wilds, Schoolboy Q, Def Jam Exec. VP Shawn Pecas, Power 105 Program/Music Director Gee Spin, DJ Envy, DJ Clue and Atlantic Records President of Black Music Mike Kyser for showing us a lot of love backstage.”

track record of success and it’s time for us to be get respect for all the positive initiatives that we do to improve our communities and save lives,” ended Charles Fisher, Founder, HHSYC.

Continued Fisher, “When the Hip-Hop Community comes together there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. Hip-Hop is always depicted as being negative by the media and the positive things we do are never highlighted, well this is about to change because this project has a proven

“I’m ready and willing to give this project all my support because too many lives are being lost to gun violence everyday. We must all play a role if we are going to protect our youth and make communities safe once again,” ended Actor/Artist Mack Wilds.

“Improving the image of Hip-Hop will open up new doors of opportunities from Fortune 500 companies who can’t wait to invest in this money-making culture. There is a lot of money on the table for artists that understand the power of investing in our schools, public housing developments and public safety,” ended Randy Fisher.

Reprint from the " Source Magazine"

ABOUT THE HHSYC The HHSYC was founded in July 2001 by Charles Fisher (also known as the former manager of LL Cool J, the Lost Boyz and co-discoverer of R. Kelly). The organization was created to help implement commitments made by record companies, artists, community leaders and elected officials at the historic 2001 Hip-Hop Summit in New York City. Participants are taught how to constructively use their time, talent and the HipHop culture to improve social, political and economic conditions in their school, home and community. Randy Fisher is the organization’s Executive Director. For additional information, visit

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Living In A World Where Success Is Hard To Define John “J.Ransom” Futrell


n a world with so many options, definitions, points of views of what success is there is only one thing that truly matters. That one thing is that success is defined through the belief and values instilled in one’s self. We often look for others to provide the answer to what success is, and at the end of the day that will never truly define what success is. The reasoning is because if we use others to define any aspect of our lives, we risk losing very important elements of ourselves. One, we risk losing our own consciousness and understanding for the beauty of life. We can only see life through our own eyes and through our heart. Therefore trying to live by someone else’s definition is like trying to look through their eyes.

I write this article saying this one thing. The only thing that defines success is you. Success could be having your own home. Success can be having your own car. Success can be having a healthy family. Whatever it is you believe success is, will become your success. There is no such thing as failure and success does not have a timetable or limit.

Two, how can anyone grow or progress in life while being restricted by something within themselves that they do not control? It is like trying to jump with cement shoes on, there is a greater risk of falling.

You may ask how I know this? Well, I came from poverty, in a single parent home. And now I’m able to say I have published two books before the age of 22, and have earned three degrees and a certification, while owning two businesses before I was 25. The only reason I obtained those successes is because I believed and did not let anything stop me. This is not about me or some form of bragging or narcissistic speech. What I am saying is that those two aspects of believing and never giving up are my definition of success – and I am still working.

We live in a world where so many people suffer feeling as if they are less than other people, who are just other people. Regardless of social economics, we are all people. We can never truly understand everything about other people but we can learn everything about ourselves. Too often people feel that they cannot be successful without a lot of money.

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Failure is just a lesson. If one door closes, walk another path. Walk up a few more steps, but never give up. The people who are truly successful know what they want and pursue it, work for it and envision it. The only thing that stops you is you. No matter what your age is, you can be successful, you can do whatever it is you desire. It may not happen today, maybe not next week, perhaps not even next year, but it will happen.

I work hard every day because I believe I


learned that believing what other people believed did nothing for me. Sometimes you have to ask what about me? That may not be your definition for success, but whatever your definition is, pursue it and go after it. Believe it and you can achieve it. It may sound cliché, but sometimes the simplest things can make all the difference in the world.

John “J.Ransom” Futrell was born and raised in Northern New Jersey in a single parent household. He grew through personal struggles and family struggles to actively pursue an understanding and awareness of the arts. He began writing creatively at age 6 and has not stopped since. He had published his first two books at age 19 and 21. During his pursuits of art he has managed to obtain an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Social Humanities graduating as a member of the EOF program, and a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon honor society. He also obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in English, and is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program in Applied Sociology, finishing the final draft of his thesis. He is currently, a poet, spoken word artist, rapper, songwriter, composer and producer, and is the owner of

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

The Silent Killer Marteise Shelton B.D.Y.M Spokesperson

Hi. I am the silent killer. Unspoken for but deadly because once I’m in your life you have no choice but to be’wed me! I’m the nightmare of a night of pleasure but the reality of never knowing the outcome/ once I’ve caught up with you, you could try to leave me behind but I’m something you can’t outrun. I spread like a wild fire in a forest, attracted to your every limb only to demolish its very existence. My love is unconditional and insanely relentless. But my cuzn “Unprotected” is what always leave you so tempted, to accept me. I’m more than a superstar so respect me. See I will play with your mind while molesting your flesh, demolish your pride just to protect my rep, spread throughout your body just to assassinate its structure. Yes, I’m one bad mother. I’m not sex but its best friend, to be honest I even think were related. But I despise, I hate, I mean I’m disgusted with its partner,” the

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Condom. See how can I pimp the streets and spread my affection/ when everytime I’m ready to put in work I’m distracted by its presence. And did I forget to mention the enemy “abstinence” man this cat is tough/ I’ve tried to be slick and put on my poker face but it always call my bluff. Sex is my persuasiveness/ because it’s the harness to my empire and the intellect of my destiny is embraced by it. Sparking interest in every person I have a conversation with/ hoping to dive right into unprotected relations before relationships. You was too stupid to have me tested and you wanted all the feeling so we had it unprotected. Today there is no secret about that venom ill leave you blessed with. Open your eyes people HIV ain’t nothing to mess with. Get tested. So u just like myself can have a choice. To not be the victim but to be the voice! Speak up!


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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Don’t Look Back By: kelsey from kingston


iolence holds the potential to be so subtle – the easy utterance of unkind words, the inheritance of wounds that are not your own, the weight of singular expectations and obligations. Abuse has no particular form and regardless of how we carry the baggage, the burden leaves our spirits damaged. Violence is the intent to inflict pain, be the intent conscious, subconscious, or unconscious. Abuse is one person’s pain dissipating briefly by entering another’s veins. It feels fairly natural to ingest abuse and carry the pain as your own – the pain being passed down to you like your last name that follows your first wherever it goes. Knowledge and experience give power to authority. However, often birthday or gender suggest authority instead and are taken advantage of. Those not able or willing to be exactly as this authority expects often end up on the receiving end of abuse. The battle between authority and its transgressors is a common piece of family life. Abuse stems from a failure to meet one’s own expectations and attaches to the expectations of others. Ultimately abuse arises when the authority sees their own shortcomings manifested in the imperfections of the people in their environment – accessible and underling

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targets. I was one of those lucky kids who, when my father shook me until my brain bounced around inside my head, believed it had very little to do with me. Regardless of forgetting what I had forgotten or not doing exactly as I was told, I insisted that my value was ever increasing not receding. The abuse that emerged from his mouth was equally challenging to swallow, but I always dared myself to look at him, never to look away. I looked him in the face when he treated me badly and I saw his blood run hot and his eyes glaze over as his temper took him on a trip far away from the present situation. I have moved through cycles of my own aggressions and transgressions. I have in turn treated people badly and learned that one must go beyond apologies. We cannot blame broken homes or excuse corrupted authority – we must not accept or reciprocate violence. I am confident that breaking the cycle is all about adapting, owning your own culture, and demanding space with your very presence – it’s about being present. I was watching a documentary recently, Berkley in the Sixties, and a woman protesting her rights to freedom of speech and information was asked by police, “Do we have to drag you out too or do you want to walk out like a lady?” She replied, “Oh, I’d like to get dragged out like


a lady, thank-you.” I laughed and thought, exactly! We cannot retreat or cower when the authority that inherently “deserves” our respect attempts to seize our confidence and comforts. The demand for power and respect – in those words exactly rather than a demonstration of the concepts themselves – has consistently fed my knowledge that the authority looming over me is dealing with their own inner workings. I hit my Dad back at times and got nothing for it but a better me power. Before I pitied him, I tried to talk to him, tried to ask why, but in the end I pity the man that doesn’t hear his daughter cry and calls her dramatic. We have very little control over things in this world; a world with the capacity to feel both a barren wasteland and a chaotic wonderland. The difference is often dependent on how someone treated us that day, but really much more so to do with how we treat ourselves. Each and every day we must approach the regal feeling of ruling our own destiny. We find this in an appreciation of our ability to bypass treating someone badly, to simply understand that they will be as they are and you will be as you choose. “Dissatisfaction should not be a norm,” and it’s all about, “turning fear into determination,” said the rejected but resonant hippies of Berkley in the Sixties. These are a couple of accessible affirmations for those of us who don’t quite feel like lying down as doormats, no matter how much we are encouraged to do so. Peace and love.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Why We Love Sports Tyler Arnold


ports, they’re loved my millions. Whether it’s a casual love that has you tuning in every so often, or a die hard passion that you don’t miss a game, everybody has a love for sports. What is it that cause us to be so enthralled by professional athletes that make millions, or college athletes that are trying to make it big, or even a high school game where ¾ the roster probably won’t ever play the game competitively again? The answer to that is not one dimensional, whether you’re watching or participating, sports provide us a number of things that makes our love them constantly grow. They’re the highest form of entertainment, pure satisfaction to our competitive nature, a constant redefining of impossible, the ultimate combination of body, soul, and mind, lastly but not least they unite cities, states and countries. Like it or not competitiveness is written into our DNA and we will always try and be better than anybody else at everything we do. At an early age we use sports as a means to satisfy that need to prove our dominance. There wasn’t a more satisfying feeling than beating your opponent, nor a more disappointing than the agony of defeat. Without sports we’d be stuck in our mundane lives looking for a way to become the alpha male. Even when we’re personally done playing we still cling onto our teams and feel as a fan as though we are a part of that team, and we feel the pride of victory, and heart break of defeat still. We prove our dominance over other fan bases and the competition lives on even without us having to break

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a sweat. Even in support we find satisfaction to our competitive drive. There isn’t a better form of entertainment in the world. Sports are a fresh story everyday, a story that leaves us inspired by the tales written on the court or field in blood, sweat, and tears. There isn’t a more blissful moment than when you’re lost in time and space while playing or watching sports without a worry in the world. It provides many an escape from reality and a few hours in their lives where nothing matters but the score of the game, and sometimes not even that. What else can you say captivates you like so? Even if you don’t care about sports you can’t deny how easy it is to get wrapped up in watching a game unfold before your eyes. Participating in sports brings your body together in the ultimate combination of body, soul, and mind. It requires your brain and internal highway of nerves to communicate with your entire body while reacting to what’s happening around you. We spend hours of our lives fine tuning those motor functions, the muscles that make our body function, and hand/foot eye coordination to be the best. When it comes time that we no longer partake we can’t help but admire the professionals who took that combination to the next level of borderline perfection, becoming “modern day warriors”. Sports provide almost a daily redefining of the impossible. Through history we see that records once though untouchable are now just the average feat. Or that


an underdog can overcome the odds and win it all in Cinderella fashion. Or how a kid overcame the odds of life and rose from nothing to be the best. We believe in miracles because of sports. Didn’t think a backflip on a dirtbike was possible, how about a double back?

so that they can come together and play. They provide a shoulder to lean on when times are tough, like how a city rallied around a baseball team after tragedy struck in 2001, or how opposing teams show support to their opposing cities like we saw happen nationwide after the Boston Marathon bombings. There aren’t many things that have the power to bring people together like sports does.

Lastly but perhaps the most important, sports unite us, even in unsaturated competition. Sports have a way of making entire countries forget hatred for another, even if only for the duration of the game,

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Rugby: The Next Big Thing Tyler Arnold


s if the four major sports in the US aren’t enough to keep us entertained, people are constantly looking for the next big thing to strike. There are a number of contenders who hope to grow a market large enough to thrive off of such as soccer, lacrosse, and action sports, but there is one sport who’s odds of making it are the best at this point. That sport being rugby. Rugby is just athletically violent enough and enthralling to build a serious following in the United States. Already a phenomenon in nearly every continent, rugby is a hit everywhere but here, that is until now. The major four are trucking along with steady numbers, neither losing supporters or gaining a large amount, rugby is on the rise in the United States though. Ever since the Rugby World Cup in 2011 we’ve really seen the following of rugby grow here in the US. More kids joining club teams starting as early as middle school, high schoolers partaking in the fun, a huge growing on the college level, even intramural for middle aged groups, and of course a professional league. Rugby has what it would take to be captivating to the US fans, it’s a physical hard hitting sport, making the hits of football, and hockey look like a pillow fight. Best part is it’s a pad-less and really requires some guts to play. Who doesn’t love watching that? Not to mention it’s much more fast paced than it’s soccer counter part which is what makes the fans in the States most weary to join that band wag-

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on. There are multiple ways of scoring and scoring is much more frequent than you’ll see in soccer. Rugby is also a awesome barrage of athletic skills, as it requires a little bit of everything, speed, strength, and smarts. That’s what perhaps makes it one of the best sports too, there is a position for everybody. The positions of rugby are designed to really require a large assortment of body types and athletic ability as you’ve got roles that range from hitting, passing, running, kicking, and just pushing one another around. At an early age there is truly a place for everybody on the pitch in rugby, which makes it a great sport to get young ones into. It’s also popular by the ladies. There is really only two concerns to the potential that rugby has and that is safety and all the new rules there are to learn. We’ve seen the NFL constantly change rules that make the game a little less exciting in order to keep the game safe, as more and more parents are unwilling to let their kids play. Rugby can be a little more dangerous as there are no pads other than mouth guards and optional ear/head guards. Also the game is a little bit hard to understand until you actually sit down and see how everything breaks down in action. You probably won’t ever understand the sport by reading the rule book, so the only thing there is to do is watch an actual game. The time is now for rugby though, with an already growing fan base, and the additions of the sport to the 2016 Summer

Sport Feature

Olympics, rugby is ready to break the barrier. If the US can put on a good showing in the Olympics it will only help the sports immediate growth, as successful international play always has a way of getting the people of the United States in your corner. If you haven’t watched this sport yet the time is now so that when rugby takes off you can be a know it all of the sport. It’s upward bound and making large strides to captivate the attention span of America. Next time you get a chance, lend a hand to a local rugby team or tournament, it’ll only help the cause, and certainly watch a game, you won’t be let down. The fans are what will make or break this sport’s chance, don’t just pass it off.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

NCAA: The Farm System Tyler Arnold


hat does the University of Oregon, University of Southern California, Saint Mary’s, and University of Miami all have in common? Great academics and quality scene to get an education would be a correct answer, but they’ve all recently been on the bottom end of recent recruiting violations according to the NCAA rules. In fact there are only roughly 15 schools in the NCAA’s “Bowl Subdivision” (which makes up the top tier of athletic schools consisting of about 120 teams) that have never been cited for major violations. The majority of these violations generally being recruitment violations of some sort, whether that’s paying athletes for their time at a school, or “illegally” contacting the recruit before a commitment to the institution has been made. Penalties for such breaking of the rules can range from loss of scholarships, post season bans, fines, and the atom bomb “death penalty”. Any sane person could look at those numbers and realize that a serious problem has existed for a long time, and nothing has ever been done.

ly matched school or sometimes even better? For some it’s just their final place they’ll likely play the game they love and they’re there simply for the game, but for others who have the skills and admiration to go professional, the decision can be much harder. The way you attract those kids is bringing more great kids onto the same roster and promising with the combination a winning season resulting in exposure, the promise of a legitimate chance to go pro with coaches and staff who’ve successfully sent up a number of people to the pros, and sometimes the deal breaker on top of an already free education, additional payment. If these kids really are that great, shouldn’t they deserve money for all they bring to their university? If they’re committing every moment of their lives to training, practicing, and playing they couldn’t possibly work a job on top of that. So thanks to recent years we’ve had light shed on this little scandal so to speak happening on a wide scale level according to most college sports analysts, and every once in a while you get caught for it.

Before you can address the problem you have to fully understand the situation and realize why these violations even occur in the first place. It goes without saying that sports bring in a hunk of change to a school’s fund and the better you are the more you can bring in via endorsements, television deals, and general ticket sales. So naturally you have to bring in the best players to compete and help you win. How does one persuade a 18 year old to play for a school over a equal-

Nearly every sport has had it’s problems with the paying of athletes but football, and basketball truly highlight the main focus of the occurrences. Why? It could be argued that those two sports are the largest markets in the United States on a professional level, so it’d make sense that the battle for the best starts early. There may be another explanation to that, when you look at basketball, and football what does it lack in comparison to let’s say hockey or baseball? A solid minor

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Sport Feature

league system. Sure the basketball has the Development League, but it’s hardly taken seriously, where as hockey and baseball use a multi-tiered minor league system that not only further preps athletes to become the best they can, but alleviates some of that pressure to go from a high schooler, to professional athlete in four years. Making college taken more seriously and decisions made of heart and not money more so. It’s expected in these leagues for college athletes to spend at least sometime in the minors before they ever even get a trial run in the pros. Generally speaking the athlete’s “rights” can be drafted by a team before or while he’s in college and they have a place to go post school, which means they focus on those four years as development in

hopes of spending as little time as possible in the minors once there. They don’t get paid but as soon as they officially sign with their team they start making the money. So could it possibly be the installation of a proper minor league basketball and football league could stop the using of NCAA years as their farm system and as a result the tremendous amount of violations we see? Instead of forcing an 18 year old immediate transfer from boy to star, you allow them the proper time to maximize their abilities, and if they are good enough you’re still more than obliged to bring them straight from college to the pros. Just a theory to chew on.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Home Court Advantage Tyler Arnold


he term home court advantage get’s thrown around a lot in sports, but sometimes it seems that people don’t fully understand what it is exactly that home court advantage is. It’s much more than playing on familiar ground, knowing every creak to the court, the bend of every blade of grass on the field, or the simple comfort of being home. What makes home court advantage so important, and for some teams more effective than others, is the fans. That’s right you the fan might just be the most important person in the stadium outside of the actual players.


a loud, engaged, and energetic crowd. Take places like Oracle Arena, home to the Golden State Warriors, or Cameron Indoor Stadium, the battle grounds of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team, it’s that the crowd is so engaged, they’ve swayed more than a fair share of games to the home teams favor. Everybody gets some sort of edge from their fans, but others perfect it.

College sports generally get a larger aide to their home court efforts due to the fact that students turn out in a high volume, and are there to support their school and team by screaming until their lungs bleed. StuIt shouldn’t come as a surprise that the more dents get discounted bulk tickets, and the a team wins the more fans that turn out, experience is awesome. That doesn’t mean but have you ever considered maybe with professional teams don’t get their own help some support a bunch of nobodies could though. actually feel the inspiration to win? I’m not saying a sell out crowd of a sub .500 team The most recent example could be seen by will immediately change them to a pack of the home crowd spirit we see especially out winners, but it sure would help. As a pro- of the Bay area fans that populate Oracle fessional at whatever it is you do, it’s always Arena. Taken away to a sea of gold, this arenice to get a little bit of recognition, and for na is so loud that it can honestly disrupt professional athletes that’s fans in the seats your own brain waves and make thinking cheering them on. hard, so you resort to simple things, like cheering your heart out. It’s not all about numbers either, but quality of people filling those seats. You can’t get So next time you describe the team you a bunch of business men hanging around root for as “we” feel proud knowing you’re talking work, it takes a real fan to get things a huge contributor to the success of the team pumping. If you’re afraid to lose your voice at home. Your hard earned money spent on via chants of defense, then you’re not con- tickets, hot dogs, and merchandise for the tributing to the cause. For the most part kids if applicable, were not the most imthough an engaged crowd is contagious, portant part of your visit, it was your willand once your chants start affecting play, ingness to cheer your heart out like it was it’s easier to get into the roars than it is to all or nothing. So don’t ever forget to resort pass it off. What makes some of the best back to the basics when at a sporting event, venues the toughest places to play as a visit- and shake the foundation of the stadium ing team and get a win, is a combination of with your roars.

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" Stay Tuned for an exclusive in our 2014 edition with founder and CEO Ms Beverly Bond

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Unhealthy Doctors Are Poor Role Models For Patients Dr. Corey Mote


t seems that today’s doctors, from all specialties, are doing a poorer job of representation when it comes to health and well-being. You see it everywhere now – doctors that are obese themselves are consulting with patients on how to lose weight. Some doctors even smoke, yet will have patients dying of lung cancer that they deliver care for. The problem is not at all limited to chiropractic physicians, of which I am one. Ask yourself this – would you trust a doctor who doesn’t him or herself display the image of health? Would you be more likely to trust a doctor who does? It is human nature for one to have more confidence in a dental practice where the dentist has flawless teeth, or in a salon where the hairstylist has a chic hair-do. The same is true of doctors who maintain a healthy weight, which may help explain why those who are overweight are less likely to raise the topic of weight loss to their patients. In a study consisting of five-hundred primary care physicians around the United States, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that a doctor’s own body weight influenced how he or she cared for patients with weight problems. Overweight or obese doctors were less likely to discuss weight loss with overweight patients: only 18% of the overweight

46 | Change your thinking, change your life

Dr. Corey Mote physicians discussed losing weight with their patients, while 30% of healthy weight physicians did. Additionally, the researchers found that 93% of the doctors were diagnosing obesity in their patients only if they believed their own weight was equal to or less than the weight of their patients; only 7% of the physicians who believed their weight exceeded that of their patients actually diagnosed obesity. In the study, when overweight or obese doctors did address obesity, they were


more likely than the healthy weight physicians to prescribe anti-obesity medications (26% vs. 18%), as opposed to recommending healthy lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. This finding likely reflects a lack of confidence in these approaches to weight loss, either due to the physicians’ own personal experiences or as a consequence of their subconscious concern that such advice would be viewed as less reliable to patients coming from someone who wasn’t of a healthier weight. Compared with overweight doctors, the physicians of normal body weight were more confident in their ability to offer advice on diet and exercise to their heavier patients, and 72% believed that they should be models of healthy weight for their patients. Only 56% of the overweight or obese doctors believed that their own weight was viewed as a reflection of any kind for their patients. These results represent one of several other challenges in the war against obesity - doctors are notoriously bad at taking care of themselves and consequently many are poor role models for their patients - but the study also signals an op-

Dr. Corey Mote portunity for significant improvement in weight management with patients. “If we improve physician well-being, and improve their lifestyles toward weight loss or weight maintenance, that can go a long way toward influencing the care they provide their patients,” says Sara Bleich, an assistant professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Doctors who have successfully lost weight, eat well, and exercise regularly may be more likely to share their own personal experiences with patients, increasing the likelihood that their patients will then follow their advice. With healthier physicians, we could help pave the path for the general population to live healthier.

Dr. Corey Mote is a chiropractic physician, professional natural bodybuilder, international fitness model, entrepreneur and writer for many fitness magazines and healthcare publications worldwide. He is the owner and operator of a multi-disciplinary medical clinic near Atlanta, GA. Please visit his site at www. more information on Dr. Mote, including contact information for questions or comments regarding this article and its content.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Defining Your Personal Style by Lakia Fashae’ (designer/stylist), That Fashion Chick

When it comes to defining your personal style, you should not over think it. Your personal style is how comfortable you are in distinct types of clothing. You may be conservative, sporty, urban etc. These following steps will give you a clear idea as to what your personal style truly is.


Know Your Style: Know your comfort zone. All trends don’t work for everyone. Whatever your style, keep it YOU and comfortable to your size and stature.


Fit Your Style with YourPersonality:Your style is an extension of who you are. Are you cool, classic or rugged? Your style speaks your language. If t-shirts are your thing, make it appealing in coordination and fit.


Shop Your Own Closet: This is fun. Go through your closet and see what you’re still in love with as well as things you show no interest. Investing in replacements is always a plus…Upgrade!


Find Inspiration: Go through magazines, surf the web, and watch TV. Look at some of your favorite celebrities, most of them have great style. (Most). Mimic what you see by making it your own. Don’t copy exact styles.

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5 6 7

Now Time To Shop!: Take what you’ve learned thus far and go shopping! Remember your fit and style that speaks your personality. Put it Together: Time to mix the old with the new by creating an outfit with your new pieces. Get out those magazines if needed. Have fun! Time to Strut Your Stuff!: Put your new look on display. Show your family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else. Listen for feedback as justification for mission accomplished. You sell your look with confidence…know you look good.

Feature Fashion

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

The Diana MizzDr Escotto story

From video vixen, to literary author

The Power of Transformation

YMPM Imagine if your favorite video vixen, was much more than just your stereotypically all looks and no brains. Well imagine no more. YMPM had the pleasure to chop it up with the one and only Diana ‘Mizz Dr’ Escotto, aka the Dominican Dream. Mizz DR, is also known as the world renowned video vixen/published model. I'd be amiss if I left out how she is in school majoring in Radiology with a Minor in Biology, and also a new co-author of a new book, Millennia. Good evening, Diana. And thank you for this opportunity to share your story with Young Men's Perspective Magazine. MizzDr. Thank you. YMPM What made you decide to get into modeling, and when did you start? Mizz Dr. I started when I was 17 years old. Throughout the process I met this girl named Jazziebelle who was in the industry. And she taught me about the game, and that's how I got into modeling, working and stuff like that. YMPM Now I recognize how so self assured you are, and so appreciative of yourself and culture. It's also quite obvious you're appreciative of your features. Now does that all translate into inspiring other young ladies to do the same, and why? Mizz Dr. First, I appreciate how you speak of my culture, and the way I carry myself. I

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"I can put out a message to other females that there's other things you can expand to, like a lot girls are not aware and capable of transitioning into other things because they think that modeling,is their only goal in life." Diana MizzDr Escotto

try to keep what I do on a positive note, for the people, and particularly for the young girls that do follow me, so they will understand what I do. The way I try to do it, is tasteful, but as well as classy where there is no harm and it doesn't affect the females that follow me in the wrong way. I am in the position of changing lanes, and I believe I've begun doing it for the last five or six years. So, especially since I started out at such a young age, I want to be able to also change my image as well. So people can understand that it's not only doing shoots, tasteful shoots and stuff like that. It's more about to me than anything else, trying to send that message out to girls—go to school, be positive, try to do other things besides modeling. Modeling, I always try to put out there, that modeling is not a long term career. You just build a platform for yourself, and after that you try to build a brand off your name.

carry yourself, it also has to do with your worth. If people see that you don't respect yourself, a person’s not going to respect you. YMPM As it relates to the title video vixen a lot of young ladies have the misconception of what it entails to be a part of that life. Elaborate for me on the biggest misconception? Mizz Dr. A lot of people think it's all glitz and glamour, which it's not. We all live normal lives. We all live regular lives. We do have to work for what we have, nothing comes out easily. Like, it takes a lot of work and years. Nothing is perfect. The industry is not what everything appears to be as seen on TV. It's really not like that.

YMPM What a lot of people may not know or be aware about you, you come from a two parent household.. Some would assume you’re from a broken home with a ghetto mentaliYMPM Share your thoughts on how some ty because in their opinion your life choices women are treated in the industry as video aren't the best to them, and they don't know vixens? your story. What were your parents’ thoughts regarding your choices to be a video model? Mizz Dr. It all depends on the way you carry And have they been supportive of you? yourself. Actually for me, a lot of people do respect me. Just by the way I carry myself. Mizz Dr. Well what people don't know, I You always have to keep that self respect and grew up in a household and where I grew maintain that image. Because the way you up was in the suburbs. My parents are still

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

married. They are together still to this day. Only, there was a problem growing up - so I left my house at an early age, due to family discrepancies. But that my parents were never supportive of my career and what I chose to do. Which is understandable. No parent would want to see their daughter on a magazine cover, and in videos and in a magazine not even half naked but, you know, showing their goods to the world and to the public. But I still maintain to keep my head up. And, um, I really don't speak of none of that stuff much, ‘cause I tend to keep myself busy and not think about my childhood. (pause) And I really don't like to touch bases upon that. YMPM Because you exude so much confidence, and you’re intelligent at the same time while in this limelight as a model doing racy and provocative videos, which many do perceive as a negative lifestyle, do you see yourself as a role model? And why? Mizz Dr. Ah, yeah. I do see myself as a role model, first because I came into this game having nothing. I did struggle. I came from basically growing up on my own to where I’m at now. And, the fact that I'm transitioning from being a video vixen into author has changed my life a lot. That’s where I can put out a message to the other females that there are other things you can expand to. Like where, like a lot of girls are not aware and capable of transitioning into other things because they think that modeling, that's their only goal in life. Think about building a brand which also makes a business. Where, as something’s are not like locked in, this position is not long term so you have to build something else and work toward it.

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YMPM Now you mentioned earlier about a transitioning, talk a little bit about your transformation and your mentor Dr. Elisa English who has been very instrumental in your process? Mizz Dr. Well, I met Dr. Elisa, and she's been one of my biggest mentors. She’s been working with me very, very closely. I learned a lot from her just because she's an inspiration. Everybody knows she's a doctor, but to me I consider her like my family. She has helped me a lot into growing into a wonderful female, and to developing different skills which I never thought I would have. And, as well, she has put me in the light where she knows that I'm capable of doing other things and building up my confidence. YMPM You also mentioned about the industry and how it's so deceptive and such an illusion. Give us some insight about some of


the downfalls of that lifestyle? Mizz Dr. Some of the downfalls of that lifestyle - sometimes you’re not happy, you don't think. Like everything through pictures seems like you’re living the perfect life in which you’re not. Some days, like, I have days where I'm upset. Where I don't want to talk to people. Some days I can communicate with other people. You just have those days where there are a lot of down falls. Sometimes you, you do get depressed and feel overwhelmed about other things that go on around you. Sometimes, even when it comes to family and friends, you don’t know who's around you for the best reasons anymore. Everybody just wants to hang out with you just because of who you know. And you got to be, like, you know, the loving is not there anymore YMPM Since your transformation, you no longer prefer to be considered or even called a video vixen. Talk about the negative connotations associated with being called a vixen, and why you’d rather not be called one. Mizz Dr. I really don't like that word vixen, literally vixen. Like, I consider myself just a model. [MizzDr. gives a lesson on the history of vixen and why she doesn't prefer it.] Vixen. I don't know if you’ve heard the history of vixen back in the day. A vixen is a female fox. Or it can be a woman with a temper, or an attractive or devious woman. If you really want to insult a woman who is a little short on patience, call her a vixen. She won’t like it. Somewhere along the line the word vixen came to mean a hot-headed or ill-tempered person. Nowadays vixen is often used as a derisive term for an unpleasant or mean woman. Vixen also gets

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

She does it all from magazines to videos ... Now a business woman ... I'm blessed to be 23 and successful ... I'm able to #transform ferently. If I would have branded and marketed myself in a different manner, but at the time I wasn't thinking. But I do not regret any of the pictures I have taken. How could I have done it better I would, like how I'm doing now? So I mean I just take it as for, see myself as self-improvement. I can just look back at my past and be, like, well I used frequently in descriptions of female can do these better. So at the end of the day film characters. In this way it doesn’t really this is self motivation. mean that the character is bad tempered. As slang goes, to call someone a ‘vixen’ means YMPM What made you decide to switch it that she's sexy and flirtatious, a label she up, and not get caught up in the whole "I'm may or may not like. Like, it's not really a gonna make modeling my career?" good look to call a girl a vixen. Not saying it to be mean. No disrespect. Mizz Dr. Everybody knows that modeling is not a career, especially like girls who have a YMPM No, I respect that. None taken. Par- body like I do. Unless if you’re like, let's say don self, didn't mean to offend you if I did. ah, a Victoria Secret model. Like, that's how I mean you can definitely make that into a Mizz Dr. Nah, you haven't. I'm just saying, long term career. But, urban modeling is not just so you know for future reference. a career. Like, that's obvious. Girls all the time come in, into the industry. Videos alYMPM No doubt. I appreciate that. You've ways are always people. Directors are always done a numerous amounts of provocative looking for new fresh faces, so you know front covers and videos. Do you have any it's not something where you can rely on regrets when it comes to some of the work for the rest of your life. People get old, too. you've done? Like, that's not something that you could just dwell on, for the rest of your life at all. Mizz Dr. Actually I don't, but then, umm in I mean, I can see that as a common sense. I one way, I wish I would have done things dif- don't know what other girls do.

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YMPM You know a lot of young girls, they look at that life, like you said that illusion, and they just get all the misconceptions and they’re thinking like, you know, "glam and glitter". Thinking it's always going to be like that. Hence why we’re sharing your story, so you can let them know the reals. Mizz Dr. No it's really nothing like you can just have it, as a long term. Like, you always have to have back up, even if whether it's school, you know, or creating your own business. Build your brand build a name, and take that and run with it. You can make different businesses brand your name, where you can make money off of money. Modeling is not forever. You’re not in this forever. Just like I said to all these new girls, you will continue to see opportunities and other things out there that you can do. YMPM Talk about how women get in the industry looking at men as their way out. I mean you know, they get in thinking they going to hook up with the hottest rapper, have his baby and they live happily ever after. You know? That fairytale. What would you tell a young lady under this misguided thinking? Mizz Dr. There's no fairytale in this. It looks like that’s what it is, but it's really not. It's hard to explain. You really can't explain unless you’re in it, you know what I'm saying? How can I put it? Like, you just have to be careful. You just can't be caught up into everything and everybody. That's all I got to say.

Mizz Dr. I mean it kind of bothered me, I knew what I gotten myself into. Like, it's not when you get in this industry like you need to be aware, you always got to be alert. Like, you don't come into the industry, not knowing like you have to know something. You know what I'm saying? Even down the line, you’ll understand certain things though. But, as well, like, I don't, I didn't see that any point in time anything was wrong about it because at the end of the day I still was making my money and at the end of the day YMPM Because of all the media hype about that's what paid my bills. So I had no problems in doing it all. I do ‘sex sells’, elaborate on what it's like being not consider it as anything sexual. I actually call it art. It's art in a constantly look at as a sex object. And did/ different way. does it bother you having been so young and older men lusting over you? YMPM A part of your transformation has to do with being a literary author, tell us about your new book, Millennia.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Mizz Dr. Millennia.

They are a dream team, but extremely hard to kill. Not just because Millennia's body “In today's world there are killer regimes, can regenerate. No, she's a master at murhomicidal governments and hired assassins der, mayhem and solving mysteries. These everywhere. Thank God the US has Super are the first Government assassins; who get Soldiers to keep the Peace, but what hap- pitted against one another after a blotched pens when those Super Soldiers go astray? hit and sends the International community into a frenzy. Millennia is a marked for Meet Millennia—super soldier, lover, pas- death trilogy—that takes the genre to the sionate protector of the American way of next level.” life... Until she blotches a state sponsored hit and becomes the target herself. Seems YMPM Where do you see yourself, in say, 5 simple enough, but there's more. Millennia's years from now? body can regenerate, she's a weapon and extremely hard to kill. The world of medicine Mizz Dr. Five years from now - a graduis turned upside down in this international ate, having my own businesses and helping spy thriller. Romance, murder, deceit, and other girls out in the industry. Of course I secrets have never mixed so well... It's a kill- will not leave the industry, because in some er novel! way, somehow I will always be a part of the industry itself. But I would like to leave a Millennia is a action packed spy thriller, message for other girls who do decide to that speaks to the Millennials of today. It walk into this limelight, or I should say into reinvents the clandestine community, in this game because everything in it is a game. a way The Jason Bourne Sagas could not, and takes the genre forward into the future. YMPM I would like to definitely thank you You will never look at a spy story the same for this opportunity, and for you sharing your way again. Millennia is an orphan, taken story. I know my readers will be pleased to by the government and made into a super learn more about you from a personal note, soldier through new medical technology. and that there’s more to you than just beauty. She kills for the government until she be- Big up's to Dr. English, that's my friend, and comes a rogue and is forced to kill for her- I know she got you with being your mentor self. Millennia is the next generation spy and assisting you with your transformation. story, action packed, muscled up with med- It’s definitely been my pleasure. Now do you ical mysteries, and passionately pleasurable. have any closing remarks you’d like to leave It begins with Dominican-American Mil- for our young ladies? lennia, which is 4 things in one; a story of espionage, a love story, a medical thriller, Mizz Dr. Stay in school. Stay positive and and action adventure coupled with mate- do whatever your heart desires. You know, rial that speaks to the new Millennium. It at the end of the day, keep your head up. centers around five characters; four super You know nobody can judge you but you. soldiers and Millennia—title character, her As long as you know what you’re doing and love interest Steel, their team members Isis you’re doing it for the right reason, that's all & Stone and Millenna's faithful and trust- that should count and that's all that matters! ed confidant Dr. Karmela Holiday, who will give her life before she gives up Millennia.

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“MILLENNIA”: Launching in 2014 About the authors/contributors: Diana Escotto aka MizzDR is a published model, and world renowned video vixen. She is a born scientist and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in the medical profession. MizzDR can be seen in music videos with entrepreneur/entertainment mogul 50 Cent and has graced the cover of countless publications. MizzDR’s creative insight to embark on this literary project was driven by her personal connection to Millennia—Dominican, passionate and purposeful herself. MizzDR believes all people have distinct but opposite personalities that can either be in conflict or control of each. MizzDR motto is "If your heart is in right place—it will guide your mind to a better place". Dr. Elisa English, working as a clinician for the past 10 years, has built a practice that targets challenges plaguing our society, from suicide to depression. Her aim is to help people, particularly women and young girls, expand their inner beauty, strength and confidence. Her mission is to build self esteem and tap into your inner strength. Dr. Elisa is a featured panelist, media favorite, and host community forums and roundtable discussions around the country, with an emphasis on women's emotional, mental, physical health, self-esteem and confidence. Dr. Elisa has been featured in print articles, on radio and television. Dr. Elisa has been a mentor, friend and real life confidant for MizzDR for several years. Dr. Elisa said what drew her to the project is MizzDR's extraordinary drive, humility and determination. She's one of the most "authentic" young ladies I know. Her choice to be a model and video vixen is a professional journey which fuels her desire to be bigger, better and brighter. Dr. Elisa states that it's our collective responsibility as

adults and women to mentor motivate and guide our young people. Dr. Elisa mottos are "Keep your mind healthy and all else will fall in place". "It takes a team to cultivate a dream". Derek Caldwell aka D.C. OUTSKIRTS is a prolific writer, story teller, creative thinker and visionary. He and his wife, Tahlisa Caldwell aka T.C. OUTSKIRTS have written countless screenplays, books, and short stories. To date they have over a dozen literary pieces published. They are a supportive team that loves the grind and the craft. Derek states what moved him toward this project is the extraordinary relationship MizzDr and Elisa share which is unusual. Scholars often have no time or desire to mentor or affiliate with young women. Particularly those who may be engaged in a profession society has deemed outside acceptable norms. Ricky Martin is a Promoter, Manager, and Publicist with a unique skill in social engineering. His vision brought this collaboration together—fueled by his desire to entertain as well as educate the masses.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Suicide: Has it become the Rx for depression? Dr. Elisa English


n recent history countless notables have committed suicide: Chris Lighty, Don Cornelius, Junior Seau, Capitol Steez, Freddy E, Aaron Swartz, Tony Scott, Michael Osmond, Alexander McQueen, James Victor "Vic" Chesnutt, Ryan , David B. Kellermann to name a few. Yet, others have made serious suicide attempts at one point or another in their life: Fantasia, Ginuwine, Halle Berry, Alexa Ray Joel, Greg Louganis, James Stockdale, Donna Summer, Drew Carey, Mike Wallace Paul Robeson, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred “Rerun, Robert Young, Maxene Andrews Adam Ant, Mary Astor, Tai Drew Barrymore , Brigitte Bardot, Danny Bonaduce, Maria Callas, Martine Carol, Diana, Princess of Wales –Walt Disney, MickyDolenz, Patty Duke, Eminem, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Fonda, Clark Gable, Stan Getz, Dwight “Doc” Gooden Mariette Hartley , Susan Hayward , Houston, Betty Hutton, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sally Kirkland and countless others. Why would so many people who seem to have it all feel so helpless? What does this say about our ability to handle life’s pressures? Did no one hear their cries for help? Sadly, besides being high profile in one way or the other the common denominator in all these unfortunate situations is various forms of depression and an extreme expression for cries of help. Although most people with depression

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(particularly those with extreme depression) don’t kill themselves, it’s however, exceedingly important that signs of depression are addressed. Depression is a gender/race/class neutral disease and money, fame and social acceptance do not exempt people from falling victim. In fact, these celebrity deaths and attempts of suicide are only a microcosm of a larger mental health and social problem. What is depression? Depression is a disorder of the brain and body's ability to biologically create and balance a normal range of thoughts, emotions, & energy. It is a potentially life-threatening mood disorder that affects up to 12% of the population or approximately 17.6 million Americans each year. Unfortunately depression can lead to suicide. It’s important to note that one doesn’t need to be diagnosis with chronic depression to attempt or in fact commit suicide. The following data provides some context for depression and suicide prevalence in the United States. 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide. Major depression usually strikes people between the ages of 25 and 44, although it can affect any person at any age. The death rate from suicide for African American men is five times that for African American women, in 2005. However, women report attempting suicide about twice as often as men.


Between 1980 and 1995, the suicide rate among black men doubled to nearly 8 deaths per 100,000 people. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among black men between the ages of 15 and 24. African Americans are 30% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites. 60% of African American women suffer from depression, but few seek professional help. In 1996 there were an estimated 500,000 suicide attempts. There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion; the ratio is higher in women and youth and lower in men and the elderly. More than four times as many men than women die by suicide. Suicide by firearms is the most common method for both men and women, accounting for 58% of all suicides in 1997. 72% percent of all suicides and 79% of all firearm suicides are committed by

white men. The highest suicide rate was for white men over 85 years of age-65 per 100,000 persons. Why some people who suffer from depression commit or attempt suicide and others don’t is a complex social construct. There is quite a bit of variation in people with suicidal ideation and various demographics have been correlated with certain suicidal behaviors. Research suggests that 90 percent of those who commit suicide have depression or another diagnosable mental, emotional or substance abuse disorder. Further research points to more physiological reasons, such as the alterations in neurotransmitters like serotonin are associated with the risk for suicide. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found in patients with depression, impulsive disorders, a history of violent suicide attempts, and also in postmortem brains of suicide victims. However, the highest risk factors for attempted suicide in adults are depression,

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

alcohol abuse, cocaine use, and separation or divorce. Sadly, in the 1990s, a public opinion poll showed that 63% of African Americans believed depression was a personal weakness, and only 31% believed depression was a health problem (NMHA) Forlornly, life’s challenges in combination with other strong risk factors, such as depression may lead to suicide. It’s important to know that, suicide ideation and attempts are not normal responses to life’s stress and most people who experience challenges in their life don’t commit suicide. The following is a list of potential risk factors for suicide.

signs can be the result of other health related problems, so contact your health care provider. However in people with depression there are certain visible behavioral symptoms that, generally affect the bodies, feelings, thoughts, and actions.

The following is a list of potential signs of depression: Persistently sad, anxious, or empty moods Loss of pleasure in usual activities (anhedonia) Feelings of helplessness, guilt, or worthlessness Crying, hopelessness, or persistent pessimism Fatigue or decreased energy Loss of memory, concentration, or decision-making capability Restlessness, irritability Sleep disturbances Change in appetite or weight Physical symptoms that defy diagnosis and do not respond to One or more diagnosable mental (e.g., treatment (especially pain and gastrointestinal complaints). major depression) or substance abuse Thoughts of suicide, death, or suicide attempts disorders Poor self-image or esteem (as illustrated, for example, by verbal Impulsivity self-reproach) Adverse life events Lastly, because there is a strong correlation between depres Family history of mental or sion and suicide, seek help and encourage those you know to substance abuse disorder seek help from a mental health professional. Another drink or Family history of suicide using illicit drugs will not heal the internal pain of depression. Family violence, including physical Confronting depression and treating it like any other disease or sexual abuse is the only attempt at cure. Problems will never go away, but Prior suicide attempt how you handle and respond to problems will make living with Firearm in the home them less challenging. . The African American community Incarceration should address the issue associated with “stigma” and mental health treatment. There can be severe physical and emotionExposure to the suicidal behavior of oth- al health consequences for untreated mental problems. Many ers, including people think it's impossible to be helped, but a combination of You should be aware of possible signs of treatments to include therapeutic and pharmacological apdepression and seek help. Many of the proaches are available with close to an 80% cure rate.

Dr. Elisa is your life, love, mental & physical wellness Doctor. She is a license therapist, sort after speaker, wellness coach, author, professor, radio personality and media favorite. As a Human Service practitioner she specializes in behavioral health management, integrity testing, program evaluation, performance/outcome base measurement and leadership development/ coaching.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Power of Positive AďŹƒrmations Kwatoria Blalock-Bryant CEO & Founder, Author, & Inspirational Speaker at T.O.R.I. Enterprises, LLC.


n affirmation is a simple technique that is used to change negative self-talk that we are rarely even aware of doing. Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day whenever you need them. The more you use them, the easier positive thoughts will take over negative ones and you will see benefits happening in your life. One of the things you can do is post stickynotes around your room or bathroom with positive affirmations on them. Everywhere you turn, you will see the affirmations and they quickly become a part of your thought pattern. For years, many of you have bombarded yourselves with negative thoughts, whether from your personal life or from the media, so changing your thoughts and the way you think will not happen overnight. By sticking with affirmations, they will work once you have retrained your way of thinking. There are many different affirmation techniques for dealing with different situations in life, but I want to share the ones that I personally use. The first one is the Mirror Technique and it helps you to appreciate yourself and develop self-awareness and self-esteem. You should stand in front of a mirror, preferably a full-length one, and look at yourself. Say out loud what it is you like about yourself and this will build up a more positive self-image. The Anywhere Technique can be used when you catch yourself thinking a negative thought. When you realize you are having a negative thought, think of yourself turning down a volume knob

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inside your head so that you turn it down low enough so as not to hear it any longer. By doing this, you can begin to think of a positive affirmation to replace the negative one and turn the volume back up while repeating it to yourself. The third technique is the Trashcan Technique. If you have a negative thought write it down on a scrap of paper, crumble the paper up into a ball, and throw it into the trashcan. By doing this, you are telling yourself these thoughts are nothing but garbage and that is where they belong. Lastly, I use the Meditation Technique. Find somewhere quiet where you are able to relax. For about 5 or 10 minutes close your eyes and clear your mind of all thoughts and feelings. Begin to repeat your affirmations to yourself several times while concentrating on the words you are repeating and believe what you are saying. Having a positive attitude is the key to having joy and leading a successful life. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel and positive thinking leads to a confident person who is happy in life, while negativity leads to low self-esteem and can cause you to miss opportunities in life. You often talk yourself out of things without even realizing you are doing so. Every day hundreds of negative thoughts drift freely through your mind and you put yourself down too much and sow the seeds of doubt. Using daily positive affirmations can change your life drastically and for the better. They can make you more confident, more aware, and change your life in many more aspects.

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

I’ Want To Be ‘I’; Then ‘I’ Can Say ‘I’ Am Successful. Mahasty Eslahy


was born in a very restrictive family. There were four girls and no boys, and I was the eldest and had to be responsible by taking on “good roles” as a good example for my three sisters. There was never any choice for me. Everything was dictated and I had to just obey and do the things that my parents asked me. Even the subjects that I was taking in secondary schools were chosen by my father. So I grew up in a way where I thought there was no ‘me’, just my parents, my teachers, and so on. As a result, I never had a special, individual plan for myself. All desires of creative view were never thought of as belonging to me. I was controlled by my family until I found there was an ‘I,’ and that this ‘I’ had to be herself and try to get to know herself and become aware of her own personality. Writing really helped me, as it taught me how to discover myself. I think it is the responsibility of any person to garner their own freedom by getting to know themselves. Definitions of success and happiness are sometimes a puzzle, since a person is sometimes lost in her/his ordinary life. Emotionless manners of modern life are out of date now. Human beings need to reinterpret their own way of life. They need to reintegrate their inner souls and singularities. In the present-day world, definitions of life and being human are being altered swiftly and quickly. Also the expectations from life are very uncer-

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tain, and dubious. Attempting to answer philosophical questions like; ‘what is life?’ and ‘why have we come to the world?’ is sometimes difficult. And after enlightenment and giving some distinguished principals to people in some particular framing shapes have directed towards forming confused human beings. In fact, living in perplexity and confusion are often the ways in an individual’s life. Since, capitalism with all its features has impacted on human being’s behaviour, it might be said that everyone seems unhappy and despondent. And this phenomenon simply happens, because a human being’s nature has been manipulated, and she/he does not know what and who she/he is. By referring to Athens with Marx’s analysis of capitalism (2008) “[…] capitalism creates barriers in its own nature”, […] “opportunity for human beings to become the willing social subjects not the natural subjects of their own history” (2008:85). As one, through structures of society, tries to be called a citizen, then can become doubtful and perhaps descend into a dejected world. The manner of cruelty in society is amplified following the attitudes of the corporate structure, as it is a source of battle, and profit institutions. When self regulating labor market promotes private ownership, and profit motives drive all dealings, competition is leading all the manners of living. So poverty is growing, as rivalry and “tournament” are the core features of

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

competitions in this do or die scenario. As a result, violence grows, and if and when there is hostility all over the world, there is no sign of caring and reflection for individuals.

instead their own. Everyone is different, with different experiences, through one’s own knowledge and awareness. Characterization of wisdom and the practicing of that actual knowledge, parallel with harmony, peace, love, and problem solving; bring happiness/success.

I think happiness is the starting place for success. In fact, the term success is very personal, and while it is taken as a general awareness; that is the beginning from a state of depression and misery. Of course ethics like unfair competition, and selfishness, are destructive and opposed to happiness.

One may think that she/he is a loser with this feeling based on all those predefined perspectives hinged on modernism and capitalist ideas and family shaped into these structures. But when she/he tries to recreate her/his own uniqueness and still have the approach of caring for other individuals; then spontaneously this will fashion her/his own happiness/success and peace. And love is the vital peak in the individual’s life which exists in the authenticity of everyone. One just needs to discern, discover and be aware by herself/himself. It is the same as a mirror with its reflection. Love in any human being’s life is mirroring within her/ his truth and in that, genuineness leads to happiness/success.

Thus; success is an elucidation, which is different for everyone, but definitely is not ensuing from either cruelty or violence. In the moment of calling for the authentic autonomy, capital institutions are becoming fruitless and people are being aware of this actuality in society. Accordingly individuals need to create some fresh approaches to living and being. While civilization and corporate structure have created discontented and mislaid human begins, the significance of authentic self, searching of happiness, and success should be explored not through general outlooks, and pre-given definitions, but

I relate the smallest society as family and compare and contrast that with actual society, and then try to be aware of my own uniqueness. I feel when there is no ‘I’, then I’m just a person who has been made a puppet wrapped by some very thick strings - and these strings are made by the structures of civilization, capitalism. Then I take society as a mirror, and the smaller society which was/is my family as another mirror. With these two mirrors, reflecting each other, I understand that ‘I’ have a very accountable role in this mirroring action, and in which - may be able to be called success, even if only to me. And this ‘I’ is a non-written ever-expanding poem that can be written by only me and ‘I’.

Bibliography Athens, Neil Smith (2008) Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space, University of Georgia Press. Mahasty Eslahy is an Iranian poet and writer, moving nine and a half years ago to and now living in Dublin. While in Iran, she studied Dramatic Literature and wrote a few plays, a collection of poetry, and a series of comic strips for teenagers and youth, but never published her works there. In Ireland, she studied Sociology and Anthropology and gained her MA in Community Education, Equality, and Social Activism. She is writing now in English and her works in English (poems and articles) have been recently published in anthologies, periodicals and journals. Her first collection of poetry in English, “Through Gateways and Walls: Refuge and Refugee”(Melinda Cochrane International), has just been published.

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The Marlboro Man Hurts too: the Other side of Domestic Violence Are men laughed at for being victims of domestic violence, are men called punks, and suckers? Are men turned away by law enforcement when they are victims of domestic violence? Where are the resources for men to get help with domestic violence?

oung Men’s

Queen Afi










“Change your thinking, Change your Life�


here is a stigma that society/family has placed on men, the Marlboro man doesn’t seek help for domestic violence. The Marlboro man wouldn’t talk about being a victim. The Marlboro man might not recognize that he is a victim of domestic violence. Because of the stigma, men suppress their emotions; most men don’t call for help, and statically most men don’t report their cases of domestic violence. Domestic violence wears many tags organization has a focus group titled “why men don’t express their emotions� and out fifty men (in the group) thirty admitted to being raised in households where they were told, boys don’t cry, suck it up, and handle your household, just to name a few. This group is to get men comfortable with having the dinner table conversation about domestic violence and the many tags that it wears. Men often times will not admit to physical abuse, but they will admit to verbal abuse, which is a tag that many men endure beginning at the early ages of their life. Women do abuse men, “societal norms support female-perpetrated abuse in the home� (Straus et al., 1997; Straus, 1999).

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Men seem to be overlooked when it pertains to domestic violence. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, men account for approximately 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence (February 2003). When we think of domestic violence we think of women only. Every year in the U.S., about 3.2 million men are the victims of an assault by an intimate partner. Most assaults are of a relatively minor nature such as pushing, shoving, slapping or hitting, though many are more serious – and some end in homicide. Statistics show that women are abused at high rates, and resources are put in place but who’s to say men aren’t abused at high rates? Could it be, men don’t call and report their cases of domestic violence so they have little to no resources, although statistics show men are victims? Some men don’t call and report their cases because they aren’t taken seriously, and men are often ridiculed. No one would ridicule women that were being abused by their partners; society/family would treat the case with compassion. Unfortunately, Marlboro men are too embarrassed to admit they are victims of domestic violence.

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Society/family have to take seriously those men abused by women, and not stereotype. The focus and resources has to be equal for men and women to receive the help that is needed in order to be safe from a violent relationship. I have found in a couple of cases when men call the police, they are arrested, because society and family only know one side of domestic violence, women being abused by men. In my focus group some men reported they have tried calling and seeking out help but were told the program is geared towards women only. Some men in the focus group were referred to programs that only help male perpetrators, and not male victims. Take the violence against men seriously. I know that some men think it is cute for their girlfriends to lash out or act jealous but the violence will escalate. Some of these attacks on men do lead to death. The first time that a women hits you, slices your tier, or key your car, let her know, it will never be a second time; move on and stand firm. Men don’t retaliate on women, even if you are an average size man, the best thing to do is leave the relationship safely. Men domestic violence wears many tags organization is ready to serve you with resources, counseling, and the proper advocacy to help you leave the relationship safely; don’t keep it a secret, the Marlboro man has a safe haven. Men, although there aren’t many resources for you, if you need help, please reach out to (202) 821-8933 and or DV Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE.

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Queen Afi is a motivational speaker on domestic violence, a DV awareness advocate, mental health professional, criminal justice major, and with this passion she offers in person session for the community, churches and or schools to further promote her cause. In 2009 she founded the organization called “Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags”. DVWMT is a local domestic violence prevention and resource organization dedicated to restoring and preserving a stable family environment through services, advocacy and education. Queen Afi spends her time advocating against domestic violence not only to the abused but also to the abuser, both men and women. Her life experience has given her the courage and strength to tell her story and how she has changed her life around and started helping others become aware of DV and how to avoid becoming the victim and/ or abuser (men, women, and teens). Queen Afi, Founder of DVWMT FB@DomesticViolenceWearsManyTags Twitter@ViolWearManyTag Instagram@ViolWearManyTags (202) 821-8933 “Men, women and teens can be victims or abusers”

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Living Life Through Peaceful Purpose: Through A Teacher’s Eyes “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” Mahatma Gandhi Melinda Cochrane


eaching with its ups and downs to anyone looking in from the outside can appear quite demanding. Some have told me, “I could never do the job.” I guess what I’ve learned is not everyone can. There are so many aspects to a classroom, that go unmentioned so I will list a few. #1. Equality. Perhaps the purest example of utopia is in a classroom where the teacher insists that all be equal without ever verbalizing it. Almost as if the outside world does not exist and the only thing that matters is that quality and unbiased education offered. #2. Peaceful protest exists on a daily basis. Students write their feelings out, or multiply them away in math class. #3. Sacrifice for a higher purpose is the hallmark of teaching. We serve to improve the lives of others. #4. Teachers could make a lot more money doing something else, perhaps even easier. But, then, the ‘high-fives’,

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and the students who say, “Miss (or Sir), you really made a difference in my life,” are the wonderful aspects and assets they would have lost. And a personal one for me. I would have never received a handshake from a student who stepped out of his graduation ceremony to do so. The students who write, the students who were inspired, I would not have been given the peaceful joy of knowing that in some small way I affected the next generation, or maybe even many generations to come. Peaceful purpose is one in which those who are actively involved in it chose the life. It is the life of silence—a silent deliverance of more than books; a deliverance of an attitude of hope and peace for a better tomorrow. If I, as a teacher, can have an impact on just one of my students, then I’ve created more than ‘money dollars’ could, because I may have just affected a great many people. Maybe I may have taught


them that they could be the next President or the next Mother Theresa—that their possibilities are endless. You see peace. Concepts of peace come from one place, teaching. Peace watchers are teaching others the same way a classroom teacher would; it’s just a bigger school.

Melinda Cochrane is an inspirational speaker, poet, writer and publisher. She has been published in a number of periodicals, compilations and online magazines. She is the author of a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), two collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, (ympmedia1network, LLC). And her new novel, Behind the Pen, a Love Story, (Melinda Cochrane International), may have launched as this magazine goes to press. Melinda Cochrane International

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Young, Gifted & Black Series Madison, WI senior an exemplar model of scholarship and community service

By Taki S. Raton


n his resume he describes such cultivated skills as being cooperative, reliable, interpersonal and genuine; refined traits quite appropriate for his sales associate part-time job at an area department store. He is young, gifted, and Black and a senior at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. David Pontes is an exemplar model of a student scholar. His current overall 3.30 GPA and 24 cum ACT average for example earned him an invitation to the highly selective 100 Black Men Chicago Chapter sponsored Honor Student Reception (HSR) held at the UIC Forum on the campus of the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus. The HSR is an annual event for upwards of 200 Chicago area African American seniors to interface with representative from top colleges and universities from around the country to explore admissions and scholarship opportunities. This is the fourth year since 2009 that Milwaukee has been granted the opportunity to attend and the third consecutive occasion since 2010 that African American seniors from Madison, Beloit, and Kenosha have been included on this roster. David joined fifteen other seniors from the greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin

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David Pontes school districts who met the minimum 3.3 GPA and 23 cum or above score on the ACT to qualify for invitational selection to the HSR gathering held Friday, October 12, 2012. During his junior year, the 17-year-old was recognized for his academic achievement, volunteer service, and participation in activities focused towards positively impacting the community. During the last two years, David was recognized by the Urban League of Greater Madi-


son’s Outstanding Young Person’s Award, the PEOPLE Program Certificate of Completion, and induction into the National Society of High School Scholars. The Outstanding Young Person’s Award recognizes students for their academic achievement, volunteer assistance to others, and participation in community service. David had membership in the PEOPLE Program over a span of three years each at Velma Hamilton Middle School and Madison West High School respectively. Administered by the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “PEOPLE” is an acronym for Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for learning Excellence. PEOPLE’s mission is to help students successfully make successful transitions from middle school to high school and from high school to college. Approximately 1,300 students currently participate in the program ranging from second grade through undergraduate college level. Founded in 2002, the National Society of High School Scholars has inducted over 700,000 members with more than 100,000 annually from over 160 countries. Its mission is to recognize academic excellence and to encourage members to apply their unique talents, vision, and potential for the betterment of themselves and the world. During the multiple years of 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007, David was recognized with the “Links Award” by the

Madison Metropolitan Chapter of the Links, Inc. Nominated by teachers and counselors, this award is granted to students in recognition for excellence in community service and academic achievement. As a committee member of the Black Student Union during his senior year, David took the lead to actually organize the club, assigning and conducting meetings, planning field trips and fundraising activities. He served on the student council during his junior year and was an active member of the “Multico” Program where high school students plan performances for elementary school children designed to impart multicultural understanding and the positive influence of diversity and caring. His volunteer activities list a car wash and community yard work sponsored by the football team, church maintenance at Madison’s Fountain of Life Church, concession stand duties at Madison West basketball games, lending assistance to incoming high school freshman, working with senior citizens, study hall peer tutoring and tutoring community youth at Mt. Zion Church. Over a period of many years, he volunteered during International Night at Van Hise Elementary School. Kindergarten through 5th grade students and their parents on International Night showcase food, talent and fashions from different cultures. “My contribution to the event was the modeling of African clothes. I also assisted during the program helping children getting on and off the stage during their performances and cleaning up after the event,” he says. An avid sports enthusiast, David played football during his freshman through junior years earning a Letter in Football in 2011. He additionally was a member of the tennis team while a freshman and ran track during his freshman and sophomore years and a club member of the Rugby team while a junior during the 2011 season. A lover of art, fine drawing, music and poetry, he has also traveled extensively to Africa to visit the birthplace of his mom and dad in Kenya and Guinea-Bissau. Travels have additionally in-

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cluded Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Canada. But the experience which may serve as a pertinent foundation to his future career is his internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital. Under the supervision of Dr. Herbert Chen, David from June 2012 through the present is harnessing such skills as collecting and analyzing data, composing tables and spreadsheets, gaining insights into equipment, methods and ethics of surgery; meeting UW surgeons, medical student residents and undergraduates with an interest in the field of medicine. This young possible doctor-to-be even had to opportunity to co-author a paper on “The Efficacy of Thyroidectomy for the Treatment of Goiter.” “This surgery internship demonstrated the importance of education, coordination and practice,” says David reflecting

on his internship at the UW-Madison Hospital. “I now realize just how much I truly love medicine when I completed my first research paper,” he adds. As a result of his involvement with the pre-college UW-Madison PEOPLE Program, his number one choice of college right now is UW-Madison. He plans to eventually enter medical school to become an anesthesiologist. Towards the end of the HSR invitational to Chicago, seniors were asked to share their impression of the event. Although he may be seriously looking at UW-Madison, David revealed that, “One word can sum up this experience in Chicago – ‘Amazing’. “I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from so many great colleges and universities. I now feel much more inspired to make that next step upon graduating from high school and am confident that I am prepared to meet the challenges of achievement expectations both in college and in my chosen career.”

Taki S. Raton is contributing writer for the MiWaukee Courier "THE NEWSPAPER YOU CAN TRUST SINCE 1964"

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Introducing Eric "Crow" Draven Melinda Cochrane For Young Men’s Perspective Magazine


hen listening to Eric “Crow”Draven, one is instantly reminded of the great beat poets of the sixties, with a “story telling”of messages with social significance. A once rapper, turned poet has gone on to spread his intense ability to manipulate language to create awareness. He joined the Machismo Redefined poetry group in 2002, and spread his words reading at many poetry venues. In 2003, he read a co-authored poem at the NBA All Star game on ESPN. He’s published his own collections, Windows To My Past, a sound track and poetry collection called Blank Pages, and in 2009, Sinning On My Way To Church. In 2012,a collection called, The Search For Substance, speaks to self-discovery and change. His works remind me of a journey of sound through the immediate need to understand, break down and make us see truth. A prophetic response through language meant to grab your mind and send it spiralling toward reality. His poetry has also inspired an organization of social workers and activists called Agents Of Change, and after listening to his work I am not surprised; as it is most definitely an offering of wisdoms. Crow was interviewed on Young Men’s Perspective Radio, and began the show with a powerful poem leaving the audience spellbound with the intensity of message, “raised by correctional institions…. turning down scholarships… the last time I saw were in the prime of you life absorbed in the street life, last time I saw you,” it left the audience in awe. You change the world with living poetry, by living poetry I mean the language that speaks to all people. Meet Eric “Crow” Draven, the language master of telling truths. “ The best way to do anything is to give back, and I think of my mother and the impact on my life and in general what women go through.” Eric Crow Draven

Books can be bought at the following links: http://w w w.amaz f=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372646075&sr=8-1&keywords=windows+to+my+past

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Definitions of Success Linda Oquendo


hen you ask the majority of the youths today to define success, many will say it is to reach the financial levels that they see with the images portrayed by the rich and famous. They speak of the ‘bling’, the popularity, and ‘stacks on stacks on stacks’, in layman terms, bundles of hundred dollar bills, and driving exquisite foreign cars such as Bugattis and the always spoken of Lamborghinis. Rarely do they speak of what is already present in their lives. The thought of success in many youths is any situation that is better than what they are going through at the present moment. Much of this clouded perception is due to the lack of mentorship and leadership that is sadly almost obsolete within urban communities. Commercial mainstream trends lead the path for many of those in reach of that ‘swag,’ thinking this is how they will gain respect and taste the sweetness of success, but this is not the case and it must be taught that it is not. Success is defined as getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame in many dictionaries that have been published. These are the same dictionaries that school our youth and feed their brains with knowledge, so how can we judge them for their clouded perception of true success? We have provided the text for their teachings, but yet we have not broken down the complete concept and manner in which to define success. We need to teach the youth that the defi-

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nition found in the dictionary is accurate, but that there are other definitions that define success. They do not need to become a part of mainstream trends to feel successful, to live successfully, or carry themselves as successes. They must realize they have already succeeded. When they wake up every morning, they are breathing success. When they participate in their community’s programs to help others, they are living success. When they learn something positive and share what they have learned, they are building on success. When they refrain from participating in street activities that have bounded their family members and friends behind bars, they have surpassed success because they are breaking the chain of history. They are diminishing the recycled link that continues to get welded into the ankles of all urban city youths who feel they have no way out of their deprived neighborhoods. No longer is the podium of success too high to climb for any of our youths. They are able to reach peaks of maximum height with courage, confidence, and determination that is already within them, as long as we as society make them aware of these characteristics which they already possess. Standing proud of their achievements, regardless of how miniscule in size, will ensure that these youths know they have already succeeded without the need of all the ‘bling’ and ‘swag’. They will walk confidently and reach out to others knowing they have achieved wealth through knowledge, they have gained respect through their persever-


ance, and the fame that follows will come from their peers, family, teachers, and community because they have joined the list of those who have made it out of their hood. The clothes will not make their success arrive faster. The quickly made hundred dollar bills will not assist them to create stronger foundations. True success comes from within. It is felt from within, and it is lived righteously outward. Achieving success is what many youths dream of, while all the while, those who are not taught are unaware they can already taste that sweet, ever so rich flavor that they feel they are yearning for, if they step back and see how far they have come since the beginning of their creation. Success can be defined in many ways, but I like to define it as growing, learning, and bettering oneself. We need make no attempt; we have already reached a major milestone as people as long as we continue to teach. Positive education always creates elevation and this is the definition of success that the youth should remember. Acceptance of oneself provides peace and acknowledging and expanding upon that acceptance is S-U-C-C-E-S-S. September 23, 2013

Linda Oquendo is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised throughout the U.S., she has a diversified writing style that is straight-to-the-point and direct with each piece of work shared. She thrives on empowering others by encouraging them to live not by examples set before them, but by the examples they create for themselves. She believes Positive Education Always Creates Elevation. (P.E.A.C.E.)

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Maintaining Balance I-Cee Justice


n a world that seems filled with all this new technology, abundance of esoteric information, and gadgets that makes life all so much easier and everything faster, did we as people get so distracted that we forgot about the basic essentials such as the essence of our existence??? Well, here at Young Men’s Perspective we have dedicated ourselves to bringing you today’s relevant news pretty straight with no chasers (Truth). We are living in a time when vital news is nascent to our entire well-being. So as we flow through cold winter months of the year we shall now proceed to supply you with the heat to survive the season as we go into this month’s topic of Life, Love, & Relationships: *Maintaining Balance*….. First we must start with the foundation….. What’s the foundation? LIFE!!! What are we complaining for? We are Life. We are here at this exact moment alive and well and if LOVE is the highest level of elevation between Man, Woman, & Child and also the eternal constant quest within SELF, then where is your FOCUS??? All things began with SELF and we all should want greatness for our loved ones as we want for our Self. So if the mind controls the body then we shall agree that a good well-balanced life can only survive in a healthy mind which truly understands LOVE. As above so below….. What’s the sign of the times??? Is there something in par-

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ticular that I should be doing in order to prepare for something major or is a disaster coming??? Well yes and no!!! A disaster will come if you do not allow yourself to be aligned with the change in your atmosphere’s and immediate environments. Our eternal and physical bodies are changing as we adapt to the planetary and solar cycles, so we must also evolve with our surroundings. Love exudes from the inside out so you must be very diligent about everything that you release into the world just as apprehensively as what you consume mentally, spiritually, and physically into your World. Take time out this month to get away from all the distractions on the planet. I know that it is extremely difficult to find a quiet place these days where you can just sit and hear yourself and your most inner thoughts with no distractions, period. This is very important in maintaining the balance within yourself and service to others. This is why you must pay attention to every energy that you come in contact with…. Start your filtering process now!!! And ask yourself very seriously is this adding on to my life in a positive aspect or negative, is this beneficial or is it destructive??? Be totally honest. We all know how DENIAL can be such a thorn in your side, so rid yourself of any and all negative energy and remember that energy takes on many different forms - so it can even be in that favorite food of yours that you know already you not supposed to be eating. It may be that convenient lotion that feels so good going on yet leaves your skin dry


and damaged and you use it only because you like the silky feel and smell of it and was not aware of better options. Sometimes it’s just the little subtle things that make a big difference in finding YOUR Balance and raising Awareness. What’s good for me may not be good for you and too much of anything is not good for anyone. So avoid going to extremes, take a deep breath and reaffirm that you first LOVE yourself, Life, and then you may began to have the most healthiest of relationships!!! Now is the time to purge from anything that’s not beneficial to your personal growth and development as this year takes off and we go into another winter season take control and make a firm choice in Life, Love, & Relationships: *Maintaining Balance* Eat well, Take care of your largest organ…. Your skin!!! Hydrate with the best water and please tell yourself first and then others in your life everyday that you LOVE them…. Always remember that the Truest Of All Love Starts With SELF!!! Know And Love Thyself Always And You Will Magnetically Attract Those That Know And Love Thyself ALWAYS Too!!! Love & Light*

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Basement apartment Michael e Casteels

the walls are painted white but yellowed and curled the kids play games smashing bottles in the backyard long grass bare feet when the father speaks it is always at the top of his voice at the end of his rope he frightens everyone the door never closes but always slams shut flies crowd the walls mice scurry beneath the floorboards and late at night while everyone sleeps, they walk around the apartment on two feet speaking english, playing the roles of a healthy, human family getting it right the first time

Michael e. Casteels has self-published over a dozen chapbooks of poetry and artwork. He lives in Kingston, Ontario where he runs Puddles of Sky Pres. (

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Purvis Young in dialogue with Bill Traylor Robert Gibbons I came to Lincoln Center for folktales not another black artist being discovered on the plantation for a sharecropper’s wage the kind that you find in the Mississippi Delta or along Beale Street with a growling saxophone or a golden trombone crying I will fly away the kind of revision we are accustomed to the ones of reconstruction and deconstruction but Jung does not have to remind me of my history, I am prisoner, a panhandler caught between color and the other the unconscious is a collective and we are brothers of color and Zimmerman is not on trial, but Trayvon is and he can not speak for himself and this is not about race, this is about would, those pieces found in my granddaddy’s tool shed, the ones that held up the bed; the wood cut and the wood burning stove; this is about a prisoner the reason Jacob Lawrence painted in pinstripes and called them chain gangs and another brother is gone and he had a long chain on, this is about the animals my grandfather collected, what about the dog and the chickens in my back ground this is about association; this is about

assassination of Cager Lee, he was 82 when he was kicked in the stomach by the police this is a prison over in Starks, Florida over in Apopka and Deland where the the streets are still separated and the crows are laminated; this is about effigy; this is about obliquity; I did not hear Zora , but I did see signs of Clementine and Alma; women pointing and dipping sniff and cussing to get there point across; this is about migration this is transmigration; this is about admiration and you thought it could not be done leaving it up to Flannery and Faulkner and Harper; they cannot speak for me my ancestors rose, and showed me the way, this is about equality; this is about solidarity; and I saw squares and chairs and living rooms in plastic, and baskets with the would; with the should; with the could have, but it did not; this is a collective this is a test; this is what I saw; this is how it happened; when they electrocuted Willie when they persecuted James; this is the death in Jackson; this is all of us in packs this is what I saw; this is all of Rosedale and it is nor folktale but the collective unconscious.

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going South to a very old place after Albert Murray Robert Gibbons

I did not grow up here on the top floor of the food stamp office, but I am no different; I come to collect, just like the rest for the twenty- five dollar chicken my organic identity, you forget I read the news report, but I am not quite the same; it’s my time to sit here and idle and trifle with my cheap shoes and my blues; my flask of hard labor, ‘cause I want to lie, but it’s real and those fingernails pointing in my face; makes me the same as the boys with the hoodies; my blood brothers spitting rhymes with each sentence; with little tolerance for boredom, so I look at the floor but had to remember I did not grow up here in this lack of security, but the maturity is as old as these Harlem streets with gray shutters; the mothers with big bundles on their back and stacks of hair

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so I stare and clutch my soul and remembering what I was told remember that I will not be bought nor sold, no matter the clatter of the economics and materialism, the realism of my grimy poverty that will cause me to digest all that is available; if I am able to stand if I am able to stand. I did not grow up here but the box car said up South, the read of abolition the manumission has pain Romare paints me in carpetbag; the life wants me a toe tag, but Ralph still cry invisible in this supposed indivisible; but here I am just another brother considered American.


the old soul Robert Gibbons

when I cry my body is wrung a sandy brown dish towel hanging from old times the clothesline in my grandma’s backyard still in effigy in mind I dig roots from the cemetery plots shots of running vines for the times the ones that walk behind Conestoga wagons barefoot in tracks holding bushel baskets molded daguerreotypes the folklorist of Zora the deplorable urinal of sharecropping mopping delicious grease from Virginia to Georgia after emancipation the ones looking for family in anticipation the ones who cross the Flint and smoked barbeque made sauce with liquor drank from the celebration that named themselves in alphabets like I.C. A.Z. and M.C. they name themselves so I see too.

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Untitled on Justice Robert Gibbons

don’t talk about this hanging from spirit from effigy in southern tongues and trees called Jena Central Park five call stop call frisk call profile call toe tag between liquor stores and the churches swamps and the marshes between black boys at seventeen in Florida in Georgia in Louisiana in Camden in Alabama don’t talk about this money paid for the grave mistakes the police and people with rights and wrongs with privilege and charm

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about Clarence Thomas about Jim Crow about the lynching and gasoline cross bibles liable and sedition treason and reckoning don’t talk about this shooting of a child in a jungle gym full of timber full of chemical warfare full of redlines and incorrectness birth certificates of Africanity without latitude or Mercator map blame ourselves for the decay for the delay the death in the snow don’t talk about this spook and the sell out with mouth the mulatto the passer and the passing the one-sixteenth


the jinks and the caste don’t talk just hide and pray behind color murder and suicide and just list slash and burn this history the spider skillet the minutes in February or civil rights with the little light guarding it with a few heroes but still

kill the ones in it that’s left out with names and labels with aches for a generation with a stake in the nation don’t talk just dream just quilt just lean back and see just bend down and plant a seed don’t talk is not enough for the rest of us.

Robert Gibbons lives in New York City and is originally from Belle Glade (Palm Beach County), Florida. An honor graduate of Glades Central High School, Robert matriculated to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he received the B.S. in History in 1989. He has taught in the Palm Beach County School District; the Prince George’s County School District; the Fairfax County School District; and now works as an English Specialist for the Renaissance Charter High School of Innovation of East Harlem (Manhattan), New York City. As a performance poet, he has performed in innumerable venues in both NYC and Washington DC, and is well published. His work also recently appeared on CD called Brain Ampin through Hydrogen Jukebox, He has taken a number of classes, some of them with master poets. Robert Gibbons has done other poetic works in afterschool programs, drama camps, and theater programs in Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He hopes to continue searching to find new ways to create work and provide new venues to the children he serves. Robert just released his first collection poetry in November 2012, published by Three Rooms Press, Close to the Tree.

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In the Bride Market Dr. Shruti Das

I am afraid to shed tears, lest hot and heavy they roll down and singe the skin off my face. The mirror has always seen my face; my smile form religiously between my lips at the slightest command. What if I become lipless? What if the flames from my burning vision burn my eyelids? Maybe the bones of my cheeks so carefully painted will tell the truthful tales of our age old agony, hidden for centuries in the urn of silence and rightness. I am afraid to cry. Let them look at me adorned in fineryfrom hair to neck; to breast; to waist down to the little of my toes. Let their gaze, hungry as ever, circle around me and weigh me putting me against Solomon’s gold. I am to be given away with the harvest and the gold, a fetish in the scriptures, a mute slave in the bride mart.

Dr Shruti Das is Associate professor of English in the P.G. Department of English, Berhampur University in Odisha, India. She is a creative writer with poetry published, nationally and internationally, and is a critic, writing bilingually in English and her native tongue, Odia. She has participated in many national and international seminars on English language literature and communication skills in both India and abroad. She has published many research articles and creative work, and has two books: From Margin to the Centre- A Toni Morrison Reader(2009) and Contemporary Communicative English(2010) to her credit. She is a BEC Examiner for Cambridge University in their ESOL programme in India. She is currently working on a book on Global Skills and Business Communication, and on a translation from a regional classic into English. She is a public speaker of repute. Her special academic interests are Culture Studies, Postmodernism and Critical Theory; Eco-criticism; Women Studies; Indian Aesthetics; Translation and Soft Skills. She loves to travel and indulges in charity. She in the Granddaughter of the fighter and Statesman, Pandit Nilakantha Das of Odisha. 88 | Great ChangeFreedom your thinking, change your life


Death Cheater Chinedu Ichu

A mature red plastic suitcase Recites the excitement of an awaited task Life’s activities ponders About the exact nature of submission Suddenly, a crack shot boasts A body is propelled airborne Tossed aside like an outgrown rag doll Soothing words from an old head lamp Rescues back, a debut on runway Stale blood invoke waves of nausea Sympathy loiters around an out-station White doves encircle crescent window blind Bullet riddled flesh screams Bedside swarmed like a honey comb Am i alive?

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Mistaken Supremacy Chinedu Ichu

Panic stricken She gathers her underweight third beauty An anguished mother, a benefactor Lying there As pale as liquor Beauty’s eye closed She belongs to this rattled woman Whose fear seeps Through her transparent flesh Big hero would soon walk in Frantically wrenching open the door The hapless is definitely beaten Century upon century No end to this.

Chinedu Ichu is a 38 year old married African of Nigerian decent and has been writing for the past eight years, and says “My work mostly reflects the time, life and thought of a typical African irrespective of race, gender and tradition.”

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Coyote Song #3- Suski cries the new & improved, slow anonymous death of human hunger Eri Marcus

How could we have let this happen? Why did we let this happen? We fill ourselves up, hell, we stuff ourselves – but no one is nourished. (I know i’m not . . . ) That’s why i see that hollow-eyed starving coyote underneath the thin layer of skin on bone i carry around. Like coyote, i’m good at surviving. That’s how i got this far. I used to be able to feed myself, dancing in meadows, sitting in swamps, climbing inside tree roots and talking to sparrows. That was how i fed myself. But now once in a while i remember how to dance and it’s a good day …….. Spaces in between are too wide. Shouldn’t have to remind myself. Used to be natural. But now too much concrete, wires, noise, weapons – so many weapons. Does anyone have any idea of how many weapons we have created? We kill in a million ways things we are not aware of ... the deaths, the loss . . .of everything that has separated us from the earth; from each other. That, starves out a community, a culture,

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and simple bonds that can offer a peace and comfort that no amount of money can buy or replace.

a wild animal would never recognize us under this stench . . .

And we wander around, quickly. Like we have some emergency purpose, alone.

What are we all so afraid of?

More people - alone. It’s too hard to find the spirit food. It’s getting harder; so hard; i begin to doubt myself. Did i dream it? Did i die? And come back here and find this so changed? Did it really exist? Yes - it did. Swamps, brooks, running waters, fishes, places of quiet; with the music of wind, crickets. Sometimes you could even hear plants moving on their own, while they stretched out a new leaf. Not any more – not here anyway. All the crap that we have created; the buildings, the cars, TVs. The noise in the air, the traveling electricity that makes your head ache and your ears ring – they’re all weapons; slow killing and separating us. So many don’t even know what is happening. They don’t know the death toll. And the smell of fear that no one is willing to admit to is buried beneath the perfumes, and dryer sheets, scented everything’s; the humans are hiding under – “my god- in a leaf ”!! –

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And this breaks my heart in a way that i can find no words for. I saw a young man in a hospital who had been hit by a car …... I looked him in the eyes; contact recognition. I said hello with my eyes, and i saw tears well up in his because he could not speak. And i cried; for him and for me, because for different reasons – we cannot find words to come out of our mouths to talk about the pain, the love, the loneliness, the loss of connection. Or anything at all. There are no words for it. Will we stop making new and improved destructions . . . that are killing life in the way that it could be lived? Will we? My hope is getting lost . . . and i can’t do a fucking thing about it. I have no words to describe the starvation of my heart. I would rather write about love, but i have no words – The things i love are going extinct and i have to watch it.


I’d rather write about love; about how much joy a singing sparrow brings me. But the dark shadow is there, so easily conjured by a motor, chainsaw, backhoe – the cutting of a tree the loss of a home for singing birds. And so i have no words; because the things i love are going extinct and i have to watch it because i’ve never closed my eyes.

coyote song-washing the wound with a parched tongue Suski is a Hopi word. A very, very old elder, who carved the very first Coyote fetish for me and gave it to me as a gift, told me that in their stories the black coyote was the guardian of the underworld and that his name was Suski. ELM Jan.27th.-28th 2011

I never will; just in case just in case there’s something that i can do. And i will do it. . . whatever it takes.

ELM-Eri Marcus was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1960. She started writing poetry at the age of ten, and credits nature and animals as always having been the source of her creativity and personal peace. She hates being bored, and has a need to continually learn. Her multimedia artistry has included writing, singing, learning various musical instruments, photography, painting, graphic design, theatre, and film and music recording and production. Her creative focus is centered in learning as much as she can about people and their culture, and then in her evolution as a person. And, as well, to give what she can with honesty and compassion.

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The cold shrew The aging queen Spits out venom All over innocent lambs Without the mint sauce Turns them into ham Throws toxic mist All over their dreams The cold shrew Tears down moonbeams Screams them into dust Swallows the light Spits out trust Takes down the mirror Can’t bare the rage Just throws it out On someone else’s page The cold shrew Just lost her words They were stirred up In a bowl of moss stew Filtered into pain Just like dirty rain And then sold The cold shrew Hates getting old Gina Nemo ©2013

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The crazy wench, Tricked by fate, She thought she had, a handsome date. But magic folds, Her mirror breaks, A convenient time, for a hateful face. Her husband left, For a reason, Her cold, black heart Committed treason. Gina Nemo ©2013

Gina Nemo is a poet, writer, speaker, producer and musician. Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, she has been writing poetry, songs and stories since she was a child. Pursuing a career as an actress and performer took most of her time in her earlier years and eventually she received an international award for her role in the hit television show “21 Jump Street” (which was presented by Bob Hope) many years ago on Canadian TV. She was also featured in various television shows and films in the 80’s and 90’s. Since the 90’s she has been singing, producing and writing music and releasing albums. She has also been producing and directing television and also writing for various print and web based media outlets.

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A Child Bride (This is dedicated to all the little girls who still suffer the onslaught of Child Marriage, rampant in many parts of interior India.) Patsy Ross

I was only 18.... Life hung in tattered breaths My heavy heart and head to rest, But..... A tear drop swimming, a smile Stops me by When on the edge, Stood I. I was only 6.... The sky wore a bridal veil in blue I wore one in gold, a single hue. The pyre, with tongues of fire Unknown, I sank deep into the mire. Under the veil I took a peek Was that my husband to be....? Oblivion pulled and tugged In vermilion my face covered I cried.... I was a child bride....! I was only 14.... Picked periwinkles of pinks and white A garland to make, I a poor mite Scared, When Ma screamed Cold flowers and heart, refused to breathe. They have come for me

My husband to be....? Cushioned on a bridal bed Veil covered face and head, A heinous man to be, Grinned fumes and wine at me. The Night was helpless The Crescent shone tears She lifted my shuddered frame, My head cowed in pain and shame. I cried.... I was only a child bride....! Stinging slaps my dolls Kicks my playmates The dark pain, my education. I was only 18.... I clung.... Life, a never ending cliff, Death, give me time I pray, I have duties to fulfil today, A little flower to nourish and care, Give a foothold in this world unfair, In a quiet dream, let me come after this, And I’ll slip into that heavenly bliss. I cried.... I had been a child bride....! (child bride model - Rai Guha.)

Patricia Ross currently lives in a mining town, Barbil, in Odisha, India. She completed her Masters’ in Psychology, Literature and Geography, and has completed her B.Ed. She teaches Literature in a college there. She also works as a silent NGO, and educates the illiterate women who aspire to read and write so that they can at least sign their names. She also helps educate children who are school dropouts and socially neglected. She has been doing this for the last 25 years. She loves to write poems on just about anything, and was bitten by this bug at the age of seven and never looked back ...

96 | Change your thinking, change your life


Daughter Of The Night Silva Zanoyan Merjanian there’s an alley there’s an alley dented with your knee prints dented with last night’s vomit named John with the smell of sex with the memory of your stepfather between your fourteen year old cheeks as you counted the flowers on the kitchen tablecloth daffodils yellow so yellow coffee stains on a few green leaves bread crumbs digging in your forehead

shoved erections between your teeth your bruised swollen lips a broken incisor four lacerations fractures so many fractures what did you swallow along with their moans dropping on top of your head like lepers’ skin spit it forth spit their life’s froth spit the night’s serum before the night swallows you whole and spits you in a moonless pit

there’s a crater there’s a crater where you left a torn hymen and a laugh that sounded spring in January five more minutes take life in five minute frames c’mon c’mon two more maybe three then you can soak in a bath let the steam rise and erase the last ten sneers, years

November 2013 | 97

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Collateral Damage Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

Morning arrives charred served on a disassembled night its curled edges fall in ashes on waking eyes no smoke in sight no trace where old mistakes aspirate into donated lungs burked storms under soft pillows plump with the geese not the feather as if a night could not satiate viscera of dreams with its cant as if doubt drains into power pipelines as tear ducts dry and conscience blazes in defiance fueled bonfires had you not heard panting in medicated doldrums of their mind had their stuttered remorse turned the soft soil of tomorrow had you not loved only to stay alive morning would have arrived perky and bright and you too would have heard the finch outside instead of the crackling of the fire

98 | Change your thinking, change your life


ROOFTOP Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

I die at dusk every day on a rooftop in a city with no name daughters unborn to me mourn in bruised nights’ wombs voices I do not recognize utter prayers to deaf trees shaking my limbs off their leaves a city breathing heavy with its sins buries me in its alleys smell of jasmine and urine on its walls where once I cut a vein and emptied time’s venom under blinking neon lights there’s no distance to my pain I’m born at dawn every day in a sac of daylight with an appetite to eat moments in slow bites roll them on a dry tongue linger on the sweet and bitter oozing from each tick tock shortening my life I can’t remember where I loved you in between It is dusk again, I look for the rooftop I hung my fresh laundry on.

Prev. published in ‘Madswirl’

November 2013 | 99

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

TONIGHT Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

Tonight a thousand eyelids will close on beautiful lies and quivering lips will sleep unkissed untouched by sultry blue jazz in the dark tonight lust will blister on menopausal gritty tongues and blind vultures will circle parameters of a man’s heart tonight middle aged men will look for love in midtown bars and women selling artificial flavors to the tune of hallelujahs will sharpen their knives tonight poets will find the words to color their hell and dip their pens in wounds that aren’t even theirs tonight somewhere it will rain on wingless birds their love songs mending broken pillows in high notes tonight she will step out with her hair down, in new stilettos she’ll blow a kiss with naked lips through the door left ajar tonight, tonight’s no different than any other night the walls are thin, the moon is skinned, blindfolds handed free

Prev. published in ‘Counterpunch’

100 | Change your thinking, change your life


Till Death Do Us Part Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

She became the space between his thoughts resonating in the downpour of fall rain. He, her trophy, bound in fraying lace, she vowed to serve ‘till death do us part’. Polished it dry. Traces of him still in old picture frames, strong chin, clear features pressed against cold glass. The rest of him left with her in faded shades of a sunset painting hanging on their mantle. They became a pause before sunrise colors alleys. The rest of him rattled her brittle bones, and she sucked on the marrow of his at hairline fractures. Carnivorous, she flossed his deep laugh from her veneers spit a chewed spleen as he regurgitated forgiveness. Layers of them now sloughed skin on sharp turns. Loose change between lust cushions filled with wet olive branches.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

They walked the streets thinking the slopes will forgive the way they sliced a liver molted distinct voices in one note rode the late night sarcasm muffled labor pain of a breeched ‘us’ moaning confessions next to a picture frame fogged with nostalgia’s halitosis. They walked the streets thinking a night won’t gnaw on their cannibalized remains on which she raises a leg daily, on which condensed drops of who he was will catch the morning light.

Silva Zanoyan Merjanian is a widely published poet residing in Southern California with her husband and two sons. She recently released the first volume of her poems Uncoil a Night with proceeds donated to Syrian Armenian Relief Fund. Some of the publications her work is featured in are, Streetcake Magazine, Miracle-ezine , The Literary Groong, Mad Swirl, The Galway Review, The Artistic Muse (December 2013 issue), an international political newsletter, The Red Fez, Le Mond N’est Pas Rond and The Oddity. She is proud to be part of the anthologies, ‘The Art of Being Human- An Anthology of International Poetry’, volume 3 & 6. The Inspired Heart and The Blue Max Review. Silva was shortlisted in the Fermoy International Poetry Competition 2012, and she was invited to Ireland in August 2013 to read and introduce her recently released book, at the Fermoy International Poetry Festival, 2013.

102 | Change your thinking, change your life


Prostituted Love By Slashfire

I love you Amanda , Mandy , Melisa, Stacey, Tracy, Nonto, Grace , Marry list goes on I love you will all my heart These beautiful ladies were told they are loved Minutes apart She called and he ended with I love you Improper usage of these words They all believe they are alone Not knowing they are just regular customers To this man who prostitutes love The passion he says it with All these girls see a husband to be Not knowing they are not alone They do pay for his time They pay with their feelings Passion and love He is forever ready to give them pleasure He is called by all of them ‘Soulmate’ They buy him airtime, clothes, food and take him out Without them realizing Prostituted Love They part of a love Hexagon Some of them are related Some are sisters He looks sincere His business is kept under wraps Only a few know he is a love prostitute Sadly his victims don’t know They think they have the man of their dreams ... #SlashfirePoetry @SlashfirePoetry on twitter

November 2013 | 103

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

It Takes Two To Tango (Note: This poem contains portions of it still appearing in its original South African vernacular, iziZulu. Following those italicized words in that language, the English translation immediately follows)

By Slashfire

When she is pregnant You must remember that you should say we are pregnant When that child is born you will want the child to be called by your surname You will choose to say that’s my boy or girl When s/he is getting achievements It takes 2 to tango You were both on the dance floor You went from cha-cha to tango You flew high like the mango You both made the decision to misuse your time What can I say you were not creating a crime You were enjoying ‘ubusha benu’ (your youth) You forgot to stick to the menu Why you were at the venue You shouldn’t say Are you sure it’s mine You were both on the dance floor You went from cha-cha to tango It was great nizimisele ngombhengo (confidently perfecting your dance) Now senisele nombengo (you are now left with a piece of your meat) Wenyama yenu (Flesh of your flesh) You didn’t stop to think before you opened The gate to father and motherhood Its too late to be pointing fingers

104 | Change your thinking, change your life


Leyongane kumele kube isithandwa senu USkhumbuzo wesenzo senu Ingane ayinacala (That child should be the love of both your lives A reminder of your actions The child is not guilty) The child is a blessing in disguise Now you can’t enter those thighs without knowing it takes 2 to tango So stick to cha cha (no no) and say cha cha (no no) #SlashfirePoetry @SlashfirePoetry on twitter Slashfire is Simiso Sabelo Sokhela, a male South African poet, writer and arts activist based in Durban, South Africa. Born in 1991, he began writing poetry in 2000 and performing it in 2004. He performs English and vernacular poetry, and is also known as ‘Slashfire The Poetician’ and ‘Slashfire the poem producer’. In addition to writing and performing poetry, he is involved in acting, arts activism, arts facilitation, poetry programs and competitions in schools, judging and event hosting. His works are currently reaching both the USA and greater South Africa via the ‘’ and ‘Bold.New.Poets.USA’ based out of Texas. He has played a huge role in growing the KZN Poetry and Arts Scene by co-establishing the Pneumarela Society of Arts, is the founder of the WED Poetry Writing Challenge and WED Poetry Awards, and is the Artistic Director of Arts For Change Movement South Africa (AFCMSA). He is currently an Information Technology undergrad at the Duban University of Technology. #SlashfirePoetry.

November 2013 | 105

Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

Martin’s Hoodie Ishmael Street

If clothing can make a man, then Clothing can slay a man A useful piece of clothing thuggish in perception Caused his demise Deem threaten by timid and frighten eyes of a simple Minded people who wears Klu Klux Klan hoodies Inside their skin in the tempt to hide their true Identity But hatred will not get the best of me while I unlock this un-conscious able mystery From the blood stains from Martin’s hoodie Deciphering encrypting why being black wearing A hoodie portrays this inhumane imagery a creature With strange features who prey on the innocent A boogie man under your bed that does not Exist only through the stereotypes from few Who defines the ghetto and urban as black A intelligence and historical common sense they Lack but tragedy we live it up to their belief Which validates their obnoxious point view, Laws, rules and rewrite history too If clothing can a make a man, then Clothing can slay a man

Ishmael Street is a poet who uses his writing as an instrument to compose the world’s reality and infinite possibility. He uses the world’s complexities as his canvas to paint words, thoughts, emotions, and feelings to reveal the beauty in the simplicity of life. He is a poet, motivator, friend, supervisor of a retail store, Social Media Manager of a non-profit organization (Day With Daddy), Marketing Director and Producer Assistant for two radio shows (‘The Lovejones Experience With Goddess Jones’ and ‘Hip Hop Today/Red Cup Radio’). His friends call him the hardest working man in America, but he enjoys every moment because he believes the importance of community and how community shapes our individualism. Through his work ethnic he tries diligently to bring awareness to he importance of community to the consciousness in our everyday struggles.

106 | Change your thinking, change your life


Eyes Wide Open Timothy Duncan

The wickedness within wells up and clouds the sensibilities of the boyhood church-goer who had always walked the straight line. Having recently strayed from the flock, this young man’s eyes have been awakened by darker possibilities, where right and wrong become scribbles in the sand to be washed away by the surf. Decisions that were once carefully considered in order to ensure there was no malice in his intent, have now become impulsive, less calculated. Self-indulgence and a hedonistic drive are the muses that influence his every move. He cares not that his family has disowned him or that he has been blacklisted and branded a heretic by a community he had once vowed to protect. No longer fearing the Almighty or eternal damnation, his new focus is to satisfy the guilty pleasures he once believed to be temptations laid before him by Satan himself. As a child, he was taught to colour within the lines, and not to press too hard on the crayon. When he became a young man he was told that girls who wore their skirts above the knees were nothing but temptresses, sent to test his resolve and commitment to the Father. That ‘wanting’ was something very different than ‘needing’. He would deprive himself no more. If it felt, smelt or tasted good, he wanted it. If it was risky, reckless or possibly painful, he wouldn’t hesitate. Life was for living in the moment, not for hiding from the unfounded fears of elders who used the uncertain as a means to control the damaged and vulnerable. He was beyond their reach now, and there would be no turning back. Timothy Duncan lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife and two children. His inspiration for the poetry he writes comes from his observations of the human experience. Timothy is an elementary teacher, and enjoys sharing his love of writing with his students.

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Young Men’s Perspective Magazine

108 | Change your thinking, change your life

Young Men's Perspective Magazine Edition 4  

Young Men's Perspective Magazine is providing an enriching alternative to mainstream media and stimulates are youth with conscious truth and...

Young Men's Perspective Magazine Edition 4  

Young Men's Perspective Magazine is providing an enriching alternative to mainstream media and stimulates are youth with conscious truth and...