Illustrator presents complex issue fairly
Responding to the May 13 article (“Local illustrator talks about his research and work on graphic novel ‘The Black Panther Party’”) in The Gazette, I took the opportunity to meet local artist Marcus Kwame Anderson at the Open Door Bookstore.
His talents have been displayed in the quirky comic “Snow Daze.”
His latest work is in the timely book, “Black Panther Party,” authored by David Walker, an award-winning writer, filmmaker, journalist and educator.
It presents a balanced and complicated history, including the good and bad.
The 180 pages of comic style illustrations by Marcus Kwame Anderson bring events and people to life. It includes young Black Panther founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, along with long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who created a controversial Counterintelligence Program to discredit, disrupt and repress people and groups considered a threat to national security.
One tragic result was the December 1969 predawn storming of a Chicago apartment by law enforcement. Their 90 gunshots killed the sleeping 21-year-old Fred Hampton and follower Mark Clark. Several others were wounded. Despite doing no shooting, the survivors were charged with attempted murder and imprisoned on $100,000 bail.
Fred Hampton had been chair of the local Black Panther chapter. He also founded a multi-racial Rainbow Coalition.
“We say you don’t fight racism with racism, we will fight racism with solidarity” had been his organizing principle. A few days after he was killed by the police, a fatherless son was born.
St. Clare’s workers needed protection
When the topic of the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees is mentioned to me, my opinion would be a good, sound judgment reply.
When Congress enacted the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974, lawmakers intended to protect pensions. Problems developed years later with loss of anticipated benefits for countless pensioners, which were caused by church exemptions in some cases.
I feel that Congress could have acted to amend the church plan exemption, or states could have acted on their own to regulate the church plans.
Absent such protective measures, countless current and future retirees would be left exposed to financial instability.
If this was done when the problems came about, then the beloved St. Clare’s Hospital retirees would have never endured the problems they are going through now.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Protect yourself from skin cancer
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time outside. Whether it’s to exercise or start a hobby like gardening, Mother Nature has become the new gym and our backyards/parks the new meet up places.
The Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) program wants to remind everyone when spending time outside you need to protect your skin against cancer.
Melanoma is the deadliest type and is mostly caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays come from the sun or indoor tanning devices. Nearly 4,000 New Yorkers get melanoma each year.
Men, especially men older than 50, are at higher risk for melanoma because they’re more likely to work outdoors.
Good news: About 90% of melanomas can be prevented. Follow these simple steps to lower your risk of skin cancer while enjoying the outdoors: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a 15 SPF or higher.
Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and again after swimming or sweating. Wear a wide brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants when possible. Wear sunglasses that block UVA/UVB rays. Avoid direct sun from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Follow these tips on cloudy days, as clouds do not block UV rays.
The CPiA program works in local communities to raise awareness about skin cancer and the dangers of indoor tanning.
We provide education and help community partners to adopt policies that promote sun safety and prevent skin cancer. CPiA works with schools, daycares, businesses, municipalities, and more.
For more information about CPiA visit www.takeactionagainstcancer.com or call 518-770-6815.
The writer is health education promotions coordinator, Cancer Prevention in Action Program of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.
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