What’s in your diet? Black History Month

by: Warren Green

It’s February and I thought I’d devote a little reflection about Black History Month, particularly from my personnel exposure. I’m personally proud of my newly achieved, octogenarian status, and my early roots. So, how to link the two in my health oriented perspective?

In 1937, my mother migrated from the Albemarle, in Northeast North Carolina, to the Morrisiana Section of the Bronx during the Harlem Renaissance. I was privileged to grow up in a multicultural neighborhood that exposed me to that remarkable era of cultural creativity. Langston Hughes who was one of my best friend’s uncle, was a frequent visitor to our block. My friend lived on the top floor of a five story walk up, so Mr. Hughes would stop and chat with us kids before his trek to visit his brother. He was a talkative guy with a lot to say. How I wish that there were personal technology like smart phones in those days, to have captured his incredible wisdom.

It was not uncommon to hear musical icons like Thelonius Monk, Errol Garner, and Elmo Hope rehearsing their craft, in their apartments, and on the roofs. In those days, music was part of many school curriculum’s. Public schools even supplied loaner instruments, a practice that spawned generations of internationally acclaimed musicians. It seems to me, the world class musicians that came out of that environment, were a positive use of the educational budget. To have removed art and music appreciation from inner city schools, was misguided. The return of investment, justified continuance.

A few years ago, I went home to attended a tribute to Elmo Hope Concert at Fordham University, that featured Jazz Master Jimmy Owens- Board Member of the Jazz Foundation of America, and a life long friend. My column, that month, talked about the intense stress of NYC traffic and how after a few minutes of the concert, I was totally unstressed. Pharmaceuticals usually require about 20 minutes. The old adage, music calms the savage beast, probably has some merit. It seems to me that we have been marketed away from our best first option.

Music Therapy

I began researching music therapy as a health strategy. Here are my findings: Music Therapy is an established health profession with a strong research foundation, which when used within a therapeutic relationship, addresses overall physical rehabilitation, facilitates movement, and provides among other things, an outlet for expression of feelings. My new 62+ community is a perfect spot to observe and promote music therapy as a viable component of health and nutrition strategies. .

That segues into my Health & Nutrition Strategy Workshops, here at Overture, Virginia Beach .The initial workshop was a great success. We started with the essential nutrient,Lipids (oils/fats), then we had a Q and A interaction. I thought the Q & A, was the highlight of the session. I like the idea of being able to support my information with spontaneous visual documentation in a Q & A forum.

Looking forward to the next workshop, February 19th 3pm. We”ll finish up lipids, and begin protein. Join us.

You are what you eat.

For more local Tradewinds articles on black history month click here

To see more of Warrens articles click here

Link to ncdcr black history month