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Risk Factors of Heart Disease

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Regardless of “race” or ethnicity, heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans. On the other hand, Black adults face a higher risk than any other racial group in the United States. African-Americans and Hispanics face even greater dangers from heart disease. Why are Black people more likely to get heart disease? Scientific studies suggest that African-Americans may have a gene that makes them more sensitive to salt, increasing their risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Obesity affects African-Americans disproportionately. 63% of men and 77% of women among Black adults aged 20 and older are overweight.

African-Americans have higher rates of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. These are the four main risk factors for heart disease. Because African-Americans are more sensitive to salt, this can raise blood pressure. However, a lot of the difference is probably due to lifestyle, which is influenced by education, environment, stress, culture, and history. Even though resistance training is important, cardiovascular exercise is more important and should be done. If you are African-American and have a family history of heart disease, you should see a general or preventive cardiologist in your 20s to discuss a healthy weight, always check your blood pressure, and develop a healthy eating and exercise plan. Get a home blood pressure tester and use it to see what is normal and what is not for you.

Additionally, Black women are disproportionately affected by stroke, the leading cause of death among women. Notably, Black women have lower mindfulness (not “woke) that heart disease is the primary cause of death than white women. In addition, Black women are more likely than women of other ethnicities to die at a younger age and have a stroke risk that is almost twice as high as white women.
Heart disease can happen to anyone, even those that exercise daily, but some groups are more likely to get it. Heart disease will kill one in three women, more than all cancers combined. Black, Latinx, and South Asian-American patients also have higher rates of heart disease. A combination of social, environmental, and genetic factors is to blame for these populations’ higher rates of heart disease. Therefore, raising awareness of the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of heart disease for everyone is essential. Are you a salt and sugar addict? Leave those high-sugar sodas alone. Sugar, salt, and other forms of sodium must be reduced from your daily diet intake. Learn about healthy eating and cooking skills and make a serious effort to change your eating habits.

It is essential to point out that Black people are also more likely to be affected by health disparities due to the social determinants of health. Heart disease and heart failure are directly linked to a lack of access to medical care, few pharmacies in Black neighborhoods, poor housing, polluted water in communities, and medical centers far away. A lack of nutritious food options (such as processed and frozen-for-months), and structural and social injustices increases stress and mistrust of the medical system. Racism also increases stress.

Despite the bleakness of this information, many of these risk factors can be altered. We can reverse this trend if these risks are appropriately addressed and treated. Heart disease can indeed be avoided. Focusing on controlling your risk factors and “knowing your numbers” is the key to preventing heart disease. This means seeing the doctor regularly to find your BMI, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. By doing this, you will be able to detect any signs that your risk factors are becoming alarming and initiate early intervention.

You need to do a few important but easy daily things to keep your numbers in the healthy range. The first thing you need to do is get more active. Get off the couch and walk around the house multiple times before sitting down. Limit the use of electric wheelchairs if possible. If you can walk, even a little, this helps as opposed to over-dependence on these chairs, which may eventually help kill you. Even the most minor adjustments can significantly reduce your risk. Eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like fish or chicken. Drink more alkaline water, eat foods with high alkalinity, and finally, focus on maintaining a healthy body weight by balancing your calorie intake with physical activity if you want to lower your risk of heart disease. Get off your butt, but remember overdoing it can also be destructive.

Your time on this earth is limited. Live as long as possible in a healthy way. A primary care physician can manage your risk factors. However, if you have been diagnosed with heart disease or have high-risk factors that are poorly controlled, such as alarmingly high blood pressure, it is essential to see a cardiologist specialist immediately. A cardiologist can assist in comprehensively managing your cardiovascular health and tailor medications and therapy to your disease progression. Poor people are disadvantaged as these options are generally unavailable because of a lack of good insurance. Use the free systems, and find out what they are because, unlike Canada, American medical health costs can be enormously high.

Black Life Texas

The Real History of Thanksgiving

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The history of Thanksgiving cannot be discussed without recognizing the reality of genocide committed against Native Indigenous people. Free land was the enticement for European settlers to come to the Americas. The Native populations on these lands would have to be removed or conquered to accomplish their goals.

Many foreigners were already slave owners who wanted to plant cash crops using Black slave labor. The history of the United States cannot be fully understood unless one examines “settler colonialism.” Settler colonialism was founded on the ideology of land theft, genocide, and slavery. Those who have written American history with an eraser of bias have found it easy to perpetuate the Thanksgiving myth of Europeans sitting down with Native Americans and enjoying a food feast together—nothing could be further from the truth.

What came before this so-called “Thanksgiving” was murder, genocide, and slavery of Native people before and after the mythical thank you dinner. Puritan settlers came up with the idea of the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a racist law enacted by the Pope of that time and brought to America by the less-than-honorable Christopher Columbus. This is the part of the American origin myth that professors and teachers still ignore to be accepted in the world of historical falsehoods. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy of murder and land theft to satisfy a false religious belief in racial destiny (also called Manifest Destiny). Settlers required violence to realize their dreams of wealth. No community will willingly give up their land, children, resources, and dignity without a fight, and Indigenous people did not go down without a fight against these ideals that were rooted in a colonial agenda that had a religious spin on it. When European settlers were crossing the ocean and illegally crossing borders, it was something supposedly legal and sanctioned by God.

America was not a virgin land or wilderness filled with wild animals but a land tame to Native people. It was a network of native communities that linked people through roads and trails they carved themselves, which they built long before Europeans arrived. Native people cultivated farmland and crops to survive the harsh winters in the northern parts of America. The Native people knew where the oyster beds were, the water routes, and what plants had medicinal value. Settlers came to America with a culture of conquest and killing that they experienced in hundreds of years of religious savagery between Catholics and Protestants, especially the killing and exploitation of the Irish by the English and Scottish. White supremacy can be traced to the Christian Crusades against Muslims and not to capitalism, though capitalism exploited the idea to the fullest later.

These Europeans did not tame the wilderness. They invaded and murdered the original inhabitants. There are many fake origin stories from one country to the next, as apartheid South Africa once claimed and is now claimed by Israel using similar tactics for decades in a systematic way to force Palestinians from their homes, according to Amnesty International.

The fake Captain John Smith story never mentions his threat to kill all Native women and children if the Native people would not help feed and clothe the settlers from England and provide free labor for the English settlement. When Native people refused, the settlers burned their crops in an attempt to starve out the so-called “Indians.” This would result in the Pequot War, in which settlers would slaughter the Pequot tribe in the 1600s. Unknown to many, this was the first “Thanksgiving,” according to research by historians, in which settlers had a celebration thanking God for their murderous exploits. Scalp hunting was brought to America’s shores by the Scottish Protestants, who also invented the term “Redskin” to describe the bleeding head of one of their victims. Mutilated bloody corpses, which Puritans scalped, were the origin of the term “Redskin.” It was not developed as an indication of “race.” Later in history, the practice of scalping and gutting pregnant Native women would be carried out by the Scotsman Andrew Jackson, whom many now call the “Hitler of America.”

The Thanksgiving Myth is that of smiling “Indians” welcoming the European explorers to America, showing them how to reside in this ‘wilderness,” and sitting down to dinner with them. They supposedly hand their lands off to “frontiersmen,” so these invaders can create an incredible country committed to freedom, opportunity, and Christianity until the end of the world. That is the story — it’s about Native People yielding to settler colonialism. The myth is bloodless and, in numerous ways, an argument for the racist idea of Manifest Racial Destiny. Thus, the Thanksgiving myth was created to present a false history to deny the horrors of American origins and later to invent a fake ideology coined “American Exceptionalism.” American Exceptionalism was derived from these false ideas, created by criminal or ignorant historians, which claim that America is an “Innocent Nation” while other nations may have blood on their hands. Nothing could be further from the real history of America and the truth about Thanksgiving. Today, many of us celebrate family and friends and want nothing to do with the invented narrative. We can always choose to provide our own meanings and, at the same time, educate our community about the lies.

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Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays

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Downtown San Antonio will sparkle this holiday season with an array of lights and holiday events. 

Set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most historic and charming walkways, five blocks of Houston Street will buzz with twinkling lights, decorations, entertainers, and vendors from Nov. 24 and runs through January 2. 

 Additionally, on Nov. 24, kick off the holiday festivities with the Annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Travis Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, food trucks, letters to Santa, giveaways, holiday crafts, a special visit from Santa, and a movie screening of “The Grinch.” The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Get front-row seats to the 42nd Annual Ford Holiday River Parade, which offers a spectacular one-hour parade along the San Antonio River Walk starting at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme, “Holiday Stories,” will kick off the San Antonio tradition. Always held the day after Thanksgiving, the parade and river lighting ceremony will feature 28 illuminated floats and over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands) illuminating the River Walk. The lights turn on from sundown to sunrise every day until the weekend following New Year’s Day. Seating ranges from $15 to $40. It is broadcast live at 7 p.m. at the Arneson River Theatre.

The Rotary Ice Rink, presented by Valero, will also return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. For more information, including hours of operation, pricing, and specials, visit (rotaryicerink.com).

For more events, go to (VisitSanAntonio.com).

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Black Life Texas

Black Soldiers’ Convictions Overturned – A Century Later!

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More than 100 years later, the U.S. Army recently overturned the convictions of the 110 Black soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment (also known as the Buffalo Soldiers), who were falsely found guilty following the World War I-era Houston Riots. 

The records of these soldiers will be corrected, to the extent possible, to characterize their military service as honorable. Seventeen of these men are buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a sign telling the story of these men to educate visitors about what happened. 

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said, “After a thorough review, the Board has found that these soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials. By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight.”

The Houston Riots took place on Aug. 23, 1917, following months of racial provocations against members of the 24th — including the violent arrest and assault of two Black soldiers. Following the assaults and amid rumors of additional threats to soldiers, a group of more than 100 Black soldiers seized weapons and marched into the city, where clashes erupted. The violence left 19 people dead.

In the months that followed, the Army convicted 110 soldiers in a process that was, according to historians, characterized by numerous irregularities. Ultimately, 19 men were executed in the largest mass execution of American soldiers by the U.S. Army. The first set of executions occurred in secrecy and within a day of sentencing, leading the Army to implement an immediate regulatory change that prohibited future executions without review by the War Department and the President.

In 2020 and 2021, the South Texas College of Law petitioned the Army to review the convictions. Shortly after, the Army received petitions from retired general officers requesting clemency for all 110 soldiers.

“As a Texas native, I was grateful to participate in this process early in my tenure at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, and I am proud that the Army has now formally restored honor to soldiers of the 3-24 and their families,” said Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo. “We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been deeply involved as this case has unfolded and is prepared to assist any family members upon receipt of the corrected records. Relatives of the soldiers may be entitled to benefits. Family members or other interested parties may request a copy of the corrected records from the National Archives and Records Administration, in accordance with NARA Archival Records Request procedures found at (archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records).

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