What happened when I met up with Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs at a black-owned juice bar in Bed Stuy? Lots of laughs, lots of truths about the hardship of growing up homeless with depression, and–a few pleasant surprises! Watch my interview with the champ and follow me on Twitter and both of us on Instagram @Chevonmedia + @Cannon_Briggs! Be sure to check out Shannon’s website, LetsGoChamp.com, where you can get his signature shirts, hats, hoodies and more.
Mind Body and Roll! is a pop-up roller skating rink and alternative health and wellness party set to appear at Brooklyn Fire Proof on Saturday, August 10, 2013. The party is FREE and open to all ages from 3pm-8pm. After 8pm, the venue is 21+ with a $10 cover. There is FREE evening entry with RSVP BEFORE 11PM to MindBodyRollBK@gmail.com.
You can bring your own skates or take advantage of $10 skate rentals. There will be Wellness Talks, Skating Lessons, Dance Workshops, Raffles & Giveaways. Check out the address and schedule below.
BROOKLYN FIRE PROOF | 119 Ingraham Street | btwn Porter & Knickerbocker | 2 Blocks NE of Morgan L Stop
- 3:00PM SKATING LESSONS | By SkateTruck NYC
- 4:00PM Eating for Energy | Finding Energy From The Foods You Eat By Intergrated Nutrion Certified Health Coach Lucy Chen
- 5:00PM Know Your Rights | From Dealing With Police to Starting Your Own Business By NYU Law Student Jeffrey Silberman
- 6:00PM MAXIMUM MUSCLE FUNCTION | Applied Kinesiologist and Chiropractor Dr. Brian Blatt/ Axis Chiropractic and Fitness Wizard, Bodywork Superhero John O’Mahoney/Body Art BK
- 7:00PM SKATING LESSONS | By SkateTruck NYC
- 8:00PM Gaga/PEOPLE | Gain Knowledge & Self-Awareness, Discover and Strengthen Our Engines Through MovementThrough Movement Class is open to everyone
- 9:00PM Total Life Remix | Breathe for Energy by Nutrition and Lifestyle Expert Monica Aparicio
- 10:00PM Rink Closes, House Music Dance Party Begins
You can bookmark the Facebook event page here.
SOUL FOOD JUNKIES – a Byron Hurt Film
I laughed and learned a lot during this film. Watch it with the family this January!
Filmmaker Byron Hurt looks at the past and future of soul food — from its roots in Western Africa, to its incarnation in the American South, to its presence in modern communities of color.
Soul Food Junkies also looks at the socioeconomics of the modern American diet, and how the food industry profits from making calories cheap, but healthy options expensive and hard to find.
How can you attain optimum health with minimum resources? This book shows us how, in plain English. Hood Health is an anthology of health experts from urban communities throughout the Americas, offering practical health solutions. Topics include diet, exercise, psychological wellness, reproductive health, environmental toxins, urban survival, and budgeting.
Black and Brown people in America are two to six times more likely to die from health-related complications than their white peers, even when you look at people whose income is the same. Why? What is happening in urban communities? And what can be done to change it? The answers are in this book.
The Hood Health Handbook is an COMPREHENSIVE source of information and insight on EVERY health issue faced by the urban community. In plain language, the authors draw on well-known examples from urban culture to illustrate what works…and what doesn’t. Focusing on natural and affordable alternatives to Western medicine, the authors provide recommendations that anyone can put to practice. Don’t wait to pick this book up until it’s too late.
Volume One focuses on the status of health in the urban community, the “wrong foods” that make us unhealthy, the history of diet and healthcare among Black and brown people (focusing on how things changed for the worst), the diseases and illnesses that plague our communities, and holistic (natural) methods to heal and treat ourselves into wellness.
Hood Health Handbook Audio Snippets
Video snippets, below
Filmmaker Byron Hurt has managed to make a documentary about how his soul-food-loving father died of pancreatic cancer and at the same time how America is battling obesity and weight-related diseases. “Soul Food Junkies,” a 65-minute journey through the origins of America’s love of fatty food, was prescreened this week at a theater at Lincoln Center in New York.
I tried to prepare myself for Reggie’s passing in advance but I didn’t prepare enough. My heart aches for his children.
Instead of joining in the public mourning that has become customary on social media, I succumbed to feeling robbed of an inspirational person; someone I dearly wanted to walk a longer road with. I also saw and felt there were people who didn’t honor him in life, trying to social-honor him in death. Realizing my own light was dimming, I signed off and focused on reflecting on my feelings, and letting them wash over me by observing and naming each emotion I was feeling – without judging myself for having any of them.
One of the main emotions that brought stinging tears to my eyes was this feeling of the culture (the people) being cheated. I turned that over in my head. Grief can be so unreasonable. I realized the feeling was because Reggie touched SO MANY people and was pushing (himself and everyone in this thing of ours) forward. I felt a sense of loss for the community and the culture because I couldn’t stop wondering what else might have happened if Reggie were allowed to be on earth for a few more years. Who else would he touch?
But this is life. None of us are here to stay. Not in the physical form, at least.
I imagine it doesn’t help that one of my parents has cancer and, I for a number of reasons, have been keeping that secret largely to myself.
Today was a better day. I cried but meditated on what I might learn from how I felt and what Reggie did for all of us. TTK took time out to comfort me which was dope. As I scrolled through old messages, I saw something Combat said to me that resonated. We had been talking about how we always seem to… see each other at the right place or time. Or be on the same wavelength about certain topics. “Trust the Universe,” Reggie said. “It never lies.”
As I stared at the quote I started to think about how much I missed another O.G. – Schott Free. He’s alive and well, but I’d been rifling through my newly updated phone the previous week, (unsuccessfully) trying to find where I saved his new number. Perhaps Schott crossed my mind again in this moment because I’ve had similar conversations with him. Real shit. O.G. shit. Honest shit. And the loss of Reggie Reminded me of that. Right then, I decided to turn Reggie’s quote into a graphic to inspire myself hereafter.
Suddenly, TTK walked over and handed me his phone, I looked at TTK quizzically. “Who is it?”
“It’s Schott Free,” he said.
Incredulous at how the universe was again, working, I took the phone and had a conversation I’d been needing to have. I’m thankful Schott called. He was right on time. And I mean, Right On Time. We talked for quite a while, and I committed to not falling out of touch. It seems I fall out of touch with my O.G.s (men and women, peers and elders) when they seem far from me or when I assume (wrongly) that they are too busy to lend an ear. I gotta stop doing that. Distance is nothing in this age of digital communication, and half the time, when I am thinking of someone, the universe has them thinking of me too. Finally, we hung up and I regained this feeling of lightness and some optimism. I thought about how Reggie tweeted about wanting to be remembered for his Blackness.
Here are a few things I know.
- I’m better at meditating on a loss, finding a lesson in it, and writing about it than I am at “tweeting through it” and that, is ok.
- Combat Jack touched my life in ways I’m still working to comprehend.
I can never thank A. King, Jonathan Mena and Combat enough for connecting with me, for believing in me, in TTK, in Hip-Hop, in Black culture.
- Combat was into helping our people by sharing knowledge. That included things like accepting my pitch to book a money coach (and friend) Tonya Rapley on the show. They even developed a relationship from there. His ability to make space for things we need to hear, should not be understated. We need more of it.
- Combat was also becoming aggressively introspective, based on a belief that therapy, meditation and other forms of wellness practices are what many Black people can benefit from. I shared many similar views in this area and we exchanged wellness tips. Let’s all keep that going.
- Part of interrogating his own beliefs involved doing a lot of listening to Black women (in public and private), as well as confronting any ways that he may have contributed to social norms that harm women, or behaviors that tacitly supported homophobia.
- He also made space on his show to get real about relationships sometimes. And to talk more about healing and less about the divisive battle of the sexes that we have been fed. This man was pushing himself and challenging us to do the same. Some of these conversations occurred on the show. Some of these conversations were private ones we had.
In a time where macho or man vs. women attitudes can hurt women, hurt men themselves, and lead to behavior that isn’t productive, I felt Reggie spoke for the many men in my life who seek to exercise a balance in their masculinity. One that doesn’t disrespect divine feminine energy, but embraces that, and celebrates healthy masculinity as well. Because I see a need for Black people to heal with each other, I will admit– I despaired yesterday. I was angry at the world. Felt like a voice in that fight was taken. I felt just as angry as when Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson died unexpectedly of cancer.
But guess what?
None of us are here to stay.
There are things I told Combat about. Things he encouraged me to follow up on. Actions he expected to see me take. If none of us are here to stay, then I think I’d better get started, in a hurry. In that way, perhaps I can seek to honor the energy he poured into my life.
Peace and love to Reggie’s family. To all of his beautiful children and their mom. To King, Mena, Pete, Dallas, Just Blaze, Benhameen,.. just ALL of his friends and comrades in music, media and private life. We are so proud of you. You have held the mantle up. You are amazing.
To every person he touched in a positive way. To everyone who intends to keep the tenets of his legacy going. May peace and a burning fire to make Reggie proud, be upon you.
“It never stops.”