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Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Happy Birthday to:

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

Human Rights Activist H. Rap Brown aka Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, born Hubert Brown

NBA Great Derrick Rose

Rapper and actress Lil Mama, born Niatia Jessica Kirkland

Songwriter, Actor, Minister Clifton Davis

Rapper, Singer Rich Homie Quan born Dequantes Devontay Lamar

Singer, Songwriter Shontelle

Actress Ella Balinska

We Remember:

Civil Rights Leader C. Delores Tucker, born in 1927

Civil Rights Leader James Forman, born in 1928

1. “The Office of Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is Hereby Declared Vacant”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 3: Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


History was made Tuesday afternoon as for first time the Speaker of the House of the U.S. House of Representatives was voted out of his position.  A vote was held in 1910, but unlike Tuesday, it did not pass. 


The battle lines that were sketched out in pencil last week were clearly drawn out in ink Tuesday as the plan sped up to remove Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the position of Speaker of the House. The day’s events didn’t appear to surprise McCarthy as he spoke with reporters Tuesday morning, “I think Matt (Gaetz) has planned this all along.” When asked if he (McCarthy) was calling the bluff of Gaetz, McCarthy answered in the affirmative.

2. Court Stops Exclusive Black Women-Owned Business Funding Program

Supreme Court hears arguments in Harvard, UNC affirmative action cases Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


In an important development, a court in Atlanta has temporarily put a halt to a program by a venture capital fund that only provides funding to businesses led by Black women. This decision comes as part of a legal dispute led by Edward Blum’s American Alliance for Equal Rights, known for challenging policies involving race, including those in college admissions.

The American Alliance for Equal Rights asked the court to stop the Fearless Fund’s program, which they argue is racially exclusive. The court agreed with Blum’s group, suggesting that the Fearless Fund’s grant program may have violated the 1866 Civil Rights Act. This law prohibits racial bias in contracting. The Fearless Fund claimed they had the right to express the economic importance of Black women through charitable activities via the First Amendment; however, the court disagreed, putting a halt to their revolutionary philanthropic activities.

However, it’s important to know that this decision is not without controversy. In a prior ruling, a different judge argued that the Fearless Fund had the right to express its belief in the economic importance of Black women through charitable activities, citing First Amendment protections.

The Fearless Fund, which aims to address the underrepresentation of Black women in venture capital funding, has invested nearly $27 million in 40 businesses led by minority women since its start in 2019. In 2022, businesses owned by Black women received less than 1% of the $288 billion given out by venture capital firms.

The Fearless Fund also provides grants, including the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, which offers $20,000 in grants and resources to Black women-owned small businesses. The lawsuit by Blum’s group argued that the fund misused a Civil War-era law meant to protect formerly enslaved Black people from racial bias.

Why You Need to Know:

This decision is a racially targeted attack predicated by the culture wars on the hill. How dare the courts interrupt philanthropy and business when all we’re doing is trying to look after our own. I hope true justice is delivered and the Fearless Fund can continue.



3. Think Before Eating. Ward Off Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's disease awareness month is observed every year in november. November is alzheimer's disease awareness month. Vector template for banner, greeting card, poster with background. Vector illustration. Source:Getty

What You Need to Know: 


Diets designed to boost brain health, targeted largely at older adults, are a new, noteworthy development in the field of nutrition.

The latest version is the Canadian Brain Health Food Guide, created by scientists in Toronto. Another, the MIND diet, comes from experts at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Both diets draw from a growing body of research suggesting that certain nutrients—mostly found in plant-based foods, whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetable oils and fish—help protect cells in the brain while fighting harmful inflammation and oxidation.

Both have yielded preliminary, promising results in observational studies. The Canadian version—similar to the Mediterranean diet but adapted to Western eating habits—is associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet—a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet—lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53 percent.

4. Pope Francis Suggests Gay Couples Could be Blessed in Vatican

Pope Francis celebrates a mass for the opening of the Synod of Bishops Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Pope Francis has suggested there could be ways to bless same-sex unions, responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to affirm church teaching on homosexuality.


The Vatican on Monday published a letter Frances wrote to the cardinals on July 11 after receiving a list of five questions (dubia). Francis suggests that such blessings could be studied if they did not confuse the blessing with sacramental marriage. 


Several LGBTQ+ Catholics say the letter “significantly advances” efforts to make LGBTQ+ Catholics welcomed in the church and represented “one big straw towards breaking the camel’s back” in their marginalization.

5. FOUND SAFE: Matteson, IL: Jasmyne Hardy, 25

Jasmyne Hardy has been missing from Matteson, IL since September 17. The 25-year-old’s family is extremely concerned for her safety. She suffers from seizures and is without her medication.

Jasmyne has a tattoo on her bicep that says “Kiwi Jack” and another on her forearm that reads “Deborah.” She has a nose piercing, ear piercing and her hair is shaved in the back of her head with a tail.

Anyone with information on Jasmyne’s disappearance should go to the Black and Missing Foundation website.



6. The Power of Herbs: Chamomile

Chamomile Blossoms in a Verdant Meadow Source:Getty

Chamomile is one of the oldest and most widely used medicinal plants in the world. It’s a versatile herb with a wide array of advantages for both physical and mental well-being. Here, we discuss the many benefits of chamomile, and the science behind its soothing properties.

Calming and Stress Reduction
One of the most well-known and widely appreciated benefits of chamomile is its ability to induce relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. Chamomile tea, in particular, is a popular choice for winding down after a long day. The herb contains compounds such as apigenin and luteolin that bind to GABA receptors in the brain, leading to a calming effect similar to that of anti-anxiety medications.

Improved Sleep
Chamomile’s soothing properties extend to improving sleep quality. Consuming chamomile tea before bedtime can promote better sleep by relaxing the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is an excellent natural remedy for those struggling with insomnia or irregular sleep patterns.

Read more at (READ MORE)



7. Little Known Black History Fact: Hiram R. Revels

Lithographic Print Of Hiram Revels Source:Getty

The first Black man elected to Congress was nearly blocked from taking his seat.

Over the next decade, 15 more Black men would take their seats in the House and Senate as Reconstruction allowed a radical, if brief, transformation of government.


Hiram Rhodes Revels arrived on Capitol Hill to take his seat as the first Black member of the U.S. Congress in 1870. But first, the Mississippi Republican faced Democrats determined to block him.


The Constitution requires senators to hold citizenship for at least nine years, and they argued Revels had only recently become a citizen with the 1866 Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. Before that, the Supreme Court had ruled in its 1857 Dred Scott decision that Black people weren’t U.S. citizens.


This technicality wasn’t actually their main issue with Revels. At the time, the Democrats were the party of White southern men, and they simply didn’t want any Black men in Congress. (READ MORE)



8. Bowie State University And Kevin Durant Family Foundation Unveil Renovated Gym

Bowie State University Feature on Bowie State basketball coach Luke D'Alessio who once played and co Source:Getty

Kevin Durant and the Durant Family Foundation’s $500,000 pledge to Bowie State University (BSU) last year has come to fruition as the university unveiled the newly renovated basketball facility last week.


BSU held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new court in the A.C. Jordan Arena and it was attended by Kevin’s mother and head of the foundation, Wanda Durant.


“When I walked into the gym I wasn’t expecting this,” Wanda said. “It was so bright, revived, refreshed. It brought back memories of when my sons played here in the early years.”


The donation provided upgrades to the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex, including a new basketball court, expanded seating capacity, upgraded bleachers, and a refurbished press box. (READ MORE)