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Here’s What You Need To Know On Monday, October 2nd, 2023



Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts

Monday, October 2, 2023

Happy Birthday to:

Actor, Director, Professor Avery Brooks

U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson (GA)

Singer Brittany “Alabama Shakes” Howard

Singer Freddie Jackson

NBA Vet Tyson Chandler

Singer Mandisa

Happy 8th Birthday Yohana Oscar Joyner!

We Remember:

Slave Rebellion Leader Nat Turner, born in 1800

Civil Rights Leader Mahatma Gandhi, born in 1869

The First Black Astronaut, Air Force Major Robert Henry Lawrence, born in 1935

Attorney Johnnie Cochran, born October 2, 1937

Actor Moses Gunn, born 1929

Rapper DeShaun “Proof” Holton, born in 1973



1. House Democrats to the Rescue: Government Still in Business

House Lawmakers Work On Funding Deal As Possible Government Shutdown Looms Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


With the help of Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and House Democrats, Speaker Kevin MacCarthy (R-FL) was able to get a bill passed that kept the government open and federal employees working. Despite demands made by a group of conservative House members, McCarthy produced a short-term bill to keep the government fully funded for another 45 days. 


The successful passage in the House was due in large part by the 209 votes cast by Democrats. The bill then moved to the Senate. With just three hours to spare, the “Continuing Resolution” was passed, also in a bipartisan fashion, by a vote of 88-9. The bill moved to President Biden’s desk, where he signed it into law, just moments before the 11:59 deadline Saturday night.


With the “clean” bill proposed to Democrats by McCarthy, the minority party still needed time to make sure the proposal was indeed clean, and did not include items like a cost-of-living increase for members of Congress or money for border patrols. As Democrats scoured the bill, so did McCarthy’s opponents within the GOP.  This bill  also brought on the wrath of conservative Republicans, led by Matt Gaetz (R-FL). In a quick procedural move by McCarthy supporters, Gaetz was prevented from presenting a motion to vacate. In other words, to call for a vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker. This goes back to January, when after 14 rounds of voting for Speaker of the House, McCarthy couldn’t get the job done with the Republican majority. This led to the agreement  that it would only take one person to call for a motion to vacate or a call to remove McCarthy from the speakership. The agreement gave McCarthy the votes needed in the 15th round. 


What Was/Wasn’t in the Continuing Resolution:


News sites including CNBC reported, “The 71-page short-term bill, crafted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., allocates disaster relief funds, but does not include new financial assistance for Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia.” Also absent in the bill,  money for border security. 


Why You Need to Know: 


Once again, members of Congress kicked the can down the road, keeping the government open for another 45 days, until November 27, just days before Thanksgiving. If Speaker McCarthy is serious about being the adult in the room, let’s hope he can multitask: deal with Congressman Gaetz and others, as well as work on a long-term bill to keep the government running, not just a last minute, month-to-month extension. But if Gaetz is successful, that may not be McCarthy’s problem. The next few days are going to be interesting for political geeks…. and fight fans. There’s  no love lost between Matt Gaetz….and most of the House.


Late Sunday, Fox News reported, “Rep. Matt Gaetz’s own GOP colleagues are looking to boot him as he leads a push to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Long peeved by Gaetz, some Republicans are champing at the bit to expel the congressman if the House Ethics Committee investigating him finds wrongdoing. The investigation is said to center around allegations that include sexual misconduct, illicit drug use and potential public corruption. Gaetz has professed his innocence on the ethics probe, which is reportedly nearing its conclusion.“


This may be another opportunity for bipartisanship in the House of Representatives. Will Kevin McCarthy seek Democratic support in an attempt to retain his speakership? Or will he lend Republican support in passing the Speaker torch to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the leader of a unified Democratic caucus? Get your popcorn ready….



2. First Up in Donald Trump Cases: New York Fraud Trial

New York Grand Jury Votes To Indict Former President Trump Source:Getty

What You Need to Know: 


Donald Trump is expected to address charges in person Monday in the fraud case brought against him by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. The former president is scheduled to attend the opening day of the $250 million civil fraud trial.  Whether he will take the stand remains to be seen. 


Last week, Trump was dealt a serious setback with the decision handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron  of the New York State Supreme Court. Judge Engoron found Trump, members of his family, and the Trump Organization liable for fraudulently over-valuing his assets by as much as $2.2 billion. The Engoran decision stripped the businessman and family members of several key properties, including Trump Tower in New York City.


The lawsuit initiated by Attorney General James accused Donald Trump of “staggering fraud.” During a September 2022 press conference, James referenced Trump’s best-selling book, “Claiming you have money you do not have does not amount to the Art of the Deal. It’s the Art of the Steal.”


The outcome of Monday’s trial will determine the penalties he and his companies must pay for the fraud charges. AG James is seeking $250 million in damages, along with an order barring Donald Trump, Sr., Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump from running a business in the state of New York. 


The New York Times reported, nearly a dozen properties “owned or partly controlled by Mr. Trump and his organization may be subject to Justice Engoron’s ruling.”


Among those properties, Trump Tower and Trump’s triplex apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley and the Trump National Golf Club Westchester.


Why You Need to Know:


Even as Judge Engoron has ruled that Donald Trump and others have fraudulently overvalued almost a dozen Trump New York properties, Attorney General Letitia James will present her case Monday, to prove charges she brought including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements and insurance fraud. According to legal scholars, if proven in the upcoming trial, the judge will rule on the $250 million in fines and whether:


 1-Donald Trump and his sons will be barred permanently from conducting business in New York state, as well as 

2-preventing the Trump organization from engaging in commercial real estate transactions for five years.

3-preventing the Trump organization from getting a loan from a New York state bank for five years. The Trump Empire in the Empire state could be a ghost of its former structures. 



3. Diagnosed With ADHD

ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder concept; mental health Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


It was the headline of the week: Rates of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children are skyrocketing. This data, from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, said 11 percent of children aged four to 17 have the disorder, a 16 percent jump since 2007 and a 53 percent rise over the last decade. The most dramatic increase was among high school boys; one in five are said to have ADHD, which is characterized by an inability to pay attention for extended time periods, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and difficulties forming relationships.

Another study of nearly 850,000 5-to-11-year olds found that African-American children are diagnosed with ADHD at much higher rates than children of other races and ethnicities.

What’s almost as troubling as these diagnosis statistics? About two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD are being treated with stimulants such as Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin, which come with significant side effects, including addiction, anxiety, suppressed growth and serious weight loss. (READ MORE)



4. “Who Shot Ya”? Arrest Made in the Murder of Tupac Shakur

1994 Source Awards Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Arguably one of the best rappers of all time and one of my personal favorites, Tupac Amaru Shakur, created thought-provoking lyrics and controversy in his music as well as his personal life. Shakur was shot in a drive-by and died of his injuries. “Who Shot Ya?”,is what we all wanted to know. The crime has remained unsolved until now. Duane Davis, now 60 years old, was arrested and charged with Shakur’s murder September 29.


On the night of September 7, 1996, 25-year-old Shakur was in Las Vegas, Nevada, and attended the Bruce Sheldon vs. Mike Tyson boxing match at MGM Grand with Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records. 


Surveillance video showed Shakur and members of his crew fighting Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson after one of Knight’s associates told Shakur he had tried to rob them earlier that year. After the fight, Shakur changed clothes in his hotel room and the group drove in a convoy to Knight’s Club 662.


At 11:15pm, a car pulled up on the passenger side of the car Knight was driving with Shakur as his passenger and fired multiple rounds, striking Shakur four times and grazing Knight in the head. Shakur died of internal bleeding, respiratory failure, and cardiopulmonary arrest due to his gunshot wounds.


“…Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” said Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson, “and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.” In 2019, Davis said in his tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he provided the gun used in the drive-by shooting. Davis also admitted this in interviews. Authorities said Davis’ public comments revived the investigation.


The grand jury also voted to add a sentencing enhancement to the murder charge for gang activity that could add up to 20 additional years if he’s convicted.


Why You Need to Know: 


Tupac’s murder shocked the world. Some believed his death was faked and he was hiding in Cuba. Photos of an older Cuban man who looked like Shakur recently went viral. Now that there’s an arrest, Tupac can finally rest in peace.



5. God’s Will

Arundel Cathedral Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


GOD’S WILL is His conscious, deciding, willing and choosing to do something.  Theologians have discussed for years GOD’S WILL having two parts: His Secret Will and His Revealed Will.  God’s Secret Will refers to Him being sovereign and ruler over all.  Nothing happens outside of His Perfect Will.  It is called His Secret Will because we don’t know what it is until it happens.  Then there is His Revealed Will.  That is His Will that is in the Bible.  All the rules and regulations that are laid out in the good book, for example, The Ten Commandments.  They are a part of the Revealed Will of God.  He lays it out, plan and simple.   No misunderstanding there.


No, we tend to focus on God’s Secret Will. What does God want me to do in this situation and that situation?  You can’t get inside God’s head.  Your best bet is to focus on the Revealed Will of God because that is right in front of your face and you don’t have to guess what He wants you to do in those situations.  So, TRUST God’s Secret Will and focus on God’s Revealed Will. 


You may ask, “How do you seek God’s Will?”

1.  Surrender your personal desires. It’s not about you. It’s about Him and His Will for you. 

2.  Study His Word.  Get more familiar with His Revealed Will in the Bible. 

3.  Spend more time in prayer and developing a deeper relationship with Him. 


Now, we do have FREE WILL.  That is a gift from God.  Deuteronomy 30:19 reads, “I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s Blessing and God’s curse, and I call Heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.  Choose life.”  But here is the difference between your Free Will and God’s Will. God’s will may cost you something right now, but pay you big dividends later.  Your Will will probably get you instant gratification, but cost you greatly later.  Your choice.  Free Will and God can override Free Will.  He has the final say so over EVERYTHING so your Free Will decisions may be a waste of time. 


Look, I know we think we’re grown, but we’re not.  We will ALWAYS be God’s Children, so it is in our best interest to do our very best to follow Daddy’s Will and thank Him, for His Will ALWAYS being good.


With Agape Love,

Willie Mae

6. Yoga Foundations: Upward Dog

Woman doing Yoga, Pilates. Slim girl doing yoga. Source:Getty

Upward dog yoga pose is an excellent pose to stretch tight hip flexors, shoulders and torso muscles. It’s also beneficial in building strength in the butt, arms and wrists.  

How to Do Upward Dog
Come to plank or push up position on the floor. Lower down half way then, as you shift your weight on the tops of your feet, begin to push your torso up. Press your shoulders down away from your ears while pushing your chest forward. Push the palms of your hands down with your fingers spread wide for added balance.
Keep the neck long and look up towards the sky. Squeeze the butt muscles and, with the thighs on the floor, press the legs firmly on the floor.  

Learn more at (READ MORE)



7. Little Known Black History Fact: The Forgotten Black Cowboys of the Wild West

Photographic Postcard Portrait Of Two Men In Western Attire Source:Getty

Though in many ways Hollywood has whitewashed the Wild West, some of the first settlers were freed slaves who traveled west and became the Black cowboys of the American frontier. Black cowboys helped settle the Old West, yet their contributions are rarely in the history books.

Despite what you might have seen in movies, the American West was settled by a large portion of freed slaves. In the 1870s and 1880s, as many as 25 percent of the 35,000 cowboys in the Old West were Black cowboy

Freed slaves headed west to find their fortunes among cattle ranches and rows of crops. As slaves, Blacks were in charge of crops and took care of cows for their White owners, and the availability of land presented a new opportunity for many to escape the South. (READ MORE)


8. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Hold HBCU Roundtable Discussion

President Biden Delivers Commencement Address At Howard University Source:Getty

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris recently held a roundtable discussion with the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


The event included key figures including Dr. Tony Allen, Chair of the Board of Advisors and Delaware State University President, and Mayor Steve Benjamin, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.


The topic of discussion during the meeting was the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring HBCUs receive the same kinds of investments as other universities and remain affordable for students.