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Commentary: African American Scientists and Inventors
by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1

William Cordozo born in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 1905, came from a prominent family of educators and politicians; his father, Francis Cardozo, Jr., was a high school principal and his grandfather, Francis Cardozo, was a prominent D.C. area politician and educator. Cardozo attended the public schools of the District of Columbia and then went to Hampton Institute in Virginia.

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He later earned his A.B. (1929) and M.D. (1933) degrees at Ohio State University. Upon his graduation in 1935, Cardozo was awarded a two-year fellowship in pediatrics at Children's Memorial Hospital and Provident Hospital in Chicago. This was the beginning of his research on sickle cell anemia. With the aid of a grant from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he published a pioneering study "Immunologic Studies in Sickle Cell Anemia" in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Cardozo’s findings in sickle cell anemia concluded that the disease was largely familial and inherited. In addition, he discovered that it was found almost exclusively among people of African descent. Further research concluded that not all people having sickle cells were anemic, that sickle cell disease wasn’t always fatal and that no successful treatment had been found. His findings are still valid to this day.

In 1937 Cardozo started his private practice in Washington, D.C. In the same year he was appointed part-time instructor in pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine and Freedmen's Hospital. He would later be promoted to clinical assistant professor and clinical associate professor of pediatrics.....Read More

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                  News by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor

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Faeces processed to produce valuable fertiliser for crops and new forests – and eliminate source of disease. The Guardian: Haiti recycles human waste in fight against cholera epidemic.
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t's a modern-day alchemy that is, on a small scale at least, helping Haitians turn something deadly into something valuable.

"If we can take all the poop that's making people sick right now," said Dr Sasha Kramer as she stuck a thermometer into a large mound of faecal waste in the middle of Troutier, Port-au-Prince's city dump, "and turn it into this really valuable resource that could be used for reforestation or for increased agricultural production, then you really take a problem and turn it into a solution."

Every week, Soil (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) collects the human waste from 56 dry toilets built in camps for displaced earthquake victims, and mixes it with chips of sugar cane bagasse, a byproduct of local rum production.

"It's plenty hot," said Kramer, pointing to the thermometer needle at 60C (140F). "Cholera would be dead in less than a second."

Haiti is trying to fight what has exploded into the worst cholera epidemic in modern history, with 57% of global cholera cases last year concentrated on this tiny half-island. Cholera is an easily treatable, yet deadly, waterborne disease that spreads through faeces-infected water.

Dry-compost toilets are a low-cost way of preventing human waste from infecting lakes and streams in a country without proper water supply and sewerage.


A woman offers water to her son in a clinic set up to treat victims of cholera. More than half of global cholera cases occur in Haiti. Photograph: Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty

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CBC on immigration reform. ColorLines: Black Lawmakers Demand an End to Prison-to-Deportation Pipelin.
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Washington’s renewed push for immigration reform comes fast on the heels of an election that positioned Latinos as the new deciders. But in all the post-election buzz and the Beltway’s bipartisan agreement that overhauling immigration is the best way to snag Latino votes, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Immigration is, of course, a multiracial issue. And it’s not just a matter of votes but one of justice.

Perhaps last on the list of groups associated with the current immigration debate are the nearly 3.3 million black people who live in the U.S. but weren’t born here. They make up only 9 percent of the immigrant population, a proportion that doesn’t lend itself to political expediency.    

Despite the optics, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has made overhauling the system a focus in its official policy agenda for the year. (The others are voter protection and fighting poverty.) It also formed a task force co-chaired by Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a member of the House Judiciary committee—a committee that should hold significant sway in any immigration bill.

The CBC’s immigration reform priorities include a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants and for non-citizens in the United States on temporary visas. Caucus members add that they want to strengthen worker protections and improve conditions for low-income laborers in general.

“If employers continue to break the law by paying people under the table and [using] them as shadow workers, that lowers the quality of life for all workers,” Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), a co-chair of the CBC immigration task force, tells Colorlines.com. “That’s particularly true for African American workers who are often in the same situation as those immigrants.”



Nicolas Stewart (C), 11, originally from Jamaica, looks on during a 2009 citizenship ceremony in Queens, New York. Children from 12 countries became citizens there. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Innocent man freed after 14 Years in prison. NBC (Bay area): Wrongly Convicted Man "Truly Happy" After 14 Years in Prison.
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Johnny Williams spent 14 years in prison for an attempted rape he never committed. On Friday, a judge overturned his conviction. And on Tuesday, the 37-year-old Williams spoke publicly for the first time.

"I'm truly happy," Williams said in a one-on-one interview at Santa Clara University. That's where a team of students and lawyers comprising the Northern California Innocence Project helped prove that the DNA on a 9-year-old's T-shirt did not belong to him. The DNA is what lead to his 1998 attempted rape arrest.

"Everything happens for a reason," he said.

This is the second innocent person the Innocence Project has exonerated this year, and its 16th victory since its creation in 2001. The class at Santa Clara University also helped free Ronald Ross, 51, who was convicted in 2006 for an attempted murder, and was released at the end of February, when the judge dismissed the case.



Johnny Williams spent 14 years in prison for an attempted rape he never committed. On Friday, a judge overturned his conviction. And on Tuesday, the 37-year-old Williams spoke publicly for the first time. He said he was "truly happy." Kris Sanchez reports.

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Jason Silverstein presents evidence that profiling, beyond just raising legal issues, also carries health risks. The Atlantic: How Racism Is Bad for Our Bodies.
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Trial in the federal class action lawsuit on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al, begins on March 18. At stake is whether the controversial tactic is a racial profiling practice, which violates civil and constitutional rights. Filed by four plaintiffs who were stopped and frisked, the suit represents the entire class of people who have been racially profiled.

But racial profiling is not only a danger to a person's legal rights, which guarantee equal protection under the law. It is also a danger to their health.

A growing literature shows discrimination raises the risk of many emotional and physical problems. Discrimination has been shown to increase the risk of stress, depression, the common cold, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and mortality. Recently, two journals -- The American Journal of Public Health and The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race -- dedicated entire issues to the subject. These collections push us to consider how discrimination becomes what social epidemiologist Nancy Krieger, one of the field's leaders, terms "embodied inequality."

A breakout moment in the study of discrimination and health came in 1988, when the CDC recorded a disturbing disparity in black-white infant mortality. In response, TheAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine published a special supplement, "Racial Differences in Preterm Delivery: Developing a New Paradigm." What was this new paradigm? By this time, we already knew there were significant racial disparities in health. But these scholars offered a new explanation for them. What they argued is that we must focus on the everyday experience of these women -- and think about how social stressors might be harming their health, even causing preterm delivery.

Merely the anticipation of racism, and not necessarily the act, is enough to trigger a stress response.

A new study by Kathryn Freeman Anderson in Sociological Inquiry adds evidence to the hypothesis that racism harms health. To study the connection, Anderson analyzed the massive 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which includes data for other 30,000 people. Conceptually, she proposes a simple pathway with two clear steps. First, because of the prevalence of racial discrimination, being a racial minority leads to greater stress. Not surprisingly, Anderson found that 18.2 percent of black participants experienced emotional stress and 9.8 percent experienced physical stress. Comparatively, only 3.5 and 1.6 percent of whites experienced emotional and physical stress, respectively.




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Straight Up: Let's get real -- and start talking. The Root: Quiet Bias: The Racism of 2013.
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Let's be honest: Our culture is still deeply suffused with anti-black bias, despite an African-American president in office. National surveys (pdf) continue to reveal commonly held stereotypes of African Americans as less hardworking and less intelligent than whites. Political resentments of blacks remain a centerpiece -- indeed, a genuine third rail -- of American domestic politics: Do anything to seriously activate these resentments, and you run the risk of immediate political electrocution. The last time we saw any major political figure come close to touching the rail, of activating these political resentments against blacks, occurred when Obama offered his off-the-cuff remarks about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Root's editor-in-chief, by the Cambridge, Mass., police.

The level of negative stereotypes and attitudes tapped in polls and surveys may only reveal the most easily observable symptoms of the illness. A number of powerful psychological experiments show the extent to which blackness for Americans is intimately tied to images of violence and danger. Indeed, one of the most depressing lines of research suggests a core underlining psychological association of blackness with apes, an ugly, old racist trope from the age of the Great Chain of Being, in which the African was seen as closer to primitive animals in the hierarchy of species (pdf).

To be sure, this whole issue of racism had a more straightforward quality in the past. We did not have to resort to complex surveys and experiments to reveal its depth. There used to be something loud and obvious and terrible about racism -- circumstances with some ironic virtues. A visible and openly declared enemy is so much more directly confronted than one that operates stealthily.

And that is the dilemma of racism in our times. We have hints, suggestions, indications, if you will, of racial bias all around us today. But it is typically unspoken, if not altogether invisible, much of the time. And where it's not invisible, there is often a plausible cover story that can be told as to why racially differential treatment was somehow justifiable or legitimate.



Police act out proper stop-and-frisk procedures in new NYPD training. (Daily News archive/Getty Images)

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Welcome to the porch, where it's always warm, and the conversations are just fine.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Black Kos on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Black Kos community.

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