4.10 | Monday, Jan. 9, 2012
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JAN. 8, 2012 -- We call depression "the blues" in the black community. We have been taught -- at least in the past, and, to a certain extent even now -- to shrug off this mental state. For many of us, it is not just a fact of life. It is a way of life.
When bluesmen used to sing, "Every day I have the blues" or "It ain't nothing but the blues" or similar words from hundreds of songs, they do more than mouth lyrics. They voice a cultural attitude. They state an accepted truth at the heart of their music: Having the blues goes along with being black in America.
From the time we are young boys, black males have ingrained into us an idea of manhood that requires a silence about feelings -- a withholding of emotion, an ability to bear burdens alone and a refusal to appear "weak." The internal pressure to adhere to this concept of masculinity only increases as we sometimes experience various forms of racism in a society that historically has sought to deny us our manhood.
wall that often keeps black men away from psychotherapy goes along with
external barriers built just as high, if not higher. Mental health practitioners
are overwhelmingly white with the proportion of black psychiatrists, psychologists
and psychoanalysts estimated at less than 3 percent of the nation's total.
This means that even if black men were to break through the self-imposed
barriers and seek professional help for mental issues, they may have difficulty
in finding someone with whom they can build a rapport and with whom they
feel can relate and trust.
This feeling of comfort is what allows a patient to reveal his most intimate secrets. As Dr. Richard Mouzon, a prominent black clinical psychologist, puts it, "Many of us grow up feeling that it is dangerous to give up too much of yourself to the white man."
According to a new study reported on by the " Health Behavior News Service," jobless African-American men appear to be at a greater risk of suffering from depression. While the issue of unemployment offers at least one possible explanation for why the symptoms of depression might be experienced, more puzzling is the fact that African-American men who were making more than $80,000 per year were still at a higher risk for depression.
Some 3,570 African-American men and women who experienced depressive episodes within the past year of their lives were studied. Men who made over $80,000 per year reported more symptoms of depression than those making less than $17,000 per year. However, unemployed black men were more likely to report depression during that year compared to employed men. Men who completed some college or beyond were less likely to experience depressive symptoms than those who did not complete high school. Women, on the other hand, did not appear to suffer the same rates of depression. Females who earned between $45,000 and $79,000 were less likely to report symptoms of depression than those with the least income. The study appeared in the journal "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology."
"One thing could be going on with African-American men with greater incomes," said the lead researcher, Dr. Darrell Hudson. "The more likely they are to work in integrated settings, the more likely they are to be exposed to racial discrimination. Racial discrimination can undermine some of the positive effects of socioeconomic position like the increased benefits of more income."
Black men feel that they have to be twice as good as other people, that you can't be weak because people will take advantage of you," said Dr. David Satcher, a former U.S. Surgeon General. "Those pressures work powerfully against a black male seeking treatment for depression and other mental illnesses."
While all mental illnesses often come wrapped in some sort of stigma or negative connotation, mental illnesses in black men are even more entangled. Historical racism and current cultural biases and expectations all play a part, mental health advocates say. Nearly two-thirds of African-Americans believe that mental illness is a shortcoming that can be overcome through prayer and faith, according to a study by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Certainly, prayer and faith may be helpful to someone suffering from mental illness, but is not a replacement for treatment by a professional.
The consequences of untreated mental illness can be dire. And the tragedy of the worst outcomes can be no greater than when the disorder is depression, one of the most common and treatable mental illnesses. The disease is painful, and potentially fatal, but 80 percent of those who get treatment get better. Yet, quite sadly, only 25 percent of those who need help get it.
African-American men are especially prone to put ourselves in mortal danger because we readily embrace the belief that we can survive depression by "riding out" the illness and allowing it to run its course. The internal walls we build to keep out the world, along with the walls that society sometimes builds to isolate us, cut us off from the help we need. So we suffer, and we suffer needlessly.
Where GOP presidential contenders should really visit
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
2012 -- Over the next two weeks as Republican presidential candidates
flirt with primary voters in South Carolina, it might benefit the state
and nation if they'd show up in places different than usual political
operating under the standard play book is going to opt for more populated
areas -- or GOP strongholds -- Greenville, Lexington, Charleston, Myrtle
Beach, Hilton Head Island or Florence -- so they can make the TV news
and get as much earned (also known as "free") media as possible.
you aren't getting earned media, it isn't worth your while," one
seasoned GOP veteran told us.
beauty of the primary system that America now has is that it starts out
in smaller states -- Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- where candidates
can meet "real voters" and shy away some from standard operating
So we asked
some folks from around the state to suggest places where candidates might
visit to learn more about how to be a better national leader. We asked,
"If you could buttonhole a GOP presidential candidate and take him
anywhere in South Carolina, where would you go and why?" Among the
answers -- plus some of our own:
A nonprofit executive suggested the Neck that connects Charleston and
North Charleston because it is a high-poverty area straddling wealth in
would encounter a third-world culture in a first-world country,"
she said, "and it's not right that we have those conditions in America."
South Carolina has the nation's 10th highest poverty rate with 17 percent
of residents living at or below the poverty line, according to the 2010
poor areas, often just a few miles from the million-dollar mansions or
country clubs where candidates generally have big fund-raisers, are endemic
of conditions dragging down the country. In South Carolina, candidates
can find such conditions -- rural areas in Allendale or Barnwell counties
and some urban parts of other metropolitan areas -- close to any traditional
campaign stop. (On a political note, reaching away from the comfortable
GOP base would likely score points for the candidate in a general election
-- and couldn't hurt in the primary.)
Another observer suggested that candidates visit the Savannah River
Plant outside Aiken to get a tour so they better understand important
issues surrounding nuclear waste and its legacy. Presidents, he explained,
are going to have to deal appropriately with storing and cleaning up messes
of the past.
Scott's Branch High School. An Upstate professor encouraged GOP candidates to visit Scott's Branch High School in Summerton to better understand how segregation impacted the state -- and how the past still haunts the present.
Branch is a school highlighted in the Briggs v. Elliott court case, one
of five consolidated into the Brown v. Board of Education in which the
U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal.
conditions in "Corridor of Shame" schools from Dillon County
to Jasper County along Interstate 95 generally are substandard to those
in more affluent areas of the state. By visiting Scott's Branch school,
the professor explained, candidates would better understand how a quality
education system is key for future generations to become more fully involved
in the country's economic system. In other words, a better education will
lead to better jobs for all, but if we don't invest in education, we won't
reap the rewards, particularly in rural areas.
could see how the One Laptop Per Child SC project empowered students with
digital learning tools. Students in pilot projects are learning in new
ways that integrate computers with traditional classrooms.
Contenders could learn how high-quality technical education really works
by fueling new skills, such as those who went on to work at the BMW auto
line: Candidates should get out of their political comfort zones and learn
from South Carolina over the next two weeks so they can be better candidates
-- and leaders -- for the future.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on the most famous Pig in the Lowcountry: Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company.
Founded in 1947 in Charleston, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company proudly serves customers at more than 100 stores throughout South Carolina and coastal Georgia. Piggly Wiggly offers the finest quality meats, cut to order by skilled, in-store butchers, more local produce than anyone in the state, and freshly prepared deli foods that satisfy the Southern soul. The Piggly Wiggly family provides legendary customer service, delivered every day by the Employee Owners of our 100 percent employee-owned company.
By using their Pig Card, customers earn Greenbax that returns incredible value by offering free gas, free groceries, free gift cards, and many other opportunities to cash in and save. Piggly Wiggly remains deeply committed to investing in the communities we serve by supporting not-for-profit organizations of all missions and sizes to enrich the regions quality of life. Piggly Wigglys roots run deep in the Lowcountry, and Mr. Pig invites Charleston Currents readers to invest in our local economy by shopping The Pig! More: http://www.thepig.net.
JAN. 9, 2011 -- A local artist and designer, Jennifer Mathis, has found a way to "extend the Beach Sweep beyond the one day clean-up," according to Susan Ferris Hill, coastal coordinator of Beach Sweep.
Mathis and students from the Charleston County School of the Arts have created two sculptures, one that looks like a stingray and another like a pelican, from the litter that was collected at the September Beach Sweep. The 7-foot-long stingray-looking sculpture is going to the S.C. Aquarium. The 9-foot-long pelican will debut at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo in February.
Some 3,000 volunteers picked up more than 19 tons of trash along the state's coast in September. More.
Also of note:
The Gibbes Museum of Art will kick off the opening of its special exhibition, "The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston, with a Jan. 20 symposium that celebrates the artist and spotlights the creative energy of the Charleston Renaissance to art between the two world wars.
"Rebirth, Refinement and Rivalry: A Charleston Renaissance Symposium," which will be moderated by Gibbes Executive Director Angela Mack, will feature five speakers, a roundtable discussion of art collectors and a signing of a new book, "The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty," edited by Gibbes curator Sara C. Arnold and Stephen G. Hoffius.
The Hutty exhibit will run from January 20 through April 22 before it travels to Greenville and Augusta, Ga. Also on January 20 is the opening of an exhibit of work by contemporary local realist Jill Hooper. More.
Zonta Club to honor four for fighting domestic violence
Assistant Solicitor Ellen Steinberg will receive the "Liza's Lifeline Person of the Year" award on January 28 from the Zonta Club of Charleston for making a difference in the lives of domestic violence victims during the organization's 2nd Annual Breaking the Silence Awards Gala.
"Many risk their lives by answering domestic disturbance calls; others fight their battle in the court rooms," said event chair Betsy Fraser. "For the most part, these individuals are not recognized for their tireless work and we want to rectify that."
Others to be recognized include:
Library launches Babygarten program
The Charleston County Public Library this month launched Babygarten, a new series of classes designed to teach pre-literacy skills for infants up to 18 months old.
The program is a nationally-recognized educational curriculum designed for caregivers and babies. Held in six-week-long sessions, groups meet weekly and use nursery rhymes, songs and books to emphasize early literacy skills needed for talking, reading and writing. Starting January 30, Babygarten classes will be offered weekly in the library's 10 branches. Attendance is free, but parents need to register due to class size limitations.
Trident Health has new logo
If something seems to be missing when you pass by a local HCA hospital or see one of its ads, it's just the word "system."
Trident Health has dropped the word from its logo, but says its facility names -- Trident Medical Center, Summerville Medical Center and Moncks Corner Medical Center -- will stay the same.
"The new identity mirrors how far Trident's hospitals have come over the last few years," said Todd Gallati, president and CEO.
Christopher Gustavus Memminger was born on Jan. 9, 1803, in Nayhingen, Württemberg, Germany, to Christopher Godfrey Memminger, an army quartermaster, and Eberhardina Elisabeth Kohler. Following his father's death, Memminger's family immigrated to Charleston, where his mother soon passed away. He was left in the Charleston Orphan House at age four and seven years later was adopted by future governor Thomas Bennett. Educated at South Carolina College, Memminger graduated second in his class in 1819. He began practicing law in 1824, the same year he became a naturalized citizen.
had an active interest in education and helped expand the mission of Charleston's
public schools beyond serving only paupers. He and his first wife, Mary
Wilkinson, married on Oct. 25, 1832, and had eight children.
Although Memminger would reach the height of his political career as a member of the Confederate cabinet, he was slow to convert to the secessionist cause. He opposed nullification in a satirical pamphlet, "The Book of Nullification" (1832).
elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives four years later
and served almost continuously to the outbreak of the Civil War, chairing
the Ways and Means Committee. He opposed separate state secession in 1850
and was a Unionist delegate to the southern rights convention in 1852.
Only after John Brown's raid did Memminger believe that separation was
necessary. He served as a special commissioner to Virginia in January
1860 to encourage that state to secede, and by the end of the year he
was vigorously promoting South Carolina's secession.
Memminger's skills were put to immediate use for the Confederacy, as he chaired the committee to draft the Confederacy's provisional constitution. Jefferson Davis tapped him to be secretary of the treasury in 1861, a position in which Memminger would have enormous difficulties, some of which were beyond his control. His plan to raise money through tariffs was hampered by the Union blockade, and the Confederate congress was reluctant to institute taxation when other sources of income proved useless. Other difficulties were self-imposed.
that the war would be short, he did not bother early to plan for the long
term; his ideological rigidity prevented him from suggesting that the
government sell cotton to pay bills (he feared that this would damage
private farmers); and he was considered a heavy-handed administrator and
was little liked by military officers desperate for funds. With inflation
spiraling out of control, he resigned on June 15, 1864, and moved to his
summer home in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where he remained until the
end of the war.
Pardoned in 1867, Memminger returned to Charleston to resume his law practice. Although he served one more term in the General Assembly, he never again became active in politics. Instead, he renewed his prewar interest in education, retiring from Charleston's school board in 1885 after more than three decades of service to the city. In 1868 Memminger helped found the Etiwan Phosphate Company, which pioneered the phosphate industry in the state. He also served as president of the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad.
wife died in 1878, and he married her sister, Sarah A. Wilkinson. Memminger
died on March 7, 1888, in Charleston, and was buried at his country home
in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
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© 2008-2012, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Holly Herrick's five go-to winter foods
When the temperature drops as it so often does in January in Charleston, my desire for hot, long-cooked and nurturing food goes up. Braised stews, pot pies, hearty soups and pasta are all winter-time favorites in my house. Here are five go-to winter dishes from my cookbooks that will light your appetite fire and warm you, heart and soul.
From "Southern Farmers Market" (Gibbs Smith, June 2009):
From "Tart Love
- Sassy, Savory and Sweet" (Gibbs Smith, October 2011):
From "Food Lovers' Guide to Charleston and Savannah" (Globe Pequot Press, December 2011):
Holly and her books with links direct to the publisher can be found at
her Web site: www.hollyherrick.com
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
(NEW) Good barbecue. To celebrate the opening of Bighorn's Sports Grill in North Charleston, grillmaster and barbecue champion Kevin Cowan will cook his famous ribs and pulled pork today at a Big BBQ and Beer Bash. The restaurant, which opened last month, is at 7832 Rivers Avenue. Reservations are recommended by calling (843) 302-0963. The restaurant is open today 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. More.
(NEW) Aquarium volunteer training., 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Jan. 12, S.C. Aquarium. Hundreds of diverse, enthusiastic people are volunteers at the S.C. Aquarium. Adult volunteers -- plus youth volunteers age 16 and older -- interested in marine biology can volunteer as exhibit guides or other positions. To help, you'll need to go through volunteer orientation. To learn more, call the Volunteer Office at (843) 579-8560 or (843) 579-8553.
(NEW) County Council: 6 p.m., Jan. 12, Hamilton Building. Public hearing on incorporating an "energy element" into the county's comprehensive plan followed by meeting of council. Location: Lonnie Hamilton III Public Services Building in North Charleston.
(NEW) Scheherazade: 7:30 p.m., Jan. 12, Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Charleston. JoAnn Falletta, called "one of the finest conductors of her generation" by The New York Times, will take the podium for three great works, including Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. More.
Museum oyster roast: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 14, at the Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will celebrate its 239th birthday at an event that will feature oysters by Ben Moise, a curator-led history walk, live bluegrass and spectacular views of the Stono River. Tickets are $30 for members, $40 for non members. More info: www.CharlestonMuseum.org.
(NEW) Frogmore Stew: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jan. 14, 719 East Arctic Ave., Folly Beach. Retired game warden Ben Moise will offer a Frogmore Stew Feast benefit for the Footlight Players. Tickets: $40 per person or $75 per couple. More.
Shuck-A-Rama: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 14, Gold Bug Island. The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina will hold its first-ever "Shuck-A-Rama" oyster roast fundraiser. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. More.
Ballet: 7 p.m., Jan. 14, Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Charleston.
Charleston Concert Association will start the second half of its season
with this "imaginative mash-up of classical technique with Alvin
Ailey roots and 'So You Think You Can Dance' accessibility." More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON.
"The Last Flapper:" 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21; 3 p.m., Jan. 22, 1080 East Montague Ave., North Charleston. The South of Broadway Theatre Company will present this one-woman show starring Leslie Vicary that's based on the writings of Zelda Fitzgerald. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students. More: 745.0317.
Open houses: Throughout January. Palmetto Scholars Academy, the state's first gifted and talented charter school, will hold six open houses between Saturday and Jan. 31 for potential students. The school, which will have students in grades six through 10 next year, has an enrollment period through Feb. 8. More on times and the process here.
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