George Floyd’s mother was not there, but he used her as a sacred invocation

With his dying breaths, Floyd called for her as an assurance of memory

A memorial was created for George Floyd on May 27, as protests over his death continued in Minneapolis. Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Lonnae O’Neal

The video frame of George Floyd on Facebook, handcuffed on his stomach as a Minneapolis police officer presses his knee into Floyd’s neck, feels narrowed.

Floyd lies immobilized, groaning on the pavement as cars rush by, police radios beep and bystanders gather, yelling that Floyd’s nose is bleeding, that he is subdued, cursing and entreating the officers. “Let him breathe, man!” one bystander yelled.

Please, man!” Floyd begs as he is ground into the pavement. His pleas mix with the ambient noises around him. They are the disjointed sounds from the clash of belief systems and competing visions of sovereignty, of ownership, of authority over black bodies compressed into the narrow frame of Floyd’s last moments.

“Momma!” Floyd, 46, calls out. “Momma! I’m through,” the dying man says, and I recognize his words. A call to your mother is a prayer to be seen. Floyd’s mother died two years ago, but he used her as a sacred invocation.

“He is a human being!” comes an anguished plea from someone in a desperate attempt to engage the officers’ reason or compassion or oaths of office. But in that moment, those officers are beyond the reach of humanity. Not Floyd’s, but their own.

I didn’t want to click on the video. I didn’t want to see another police snuff film. I didn’t want to watch whatever it is that compels someone to put his knee into a man’s neck, until he can no longer draw breath. But I heard this black man had called out to his momma as he lay dying, and I too am a black mother. One of the ones since time immemorial who have to answer the sacred call. Who have to answer the call for the divine sisterhood of black mothers. Even when they are not our own, we are asked to bear witness.

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I was in the delivery room with my son, in pain with no medication, save the one that magnified my contractions. As my vision narrowed, I focused on a point above me and I heard the nurses talking about me as if I wasn’t there. I stared at the ceiling and over and over I called out for my mother. There are moments when it feels like life hangs in the balance, and in those moments, we want to go back to the beginning, when we were known.

Dying soldiers called out for their mothers, according to Civil War battlefield reports. Last year, an article from The Atlantic cited a hospice nurse. “Almost everyone is calling for ‘Mommy’ or ‘Mama’ with the last breath.”

We are the ballast. The anchors. A way for those who are close to the edge to find their way back, or their way home. This is true for black mothers, who are especially tested and learned in all the dread fates of black bodies. We are the hedge against the people who don’t see us. We are an assertion of black life.

For black people who feel they are about to be taken from themselves, we are the assurance of memory, of justice, of 10-hour waits to cast our ballots at polling places. We will not be moved.

I have often imagined 14-year-old Emmett Till calling for his momma, Mamie Till-Mobley, as he was kidnapped, tortured and killed over the false witness of Carolyn Bryant Donham. The black mother’s answer was to throw open her son’s casket and change the nation.

It is the duty of black mothers made sacred by all the ugly Karens (Beckys, Katies, et al.), who threaten to call the police on black people because they understand the country we live in. It has been made sacred by all the admonitions, and prayers — all the side deals we try to cut with our God when black boys cross streets, or play in parks, or get into cars, or grow into men who do anything at all while being black.

It is made sacred by our need to protect against all the people who think they hold dominion over black lives. Who overpolice or underfund, or over-report, or wag their fingers in our faces. The vacant-looking father and son with rifles in Georgia, the masked female portfolio manager waving her cellphone in New York, the reptilian officer who has learned how to kneel a man to death in Minnesota, may not see themselves. But we, the black mothers, see you.

As bystanders scream at Minneapolis officers, “He’s dying. You’re f—ing killing him,” Floyd is no longer moving, though he is not yet dead. In the ways black people have trained themselves to look at these things, in his final breaths, he has already won.

To call out to his mother is to be known to his maker. The one who gave him to her. I watched the Floyd video, for us, the living. It’s my sacred charge. I am a black mother.

RACISM IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY NOW!

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET COVID FROM AN ER DOCTOR & FORMER SPECIAL FORCES MEDIC

Disclaimer: This is not as a substitute for going to the hospital, especially if you’re in the highest risk category. These are firsthand tips on how to improve your situation at home if you get COVID-19.

Lt Col (Ret) Richard Angel 

My name is Dr. Richard Angel, an ER Doctor & Former Special Forces Medic. I’m 50 years old and I want to help as many people as possible get through having Coronavirus and keep them well enough to stay out of the hospital. I have Coronavirus and am recovering after 2 weeks of symptoms. Here is what I have done to stay relatively well and recommend these measures to you.

Dr. Angel’s Coronavirus Care:

1. Hydration: drink plenty of fluids, water, tea, warm beverages. Especially important for the elderly who are often dehydrated. This flushes the kidneys of toxins, keeps plenty of fluid in the body to keep secretions as liquid as possible – not allowing thick mucous to fill the lungs. An occasional toddy or hot herb tea with honey and lemon is great. (If unable to take much, sip small amounts of regular Gatorade or sports drinks and water. This will give you potassium, sodium and glucose, vital nutrients.)

2. Immune support: I like Zicam zinc throat lozenges 4 x a day, especially at night before going to bed to keep viral loads low. Also maybe Emergen-C, other supplements like Vitamin D 5000 U per day, perhaps some immune supporting mushrooms. Gargle and drink diluted apple cider vinegar may help, you may warm and add honey if needed.

3. Diet: Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and quality proteins. Oranges daily are great! Lemons and honey for your tea. This is not a time for a minimal diet: you want to be well fed with nutritious foods to prepare your body for potential loss of appetite. If you get sick enough to require hospital respiratory support, your body needs to be fueled up to “run a marathon”.

4. Medications: Zicam lozenges for prevention and treatment of symptoms. Plenty of cough drops. Vicks Vaporub is excellent and a must have item to decrease cough, open and soothe bronchial passages. Delsym 12 hr dextromethorphan extended release (the flat bottle) is a great baseline cough suppressant. You may add day and night cold and cough medicines, Tylenol (acetaminophen) as needed. NyQuil is good to help sleep with Vaporub and warm tea. Afrin or neti pot may help clear your nose as will over the counter sinus medications. There is an excellent old cough syrup that you can generally take with other medications, it is like liquid menthol, called “Buckley’s Original Mixture”. I highly recommend having some available—can be found on Amazon.

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5. Equipment: Vaporizer machine and Vaposteam. Get the old school one that heats up not cool mist. This is a lifesaver. I would also recommend a simple nebulizer machine ($50) and saline ampules (the pink ones). These are available on Amazon. You may need an albuterol ampule prescription as well. In addition to a thermometer, a fingertip pulse oximeter can be very useful. A general “cutoff” for being sick is about 94%—below this you may need to see a doctor. Shortness of breath and work of breathing are signs you are getting sicker and need to see a physician. (Or call in!)

  • [[Note: this is only intended for at home use while in quarantine. The use of these products might contribute to greater risk of infection for those around you. More info here.]]

6. Exercise: sunshine, light walking if you are ill is always great. If not symptomatic, keep workouts relatively light. Now is not a great time to suppress your immune system using energy recovering from a hardcore workout. However keeping fitness—especially cardiovascular at optimum levels which may pay big dividends if you get really sick.

7. Hot baths: hot tub soaks for 15 minutes twice a day may help with an “artificially induced fever” that makes you a less hospitable host for the virus among other benefits.

8. Hygiene: Shower/bath daily with clean clothes daily, brush teeth, etc. This cannot be underestimated—decreases the virus and the morale boost is very important.

9.[Update] Tylenol, NOT Ibuprofen: For pain and fever, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred. For now it is probably best to avoid NSAID’s (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), aspirin. Studies and information are inconclusive about the safety of NSAID’s at this point but that may change in the near future. GORUCK will keep you posted.

In summary, the goal is to keep your body and immune system functioning at optimal levels, stay hydrated and make yourself unattractive to the virus!

So make some homemade chicken soup, do all the right things to avoid spread and we will get through this difficult time.

Wishing all of you good health and a speedy recovery.

Coronovirus Medical Alert

This medical news is unverified, but worth considering

Doctor from NYU:
Information from Vienna’s laboratory studying COVID-19 say that the vast majority of people who died had ibuprofen/Advil in their system, so do not take it. Those who recovered did not take ibuprofen, so if you have symptoms, take Acetaminophen only. Looks like this virus thrives on ibuprofen so don’t do it and tell everyone you can.

The studies are still coming in; however, ibuprofen has had some adverse reactions to COVID19. Not all the NSAIDs have that problem though and NSAIDs like Tylenol, and Naproxen can be used to battle a fever if you have one… the treatment for a fever is NSAIDS. Please exercise caution with limited ibuprofen.

We are learning is that Advil makes the virus 10x worse. Tylenol only for the time being. Hearing is that Advil kickstarts the virus into pneumonia. Finding that some people in their 40s and 50s, who were previously healthy are being put on ventilators and having major SOB, with difficulty in breathing because they took Advil. No Advil or any NSAIDS.

Chronicling the career and life of Kobe Bryant

Kobe, thanks for all the memories. Rest In Peace.

By Marc J. Spears

People have asked me time and time again: What’s Kobe Bryant like?

“Simply the best,” I always answered.

I first learned about how much he cared when he showed up for a charity game for Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston on Sept. 11, 2005. I will never forget the image of him sitting next to a young black boy on the bench during the charity event. Nor will I forget how he took the time to ask me questions about my New Orleans-based parents and family, who were affected by Katrina. It meant the world to me. There were other NBA stars there that day, including LeBron James and Allen Iverson, but Bryant was the star of the stars.

I first learned about Kobe’s graciousness on Oct. 24, 2008, when my former college basketball teammate Troy McCoy took his 7-year-old son, Cameron, and two of his friends to a Los Angeles Lakers preseason game as a birthday present. After hearing the kids cheering loudly for the Lakers in an otherwise quiet game, Lakers media relations director Alison Bogli gave McCoy and the kids postgame passes to meet some players. Long after the game, Bryant came out of the locker room looking around and saying, “Where’s Cameron at? Where’s Cameron?”

A stunned Cameron put his hand up in the air, but was too shy to say anything. Kobe walked up to the boy and said, “Hello, my name is Kobe. What’s your name?” Bryant got Cameron to respond, then offered the kids words of wisdom and took a picture with them.

Kobe Bryant (right) of the Los Angeles Lakers high-fives fans after the game against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 28, 2015, at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Kobe approached many of the people he was asked to meet postgame with attention to detail and focus, much like how he played ball.

“He would do a lot of due diligence on his own,” Michelle Obeso-Theus, who worked for Bryant from 2011-15, once told The Undefeated. “Regardless of how people view him, he is a genius. Very tenacious. Resilient.

“He taught me dedication and sacrifice to be great. His vision to see the future was crazy. When he said he wanted to meet someone, he always wanted to know what made them great. It didn’t matter if they were a wood-carver. He wanted to understand the mentality of what it takes for them to be a wood-carver.”

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On Sunday morning, Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. He leaves behind a basketball legacy as one of the greatest NBA players of all time and one of its fiercest competitors. He was an NBA MVP, five-time champion, 18-time All-Star, 11-time first team all-NBA selection and two-time Olympic gold medalist. But he was so much more.

Kobe wasn’t just another player I covered.

After he suffered a torn Achilles tendon injury in 2013, Bryant, showing his competitive fire, said via e-mail: “Please do me a favor though and write a piece about what I was doing prior to getting hurt and the numbers I was putting up and bringing the team to the footstep of the postseason. I feel they are forgetting how good I was for ANY age. And that nothing in my career suggests that I won’t come back just as good or better next season.”

Another time, when I mistakenly asked a question and referred to his four NBA championships, he quickly corrected me — it was five — and gave me that Mamba glare.

Kobe was often accommodating to me when doing interviews after games and practices. He called me “Big Spears” and used to give me a hard time for asking thought-provoking questions, once saying, “Man, you always asking me those Dr. Seuss a– questions.” He knew I could take his joking. Kobe had a sharp sense of humor.

Marc J. Spears (left) interviews Kobe Bryant (right) at NBA-All Star weekend in 2013 in Houston.MARC J. SPEARS

One time with his Nike right-hand man Nico Harrison by his side, he playfully objected to doing an interview with me after a Lakers practice unless I changed my wardrobe that day: an adidas sweatsuit and shoes. Keep in mind that Kobe was then a Nike endorser who had a bad breakup with adidas. After some good-natured ribbing, he did the interview.

But when it came down to it, Kobe was thoughtful. In March 2016, I landed a job as the senior NBA writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated and I gave him the news via e-mail. Bryant responded by writing: “Happy for you my brotha!!! Write from the heart!!! Always here for you.”

On Dec. 17, 2018, I was on hand as the Lakers retired both his No. 8 and No. 24. It was his night, but on his way out, he caught a glimpse of me and yelled, “Big Spears.” We shared an embrace and had a brief conversation before he was whisked away. And I am far from the only reporter who Kobe was gracious to, as he made time for countless other media people in sports and beyond.

I last had an in-depth conversation with Kobe in a phone interview last February. He told me about his busy schedule when I asked if he was keeping an eye on the Lakers.

“Look,” he said, “between building an entire studio from scratch, hiring a publishing-production company, licensing, building an animation studio, writing the book, between that and coaching my daughter’s team every single day, I have no time. I mean I have no time. None.”

He remained driven and dedicated to his family.

On March 19, 2019, Bryant released his first sports-fantasy book, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. Written by Wesley King, Bryant’s youth series features characters of different races and background. He believed his daughters needed to see characters who looked like them.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the characters would be children of color, mixed-race, because that’s what I have at home,” Bryant said. “And that’s what I grew up with. But in the industry, itself, it is very hard to find that. Very, very hard to find that because we tend to … the general argument is that, ‘Well, they can’t appeal to the masses.’ ”

Kobe did.

The basketball world won’t be the same without him. Neither will mine. Rest in peace, Kobe.

You’ll soon see these black college quarterbacks in the NFL

One of them could be the next Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson

By Donovan Dooley December 27, 2019

A new era of football has emerged. Black quarterbacks have transformed the sport.

And while doing so, they have helped to reconstruct an image of the black signal-caller that was misguided.

Players such as Russell WilsonPatrick MahomesDeshaun Watson and MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson have ushered in another shift in the perception of the black quarterbacks.

Next up are some of the best black quarterbacks who are taking over the college game and may become the next NFL stars.

KELLY BRYANT, SENIOR, MISSOURI

Quarterback Kelly Bryant of the Missouri Tigers looks to pass against the Troy Trojans in the first quarter at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium Oct. 5 in Columbia, Missouri.ED ZURGA/GETTY IMAGES

After becoming a starter at Clemson, Kelly Bryant decided to take his career to Columbia, Missouri, where he became the man for the Missouri Tigers. Bryant’s season was slightly hampered by nagging injuries but he still managed to throw for 15 touchdowns and 2,215 yards in 2019. The dual-threat talent was able to compile a 138.6 passer rating and 62% completion rate.

JUSTIN FIELDS, SOPHOMORE, OHIO STATE

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields looks downfield during the Big Ten Football Championship game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes on Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.ZACH BOLINGER/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Ohio State Buckeye Justin Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a true sophomore. The Georgia transfer left for Ohio State and had a dynamic first season for the Buckeyes. He threw for 2,953 yards and 40 touchdowns while only throwing one interception this season. Fields ranks in the top five of FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency and passing touchdowns. He’s also rushed for nearly 500 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Fields will help lead Ohio State against Clemson in one of the college football playoff semifinals.

TYLER HUNTLEY, SENIOR, UTAH

Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley looks to pass during the second half of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at Levi’s Stadium.KIRBY LEE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Tyler Huntley of Utah is second in FBS in completion percentage (73.7%) and ranks in the top 10 in the FBS in both yards per completion and passing efficiency. He has thrown for 2,966 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season and ended his 2019 campaign with a 181.8 passer rating. Huntley also ranks in the top 25 of FBS quarterbacks in passing yards. He led the Utah Utes to an 11-win season and will looks to cap off his career against the Texas Longhorns in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

JALEN HURTS, SENIOR, OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (right) fakes the handoff to running back Kennedy Brooks (left) during the Big 12 championship college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears on Dec. 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.MATTHEW VISINSKY/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Jalen Hurts’ historic journey in college football culminated in a stellar 2019 season that resulted in him becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist. The Oklahoma quarterback finished the regular season first in the FBS in passing yards per completion, third in passing efficiency, fourth in completion percentage and sixth in passing yards. Hurts threw for 3,634 passing yards and 32 touchdowns while completing 71.8% of his passes. He also ran for more than 1, 200 yards and 18 touchdowns in his senior campaign. Hurts led Alabama to a national title while he was the quarterback for the Crimson Tide in 2017.

KELLEN MOND, JUNIOR, TEXAS A&M

Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond (center) drops back to pass in the Southwest Classic between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies on Sept. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.JOHN BUNCH/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Kellen Mond will lead Texas A&M into a showdown with the Oklahoma State Bulldogs in the Texas Bowl. After a stellar career for the Aggies, Mond finished the 2019 season with 2,802 yards passing and 19 touchdowns. He accumulated a 131.3 passer rating and completed 61.3% of his passes for the Aggies.

JAMIE NEWMAN, JUNIOR, WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Jamie Newman (center) during the Birmingham Bowl between the Memphis Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Dec. 22, 2018, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.MICHAEL WADE/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Jamie Newman led the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to an 8-4 record this season and a matchup with Michigan State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The dual-threat quarterback passed for 2,693 yards in 2019 with 23 touchdown passes. Newman finished in the top 30 of all FBS quarterbacks in passing touchdowns and completed 62.3% of his passes. He ended the regular season with a 146.7 passer rating while rushing for close to 500 yards.

BRYCE PERKINS, SENIOR, VIRGINIA

Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins runs with the ball to score a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first quarter at Scott Stadium.GEOFF BURKE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Bryce Perkins ranks in the top 20 of FBS quarterbacks in passing yards. He has thrown for 3,215 yards in 2019 while connecting on 18 passing touchdowns. Perkins finished the season completing 64% of his passes and accumulating a 131.5 passer rating. He rushed for close to 750 yards with 11 rushing touchdowns. He helped lead the Virginia Cavaliers to the ACC title game this season and will hope to lead UVA to a win in the Capital One Orange Bowl against Florida.

KHALIL TATE, SENIOR, ARIZONA

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate passes against Stanford in the first half of an NCAA college football game Oct. 26 in Stanford, California. Ben Margot/AP Photo

Khalil Tate, the dual-threat quarterback for Arizona, threw for more than 1,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2017. This season, Tate ended the year throwing for 1,954 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Wildcats quarterback also rushed for just over 400 yards and completed 60% of his passes.

Donovan Dooley is a Rhoden Fellow and a multimedia journalism major from Tuscaloosa, AL. He attends North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.