Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Importance of Family

Godwin Woodson wrote, in 1933, that many “people” leave their “peers” and go and find new life in the “city”…what do we leave behind?

Kushite Kingdom


I will have a feeling of love and responsibility for all Black children, be
they my own biological descendants or not. The extended family is a traditional
way of life for us, therefore all Afrikan adults are potentially correct Black

– I will teach what is right and what is wrong.

– I will respect my children and will demand respect from them.

– I will strive to produce in the home harmony, stability and an atmosphere of
trust and love. I will provide opportunities for learning and will instill a
sense of pride by teaching our past and present history.

– I will have control and power in the home, being that the home is the smallest
example of a Nation — and if the home is not together you cannot deal with
outside forces.

– I will find the best possible educational institutions for my children and…

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9 Famous Harvard Dropouts Not Named Zuckerberg or Gates

In the process of compiling a list of people to drop out of “school”. Let this mark the beginning of this project


© Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis

Most people are familiar with the stories of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who achieved great success as the founders of Microsoft and Facebook, respectively, after dropping out of Harvard. Here are nine other former Harvard students who made out just fine without earning their degrees.

1. Robert Frost

Frost, a San Francisco native who had previously dropped out of Dartmouth after only two months, was accepted for admission at Harvard in the fall of 1897 and studied liberal arts in Cambridge. Two years later, Frost, who had married and become a father just prior to enrolling at Harvard, left school to support his growing family. “They could not make a student of me here, but they gave it their best,” Frost later said. Frost won four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry in his lifetime and received an honorary degree from Harvard in 1937.

2. Matt…

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Yesterday, we attended the voice hearer group in westminster (before heading off to a youth forum). Not much to say about this activity, in as much as it didnt deny expectations. I am quite used to these groups so there is less of a sense of novelty, and really, it seems to be becoming routine. It seems that I am truly trying to escape settling down to focus on my own serious issues, and ongoing crisis, which will soon have to be exhausted once this frenzied rush is over.

At this group, there was a voice hearer facilitator as well as another staff member who was “normal”. One lady was free to flow as she, a frist time attendee, went through her journey in life, chronicling how she went from beign a stable motehr, ith a husband, to losing custody (or something like that), losing her home, and becoming homeless. When she was finally housed in a flat, she lost it after she was hospitalised, following a bout with voices. Sadly, it was upsetting as the “T” word was used…”trauma”, as the “facilitator” seemed to impose this notion on her, and later myself, that stress and trauma causes voices… HOWWEVER,

the Tuesday group was less pressured, as we were not so much dictated to. Although this group also had a detached staff member, and a voice hearing facilitator, there was also a psychologist. At this group, based in south london, and close to elephant and castle, we were free to speak. There was clearly no format, and we were able to enjoy small snacks as we shared our experiences. Although much was said, of particular interest was talk about the end of the world, adn what we would do if confronted by this potentially terrifying scenario.

I dont know. In the terminator movies, judgement day was supposed to be August 4th, 1997…but we are still here

Events: Voice Hearers


we may

Commentary: Junk

Earlier today, we made a visit to the Vauxhall carboot sale and yet, our story began yesterday when we were busy reflecting. After a Friday wedding, on Saturday, we went to a jumble sale and the Lewisham amnesty international booksale. Having arrived after 3pm, it happened to be the case that each book was half price, and better yet, it ended up 5pm, as opposed to 4pm. In time, I managed to fill a box and half a bag. At the last minute, there was a book there, RRP 150, selling for 2.50 (online, new 89, used 69) but I ignored it as I didn’t feel I needed it. At the same time, I bought a few others books which I sensed would sell well elsewhere.

give him your body in anticipation of a relationship”

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Activities: Voices

On Thursday, we went to the Richmond depression group for the first time. Although it was meant to be the first part of a dual-visit, the other to the Fanon group in Merton, in the end, it turned out that the Fanon centre had been closed for quite some time. That said, the depression group was still useful. We learned of a report written in November 2011 entitled “The Abandoned Illness” which was published by Rethink. It examined schizophrenia as an illness/construct, suggesting it was a fictitious label. There was much discussion around this, and also, some exploration of mental hospitals which, we felt, functioned to subjugate and dominate those hospitalised. Sadly, there was not much more to this group which ended up being a quite casual talk with two facilitators. Whilst one attendant was demonstrably distressed by voices, and even reported on the impact they were having on him, the other members were seemingly stable.

After the group, we went around the corner to the freebooks shop. It seems that this was a place for people to give in their books rather than throwing them away. Afterwards, “customers”, or better yet, visitors, could donate money to take the books they favoured.



Activities: Groups and therapy

Last week, we missed the launch of the Ealing Broadway, BiPolar Youth Group, having arrived at 8pm, assuming it begun at 7:30/ Fortunately, we made it to the Gray Inn Road meeting, which met earlier today. Earlier in the afternoon, we met with a counsellor followed by an occupational therapist.

It was our first bipolar group meeting, having missed the first, however, much to our surprise, we realised that it did not follow the format of the depresion groups. For starters, it purported to be young people, and so, whilst the facilitator was there, I am not sure if, unlike other meetings, she had experience manic depression. Irrespective, there was little tension or suspense in the group, as the members were able to unwind and revel in the cycles of their symptoms. There was quite a bit of talk about medication, whilst, I sensed that one of the people there worked in a university – perhaps an assistant lecturer, or researcher – whilst another was at a logistics company. Like myself, he didn’t have an exceptional amount of friends, either, explaining that he was getting sad of living locked up with video games and so decided to go to a bar to be a lonely, functional alcoholic. Another joke involved a lady who went on to say that, although she was not working, rather than say she was “doing nothing”, she would explain to people that she was “actively seeking work.” There was mention of Stephen Fry and his suicide attempt, as well as talk of Holywood disfiguring the label of Bipolar: “you dont need to be Jewish or gay to make it in Holywood. Just bipolar.” Movies touched upon included Suckerpunch and Silver Lining.

Our Occupational Therapy session was revealing. Apparently, it was the third I had seen in my life, however, the first time an open assessment was being conducted. FOrtunately, she was able to draw upon the autism notes and report of last year, as opposed to asking myself a string of questions. She was also quite helpful, explaining the purpose of the meeting, and providing structure in the form of an agenda. Finally, she explaining that the meeting had been organised by a care coordinator so that I could be reviewed for a ADL (assessment of daily living skills.). The irony was, however, that I myself had requested to see an OT more than three months earlier, however, like much of our requests for service, this was simply ignored, and simultaneously marginalised as the professional dismissed this request suggesting it was not relevant, appropriate or necessary, however, havng been advised to conduct this assessment, suddenly, it became feasible. Thus, we have since been reflecting on “testimonial injustice”, for a similar scenario occurred much earlier in the previous year when other medical professionals did not believe we had a torn ligament and even accused us of being “intelligent”, somehow suggesting we were pretending, manipulating and malingeering, so as to exploit services etc. Finally, we get the impression that we are are also on a leash – behind the cage.

Activities: Carboot

on Sunday, last week, we managed to reach the Wimbledon Dog Track, carboot sale. At the boot sale, having arrived rather late, we were mightily pleased when we picked up some bits and pieces at the last minute. The highlight was of course the clearance area, where, some sellers decided to drop all their goods to 20p – yes, irrespective of the item. Funnily enough, one referred to a china lady as a “chink”, when he thought no one else was around, which swiftly prompted me to dig into his vinyl collection, and by chance, I found a few minstrel cd’s to add to the negrophillia collection. Much to our surprise, however, althouhg we had already picked out about 12 vinyls, the lady then said that if we took the whole set – yes, just over 3 boxes/crates of records, we could take them for £5/ Although we werent exactly sure how we would carry them back home, we felt obliged. At first, our 3 sportsbags looked like they would work, but failing that, we ewre fortunate to purchase a suitcase off the sllers, and stacked two cases inside it, before dragging the suitcase, and a full sports bag, onto the 493 bus.

On the way back, we managed to go past soutfields and a hospitel, where we learnt they also held a carboot sale every second sunday. We saw an obscure row of charity shops next to putney heat, and also read of the village fair to be held June 22nd, which we plan to attend. Although the day was, on the whole, impressive, our only slight regret was to do with bundle buys, for, like the vinyls, the lady also offered up all the cd’s they had for £5, however, we declinded, or at least, were rather reluctant, sensing we wcould not sell them on, and believing we would not be able to carry the load. We are, however, looking forward to three church fair’s this weekend, in addition to the Lewisham book sale, followed by a sunday of bootsale hunting. We also managed to speak to a couple sellers at the bootsale and learnt of the qualities of salesmanship, gleaning that skilled sellers could make 500-1000 pounds a sale. Also, we were informed that the Saturday, Tottenham sale, was the place to be.

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Events: Diary

Depression Alliance, West Hampstead, 1st Wednesday of the Month

Firstly, yesterday brought some pale news as it was decided that the Highbury & Islington, New Unity group be “suspended.” Although a review meeting was called, only 1 person turned up, which meant I was left feeling slightly embittered and rather disappointed, as the group meant a lot to us – or so I thought. That said, we move on to the next chapter which is Depression Alliance.

Having arrived slightly later than expected, I was surprised to find out that the turn out was not as large as forecast and yet, this did not substract from the experience. After the initial introductions, our discussion expanded to touch upon, and eventually centre around housing and atos, after one lady explaining that they had rejected her claim, and therefore, she had to initiate a second appeal. It was claimed that ATOS does not always use medical doctors, and that their points system was uncaring, and indifferent to the circumstances of individuals.

We tried to make sense out of the “cuts”, which, a person explained, were justified by the “national debt”, and yet, as was also advanced, surly there was a better way to distribute wealth, in any case. There was also a lot of talk about comparing the living standards in Britain with other places. We realised that our disposable income has led to extravagance and flamboyance in purchasing and consumption patterns, and also sympathised with enterprising people who live “free” by using their wits.

An interesting point was when it was suggested that our surplus income, used to purchase “luxuries” from large corporations, in turn, empowers them to further lord over us, somewhat suggesting that if we didn’t hand out money to ‘the beast’, they would have less tools at their disposal, to draw upon when they sought to victimise us. It was also advanced that the common people, especially those in the public/voluntary sector could rarely afford to do more than their basic job requirements, whilst covering their backs. It was as if the inequity was layered, and structured into the regime.

It was explained that some homeless people, prefer to be on the streets rather than as part of hostels, as they so despise the environment. This stimulated discussion about previous living conditions whereby, in this country, if people were not working, and were vagabonding, if they were stopped three times, they could be arrested and made to serve a bond. Also, other peoples were simply warehoused in “poor houses” and made to work under terrible conditions.

There was talk about the welfare trap, whereby if you work, you can often take home less money thanyou do on the dole, as a lady explained how, when she was working 16 hours, she still had to pay poll tax, whilst any additional time she did was simply put on the national insurance contribution list. At this point, there was mention of Focus E15 and the methods used by some of the younger people attempting to “supplement” their income.

Maybe they will soon house people in India, just as they have externalised jobs

If you are just coping with the pressures, they do not intervene, however, if you breakdown, either getting imprisoned or hospitalised, then they come in and “take care” of the management of your affairs – doing so in such a way, you feel disempowered, which itself, was the reason for your breakdown

*We didn’t manage to get to the Yumcha cafe group in Camden, however, we aim to be there for their meeting on hte 20th, in two weeks time. (7pm-8pm)