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Pryor shines in Raiders loss

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Oakland, CA – It’s been an uphill battle for the starting quarterback spot with the Oakland Raiders. Matt Flynn has not lived up to his hype while Terrelle Pryor continues to get better.

 

In tonight’s 34-26 loss to the Chicago Bears it’s evident Pryor should have a shot at starting quarterback. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte had their way with the Raiders in the first quarter. Cutler threw for 142 yards which included a 32-yard touchdown pass to Forte. Former Raiders running back Michael Bush scored a pair of touchdowns that gave the Bears a 24-0 lead to start the second quarter.

“It was a good outing for everybody, but it’s preseason,” said Cutler. “You can’t get caught up in that. I don’t think we can get too high on this game. We made some mistakes and we need to go back and look at them. But it’s good barometer of where we’re at and where we can go.”

Oakland struggled behind Flynn who threw two interceptions in the first half. The first interception was intended for DeNarius Moore in the first quarter and Chicago scored their first touchdown on that turnover. He fumbled on a snap, recovered the ball and then got picked off for the second time and that brought in Terrelle who sparked the offense to rally a comeback.

“Matt did not play well in this game,” Coach Dennis Allen said. “We have to come out and play better. Terrelle gave us the spark we needed. His mobility out there definitely catches my eye, tonight he played well.”

Pryor orchestrated the first points for the Raiders when he completed a pass to Mychal Rivera that set up Sebastian Janikowski 53-yard field goal to end the half.

He dazzled the crowd on the opening drive in the third quarter by scrambling away from five defenders to connect with Rod Streater for the first down. “I’ve been working hard and that’s how I expect to play,” said Pryor.

“My teammates helped me play better out there, I wanted to get in there so badly with the first team, I wish they would’ve stayed in longer. Everyday I just want to get better.”

Terrelle then rushed for a 25-yard touchdown while diving in the end zone. Later in the quarter he threw a touchdown pass to Nick Kasa and got Oakland back in the game as they cut the lead down 27-20. He finished 7-for-9 for 93 yards and has made a good case for the starting position.

“What I want to do is look at who gives us the best chance to move the ball down the field and score points,” Allen said. “Obviously I’m not going to look at one night and base any type of decision on one night. I’ll go back and look at it and we’ll see where we go from here.”

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Activism

Silicon Valley congressman tackles Black maternal mortalities

The legislative package consists of a dozen bills aiming to prevent maternal mortalities. It would provide funding for further research, increase telehealth services for those in underserved communities and establish grants to help diversify the perinatal workforce, including doulas and midwives. It would also invest in community-based health organizations that work to promote equity and improve maternal health outcomes.

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Kira Johnson is pictured in this file photo. Photo courtesy of Johnson family.

Washington, D.C.—Charles Johnson said he quickly notified hospital staff when his wife’s catheter turned pink with blood. His wife, Kira Johnson, had just given birth to their second son during a scheduled cesarean section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Staff examined his wife and ordered a CT scan, he said, but hours passed and no one performed the procedure.

“My wife was shivering uncontrollably because she was losing so much blood,” said Johnson, who was speaking during a recent congressional hearing examining the high rate of maternal mortality among Black women. “… I was begging and pleading, please do something, help her.”

But Johnson told legislators his wife didn’t receive proper medical attention for 10 hours—and by then it was too late. Kira, a Black woman, died from massive internal bleeding.

“It was not my wife’s race that was a risk factor; she did everything right,” said Johnson. “It was racism that was the risk factor.”

Black mothers in the U.S. are about three times more likely than white mothers to die from childbirth-related causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They further experience higher rates of miscarriage and infant loss. Native Americans are also more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

Several medical experts testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week and urged lawmakers to address this growing crisis. Other witnesses, like Johnson and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri), shared their personal experiences.

In an interview with San José Spotlight, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) said all the testimonies were deeply moving.

“I knew about the issue from a statistics perspective and a theoretical perspective, but the hearing brought home to me how much this impacts black women’s lives,” he said. “It’s not even a class issue. It affects people who are members of Congress.”

The congressman, who co-sponsored the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, said its passage is crucial.

The legislative package consists of a dozen bills aiming to prevent maternal mortalities. It would provide funding for further research, increase telehealth services for those in underserved communities and establish grants to help diversify the perinatal workforce, including doulas and midwives. It would also invest in community-based health organizations that work to promote equity and improve maternal health outcomes.

“It’s something that I’m passionate about,” said Khanna, who sits on the committee. “I have been a lead sponsor on the bill and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we get this into law.”

More than 200 organizations have endorsed the bill, including the NAACP, Johnson & Johnson and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Dr. Tamika Auguste, who submitted a written testimony to the committee on behalf of the ACOG, told legislators many health disparities are linked to systemic inequities in income, housing or education. But she explained that wasn’t the full story.

“Although some inequities diminish after taking these factors into account, many remain because of factors at the patient, health care system and practitioner level,” she wrote. “Racism and implicit bias on the part of health care professionals contributes to racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.”

When it comes to maternal health, the U.S. lags behind other similarly developed nations. The CDC found approximately 700 women die each year as a result ofpregnancy or delivery.

Although the national maternal mortality rate has risen in recent decades, California has worked to reverse that trend. The state saw maternal mortality decline by 55% between 2006 to 2013, according to the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.

Rev. Jeff Moore, the president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, said a push to improve maternal health care is long overdue. The death rate of Black women during pregnancy is striking, he said, and far more work needs to be done to protect mothers and babies.

“We need to have more black and brown doctors, more doctors who look like them and specialize in this type of treatment,” he said. “More of an effort needs to be made to teach and train black physicians to be in these communities.”

Czarina Bowers would also love to see more diversity among the doulas and midwives in the South Bay area. Bowers, the co-founder of Silicon Valley Doulas, is a certified doula and lactation counselor.

“That would be fantastic for the diverse community that we live in,” she said.

Bowers added she has seen racial biases “in action” while working as a doula.

“We have had clients who told providers they were in pain and they were not believed,” she said. “As a doula, I had to step in and say, ‘Hey, there’s something wrong here and this needs attention.’”

Although it’s important to examine data while working to find solutions, Johnson reminded legislators last week that there are people and families behind those numbers.

“There is no statistic that can quantify what it is like to tell an 18-month old that his mommy is never coming home,” he said.

Kira, who died in 2016, was an entrepreneur who ran marathons and spoke five languages. Her husband said she had a sunny personality and was thrilled to learn she was expecting a second child. Johnson said their kids would grow up without a mother because his wife gave birth in a country that didn’t value her.

“We must and we can do better,” he said.

Contact Katie King at KatieKingSJS@gmail.com or follow @KatieKingCST on Twitter.

 

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Black History

Wadie Jean Johnson Amar, 87

We will remember her forever, as she is lifted in God’s gentle embrace into the silent land, and we, her children, family, and friends will never cease to feel her holding our hands throughout the rest of our lives.

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Wadie Jean Johnson

  Wadie Jean Johnson Amar, the daughter of the late Wade and Maggie Johnson, was born on Jan. 1, 1934, in Wichita, Kansas. After Wadie’s parents relocated to Oakland, she attended Cole Grammar School and later graduated from Oakland High School. 

     She was blessed with four lovely children: Wade, Rene, Jalna and Gary. Wadie Amar professed her faith in Jesus Christ and joined Cooper Zion AME Church, where she was recognized by many for her musical talents. From that day forward, she was a song leader and soloist in the choir.

   Wadie never had a problem finding employment. She was a clothing salesperson for Hirsch and Company, a skip tracer (bill collector) for Mel Benning and Associates, a public relations specialist with Chicago Title Company, and later she became the office manager for a law firm.

    Wadie provided for all of her children in grand style, as she loved them all. She was preceded in death by her parents Maggie Nola Johnson and Wade Hamilton Johnson; sister, Vera Leola Pitts and grandson Pascal Sarouté Amar.

    She leaves to mourn her passing sons, Wade Gregory Amar and Gary Randall Amar; daughters, René Elisse Amar and Jalna Arlene Amar; grandchildren, Drake Anthony Dawson, Nicole Amar Rutland, and Jaderienne Rachelle Minger; and great-grandchildren, Cheyenne True Amar and Dash Cutler Dawson.

     We will remember her forever, as she is lifted in God’s gentle embrace into the silent land, and we, her children, family, and friends will never cease to feel her holding our hands throughout the rest of our lives.

 

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Mary Ann Shadd Cary: A Fearless Journalist

She became the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America. Her work as a journalist was not spared criticism, as many disagreed with her views.

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By Unknown author - nps.gov, courtesy of National Archives of Canada, C-029977, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7353155

The eldest of 13 children, Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823–1893) was born in Wilmington, Del. to a free African American family. She was raised in a household dedicated to the abolition of slavery. The Shadd home often served as a shelter for fugitive slaves. Young Mary’s father worked for the abolitionist newspaper Liberator, run by William Lloyd Garrison.

Even as free blacks living in the north, the Shadds faced deep-seated discrimination and segregation.

Schools for Delaware blacks during that time were nonexistent. The Shadds, however, wanted their children educated. They relocated to Pennsylvania (1833) where young Mary attended a Quaker boarding school. For the next 12 years, she taught black children in Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. Her passion though, was to follow in her father’s footsteps.

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), Cary moved to Canada with one of her brothers. The act required that slaves be returned to their owners, even if they were in a free state. The entire Shadd family soon followed. It was there that she found Canada’s first antislavery newspaper, The Provincial Freemen. It was a weekly publication targeting blacks, especially those who’d escaped slavery.

Cary would pen many of the stories, often returning to the states to gather information. Through this, she became the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America. Her work as a journalist was not spared criticism, as many disagreed with her views.

A critic from a rival paper wrote: “Miss Shadd [Cary] has said and written many things which we think will add nothing to her credit as a lady.”

Cary however, was less concerned with being a lady than she was with having a voice. “She got a lot of criticism from black male leaders, even from some black women, because she was so visible and she was so vocal,” Jane Rhodes, professor and department head of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago said, noting that Cary defied traditional attitudes presuming a woman’s place was in the home. “And she said, ‘I’m opening the door for you, for black women, and I’m proud that I’m doing that and I’m trying to create a space for you to have a voice.’”

Cary’s drive to support the rights and freedoms of blacks never ceased, especially when it involved education. This spurred her established a school—one that was open to children of all races.

The Civil War erupted in 1861. Cary then returned to the states to assist in the war effort. While working as a recruiting officer for the Union Army, she encouraged blacks to join the fight against the Confederacy and against slavery. Postwar, she attended Howard University, becoming the second African-American woman in the United States to earn a law degree (1883).

“It was fearless, and it was fierce,” Rhodes said of the Cary’s voice. “She really was unafraid and she carried that throughout her life.”

Source:  https://www.biography.com/activist/mary-ann-shadd-cary

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