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The Historic Supreme Court Nomination Of Ketanji Brown Jackson

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President Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer is no surprise. Jackson currently sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. She is the first black woman and the first public defender nominated to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she is expected to influence the court’s Democratic-appointed justices further to the left. At age 51, if appointed, she would likely serve for decades. The proverbial jury is still out just how liberal she will be. Regardless of her leanings, the court will continue to be dominated by its current six-justice conservative majority. However, if confirmed, she is likely to make the court more polarized in its perspective. Her background would suggest that she is expected to be even more liberal than Justice Breyer.

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Yes! Black People Can Get Skin Cancer

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Time to spill the tea on skin cancer! If you have skin, you can get skin cancer. 3 Million+ people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. While it’s true that black people have a lower risk of developing skin cancer, it is also true that they are more likely to have lower survival rates when they are diagnosed. The Skin Cancer Foundation defines skin cancer as “the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer, caused by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations. These mutations lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70.” The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

People of all skin tones get skin cancer. And, yes, you can get skin cancer even without having prolonged sun exposure or sunburn. Skin cancer is often diagnosed in Black people at later stages. Even when found at an early stage (before it had spread), on average, statistics show that Black people don’t survive as long as White people. Later diagnosis can be deadly when a person has the type of skin cancer known as melanoma. Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers but is more dangerous because it can spread to other parts of the body if untreated. In general, any skin cancer can be challenging to treat in later stages. Fortunately, most skin cancers, including melanoma, can be cured with early detection.

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Exploring The Impact Of Special Education Disparities On Black Students

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Today we are sharing some special education data. The data highlights disparities experienced by black students in the United States receiving special education services. Black students in the U.S. with disabilities are 1.5 times more likely to drop out of school than white students with disabilities. They also face harsher discipline than white students with disabilities. 

Black students with disabilities are more likely to be identified with emotional or intellectual disabilities or emotional disturbances than all students with disabilities. The significance in the identification of disparities is highest for students with “subjective” disabilities According to the National Center For Learning Disabilities, “Subjective disabilities are those for which non-subjective tests are not available, meaning that identification depends on the professional judgment—and potentially the biases—of the assessors.

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Jennifer King: 1st Black Positions Coach in NFL

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In December 2021, Jennifer King made history when she was named assistant running backs coach for the Washington NFL franchise. King is the second female assistant coach in the NFL. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Lori Locust is the first. 

Born in 1984, King is a native of Reidsville, North Carolina, her professional coaching career began with coaching basketball. She is the former head coach of the women’s basketball team at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She led the team to a national championship in 2018. King previously played football with the Women’s Football Alliance. While coaching basketball, she was introduced to former Carolina head coach Rick Rivera. After expressing her interest in coaching football, he invited her to join the team as an intern. She also completed an internship with Rivera as part of the Washington franchise. The team then hired her as an assistant running backs coach in 2021. As a black woman in a male-dominated sport, King says that a woman doesn’t feel excluded or “othered”. She feels she has earned the respect of the team.

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Cancer Culture:  How Structural Racism & Cancer is Attacking The Black Community

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Let’s talk about CANCER Culture! Black Americans have the highest death rate and lowest survival rates of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. These numbers are also alarming when considering that about 42% of cancer cases and 45% of cancer deaths are preventable.

Cancer is a set of diseases resulting from abnormal cells’ uncontrolled growth. Death can result if these diseased cells’ spread cannot be controlled. According to the American Cancer Association, About 224,080 new cancer cases and 73,680 cancer deaths are expected to occur among Black people in 2022. The causes of cancer are not fully understood. We do know that many factors are known to increase risk. We also know that many risk factors are modifiable/preventable (Example:  tobacco use and excess body weight). Approximately 1 in 3 black people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. About 1 in 5 Black men and 1 in 6 Black women will die from cancer. This data is alarming. There is also concern regarding how COVID-19 will potentially increase health disparities amongst communities of color, including possible increased cancer diagnosis and cancer-related deaths due to disruptions in screening and treatment related to the pandemic. It will take years to understand the impact of COVID 19 in this regard.

This post will share eight ways cancer is impacting Black communities. This information and more data can be found on the American Cancer Society website https://www.cancer.org

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Loney Clinton Gordon:  Key Contributor To Improving Whooping Cough Vaccine

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Born in Forrest City, Arkansas, Loney Clinton Gordon (1915-1999) moved to Grand Rapids, MI, with her family as a young child.  She graduated from South High School in Grand Rapids and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in home economics and chemistry from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University).  Following graduation, Gordon fulfilled her goal of obtaining employment as a dietician in Virginia.  The role was challenging due to the racism and discrimination she experienced.  Gordon was informed that white chefs would not take orders from a female dietitian.  Due to the treatment she received, Gordon left Virginia and returned home to Grand Rapids.  She continued to face challenges finding employment as a dietitian due to her race.

During this time, Dr. Pearl Kendrick and Dr. Grace Eldering sought to employ a laboratory technician to support their whooping cough vaccine research at Western Michigan Laboratories (Kent Community Hospital). According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), Pertussis, or whooping cough, is an acute infectious disease.  Outbreaks of pertussis were first identified in the 16th century by Guillaume de Baillou. In the 20th century, pertussis was one of the most common childhood diseases and a major cause of childhood death in the United States. Before the availability of pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, more than 200,000 cases of pertussis were reported annually. Since widespread use of the vaccine began, incidence has decreased more than 75% compared with the prevaccine era.

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Doug Williams: 1st Black Quarterback To Win A Super Bowl

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Doug Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana on August 9, 1955.  After high school, he played at Grambling State University; leading them to three conference championships in four years between 1974 and 1977.  Williams was recognized by the Associated Press as a first-team All-American in 1977 and finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Grambling and was drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 1978 NFL draft.  No African American quarterback had ever been drafted prior to the 6th round before Williams.  He remained the lowest compensated quarterback in the NFL despite leading Tampa to the playoffs 3 out of 5 seasons.  Williams then joined the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League (USFL).

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Betcha’ Didn’t Know (BDK):  Black Tennis Phenom Althea Gibson Was Also A Golf Pro!

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Althea Gibson played both tennis and golf competitively!  Many people know about her accomplishments in the sport of tennis.  However, her accomplishments in the sport of golf are lesser-known.  She was the first black athlete in international tennis as well as golf.  Althea Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina.  Her parents were sharecroppers.  The family moved to Harlem, New York in 1930. There, she began playing paddle tennis through the Police Athletic League. She first picked up tennis by bouncing rubber balls off of a brick wall. She was taught to play the sport by a one-armed tennis coach named Fred Johnson. At the age of 12, in 1939 she won the women’s paddle tennis championship in New York.  It was not until Serena Williams won the U.S. National Title in 1999 and Venus Williams won Wimbledon in 2000 that black women would experience success at the level achieved by Gibson.

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Check Out The Black Mail Podcast!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

The Black Mail Blog has been bringing you Black History: Special Delivery for 6+ years! We are happy to announce that we are expanding!! Black Mail content is now available via podcast!! Now you have the option to “listen on the go” or “log in” to access black history facts, news, quotes, inspiration, and more!

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