This Week on American Black Journal:

Detroit symposium aims to tackle health disparities facing Black men

Black men, facing higher risks of premature death from heart disease and other chronic health conditions, are often hindered by systemic barriers including educational inequalities and socioeconomic factors. To address these health disparities, the Wayne State University School of Medicine, along with the Wayne Mobile Health Unit and community stakeholders, are hosting the “Brother, Let’s Talk: A Conversation on Black Men’s Health” symposium. Scheduled for April 13 at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, the event aims to shed light on the disparities and health challenges faced by Black men.

The symposium will feature a range of services provided by Wayne State University’s Mobile Health Unit, including health screenings for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and kidney disease, as well as COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Moreover, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions led by prominent figures in the field focused on mental health, physical health, and the importance of regular exercise and yearly physicals. 

Host Stephen Henderson talks with three men involved with the forum: Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Collin Mays; Dr. Harold Neighbors, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Public Health; and Dr. Phillip Levy, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University.

Mays, who conceived the idea for the symposium, explains his motivation for helping other Black men improve their mental and physical health. He explains how he lost 200 pounds in a little over three years to get healthier. Dr. Neighbors and Dr. Levy discuss the disparities and societal pressures that impact the health of African American males, the importance of changing one’s behavior and eating habits, and the correlation between mental and physical health. 

Bookstock returns for 20th year to support literacy in metro Detroit

The 20th annual Bookstock event is set to return to Livonia, Michigan bringing with it nearly 400,000 used books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, and vinyl records. From April 7th to 14th, book enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike will flock to Laurel Park Place to peruse the vast selection of media available at discounted prices. 

Bookstock isn’t just a sale; it’s a community-driven initiative organized entirely by volunteers that supports education and literacy projects in the Detroit metropolitan area and beyond. One such initiative is the B.E.S.T. Awards essay contest, open to fourth-grade students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Winners of the contest receive gift cards for their schools, teachers, and themselves. The contest’s goal is to foster a culture of literacy and creativity among Detroit’s youth. 

But the impact of Bookstock extends far beyond the confines of a single event. Through the Bookstock Fund, established from the revenue of each year’s sale and generous donations, the organization continues to support a myriad of literacy-enhancing endeavors including book clubs, poetry slams, and innovative literacy programs like the Einstein Method.

Host Stephen Henderson speaks with three guests connected to Bookstock and its B.E.S.T. Awards essay contest for fourth-grade students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District: DPSCD Deputy Superintendent & Bookstock Honorary Chancellor Alycia Meriweather, Davison Elementary School Teacher Kenya Austin-Posey, and a finalist in last year’s B.E.S.T. Awards competition, fifth grader Dak’harion Dikemerekwe. The group talks about what to expect at this year’s Bookstock, how the event benefits literacy and education projects in Detroit and the surrounding area, and its impact on students like Dak’harion.

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.