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Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts

Happy Birthday to:

Songbird, Songwriter, Producer Tamia, born Tamia Washington

Rapper Ghostface Killah, born Dennis David Coles

Actress Rosario Dawson

Olympic Track Champion Ralph Boston

Actress Sonja Sohn

Entertainer Clint Holmes

NBA Vet Doug Christie

Actress Alex Martin

Happy Birthday Mr. HBCU,

Corey Savage!

Happy 20th Birthday Willis Porter, Jr!

We remember:

Physician, Harlem Renaissance Man, Dr. Rudolph Fisher born in 1897

MLB Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn, born in 1960

Actor Kevin Peter Hall, born in 1955

Sybil Wilkes ‘What You Need To Know’ Texas GOP Bill Laser-Focused — Appreciate Teachers Salaries — Forced To Play Cotton Picking Game  was originally published on

1. Texas GOP Bill Laser-Focused on State’s Highest Population of Black and Brown Voters

Texas GOP Bill Laser-Focused on State’s Highest Population of Black and Brown Voters Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


In the Texas state government, a Republican bill is being moved through the state legislature that could have major consequences when it comes to future elections, especially in south Texas. If signed into law, a Republican plan will allow the Texas Secretary of State to overturn election results in counties with populations greater than 2.7 million.  For all intents and purposes, this will single out Harris County, which encompasses Houston, an area that has trended “blue” or Democratic in recent years. Democrats had a very strong showing in Harris County in the 2022 midterm elections. 


In reporting this story, Truthout.Org noted the bill only requires the state Secretary of State to believe, not prove, that election discrepancies occurred. Not only would the bill allow the Secretary of State, currently Republican Jane Nelson, to toss out election results, but also call for a new vote if there is a “good cause to believe that at least 2 percent of local polling places ran out of usable ballots.”


Truthout continued, “The bill appears to be a direct response to the 2022 midterm elections, during which Republicans falsely alleged that ballot shortages in Harris County resulted in election fraud benefiting Democrats. Such claims have never been validated, and voters were granted extra time to cast ballots in the county on Election Day last year to remedy the problem.”


Last year, the Republican Party of Harris County sued the county’s government and its election administrator over how the midterm elections were carried out. A number of Republicans sued over their losses and called for new elections. 


The bill, passed on the Texas state Senate, now sits in the  Republican-controlled House of Representatives. 


Why You Need to Know: 


This bill highlights the fact that Texas Republicans have no legal desire to maintain election integrity. Republicans have laser-focused on Harris County (read: Black and Brown residents who may be casting Votes for Democrats) to disenfranchise voters. Truthout quotes, political organizations and operatives:


“Republicans [are] weaponizing 2020 election lies to rig elections,” political strategist Sawyer Hackett wrote on Twitter. “Only Harris County — Texas’ largest Democratic county with 4.7 million people — would be affected by this bill. This is fascism,” write Vito Latino, a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to empowering Latinx voters.


Texas state Republicans need to be held accountable. And all voters must recognize this latest threat to democracy. 



2. States Compete to Appreciate Teachers Salaries

States Compete to Appreciate Teachers Salaries Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Monday was the start of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Ironically, schools across the country are struggling to find teachers to hire, and governors – both Republican and Democratic- are drastically hiking teachers’ salaries, bonuses, and other perks to beat out other states for educators.


According to the nonprofit Teacher Salary Project, more than half of the states’ governors over the past year- 26 so far – have proposed boosting teachers’ compensation. 


In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little aims to raise the state’s average starting salary into the nation’s top 10. In Delaware, Gov. John Carney said teacher competition is more intense than ever, and a pay increase is necessary to “win the competition with surrounding states.”


It’s unclear how far pay raises will go toward relieving the shortages, though, and some teachers say it is too little, too late to fix problems that are years in the making.


Blame for teacher shortages has fallen on underfunding after the Great Recession, tight labor markets, and lackluster enrollments in colleges and programs that train teachers. 


Researchers say shortages are most extreme in certain areas, including the poorest or most rural districts. Districts also report particular difficulties in hiring for in-demand subjects like special education, math, and science.


Meanwhile, teacher salaries have fallen further and further behind those of their college-educated peers in other fields, as teachers report growing workloads, shrinking autonomy, and increasingly hostile school environments.


According to teachers interviewed by the Associated Press, a mere pay increase won’t bring in fresh recruits. Teachers have difficulty taking days off, getting substitutes, and spending far too long on paperwork which “siphons the joy out of teaching.”  


Why You Need to Know:


Black men still make up less than 2% of the nation’s teachers. A mere pay increase won’t create trauma-informed teachers equipped with empathy to educate our Black girls and boys. Likewise, teaching is no longer a sought-after profession. It’s actually highly avoided. But substitute teaching is a great way to go if anyone is looking to pick up a side hustle. 



3. Are You Making These Post-Workout Mistakes?

Are You Making These Post-Workout Mistakes? Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


You grab high-calorie food as a reward. That 300-calorie milkshake will negate the 300 calories you burned in your boxing class. Replace fluids lost from sweat with water instead of high-calorie sports drinks. The exception to this is if your workout involves high-energy activities, such as training for a marathon or biking long distances.


You don’t refuel your body. No, you don’t want to go for the burger and fries after your workout, but not refueling can cause your metabolism to slow down as the body stores nutrients as fat for future energy needs. Good options include: a hard-boiled egg, a bran muffin, nuts, or a protein shake. They all provide the correct mix of protein and carbs to keep your metabolism operating best.


You don’t stretchTo stretch or not to stretch—and when—has been the subject of much debate. Here’s what we know: Stretching before you exercise has not been shown to prevent injury or curb soreness. But the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that we stretch each of our major muscle groups at least two times each week; it helps us stay flexible. Though you can stretch at any time, you’re more flexible after exercise because you’ve increased the circulation to those muscles and joints. 


You don’t schedule your next workout. You got out of bed, got dressed, and ran that 3 miles. Congratulations! You’ll only see consistent progress if you make exercise a regular part of your life, so set your Fitbit and stick to your schedule.


You don’t get enough rest. To build muscle mass, you have to tear the muscle fiber during a workout and then allow it to repair itself while you rest. If you skip the rebuilding stage, your muscles are more likely to be exposed to injury from overuse pulls and tears.


You don’t change out of your workout clothes. You might not be bothered by your funky clothes after you’ve hula-hooped your way through an hour-long session, but the moisture underneath your clothes—even those made of wicking fabric—can cause body acne and yeast infections. Shower and change into dry clothes as soon as possible after your workout. 



4. Black Student Forced to Play Cotton Picking Game

Black Student Forced to Play Cotton Picking Game Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Eighth Grader Sidney Rousey, Jr., the only Black student in his class at Gunston Middle School (GMS) in Arlington, Virginia, was forced by his substitute teacher to play a game that involved picking cotton.


Sidney’s family now claims that the student has been the target of relentless bullying, including students “wishing death upon him.” His family is now demanding Arlington County Public Schools (APS) pay $10 million in compensation for what happened to the middle school student.


On February 8, Sidney was pressured by his substitute teacher to play a game called “nose dive.” The game requires participants to Vaseline their noses and bob for cotton balls, one at a time. According to a demand letter from the family, no one volunteered to participate and all the students turned their attention to Sidney. According to Sidney’s family, he was coerced into participating out of fear.


Sidney has since been pulled from that class to learn independently, and his family says he has been ostracized and isolated at no fault of his own. 


“GMS continues to treat Sidney as if he engaged in wrongdoing; the administration laid the foundation, and the school community has followed suit,” the settlement letter stated. “Arlington and APS was not created on a pillar of inclusivity; it, like school districts throughout the Commonwealth, has a history of racial injustice.” The letter goes on to claim the school failed to recognize how the game was racist. “Despite this nation’s history of trafficking in and profiteering from the forced labor of enslaved people first brought to the Commonwealth… APS seemingly fails to recognize the historical trauma triggered by activities that include cotton as a focal point.”


Sidney’s family also claims this isn’t the first instance of racist behavior within the school system. Other incidents were detailed within the demand letter.


Why You Need to Know:


Pay this child’s family so they can get him the kind of education he deserves and keeps him safe. I’m just trying to understand why the teacher hasn’t been arrested for a hate crime or child endangerment?



5. Apply for the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator

Apply for the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


The American Heart Association is committed and passionate about making a health impact in communities by providing entrepreneurs with equitable access to resources and funding. The Empowered to Serve Business Accelerator allows entrepreneurs, businesses, and non-profit organizations making a health impact in US communities to share their innovative concepts and provides access to valuable and actionable knowledge as well as funding for these entrepreneurs to achieve success and sustainability.


The 2023 grantees were awarded a collective $75,000 to support their innovative concepts and businesses.  Now is your chance to apply for an opportunity to receive funding and training to increase your impact in closing the gaps that exist in health equity.


Apply today at