The Many Benefits of Moringa

Moringa has a multitude of health benefits.

Moringa has a multitude of health benefits.

By The Swahili Scientists

Moringa has gained a good deal of popularity in the US as a powerful healing agent and a “superfood” because of its highly nutritious profile. When ingested as a tea, it has been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties among many other health benefits.

Moringa is a plant whose size ranges from tiny herbs to massive trees that have been used by people in Africa and Asia for thousands of years. Moringa is in the flowering plant family Moringaceae and the name is derived from murungai, which is the Tamil word for drumstick. It contains 13 species from tropical as well as subtropical climates.

The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera, which is native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. However, Moringa stenopetala, is an African species that is also widely grown, but to a much lesser extent than Moringa oleifera. Different species of this tree are located in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola, Namibia, Egypt, Madagascar, and India.

Moringa leaves and pods contain a large amount of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a significant source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It also contains a significant amount of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, folate, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). In terms of minerals, it contains calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Lastly, it contains very low amounts of fat and offers no harmful cholesterol.

As a result of moringa’s many medicinal benefits, it was named the “miracle tree” during the food crisis in Africa. In the Philippines, it is called a “mother’s best friend” because

Review: Pose

By Denmark Prosser

Pose harkens back to the 1980s New York ball scene.

Pose harkens back to the 1980s New York ball scene.

We have eventually reached the dog days of summer. This period is characterized by barbecues, hanging outside with your peeps, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Given this conventional wisdom, it is also a rather slack time for television viewing. Yet at the same time, it is a period when networks debut new shows to take advantage of a time when competition is more friendly. While many such experiments miss their mark, sometimes viewers strike gold. This is definitely the case with Pose.

The new show (well relatively new, it’s about six episdoes in. My bad, I came [fashionably] late to the party) is featured on FX and is largely the brainchild of Ryan Murphy. Although a White man known for shows such as Nip/Tuck and Scream Queens, he has shown signs of allyship. All of the profits that come from Pose is donated to LGBTQ charities. And although the show has a number of White execs, it also includes producers of color who either belong to or have shown a commitment to the LGBTQ community. This includes New York Times best-selling author Janet Mock and up and coming filmmaker Steven Canals.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, the show is ostensibly about the New York City ball scene in the 1980s. Yet, fittingly this is only a facade that lures viewers to the world inhabited by queer people of color. The characters grapple with the interlocking oppressions of racism and heteronormative patriarchy. These unjust systems are exacerbated in Ronald Reagan’s America where unequal distributions of wealth were unabashedly en vogue enough to give birth to the celebrity of Donald Trump (who is vaguely featured in the show).

While these themes are unmercifully villainous, perhaps the deadliest monster

Black Women Most Affected by Student Loan Crisis

Black women are more heavily saddled by student loan debt than any other group.

Black women are more heavily saddled by student loan debt than any other group.

By Free Radical

Studies have shown that Black women are the most educated demographic in the country. A recent report by the American Association of University Women has shown that that distinction has come at a steep price. “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans,” illuminates that Black women have the most outstanding student loan debt and the most difficulty in paying their loans back.

Black women take out student loans in greater amounts than other groups. The typical Black woman who graduated in 2012 had $29,000 worth of debt upon graduation while White women had $20,210. Asian and White men had the lowest amounts of student debt with $10,868 and $18,394 respectively.

There are a couple of factors at play. While the cost of education has increased, salaries in the US have only grown at a snail’s pace. This shift took place as the economy tilted towards service and technology industries that require college degrees more than in the past.

However, Black families, because of past discrimination and exclusion from the economy, have less to contribute to their children’s tuition. Thus young students have to borrow more often and in greater amounts to complete a degree.

Yet even after graduating, Black professionals are paid less and have a much harder time gaining promotions.

This mismatch of Black women’s remarkable educational  attainment and a stubbornly discriminatory job market has made paying off loans particularly difficult. By 2012, Black women experienced the most difficulty in repaying loans and managing other household bills. Black men suffer as well as they had the highest rate of non-repayment among all groups.

The study makes current calls from radical voices to abolish student loans more urgent. Millions of people in the US are saddled with debt, some of whom have no chance to pay it off. This puts enormous strains on the economy and makes existing chasms of wealth, gender, and race even larger. It also shows that student debt does not operate within a bubble. It is impacted by larger societal problems such as wage stagnation, gender and race inequality, and the outrageously high price of education. The status quo is not just costly, it will soon prove to be untenable.

“People’s Ribbon Cutting” Responds to #ArchSoWhite

By MCNS Staff

The "People's Ribbon Cutting" held last Friday emphasized inclusivity.

The “People’s Ribbon Cutting” held last Friday emphasized inclusivity.

St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson found herself in an optics nightmare as she tweeted a picture of twenty-one white officials cutting a ribbon at the Arch on Tuesday.

Later on Friday “The People’s Ribbon Cutting,” so named by Treasurer Tishaura Jones, was a second event organized to be a more inclusive ceremony than the reopening of the Arch museum event held the previous Tuesday. The diverse gathering of officials and leaders included the treasurer, Rep. Bruce Franks and Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed.

Friday’s ribbon cutting was the result of an outcry at the lack of diversity at the earlier gathering, highlighted by the hashtag #ArchSoWhite. The tag line immediately went viral and is reported to have been created by Franks.

Some speakers at Friday’s event talked about how Black residents were displaced from their homes to make way for the Arch during its construction.

Local reports state the Gateway Arch Park Foundation issued an apology. A statement from the group said they invited “political leaders from the St. Louis region at the federal, state and local levels to participate on stage at the event.” That statement went on to say that “we did not invite some elected officials who represent the park to participate on stage at the event and we should have done so.”

Twenty-one officials including St. Louis city mayor Lyda Krewson, County Executive Steve Stenger and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)  and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) lined up for a ribbon cutting photo op in front of the Gateway Arch last Tuesday. The problem is that there was not one single Black official or other leader of color in the photo.

According to local reports, several Black elected officials – including Comptroller Darlene Green, Treasurer Tishaura Jones, and President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed – said they were not invited to participate in the ribbon cutting. A staffer for U.S. Rep Lacy Wm. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) said Clay was invited but had already scheduled a vacation with his son.

This isn’t the first time controversy has surrounded the Arch. In July 1964, local activist Percy Green II climbed about 125 feet high on the structure and *refused to leave as an act of civil disobedience. He and white ally Richard Daly were protesting that no Black workers or contractors were hired for the Arch project. The action and legislation sponsored by Ald. Terry Kennedy (D-18th) has led to an increase in minority inclusion in city projects.