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Annual Black Health Issue
Breakout Wellness That Combats
Health Disparities
Food Deserts
Troubled Waters
LaDarius Price
March/April 2023
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LaDarius Price

by Ruthven Phillip/Financial wellness check made simple.

by Dr. Delbert Baker/The awesome power of your thoughts make the difference.

by Alva Johnson/What the COVID-19 crisis taught us about the health gap.

by Josue Vega/Plant-based choices against the powers that be.

by Billy Locke and Blake Tousignant/Life threatening water conditions and urban water survival tips.

by Amanda Hawley/The unpopular three letter word, still wreaks havoc, but God still saves.

by Latoya Hazell-Alcide /The Clotilda was the last slave ship sailing, but, like all sin, its rotten core still bubbles to the top.

Cover illustration provided by Ladarius Price
COVID-19 Health Disparities
Food Deserts
Troubled Water


by Daniel Dawes/it’s not just in your head



by Donna Green Goodman/The Amazing Plant Power of African American Cuisine




Cover illustration provided by Ladarius Price
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© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 89 No. 2 March/April 2023. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

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Heaven’s Blood Bank

Pink Message Magazine cover
“When the sinner laid his hands on the head of the innocent, blameless, sacrificial animal, and confessed his sins and spilled its lifeblood, he showed his faith in the true sacrifice—Christ spilling His lifeblood for him, and also in the resurrection of his Savior from His expiatory, sacrificial death in order that he himself might be brought forth from the grave in the resurrection of the righteous dead when the Messiah, Christ Jesus would come for His saints.”

—“Heaven’s Blood Bank”
by S. H. Carnahan, Message, January, 1943

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.

God speaks to us through a variety of ways to build a relationship with us. I pray that all publishing and apps will create a space of peace and blessings over your life. God bless you in your journey.


My Story His Glory Cover
Nate Arnold
My Story, His Glory

One seemed to like Black people, the other one didn’t. Why? Who was right and who was wrong? What had we done as Black people? Were we bad? Were we evil? Was I bad? I thought God loved everybody. The television was full of those same contradictions.

Nate Arnold has been a well accomplished author with five fiction and nonfiction books under his belt. His most recent book My Story, His Glory is a sweeping portrait of growing up a black Christian in America challenged with racism, oppression and his journey to find God as a healer for all mankind. Arnold shares his story about growing up in Mobile, Alabama with health challenges and how he overcame. It is a powerful book that is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM!, Chapters, and Indigo.


Guest Editorial
It’s Not Just In Your Head; Health Inequities Are Real and are Driven by Social and Political Determinants of Health

ur bodies record every experience, every pain, every attack. Owing to the social, environmental, and political determinants of health, eventually, the effects of biological weathering take hold and lead to poorer health and premature death for millions of people. Whatever the immediate cause of death–heart disease, cancer, or COVID-19, we know the true cause is that they struggled throughout their lives to attain health protective and sustaining resources.

Despite the U.S. spending more on health care than any other country and consuming more than half of the world’s health care resources, this keeps happening. We have seen increasing mortality and falling life expectancy in the U.S. even for people ages 25 to 64, who should be in the prime of their lives (Achenbach, 2019; Zalla, Mulholland, Filiatreau, Edwards, 2022). And the effects are not equally experienced or distributed. When broken down by race, ethnicity, geography, and other demographic variables, the inequalities in health status and health care are quite striking.

eye on the times
woman next to giant clock
Revisionist Actors Attempt to Change the Narrative
By Edward Woods, III
ixty years after the Civil Rights Movement, America still struggles with how to discuss and dismantle systemic racism and social discrimination. Instead of viewing it as education, some people now refer to it as indoctrination.

“We believe in education, not indoctrination,” stated Governor Ron DeSantis at the signing of his Stop WOKE Act press conference. “We believe an important component of freedom in the State of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies imposed upon you without your consent whether it be in the classroom or whether it be in the workplace.”

The Stop WOKE Act, where WOKE refers to Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees, prohibits “instruction that could make some parties feel they bear ‘personal responsibility’ for historic wrongdoings because of their race, sex, or national origin.” The Stop WOKE Act changes the narrative of being alert or awake to systemic racial or social discrimination and injustice to one that ignores it and its winners and losers.

Black from the Past
Gynecology Image Title
By Carl McRoy
If Dr. James Marion Sims can be considered “the father of modern gynecology,” then why shouldn’t the enslaved African American women he experimented on be considered “the mothers of modern gynecology”?

Since they were enslaved, most patients (or victims, depending on your perspective) went nameless in the annals of medical history. However, J. Marion Sims made three exception…

optimal health

Your “Best Life” Guide
The Amazing Plant Power of African Cuisine
Photo by Adobe Stock
The Amazing Plant Power of African Cuisine

By donna green goodman


f you ever wondered, the original diet for man came from the Creator Himself, out of the Garden of Eden, in Africa.

“And, God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1:26

After sin, He added vegetables. “And, thou shalt eat the herb of the field.” Genesis 3:18.

I always use this as a guide when making food choices or deciding what to choose from amind changing scientific research and discovery. The Bible’s recommendation is best: fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables.

John and April Nixon

Intimacy’s Most Underrated Ingredient



n our line of work, we probably get a variation of one question more often than any other —“What is the key to a lasting relationship?”

People might assume our answer would be a simple, “love” and nothing more. Indeed, love is a critical component for any healthy relationship, but that would not be our answer. It turns out love needs one more component to take it to the next level, another ingredient, if you will. That secret ingredient is friendship and it’s probably the most underrated ingredient in relationships that thrive.

If love is the most foundational ingredient for relational success then friendship is the most influential, and can often forecast romantic enjoyment. Research shows that “Friendship is at the core of any strong relationship, and… is an important predictor of both romantic and physical satisfaction.” Some research has gone so far as to find “that friendship in a marriage is five times more important than physical intimacy.” That seems to elevate the subject of being friends with your spouse, doesn’t it?

Ruthven Phillip
Financial Health Checkup
By Ruthven Phillip
3 John Chapter 2 and verse 1 reads, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” This passage of scripture suggests that wealth and health are connected. However, for most people, they simply focus on health and wellness and pay less attention to their finances.

Medical professionals suggest an annual physical examination to ensure we are in good health and to test or monitor for hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, cancer and other diseases. Financially, do you consult your adviser, coach or professional annually?

Financial health is best described as the personal condition of one’s monetary state of affairs. Here are some factors which may help you measure your health.

3 Steps to Mastery, in Any Area

a young woman lays on her stomach on a couch while using a laptop
Photo by Adobe Stock
a mindset quiz to determine ones Growth Mindset
a quiz to determine ones Growth Mindset

KEY: If you selected the left side for three or more of the above questions, that indicates you may lean toward the right side Growth Mindset. If you responded with three or more of right column. that may indicate you lean toward a Fixed Mindset.

By Dr. Delbert Baker

emember the acronym, FOG (Fixed Or Growth). Simply put, you either have a Fixed Mindset, which says you are locked into a failure, defeatist way of thinking. Or you have a Growth Mindset, which says you exercise a healthy self-efficacy through disciplined right thinking, persistent hard work and a willingness to receive help from others and God. Your challenge is to come out of the fog into clarity as to which thinking you choose to internalize and through which you will work.

What is this mindset business all about? It’s about the awesome power of your thoughts and how they can make a huge difference with the quality and success of your life and those around you. For the last few decades there has been a social buzz about the need to have a “growth mindset,” as opposed to staying in the rut of a “fixed mindset.”

Covid-19 and Health Disparities typography

A Time of National Reckoning

images of a young woman, and older man, a little boy and an elderly woman superimposed with viral and data imagery
Photos by Adobe Stock
By Alva James-Johnson

or two years, LaDarius Price sounded the alarm concerning the health disparities plaguing his Chattanooga, Tennessee, community. In addition to personal observations, anecdotal information and national statistics, he finally had the local numbers to prove it.

One year into Price’s campaign for healthier living within the African American community, Hamilton County released a 2019 community health profile revealing the magnitude of the racial divide. According to the report titled “Picture of Our Health,” compared to the white population, black residents were…

Fighting the Food Deserts title
chalkboard for Plant Power Cafe & Juice Bar
The colorful chalkboard at the Plant Power Café & Juice Bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee, displays a packed menu with vegan items.
Photo by Aurellia Alexandre
BY Josué Vega

would’ve almost missed it if I hadn’t been looking. Snuggled among the smoke shops and tax service stores in the city of Chattanooga, the Plant Power Café and Juice Bar sign popped out at me with its lime green colors and bright fruits. But inside the cozy, aromatic café was an even brighter presence—the owner, Aurellia Alexandre.

She’s a short woman with colorful jewelry and an inviting smile. She made sure I was comfortable and introduced me to her children who help her run the restaurant. As we sat down to talk at one of her café booths, I noticed that behind Alexandre’s head was an impressive wall covered almost entirely by chalkboard paint. It was lined top to bottom with vast menu options. But what made her menu stand out the most wasn’t the amount of items—it was the fact that it was entirely plant-based or vegan.

Troubled Water title
Aging Infrastructure and the Quest for Clean H2O in Black Communities
Troubled Water title
Aging Infrastructure and the Quest for Clean H2O in Black Communities
By Billy Locke and Blake Tousignant
H2O dropcap
is essential for human existence. Yet, in Jackson, Mississippi, clean drinking water is hard to find. As a small metropolis on the Pearl River, the city is home to about 150,000 residents, most of them now under constant duress because of poor water quality.

“Essentially, the issue we have is aging water sewer infrastructure due to a low tax base,” said Robert Langford, executive director of Operation Shoestring, a nonprofit providing after-school programs and other services to low-income families in the city. “So we haven’t been able as a city to keep up with repairs, including the replacement of systems.”

Consuming contaminated water can lead to illness. According to Langford, “The stress of having to always be on the lookout is significantly tough. Filtered water is part of our lives and has been forever because of the concern about low levels of lead and copper, which are not good for human consumption.”

Cheering On Your Health
mom driving her kids in the car who are super happy and healthy
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Debleaire Snell
ne of the things that I find fascinating is that I can always tell when my children are getting sick before they get sick. Their disposition may change, or they may even become a little cranky.

When an ailment finally takes over, because they feel terrible at the moment, it’s harder to get them to eat, sip water, or even take the medicine necessary to make them better gets a bit harder.

But if you’re familiar with children, you know their attitude will change if they are engaged in something they love. When they’re immersed in their tablets, watching their favorite television program, or listening to their favorite podcast, their noses are suddenly less stuffy, their heads hurt less, and food goes down a little easier. And while I am a believer in medicine doing what it was designed to do, I know that sometimes a different attitude can change how a person feels.

You’re family here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His Word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
Transgression, Iniquity, Sin... oh my!
ransgression, iniquity, sin…oh my! In many circles, “sin” has become a new 3-letter word joining the ranks of words that are considered inappropriate, antiquated, judgmental, and dated. Too often I’m hearing the questions, “Is sin still a thing?” and “Are people still preaching about that?” And what’s even scarier is that more and more Christians are beginning to ask these questions as well.

The Bible is clear that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” David declared that, “I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” While this is nothing to be proud of, the Believer does not have to fear at this reality. It seems as though we have forgotten the hope that is found in Christ.

"The Bitter Fruit of Sin"
By Latoya Hazell-Alcide

am a descendant of slaves from the African diaspora, who survived the deadly and evil Trans-Atlantic slave trade and offloaded on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia. As a child and through migration to the United States I frequently sought to answer the following…

“What part of Africa were my ancestors stolen from?”

“In my lifetime would I ever plant my feet on the soil of Africa, the ‘Motherland’?”

Little did I know that God would answer this immigrant girl’s prayers in December 2022, 31 years after I left my island home and the only connection to my ancestral roots and culture. This 14-day trip to Botswana changed me and gave me a deeper thirst to find my roots and simultaneously, a deeper hatred against the evils of slavery and sin in general.

Bless and Be Blessed
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Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
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Ashton, MD
Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church
18800 New Hampshire Ave
P.O. Box 519
Ashton, MD 20861-0519
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Baltimore, MD
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Windsor Mill, MD 21244-2042
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