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Africans Living in the U.S. Connect with Culture through New Network

Spokesperson for Africa Magic GO, Juliet Ibrahim

Spokesperson for Africa Magic GO, Juliet Ibrahim

Interview by Naomi K. Bonman

Africa Magic GO has recently launched in the United States. The network is similar to “Hulu”, in offering the latest film and television series from the Continent of Africa. Now Africans living in the U.S., and other African culture lovers can connect with the African culture by tuning in via their computer and mobile devices.

This new service is available at just $8 a month where customers can stream hundreds of movies and TV shows. African Magic GO also helps people tap into the prolific offerings of the world’s largest film industry, Nollywood, as well as productions from other parts of Africa. To assist in getting the word out, popular Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim, is one of the new spokespeople for the network.

In addition to acting, Miss Ibrahim is a business-oriented person who proudly owns Envoque Beauty Parlor, House of Glamour boutique, Dolfins Modeling Agency, and Jewels Productions. She also recently delved into music and is soon to debut her album. In December 2011, the actress launched her Juliet Ibrahim Foundation (JIF) to start an awareness campaign about kidney cancer. The JIF is aimed at helping Ghanaians and other West African citizens to know their status and prevent kidney cancer from getting to the incurable stage. JIF is poised to help save lives and put smiles on the faces of the less fortunate living with kidney cancer but can’t afford to handle their bills.

Question and Answer with Miss Juliet:

Naomi K. Bonman: What inspired you to become involved with Africa Magic GO?

Juliet Ibrahim: Africa Magic is a major brand in Africa. It is a privilege to be a part of their new product Africa Magic GO, which enables Africans in the Diaspora to stay in touch with their roots while living abroad. Finally, my fans living abroad can get to watch my exclusive movies, TV shows and TV series way before the movie comes out on DVD. It’s a good brand to be associated with as a celebrity from Africa. For my fans reading this article, they can log on to www.africamagicgo.com and register and watch one of my latest movies on there is called “Blurred Lines.”

Naomi K. Bonman: What projects are you currently working on?

Juliet Ibrahim: I just wrapped filming my second personal movie production called “Shattered Romance,” and it’s a project I am so proud of. It features both Nigerian and Ghanaian actors. I am also promoting my new music video “It’s Over Now,” which is enjoying a lot of airplay currently. Lastly, I’ve been on a campaign to educate the public and create awareness for my kidney cancer awareness foundation; it’s been successful so far.

Naomi K. Bonman: Do you have any upcoming plans on doing more work here in the States?

Juliet Ibrahim: Certainly! I intend to work here in the States and am very open to offers and various opportunities here. I am not limited to working only in Africa. I am currently looking for an amazing PR person and manager out here in the U.S. so we get a lot of work done. Juliet Ibrahim is a brand that I believe needs to expand and be known worldwide. I have plans of launching my NGO in the United States as well; it’s already been registered out here.

For more information on the network, visit www.africamagicgo.com. To read more on Juliet Ibrahim visit www.julietibrahim.net.

Misee Harris Calls Out “OUR GENERATION” Dolls and TARGET for Racism

Misee Harris (left) calls out OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET for racism and discrimination

Misee Harris (left) calls out OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET for racism and discrimination

Media personality, Misee Harris, is calling out OUR GENERATION Doll Maker on the representation of their sole African American doll, Abrianna, and TARGET for selling the brand in its stores.

“A doll company that prides itself on representing who we are as a community and a generation has gotten it wrong’” insists Misee Harris.

OUR GENERATION Dolls offers four categories: The “Regular Doll” is simply a doll with no added accessories; the “Deluxe Doll” which comes with clothing, grooming and activity-related accessories; the “Retro Doll;” and the “Hair Play Doll” with its long, straight locks. At TARGET, which has a whole aisle dedicated to the company, The Deluxe Doll retails for $31.99 and includes a full suite of accessories. The Regular Doll retails for $29.99, and her accessories must be purchased separately. “Abrianna,” the company’s only African American doll, is sold in select TARGET stores and comes with no accessories.

“For $2.00, there is a huge difference with what you receive,” points out Harris.

There is no option in the OUR GENERATION Doll Collection for a Deluxe African American doll that includes accessories and retails for $31.99.

“After searching several TARGET stores for an African American Deluxe OUR GENERATION Doll to showcase and giveaway on my YouTube Channel,” states Harris, “I finally found “Abrianna” at a TARGET in a neighborhood with a large African American population. In order to buy all of the extras for Abrianna, which come included with each Caucasian Deluxe Doll, I had to spend an additional $60.00.”

Misee Harris has created a YouTube channel at YouTube.com/MiseeHarris, where she gives away her favorite beauty, style and collectible items to her subscribers, which her and her team curate. On her most current video, Misee used her platform to bring awareness to this issue regarding the OUR GENERATION Dolls, stating, “We are a generation of all ethnicities. As an African American woman who is a doctor, business owner, professor and outspoken advocate for the positive and accurate depiction of African American women, I can assure OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET that this is not a good representation of minorities.”

If OUR GENERATION is really just that, our generation, shouldn’t it reflect that? “We are a country made up of little girls and women who are Caucasian, Asian, African American, Indian, Latino and Multiracial backgrounds. That is our generation,” states Misee.

“I challenge OUR GENERATION Dolls to re-think their product and how they are represented on retail shelves, and I challenge TARGET to exhibit greater social responsibility and sensitivity with the products it carries in its stores,” concludes Misee Harris.

About Misee Harris

A pediatric dentist and professor of dentistry at Meharry School of Pediatric Dentistry by trade, Misee made waves in the media throughout the past year with her public campaign to become television’s first black Bachelorette. Appearing on HLN’s Showbiz TonightThe Hallmark Channel’s Home & FamilyMSNBC’s TheGrio.com and HuffPost Liveamong other outlets, Misee has stated her case for the equality and positive depiction of African American women in the media. Misee’s platform has been dissected and written about in The New York Times and on countless blogs, including SheKnows.com. Misee is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Robin Williams’ Apparent Suicide and its Relation to Depression & Addiction

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

“Our hearts go out to one of the great comedians of the era”.-Ryan Beagan, Pacific Grove Hospital 

RIVERSIDE, CA- Yesterday, Robin Williams passed away of an apparent suicide. As we remember the many amazing ways in which he enriched media and culture with his comedy and acting, we should also take a look at what drove Robin’s actions to his untimely death.

Robin identified as an alcoholic early in life, all the way back to his days in his hometown. As he gained celebrity status, he also came to battle with cocaine addiction. His drug and alcohol abuse ran rampant until the death of John Belushi – also from drug addiction – in 1982, after which Robin said he remained sober for 20 years. In 2006, Robin entered rehab for drinking, and sought treatment again as recently as June of this year. Questions that come to mind to all of us:

Why did this happen, especially to someone who seems to have had everything? Alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as mood issues such as depression have genetic, physical, and environmental triggers. There is no one single cause. A core precept of alcohol recovery is that alcoholism is a disease; you are always in recovery, never cured.

Did no one see the kind of place Robin was in? He did go into treatment multiple times. This highlights the importance not only of communicating regularly and deeply with our loved ones, but being able to identify signs and symptoms that indicate the need for care. Related to this, it is critical to have a full continuum of care: from 24 / 7 help in inpatient or residential treatment environments for crises and acute situations and aftercare programs that offer ongoing support and maintain recovery.

How did the addiction and depression issues interrelate? There is concept in mental health treatment of “co-occurring disorders”. A person can have depression or anxiety issues from a young age, or develop them later in life as a result of a traumatic event. Some men and women then turn to drug abuse as a coping mechanism. That is why modern treatment focuses on addressing all elements of a person’s mental health, to get at the root of the original issues. Treating only the addiction without the mental health component leads to higher rates of relapse. Robin himself, in a 2009 interview, said he had previously failed to confront the core issues at the root of his addictions, contributing to his own return to rehab.

All mental health and addiction treatment programs offer free, confidential screenings that you should take advantage of if you feel even the slightest need, and will help you find the most appropriate care for yourself or your loved one. Inpatient programs also offer immediate services for those battling with suicidal ideations.

Our hearts go out to Robin’s family. This is a reminder to all of us to remember to communicate with our loved ones regularly, and seek professional care and support when it may be needed.

About Pacific Grove Hospital

Pacific Grove Hospital is a leading treatment center in Riverside, CA, specializing in mental health and addiction treatment for adults and seniors. Our main focus is to provide the highest quality care for all individuals that walk through our door. At Pacific Grove we provide multiple levels of care to meet our patients’ needs including psychiatric inpatient, chemical dependency inpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization (PHP) and specialty groups for alumni and family. Our goal is to create happier, healthier lives for all those in need.