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                                                   March 1, 2021
      Welcome to DIRECTIONS the monthly online newsletter of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi). Please feel free to contact us at, or by regular mail (information provided
at end of this newsletter) with content you wish to share with the DVABPsi community in the newsletter. We look forward to providing our readers with pertinent information to support, encourage, and uplift our community and those who serve the community. The goal of DVABPsi is to make a positive impact on Black Mental Health today and for the future.
  DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor 

                                                      President's Message:  

                                                      Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden

                                                      Delaware Valley Association

                                                      of Black Psychologists



          Although we are specialists in mental health, we are also Black people who are

impacted by institutional racism.  We fear for the safety of our loved ones, and ourselves.

We are painfully aware that all Blacks are at risk of being assassinated by the very police sworn to protect and serve us. We understand this is a daily fear. We are aware that all

Blacks are under attack regardless of the continent.  The insurrection that occurred at the Capitol on January 6,2021, by racists, has brought the ugly reality of racism closer to the awareness of not only people in the United States, but to the world. We are experts who provide culturally specific, African-Centered/Black Psychological care based on the Virtues

of Ma’at (Truth, Justice, Order, Righteousness, Balance, Harmony, and Reciprocity), to

those who are traumatized by life experiences, the pandemic, and the effects of the Maafa.  Unaware people are beginning to see the depths of the hatred and insanity of allowing

racists to find safety and support committing hate crimes in a society that purports to

embrace the concepts of freedom and justice. DVABPsi members are warriors against

racism and healers of the effects from racism.


        DVABPsi addresses the emotional scars from what Black psychologists describe as the Maafa (the dehumanization of Blacks) and Post Traumatic Slave Disorder (Dr. Joy DeGruy).  Addressing the massive damage to the Black psyche is one of our major projects as Healer/Warriors.  We must heal from colorism created by racists and now a painful part of

the belief system of many Blacks and other Melanics and Caucasians.  DVABPsi is

undertaking a project to change how Blacks are perceived by Blacks and non-Blacks by developing cartoons that educate and entertain.  We are currently seeking participation

 from our members and others who wish to provide healing and empowering visuals for our children and others.  Providing accurate information about our contributions to world civilizations is the beginning of eradicating racism and teaching pride in our African/Black heritage.  We realize that racism must be eradicated and that Caucasians who are not

racists will be a critical solution to dismantling racism.  Anti-racists will have to confront

their own families, friends, co-workers, employers, and their own beliefs about their silence when they see racist behaviors.  Some of our people have been damaged by living in a terroristic world have aligned with racists.  We must identify them and if they cannot be healed, we must protect ourselves by not including them in our community building.  The

importance of the eradication racism cannot be stressed enough.  The siege on the Capital

is just the tip of the iceberg.  Blacks and other Melanics (People of Color) have been

experiencing the pathological hatred since the first Caucasians began invading our lands worldwide.

       Despite, the challenges we have faced over the past 500 years, we are amazingly resilient.  We have learned that Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) is a healing process.  Knowing who we are and the truth about our African/Black heritage gives us strength to continue striving for excellence which was the standard for our ancestors before the Maafa.  We are implementing strategies to heal all people using the Virtues of Ma’at.  The truth is, Blacks built the pyramids worldwide, Blacks were the first scientists, Blacks created the
first universities thousands of years before Caucasians abducted our people.  Blacks have survived the worst Maafa which is ongoing and relentless.  It is this resilience that we use
to build DVABPsi into an organization that provides healing to members and nonmembers.
            Harambee!  Harambee!  Harambee! (Let us all pull together). 
      Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC
                       Guest Contributor: Dr. Faruq T.N.Iman, Ph.D., C.H.P
                    Should Black Folk Get the COVID 19 Vaccine?                                                                                            

 A Brief History of U.S. Medicine and  Blacks-

       Many people of African descent have expressed their concern about getting the vaccine shots because of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. As many people know that in 1932 in Macon County, Alabama, approximately 600 black men with syphilis were not treated by health officials so that they could track the progress of the disease. They were lied to, suffered incalculable pain and suffering even when a cure (i.e. penicillin) was found. The study,

finally, ended in 1972 when somebody blew the whistle. What we may not know is that medical and scientific experiments have been conducted on people of African descent since

the 1700s or U.S. colonial times. Dr. James Marion Sims (considered the Father of U.S. Gynecology), in the 1830s,conducted surgical gynecological experiments on enslaved

African women without any form of anesthesia. Needless to say, after tremendous blood loss and excruciating pain, many women lost their lives.


      The history of medicine on people of African descent is replete with profound deception, psychological trauma, injections with deadly agents, disfigurement, crippling chronic illness, undignified display, intractable pain, stolen fertility, and death. So it is no wonder people of African descent are at best distrustful and at worst won’t subject themselves or families to unproven medical protocols. To learn more about U.S. medicine and blacks please read, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Ms. Harriet A. Washington.


What are the COVID 19 Vaccines and Who Makes Them?                                                       The COVID 19 vaccines are a combination of chemicals. According to the FDA,

"the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose." Currently in the U.S. the following companies

are manufacturing COVID 19 vaccines: AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and  Pfitzer BioNTech. The formulas for the vaccine are very similar. 

Fast-Tracked COVID-19 Vaccine — What Could Go Wrong?                                                    Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (D-Mass)  summarized the history of coronavirus

vaccine development, which began after three SARS epidemics had broken out, starting in early 2002. Two of those three epidemics were lab-created organisms. Chinese, Americans

and Europeans all started working on a coronavirus vaccine and around 2012, there were some 30 promising candidates. As explained by Kennedy, the four best vaccine candidates were then given to ferrets, which are the closest analogue to human lung infections.

Kennedy explained what happened next:

The ferrets had an extraordinarily good antibody response, and that is the metric by which FDA licenses vaccines … They do a serological response [test to] see ‘Did they develop in

their blood antibodies that target the virus?’ The ferrets developed very strong antibodies,

so they thought, ‘We hit the jackpot.’ All four of these vaccines. . . worked like a charm.

Then something terrible happened. Those ferrets were then exposed to the wild virus, and they all died. [They developed] inflammation in all their organs, their lungs stopped functioning and they died …"


Fast-Tracked Swine Flu Vaccine Caused Genetic Alterations                      

        The H1N1 swine flu of 2009 was the most recent pandemic of note, and it’s well

worth remembering what happened with the European fast-tracked vaccine. Europe accelerated its approval process, allowing manufacturers to skip large-scale human trials— a decision that turned out to have tragic consequences19 for an untold number of children

and teens across Europe. Over the next few years, the ASO3-adjuvanted swine flu vaccine Pandemrix (used in Europe but not in the U.S. during 2009-2010) was causally linked to childhood narcolepsy, which abruptly skyrocketed in several countries. Children and teens in Finland, the UK and Sweden were among the hardest hit. Further analyses discerned a rise

in narcolepsy among adults who received the vaccine as well, although the link wasn’t as obvious as that in children and adolescents.











Three Questions And The Emerging Answers About COVID-19 Vaccine Protection              As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, three big questions loom. First, can someone who

has been vaccinated still spread the disease? Second, will the vaccine remain effective as

the virus itself evolves? And third, how long will the vaccine's protection last?

COVID Vaccine May Not Prevent Infection, Disease Transmission                                            Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization

(EUA) in December 2020 for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to release their experimental mRNA vaccines for use in the U.S., the companies only provided evidence from clinical trials to demonstrate that, compared to unvaccinated trial participants, their vaccines prevented more

mild to severe COVID-19 disease symptoms in vaccinated participants. The companies did not investigate whether the vaccines prevent people from becoming asymptomatically infected with

the SARS-CoV-2 virus and/or transmitting it to other people.

COVID-19 Vaccines Designed to Prevent Severe Disease                                                             According to WHO officials, while it appears the vaccines can prevent clinically symptomatic COVID-19 clinical disease, there is no clear evidence COVID-19 vaccines are

effective at preventing asymptomatic infection and transmission. During the press

conference, WHO chief scientist and pediatrician Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said.

You "Should Not" Take COVID Vaccine if You Have This Condition, Alerts FDA 

            According to the FDA's official guidelines, "you should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:

  • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine

  • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine."

Additionally, here's what you should mention to your vaccination providers before you get

the Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine. Says the FDA: "Tell the vaccination provider about all

of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any allergies;  have a fever; have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner

  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; are breastfeeding

  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine."

These High-Risk Groups Should Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine  





This One Thing May Make the COVID Vaccine Less Effective, Obesity                                       Countless studies have shown that those suffering from obesity are among the

most affected by severe complications related to COVID-19, including death. But experts

are now saying that obesity may also impact how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is.

"Obesity affects many facets of our immune system and results in dysregulated immune responses," explains Rajat Madan, MD, an infectious diseases specialist and assistant

professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine at UC Health. "Therefore, the effects of vaccination in an obese person can be very different, compared to

a non-obese person."

Fauci Now Says COVID-19 Vaccine May Become Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Passports and Mandates May Be Coming

           Eight months later, on New Year's Day 2021, Fauci told Newsweek that in his role

as the new administration's chief medical adviser, there is a possibility the federal

government will eventually introduce "COVID-19 vaccine passports" and that some city, county or state governments and businesses will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory, including in schools.



Immunity Passports: Suggested Soon After the Pandemic Began                                             Government health officials in Israel are getting ready to issue a COVID-19 "green passport" to citizens who have received two COVID-19 shots, which will exempt them from travel restrictions and testing for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or being required to quarantine after exposure to an infected person. Technology companies have been working

on creating a digital certificate, which contains personal medical information giving evidence that an individual has been vaccinated and can be used as a screening tool by employers, businesses and owners or operators of services and public venues, such as airlines, theme parks, concert halls, hotels and other places where people gather in groups with other


COVID 19 Mutations and Vaccine Effects Mutations Found So Far                                             There’s N501Y, a mutation that occurs in all three variants, which replaces the coronavirus’s 501st amino acid, asparagine, with tyrosine. Studies in cells and animal

models suggest that the change makes it easier for SARS-CoV-2 to grab onto ACE2, which is one hypothesis for why the variant has been, at this point, pretty convincingly associated

with increased transmission. The best evidence for that so far has come out of the UK,

which is doing more genomic sequencing than any other country in the world. Scientists

there estimate that the UK variant, alternatively known as B.1.1.7, is between 30 and 50 percent more infectious than other circulating strains. A Brazilian variant, also called P1, and the South African one, sometimes called B.1.351, also have a second and third mutation in common: K417T and E484K. At this moment, scientists know more about the latter. It changes an amino acid that was negatively charged to one that’s positively charged. In variants without this mutation, that section of the RBD sits across from a negatively charged stretch of ACE2, so they repel away from each other. But the E484K mutation reverses that charge, making them snap tightly together instead. 

          Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that E484K might be the most important alteration when it comes to enhancing the virus’s ability to evade

immune defenses. In lab experiments, they observed that antibodies in the blood of

recovered Covid-19 patients were 10 times less effective at neutralizing variants possessing the E484K mutation. In a separate study, some of De Oliveira’s colleagues tested the blood from Covid-19 patients who fell ill in South Africa’s first wave, and they found that 90

percent of them had some reduced immunity to the new E484K-containing variant. Some scientists and medical personnel are preliminarily concluding that the current vaccines are

not effectively neutralizing the mutations.

What to Do if You Got the Vaccine and Are Having Problems                                                    If you decide to get the COVID 19 vaccine, make sure you receive it in a hospital or clinic. If you develop any allergic reactions, then they may be able to handle them on the

spot. You’ll want to eat a “clean,” ideally organic diet. Avoid processed foods of all kinds, as they are loaded with damaging omega-6 linoleic acid that wrecks your mitochondrial



                                                                                                                                        Helpful Supplements                                                                                                                    Nutritional supplementation can also be helpful. Among the most important are: 

Vitamin D — Vitamin D supplements are readily available and one of the least expensive supplements on the market. All things considered, vitamin D optimization is likely the

easiest and most beneficial strategy that anyone can do to minimize their risk of COVID-19 and other infections, and can strengthen your immune system in a matter of a few weeks.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — NAC is a precursor to reduced glutathione, which appears to play

a crucial role in COVID-19. According to one literature analysis,7 glutathione deficiency may actually be associated with COVID-19 severity, leading the author to conclude that NAC may be useful both for its prevention and treatment.

Zinc — Zinc plays a very important role in your immune system’s ability to ward off viral infections. Like vitamin D, zinc helps regulate your immune function8 — and a combination

of zinc with a zinc ionophore, like hydroxychloroquine or quercetin, was in 2010 shown to inhibit SARS coronavirus in vitro. In cell culture, it also blocked viral replication within minutes.9 Importantly, zinc deficiency has been shown to impair immune function.

Melatonin — Boosts immune function in a variety of ways and helps quell inflammation. Melatonin may also prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection by recharging glutathione11 and

enhancing vitamin D synthesis, among other things.

Vitamin C — A number of studies have shown vitamin C can be very helpful in the treatment of viral illnesses, sepsis and ARDS,12 all of which are applicable to COVID-19. Its basic properties include anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, antithrombotic and antiviral activities. At high doses, it actually acts as an antiviral drug, actively inactivating viruses. Vitamin C also works synergistically with quercetin.13

Quercetin — A powerful immune booster and broad-spectrum antiviral, quercetin was

initially found to provide broad-spectrum protection against SARS coronavirus in the

aftermath of the 2003 SARS epidemic, and evidence suggests it may be useful for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 as well.

B vitamins — B vitamins can also influence several COVID-19-specific disease processes, including17 viral replication and invasion, cytokine storm induction, adaptive immunity and hypercoagulability.

Dr. Iman is currently employed as a psychotherapist in private practice, a certified holistic practitioner and a retired educator. He is currently senior consulting editor of
the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) newsletter, Psychdiscourse and editor
of the ABPsi Eastern Region newsletter (i.e. The MasharikiGazeti).  Current and past professional and community organizations include ABPsi – former East Regional Representative, the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi) –
past president, International Board of African Thinkers, Priests, Healers, and
Religions, Inc. – former board member, the Freedom Theatre – former board member and president, Pan African Studies Community Education Program – former board member, National Coalition for Black Reparations (member), Association of Classical African Civilizations (member), Coalition of Black Fathers. 
                                 Opportunity to Advertise in DIRECTIONS Newsletter 
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 Mailing address:     DeBorah Gilbert White, Editor
                                 DIRECTIONS Newsletter
                                 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists
                                 P.O. Box 622
                                 Westtown, PA  19395-0622
                                         Newsletter Submissions
Members of DVABPsi are encouraged to submit articles, poems, announcements,  quotations, employment opportunities, and information related to undergraduate,  graduate and post graduate programs in psychology.  Currently, we are seeking  Guest Contributors for the months of July, August, October, and December 2021. Members of DVABPsi are invited to be Guest contributors. Articles should be a maximum of 500 words along with a short bio. Pictures can also be submitted
with articles. Contact the DIRECTIONS Newsletter team for additional information. 
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