Food for Thought #23: We Shouldn’t Need Black History Month But…

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need Black History Month, (or Women’s History Month, for that matter). Their many contributions to our nation would be woven into American History classes at every level. But we don’t live in a perfect world, their contributions often go uncovered, and efforts at inclusion are being met in too many quarters with resistance. (Fortunately, there are fabulous resources for lifelong learning to fill in the gaps post-graduation.)

This is not a political blog, but sometimes politics, home design and housing intersect and I explore those occasions when I feel I can be helpful. I did that in my latest Forbes.com article on fair housing barriers that persist to this day. Despite laws being passed 55 years ago to address discrimination, problems on both the buying and selling ends continue. I love that the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which I came across last year at a  community event, studies this issue in its comprehensive annual reports, and is hosting a conference this week to help its professional members and minority communities they serve. You can read my piece on the group and its efforts here.

Attractive Black woman sitting at a table with a laptop in front of her.

Buying and selling real estate still poses financial and safety obstacles
for Black Americans
(Photo: Pexels)


You’ve probably read about the shocking disparities in maternal mortality and severe complications among Black women. Tennis great Serena Williams has shared her personal crisis, putting a face on this tragedy. Did you know that dementia also impacts Black individuals at much higher rates than Whites? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Older Black Americans are twice as likely to have dementia than older white Americans.” I’ll be covering ways to make a loved one with dementia’s home safer and more comfortable with three experts next month. *** Please share this important March 15 Wellness Wednesday event link with the caregivers you know who are coping with this extraordinary challenge.


Last year, I took on California’s Reparations Task Force in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece advocating for a corrective GI Bill. Did you know that more than a million Black WWII vets were locked out of the nation’s most successful wealth-building program of the last century? I didn’t until fairly recently, and I thought the state could – and should – do something about it. You can read that piece here.


On a lighter note, there are incredibly talented Black designers and architects working today, many of whom don’t get the recognition they deserve. I loved reading about one of my favorites in the Washington Post today. Sheila Bridges (AKA @HarlemToileGirl for her creative pattern) was selected by Vice President Kamala Harris (and presumably her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff) to complete an interior design project on the official VP’s residence. You can see that here, even if you’re not a WaPo subscriber. I’m ‘gifting’ the link for Gold Notes readers to enjoy here.


Architect Kimberly Dowdell, AIA is set to become the 100th president of the American Institute of Architects in 2024. “As the 295th living Black woman to earn an architectural license in the U.S., I am keen to help young women and people of color,” said Ms. Dowdell, who will be the first Black woman president of AIA. You can read about the historic election of this impressive leader here.





What other topics do you want to hear about in the new year? Comment below and let me know.



Here are links to Clubhouse recordings from past sessions.

2023 Recordings:

Bathroom with freestanding tub, floor to ceiling window with nature view and fireplace.

2022 Recordings:

2021 Recordings:



Here are a few links that could be helpful to you in living a safe, healthy life at home:


Three older hands clasping each other on someone's lap. Joe Lieberman’s Death Highlights At Home Fall Risks For Older Adults - Maybe you face this fear in your home and life too. It's not unreasonable. (An older relative fell in their  condo not too long ago, and it took hours for someone to help; a tip in my article would have prevented that delay!) Continue Reading
Los Angeles hillside home with open living room, infinity pool and nighttime skyline in the distance. Landslide Risks Are Growing Nationwide — What To Know - I love the ocean. I love walking along its surf line, letting it wash over my bare feet. I love looking at the beautiful homes on the bluffs overlooking it and envying their views. But there's absolutely no way I'd buy one of them! Continue Reading
Residential kitchen with built-in stainless fridge and icemaker. Grey cabinets and floor. White tops. Making Our Homes Quieter – A Key To Wellness! - Noise was one of the factors that inspired me to leave my New York City hometown. Even though I lived on the 10th floor of my building, the constant honking and sirens was stress-inducing. In researching this topic, I learned that the effects of noise extend far beyond hearing loss to whole mind and body… Continue Reading
Kitchen with 24" induction range and OTR microwave. White cabinets and smart appliance on white countertop. Induction Cooking Trend Heats Up - Whether you're equipping a luxury kitchen and want a 48" pro-style range, or remodeling a tiny condo kitchen, like a good friend of mine in Manhattan is planning to do, there are induction cooking options available to fit your space and needs. Continue Reading
Garage with EV charger and solar panel backup battery storage units. Front of electric car showing. How And Why To Add Resilience With A Residential Microgrid - I've been hearing for the past couple of years about "microgrids" and wanted to share this information with my readers. It could make you safer and more resilient in the event of a power-disrupting emergency. Continue Reading
Dining room with plants, art and bookcase. Black History Month Post: Wellness Design in the African American Community - This one celebrates Black History Month with a look at wellness design in the African American community. I interviewed professionals across disciplines and geography for their takes on what their clients are prioritizing. I hope you find the their responses as fascinating as I did. Continue Reading
Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS,  MCCWC

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
San Diego, CA

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