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Louisville All girl!

After graduation, Ferguson went to Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky to further his pursuit of becoming a chef. However, he was met with disappointment after discovering his academic funding was only partial. Although excelling in Sullivan’s Culinary Arts program, he started selling drugs on the side to make ends meet.

Fortunately, he was able to graduate but continued to sell drugs & was arrested eight times in 3months. He lost everything he owned, including his place of residence, and eventually became homeless. 

“The last time getting locked up, I remembered being in class & them talking about being a statistic & how once you get in the system you can’t get out,” 

he said. “I started thinking that now I’m the guy that I didn’t want to be. That’s when I told myself that I was going to get serious about something I know that I can do, which is cooking.” He focused on opening his own restaurants. 

Ferguson named his pop-up restaurant SuperChefs, after his nickname throughout his culinary career & his time at 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, where he was one of 22 chefs chosen. After a few years, the 28-year-old chef opened SuperChefs in June, in a 4,500-square-foot space. He now employs approximately 35 people.

Went from selling dope to being super dope! Real hero right there. Especially in the oppressive merican system.

Study demonstrates role of gut bacteria in neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are all characterized by clumped, misfolded proteins and inflammation in the brain. In more than 90 percent of cases, physicians and scientists do not know what causes these processes to occur.

Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor of Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a team of researchers have discovered that these processes may be triggered by proteins made by our gut bacteria (the microbiota). Their research has revealed that exposure to bacterial proteins called amyloid that have structural similarity to brain proteins leads to an increase in clumping of the protein alpha-synuclein in the brain. Aggregates, or clumps, of misfolded alpha-synuclein and related amyloid proteins are seen in the brains of patients with the neurodegenerative diseases AD, PD and ALS.

Alpha-synuclein (AS) is a protein normally produced by neurons in the brain. In both PD and AD, alpha-synuclein is aggregated in a clumped form called amyloid, causing damage to neurons. Friedland has hypothesized that similarly clumped proteins produced by bacteria in the gut cause brain proteins to misfold via a mechanism called cross-seeding, leading to the deposition of aggregated brain proteins. He also proposed that amyloid proteins produced by the microbiota cause priming of immune cells in the gut, resulting in enhanced inflammation in the brain.

The research, which was supported by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, involved the administration of bacterial strains of E. coli that produce the bacterial amyloid protein curli to rats. Control animals were given identical bacteria that lacked the ability to make the bacterial amyloid protein. The rats fed the curli-producing organisms showed increased levels of AS in the intestines and the brain and increased cerebral AS aggregation, compared with rats who were exposed to E. coli that did not produce the bacterial amyloid protein. The curli-exposed rats also showed enhanced cerebral inflammation.

Similar findings were noted in a related experiment in which nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) that were fed curli-producing E. coli also showed increased levels of AS aggregates, compared with nematodes not exposed to the bacterial amyloid. A research group led by neuroscientist Shu G. Chen, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, performed this collaborative study.

This new understanding of the potential role of gut bacteria in neurodegeneration could bring researchers closer to uncovering the factors responsible for initiating these diseases and ultimately developing preventive and therapeutic measures.

“These new studies in two different animals show that proteins made by bacteria harbored in the gut may be an initiating factor in the disease process of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS,” Friedland said. “This is important because most cases of these diseases are not caused by genes, and the gut is our most important environmental exposure. In addition, we have many potential therapeutic options to influence the bacterial populations in the nose, mouth and gut.”

Friedland is the corresponding author of the article, Exposure to the functional bacterial amyloid protein curli enhances alpha-synuclein aggregation in aged Fischer 344 rats and Caenorhabditis elegans, published online Oct. 6 in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group. UofL researchers involved in the publication in addition to Friedland include Vilius Stribinskis, Ph.D., Madhavi J. Rane, Ph.D., Donald Demuth, Ph.D., Evelyne Gozal, Ph.D., Andrew M. Roberts, Ph.D., Rekha Jagadapillai, Ruolan Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and Richard Kerber, Ph.D. Additional contributors on the publication include Eliezer Masliah, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of California San Diego.

This work supports recent studies indicating that the microbiota may have a role in disease processes in age-related brain degenerations. It is part of Friedland’s ongoing research on the relationship between the microbiota and age-related brain disorders, which involves collaborations with researchers in Ireland and Japan.

“We are pursuing studies in humans and animals to further evaluate the mechanisms of the effects we have observed and are exploring the potential for the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies,” Friedland said.

Looking for a place to observe Black History Month? The Brooklyn Museum galleries are ideal—in February or during any other month! Tune in all month as we spotlight African American artists from our collection American, Contemporary and Decorative art collections.

The career of Bob Thompson, the noted African American artist, was cut short by his early death at the age of twenty-eight. Thompson was born near Louisville, Kentucky, and studied at the University of Louisville and at Boston University. In the early and mid-1960s, he traveled throughout Europe and experienced many Renaissance paintings and other artworks firsthand. He fused the vigor and vibrancy of Expressionism with themes from Old Master compositions and the vivid palette of Fauve painting to create the original visual vocabulary exemplified by The Judgment. Recalling such time-honored Old Master subjects as the Last Judgment and the Judgment of Paris, here a nude male trio sits before faceless winged female angels while two figures (at left) await judgment. The planar, flattened figures and compositional contours in a gesturally applied background are all equally emphasized.

Bob Thompson (American, 1937-1966). The Judgement, 1963. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum © artist or artist’s estate

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Somehow, several administrators (including the school’s president) at the University of Louisville thought those costumes would be a good idea. Latino students account for 3.6% of the school’s total undergraduate students. Is this how the faculty makes them feel welcome? Naturally, the school issued an apology, with some seeing it as an opportunity.

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These pictures are circa 1880-1890 in Western Kentucky. They show what most African American school houses looked like during this period. I’m so happy to have been able to find these pictures, go through archives, and learn the history of African American education in Kentucky this summer. I’m sad it’s almost coming to a close. 

Credit:  Superintendent of Public Instruction Photo Collection, Archives and Records Management Division – Kentucky Department for Library and Archives

University of Louisville will take down massive Confederate monument

More than a century after it was erected, the 70-foot-tall monument to Confederate soldiers that stands on the University of Louisville’s main campus will be taken down. "This monument represents our history — a painful part of our nation’s history for many — and it’s best moved to a new location.” New location meaning storage — but only temporarily.

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Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll
Research on the psychological effects of racism, especially on people of color, is still in the early stages. But psychologists warn that events like the Charleston shooting can cause serious stress.

“We hear in the news about African-Americans being shot in a church, and this brings up all sorts of other things and experiences,” says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville. “Maybe that specific thing has never happened to us. But maybe we’ve had uncle or aunts who have experienced things like this, or we know people in our community [who have], and their stories have been passed down. So we have this whole cultural knowledge of these sorts of events happening, which then sort of primes us for this type of traumatization.”

God plan was for Jennifer Lawrence to be a University of Louisville student that drives a Chevrolet Cruze and has every color of the North Face fleeces but she had other ideas.

College Professor Babysits Single Mom’s Kids So She Can Finish Her Exam


Monica Romero says she needed a “miracle” to finish her final exam. A babysitter had cancelled on her at the last minute, and the single mom had been forced to bring her two kids to class with her.

She left them with a computer and a tablet on a couch out in the hall; but, as Romero told Buzzfeed, she was filled with “anxiety about it because I knew they weren’t going to sit still.”

“To get the test complete, it’s going to take a miracle,” the Army ROTC student at the University of Louisville thought to herself.

That “miracle,” it turned out, would come from an unlikely place: Her college professor – who also became her emergency babysitter.

In this viral photograph snapped by classmate Victoria Henry, U.S. military history professor Dr. Daniel Krebs is pictured babysitting Romero’s young daughter and son while she finished her exam.

Romero, 28, told Buzzfeed that her 4-year-old son, Marcus, had started banging on the door in an attempt to get her attention mere moments after she started her test.

When she went to placate him, Romero says Dr. Krebs followed her out into the hall.

“I thought he was going to ask me to leave,” she said.

But instead, the professor surprised her with an unexpectedly thoughtful offer.

“Dr. Krebs said, ‘Don’t worry. Go take your test. I’ve got them,’” the mom told ABC News.