In the Feb. 9, 2012 edition of the Bay State Banner’s Arts & Entertainment section, “And the winner is ...,” Kam Williams wrote an excellent interview with T.J. Martin on his historic Oscar nomination in the best documentary feature category for his film “Undefeated.”
Williams wrote, “Here, T.J. talks about the possibility of becoming the first African American director to win an Oscar.”
I have a slight clarification.
Roger Ross Williams won the 2009 Oscar in the best documentary short subject category for “Music by Prudence” on March 7, 2010, actually making him the first black director to win.
Unfortunately, Williams’ groundbreaking victory that night was tarnished. Fellow documentary filmmaker Dr. Elinor Burkett, who co-produced the film, embarrassingly struggled with him on stage to hold the coveted statuette.
The controversial debacle made headlines around the world, as Burkett, who also interrupted his speech, made a huge spectacle of herself. The incident is often referred to as “Kayne-Gate II.”
March 8 is World Kidney Day, a time for everyone in Boston to take a moment to pay attention to their kidneys. Kidneys keep the body healthy by filtering 200 liters of blood every day and are essential to keeping our bodies free of toxins and regulating blood pressure.
But kidneys can be damaged by hypertension or diabetes, and chronic kidney disease is on the rise in the U.S. More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease and most don’t know it until it is too late.
Due to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, African Americans have an increased risk of developing kidney failure. African Americans need to be aware of these risk factors and visit their doctor or clinic regularly to check their blood sugar, blood pressure, urine protein and kidney function.
Observe World Kidney Day, and National Kidney Month in March, by getting your kidneys checked. Early detection, lifestyle changes and proper management of risk factors like diabetes and hypertension can help prevent kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation is offering a free kidney screening in Boston on March 8 at the Cathedral Housing Development, located at 1472 Washington St. To register, call (800) 542-4001.
Andrea Savisky, RN
Division Program Director
National Kidney Foundation