Anthony Anderson, Chrisette Michele Empower Black Community to Avoid Strokes

Anthony Anderson, Chrisette Michele Empower Black Community to Avoid Strokes
Chrisette Michele (center), and her parents

With stress factors such as an unemployment rate of 16.1 percent, the greatest prevalence of high blood pressure cases in the world and a history of diseases such as diabetes, it’s not  surprising that African Americans have higher death rates from strokes compared to whites.  However, such statistics do not have to lead to a sense of disempowerment as proven during the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s You Are The Power concert and awards ceremony held at the Apollo Theater May 7.  The event, which was hosted by Anthony Anderson and headlined by singer Chrisette Michele, is an education and awareness campaign meant to raise critical awareness within the African American population.

As the national spokesperson of the Power To End Stroke campaign, Michele is determined to improve her own health and educate others after her mother-manager, Lynette Payne’s recent stroke.

“I’ve lost seven pounds since my mother had a severe stroke two months ago because not to live what I’m telling her is silly. It makes me want to make other people aware of strokes and how to prevent it. So I hired a trainer on the road for me and now my mother is doing well and will be better.”

Hank Wasiak, chair of the stroke advisory committee for the American Heart Association, believes that in order for others to avoid a stroke in their lifetime they need to practice a healthy lifestyle.

“You control 80 percent of the risk factors for strokes and heart disease. If by the age of 50 you get your cholesterol checked, eat right and exercise a little, the chances of having any incidence of cardiovascular disease is reduced to under 5 perent.  If you take control of it, your heart and brain will be healthy and you’ll live longer and better,” he stated.

According to Pam Johnson, VP of the American Heart Association’s health equity and multicultural initiatives dealing with environmental stressors is a long-term goal of the program that should not hinder taking initiative for one’s health.

“Our environment affects us and we have to address it.  But for us it’s one step at a time.  If people can work on their environment then great but you yourself have to be your own advocate too.  So don’t just wait for the government to do that,” she advised.


For more information on taking control of your health please visit:

Photo Courtesy of Jaxon Photography

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