A Black cultural icon will soon visit the Queen City to discuss health.
You may remember Bern Nadette Stanis as the middle Evan’s child on the classic 1970s television show “Good Times.” Stanis made history in her role as Thelma Evans, the first Black teenage female series-regular in a television show.
“That didn’t hit me until later in life. I didn’t understand it,” said Stanis. “I was young. So I didn’t know that they didn’t really have other people until I started studying.”
Stanis will discuss topics like healthy living and her experience as a caregiver to her late mother, Eula Stanislaus, who had Alzheimer’s.
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What have you been up to since the end of the show?
So many things. I still write, and I still do poetry. I still dance. And right now, I’m in a show called “The Family Business,” which took up a lot of my time last year, which is good. I was in the fourth season of The Family Business; it’s on BET+. I came on in the fourth season and did ten episodes.
What changes have you seen in the TV industry throughout your experience?
We got benefits that they don’t give today. We got treated like real stars. Our security was taken care of; our pension was taken care of. We worked five days a week, just like a regular job. But our job was from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays; on Thursdays, we came in at 12. We had a lightweight schedule. It’s not like it is today, where they’re rushing everything. We were on salary. We worked for three weeks, and for one week, we rested. We had everything.
What was one of your biggest takeaways from being on Good Times?
I realized that when you’re working, it’s a working environment. And don’t mix personal settings with your professional environments because it lessens the impact on your performance.
How does the topic you’ll be speaking on tie into your personal life?
We’re focused on 65 years and older and caregivers because we need a lot of attention, especially in our community; we’re lacking in many ways. My mom got Alzheimer’s, and at the time, I didn’t even understand how even to pronounce the word. I’d never seen Black people on television with Alzheimer’s. So I didn’t even think we got that disease.
There was so much ignorance because it was not exposed to us. United Healthcare is opening that door for our people to understand different diseases.
A lot of times, we don’t know where to reach out to, we don’t know who to trust, and we don’t know where to go. And believe me, I was in that position when I was going through this with my mother. So I am honored to be part of this movement because we need it.
What is your view on being a personal caregiver versus putting a family member in a home?
You have to ask yourself, “Can I really handle this? Can I treat her with the dignity and respect she deserves without becoming overwhelmed?”
Be honest with yourself; if you can’t do it, there are places where you can take them for daily activities, or you can take them and put them in a home if you want. I would not; I would put that as a last resort. Because unless you understand that, you can visit the home 24 hours a day, I don’t recommend putting them in a home where everything’s cut off at eight o’clock.
What other topics are you passionate about outside of healthcare?
I’m very passionate about relationships and finances. I think we can better our condition by understanding the dynamics we go through as African American people. So I want to be a part of all of that, to enlighten even one person, one couple, a few young people to understand finances and what you must do and what you must not do.
Date: Nov. 5
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m; 3:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m
Location: 3400 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216
Register at this link.