Black History

Dr. Steve Gallon III named Educator of the Year by Legacy Magazine

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Congratulations to Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III who was named the 2018 EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR by Legacy Magazine and recognized at a regal Wakanda-themed reception. Dr. Gallon is also the recipient of the National School Boards Association Council of Urban Boards of Education's (CUBE) prestigious 2017 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award; was elected to the National School Boards Association's National Steering Committee and is president of the reactivated Miami Alliance of Black School Educators.

Congratulations to Dr. Gallon and all of the honorees of Legacy Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful & Influential Black Business Leaders of 2018.

 

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Overtown’s FolkLife Friday Open Air Market Celebrates the Soul of South Florida

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New Washington Heights Community Development Corporation presents FolkLife Friday Open Air Market Festival every first Friday along the 9th Street Pedestrian Mall located adjacent to the Historic Lyric Theater in Miami’s Overtown community. Powered by The Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, the festival is Overtown’s longest running and most consistent festival, celebrating over a decade of success highlighting South Florida’s movers and shakers, rhythms and vendors offering arts and crafts, foods and more.

FolkLife Friday returns Friday, May 4, with a new look, new sound and over 30 vendors offering custom created products from delicious Caribbean bites, freshly squeezed juices, skin oil and soaps, jewelry, artwork and so much more. Civil Rights Foot soldiers will also be honored by New Washington Heights President Jackie Bell and School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.

Bell, the matriarch of Overtown and founder/creator of the FolkLife Friday festival is a walking talking community treasure. Having lived most of her life in Overtown, her love for the community and desire to maintain and share its glorious history is paramount. One vehicle to accomplish that goal is this festival she founded nine years ago.

Revamped with new hours, 11 am to 8pm, it precedes the Lyric Live Talent Showcase at the Historic Lyric Theater, and will now include a Happy Hour from 5 pm to 8 pm, complete with full bars, appetizer samples, “Sip n Paint” with MUCE Art and live music featuring the “Larry Dogg Band”. Songstress Maryel Epps will kick off the day’s entertainment at 11:30 a.m.

 

If you go:
Friday, May 4, 2018
11 am – 8 pm
9th Street Pedestrian Mall
NW 9th Street, Miami FL 33136
(Adjacent to the Lyric Theater)

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From left, Nicole Gates, owner of Lil Greenhouse Grill in Overtown and community matriarch, FolkLife Friday founder/creator Jackie Bell.

 


School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III presents RISE UP, District 1’s Second Annual Black History Month Showcase.

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District 1 students will celebrate Black History through song, dance, visual art, and spoken word on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at Miami Carol City Senior High School. Come out and support our students in celebration of Black History Month and beyond. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in Miami Carol City Senior High School Auditorium, 3301 Miami Gardens Drive (NW 183rd Street) in Miami Gardens. You are advised to arrive early. Last year's event was standing-room only and some supporters had to be turned away to not violate fire laws. 


Art + Soul Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the PAMM Fund for African American Art

Don’t miss a festive evening of cocktails, food, and music at the Art + Soul Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the PAMM Fund for African American Art. This celebratory event will offer three unique opportunities to support PAMM’s efforts to build a diverse collection. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Fund. The Knight Foundation has generously agreed to match the event’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. She-J Hercules of 99 Jamz will join patrons as the DJ for "The Celebration" portion of the evening.

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“Too Black to Be Latina- Too Latina to Be Black”

Ascellia M. Arenas
Ascellia M. Arenas

First, we must define the difference between race and culture. We are all members of the human race, our cultural practices help define us. Culture is defined as follows:  

“the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."

"20th century popular culture"

synonyms:

the arts, the humanities, intellectual achievement; literature, music, painting, philosophy, the performing arts

"exposing their children to culture"

I grew up in Pembroke Pines, FL. My parents purchased a house in Pembroke Pines in 1974. We were one of five Black families living within the ten mile radius. There were many different cultures present in the neighborhood: Irish, Jewish, Italian, and Hispanic/Latino. I am identifiably Black. My skin is caramel  brown my hair is springy and fuzzy, not straight enough to be considered the acceptable version of “curly” not kinky enough to be demoralized for having “bad hair” (which I feel is an ignorant assessment, no matter what curl pattern is being described-all hair is “good”). Whenever the topic of race and multiculturalism was mentioned my white friends believed that the fact that they befriended me and that I was, and I quote, “pretty for a black girl,” meant that their perception and ideology was not inherently racist. I’d attempt to explain how it wasn’t really a compliment, but I understood anyway, and then they’d call me too militant.

My Hispanic/Latino friends thought it was funny when I spoke my broken Spanglish with them. They would quickly code switch because they believed that I wasn't Latina enough to even make an effort to speak our language. That caused me to be insecure. I’ve always been able to fluently read and comprehend the Spanish language; but, I would get nervous about proper use of verb tenses, other grammatical issues, my not knowing idiomatic phrases (slang) and whether or not my accent was correct. I’d answer in English so as not to cause a fuss or be embarrassed when corrected. That insecurity has been latent in my psyche since childhood. It is only until recently that even attempted to have full conversations in Spanish. I’m still not where I want to be but I speak intelligently enough to have conversations about life and things that truly matter. 

When my family members who do not share the same Hispanic/Latino heritage and culture would talk about me they would say, “she’s crazy,” “she thinks she’s white because she lives in Pembroke Pines,” and “you ain’t a real Cuban like them Hialeah Cubans, you Black.” Imagine that, my own family wanted to minimize the legitimacy of my home culture, life and heritage. At home, my father would speak Spanish with us. My mother prepared traditional Cuban cuisine with ease because it was so similar to other traditional Caribbean cuisine; which are all originally from Africa: beans, rice, plantains (platano), stews with seafood, stews with beef, and chicken: arroz  con hibichuelo, arroz con pollo, bisteak con arroz blanco y frijoles negro, rabo, paella, picadillo, you name it!  My father prepared Cuban coffee every single day, in his little metal coffee pot that you can only purchase in bodegas or Sedanos Markets. I learned all styles of dances, salsa, merengue, ballet, tap, and Jazz because my parents owned a school for the performing arts in Opa Locka called: CITOPA (children’s international theater of performing arts). I have been dancing and performing since I was six years old. 

My sister had a traditional quince, I did not. Hers was super fancy with gowns and tuxedos. My parents wanted to have mine in the community center in Pembroke Pines which I felt looked like a barn. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be as fancy as my sister’s quince: so, I told them to not worry about it. Besides, they were paying my tuition to attend St. Thomas Aquinas, they didn’t need that extra expense. 

Very early on I developed a keen interest in understanding myself, my culture, and who I wanted to become, as a woman. I didn’t have very many examples of Afro-Latinos  in mainstream media because they were forced to identify as Black American. I was named after Celia Cruz but, she was a far fetched example, most kids my age didn’t have an appreciation for music, like I was raised to have. So, using Celia Cruz left my friends even more confused about my culture and heritage. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned that Alphonso Ribeiro, and Tatyana Ali, from the TV Show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” were Hispanic. When I explained how it was possible to have black/brown skin and be legitimately Hispanic/Latino, they were my go-to examples. 

Throughout my life I have been called aggressive and combative because I say what I feel is my truth. I had to speak up for myself, I am both Black and Latina. I was raised to be proud of who I am and why my “different” made me special. I would not allow people to downplay me because of their own lack of knowledge and experience. I always knew that I was more than a “cute” little brown skinned girl who’s father speaks Spanish. I’ve always accepted that I am BLATINA. I am of African origin, as are all of us. My father’s family heritage and linage can be traced back to Spain, Cuba and Africa. I probably know more about who I am and where I’m from than most people. Yes, I am Afro-Latina and I am completely #woke. 

 


MLK Youth Symposium Sun. Jan. 14, 2018

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PARENTS AND YOUTH GROUP ORGANIZERS: PLEASE BRING YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOL AGE AND HIGH SCHOOL AGE YOUTH TO THIS IMPORTANT COMMUNITY EVENT.

The WISH Foundation, Inc. (Women Involved in Service to Humanity) and Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. present the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Symposium - A Conversation on Race, Sunday, January 14, 2018, 2 pm - 5 pm, Universal Truth Center for Better Living, 21310 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida 33056.

Featured Speakers are Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III who will engage in a Conversation with Parents and Bacardi Jackson of the Tucker Law Group who will deliver the closing challenge.

#MLKYS2018 #AKAGZO #AKA1908 #LNDS #SAR


Obamacare the Hot Topic at Pumps, Pearls & Politics Forum Nov. 5

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Miami, FL – October 30, 2017 – The Fifth Annual Pumps, Pearls & Politics presented by the Connection Committee of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority switches its signature event to a community conversation format with the hot topic of Obamacare taking center stage.

In an increasingly polarized political environment, health care reform has been caught in the cross fire of the partisan struggle, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Special guest, health-care attorney and author Daniel E. Dawes, will present the truth on the secret backstory of the Affordable Care Act, shedding light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American health care. His eye-opening and authoritative narrative written from an insider’s perspective, 150 Years of ObamaCare, debunks contemporary understandings of health care reform. It also provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and the little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing public policies and laws reforming mental health, minority health, and universal health.

If You Go:
What: Pumps, Pearls & Politics 2017: The Truth About the Affordable Care Act
When: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 4:00 PM
Where: Allen Chapel AME Church, 1201 NW 111 Street, Miami, Florida 33167
Admission: FREE (Register at http://pumpspearlspolitics2017.eventbrite.com.)

For more information email Natasha Hines, Connection Chair at pumpspearlspolitics@gmail.com.


Oakwood University Crowned Champion at 28th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

 


-Oakwood University awarded $75,000 institutional grant from Honda


-Bowie State University, Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University rounded out the top four teams


-Robert Batten, Dean of Bowie State University, named Coach of the Year

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TORRANCE, Calif., April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After twenty rounds of intense competition, Oakwood University was crowned the 28th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament (NCT) champion on Monday, April 10, taking home the championship trophy and earning a grant of $75,000 for their HBCU. The four-student team demonstrated its academic prowess by quickly and accurately answering questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture. Oakwood University was one of 48 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams that qualified for the NCT by competing in a series of regional competitions on campus throughout the academic year.

A packed studio audience filled with HBCU students, school presidents, alumni, volunteers, fans and Honda associates watched as Oakwood University clinched the title over runner-up Bowie State University. This is the third time Oakwood University has won the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.

Coached by Dr. Rennae Elliott, the winning team included Caleb Briggs, Olivia Campbell, Joshua Nwaoha and team captain, Sesly Huerfano.

"I've seen firsthand how the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge changes students' lives by building their confidence and giving them a place to belong on campus," said Dr. Rennae Elliott. "We have a whole network of people back home and across campus who have supported us throughout the tournament; it truly has been a team effort." 

Runner-up Bowie State University earned a $30,000 grant, while the third and fourth-place finishers – Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University – earned $20,000 each.

"Honda congratulates Oakwood University on their exciting achievement in the National Championship Tournament, and we applaud all of the students who participated in this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge program," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "HCASC is made possible each year through the efforts of the many volunteers and we extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers who helped make this annual tournament a success."

In addition to honoring the top four teams, Honda recognized outstanding individuals who have made an impact during this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. Robert Batten, 11-year HCASC coach and Dean of Bowie State University, was named Coach of the Year. Danian Medearis of North Carolina Central University was selected by fellow HCASC players to receive this year's Ernest C. Jones Sportsperson Award. Named for one of HCASC's early volunteers who mentored students in the program, the award recognizes a student who epitomizes team spirit, camaraderie, good sportsmanship and academic focus.

Honda established the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge in 1989 as a way to highlight and recognize the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for books and tuition, scholarships, enhancement of student programs and other investments to improve campus facilities. This year's journey to the championship began in the fall, with 89 HBCUs competing for a spot in the finals. Nearly 100 volunteers, including Honda associates, helped produce the 2017 National Championship Tournament, hosting the students, conducting registration and serving as game officials.

For photos, videos and more information about the 2017 HCASC competition, including a full list of the 48 teams that qualified, visit HCASC.com. Connect with HCASC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the conversation using #HCASC.


The First Principle of Kwanzaa: Umoja which means Unity

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Greeting: Habari gani! (What’s the news?) 
Response: Umoja! (Unity)

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa and the principle is Unity. To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community. Unity is needed to build the foundation of a self-sustaining, productive community. All productive people groups have practiced that. Light the black candle in the center.

Please spread the word:
27TH ANNUAL MARY WILLIAMS WOODARD LEGACY KWANZAA CELEBRATION
Friday, 12/30/2016, 4:30PM
African Heritage Cultural Arts Center 
6161 NW 22nd Avenue 
Miami, FL 33142

Donations of books and new, unwrapped educational toys are greatly appreciated. 

RSVP online at KwanzaaMiami.eventbrite.com.

For more information call the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture at (305) 343-9088. Harambee!!!

#wakeUP #STAYwoke #Kwanzaa #NguzoSaba #umoja #kujichagulia #ujima#ujamaa #nia #kuumba #imani #unity #selfdetermination#collectiveworkandresponsibility #cooperativeeconomics #purpose#creativity #faith #FAMU #MiamiDadeChapter #FAMUAlumni#OsunsVillageMiami #AMWFEC #commUNITY #KwanzaaMiami2016

 


It's Kwanzaa Time! Let's Celebrate in Miami! [VIDEO]

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Today is the first day of the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa. This is the fiftieth year that Kwanzaa has been celebrated. Now, more than ever, we need to live the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa all year long. Kwanzaa is not an anti-Christmas observance as some would have you to believe. Kwanzaa is not anti-religious either. Kwanzaa is a non-religious, non-political celebration intended to unite, educate, uplift, and strengthen the Black community. No one is going to save us but us. 

Please spread the word:
27TH ANNUAL MARY WILLIAMS WOODARD LEGACY KWANZAA CELEBRATION
Friday, 12/30/2016, 4:30PM
African Heritage Cultural Arts Center 
6161 NW 22nd Avenue 
Miami, FL 33142

Donations of books and new, unwrapped educational toys are greatly appreciated. 

RSVP online at KwanzaaMiami.eventbrite.com.

For more information call the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture at (305) 343-9088. Harambee!!!

 

#wakeUP #STAYwoke #Kwanzaa #NguzoSaba #umoja #kujichagulia #ujima#ujamaa #nia #kuumba #imani #unity #selfdetermination#collectiveworkandresponsibility #cooperativeeconomics #purpose#creativity #faith #FAMU #MiamiDadeChapter #FAMUAlumni#OsunsVillageMiami #AMWFEC #commUNITY #KwanzaaMiami2016