Black History

A Moving Art Installation featuring South Florida’s Black Residents is set to tour the streets of Liberty City and Little Haiti

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MIAMI, FL - A South Florida photographer known for documenting Florida’s historically black neighborhoods is bringing her work back to the people she photographed  with a mobile photography installation.  Johanne Rahaman, creator of BlackFlorida, will unveil her latest exhibit, ‘From the South to the Southernmost- Liberty City to Little Haiti’ on a visible mobile LED screen truck that will tour these neighborhoods on Saturday, October 13, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Inspired by the relationships and familiarity to the people and the areas, Rahaman chooses to bring the exhibit to the streets instead of showing at an art gallery which can be considered to be “white spaces” and too “exclusive” for many.  This show is one of several more similar shows to follow in different neighborhoods.

The exhibition will feature images of community events Rahaman documented between 2015 and 2016 such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parades in Liberty City and the monthly ‘Big Night in Little Haiti’ community festival along with the popular Rara processions.  The mobile show will also incorporate a musical score using music Rahaman curated while photographing inside the homes, churches, businesses and streets.  “While the visual show engages, the music will entertain and drive the pace of the exhibit”, says Rahaman. “I prefer to collaborate with a DJ from the communities that I'm featuring, who will curate a playlist that compliments the story of that community.”  ‘From the South to the Southernmost’ will begin at NW 7th Avenue and NW 79th Street, criss-crossing the streets and avenues to 54th Street, then across 54 Street to Little Haiti

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‘BlackFlorida’ is a photographic archive showcasing the nuances of rural towns and inner cities throughout Florida.  BlackFlorida is also one of 43 projects awarded The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Arts Challenge 2017.

 


It's voting time! No excuses. Let's Go!

Wakanda the vote-2
Citizens of Wakanda, election season is upon us. Primary election day is August 28, 2018. If you are registered to vote in Florida, remember that you can vote by mail, vote early at any early voting site in your county or vote at your precinct on election day. See relevant information on the Miami-Dade County Elections site

Please see these resources from the League of Women Voters: BeReadyToVote.org and Vote411.org. Remember that the people who run things are those who vote. Blacks in Miami-Dade County are not expected to vote in significant numbers as long as Barack Obama is not on the ballot. Don't get mad, just vote. Wakanda Forever! 

This is how we should roll up in the polls to vote. #SquadGoals

Hidden figures

 Always remembering this:

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Choosing not to vote
 

 

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@vanessawbyers

 #InMyBlackPantherFeelings

 


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Installs 25th International President, Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker During Grand Boulé In New Orleans

 


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Valarie Hollingsworth-Baker, 25th International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated


WASHINGTON, July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, a 98-year-old international women's service organization, held its Grand Boulé in New Orleans from July 18 – 22, 2018 with the purpose of bringing members together for business meetings, fellowship, community service, and rededication to its founding principles of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. During the Grand Boulé, Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker, Zeta's immediate past International First Vice President, was elected to International President, and will lead the organization into its centennial year in 2020.

The Brooklyn native is the Director of the Inforce Systems Division for New York Life Insurance Company in New York City, responsible for managing multi-million-dollar projects and programs, training personnel, and overseeing new product development as the chief administrator of one of the company's major subsystems. She is an alumna of Fordham University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree at the young age of eighteen. Hollingsworth-Baker has been recognized in the "Who's Who of Information and Technology" and "Outstanding Women of America" publications.

St. Augustine's Church, the NAACP, and the Hancock T&T Block Association where she serves as the vice president.

Mary Breaux Wright, of Houston, Texas, precedes Hollingsworth-Baker as Zeta's 24th International President.  Under her leadership, the sorority held record-breaking fundraising efforts for the March of Dimes, and made notable contributions to St. Jude, the American Cancer Society, Women's Veterans ROCK, and the Smithsonian African American Museum. Wright also led Zeta's international expansion, chartering chapters in Belgium, England, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded in 1920 on the belief that the social nature of sorority life should not overshadow the real mission to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day. The international organization's 125,000+ initiated members, operating in more than 850 chapters, have given millions of voluntary hours to educate the public, provide scholarships, support charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change. For more information about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, please visit www.zphib1920.org.


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.