Memorial Day: Remembering the first South Florida soldier killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq - Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle
June Highlights: “96 Till Infinity”, how 1996 became the year that birthed musical legends; “How The 90s Changed Everything” salutes the artists who reinvented standards in the music industry; and “Daddy’s Home”, an inspiring profile of Gerald Hamilton’s life fostering over 100 children
CHICAGO – Known as one of the most prolific, and talented musicians of our generation, we honor Prince Rogers Nelson’s lifetime of music and artistry. In this special edition, EBONY reflects on Prince’s career, humanity, and all around genius in a 13-article tribute (p. 89). In the feature, “Prince: The Ebony Experience”, former EBONY editor Lynn Norment writes of the poignant and personal interviews she captured with Prince and his father, musician and composer, John L. Nelson. In his words to her, Prince states, “I was always different. I continued to evolve. Thank God.”
CNN political commentator Van Jones, ESPN Host and Op-Ed writer Bomani Jones, and veteran music journalist and Author Marshall Lewis are among the writers that share their thoughts, experiences, and insight in this rare and informative edition celebrating the life of Prince.
The June issue of EBONY magazine typically celebrates music, dads, and the anticipation of summer. With the untimely death of Prince, rap legend Phife, and Chicago radio legend Doug Banks, EIC Kierna Mayo boldly confesses that “Sometimes It Snows In April.” In her Editor’s Letter (p. 12), she writes, “You may want me to have words, but, dearly beloved, I have none. My peers have spoken for me – and all of us – in this, what you are holding, the Black Music Month Commemorative Issue of EBONY that we cried our way through.”
Sean A. Malcolm’s article “96 Till Infinity” (p. 18) exposes the infamous year when an elite group of Hip Hop and R&B Legends were crowned. Artists including Tupac, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Maxwell, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu created quintessential music that defined a generation and influenced a musical landscape. In addition, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, NWA, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, and Whitney Houston are featured in the article “How The 90s Changed Everything” (p. 120). This group of mega artists flipped the recording industry and instituted a new way of how American listened and consumed music and defined pop culture.
Alongside Black Music Month, EBONY celebrates fatherhood. “Elevate Daddy’s Home” (p. 68) is a strong and bold real life story of father and retired Chicago Detective Gerald Hamilton. Staff writer, Ian F. Blair, captures Hamilton’s life as a foster father to more than 100 children in the span of 40 years. Hamilton’s grandmother – to whom he was a caregiver while she battled Parkinson’s disease – inspired him to open his home and care for the many children caught in the foster care system. He felt that he needed to step up to the plate and aid children in need of a good home. Hamilton also says, “My mother, who was an administrator for the Detroit Public Schools, once told me that the most important role a Black man can fulfill is that of a father, and to be involved in his children’s lives. I took that seriously.”
Additionally, the June issue also breaks down “Juneteenth” (p. 87), a celebration marking which marks when the last slaves in the United States were freed; how to cash in on AirBnB (p. 84); and how to balance life when you’re trying to do too much in the article “All Poured Out” by EBONY Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux (p. 26).
The Miami-Dade County School Board District 1 Race is shaping up to be one of the hottest races of the 2016 local election cycle. Thus far, the candidates for the District 1 seat are Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway (incumbent); Rev. Dr. James Bush III; and Dr. Steve Gallon III. In addition to Holloway’s current service as the District 1 School Board Member, both he and Bush are former state representatives. Gallon, a first-time candidate for public office, has momentum in his favor as he has a tremendous lead in fundraising and presence on the ground and on social media.
In the spirit of transparency, I have known each of these candidates personally for at least thirty years. I think they are all fine gentlemen, and I respect each of them for their accomplishments and service to this community. I am, however, solidly on Team Gallon because I know his experience and leadership as a school district leader, educator and business person are what our students desperately need, and parents expect today.
Both Holloway and Bush deny any involvement in an anonymous letter sent to the Miami Times recently regarding Gallon and his tenure as superintendent of schools in New Jersey. It appears that attempts to smear Gallon have not changed his campaign strategy nor diminished his support among several local leaders including Dr. Solomon Stinson; Rev. Arthur Jackson; Atty. Larry Handfield and DC Clark.
It is likely that any efforts to keep Gallon out of that seat involve powerful people who are keenly aware of the energy and power shift that a Gallon victory brings to the School Board and in the Black community. That shift could also lead to a change in how District resources are allocated and spent. Stop playing checkers while other folks are playing chess. While many Black folks are easily manipulated by what are essentially emotional, not substantive topics, local political puppet masters continue to quietly build-up other communities while sometimes redirecting funds from the Black community. Pay attention, family. Wake up. Stay woke.
A change in leadership in the District 1 School Board seat has major positive implications. For sure folks in the community must get more involved in their neighborhood schools and state level education matters. We’ll discuss this race and more as we approach the Primary Election on August 30, 2016.
Our Time Is Now. Let's Take back our children. Let's take back our schools. Let's take back our communities.
See you on the campaign trail,
This is the follow-up post regarding construction of a charter school as part of the rebuilding of Liberty Square Housing Project AKA the Pork ‘n Beans.
by William DC Clark
It appears what Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said concerning the District's involvement in the Liberty Square Development was true after all.
By now, those of you who have been following ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) knows that when it comes to our respective schools, we don't take any prisoners. If we thought that anyone, including Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, was trying to destroy the fabric of our beloved institutions, then they would have hell to pay. So when we heard the District was involved in building a Charter School in the middle of the newly developed Liberty Square Apartments, we went ballistic. Not only would a new K-12 Charter School destroy Miami Northwestern and its entire feeder pattern, but the building of that school would also probably be a precursor to the start of gentrification in that area.
As you know, in a recent article written in the Miami Herald, it stated Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez threatened to report Mr. Carvalho to the Ethics Committee for violating the Cone of Silence due to his and the District's relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0. Waymark is one of the developers bidding on the Liberty Square development and was recently eliminated by the Mayor from this process. It made the Superintendent look like a shady character at best and worst, someone who couldn’t be trusted.
However, during a meeting between ICARE and the Superintendent, Mr. Carvalho brought with him some supporting documents (see below) that stated, even though the District does have a relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0, there were no plans in Waymark's submission letter to build a Charter school. Even though the letter said: "a new recreational space and other spaces are designed to serve Miami-Dade Public Schools ...for community programming..." it did not mention the District assisting Waymark in the building of any school.
In the end, it appears as if Mayor Gimenez purposely use that opportunity to throw Superintendent Carvalho under the bus and mislead the citizens of Miami-Dade County at the same time. Whether it was for political or personal reasons, the members of ICARE thinks the play that the Mayor made on Mr. Carvalho was horse shit and that he, instead of Mr. Carvalho, should be the one reported to the Ethics Committee.
As most of you should know by now, our relationship with Mr. Carvalho hasn't always been a healthy one. But at least, he finds the time to meet with us and has devoted a team around the clock to address our concerns. We will continue to stay on his ass until the concerns of our schools are met. The Mayor, however, meets with our community sporadically and have yet to address our concerns despite his Disparity study showing that the County spends less than 2% of their procurement budget with Black businesses. Does he truly care about our community? You do the math.
It's not always best to multitask but there are so many pressing issues at play that affect our daily lives that we must find a way to effectively address them or prepare ourselves for the ghastly aftermath. The Florida Legislature will deal with HB873 very soon. You should know that passage of the proposed legislation will continue the decimation of public education AND adversely affect disposable income of taxpayers.
Please pay attention to this message from the Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs/PTSAs. Call, email and tweet the legislators listed below. Ask them to vote NO on HB873. Thank You.
Children live what they learn. Even in the exclusive, wealthy area of exquisitely gorgeous homes and perfectly manicured lawns of Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, Florida, racism and lives and is perpetuated. We know this because of screenshots of excerpts of a GroupMe chat between some Miami Palmetto Senior High School lacrosse players that has been shared on social media.
Throughout the chat, the students cavalierly and hatefully drop the ‘n-bomb’ many times. Please take note of the attempt to distinguish between black people and niggers. The conversation is vile yet eye-opening. Some of the students have claimed to be friends with black students yet their hearts feel otherwise. Reality check. That’s the way the world is and it’s not likely to change. When children make reference to ghetto monkeys taking their tax dollars, you know they are regurgitating comments they’ve heard from adults.
After high school, these same young men that engaged in the conversation --- all white, except one black student --- are more likely to become doctors, lawyers, politicians and business owners than black children. Their decisions could affect the daily lives of many people that they think should be in cages or go back to their monkey habitats. And some folks take issue with the #BlackLivesMatter movement? If you are black, you feel the frustration of the black team member who tries to put the others in check for racists comments that have obviously been made before.
Some people, even black people, prefer to ignore race and racism. “After reviewing what has taken place at Palmetto High, I think it is time to have a conversation,” said Andre Joyce, whose team “the hope dealers” will discuss the issue tomorrow at 11 a.m. on 880 AM THE BIZ . “We will spend a portion of our time on the show talking about how the school and school system can address this matter. Additionally, we will spend some time talking with experts about the race and its effect on teenagers.” This incident is also on the radar of the local branch of the NAACP and branch president, Dr. Shirley B. Johnson has already notified Miami-Dade County Public Schools accordingly. The school district administration met with students on Monday to deal with the incident. The principal, Victoria Dobbs, posted a message about the incident on the school's website.
While I despise the racist rhetoric of the lacrosse players, the hateful, terroristic threats regarding killing blacks are the most egregious and deserving of consequences more severe than ‘counseling’ provided to the eight young men identified as conversation participants. The school district’s new emphasis on reducing the number of suspensions will likely preclude that as an option for punishment, especially for these students. If suspension is not an option, the young men should be required to do community service and the district should provide them mandatory racial sensitivity training.
While this article is about a private internet group chat among Miami Palmetto Senior High School students, rest assured, it is likely not an isolated incident in our schools throughout this nation. Schools are microcosms of our society. When our nation’s first black president is openly disrespected and blacks are subjected to police brutality with alarming frequency, why should we really expect anything different than the conversation of the Palmetto lacrosse players. Children live what they learn.
We who believe in freedom cannot rest. We who believe in freedom can not rest until it’s won. Until the killing of Black girls, Black mothers and daughters is as important as the killing of white girls, white mothers and daughters.
We at Power U are outraged by the recent video showing a Black young woman being pulled out of her school desk, dragged across the floor, and roughed up by a police officer in Columbia, SC.
This is an absolute abuse of power. This is child abuse. But as disgusting as this is, unfortunately it is an all too common experience for Black youth across this country. Time and time again we see cases of our young people’s human rights being violated in the one place above all others they should feel safe, in their schools.
We know that what happened in South Carolina is not an isolated event. Certainly this officer should be fired and charged with child abuse. However, this is not just about one police officer or any number of “bad apples.” This problem is systemic. To get at the root of this injustice we must examine the institutions of policing and schooling themselves.
In Miami we are all too familiar with the crisis facing black girls and young women. In our schools, Black girls are six times more likely than their white peers to be suspended. An overwhelming amount of research demonstrates that the hammer of punitive discipline largely targets Black students. In this context of structural racism, it’s no wonder we get the type of horrendous incidents depicted in the video above.
Police have no place in our learning environments. Arrests, expulsions, and suspensions are not appropriate ways to deal with issues of student conduct. If school districts are serious about addressing the school to prison pipeline, we must stop putting money into school police. Instead, we must reinvest resources in social workers, counselors, and restorative justice. We must dig deep and imagine something entirely different, liberatory solutions for our young people and communities.
- Ruth Jeannoel, Lead Organizer of Power U Center for Social Change
Miami Central retained the coveted ‘Commissioners Cup’ in the local high school football match-up against Miami Northwestern. As the trash-talking about the game subsides, it seems what happened after the game is a hot topic on social media.
Here’s what popular Miami Central alum DC Clark wrote on Facebook:
The Fruit Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree:
By now everyone knows that Central defeated Northwestern in football this weekend. But the bigger story is our student athletes failed to shake hands after the game. After a player from one team stomped on a player from another team while he was lying on the turf cramping, the coaches felt it was best for the players to go directly to the bus without shaking hands. In hindsight, the better move should've been to line them up, tell them beforehand that if anyone say and do something out of the ordinary they will be kicked off the team, and proceed to shake the opposing team's hand.
This rivalry has been very heated over the years with Alumni and former coaches coaching at each other's school. Most of the players played with each other growing up. So things are a little more heated than most. But what most Alumni and students don't know is both Alumni Associations are working together through ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) to solve the problems that plague us all. Also both Alumni Associations put in $1,500 each to hold a Joint Tailgate Party before the game. (Funds came from our Commissioners). But what our students mostly see is all the shit talking we do leading up to the game.
In the final analysis, we as adults have to do a better job in conveying to our children that it's just a game. We have to let them know that most of us know each other and in some cases are relatives of one another. Ultimately we have to let them know IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS. Remember from birth, our children mimic everything they see us do. If they think we place winning and losing a football game before everything else then they will do the same thing. And with some of them belonging to gangs and carrying weapons, things can turn ugly real fast. It is up to us to let our children know that it's only a game and it’ s not life and death.
Here are a few responses to Clark’s post:
At the end of the day, this is another teachable moment for the student-athletes at all schools and for the adults in their lives. I agree that football is not that serious, it's just a game. The reality for many boys is different, it's very serious. For many of them, their parents see football as an opportunity out of poverty and a better life for the family. Their coaches want to win. That's a lot of pressure for a child. Adults have fed the goal of attaining riches and fame to these young boys’ psyche since the pee wee leagues. Sports has been stressed more than academics for many, if not most, of these boys and now we expect them to behave in a civilized manner when losing against a rival in an important community competition?
The unsportsmanlike conduct between the players at Central and Northwestern needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. The principals and coaching staffs of both schools should meet on neutral ground, discuss the behavior, and shake hands like men. Anyone not willing to follow the rules should be removed from the team regardless of their playing ability and status. It’s simple, very simple.
My friend and high school classmate, William DC Clark, keeps the community informed via his Facebook page. Many of his posts are about Black History. At this time of the year, many are about athletics, especially Miami Central football. Others are comical. And then there are the thought-provoking posts like the one below...
DC: While fighting for more inclusion of our Urban Core schools, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told us that some folks in "other" communities feel that he does too much for Blacks. Yeah right, like we should be satisfied with receiving only 3 out of 53 Schools of Choice programs the District just recently rolled out. The truth is, some "others " feel that we shouldn't be given a damn thing. Blacks were treated like shit in the country they came from and they feel it should be the same way here. What they do not understand is you have Blacks in this country who aren't as docile as the ones under their control back "home" and don't mind standing up for what we believe in. Racist pigs.
In my opinion, it's easy to become angered by the Superintendent's comment but his comment reflects just how much Blacks have regressed as a group in Miami-Dade County. In spite of a few Blacks in some key positions and Black celebrities and professional athletes living in the area, we are largely merely tolerated, an afterthought, disrespected or down right ignored as a people group. His words should make us think.
Regardless of the demographic box we think we fall under --- African-American, Hispanic, Caribbean, biracial, multiracial, etc., if our skin is black, we are in the same boat. The Superintendent's words should make us think and move us to action to support our businesses in our community, elect leaders who move an agenda that focuses on the group rather than themselves or a few, get out and vote, and teach ourselves and our children to be proud of our African heritage.
Let's wake up, Black Miami.
|Dylann Storm Roof the arrested killer of nine worshippers Mother Emanuel AME Church|
Let me say this ... I love journalism and have been blessed to do what I love for a number of years. We do great work sometimes.But when it comes to covering racial issues, especially communities of color (read: black and brown), the industry sucks. It is past time that we stop with the disparate characterizations of suspects and victims based on skin color. Y'all know it happens all the time.
Dylann Roof wasn't created in a vacuum. He's a product of a society that taught him black people "rape" white women and must be slaughtered. That is a terrorist mindset. The only outlet that I've seen to label him as such is The Raw Story. Mainstream media ain't gonna do it. Yet, Dylann wore black or brown skin he'd be called a thug or worse from the onset.
Any crime story that involves a suspect of color will include race in the description high up in the story. If the suspect is white, there is no mention of race. That has happened since I've been in the industry. I made a point of including race in every story I wrote out of a sense of fairness. Of course, that was like dropping a pebble in the freakin' ocean. For every one story I wrote, there were 250 others that did just the opposite. Hard to even the narrative.
But it's more than just crime. Black people are marginalized in coverage in just about every aspect of life. Whether it's in broadcast or print news, or in episodic or reality TV, or in the movies. Viewers, readers, listeners are more likely to get a negative portrayal of us. And that message travels across waterways into other countries. People arrive in this country with the attitude that African Americans are shiftless, lazy, irresponsible bums, because that is the only message they get. hurts like heck to hear (overhear) islanders speak disparagingly of me and mine. Heck, we're in the same boat! You just don't realize it. Keep living here and you will learn!! Ugh!
I digress. Gotta stay focused. Media helped create Dylann Roof. Why listen, view or read media outlets that are unfair, partial and/or flat out wrong? Educate yourselves, people! Demand better. There is so much more to be said. But I haven't eaten much lately and have to get something in my stomach. Please, do yourself a favor and become a more discerning consumer of information. You really owe it to yourself, and to humanity.