Culture

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. 

 


Topdog/Underdog begins Nov. 2 at the Arsht Center

 

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Zoetic Stage and
the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
present

TOPDOG/UNDERDOG
By Suzan-Lori Parks

A Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy about brotherhood and family identity


Opens the 2017-2018 season for Zoetic Stage and
the Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close Series

Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County are proud to present TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, a Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy by Suzan-Lori Parks. Playing November 2 – November 19, 2017 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), TOPDOG/UNDERDOG launches Zoetic Stage’s 2017-2018 season at the Arsht Center as part of the Center’s highly-acclaimed Theater Up Close Series.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG is a darkly comic tale of brotherhood and family identity. The play tells the story of Lincoln (Eddie Brown) and Booth (Marckenson Charles), two African-American brothers (whose names were given to them as a joke) coping with women, work, poverty, gambling, racism, and their troubled upbringings. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.

Zoetic Stage was founded in 2010 to create fresh, bold interpretations of contemporary plays and musicals, and is dedicated to enhancing South Florida’s national artistic profile by producing regional premieres and developing new works to become part of the American stage repertoire. The company will co-present three more exciting productions with the Arsht Center in the 2017-2018 season. Zoetic Stage’s 7th anniversary season will continue with the world premiere of Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts (January 18 – February 4, 2018), the latest work by Christopher Demos-Brown, award-winning writer of Stripped, American Son and Fear Up Harsh; the South Florida premiere of Dancing Lessons (March 8 – March 25, 2018), Mark St. Germain’s poignant and hilarious romantic comedy; and the South Florida premiere of the five-time Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home (April 12 – May 13, 2018).

Tickets to TOPDOG/UNDERDOG may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.

 


3rd Annual Sankofa Jazz Fest, Sat. 4/8/17

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3rd Annual Sankofa Jazz Fest featuring Grammy-winning trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton with Amina Scott and Joe Dyson.

The lineup includes Miami’s very own New Vision Sax Ensemble, the Ladies of Simply Simone, South Broward High School Jazz Band, Joseph Miller, Joel Perez, and Aniye Strachan.

Performance Schedule

1:30 pm Gates Open

2:15 pm Melton Mustafa Next Generation Jazz Contest Participants

3:00 pm Joseph Miller

3:30 pm Ladies of Simply Simone

4:15 pm Leesa Richards

5:00 pm New Vision Sax Ensemble

6:00 pm Nicholas Payton Trio featuring Amina Scott and Joe Dyson

 

Come early, bring your lawn chairs and lots of friends to enjoy this FREE outdoor concert.

For vendor space, call 305.638.6771.

 

Admission is free; RSVP at http://ahcacmiami.eventbrite.com/


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

 


Kwanzaa Celebration in Miami Friday, 12/30

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"Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba and Our Constant Striving: Repairing, Renewing and Remaking Our World" 

Join us for the 27th ANNUAL MARY WILLIAMS WOODARD LEGACY KWANZAA CELEBRATION in Miami, Florida. This joyous celebration of family, friends and community is the largest and longest-running local public celebration of the Nguzo Saba (Principles of Kwanzaa). 

This year, we are excited that Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs will join us as our keynote speaker. Hobbs is a historian, professor, author, professor, and social commentator. We will also be treated to the talents of musician, dancer and artist, Prince Emmanuel Abiodun Aderele and the OsunDara Dance Theater, Grammy-nominated spoken word artist Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns and the award-winning Next Generation Dance Academy. 

Culture influencer, philanthropist, speaker and mogul-in-the-making, Zoe Terry returns with her Zoe’s Great Doll Give-Away. Zoe’s Dolls collects and distributes little brown dolls for little brown girls. 

In addition to the Kwanzaa Celebration traditions of uplift and unity, there will be a special community prayer for healing in our prayer and for the victims of senseless gun violence that have taken so many lives.

Our unsung hero community salute goes to William “DC” Clark and his recently activated DCS Mentoring Program for young males. Clark, along with other like-minded, committed men, and a few women, teach young men self-respect, discipline, responsibility, etiquette and other valuable life skills.  

Hosted by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association, the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture and Osun's Village African Caribbean Arts Corridor. 

The event is FREE but please register at KwanzaaMiami.eventbrite.com. Kwanzaa is a non-religious, non-political, family-friendly holiday. Enjoy the Soul Food Feast, music, dancing and celebrating with friends.

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

If you have any questions, email Vanessa Byers at vanessawbyers@gmail.com or call (305) 343-9088.  HARAMBEE!

#KwanzaaMiami2016 #NguzoSaba #TheSevenPrinciples

 


IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company to Expand Annual Festival with Prestigious 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Grant 


IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company
IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company


 
IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company, Miami’s premier Afro-Cuban cultural organization, has been awarded a prestigious 2016 Knight Arts Challenge grant in the amount of $20,000 to expand its one-of-a-kind annual Afro-Cuban dance festival.  IFE-ILE is a two-time winner of the Knight Arts Challenge.
 
Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that bring South Florida together through the arts. IFE-ILE is among 44 local projects that will share $2.78 million from the Knight Arts Challenge. The winning ideas are authentically Miami, using the arts to provide a voice to a range of people and communities and reflect the essence of the city.
 
“This project aims to convert IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival, already an important intermediary of Afro-Cuban culture in Miami, into a repository of Cuban culture and an important link between both shores.”
 
IFE-ILE recently celebrated its 16th Annual IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival. Torres, an award-winning choreographer and instructor, plans to use the grant funds to expand the festival, which already produces a wide array of workshops for all ages reflecting the diversity of the African diaspora, live performances and academic discussions on relevant cultural topics. 
 
Torres is currently researching cultural re-encounters and retention patterns maintained by the Cuban emigrants. From this research, a performance narrative will explore the effect of the cultural division between those who leave their country and those who remain behind reflecting the identity crisis that many citizens from other countries in turmoil are facing today. IFE-ILE plans to invite five professional dancers and instructors from Cuba to collaborate on this project through a cultural exchange in the summer of 2017. The project will include seminars open to the public, workshops, a short-term camp for children with a closing performance.