Lifestyle & Entertainment

Former First Lady Michelle Obama dines at Seaspice in Miami

Michelle obama and chef angel leon-2

Last Tuesday, Seaspice Miami had the honor of accommodating former First Lady, Michelle Obama for an amazing private dining experience!

Last Tuesday, Seaspice Miami had the honor of accommodating former First Lady, Michelle Obama for an amazing private dining experience!Seated on the orchid-covered terrace that overlooks the entire Miami River and skyline, Mrs. Obama dined with a group of 11 friends and secret service.

Executive Chef Angel Leon was tasked with preparing a curated 6-course menu featuring the highlights of Seaspice’s menu including oysters and caviar, local stone crabs, 1855 prime Ribeye and appropriately ending with the bestselling tres leches. The response from the former First Lady to owners Maryam and Carlos Miranda was literally “I have to tell you every course was simply exquisite”!

Mrs. Obama and group left the restaurant at 11 p.m. almost undetected by other diners.


FAMU President's Student Recruitment Tour Stops in Miami, Monday March 12

President's Tour 2018

Florida A&M University president Dr. Larry Robinson, the University’s performing troupe, the FAMU Connection, various FAMU staff and student leaders will make their Miami stop of the 2018 President’s Recruitment Tour at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 12, 2018, at Miami Jackson Senior High School Auditorium, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33142.

All interested high school students and their parents are invited to attend. Attendees will have an opportunity to chat one-on-one with University academic representatives, student leaders and alumni. Scholarships will be awarded on the spot to graduating seniors contingent upon qualifying GPA and test scores. 

Interested students can apply online at www.famu.edu/admissions

 

 

 


UPDATE: Miami TV News Producer Fired for Racial Slur Caught on Video

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Miami's WSVN News Producer Robin Cross has been terminated following video of her using a racial slur.

Miami’s WSVN-TV Channel 7 News producer Robin Cross has been terminated. Cross was the subject of international media coverage as the woman caught on cell phone video yelling at her neighbor about vehicle  parking. Cross’s profanity-laced tirade ended with her using a racial slur in reference to the Black girlfriend of her neighbor’s son.

It is unfortunate and disappointing that WSVN allowed this story to linger for five days before taking action beyond suspension of Cross. It is also unfortunate that WSVN didn’t use this as a teachable moment and opportunity for healing via a community conversation about race. America will never be as great a nation as she can be until that very painful and shameful issue is addressed and overcome.

Thank you to everyone who contacted WSVN to voice their opinions regarding the situation. This is what happens when people unite. This is what happens when we are more than just keyboard soldiers. This is what happens when we take action.

 

#STAYwoke

 

Related Link:

Miami's WSVN-TV Ch. 7 Producer Caught on Video Using Racial Slur and Profanity [VIDEO] [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

 


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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2018 ESSENCE Festival Initial Line-Up Announced July 5-8 In New Orleans

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NIGHTLY CONCERT SERIES SPOTLIGHTS WOMEN--WITH ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCES BYJANET JACKSON, MARY J. BLIGE, FANTASIA, XSCAPE, H.E.R., THE ROOTS FEATURING ERYKAH BADU, JILL SCOTT AND SNOOP DOGG

PLUS MIGUEL, DANIEL CAESAR, IDRIS ELBA AND MORE

GRAB YOUR SQUAD AND PLAN YOUR TRIP!

NEW YORK/PRNewswire/ -- ESSENCE wants you to grab your squad and plan your trip as it announces its exhilarating initial talent line-up for the 2018 ESSENCE Festival, taking place July 5-8 in New Orleans. The nightly concert series keeps the spotlight on women, featuring electrifying headline performances from Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; a headline set featuring Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, with special guests Snoop Dogg and many others in a special curation by The Roots; Xscape; Fantasia and Miguel*Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

This year's Festival will feature chart-topping names and inspiring experiences across four days of music, culture, empowerment and entertainment. The electric nighttime concerts will feature more than 40 acts and will take place across five stages at the Louisiana Superdome—including the Festival's renowned Mainstage and four intimate Superlounges. For the first-time, the Festival will also feature an ESSENCE Superlounge with a unique DJ-curated experience—with offerings by actor/DJ Idris Elba, MC Lyte and more. Also, for the first-time, the Festival welcomes an interactive music experience with The Read's Kid Fury and Crisslehosting a Superlounge.

*Artists scheduled to perform at the nightly ESSENCE Festival concerts over Fourth of July weekend at the Louisiana Superdome include: Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, along with Snoop Dogg and more in a special curation by The Roots; 112; Daniel Caesar; D-Nice; Doug E. Fresh's Legends of Hip-Hop Show featuring Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee and more; DVSN; Fantasia; H.E.R.; Idris Elba; Kelela; Kelly Price's For The Love of R&B featuring Dave Hollister and Vaughn Willis; Kevin Ross; MAJOR.; Mali Music; Marsha Ambrosius; MC Lyte; Miguel; Mykia Jovan; Ro James; Teddy Riley's New Jack Swing Experience featuring Wreckx-n-Effect, Blackstreet and Guy; The Read's Kid Fury and Crissle; VICTORY, Xscape and many more to be announced soon. Mainstage host: Roy Wood, Jr.

"In 2018, women are at the forefront of a seismic shift reverberating across the cultural landscape, and this movement comes to life for our community at the ESSENCE Festival," said Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications. "Some of the most iconic female artists and powerhouse performers of this generation—Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia and others—embrace ESSENCE and the Festival as a sacred space to entertain, inspire, revel in culture and be renewed."

Weekend ticket packages are on sale now with prices starting at $150. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival® visit EssenceFestival.com.

Join the Festival community: Follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of Festival on Facebook. The 2018 ESSENCE Festival® is presented by Coca-Cola®State Farm is a major sponsor. ESSENCE Festival is executive produced by Essence Communications Inc., and produced by Solomon Group with the ESSENCE® Empowerment Experience executive produced by GeChar.

*Artists subject to change.

 


Village of Palmetto Bay Recognizes Alpha Phi Alpha for Community Service

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From left to right, Village of Palmetto Bay Commissioner Larissa Siegel Lara, Village Clerk Missy Arocha, Iota Pi Lambda Chapter Vice-President Leslie Elus; Mayor Eugene Flinn; and Commissioner David Singer present proclamation to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
 
The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was honored by the Village of Palmetto Bay Commission for the organization's years of service to Miami-Dade County. Mayor Eugene Flinn highlighted the fraternity's national programs and the chapter's local initiatives hosted throughout the county. The Village Commission joined the Mayor to applaud and support the chapter's continued civic and philanthropic activities.
 
 

Miami Jackson Alumni Hall of Fame Induction March 3, 2018

The Miami Jackson Generals Alumni Association has announced their 2018 class of inductees into their Hall of Fame.

2018 Miami Jackson Senior High School Hall of Fame Inductees:

ATHLETICS - Nick Ferguson, Tim “Ice” Harris and Carmen Thomas Jackson

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT/PUBLIC SERVICE - Rodney Adkins, Bertha Watson Henry, Brian Person and Ronetta Williams Taylor

EDUCATION - Debra Mason Reddick and Rennina Taylor Turner

ENTREPRENEURSHIP - Tammi King-Miller and Isaac “Ike” Woods. Jr.

HEALTH AWARENESS - Dr. Rubin Thompson

JUSTICE - The Honorable Miguel de la O

RELIGION - Rev. Dr. Anthony Tate

CAROL WHITEHEAD LEGACY - Evangeline "Angie" Canty

The induction ceremony and dinner will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 3, 2018, in the Miami Jackson Senior High School Gymnasium, 1751 Northwest 36 Street, Miami, FL  33142.

The attire is dressy. Tickets are $50 each and the deadline to purchase is February 25, 2018. For ticket information contact Karen Duty at  305-206-8847 or knette@att.net or Rubye Howard 305-343-5072 or rubye17@bellsouth.net.

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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. 

 


New Showtime drama, THE CHI, is must-see TV and stars Miami's Alex Hibbert [VIDEO]

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Miami's Alex Hibbert graces the advertisement for the Showtime drama, THE CHI.

If you enjoy watching quality television, you owe it to yourself to check out Showtime’s THE CHI. It airs Sundays at 10 PM EST. Subscribers can also view episodes on demand on the Showtime app.

THE CHI chronicles the lives of residents of the South Side of Chicago. It humanizes people who have been dehumanized because of the numerous reports of death due to gun violence. As in many, urban, predominantly-black neighborhoods demonized by crime statistics and poverty, there is a beautiful side that is rarely shown. As one-sided as the South Side of Chicago is typically portrayed, THE CHI doesn’t shy away from its ugly side of crime, drugs and poverty.

Award-winning Chicago natives Lena Waithe (Emmy - Master of None) and Common (Academy Award - Selma) have presented a cinematically beautiful well-acted and well-written drama. Waithe made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Comedy Writing. It’s 2018 and we’re still celebrating Black “firsts” but let us not digress. The Chi cast includes Jason Mitchell (Brandon); Tiffany Boone (Jerrika); Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Ronnie); Jacob Latimore (Emmett); Yolanda Ross (Jada); Sonja Sohn (Laverne); and Miami’s own Alex Hibbert (Kevin).

You might remember Alex from his award-winning film debut as “Little” in the Miami-based and Miami-focused movie Moonlight which won multiple awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In Moonlight, Alex was incredibly expressive just using his eyes and body language. That same compelling quiet energy is evident as he portrays Kevin in THE CHI.

Since THE CHI has been renewed for a second season, we look forward to seeing more of Alex Hibbert on THE CHI next year. Episode 5 is scheduled to air on February 11 so you have plenty of time to binge watch the first four episodes to catch up with the storyline.

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From Episode 1: Alex Hibbert (left) as Kevin in scene with Jason Mitchell as Brandon, in hit Showtime series --- The Chi.

 

 Related Links:

Official Series Website - The Chi

More Than Moonlight: Alex Hibbert is a Child Actor Worth Watching