CALL TO ACTION: Florida Senator Frank Artiles Must Resign After His Racist, Sexist Tirade [WARNING: Profane language]


From left, Florida Senators Frank Artiles; Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston. Artiles dropped the n-bomb and referred to Gibson as a "fucking asshole," "girl" and "bitch."  He also said six Republican niggas were responsible for Joe Negron becoming Senate President and later referred to Negron as a "pussy." To make matters worse,  Artiles  later tried to justify dropping the n-bomb by saying he's from Hialeah. 



On Monday evening, Florida Senator Frank Artiles, who represents District 40 here in Miami-Dade County, went on a racist, sexist tirade at the exclusive Governors Club in Tallahassee. Artiles verbally attacked fellow Senator Audrey Gibson from Duval County. Also present was Senator Perry Thurston from Broward County and others. Gibson and Thurston are black.

According to reports from the Miami Herald, Artiles dropped the n-bomb and referred to Senator Gibson as a “fucking asshole” a “girl” and a “bitch.” In this day and time, a male elected official, who is also an ethnic minority, that feels comfortable enough to spew such vile words must not be allowed to represent the people of Florida, especially Miami-Dade County. To make matters worse, Artiles also tried to justify dropping the n-bomb by saying he’s from Hialeah. Really? Hialeah? Hmmm….

As expected, there have been weak condemnations of Artiles’s outburst by his fellow Republicans and an expected announcement of an apology from the Senate floor today. An apology is an insufficient resolution to this situation. Artiles must resign. 

The Florida Democratic Party has called for Artiles to resign. The Black Caucus has called an emergency meeting regarding this matter. 

In the meantime, this CALL TO ACTION is requested.

1.  Contact Senator Frank Artiles and ask him to resign. There is no place for his hateful, racist and sexist thinking in American politics. 

Here are ways to contact Senator Artiles:

District Office

13501 SW 128th Street

Unit 115A

Miami, FL 33186

(305) 252-4300


Tallahassee Office

308 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5040




Twitter: @Artiles40 (Use hashtag #ArtilesMustResign.)


2.  Contact Senator Joe Negron, President of the Florida Senate, and ask him to have Senator Artiles to resign. 

Here are ways to Contact Senator Negron:

District Office 

3500 Southwest Corporate Parkway

Suite 204

Palm City, FL 34990

(772) 219-1665

Toll-Free (888) 759-0791


Tallahassee Office

305 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5025




Twitter: @joenegronfl (Use hashtag #ArtilesMustResign.)


3.  Stay tuned as this is an evolving situation. We are expected to react with anger and then go away. Not this time. Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for taking action. 


This is a matter of RESPECT. This is a teachable moment. Our children are watching how we handle this situation. #ArtilesMustResign




MIAMI, FL – The Black Owned Media Alliance is excited to announce the 2017 BOMA Awards.   The BOMA awards were established to honor agencies, businesses, and individuals who make a positive impact in the South Florida Black community.  This year the ceremony will be on April 26, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Miami Airport, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami, FL 33126.   BOMA President, Dexter Bridgman, says that “The BOMA Awards is a confirmation of the importance and significance of Black Owned Media in South Florida. We will continue to push for equality in media spending by engaging and educating the decision makers in our industry.”


The top honors for 2017 will go to Andrew Goldberg/Vice President of Marketing at the Adrienne Arsht Center and Ed O’Dell/Corporate Director of Communications and Partnerships at Jackson Health Systems. Both gentlemen will be honored for their commitment to go above and beyond the call to support and advocate for equality in the media and support for the South Florida Black community.


The 2017 BOMA Award Honorees to receive esteemed honor include:


Andrew Goldberg/Vice President of Marketing at the Adrienne Arsht Center will receive the BOMA CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Goldberg is a key member of the Executive Team for the largest performing arts company in South Florida and the new “Town Square” of downtown Miami. Now in its 11th season, the Adrienne Arsht Center has a budget of $35MM and is on track to operate “in the black” for 10 years in a row.


Ed O’Dell/Corporate Director of Communications and Partnerships at Jackson Health Systems will receive the BOMA CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD.  O’Dell spent 33 years in the newsroom as a multiple award-winning reporter, producer, and anchor.  O’Dell uses this experience, integrity, and trust to link professional organizations to media outlets, the community, and government bodies.


The Knight Foundation will receive the BOMA ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD.  The Knight Foundation is a national foundation.  Their goal is to foster, inform and engage communities, which they believe are essential for a healthy democracy.  Annually the Knight Foundation grants over one-hundred million dollars for journalism, technology, communities, and arts.


Jerry Rushin/Retired Vice President at Cox Media Group will receive the BOMA ICON OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Rushin was the driving force for all four Cox properties in Miami and his uncompromising commitment to broadcasting excellence and community involvement has combined to help the stations excel at serving the listening audience in a powerful way.  Rushin’s career has seen many prestigious milestones, including numerous awards, and his contributions to urban radio have helped to shape the industry.


The Reeves Family/Owner & Publisher for The Miami Times will receive the BOMA LEGEND OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Since 1923, The Miami Times has been an important part of the week for some of South Florida’s most sophisticated readers.  As South Florida’s oldest and largest Black newspaper, The Miami Times represents the pinnacle of community relations.

The Henry Family/Founder & Publisher for The Westside Gazette will receive the BOMA VANGUARD OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Since the first issue rolled off the press in 1971, the Westside Gazette newspaper has maintained the professional, insightful and reader sensitive reporting that has gained the trust and respect of South Florida’s African American community.  The Westside Gazette is set to empower the community with information, the Westside Gazette newspaper has been sensitive to the special needs of our readers.

Bishop Victor T. Curry/CEO & President at WMBM will receive the BOMA VISIONARY OF THE YEAR AWARD. Bishop Curry has not only maximized and excelled in what God has deposited in him but has also raised the bar for vision, leadership, courage, civic responsibility, ecclesiastical intellect, and compassion to new and unfathomable levels.  Curry is also the Founder & Bishop of New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International.


The remaining category ballots for the 2017 nominees for the BOMA Awards are: Marketing/PR Firm of the Year Award - Armstrong Creative Consulting, Circle of One Marketing, Hip Rock Star Advertising, Marketing & Communications, Marome Agency, Mosaic, Overtown Media, and Sonshine Communications; Advertising Agency of the Year Award – Media Counselors, RBB, Sonshine Communications,  Turkel Brand, and The Weinbach Group, and WOW Factor;  Black Advertisement Agency of the Year Award – Armstrong Creative Consulting, Circle of One Marketing, Hip Rock Star Advertising, Marketing & Communications, and Sonshine Communications; Best Communicator of the Year TV Award - Guylene Berry (Sa’k Pase Media), Jeremy “Chaos” Hannah (Video Mix), Calibe Thompson (Blondie Ras Productions, Inc.), and Patrick Eliancy (Island TV), Tamara Phillipeaux (Island TV); Best Communicator of the Year Radio Award -  MJ Smith (WMBM), Rhonel & Rebecca Morning Show (WSRF), Alex Saint Surin (1700 AM), and Bishop Victor T. Curry (WMBM); Best Communicator of the Year Radio Independent Award - Henry Crespo (The Development Firm), Eddie Edwards (Riddins Marketing), Marlon Hill (Riddins Marketing), Pat Montegue (WAVS), Duke of Earl (WAVS), “Jamaican” James T (WAVS), and James T. (James T Entertainment and Management); Best Communicator of the Year Print Award- Carolyn Guniss (The Miami Times and President of the South Florida Black Journalist Association), Michelle Hollinger (Sisterhood), Moderator Johnny L. Barber (The Gospel Truth), Daphne Taylor (South Florida Times), Gordan Williams (Caribbean Today), Zachery Rinkins (Rinkins Report), and Kay Brown (The Westside Gazette); Best Communicator of the Year Digital Award - Vanessa Woodard Byers (, Alexis Brown (Socialxchange Miami), LaShannon Petit (Circle of One Marketing), Wilameana Jones (The Wilameana Jones Experience), Tony & Woodie Lesesne (Lesesne Media Group), Nicky Gelin (Comcast/Xfinity), The Hungry Black Man, Black PR Wire, and Peter Bailey (NiteCap Media); Photo/Video Journalist of the Year Award - Tamar “Teekay” McLean, Adrian Freeman, Gregory Reed, David Muir, Andre Williams, and NightLife Photography; BOMA Rising Star Award - Shawn McCullough (In The Black), Alexis Brown (Socialxchange Miami), Fabiola Fleuranvil (MiamiSocial), and AD Campaign of the Year – “Vote That’s It” created by Hip Rock Star Advertising, “Rise Up Liberty City…Honoring Our Past – Building Our Future” created by Jambalaya Media Group, Overall Body of work - Publix, Overall Body of work - FPL, and It’s So Miami (Heritage Neighborhoods) created by Turkel Brand.  



The Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) was established in the summer of 2015 by Dexter A. Bridgeman (MIA Magazine) in collaboration with Tony Lesesne, Woodie Lesesne (Lesesne Media Group), Jessica Garrett Modkins (Hip Rock Star Advertising and, Garth Reeves (The Miami Times), Debra Toomer (WMBM), Sandy Walker (The Gospel Truth), and Peter Webley (Caribbean Today) to bond forces of common interest for the promotion, development, longevity, empowerment, and financial stability of Black owned media in South Florida. Additionally, BOMA is committed to accuracy in reporting while providing the market we serve with fair and balanced coverage.

The objective of our organization is to address the disparity that exists in advertisement spending with Black Owned Media. There must be a fair and balanced approach for the dissemination of advertising dollars to Black owned media in South Florida and to create awareness among the advertising community of the spending power of the Black dollar in South Florida.



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

HCASC 2017 Oakwood

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 Connect with HCASC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the conversation using #HCASC.

ICARE on TONIGHT's Chief Jimmy Brown Show to discuss disparity in contracting with Black businesses in Miami



Tonight at 9pm EST, Eric Pettus will guest host The Chief Jimmy Brown Show on 1490 WMBM. To listen, go to the web or download the app. 

Special invited guests are Darryl Holsendolph, Larry Williams and DC Clark who will discuss diversity issues related to government contracting particularly Miami Dade County Public Schools. You don't want to miss this one!!! 

Again, tune into or download the app. Call in to ask a question or make a comment by dialing any of the following numbers 305-953-9626 or 954-525-1490 or 888-599-WMBM. 

I've Been Nominated for a BOMA Award!


For several years I've been sharing news, information and commentary through Blogging Black Miami via several social media platforms. It is a labor of love. My mind is so blown that I have been nominated for a #BOMAAward - for Best Communicator of the Year- Digital!

Join me on Wednesday, April 26 for the 2017 BOMA Awards Luncheon! Tickets are available at Thank you to the Black-Owned Media Alliance for this awesome honor. Thank you to all of the readers, subscribers, contributors and supporters of Blogging Black Miami. 

Va-va sig 75x39



#BOMA#BlackOwnedMediaAlliance #2017BOMAAwards #BOMAAwards #VaVaNewMedia#socialmedia #digitalinfluencer #socialinfluencer #citizenjournalist #blogger#communicator



Call for direct-action from HBCU supporters to urge Congress for resources

WASHINGTON, DC -  Concerned alumni, students and friends of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are set to gather on Capitol Hill on April 27 for a National Day of Action to increase support for black institutions of higher learning.

The direct-action was organized to ensure accountability by the White House and members of Congress to not only maintain funding, but increase resources to HBCUs – pillar institutions to educating and supporting thousands.

The HBCU National Day of Action is organized by the HBCU Collective, a group of alumni, students and friends of HBCUs who work in politics and advocacy and are determined to preserve, support and grow HBCUs.

“Alumni and students play an integral role in preserving and growing our HBCUs,” said co-leader of the HBCU Collective Robert Stephens. “We’re here to make sure our elected officials see and feel the importance of HBCUs – and we’re here to hold them accountable for their support.”

On April 27, the HBCU Collective expects to galvanize support from more than 100 HBCUs across the nation on Capitol Hill to advocate to their members of Congress. And engage thousands through an online and social media based outreach to urge them to call, write and tweet their federal and state elected officials to make HBCUs a priority in state legislative sessions and in Congress.
The HBCU Collective has three asks from state and federal elected officials:
  • Increase financial support for students
  • Increase access and funding for federal research grants
  • Increase funding and assistance for facility upgrades
“We care about the existence of our institutions and we are going to make sure elected officials do exactly what they promised, and that is to support our HBCUs and their students financially,” said Dominique Warren, co-leader of the HBCU Collective.

HBCU Collective plans to host meetings with elected officials and staff members in their home districts and in the districts of HBCUs to make allocating funding and resources a priority during this Congressional session, and every session in the future.

Lucy McBath, mother of slain teen Jordan Davis, criticizes House passage of Stand Your Ground Expansion

Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, criticizes passage of HB 245 by Florida House of Representatives.
HB 245 Would Effectively Require Stand Your Ground Defendants to Be Convicted Twice, Once in Front of a Judge and Again in Front of a Jury
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lucy McBath, faith and outreach leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety, whose son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in a Florida gas station parking lot in a dispute over loud music, today released the following statement denouncing the House passage of HB 245, legislation that would expand Florida’s already lethal Stand Your Ground law. HB 245 would flip the burden of proof in pretrial immunity hearings to prosecutors, effectively requiring Stand Your Ground defendants to be convicted twice, once in front of a judge and once in front of a jury. The bill heads next to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.


“...Florida takes one step closer to becoming one of the few states to expand or enact a Stand Your Ground law since the senseless killings of my son, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin. Expanding the already deadly Stand Your Ground law in Florida will lead to even more families having their loved ones killed by gun violence, particularly families of color. Our lawmakers should focus on legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, not on measures that place targets on our children’s backs. We must continue to fight for the safety of our communities and we must hold Governor Rick Scott and other elected officials accountable for their support of legislation that will jeopardize public safety.”
Photo:  Moms Demand Action

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


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

Folk Heritage Award Recipient William “Billy the Kid” Emerson Honored in Ceremony in Tarpon Springs

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Folklife Program and the City of Tarpon Springs recognized 2017 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipient, William “Billy the Kid” Emerson, in a special ceremony today hosted at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. This ceremony honored Mr. Emerson for his lifelong contributions as a songwriter and producer.

William Emerson was born in Tarpon Springs in 1925, where he learned to play piano in church. Following in the footsteps of his uncle George Hannah, Emerson began performing publicly throughout the area. He joined the Navy in 1943, and after the war, resumed performing with Tampa area acts including Ivory Mitchell, the Billy Battle Band, and Alfonso Brown Band. He acquired the nickname “Billy the Kid” while playing with a band that dressed like cowboys.

Also a talented athlete, Emerson attended Florida A&M University on an athletic scholarship but left to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War. He later met Ike Turner and after being discharged, joined Turner’s Kings of Rhythm band. In 1954, he signed a contract with Sam Phillips and wrote and recorded hits for Sun Records including “When It Rains It Really Pours” (later recorded by Elvis Presley) and “Red Hot.” In 1955, he joined Vee-Jay Records, where he released “Every Woman I know (Crazy ‘Bout Automobiles).” Shortly after, he joined Chess Records as their recording manager. Emerson later formed Tarpon Records, and continued to record and perform rhythm & blues both internationally and abroad.

In 1978, Mr. Emerson rededicated himself to his faith, became a pastor and returned to Tarpon Springs where he continues to serve his congregation and compose sacred music. Although he no longer performs secular music, the compilation album, Red Hot: The Sun Years, was released in 2009, and Mr. Emerson was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.


William Emerson
William Emerson publicity photo

The Florida Department of State presents Florida Folk Heritage Awards annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage by perpetuating community traditions. Like the National Heritage Fellowships, the Florida Folk Heritage Awards honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance and authenticity as folk artists or folklife advocates. Information on how to make a nomination is available here and additional information regarding past recipients, including photos and bios, is available here.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For further information about the Florida Folklife Program, contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman at 850.245.6427 or visit


2nd Annual State of Black Miami conference to advance common agenda


Black Miamians of all nationalities and backgrounds will come together to advance a common agenda at the second annual “One Heritage: State of Black Miami” forum.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime and  his colleagues on the Miami-Dade Commission in association with Florida Memorial University, and other community stakeholders will convene a community conversation and assessment of Black Miami’s state of economic prosperity, community development, and our youth next generation as well as bridging the gap on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Florida Memorial University Lou Rawls Theater, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens, FL 33054.

The goal of the forum, which is open to the public, is to collectively pursue recommended ideas, initiatives, and legislative items that address the progress of Black Miami. There will be three separate roundtable discussions during which expert panelists will cover a range of topics including jobs, housing, transportation, education, health and criminal justice reform. Breakfast and lunch will be served. 

For more information or to RSVP, visit or call 305-694-2779 or send an email