People You Should Know

 Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates in First South Florida Debate Tonight

The first South Florida Gubernatorial Debate of the 2018 election cycle will be held this evening, June 11, at 7 PM EST at Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL 33025. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) has partnered with several organizations to host this debate, dubbed the Florida Freedom Forum. Four of the five democratic candidates are scheduled to participate: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham, Chris King, and former Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine. Recently declared candidate, businessman Jeff Greene, is not scheduled to participate in this debate.

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If you are not one of those blessed with a ticket to watch it in person, not to fret, you can watch it online at the SEIU websiteor via their  Facebook page. There are also watch parties in TampaWest Palm BeachJacksonville, and Orlando. Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #FLFreedomForum.

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, a Miami native, and WLRN Public Media’s Luis Hernandez will co-moderate the forum.

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Joining SEIU to host this event is a coalition of groups including Dream Defenders Action FundFlorida Immigration Coalition (FLIC) VotesNew Florida MajorityOrganize FloridaPlanned Parenthood Florida PAC, and Color of Change PAC


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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Miami’s Melissa Mitchell wins SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest!

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Congratulations to Melissa Mitchell, winner of the SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest! Melissa is an Atlanta-based, self-taught artist, who has a love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold dark lines. Born and raised in Miami, she attributes her Bahamian heritage, melodic sounds and the colorful world around her as her greatest inspirations.  Her art has been featured around the world. Her unique head wraps, Abeille Creations, have adorned the likes of Lupita N’yongo featured in Vogue magazine. Melissa is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her art will debut on SPANX styles next Spring. Stay tuned! 


EBONY Magazine June Black Music Issue featuring Danai Gurira

EBONY magazine released its June issue, showcasing DANAI GURIRA on the cover. In the accompanying exclusive interview, EBONY sits down with the award-winning actress for an intimate conversation in which Gurira dishes on her climb in Hollywood, her activism and paying it forward.

“I feel called. … I feel like everything I do, everything—the blessings that I’ve received—are not necessarily for me. They’re for me to sturdy up my shoulders for other girls to stand on like I stand on other people’s shoulders,” says Gurira.

The June issue also features a celebration of Black music and a very special ’90s hip-hop beauty retrospective. In addition, readers will learn about Letoya Luckett’s new destiny; GOOD Music’s leading lady, Teyana Taylor, dishes on her beauty tips; and offers suggestions for the best swimsuits and Father’s Day gifts, via an exclusive gift guide.

“The June issue of EBONY is one to get very excited about. Music has always played—and continues to play—an integral role in Black culture. We hope this edition will deliver a robust celebration of music and get everyone involved,” says Linda Johnson Rice, CEO of EBONY Media Operations. “The June issue also aims to celebrate Black fathers and fatherhood. We take a deep dive into honoring the male role models in all of our lives through heart-touching stories and ideas for purchasing the man in your life the perfect gift for Father’s Day.”

Get the June 2018 digital edition of EBONY via Texture, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kindle and on newsstands May 24.  For more with Gurira and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to visit ebony.com/InsideEbony.

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Happy Mamas Day!

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While most of us will celebrate Mother’s Day today, here at Blogging Black Miami, we send a special shout out and much love to women we consider “Mamas” of the community. These queens hold us down, have our backs, move us forward, and keep us uplifted and informed all-year-long.

Thank You! We love you and appreciate you!

 

Honoring Mamas for 2018

Marleine Bastien

Jackie Bell

Kilan Bishop

Nakia Bowling

Thomasina Turner Diggs

Yvette Culver Dubose

Dorothy Jenkins Fields

Patricia Harper Garrett

Valencia Gunder

Tameka Hobbs

Renita Holmes

Rubye Howard

VonCarol Kinchens

Gepsie Metellus

Cheryl Mizell

Adora Obi Nweze

Tangela Sears

H. Leigh Toney

Jill Tracey

Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns

Dont underestimate me

#MothersDay #Kwanzaa365 #Umoja #Kujichagulia #Ujima #Nia #BlackWomenLead


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.

 


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