People You Should Know

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

 


Obamacare the Hot Topic at Pumps, Pearls & Politics Forum Nov. 5

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Miami, FL – October 30, 2017 – The Fifth Annual Pumps, Pearls & Politics presented by the Connection Committee of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority switches its signature event to a community conversation format with the hot topic of Obamacare taking center stage.

In an increasingly polarized political environment, health care reform has been caught in the cross fire of the partisan struggle, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Special guest, health-care attorney and author Daniel E. Dawes, will present the truth on the secret backstory of the Affordable Care Act, shedding light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American health care. His eye-opening and authoritative narrative written from an insider’s perspective, 150 Years of ObamaCare, debunks contemporary understandings of health care reform. It also provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and the little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing public policies and laws reforming mental health, minority health, and universal health.

If You Go:
What: Pumps, Pearls & Politics 2017: The Truth About the Affordable Care Act
When: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 4:00 PM
Where: Allen Chapel AME Church, 1201 NW 111 Street, Miami, Florida 33167
Admission: FREE (Register at http://pumpspearlspolitics2017.eventbrite.com.)

For more information email Natasha Hines, Connection Chair at pumpspearlspolitics@gmail.com.


Proud And Persistent: The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. Celebrates 40th Anniversary At Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon

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WASHINGTON/PRNewswire/ -- The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) celebrated its 40th anniversary, Thursday, September 21, 2017, hosting its Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon in the nation's capital and encouraging the more than 1,200 elected officials, journalists, corporate and community leaders and members of its National Collaborating Organizations who attended the event to help chart a path for the future.


"For 40 years, The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. has protected, secured, and advanced, the issues and rights of African-American women and their families," explained BWA President Gwainevere Catchings Hess. "Today we pay tribute to our founders. In these anxious and uncertain times, we also reaffirm our commitment to speaking truth to power and securing for Black women all of the opportunities and privileges America promises its citizens."
During its Awards Luncheon, BWA continued the tradition of recognizing the achievements of phenomenal women. This year's award recipients included:


The Honorable Kamala D. Harris – Dynamic U.S. Senator representing the State of California and a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader. Serving as California's Attorney General, Harris prosecuted transnational gangs exploiting women and children and trafficking in guns and drugs. As a member of the Senate, she co-introduced a bipartisan bill which encourages states to reform or replace the practice of money bail. She spoke out against President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military and called upon him to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides immigrant students who arrived in the U.S. as children with temporary relief from deportation. Senator Harris was presented with BWA's President's Award.


April Ryan – White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Network and a political analyst for CNN, accepted BWA's Education Award. A member of the White House press corps for more than 20 years, Ryan has distinguished herself by conducting one-on-one interviews with Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as key members of their administration. She has also kept issues of interest and importance to minorities front and center by posing tough questions to President Donald Trump and his staff during press conferences and White House briefings.


Cadet Simone Askew – The first African-American woman to lead the 4,400 Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point received BWA's Pinnacle Award. An international history major from Fairfax, VA, Askew assumed the highest position in the cadet chain of command last month. As first captain, she is responsible for the overall performance of the Corps of Cadets as well as serving as a liaison between the cadets and the military school's administration.


Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH – Executive Vice President Ascension and President and Chief Executive Officer Ascension Health Care, was the recipient of BWA's Health Award. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. Dr. Maryland has responsibility for the strategic and operational aspects of Ascension Healthcare, with more than 141 hospitals and 2500 sites of care in 24 states and Washington, DC.


Dr. Hazel N. Dukes – President, NAACP New York State Conference, was introduced as the organization's Economic and Business Awardee. Dr. Dukes has a long and devoted record of helping to improve the quality of life in New York State, promoting equality and human rights, and linking business, government, and social causes. Dr. Dukes also serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors and the organization's Executive Committee.


Briana Richardson – a freshman at Spelman College, majoring in political science received BWA's Bright Future Award, which recognizes a student or group of students whose academic achievements and service to school and community distinguish them as future leaders and success stories. The co-founder and president of her high school's "The Activist Among Us Club," Richardson was named by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as one of the state's "Outstanding Young People."


This year, BWA's perennially popular workshop invited women to focus on themselves by "Living Your Best Life at Every Age." Moderated by lawyer and television personality Star Jones, the interactive forum encouraged the nearly 700 participants to broaden horizons, welcome challenges and agitate norms. Panelists included: Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications, Inc.; Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO, Black Women's Health Imperative; Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, Howard University and former president of Shaw University; Cadet Simone Askew, First Captain, Corps of Cadets, United States Military Academy; Nikki Giovanni, Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech University and a celebrated poet, writer, and activist, and Claudia Jones, Senior VP, Public Affairs and Communications, AT&T.


BWA also hosted an Inform & Inspire workshop for middle-school age girls enrolled in a Washington, DC chapter of Girls, Inc. The program featured Kara McCullough, a physical scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the reigning Miss USA who, in a lively, candid discussion, reminded the girls that pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, setting goals and working hard to realize them can be a beautiful thing.


In the United States these days, the word "out" is popping up with disturbing frequency," said BWA's Hess. "There are people who want to kick LGBTQ service people 'out' of the military. There are those who are in favor of building a wall to keep immigrants 'out' of our country. Officials are redrawing districts in various cities to keep some citizens 'out' of the voting booths. That's not who we are as a nation, and it can't be what we allow America to become. Today, I ask you to reject the politics of fear, hatred, and division and focus instead on the word 'in.' Invite, inform, inspire, initiate, instruct, invest, innovate, include. We must take an active role in reclaiming this nation's conscience, and we must begin this work today."

 


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 flheritage.com/preservation/folklife.

 


HAIL TO THE CHIEF: EBONY to Release President Obama Commemorative Issue

EBONY MAGAZINE OBAMA SPECIAL EDITION COVER

Special collector’s edition salutes eight years of excellence 


CHICAGO — To mark the political ascent and enduring legacy of President Barack H. Obama, EBONY has published a special commemorative edition, “Hail to the Chief: Saluting Eight Years of Excellence.” This stylish, thought-provoking issue (83 pages; $10.99) is a unique collection of exclusive photographs, archival EBONY articles and hard-hitting analyses from leading African-American writers including award-winning poet, author and civil rights activist, Nikki Giovanni; MSNBC award-winning journalist Joy-Ann Reid; culturally astute critic Eric Deggans; pop culture pundit Touré; and New York Times best-selling author Baratunde Thurston.

“Our readers know the utter importance of simple images of Obama and the first family in a White House that had been very literal with respect to its previous inhabitants,” says Kyra Kyles, editor-in-chief of EBONY.  “But our team went well beyond the aesthetics and recruited the most sought-after Black thought leaders to candidly discuss the social context around his administration, his achievements over two terms and the impact he will have as our first but hopefully not our last.”

Among the highlights:

  • Editor’s Letter: EIC Kyles bids adieu to President Barack Obama in this touching reflection on his absolute grace under partisan fire.

  • Poetic Justice: Nikki Giovanni pens an exclusive poem for EBONY capturing the essence of the first African-American president.

  • The Legacy: From his electrifying ascent to the legislative imprint he leaves behind, EBONY examines President Obama’s undeniable impact on health care, race relations, gay and women’s rights.

  • The Love: We examine the love shared by President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama and its impact on uplifting Black families.

  • The Look: By combining haute couture with dashes of attainable attire, the first family embraced the power of fashion.

  • The Laughs: He could have occasionally been dubbed “comic-in-chief.”  A look at Obama’s best clapbacks.

  • Famous Farewells: Supporters ranging from members of Congress to well-known entertainers offer their thanks and words of encouragement to the 44th U.S. president.  

 
EBONY’s commemorative special commemorative edition will be available December 20 for purchase on newsstands only

 


Gallon Sworn-in as School Board Member [Videos/Photos]

 

Gallon Swearing-in
Newly elected Miami-Dade County School Board Member, District 1, Dr. Steve Gallon III is sworn in by Dr. Solomon C. Stinson, former School Board Chair, retired educator and administrator as Kastevia Gallon-Martin, daughter of Dr. Gallon looks on.

Veteran educator Dr. Steve Gallon III was sworn-in as Miami-Dade County School Board Member for District 1, on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 before a standing room-only audience in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium. 

After being sworn-in by his mentor, former School Board chair and retired educator and school district administrator Dr. Solomon C. Stinson, Dr. Gallon delivered rousing and heartfelt remarks from the dais. It would not be an exaggeration to describe it as a Barack Obama-like moment as evidenced by the cheers from the audience. 

 

Video by Alecia Bethel

Congratulations to all of the other newly-elected and re-elected School Board members: Mari Tere Rojas; Lubby Navarro; Dr. Larry Feldman; Dr. Martin Karp and Susie Castillo. The new Board Chair and Vice Chair are Dr. Larry Feldman and Dr. Marta Perez

In addition to Dr. Stinson, other retired MDCPS veterans in attendance included Dr. Jim Moye; Dr. Mike Wagner; Tom Cerra; Dr. Shirley Johnson; Nelson Diaz and Delio Diaz. Community leaders present included Atty. H.T. Smith; Atty. Rod Vereen; Pastor Arthur Jackson; Pastor Wayne Lomax; Mayor Enid WeismanPierre Rutledge; Ronda Vangates; Treska RogersDC Clark; Kat Tynes; Larry Williams; and Darryl Holsendolph

 

Gallon District Swearing
Pastor Arthur Jackson of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens and School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III


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The celebration continued the same evening with a swearing-in ceremony in District 1. During his campaign, Board Member Gallon stressed the importance of community engagement for the students, parents and stakeholders in District 1 which includes Miami Gardens;  North Miami; Opa-Locka; and portions of Miami Lakes and North Miami Beach. 

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The staff of the North Region Office, Carol City Middle School and the 5000 Role Models collaborated to present a wonderful event highlighted by student performances and Grammy-nominated spoken word artist Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns

At the community ceremony, Dr. Stinson stood with Dr. Gallon as the oath of office was administered by Dr. Gallon’s daughter, Kastevia Gallon-Martin. Greetings were given by City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. Remarks were given by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. City of North Miami Vice Mayor Alix Desulme made a presentation on behalf of his city. 

Additional dignitaries joining in the community celebration included Commissioner Audrey Edmonson; Commissioner Betty T. Ferguson and UPPAC leaders; Atty. Larry Handfield; Pastor Dwayne Richardson; Pastor Johnny Barber; James Wright; Terry Wright; Councilman David Williams, Jr.; Councilwoman Felicia Robinson; Retha Boone-Fye and PTA/PTSA representatives from surrounding schools. 

 

 

 


Kwanzaa in Action: DCS Mentoring Program Gives Back to the Community

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The young men of the DCS Mentoring Program learned a lesson in giving back. The young men, in collaboration with the 100 Black Men of South Florida, arose early last Saturday morning and gathered at Publix in Aventura to pack boxes of Thanksgiving fixings for families in our community. They each selected a deserving family to receive a Thanksgiving basket.  

If you are the parent of a young man ages 8-17, you should consider enrolling him in the program. They learn valuable life skills including discipline, etiquette, grooming and personal responsibility. Since its inception in August, the program has expanded to two age groups 8-12 and 13-17 with 50 per age group. Enrollment acceptance is on a first come first served basis. If you are not able to pay the fee in full, the program administrators will work with you.

For more information, call DC Clark at 305.342.5864 or email DCClark88@gmail.com. Sponsors are also needed to help deliver this life-changing and empowering program to young men in our community.

#umoja #kujichagulia #ujima #ujamaa #nia #kuumba#imani

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