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October 2007

September 2007

Leadership and Empowerment Conference

The Honorable Karen Mills-Francis is the keynote speaker at the Leadership and Empowerment conference sponsored by the Pratt Missionary and Holy Spirit Christian Church, 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 13, 2007. The church's address is 1900 NW 183 Street, Miami Gardens.

The target audience is college-aged individuals but anyone can benefit from the strategies presented. Parents are especially encouraged to bring their high school age students.

In addition to Judge Mills-Francis, other speakers include Commander Alonzo Whitehead of the City of Miami Police Department and Ernie Long of the Aventura Police. The suggested donation is $25. For more information call Ms. Tyse at 786-523-3778.

Whatever Happened to Community Pride?

Trash Are you tired of your neighborhood looking like a dump? I know I am. Too often people blame others for their condition rather than just taking responsibility and standing up for their community and themselves.

Case in point, about three weeks ago, I was backing my car out of my driveway and noticed an older model four-door brown vehicle driving slowly down the street. As I waited for it to pass, I noticed a folded cardboard box on the trunk of the car. Naturally that appeared odd. As the car drove further down the street, I noticed the brake lights come on and the car appeared to pull over to the side of the road. Now I’ve seen that before, there was about to be some garbage dumping going on.

I slowed the pace of my vehicle enough for the driver of the brown vehicle to see me seeing him. As he pulled from the side of the road back into the street the box fell off of the trunk of the car. The driver hesitated and then drove off.

As I passed the box in the street, I slowed down to see what was in it and without getting out of the car, I could see the long nose and two eyes of a small animal. It appeared to be a dog but those kinds of things creep me out so I didn’t dawdle there.

So you know I’m really pissed off by the time I saw that. How dare he use my neighborhood as a dumping ground?!

I followed the car as it did one of those O.J. Simpson-Al Cowling white Bronco slow speed chase scenes. To make a long story short, the driver went back to the box that had fallen off of the car. I parked in the street and told one of my neighbors what happened so we both could watch him. The driver got out, picked up the box and put it back on the trunk of his car and drove off. He was a tall, slim to medium build black man in his mid-thirties to early forties.

I know that I probably shouldn’t have followed that car like that but I was angry. I called my mom as this was occurring so she’d know what was going on. I lost him in traffic but I’m willing to bet that he dropped that animal off in another predominantly-black neighborhood. That’s what my dad calls black-on-black crime.

I’m really angry with myself for not getting his tag number and taking a picture of his car. From here on out, whenever possible, I’m putting those kinds of people on blast. Photos…tag numbers…whatever it takes to keep my community safe and clean. Feel free to submit your own photos and information on folks that don’t keep our community clean. Enough is enough.

Miami is far from a perfect place but I really like living here. If we keep running north and don’t try to salvage our community, what legacy do we leave for future generations? Furthermore, what a message of ingratitude we send to our ancestors who made tremendous sacrifices for this community.

So, to all of you who have trash piles in your neighborood, shopping carts in front of your houses and throw trash out of your car windows or on the ground as you walk...pick that s_ _ _ up! Call Solid Waste  to pick up bulky items. Call Team Metro to report violations. It's our community, let's have some community pride.

Junior Achievement Needs Volunters!

Junior Achievement of Greater Miami

About Junior Achievement | Programs & Services | News & Events

Volunteers Needed!

The volunteer from Colonial Bank featured above had a blast with JA!  Now, we're looking for volunteers like her for the following dates and locations. Please email Scott at [email protected] if you can help!

Elementary Schools
Completed in one day, our "JA Days" at elementary schools are our most-popular events.  Volunteers present 5 fun activities over a single morning and afternoon. For more info, visit the "About Junior Achievement" page at

  • Wednesday, October 10th - W.J. Bryan Elementary, 1201 NE 125 Street, North Miami (33 classes).
  • Wednesday, October 17th - W.J. Bryan Elementary (Kindergarten Annex), 1201 NE 125 Street, North Miami (6 classes).
  • Friday, November 16th - Kensington Park Elementary, 711 NW 30 Avenue, Miami (56 classes).

Middle Schools
Help teach kids how to live on a budget and write a resume'!  Middle School volunteers must be willing to visit their classes a total of 8 times over the course of a semester.  For more info, visit the "About Junior Achievement" page at

  • Aventura Charter, 3333 NE 188 Street, Aventura
  • Multi-Ethnic Youth Group, 7900 NW 27 Avenue
  • Nautilus Middle School, 4301 North Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach
  • North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132, North Miami

High Schools
These are all on-going opportunities to teach either our "Company" or "Banks In Action" programs.  Volunteers must be willing to visit the school up-to-12 times over the course of a semester.  For more info, visit the "About Junior Achievement" page at 

  • Academy for Community Education High, 39 Zamora Avenue, Coral Gables
  • Archbishop Curley High, 4949 NE 2 Avenue, Miami
  • Booker T. Washington High, 1200 NW 6 Avenue, Miami
  • Coral Park High, 8865 SW 16 Street, Miami
  • Coral Reef High, 1010 SW 152 Street, Miami
  • Design & Architecture High (DASH), 4001 NE 2 Avenue, Miami
  • Hialeah High, 251 East 47 Street, Hialeah
  • Jackson High, 1751 NW 36 Street, Miami
  • Krop High, 1410 Countyline Road, Miami/Aventura
  • Miami Lakes Educational Center High, 5780 NW 158 Street, Miami Lakes
  • Miami Springs High, 751 Dove Avenue, Miami Springs
  • Multi-Ethnic Youth Group, 7900 NW 27 Avenue
  • North Miami High, 800 NE 137 Street, North Miami
  • North Miami Beach High, 1247 NE 167 Street, North Miami Beach
  • Northwestern High, 1100 NW 71 Street, Miami
  • Southwest High, 8855 SW 50 Terrace, Miami
  • William Turner Tech High, 10151 NW 19 Avenue

You will have a wonderful time volunteering with Junior Achievement...and the students will love you for it!  Please contact Scott Galvin at sgalvin@jamiami now and reserve your spot for the experience of a lifetime!

Junior Achievement of Greater Miami, Inc.
13490 NW 7th Avenue | North Miami, FL 33168 | (305) 687-3977

Nailah Franklin Update

The remains of Nailah Oliani Franklin were identified yesterday. There was obviously trauma in her transition from the physical world. I am so deeply saddened by this loss of life that there are no words to convey the myriad of feelings I am experiencing.

Nailah's death is yet another reminder of how sacred life is and how we must cherish each moment and each other. As her family prepares to celebrate her life, let's keep them in prayer.

More information will likely be released as the homicide investigation progresses. I pray that her killer is caught. Ashe'

More on FIU Student Hate Crime

Local news reports show that the three FIU students attacked on Miami Beach were confronted by as few as 20 males to as many as 35 males. One of the students attacked said he thought they were going to die.

The father of one of the attackers was shown on television in tears and trying defend his son's true character.

Stephen Barrett, the black victim, has not granted any interviews. While he is a victim, the other students attacked are victims also.

State Attorney's Office Releases Names of Judge and Gubernatorial Candidate in Stackhouse Case

In a press conference yesterday, State Attorney Kathy Fernandez-Rundle indicated that the campaigns of former Judge Shirylon McWhorter and gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith each received $250 from Stackhouse through his employees.

Those employees were reimbursed later from monies Stackhouse received for the failed Ponciana Park biotech project.

While the crimes for whaich Stackhouse is accused are significant, either the SAO's office or The Herald demonstrated overkill regarding his involvement with the last two campaigns.

Latino Teens Charged with Hate Crime in Attack on Black FIU Student

I didn't want to believe the news anchors report of the beating of a Black student from Florida International University in a hate crime but it was true. The attackers were not whites they were Latino teenagers.

The Black student, Stephen Barrett of New York was at a keg party with his dorm mates, Christopher Eden, white and Daniel Cabevas, white Latino. All of the FIU students are 18 years old.

The driver of the boat indicated that the boat was overloaded. The teens said "Get off the boat, nigger" to Barrett. The FIU students decided to wait and upon getting back to the mainland, were attacked by the Latinos who were now armed with baseball bats.

All three of the FIU students were attacked with Barrett the most seriously injured. In addition head injuries, the attackers attempted to drown him also.

Something about the story doesn't sound right. It seems that there should be several witnesses to this crime. The boat the young men was on was crowded remember? Shouldn't several witnesses have seen the attackers with bats? See previous sentence.

Miami is a strange place when it comes to race --- Far too many obviously Black people who claim to be something other than Black. There are too many damn categories that folks try to fit into or get compartmentalized into anyway. For the Latino guys, a couple of them darker than me, to call someone a nigger is ludicrous. Your African heritage is so apparent. Quit tripping and just be.

News of this incident is all over the internet. Freedom of speech issues one week and hate crimes another, this is not the publicity Florida's tourism officials and education officials like to see.

These young men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If not, there will likely be hell to pay in this town.

Hopefully Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and other officials will step up and quickly squash this kind of activity. On the other hand, the mayor doesn't exactly enjoy a positive relationship with the Black community so this could get very interesting. Stay tuned.

Four teens charged with beating of black FIU student

Posted on Tue, Sep. 25, 2007


[email protected]

Four teenagers have been charged with a hate crime, accused of the beating and attempted drowning of a black college student at Haulover Beach Park Marina over the weekend.

After calling him the N-word, the teens beat Florida International University freshman Stephen Barrett with a baseball bat and tried to drown him in the Intracoastal Waterway, Miami-Dade police said. [Continued…]

Stackhouse Contributions Questioned; Rolle Under Investigation

Things are not looking well for Miami-Dade County commissioner Dorrin Rolle. Defamed developer Dennis Stackhouse was jailed for campaign contributions violations in a scenario that leans toward malfeasance committed by the commissioner.

Also caught up in the investigation are an unnamed judge and an unnamed gubernatorial candidate.

Here’s the link to the Miami Herald article. Don’t miss the 2:30 press conference on the issue.

Know Your History: Railroad Shop

As time marches on and progress made, crucial to the quality of life for Blacks in Miami is a knowledge, appreciation and respect for the sacrifice and accomplishments of the people who came before us and shaped the history and landscape of the community we enjoy today.

Many know of Overtown with it’s once bustling businesses but few know of the area in Allapattah called Railroad Shop. Check out the Miami Herald article on Railroad Shop. Be sure to read the article and share the information with your children.

Here’s an excerpt:

Railroad Shop: The day a black community died

Posted on Mon, Sep. 24, 2007


[email protected] 



Georgia Ayers, who grew up in the Railroad Shop Colored Addition, holds some memorabilia -- family and friends photos, and an Abstract of Title to the property the family inhabited -- from before their eviction 60 years ago.

» More Photos

With the knock on the door of their modest home in Railroad Shop Colored Addition, a sense of dread overcame Deloris Johnson, her younger sister and her mother. They had two hours to move out.

A block or so away, James Bendross saw what was happening at the Johnsons' home. He and other boys home from school for the summer helped move belongings from neighbors' homes.

In North Carolina, Georgia Jones got word that her grandmother, Eliza Pierce, was forcibly removed from the home her family built in 1918.

Aug. 1, 1947, is forever seared in Jones' mind. On that steamy day, white police officers ordered 35 black families to leave Railroad Shop Colored Addition -- land that the Dade School Board wanted for a school, with room for the city of Miami to build a park for the white neighborhoods surrounding Railroad Shop.

At the time, most news organizations, including The Miami Herald, largely ignored the ramifications of what was happening -- except for the black newspapers of that day. Today, those who lived through the ordeal want future generations to know what happened to the area now known as Allapattah. They are pushing to have a middle school and streets renamed to reflect Railroad Shop's proud history.

It ended with the cruelest of ironies, when rain fell the night of the evictions, and many residents lost their possessions.

Some of the police officers apparently found their task distasteful. A Miami News article quoted an unidentified officer at the scene: ``I wish I wasn't a cop today.''


Sixty years ago, the residents fought back against the government's condemnation of their property, hiring a black attorney to take on a white City Hall and School Board. In July 1947, a judge gave the nod for ``immediate possession of the property.''

Two years later, the remaining homes were taken by the city to build a park and a fire station.

Families were offered about $150 per lot from the government, although several families negotiated for more. Pierce received $4,500 for a five-room home and eight lots that were filled with mango and avocado trees. Those who wanted to keep their homes had to pay the county for moving the houses to another lot. The few who could pay moved their houses to other parts of Miami or to the Carver Ranches section of Broward County. [Continued…]

Of Mychal Bell, Nooses and Two Americas

Presidential candidate John Edwards has spoken of two Americas. Perhaps America is in need of a remix of that speech. Not since the 1950’s has the United States’ ugly secret of racism been flaunted so blatantly. The day after the march in support of the Jena 6, racist white Americans in Louisiana continue to moon the rest of America by not releasing Mychal Bell.

Some people say that Justin Barker, the white student beaten by blacks, is being overlooked. Those same folks fail to consider that Justin attended an event only hours after leaving the hospital for his injuries. Those same folks are either unaware or choose to ignore the fact that Jena 6 defendant Robert Bailey was attacked by whites at an all-white party only days before the Barker incident. A white convenience store clerk also pulled a weapon on black youths. Is the media talking about that? I don’t think so.

It’s time for the federal government to step in and do what Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco has failed to do --- investigate the Louisiana judicial and educational systems. What is most disturbing about the Jena 6 case is how quickly law enforcement and education officials dismiss the display of nooses by whites as pranks yet feel justified in charging black teens with attempted murder for attacking a white teen and not filing any charges when a black teen was assaulted by whites. Come on, people, completely ignoring the ethnicity of the folks involved --- that’s just wrong.

This is the America that dictators like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez like to talk about. This is the America that Al-Qaeda cites as examples of the hypocrisy of democracy. If you didn’t know it before, you know it now: blacks are still terror victims in America today.

Don’t get it twisted; the America in which we live is the same America in which Republican candidates for president feel comfortable in alienating not just blacks, but Latinos also.

Undeniably there has been progress in the U.S. regarding race relations but when folks charged with meting out justice, flagrantly deny the rights of American citizens without any recourse, America has lost its way.