Previous month:
September 2007
Next month:
November 2007

October 2007

Remembering Jesse J. McCrary

Jesse McCrary, attorney and the second black to serve as Florida's Secretary of State, has passed. Funeral service scheduled for 9 AM, Saturday, Nov. 3rd at New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith, 2300 NW 135 Street, Miami, FL., 305-685-3700.

More details will be posted as they are made available.


Related link:

African-Americans in Florida - Jesse J. McCrary, Jr.

MY VIEW: Black People, Can We Talk?

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

Miami-Dade County voters may soon elect the County's property appraiser. That may not seem like a big deal but it is. Such an election would likely lead to the election of other county-level positions such as police director, elections supervisor and tax collector. Don't be surprised if the school superintendent position became an elected position also.

With a Hispanic majority, that would assure all top positions in the County would be held by Hispanics and likely eliminate any possibility of a non-Hispanic person holding such a position again. Y'all know how polarizing voting is for almost every group except Blacks. We can't even get behind Barack Obama for President but let me not go there right now.

Anyhoo, if you think this is a "Let's Bash Cubans" post, you're wrong. Whining serves no purpose. Besides, the situation is not hopeless if we make wise, strategic choices and are willing to sacrifice.

Hmm…sacrifice. Did I lose you on that note? Far too many of us are unwilling to sacrifice lately. Let's just be real. Our unwillingness to sacrifice, especially for the collective, has been studied by others and used to cripple us. It's not just the hip-hop generation that has been blinded by the bling.

At the root of our problems as a people is our hatred of self. I'm sure you've heard that before. No matter the words that come out of our mouths, or the clothes we wear, we have succumbed to the ideology of white supremacy. I'll exercise brevity in making my point but the facts speak for themselves. We still think white is better than black and we demonstrate that every day.

How many times have you described straight or wavy hair as "good" hair and nappy or coarse hair as "bad" hair? How many Black businesses do you really support? Let's talk, Black people. An education at a predominantly white institution is superior to that of a black institution. Make sure you get a white lawyer if you want to win your case, don't get a black lawyer. I could go on and on with ridiculous statements we've either made ourselves or heard others make.

Hispanics demonstrate the same twisted view of their African ancestry with aspirations of Aryan physical features. Asians do the same with cosmetic surgery to un-slant their eyes. Think about it. There are other examples of skin lightening and rhinoplasty but I think you get my point. People are just crazy because when you combine all this and look at white people trying to tan and white women trying to have butts like Black women, it's all so neurotic.

But when all is said and done the neurosis in others doesn't position them, as a group, to be consumers rather than business owners. Users rather than producers. Generations have not been raised in poverty, single-parent households, dangerous public housing conditions and substandard education.

How does this change? It changes when we change our consciousness and return to our village mindset. I'll deal with that in detail in a future post but please take some time to listen to the video excerpt from Madea's Family Reunion. Even if you've already seen the movie, close your eyes and listen this time.

What say you, black people, can we talk?

UniverSOUL and Other Happenings

  UniverSOUL Circus

UniverSoul Circus Tickets
November 13-18, 2007
(To Sponsor the Socially,Economically Disadvantage or Senior Citizens )
Visit us on-line
Gossip Lies & Secrets
Starring: LisaRaye, Blue Cantrell, Kenya Moore,Christopher Williams, Malik Yoba, Clifton Powell, Tony Grant, Lia Grant, Patrice Lovely
Tampa, Florida: 
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 WC Macinnas Place
Sunday, October 28th
Tallahassee, Florida:
Leon County Civic Center
505 W. Pensacola St.
Thurs. November 1st
List Price:
$29.50 to $36.50
PraizeFest 2007
New World Entertainment & Rick Shaw
Praize Fest 2007
Featuring:  Mary Mary, Kiki Sheard, J. Moss, 21:03
Hosted by: James Sheppard
Saturday, October 27th
James L. Night Center
400 SE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL
List Price:
$33.00 to $58.00
List Price:
$35.00 Available
($65.00 SOLD OUT)
(Applicable $3.00 service charge applies per ticket.)
Call 1-877-9-GROUPS
Nobody Markets This Industry Better
Copyright (c) 1996-2007 Constant Contact. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under a separate written agreement with Constant Contact, neither the Constant Contact software, nor any content that appears on any Constant Contact site, including but not limited to, web pages, newsletters, or templates may be reproduced, republished, repurposed, or distributed without the prior written permission of Constant Contact. For inquiries regarding reproduction or distribution of any Constant Contact material, please contact [email protected].

Cheating Scandal at FSU

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Twenty-three FSU athletes accused of cheating on Internet exams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Two athletic department academic assistance employees have resigned and 23 Florida State University athletes were implicated in cheating on tests given over the Internet, school officials said Wednesday.

The athletes represent nine sports and 17 of the students are or have been on scholarship. Officials could not identify the students and could not say which sports are involved because of federal confidentiality restrictions.

University President T.K. Wetherell reported the findings in a letter to the NCAA. He indicated inquires are continuing although an internal investigation failed to find conclusive evidence of a more widespread pattern of cheating.

The students could face punishment from the university and NCAA including loss of eligibility. The NCAA also could sanction the university, but spokesman Erik Christianson said it would be speculative and declined comment.

"I think the school took appropriate action," said Jim Smith, chairman of the university's board of trustees and a former Florida attorney general. "It's unfortunate something like this could happen."

Wetherell ordered an investigation by the university's Office of Audit Services in May after receiving information an athletics department learning specialist had directed one athlete to take an online quiz for another and then provided the answers.

The student who took the test was not enrolled in the class and reported what happened to his athletics academic advisor. Neither he nor the other athlete, who had been unaware someone else took the test for him, were disciplined, the report said.

The investigation then found the learning specialist also typed papers for five students who apparently didn't qualify for that service and a tutor provided answers or other unethical assistance to 23 students for online tests. The testing involved a single course, which was not identified.

"Some students from the 2007 semester indicated that it was common knowledge among the student athletes that the tutor would help with the exams in the class," the report said.

The learning specialist and tutor resigned. They are not named in the report.

The tutor confirmed in an interview with the school's auditors that he had been assisting students with answers for the online exams since the fall of 2006, according to the report.

"Student testimony as well as the students' grades indicated the amount of assistance the tutor provided escalated from fall 2006 through his resignation during the summer semester 2007," the report stated.

The auditors also found the learning specialist had failed to direct athletes with disabilities to Florida State's Student Disability Resource Center where they could have received legitimate assistance.

The NCAA is also awaiting more details.

"We are aware of the situation and we will work with the institution when more information is submitted to our office," Christianson said.

Feds in Charge of Local Housing Agency

Feds take over Dade housing, meet leaders

With a pointed welcome from local activists, federal officials took over Miami-Dade County's scandal-plagued housing agency.

Posted on Sat, Oct. 27, 2007


[email protected]

  • Video | Federal takeover of Miami-Dade Housing Agency

Striking a cooperative, deliberate tone on Friday, federal housing leaders officially took control of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency -- and unexpectedly received an ominous welcome note from activists.

''Welcome to the neighborhood,'' the card announced in bold, blue marker. ``Respect your neighbors.''

A small group of organizers delivered the oversized greeting card by interrupting a morning meeting between senior staff from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the local housing agency.

''We just want to give them a gentle reminder that they're new in town,'' said Aiyeshia Hudson, an organizer with the Miami Workers Center, one of the activist groups.

One of the nation's top public housing administrators, HUD Assistant Secretary Orlando Cabrera, quickly thanked the group. Later, the executive who will run day-to-day operations said he is willing to meet with the activists. ''We want to listen to what they have to say,'' said Donald ''D.J.'' LaVoy, a retired Marine and veteran HUD administrator.

During a 90-minute meeting with housing agency workers, ''We said a little and listened a lot,'' Cabrera said.

Housing Agency Director Kris Warren, who now reports to LaVoy, declined comment and referred questions to HUD's spokesmen. [Read more…]

The Miami Herald Goes After County Bonus Pay

Today's Miami Herald focused on bonus pay to County employees. It seems that $1.5 million has been paid over the last six fiscal years. The Herald reported that Mayor Carlos Alvarez denied bonuses were paid and that employees had expense accounts when the received a $10,000 bonus while heading the police force. He also receives $3,500 a month for expenses.

Citizens will surely be angered by this report also. The Herald listed a few individuals and the amounts received. It would have been beneficial if they'd listed more employees and amounts received. Miami is looking like the capital of corruption. When will the bleeding stop?

Connecting and Uplifting: A World of Heroes from AfricaWrites

We received the following e-mail from Patrick Gorham of…

On behalf of the staff of AfricaWrites: Heroes, Rituals & Legends, I invite you to experience our fall update to Our newly featured stories are, "The Wassan Shanci - Contest of

Champions", "The Gnbache of King Me" and "Masks & Men Part 1: Soli Oumen and Koma".

These stories represent a window into the epic history and splendor of African culture and we, the staff of AfricaWrites hope that you will both enjoy and find interest in the pages of this update.

After checking the site and a few of the videos, I was impressed with the raw presentation of African culture that many of us have never experienced. As the message referenced a few other videos, I definitely look forward to seeing many more.

Check out the site and let us know what you think.

Remembering Hercules L. Joyner

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hercules Joyner in 1999 at a Florida A&M University National Alumni Association convention in Orlando. He was in the lobby of the host hotel surrounded by Rattlers of all ages. Of course, when introduced to him, a group of us did the "Hercules cheer" from the Eddie Murphy Nutty Professor movie.

He laughed and took it all in stride. I was struck by the way he treated everyone as if he'd known them forever. Mr. Joyner was cool.

Here's the info from the Black America Web site. Be sure to click below to send condolences to the Joyner family.


H.L. Joyner, father of Media Personality Tom Joyner,
Passed Away in Dallas Home

Send your Condolences to the Joyner Family

Hercules L. Joyner, 89, passed away Sunday in his Dallas home.

A native of Plant City, FL, Joyner is father of Tom Joyner, the nationally syndicated radio personality, and Albert Joyner, owner of McDonald's franchises in Jackson, MS.

"I really appreciate all of the sympathy and prayers expressed by all of my close friends and my listeners," Tom Joyner said. "Those that ever had the pleasure of meeting Pops know what an inspiring life he lived and what a proud man he always was. My family and I are thankful for all of your prayers."

Known for his dry wit and gentle ways,  'Pops', as he was affectionately called by family and friends, graduated from Florida A&M College with B.S. in Chemistry.  While at Florida A&M, Joyner pledged with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and became an avid golfer. In later years, 'The Herc' Golf Tournament was named after him.

After he enrolled in the program to become a Tuskegee Airman, he decided to switch from a military career and instead became an accountant, later spending much of his career working for the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Tuskegee. 

Joyner was the only child of Dr. Oscar Albert and Ruth Griffin Joyner, and married the late Frances Dumas, a graduate of Tennessee State University. 

To share his passion for black colleges, Joyner was an active member of the Tom Joyner Foundation, created by his son in 1998 with the sole mission to help keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made on H.L. Joyner's behalf to the Tom Joyner Foundation, P.O Box 630495, Irving, TX 75063.