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June 2010

May 2010

What's Happening, SoFlo?

There's a lot going on this weekend in South Florida. Many black leaders and other concerned folks are attending the NAACP Leadership Summit at the Westin Diplomat. (I'll do a separate post later.) The organization is energized by it's new leader, Roslyn Brock, a dynamic young lady. The itinerary of workshops and events is awesome. They are doing big things. Check it out.

It's also Memorial Day Weekend so thousands of young blacks will make South Beach their destination for Urban Beach Week. Prepare for traffic jams if you're heading to Miami Beach. Also of note is Sizzle Beach Weekend (hope I got the name right) that caters to the LGBT crowd. Now I just know that's going to be a blast. Send photos of your weekend but keep them at least PG, OK?

Check out the latest 'Karate Kid' movie starring the oh so cute Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson. Some of you know you loved the first series of Karate Kid movies and this one looks to be just as endearing. Congratulations to Will and Jada Smith for producing such awesome kids --- Willow and Jaden. And let's not forget debonair Trey who hopefully decides to do something in front of the camera. Alright...alright, enough of the Smith family love fest.

Before I end this post, l would be remiss if I didn't throw in a reminder of what this weekend is about. The parties and other celebrations wouldn't be taking place, I probably wouldn't be writing this blog, were it not for our soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to this nation. Thank you.

As you can tell I'm moblogging. I'll holler later. Have a great weekend. Be safe, friends. Smooches...

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Target store in Miami Gardens

There's a nice Target in Miami Gardens or is it Miami Lakes? Not sure and it doesn't really matter. What is important to me is that the place is clean, the associates gave excellent customer service and the product I needed was in stock.

The store is on NW 183rd street and 57 avenue (Red Road). That's so far from where I live but since I'm working in the area, I stopped by.

Oh, I forgot to mention stress-free, FREE parking also.
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(MIAMI) – The Back Bone Cultural Group will sponsor a two day Ghanaian Festival May 22-23rd at Florida Memorial University featuring a ceremony conducted by His Majesty King Tettey Tsuru III of Accra, Ghana.  Aimed at increasing awareness of African culture and bringing reconciliation between Africans and Americans of African descent, the festival begins at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 22nd with vendors, followed by an opening ceremony and concert at 6:00 p.m. in the Lou Rawls Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25 per person each day and will be available at the door.


On Sunday, May 23rd, Commissioners Barbara J. Jordan (District 1) and Audrey M. Edmonson (District 3) will be crowned "Queen Mothers" during a traditional Ghanaian ceremony. The ceremony is 4:00 p.m. in the FMU/FIU auditorium. The "Queen Mother" title is traditionally given to Ghanaian women who are recognized for determining and addressing the needs of their constituents and consequently become "Women Warriors," who campaign for the betterment of their respective communities.


King Tettey Tsuru III, of the La Traditional Area of Accra, Ghana will crown the Commissioners during an authentic Ghanaian ceremony where they will receive the traditional armament that is worn by women of the Ga Tribe.  "We felt that in recognition of the many contributions made by these remarkable women, the highest honor we could bestow upon them would be that of "Queen Mother," a position which is recognized as one of the highest given in Ghanaian culture for women who work tirelessly on behalf of the community," said Vivian Coleman, president of the Back Bone Cultural Group, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting knowledge of African culture. The "Caribbean Kids Steel Orchestra" will also be performing in honor of the King's visit. The group is comprised of young people between the ages of 7-13 who are studying the art of playing the steel drum.


"Accra was founded by the Ga people of Ghana in the late 1600s and served as a center of trade with the Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, French and British. It is the final resting place of W. E. B. Dubois and the W.E.B. Dubose Center for Pan African Culture.  It is only fitting that we make the effort to engage people of African descent in order to encourage cultural and economic development between the two continents," she concluded.


For more information on the Commissioners' crowning ceremony, call the Black Affairs Advisory Board at (305) 375-4606.




Grad School Scholarship Opportunity: Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship Fund

Jacki Tuckfield, a champion of diversity, was as an Assistant Project Manager for the Codina Development Corporation when she passed away suddenly in 1997 at the age of 25. Her parents, Drs. Jack and Gloria Tuckfield, established this graduate business tuition scholarship Fund as an intellectual wealth-building strategy to carry forward their daughter's vision of improved diversity of career professionals in the executive, administrative and managerial levels of the South Florida workforce.

This Fund provides financial aid to African-American United States citizen residents of South Florida who are enrolled in master's and doctoral degree business programs at Florida universities during the Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer term of the 2010-2011 academic year. The applicant must plan to pursue her/his professional career in South Florida. To date the Fund has granted 295 awards, totaling $300,000, to recipients at eleven Florida universities.

For the 2010-2011 academic year the Fund will provide $10,000 in $1,000 tuition awards. The application deadline is Monday, June 14, 2010. You may obtain these documents by downloading them from or, or, by calling the Dade Community Foundation at (305-371-2711).

Vanessa Woodard Byers for Miami-Dade County School Board District 2


Joe Garcia on the oil spill in the Gulf

"In light of the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf Coast, I call upon the Florida legislature and Gov. Crist to proceed with an abundance of caution as the issue of offshore oil drilling is being discussed in the final days of Florida's legislative session and the months to come. We must do everything possible to protect Florida's beaches as this morning we learned the spill is five times worse than previously estimated and greater in size than Miami-Dade County.

"Our waters, coasts and beaches are among God's greatest gifts to us and we must protect them. They are where our children play and local fisherman catch the food millions of American families will eat tonight at their dinner tables. They are also an invaluable source of economic strength for communities throughout our state. Florida depends on its beaches to attract tourists and create jobs and revenues for small businesses. Should one drop of oil, or let alone a slick as large as the one off the state of Louisiana, near our shores, the consequences to the health of both our economy and our families would be devastating.

"My commitment to protecting Florida's lands, water and natural wildlife is firm and unyielding. Hence, I oppose drilling for oil anywhere near Florida's beaches. It's simply a risky proposition that Florida cannot afford. This issue goes beyond party lines, as witnessed in recent concerns raised by Gov. Crist and Republican State Sen. Haridopolos. Our children deserve to play in beaches that are clean and nobody should ever lose their job as a result of an oil spill, especially in these tough economic times. In Congress, I will focus my efforts on developing new energy from clean sources -- like the sun and wind -- that will create well-paying jobs here at home, never run out or put our economy or families at risk."

Doing big things: Yolanda Cash Jackson

Excellent article on lobbyist and lawyer, Yolanda Cash-Jackson:


Posted on Tuesday, May. 11, 2010


Networking key to success for busy lawyer-lobbyist


It is lunchtime at the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Becker & Poliakoff and Yolanda Cash Jackson is doling out hugs to several dozen women in power suits and designer dresses gathered in the conference room. As they swap business cards and laughs over fried okra, Jackson encourages conversation around the room. She's determined that her guests leave with new contacts.

Networking is a skill Jackson, 51, has honed in her evolution from a litigator to a lobbyist, a big reason she wields unique power both at her law firm in Fort Lauderdale and the Capitol in Tallahassee. She has created this Sister to Sister group to give African-American women of influence a place to renew friendships and make connections. She's also taken some members of the group shopping -- or rather, ``relationship building.'' ``I use every opportunity because my work and my social life are intertwined,'' Jackson tells me.

I am intrigued. For anyone who sees only the negative in making life about work, there's Jackson to prove them wrong. Hearing this woman enthusiastically describe her jam-packed schedule makes me rethink my whole concept of work-life balance. Jackson has blurred the line, and she's having a ball doing it.



Journalism scholarship created in honor of Herald's first black reporter

Herald logo Here’s important news for minority graduating and/or rising seniors at local high schools who have a strong interest in the journalism field plus a solid academic background.

The Special Minority Journalism Scholarship Program was created in honor of Thirlee Smith, Jr., the first black reporter at The Miami Herald, is designed to attract minorities to the media industry.

This program is open to students in The Herald’s circulation areas who are graduating from high school in 2010 or rising seniors in the 2010-2011 school year.

Scholarship applicants will be interviewed and judged by a panel of professionals at the Miami Herald Media Company.  The number of scholarships awarded will depend on the strength of the applicant pool.

Key Features of the Program

  1. Scholarships are available to high school seniors and/or rising seniors in The Miami Herald’s circulation area who are interested in pursuing careers in any aspect of The Miami Herald news operation – news reporting, interactive, copy editing, photography, design, layout, multimedia and business/marketing.

  1. Scholarship winner(s) will receive a  $500 scholarship and an eight-week internship at the Miami Herald Media Company.  The winner must agree to be available for the internship in the year in which it is awarded.  Every effort will be made to provide the internship in the area of interest to the student.

  1. A newsroom coach/guide will be assigned during the internship. 

  1. In selecting candidates, three criteria will be used: a demonstrated interest in journalism; good academic achievement; and, volunteer/community involvement. The Miami Herald seeks individuals who demonstrate all-around achievement.

Students meeting these requirements should complete the application and submit it no later than Monday, May 24, 2010. Click here to download scholarship application.

Questions should be directed to Natalie Piner at 305.376.2802 or


To find out more about Thirlee Smith Jr., read the South Florida Times article Thirlee Smith Jr. recognized as The Miami Herald's first black reporter.



Nominations accepted for Blogging Black Miami’s “Person of the Week”

Blogging Black Miami's Person of the Week

Is there someone you think deserves to be featured as Blogging Black Miami's Person of the Week? If so, we would like to hear from you.

Send an e-mail to and tell us whom you have in mind. Tell us who she or he is, what they have done and why she or he deserves this honor. It doesn't matter if they are famous or an unsung hero but we are looking for South Florida locals who have made a difference in the community. Get those nominations in. This is a golden opportunity to recognize residents doing the right thing in our community.


Race and diversity at American Senior High

Americanseniorhigh The Miami Herald is running a series on race and diversity at American Senior High School. The school opened in 1976 with almost a third each split between white, black and Latino students. Racial tensions escalated into fights and a lot of unwanted negative publicity. The Herald’s coverage focuses on the American High of today and compares and contrasts the school’s early years.

Be sure to check it out and check the students ethnic demographics in Miami-Dade schools.