Previous month:
June 2013
Next month:
August 2013

July 2013

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

My Dad was 85 years young yesterday. We celebrated by taking him out to dinner at P.F. Chang's in North Miami Beach. My niece and I documented the outing by posting a few photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Soon, family, friends and his former students were sending him birthday wishes from around the United States. He totally enjoyed the messages although he still doesn't quite understand how social media works.

It's such a blessing to have my Dad around. He has overcome several health challenges and at 85, has defied many actuarial studies.

Celebrate your loved ones everyday. Live…laugh…love as if today could be your last.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

- vb

Zimmerman Juror B29 says he got away with murder


ABC's Robin Roberts interviews George Zimmerman Juror B29


Juror B29, a 36 year-old black Puerto Rican woman, said George Zimmerman got away with murder when he killed Trayvon Martin. Now she's doubtful she did the right thing by giving in. Really? During an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, she said feels she owes Trayvon Martin's parents an apology. Really? 

Her interview will air on several shows ABC over the next few days. I do not plan to watch. We were already overexposed to Juror B37 and her foolishness. The trial has been analyzed up the wazoo. Anything else Juror B29 says will likely anger me.

A big deal was made about her ethnicity when the jury was selected. She is a light complected Hispanic black woman. Moving right along. 



Photo:   ABC-TV



Immanuel Temple Gives 1,200 Uniforms to Local School Students


MIAMI GARDENS—Immanuel Temple will distribute some 1,200 sets of free school uniforms to local students at its second-annual Come Together Day.

Come Together Day, the church’s free-admission community festival, will take place Saturday, July 27, 2013, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Golden Glades Elementary School, 16520 N.W. 28th Avenue, Miami Gardens, Fla.

Students who receive free or reduced lunch at public schools in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are eligible for the uniform giveaway of one free top and one free bottom per child of parents or guardians presenting proper identification and only three uniforms per family.

At no charge and open to the public, Come Together Day will also feature a health fair, music, games, food, fellowship and fun.

Come Together Day is the brainchild of the Reverend John F. White II.  White, a native of South Florida who has pastored in the state for a decade, has hosted the annual event at each church he has served. Continuing in his commitment to demonstrate tangible love and service to the community and its children, Immanuel Temple’s Come Together Day 2013 is White’s 11th.

White, along with his wife, the Reverend Maria Mallory White, are the servant-leaders of Immanuel Temple, which they launched Easter Sunday morning (April 8) 2013. The congregation worships Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Miami Carol City Senior High School auditorium.

As a foundational principle, Immanuel Temple has committed to “tithing” back into the community 10 percent of its income from tithes and offerings. With a budget totaling more than $25,000, Come Together Day is the largest single activity in that effort, as the Reverend White explains, “Immanuel Temple is a church not only in the community but one that gives back to the community.”

Immanuel Temple members and friends have been instrumental in supporting, planning and developing this effort, along with volunteering to serve the day of the event.  The church also will transport children from the Homeless Assistance Care Center (HAC North), 1550 N. Miami Avenue, to receive free uniforms and participate in Come Together Day food, fun and festivities.

For more information on Immanuel Temple’s “Come Together Day,” please contact Rev. White at (850) 212-2573. 


Controversy builds regarding efforts underway to recall Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert


Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert
Mayor Oliver Gilbert, III

What's going on with this plan to recall Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert? The report from NBC6 News indicates the reasons for recalling the Mayor are:

1. In the past he violated the state's election laws.
2. He oversees a city with one of the worst crime rates in the country. 
3. He hasn't handled the city's budget properly, and they say the city is $100 million in debt.

Political consultant Vanessa Brito, who we are told, doesn't live in Miami Gardens, is leading this effort. Dissatisfied Miami Gardens resident Fanny Arnold said that everyone is sorry they voted for Gilbert but others disagree. 

Vanessa Brito
Vanessa Brito

Gilbert alleges the proposed action is politically motivated. The charges, though they sound bad on the surface, can likely be clarified or explained. So what is this recall really about? Who's bankrolling this effort? Perhaps we'll know more tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

If you live in Miami Gardens, what do you think about this? Do you support the recall of Mayor Gilbert?

- vb

Photos:   Facebook


© 2013, Blogging Black Miami, 

“If you are not at the table, you're on the menu.” ~ Unknown

Support grows for Dream Defenders as they occupy Capitol, Gov. Scott will not call Special Session on SYG


Dream Defenders
Dream Defenders occupy Florida's Capitol building


Gov. Rick Scott thinks Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law is just fine. In spite of growing protest, requests for a Special Legislative Session and threats of boycotting Florida. NAN is spearheading a prayer vigil and rally in Miami and in 99 cities throughout the United States today in light of the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.. 

The governor has met with the Dream Defenders, an organization of young people, many college students, who are staging a sit-in at the Capitol. The Dream Defenders waited days for Gov. Scott to meet to discuss the issue. Miami’s Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and president of the Miami-Dade Branch, traveled to Tallahassee to show her organization’s support for the efforts of the Dream Defenders.  A call for direct action has been issued for Floridians to contact their legislators and ask for a Special Legislation on SYG. 

Stay tuned as the energy behind this issue shows no sign of diminishing.




Photo:   Dream Defenders Facebook



Pumps, Pearls and Politics Forum to be held on July 27 in Brickell Village


Several of South Florida's most powerful and influential women will discuss pressing political, social justice and human rights issues during a forum on July 27 in Brickell Village as the Connection Committee of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority hosts its Pumps, Pearls and Politics forum on July 27 in Brickell Village. 

The women leaders to be featured are: Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson; Mayor Cindy Lerner, Village of Pinecrest; Gepsie Metellus, Executive Director, Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center; Adora Obi Nweze, President of the FL State Conference of the NAACP and President of the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP; Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party and Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party; and Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, President of the Good Government Initiative.

Designed to connect concerned women and men throughout the community to dialog on issues of importance, some of the topics to be covered are: the Voting Rights Act; human trafficking; education; immigration; healthcare; gun violence; Trayvon Martin and Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.


If You go: 

When: Saturday, July 27, 2013, 2:30pm – 5:00pm

Where: Taverna Opa at Brickell Village, 900 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131

Tickets: $25 (Includes food and beverage).

Purchase tickets online:

Purchase tickets by mail: Make check or money order payable to and mail to Gamma Zeta Omega, PO Box 171926, Hialeah, FL 33017. (Checks and Money Orders must be received by 07/22/2013.)


Free Food Distribution, 7/20, 9a.m.-Noon

Farm Share partners with Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor, Mayor Miami-Dade County, Rep. Jeanette Nuñez; Rep. Jimmie Smith; Rep. Frank Artiles and the Department of Children and Families for a free food distribution at the South Florida Military Museum, 12450 SW 152nd  Street, Saturday, July 20, 2013, 9a.m.-Noon.

Documentation not needed. First come, first serve. For more information call Beatriz Lopez at (305) 252-4300 or email [email protected].


Marian Wright Edelman Statement: Justice Denied

WASHINGTON/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In case you missed it, below is the reaction of Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, to the verdict in the George Zimmerman case for the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Justice Denied

Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers' sons, is as important as the killing of White mothers' sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest. 
      - Ella Baker, Leading Mentor of Black Youth, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960's 

Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of history next to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all. 
      - Benjamin Crump, lawyer for Trayvon Martin's parents 

The reaction to the not guilty verdict from George Zimmerman's jury was swift and strong. Young people poured onto the streets in peaceful protests in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. By 3 a.m. more than 100,000 people signed an online petition urging the Justice Department to pursue civil rights violation charges against George Zimmerman.

The outrage over the killing of an unarmed Black teenager who was doing nothing wrong must continue until some semblance of justice is achieved. People who want to keep faith in American justice feel uncomfortable, upset and disheartened. Where is the justice if walking while Black is enough to get you "stopped and frisked" in New York City and fatally shot in Florida with its senseless violent "Stand Your Ground" law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force anytime and anywhere they imagine they are or say they feel threatened even if they are the stalker?

Many decades of struggle and progress to eliminate racial profiling, arbitrary arrests, unfair sentencing, imprisonment and criminalization of Black males at younger and younger ages are being reversed by determined special interests like the gun lobby putting profits before the most basic American civil rights. The National Rifle Association and their allies', including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), determined efforts to support and pass "Stand Your Ground" and other destructive laws to protect guns rather than children perpetuates the epidemic of gun violence, especially for Black male teenagers like Trayvon Martin.

Black children and teens were 17 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than White children and teens in 2010. Since 1963, 59,265 Black children and teens have been killed by guns -- more than 17 times the recorded lynchings of Black people of all ages in America between 1882 and 1968.

What made a Black male teenager in a hoodie walking home in the rain appear suspicious and "up to no good" in George Zimmerman's eyes? Would he have stopped a White male teenager? Isn't it long past time that we have a candid conversation about how we can create a post-racial America for our children and grandchildren beginning today?

Let us refuse to be silent. If Trayvon Martin's parents had been silent and other voices had not joined with them, George Zimmerman never would have been arrested and never would have been brought to trial. Let us continue to refuse to be silent until all the George Zimmermans of this world are deterred and held accountable for vigilante justice against Black males. Let us refuse to be silent until the killing of Black mothers' sons is as important as the killing of White mothers' sons. Only then will we have a post-racial America.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to

For More Information Contact:
Raymonde Charles, 401.954.3892
[email protected]

The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation
The Measure of our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours
I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children

The Black Women's Agenda Responds To State Of Florida Vs. George Zimmerman Verdict


Organization to Advocate for a "Positive, Actionable Response" to Racial Profiling,Vigilante Action and Gun Violence

Responding to the verdict reached this weekend in the case of the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman, The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) announced its intention to advocate for the development of "a uniform, national understanding of laws associated with vigilante conduct, the concept of stand your ground and gun violence."

In a statement released today from the organization's headquarters, Gwainevere Hess, President of The Black Women's Agenda, said:  "African-American mothers, grandmothers and women of color across the U.S. shared the anguish of Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and our hearts sank a little deeper with the reading of this weekend's verdict in the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman. However, being depressed or angry by the judicial system does not address the larger issues facing our nation.

"The death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of his assailant should be a catalyst for us to collectively focus on the roots of this tragedy and develop solutions for preventing such incidents in the future. Mothers of color should not have to grasp for words to explain to our sons how the verdict in the Zimmerman case uniquely impacts them, or to prepare our children to deal with the unfortunate reality of racial profiling and people who would take the law into their own hands.  

"The State of Florida vs. Zimmerman is one case. Even if a violation of civil rights case is brought to fruition on a federal level, it will seek justice in this one case, this one time. The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. is advocating for a positive, actionable response to counter the visceral ill-omen feelings of hope deferred prompted by the Zimmerman verdict. We call for the development of a uniform, national understanding of laws associated with vigilante conduct, the concept of stand your ground and gun violence. This much we owe to Trayvon's memory, our country, God, and ourselves."

The Black Women's Agenda is a national non-profit organization that generates awareness and support for issues affecting Black women worldwide. It is comprised of 19 collaborating women's organizations – sororities, civic, service, and faith-based – representing millions of women nationally and worldwide. Through the development of a social priorities agenda, BWA facilitates discussions that promote effective policies and meaningful change. For more information on The Black Women's Agenda, please visit