Previous month:
October 2014
Next month:
December 2014

November 2014

The Historic Lyric Theater to Showcase Art from South Florida Visual Artists during Historic Overtown Soul Basel

On December 3 - 7, 2014. The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida will feature art from local visual artists in the lobby of The Historic Lyric Theater as a part of Historic Overtown Soul Basel and Art of Black Miami, an initiative of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Works from the following visual artists will be featured:

o   Bennie Osborne

o   George Gadson

o   JaFleu

o   Johanne Rahaman

o   Mariah Fox

o   Michael McLaren

o   Shernett Muhammad

o   Sim Malden


If You Go:

Overtown Soul Basel and Art in Black Miami
December 3 – 7, 2014
9 am to 9 pm
The Historic Lyric Theater
819 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33136


Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board Statement on Ferguson

We are understandably disappointed with the decision of the St. Louis County, Missouri grand jury not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.  However, we are hopeful the United States’ Department of Justice continues its civil rights investigation and that Michael Brown’s family and the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri will find justice.

However, we are also reminded that what has happened in Ferguson, sadly, has also happened here in Miami-Dade County.  We are reminded of the July 2010 shooting death of DeCarlos Moore during an early morning traffic stop which kicked off a string of police related shootings in the City of Miami.  We are reminded of the 2011 Memorial Day weekend shooting of Raymond Herisse, who was shot sixteen times while sitting in his stopped car.  We are reminded of 18 year old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez, who was killed by the shock of a police officer’s Taser for writing on a wall.  In short, we are reminded of all of the instances where unarmed citizens have been killed after an interaction with the police. 

The loud voices of protest which have risen up after the shooting death of Michael Brown are an expression of the anger of citizens when the trust that they have in their justice system is betrayed.  We are a society built on laws and we rightly expect that those who we empower to enforce our laws will do so fairly and justly.  The use of force by police is a privilege not to be abused.  The use of deadly force on unarmed suspects—regardless of color—is unacceptable in any civilized society.  That deadly force appears to be used disproportionately on young men of color—particularly black men—in Miami-Dade County, is indicative of severe problems that exist not only all the way in Missouri, but rather, right here at home.

The Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board recognizes that there is no “quick-fix” or easy solution, to the often discordant relationship between law enforcement and the black community.  We believe that positive steps must be taken—by both sides—to bridge this divide.  To this end, we support the placement of body cameras on all county and municipal officers.  We applaud newly-installed Miami Beach Chief of Police Daniel Oates’s enactment of a rule—consistent with modern police tactics—prohibiting his officers from firing their weapons at moving vehicles.  We also urge the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney to complete its ongoing investigation of the Raymond Herisse shooting, and to give his family and this community the one thing that the St. Louis County, Missouri grand jury delivered to Michael Brown’s family—an answer.  Not the answer we wanted, but an answer nonetheless.  Finally, we urge that the conversations, the reflection and the peaceful protests continue, until justice is shared by all.

Stephen Hunter Johnson, Esq.






The Miami Workers Center responds to the Grand Jury's decision in Ferguson and recent developments in Marissa Alexander's case 


Miami, FL - This has been a somber week for African-American families across the country. The same day that the Grand Jury in Ferguson decided not to indicte officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, Marissa Alexander is forced to agree to an unfair plea deal for defending herself from her abusive husband.

Once again, the criminal justice system has failed the people it is supposed to protect, and has turned its back to the values of justice, freedom and equality it is supposed to uphold. In less than two years, the country has cried for the deaths of unarmed youth like Trayvon Martin (Sanford, FL) and Michael Brown (Ferguson, OH), and has tirelessly asked for justice without results.

"A justice system that cannot protect our youth while walking down the streets and cannot prosecute armed men who unnecessarily shoot and kill unarmed teenagers, is a failed system. On top of that, a system that questions the innocence of our youth and instead criminalizes their appearance and their living conditions, is a system we can no longer trust or respect," says Saraí Portillo, Interim Executive Director for the Miami Workers Center. 

That same system has proven it also fails to protect women victims of domestic violence like Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to stop her husband from beating her. After years of being away from her children, this week Marissa Alexander agreed to a plea deal to put a closure to the unfair criminal case against her.  

"As a woman of color and a mother, my heart understands the reasons that lead Marissa Alexander to accept the unfair charges against her and re-victimize herself. But the fact that our justice system gave her no other option, is cruel and inhumane. No woman who has been a victim of domestic violence should be forced to chose between justice and her children," says Marcia Olivo, Gender Justice Coordinator for the Miami Workers Center and Co-founder of Sisterhood of Survivors. "The justice system has failed to protect black and brown mothers and their children, and we cannot accept that anymore." 


Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Calls For Federal Intervention In The Case Of Michael Brown Grand Jury Verdict

International President Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. To Preach At The Historic Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 10:45 am CST in St. Louis, Missouri

He Will Also Announce The Fraternity's Plan For Healing And Rebuilding In Ferguson And The St. Louis Metropolitan Area

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the aftermath of the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to continue to investigate, but to do it thoroughly with vigor and bring federal charges in this case. The failure of the justice system to produce an indictment and move on to a fair and impartial trial is troubling in the face of the publicly available evidence.

The International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., had the following to say, "With all of the recent cases across the country of police officers killing unarmed African American males, the time for federal oversight is overdue. The unjust criminalization of young men of color by law enforcement is both tragic and devastating. The repeated lack of justice is unacceptable, and Phi Beta Sigma stands with other organizations and individuals across America who are calling for accountability."

In addition, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is committed to assisting the Brown family, the Ferguson community and the St. Louis metropolitan area in their quest for healing. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is calling on those members of the public, who are destroying businesses and properties in Ferguson, to stop this unproductive activity. The organization will join the restoration and rebuilding efforts immediately.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in conjunction with President Barack Obama's Initiative, "My Brother's Keeper," recently launched its initiative called, "I Am My Brother's Keeper." This initiative is slated to mentor young men, provide educational assistance to schools across the country and host job fairs during its national conferences. The Fraternity is committed to uplifting and strengthening the next generation of young men of color.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Calls for Significant Reforms Following Decision in Fatal Shooting of Michael Brown by a St. Louis County Grand Jury


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 24, 2014 – Following today’s decision by the St. Louis County grand jury to not indict in the case of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) issues the following statement:

“First and foremost, we keep the Brown family and the community of Ferguson in our thoughts and prayers,” said Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “What happened in Ferguson, Missouri raises serious questions about how communities of color nationwide are treated by our criminal justice system. We call upon elected officials and law enforcement to establish policies and procedures that will put an end to bias against people of color. Police brutality, especially against minority communities, is a national crisis and requires a national response.”

“In light of today’s decision by the St. Louis County grand jury to not indict Darren Wilson, the Lawyers’ Committee will redouble its efforts and call for long-term systemic reform of our nation’s law enforcement procedures including the holding of Congressional hearings on the use of excessive and deadly force by police,” said Lawyers’ Committee Public Policy Director Tanya Clay House. “We remain steadfast in calling for community policing, sensitivity training for police forces and other universal protocols to ensure the safety and security of citizens and law enforcers alike.”

The Lawyers’ Committee once again makes a national call for transparency, accountability, leadership, and training. On August 18th, 2014, the Lawyers’ Committee along with 13 other national and civil rights organizations issued the Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse. Notably, six additional groups, including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and more than 520 independent signatories, have joined the open statement which was sent to the White House and the DOJ.

Recommendations from the groups include:

  • A final update and release of the DOJ’s June 2003 Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies;
  • Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cardin (MD) (S. 1038) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI) (H.R. 2851);
  • A full accounting of police-involved killings of African Americans nationwide;
  • Mandatory training on racial bias and police use of force;
  • The required use of police officer Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) and dash-cams on police vehicles to record every police-civilian encounter;
  • Better accountability of the use and limitations on the distribution and the use of federal military weapons by local law enforcement; and
  • Greater oversight of police officers through the formation of a national police commission.

Hot Mess at Hot Talk on Hot105?


Chief Jimmy Brown
Citing budget cuts, Chief Jimmy Brown is out as host of Hot Talk on WHQT Hot 105 FM. James T. has been tapped as the new host. Still no word on why Chief was released now when changes are not effective until January 1, 2015. No, accrued leave time is not an issue here.


The word is out that Hot Talk host Chief Jimmy Brown will no longer be on the air as host on WHQT Hot 105. He might be on tonight to say farewell to his listeners and then perhaps he won’t. It is obvious that something is up since Chief’s announced exit was for late December of this year. Now we hear that his dismissal was effective immediately. All of this brouhaha is very sad, as this is Chief’s twenty-fifth anniversary hosting Hot Talk and his show was definitely an asset to the community. Unfortunately, Miami radio legend James T. is caught up in the mix of this mess as he is slated to take over the Hot Talk time slot.


The various reasons for Chief’s abrupt exit, either forced or voluntary, seem questionable, at best. Many of Chief’s loyal listeners and followers have taken to Facebook to voice their disagreement with the decision to release Chief. A call to action has been issued for listeners to contact VP/General Manager Bob Rabin and Branding/Program Director Phil Micheals-Trueba via phone call and email to keep Chief Jimmy Brown on the air. The real question is, if given the opportunity, would Chief Brown even want to return to host the show on Hot 105. 


Here’s what some folks have posted about Chief’s exit:

Hot Talk Comment
Hot Talk Comment
Hot Talk Comment
Hot Talk Comment

Change is not usually easy for most people. Perhaps this decision will be the best for all involved. It might be a better fit if Chief took his show to WMBM. Think about it. WMBM is already one of the few opportunities for the community to share information and get educated about important topics.

The community definitely needs an opportunity to dialog and voice their opinion on various topics of interest. Chief Brown was definitely one who allowed the public access to his show. In the true purpose of a community service show, none of Chief's guests were charged to appear on the show nor did he hit them up for funds on the side.

Where the community goes from here is up to the community. Each time effective communication is cut off, the community loses. We saw it happen when Tavis Smiley left the Tom Joyner Morning Show. We saw it when Michael Baisden’s contract for his show was not renewed and here we go again with Chief Jimmy Brown of Hot Talk fame. 

James T. is no stranger to radio nor to the talk show format. Let’s see where his show takes us. I'll be listening tonight at 11, will you? Peace.







ProQuest Boosts Study of American Civil Rights Movement by Digitizing SNCC and CORE Papers

Organizational records and personal papers offer unique and varied perspectives on the 20th century fight for freedom

ANN ARBOR, MI – ProQuest continues to advance the study of the civil rights movement in America. The company has digitized the papers of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), making their organizational records and their leaders’ personal papers accessible to researchers through the renownedHistory Vault collection Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century. The digitization of SNCC and CORE papers enables researchers to access documents from all four leading organizations in the U.S. civil rights movement. ProQuest has also digitized the papers of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Read CORE’s instructions for interstate bus riders on the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation and other SNCC and CORE documents here:

Founded in 1942 and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi in India, CORE set the tone for non-violent protest in the civil rights movement and placed in motion milestone events that focused the nation on social injustice. Working with the Wisconsin Historical Society, ProQuest has digitized records and papers from three key decades of the group’s history.  “From their emergence from the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Chicago in the early 1940s, through the Freedom Rides and the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in the 1960s, the CORE records document the important role that committed pacifists played in the greatest social movement of the 20th century,” said Matt Blessing, State Archivist and Administrator for the Library-Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society. “Its records form one of the cornerstone research collections within the Wisconsin Historical Society’s vast Civil Rights archives. For over 40 years nearly every major scholar of the Civil Right movement has utilized the records of CORE and other grassroots collections preserved by the WHS. We are pleased to share this essential collection with an even larger audience.”

Just as influential in the movement was SNCC. It was formed in early 1960, sparked when a group of black college students from North Carolina A&T University staged an impromptu sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter where they had been denied service. The group’s original mission was to coordinate the wave of sit-ins that followed in college towns across the South. Over the next 8 years, SNCC sent its leaders to some of the most segregated areas of the South as they sought to cultivate local leaders, most famously during Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. In the early 1970s, the King Center assembled, preserved and promoted the group’s records, enabling researchers to understand SNCC’s significant role in the successful efforts to challenge the traditions of racism, inequality and the issues of Jim Crow.

“These files have been frequently consulted for over 30 years by researchers seeking a comprehensive look at the broad, ambitious and revolutionary activities of SNCC’s valiant and dedicated members,” said Cynthia Patterson Lewis, Director of Archives, King Library & Archives, The King Center. “The SNCC records provide an important base of information and an essential bridge to the personalities, the relational perspectives and the impressive aspects of its varied activities. It is a ‘must’ reference for civil rights scholarship.

Working in partnership with organizations and museums holding original documents, ProQuest makes their carefully curated collections more accessible to researchers around the world, driving new insights in the historical record. In addition to the SNCC and CORE records, this newest Black Freedom module also contains four collections from the Chicago History Museum: the Africa related papers of Claude Barnett; the papers of Congressman Arthur Mitchell; Heather Booth’s Papers on her participation inMississippi Freedom Summer; and the records of the CORE’s Chicago chapter. “Some of the most highly-requested material in our research collection is now a part of Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century,” said Gary T. Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum.  “ProQuest is a dream come true for a museum whose mission is ‘sharing stories.’ It is humbling to know that when our own building closes for the day, the History Vault is open and researchers have the tools they need to explore our content. ProQuest has become indispensable to the study of history in America.”

The CORE and SNCC archives, and the Chicago History Museum collections, are joined by the papers of the pioneering Black Power thinker, Robert F. Williams, to create the Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Organizational Records and Personal Papers, Part 2, a key element in ProQuest’s large collection of resources designed to improve research outcomes for those studying the American civil rights movement. The company has created digital paths that unlock a variety of unique primary sources including Southern plantation records, key documents from the Black Abolitionist Movement and has developed broad resources such as Black Studies Center and ebook collections centered on Black History.

To learn more visit

Faith Leaders Flex Political Muscle at Polls with Eyes on 2016

Emerging Religious Voting Bloc Turns-Out on Issues of Racial and Economic Justice 

Orlando, Fla. – In an unpredictable political climate, people of faith working with Faith in Florida held 50,279 live person-to-person conversations about faith and voting with African-American and Latino voters. Those conversations focused on voting rights and drivers licenses for immigrants, which are two of the most important issues on the agenda of African-American and Latino voters.  Faith in Florida’s grassroots volunteer voter contact program highlights the growing power of religious voters who are committed to racial and economic justice.

“Republican and Democratic candidates ignore at their peril the emerging bloc of religious voters who voted their values on voting rights, immigration reform and affordable health care for all,” said Jerry Peña, Faith in Florida’s Executive Director. “Faith in Florida Get Out the Vote turned out 50,279 voters demonstrating that religious institutions that preach justice and redemption also have the ability to use sophisticated tools and targeting to move large numbers of people to the polls who might not otherwise vote."

As part of the Let My People Vote electoral program with the PICO National Network, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the country which held more than 500,000 live conversations in key states, Faith in Florida’s electoral program focused on the mobilization of African American and Latino faith voters whose voices have been ignored in the past. 

Churches across the state participated in registering and turning out their members, Souls to Polls events and phone banking and canvassing their neighborhoods. Over and over, volunteers delivered the message to voters that their lives, voices and votes matter.

“This election shows the power that people of faith can have when they stand up for their family, neighbors and coworkers, and signals a growing moral tide in American politics that can’t be stopped.” Said Rev. Alvin Herring, PICO’s National Deputy Director. “PICO National Network and other faith groups were able to mobilize a unique coalition of pro-working family religious voters, whose voice will only continue to grow in 2015 and beyond.” 




COLUMBUS, Ohio – In 1982, Franklinton resident Curt Moody opened his own architectural firm with a two-person staff, and never dreamed that it would become one of the most respected architectural firms in the nation and the largest African-American-owned architectural firm in the country.

Therefore, it was exceptionally meaningful when Moody Nolan was recently awarded The International Architecture Award for its work on the new International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.  

Hundreds of award submissions were received from architectural firms across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the Americas. This prestigious program honors new skyscrapers, commercial buildings, urban plans, private residences and real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, planning and sustainability, and promote best practices in all types of real estate development for the private and public sectors.

This year’s recipients were from a total of 36 nations and their work was premiered at the Istanbul Design Biennial. The exhibition was entitled The City and the World and traveled through Europe prior to making its debut in the United States at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, September 21 – October 13, 2014.

The International African American Museum is devoted to telling the story of the passage of African peoples from slavery to emancipation and freedom in the South. The building represents the journey slaves took from the origins of Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean and through America. The interior visually recognizes the talents and contributions of African-Americans in dance and music, as is expressed in the collages, galleries, symbolism, imagery, patterns, colors and textures used within and on the exterior of the building. This expressed energy is meant to incite the innermost feelings of visitors, allowing him or her to fully participate in the journey with every twist and turn.


The Children's Trust Seeks Volunteer Proposal Reviewers-Pass It On!


Take Part in a Community Service to Improve the
Lives of Children in Miami-Dade County

The Children's Trust seeks volunteer reviewers with interest in child and family development, education or social services to review proposals over the next few months. The Children's Trust Requests for Proposals (RFP) are competitive solicitations that will distribute more than $60 million to community service providers in four program areas that aim to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.
After-School and Summer Camp Programs


Thursday, Dec. 4, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 8, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Parenting and Home Visiting Programs


Thursday, Dec. 18, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.


Youth Enrichment


Wednesday, Jan. 14, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 23, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.


Early Childhood


Wednesday, Jan. 28, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.



All reviewer trainings will be held at:

The Children's Trust
3150 SW 3rd Ave, Training Room

Miami, FL 33129