Liberty City

Living with Nature in the African Diaspora: A Lecture and Community Conversation at the Historic Hampton House featuring Dr. Edda Fields-Black

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FieldsblackCelebrate “Homegrown Achiever” Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, Associate Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University and the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008). Dr. Fields-Black will speak about her research into the history of West African rice production. Mangrove rice farming techniques used hundreds of years ago by farmers in West Africa's Rice Coast later played a key role in the commercial rice industries in the American South.

Dr. Fields-Black will offer new ways to think about how the environment has shaped Diaspora experience. Other speakers will discuss current environmental issues threatening our land and communities. Did you know that climate change and sea level rise are likely to trigger a new wave of gentrification in our area? How can we come together to recognize the value of our land and our heritage? How can history and culture help us defend our place in Miami?


Registration and Coffee


Opening Remarks and Welcome   Dr. Hilary Jones, Associate Professor, Department of History and African & African Diaspora Studies Program, FIU


The Work of Our Hands: Rice and Rice Farmers in West Africa's Upper Guinea Coast Lecture by Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black

Go on a journey to West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast to learn about one of Africa’s best kept secrets, agricultural technology that made the Upper Guinea Coast West Africa’s “bread basket” hundreds of years before the trans-Atlantic slave trade.


Coffee Break


What is Our Land Worth?

Brief Presentations and Small Group Discussions

Hear about the threats from sea level rise in Miami-Dade and how it is likely to affect property values and residential patterns. Discuss strategies to organize and prioritize. 


Closing Discussion and Wrap-Up 


Book Signing with Dr. Fields-Black


WHEN:    Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT) 

WHERE:    Historic Hampton House - 4240 Northwest 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142 - View Map


Click Here for Registration Link



Forum to bring together Miami's diverse Black population

814-1516 -19863 One Heritage State of Black Miami Flyer

Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Jean Monestime is hosting a free day-long community conference to bring together black Miamians of all backgrounds and nationalities to discuss issues affecting the African diaspora and to develop a collective action oriented agenda. County Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss, and Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon are co-hosting the conference.

The “ONE HERITAGE: State of Black Miami” community forum conference will take place on Thursday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Florida Memorial University, Smith Conference Center, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens, FL 33054. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

This activity is long overdue. If applied and executed with genuine concern for the potential of the collective rather than other individualized agendas, this could be the tipping point for realizing advancement of blacks throughout this community. Hopefully, assignments with deadlines and follow-up will result from this conference. There have been far too many forums in this community that have largely only been opportunities for residents to vent frustrations.  

Please make every effort to participate in “ONE HERITAGE: State of Black Miami” if you are concerned about the current and future of blacks in Miami. 

For more information or to RSVP, call 305-694-2779, email [email protected], or visit #SOBM2016



Va-va sig 75x39


Who’s Zooming Who? Part 2 - Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil

Zoom pt2

This is the follow-up post regarding construction of a charter school as part of the rebuilding of Liberty Square Housing Project AKA the Pork ‘n Beans.


by William DC Clark

It appears what Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said concerning the District's involvement in the Liberty Square Development was true after all.

By now, those of you who have been following ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) knows that when it comes to our respective schools, we don't take any prisoners. If we thought that anyone, including Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, was trying to destroy the fabric of our beloved institutions, then they would have hell to pay. So when we heard the District was involved in building a Charter School in the middle of the newly developed Liberty Square Apartments, we went ballistic. Not only would a new K-12 Charter School destroy Miami Northwestern and its entire feeder pattern, but the building of that school would also probably be a precursor to the start of gentrification in that area.

As you know, in a recent article written in the Miami Herald, it stated Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez threatened to report Mr. Carvalho to the Ethics Committee for violating the Cone of Silence due to his and the District's relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0. Waymark is one of the developers bidding on the Liberty Square development and was recently eliminated by the Mayor from this process. It made the Superintendent look like a shady character at best and worst, someone who couldn’t be trusted.

However, during a meeting between ICARE and the Superintendent, Mr. Carvalho brought with him some supporting documents (see below) that stated, even though the District does have a relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0, there were no plans in Waymark's submission letter to build a Charter school. Even though the letter said: "a new recreational space and other spaces are designed to serve Miami-Dade Public Schools ...for community programming..." it did not mention the District assisting Waymark in the building of any school.

In the end, it appears as if Mayor Gimenez purposely use that opportunity to throw Superintendent Carvalho under the bus and mislead the citizens of Miami-Dade County at the same time. Whether it was for political or personal reasons, the members of ICARE thinks the play that the Mayor made on Mr. Carvalho was horse shit and that he, instead of Mr. Carvalho, should be the one reported to the Ethics Committee.

As most of you should know by now, our relationship with Mr. Carvalho hasn't always been a healthy one. But at least, he finds the time to meet with us and has devoted a team around the clock to address our concerns. We will continue to stay on his ass until the concerns of our schools are met. The Mayor, however, meets with our community sporadically and have yet to address our concerns despite his Disparity study showing that the County spends less than 2% of their procurement budget with Black businesses. Does he truly care about our community? You do the math.



Who's Zooming Who?: Plans for Liberty Square Charter School Riles Black Community [WARNING: Adult Language]

Black man thinking

My high school classmate, DC Clark, also president of ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsibility Education) is stirring the pot this morning about Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s plans to build a charter school in the soon-to-be demolished and renovated Liberty Square Housing Project also known as the Pork ’n Beans. It seems the issue has become quite public and quite political since the Mayor reported the Sup to the ethics commission. You gotta love Miami.

Anywho, this is what DC wrote:

Are Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho fighting to see who can fuck the Black community the most?

Do you remember all the planning, preparation and anticipation you went through on Sunday in order to get ready for the Super Bowl? Well you better muster up the same kind of energy for this fight we have that is being played out right before our very eyes. From the looks of things we are being gashed with no Vasoline.

Fact: The new Liberty Square $250 million development project is destined to have a new Charter School placed right smack in the middle of it. It will be a K-12 school that will negatively affect the enrollment of Northwestern and Edison and their surrounding feeder patterns which includes Holmes, MLK, Allapattah and others. What will happen to those schools would be worse than what happened to Central once Turner Tech was placed literally in our backyard. It will also be the first leg of gentrification.

But wait, it gets worse. There is speculation that Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the District was in on this plan all along. From the looks of things, they partnered up with the University of Miami to form a team by the name of Miami Waymark 2.0. That team was the third highest bidder and was recently eliminated from the process. Related Urban Development Group and Atlantic Pacific Communities are the two groups remaining in the Bidding process. Carvalho said his team signed his name to this bidding process and he had limited knowledge of it. Of course many people that I talked to think this is total bullshit.

The Miami Herald recently reported that after Miami Waymark 2.0 was eliminated, the Superintendent paid Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez a call and wrote him a letter which he, the Mayor, reported to the Ethics committee. A Cone of Silence was put into place so that participants of the bidding process could not openly discuss the bid. This is particularly troubling because it appears that District personnel reached out to ICARE to condemn the Charter school only after they were eliminated. If this is true, then they have some explaining to do.

Bottom line is it appears a K thru 12 Charter school will be placed right in the middle of the new Liberty Square development. It will have a negative affect on many of our schools that have been long standing institutions in our community. Many of those schools will face closing. This without any input from the community. Before ICARE renders it's final conclusion on this matter, we are demanding a copy of the letter sent to the Mayor by the Superintendent and we are also seeking the letter detailing the District's involvement in the bidding process. Both are public record and we expect to have them soon. In the meantime, we’ve got to get off our asses and let our voices be heard. Stay Tuned.

Wake up, family. Too many of us have been distracted by foolishness and intentionally misguided far too long. We have been sold out by folks who look like us. Some of us in positions of influence, hand-picked by the powers that be, have done little to nothing for the collective and only satisfied our individual desires for materialism that masks our insecurities. Nothing about this issue is really a surprise. Some folks, including Blacks, are sincerely ignorant of the damage they inflict upon the Black community while others are keenly aware and rely upon the ignorance and/or silence of others to accomplish their goals. Wake up. Stay woke. 


♥ Va-Va





Miami Northwestern Celebrates 60 Years

Congratulations to the Miami Northwestern Bulls Family on celebrating 60 years. They started in a mighty way on August 9 with Miami Northwestern Sunday at New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International. Other activities included alumni, some from the Class of 1956, gathering at the school to kick off the first day of school to instill a sense of history and to encourage students to have a successful school year.



 Sunday, 8/9/15 - Miami Northwestern Sunday @ New Birth

Photo: AFreeman Photography



This Little Light of Mine: Shoutout Saturday to Tyrone Green

by Dr. Steve Gallon III

Tyrone Green

Shoes aren't the only things that shine at Green Dream Shoe Repairs. For over 50 years, this family establishment has provided shoe repairs, cleaning, and the selling of paraphernalia of local teams and organizations. It has also provided a "light" and legacy of hope, happiness, and hospitality to its patrons that have entered its doors. This legacy continues with Tyrone Green.

I have always been fond of fine attire. In being so, I've held true to my late father's sage advice when it came to haberdashery---keep your hands manicured, timepiece on point, and shoes tight. For the last 25 years (more than half of my life) I have kept my shoe game tight with the great, quality work of Green Shoe Repair. From cleanings to sole savers to heel taps, I remain a loyal customer at its new location which is still in the heart of Liberty City on 62nd Street between 7th and 8th.

During this time it has been a pleasure to not only remain loyal as a customer when it came to shoe repair, but to also be able to rely on Tyrone Green and the Green Family for words of encouragement, inspiration, and genuine appreciation.

A humble, happy, hardworking, and hospitable, God fearing brother, Tyrone embodies qualities that our young mean should learn to emulate. He is a loyal and dedicated son and father of six, and a husband of 30 years! For the community, he represents the critical legacy of small, minority businesses that continue to fight, survive, and thrive in the heart of Liberty City. From new shoes out of the box to those thought ready for retirement in the closet, I take them to Tyrone and I've never been disappointed.

Shoes aside, he always brings a word of encouragement and joy amidst the background of gospel music when you enter the door. No matter what may be going on in his life, he's always mustered up his little light and allowed it to shine on my life---often during times I may have needed it the most.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. What's more extraordinary than spreading a word of hope, happiness, and love to those with whom you come in contact? Imagine what would our world, nation, and community be if more of us did the same.

Shout out to you Tyrone Green and Green Dreams Shoe Repair! May your business continue to grow and prosper and your "light" shine amongst the men and women in this community for even more decades to come.



Telling Our Story in 2015! Negotiating Hope...Shout Out Saturday--Ramone Davis

Educator; school administrator; author and businessman 

Dr. Steve Gallon III

Dr. Steve Gallon III creates a weekly post on his Facebook profile he calls "Shout Out Saturday". Through his storytelling, an effective teaching method for all ages, he gives praise and recognition to young black men doing great things in the community. The contributions and hard work of these young men do not receive high-profile coverage from mainstream media but are worthy of such.

Here is Dr. Gallon's post from yesterday in its entirety. Thank you Dr. Gallon!


Negotiating Hope...Shout Out Saturday--Ramone Davis

It's "Shout Out Saturday." 

Shout back to you Ramone Davis. 

In this time of peril, profiling and unfair criminalization of young Black males (some thought it okay to use their images as target practice) I am proud to see unpublicized hope in Ramone Davis. 


Ramone Davis
Ramone Davis

This young brother is positive, humble, and hardworking in pursuing his business flow in the heart of Liberty City. He's also well educated--attended Miami Northwestern and Florida Memorial University. 

Growing up many of us were too often taught that college degrees mean jobs and not businesses--taught to only work for a business or bureaucracy and not own or control one. He's learned and applying lessons from both. 

In these days of young brothers gunning each other down in the streets of Miami its a blessing to see a young brother building his business up in these same streets---choosing business over bureaucracy. Being an entrepreneur requires special skills and qualities---discipline, focus, organization, and self-drive. These combined reflect character. There aren't any clocks to punch in and out of or a set schedule to follow other than the one you make. You're your own clock and as Dee Lancy says--you have to "go get it." 

Each morning Ramone does. He is in the heart of Liberty City not negotiating with his customers but negotiating "hope" that has been too often lost and hard to find in the area among small, minority business owners. Yet, still, he maintains his and barters it to move closer to his hopes and dreams. 

Let's support each other's goals, hopes, and dreams, and businesses large and small. 

Keep your head up, Ramone Davis. Stay the course. Finish your race. And keep dropping the best loaded conch balls---with shrimp, crab, and conch--in the country right on 54 street and 19th avenue. Call in advance to make sure they are piping hot and you don't have to wait--305-771-1147. The lemonade is great too. 


Loaded Conch Balls
Loaded Conch Balls


Maybe the media will do a story on this! Maybe not. 

Give your "Shout Out" this 
Saturday to someone you know who is quietly and without much fanfare or fame making a positive difference in the community, in your life or the lives of others.

Enjoy your MLK weekend! 



P.S.    Because of Dr. Gallon's ringing endorsement, I stopped by yesterday to try the loaded conch balls. Since seafood is expensive and the conch balls were reasonably priced, I was curious about this business's costs and profit margin. I didn't get a chance to talk to the owner because he wasn't in.

Here's what I can tell you though. The place is not fancy, the best description for it is probably a "hut" for take out orders only. It is just west of The Church of the Incarnation on NW 54th Street and 19th Avenue in Miami, on the same property as a gas station now used as a car wash. (I must post on the car wash at a later time.) 

One of the things that turns me off about a business is poor customer service. The product offered can be the bomb but if the service is lousy, I'm no longer a customer and I'll make sure my friends know about it also. Well, poor customer service is not an issue for this place. The young man who prepared the food was super friendly and accommodating.

The food was presented well. The ample portion size (it was enough for two people) and just right combination of seafood and batter let me know the business owner is on his game when it comes to the bottomline of dollars and cents. The food was tasty and the free drink with the special was a nice touch.

Ramone Davis has a great thing going and he's employing another young black male. That is commendable and impressive. As Dr. Gallon mentioned, too many of us, especially with college degrees, are conditioned to be workers and not employers. The only way to true equality will involve economic equality and we do have a lot to overcome in that arena. I do hope that folks in the black community will understand the requirement to support businesses in our community. Ramone's business can only improve if WE help him to do so.  

Ramone Davis, thank you for doing what you do and thank you, Dr. Steve Gallon III, for giving him a shout out. By the way, to my brother Dr. Gallon, it's 2015, YOU are the media --- there's nothing like citizen journalism.

Peace...Love...Prosperity in 2015 and beyond.






MIAMI  -  To commemorate its 40th anniversary, African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) is presenting “Sankofa: Looking Back, Going Forward.” Sankofa is a year-long series of events, performances, and educational workshops, recognizing and celebrating the talented performers, instructors and community leaders who have grown up in and contributed so importantly to the development and creativity of young people in the inner city.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, has awarded AHCAC a generous grant in support of Sankofa (from the Akan language of Ghana meaning "Looking Back, Going Foward") to honor the past and celebrate the present by reconnecting established artists with the AHCAC that fueled and fomented their training and careers. “The Center has produced a wealth of phenomenal talent and we’re excited to have our alumni engage and inspire the next generation,” said Marshall Davis, Managing Director of AHCAC.

The Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge aims to bring South Florida together through the arts. "The cities that are the most vibrant are those where every person considers themselves a creative being,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation. “With Sankofa, some of our community’s most accomplished artists will help show the way for our youth.”

“For four decades, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center has served as a nucleus of arts learning, training and access for children in Liberty City; now, thanks to the Knight Arts Challenge award, our renowned alumni are returning to encourage those following in their footsteps to become the brilliant artists of tomorrow,” said Michael Spring, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Upcoming Sankofa event highlights include:

·         The Sankofa Gala, April 25, 2015:  the opening celebration of the 40thanniversary year, coordinated in conjunction with Black History Month, celebrating 40 years of artistic service to the community and recognizing outstanding leaders who have been integral to the AHCAC’s success.  

·         The Amadlozi Gallery Exhibitions, (January 23 – March 2015): a guest-curated series of exhibitions and scholarly presentations featuring local, national, and alumni artists. 

·         Jazz Spring Fest, May 9, 2015:  a live music event featuring luminary teachers and alumni Melton Mustafa, Shareef Clayton, and Willerm Delisfort, among others, including pre-Jam workshops with the artists for local musicians and community. 

To learn more about Sankofa, please contact Marshall Davis at 305-638-6771/[email protected]  or visit


The Miami people don't see [Parental Advisory]

Raw. Explicit language. Real. Powerful. Covers a lot of subjects. The Field: Miami. The Miami people don't see. 





Related Link: 

You’ll Never Look At Miami The Same After Worldstar’s New ‘Field’ Documentary

Shoe Repair Shop Owner Goes on Talk Radio and Blasts County Government Over Eviction


Owners of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair and their attorney Roderick Vereen on Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown
Owners of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair and their attorney on Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown. From left: Vernon Greene; Paulette Greene; Tyrone Greene; Chief Jimmie Brown and Attorney Roderick Vereen.

On last night's Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown on WHQT Hot 105, Tyrone Greene, owner of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair, spoke of the humiliation he and his family are enduring at the hands of local government, in particular, Miami-Dade County. Greene, accompanied by his wife Paulette, brother Vernon and Attorney Roderick Vereen, went into more detail on the business's eviction, demolishing of the business space, and what it means to the community. Greene's version of actions also disputes published reports and public comment by officials about this situation. 

Greene has a lease that is valid until May 2014 for the now demolished building. He has taken his case to court twice and won. The City of Miami declared the building housing Greene Dreams Shoe Repair an unsafe structure. Greene asserts the County bought the building in 2009, allowed it to fall into disrepair to get his business and others out of the space so the County can begin construction on the 7th Avenue Transit Village in Liberty City. The Transit Village is a planned mixed-use site housing a bus depot, businesses and apartments. There is a lot of money involved in the project and the Greenes were definitely holding up progress for the County and the Carlisle Group, the developers of this project. 

Here are some interesting points that were shared:

  • The County asserted it would cost $500,000 - $600,000 to repair the roof. Vereen said a judge said it would cost about $5,000 to repair the roof over the shoe repair shop.
  • Greene said while County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson was on Tuesday Talk on 1490 WMBM, she stated that he had not paid rent for the space in a year. Greene said he has never been behind in paying the rent.
  • Greene said he was forced to purchase a million dollar insurance policy for the space.
  • According to Greene, other businesses that were tenants in the building vacated earlier because they did not have a lease as he did. The Greene family had been in the same location for 50 years.

Chief Brown invited Commissioner Audrey Edmonson or someone from her staff to call in to discuss the situation. No one called by the end show and Chief Brown left the offer open. Blogging Black Miami will reach out to the Commissioner for comment also. 

Attorney Vereen indicated that the business has agreed to the relocation option and will move directly across the street. Their new address will be 645 NW 62 Street. They should be open for business in the new space by Wednesday. Vereen also indicated his clients might seek an injunction to delay construction of the 7th Avenue Transit Village Project until their lease has expired in 2014.

A caller inquired about financial assistance for the Greenes while they continue their fight. Contributions can be made to The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen* and mailed to:

        The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen
        PO Box 680967
        Miami, FL 33168

* Include Greene Dreams Shoe Repair in memo section.

The issue of the lack of black owned businesses also was also discussed on the show. It was pointed out that there are very few businesses in the area of seventh avenue and MLK Boulevard actually owned by blacks. Other ethnic groups recognize the current and future value of property in our community and have become the business owners, property owners and landlords. If you don't own property or businesses in the community then you are left with tenancy and are at the mercy of your landlord. It's time to wake up, pay attention to what's going on locally, nationally and globally and take action.