Fathers are our heroes, our protectors, our first teachers, and our biggest cheerleaders. If you can speak to your Dad or hug him, do that. If all you have at this time are memories and mementos of your Dad…smile. Being a father is not easy, but it is the best job in the world.
To all of the fathers, grandfathers, and father figures, you are loved, cherished, and appreciated on the day we designate Father’s Day and throughout the year.
Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Daunte Wright, are three young men whose deaths shook the world and re-ignited the focus on racial injustice in America. At noon ET, on Saturday, June 19, 2021, the eve of this nation’s celebration of Father’s Day, the fathers of these young men, Tracy Martin, Michael Brown Sr., and Aubrey Wright will share the pain of losing their sons to injustice and how they have turned their pain into passion, purpose, and a promise to fight for change for future generations. This important and much-needed conversation will be moderated by entertainer and philanthropist, Steve Harvey.
Kamala Harris pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha at Howard University in 1986. The organization was founded on the campus with 16 students in 1908; it has grown to more than 300,ooo members.
On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, history was made when then Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, selected Senator Kamala Devi Harris to be his running mate. Harris, already a trailblazer in American politics, became the first Black women to run for Vice-President on a major political party ticket. Her nomination was celebrated by many Americans, especially Black women who are frequently touted as the backbone of the Democratic Party.
Harris’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters were often tapped by mainstream media to provide a perspective on Harris from her undergraduate days at Howard University and the significance of her historic candidacy. We reached out to Black men, to get their perspective on the Harris ascendency to the second most powerful position in American government. Like Harris, each of these men is a member of a Divine Nine organization. Their opinions are their own.
There is nothing "by chance" in this thing called life. Every move we make-every step we take leads to our destiny and end result. If you ask anyone who attended Howard University, even for a short period of time, to chronicle their experience at the MECCA they will all say the same thing: "U-KNOW"
"U-KNOW" the education, experiences and relationships earned at "The Real HU" will prepare you for life in ways that you can never imagine. It will prepare you to become a Supreme Court Justice, a member of the United States Congress, or an award winning actor/entertainer. But if you ask Kamala Harris it prepared her to be the first woman and person of African descent to serve as Vice President of the United States of America. "U-KNOW" the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood. Being apart of the Divine Nine is not only a rite of passage but a bond and pledge to serve. In return, the promise of solidarity to lift one another to the highest of heights. We witnessed first hand, the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and brothers and sisters across the Divine Nine united to create history not only for Kamala Harris but for the entire diaspora. "I-KNOW" as a graduate of Howard University and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated like Vice President Kamala Harris the importance and magnitude of our very existence:
"We are the Ancestors wildest dreams..."
As a Kappa and HBCU alumnus I’m immensely proud of Kamala Harris. I view her election as clouded. As it is obvious she is a Black woman and she is Greek, I feel that the greatest impact is reflected in her being a woman. She has broken a glass ceiling that no other woman has. Obama shattered the ceiling for all minorities on being elected President. So the impact of her being Black is not the major emphasis. However her impact as a woman is monumental.
The magnitude of Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States of America as a woman and of African descent is beyond words. As a graduate of Howard University, Vice President Kamala Harris and I share an experience that only individuals who have attended the "MECCA" can relate to. As a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I am extremely proud that a soror/sister of the "Divine Nine" has been given the ultimate opportunity to represent all Americans at the highest level. As Vice President of the United States of America...
There was a lot of work to be done, and a country that was in need of healing. Kamala Harris would bring a wealth of knowledge to the administration. A junior senator, assigned to the Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee, she would be a very good choice with great insight.
I thought about how black men would see her and relate. Some older men, middle age men, because of her reputation, thought that she would only want to see them go to jail --- “locking black men up”. I see something very different. I see an opportunity to change the narrative for a Black woman to be a champion for not only Black people, but for everybody. I see a woman that young men would want their daughters to emulate, because if she could do it, so could they. I see her being an advocate for true justice reform.
It is time to rally behind her as she takes on her new role. We have to move on past those things that we may have heard and support her because she is our own, she is well-qualified, and has proven herself. We must pray for her and ask God to guide her as she moves. She has been the chosen one and she has the blessings of our ancestors. Kamala, you got this!
I took one look at her pledge picture and I knew that regardless of what one might think about her prosecutorial record, or her choice in a mate, she knows the struggle of Black America because she pledged in 1986 at Howard University. That was not a time....never mind. Lets just say that she could not and would not have survived pledging AKA at Alpha Chapter with 37 black line sisters and not have been one of us.
Kamala Harris reaching this milestone is what every Black Greek Letter Organization, particularly those in the Divine Nine were founded to do. Each and every member of the collective organizations should be overjoyed and extremely proud that one of us has made it to this point. It is a testament to the heights that we can achieve through our brotherhoods and sisterhoods. Applaud and support VP Harris’ achievement and dare to dream that in four years, or in eight, that she can move to President. In the meantime, the charge I will leave for my Brothers of Iota Phi Theta is to do our part to live up to our predominant motto… Building a Tradition and Not Resting Upon One! There are more Presidents and Vice Presidents among us. OW-OW
Perhaps the Black community in Miami is on the precipice of a political and cultural revolution. Perhaps this generation of millennials will usher in a resurgence of Black unity and Black power reminiscent of Miami’s past. On Sunday, November 1, 2020, the men of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, executed a community caravan to bring awareness of the importance of the using the right to vote to effect change for our people and the community at large.
For this ambitious project, the fraternity partnered with Florida Memorial University, South Florida’s only HBCU. Before the fraternity members and their supporters set out on their journey, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included dignitaries from the university’s Board of Trustees.
As the attention-getting caravan, with full escort, rolled into the first of four stops, the early voting site at the Miramar Branch Library & Education Center, the energy was immediately apparent. The featured speaker at that location was the honorable Wayne Messam, mayor of the City of Miramar and member of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter. The fraternity distributed t-shirts and bottled water to early voters waiting in line.
The excitement continued at the next stops, the early voting sites at the North Dade Regional Library in Miami Gardens and the North Miami Library. The caravan concluded at the Joseph Caleb Center early voting location, in the City of Miami, with messages from community leader and past chapter president, Pierre Rutledge and current chapter president Michael Grubbs.
More than 200 people in 70 vehicles participated in the caravan. At each of the stops, hundreds of voters and onlookers were educated on “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” a national program of Alpha Phi Alpha since the 1930’s when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process.
“Yesterday...I looked into the eyes of children and our seniors across South Florida and saw the impact of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, "Alpha Train" Road to the Polls. It offered hope and meaning to a community struggling to believe in the Democratic process within our country. We endeavored to wake up South Florida and let our name, example and action(s) lead the way,” said Taj Echoles, chair of Beta Beta Lambda’s Alphas In Action Task Force, the civic engagement arm of the chapter.
About Beta Beta Lambda Chapter (adapted from Chapter's website):
Beta Beta Lambda Chapter has been an active part of the Greater Miami community since its inception on November 19, 1937. Like many chapters across the country, it was established by men with a common interest in improving the community through education and public service.
The chapter’s founding members are Felix E. Butler, MD, Nathaniel Colston, MD, Ira P. Davis, MD, Aaron Goodwin, MD, Frederick J. Johnson, Samuel H. Johnson, MD, Leo A Lucas, and William H. Murrell, MD. Under the leadership of Solomon C. Stinson, Ph.D., the chapter was incorporated in the State of Florida as a legal entity on November 30, 1978. Under the leadership of Earl H. Duval Ph. D., the Beta Beta Lambda/Alpha Foundation was created and incorporated on September 25, 1995.
Beta Beta Lambda Chapter and its subsidiaries are providing leadership through its many service activities such as Alpha Outreach, Project Alpha, Alpha-Dade Youth Sports Program, Alpha/Big Brothers & Big Sisters Partnership, Sankofa Project, Knights of Gold, Boy Scouts Troop 1906, Alpha/Head Start Partnership, Voter Education Project, and Scholarship Award Program.
Iota Pi Lambda Chapter's 2018 scholarship recipients with Alpha Phi Alpha members from across South Florida.
The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated honored several local high school students at its annual Golden Affair Scholarship Fundraiser at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center. In recognition of their demonstrated academic excellence and civic contributions to the community, scholarships were awarded to three high school seniors - Khalil Davis (Coral Reef Senior High School ), Brandon Love (Coral Reef Senior High School), and Tyler Regalado (New World School of the Arts). In the Fall, Davis will attend the University of Central Florida with a major in Biology; Love will attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to study Business, and Regalado will attend Florida International University to pursue a degree in Finance.
From left to right, Village of Palmetto Bay Commissioner Larissa Siegel Lara, Village Clerk Missy Arocha, Iota Pi Lambda Chapter Vice-President Leslie Elus; Mayor Eugene Flinn; and Commissioner David Singer present proclamation to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was honored by the Village of Palmetto Bay Commission for the organization's years of service to Miami-Dade County. Mayor Eugene Flinn highlighted the fraternity's national programs and the chapter's local initiatives hosted throughout the county. The Village Commission joined the Mayor to applaud and support the chapter's continued civic and philanthropic activities.
MIAMI, FL – January 2, 2016 – BMe Community wants to reward unsung "Black Men's Genius" in Miami. From now until February 21, black men who share their remarkable stories of creating opportunities for others will have a chance to become BMe Leaders.
The BMe Leader Awards come with national recognition, a $10,000 grant, and travel to Washington DC for induction into a lifelong fellowship of their peers. Men such as:
BMe Leader Derick Pearson who co-founded BlackTech Weekend with his wife Felecia Hatcher to increase the number of startup founders, technology executives and engineers of color. Both are venture-backed entrepreneurs themselves. http://blacktechweek.com/
BMe Leader Jonathan Spikes overcame the violent death of one brother and the shooting of another plus his own cancer diagnosis to show young people a way out of similar traumas. His "Let's Talk It Out" conflict resolution curriculum has been adopted by Miami-Dade Public Schools, one of the largest and most diverse school districts in the US. http://www.jonathanspikes.org/
Compared to other social innovation awards, the BMe Leader application process is short and easy.
BMe scores candidates on the remarkableness of their stories, authenticity, willingness to work with others, community engagement, and diversity of age and fields. BMe is especially interested in those who work to improve health, wealth, know-how and community.
"BMe is redefining social entrepreneurship," said Miami Community Manager, Benjamin Evans, III. "BMe Leaders are social entrepreneurs who build assets and opportunities in places where other innovators fail to do so."
BMe also awards some leaders whom others dare not.
Shaka Senghor in Detroit (2012) and Chris Wilson in Baltimore (2014) each served over 16 years in prison for unrelated murders they committed as teens. BMe recognized each as BMe Leaders within 2 year of their release - sooner than anyone else. And BMe was right about them.
By 2016, Wilson was named 40-Under-40 by the Baltimore Business Journal and Senghor's life story was told by Oprah and he became a New York Times bestselling author and activist. That year, both men were invited to the White House to receive the President's Voluntary Service Award along with 60 different BMe Leaders.
"We don't define people by a past that they can never change," said BMe founder Trabian Shorters. "We define people by the changes they're making today for the good of humanity."
BMe Community is a movement inspired by black men to build a more caring and prosperous America together. Since 2013 BMe’s 40,000 subscribers have helped themselves and 2-million others to improve their health, wealth, hope and communities.
BMe is backed by individual donors and leading foundations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and The Heinz Endowments.
The young men of the DCS Mentoring Program learned a lesson in giving back. The young men, in collaboration with the 100 Black Men of South Florida, arose early last Saturday morning and gathered at Publix in Aventura to pack boxes of Thanksgiving fixings for families in our community. They each selected a deserving family to receive a Thanksgiving basket.
If you are the parent of a young man ages 8-17, you should consider enrolling him in the program. They learn valuable life skills including discipline, etiquette, grooming and personal responsibility. Since its inception in August, the program has expanded to two age groups 8-12 and 13-17 with 50 per age group. Enrollment acceptance is on a first come first served basis. If you are not able to pay the fee in full, the program administrators will work with you.
For more information, call DC Clark at 305.342.5864 or email DCClark88@gmail.com. Sponsors are also needed to help deliver this life-changing and empowering program to young men in our community.
MIAMI, FL – One thousandmiddle school boys, 300 police officers, and mothers who lost children to gun violence participated in a Police and Youth Conference hosted by The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Founder Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at Miami-Dade College North Campus. The conference concluded with a march led by Congresswoman Wilson to unveil a new billboard sponsored by Clear Channel Outdoor located at 27th Avenue and 106thStreet. The billboard depicts solidarity between police and youth along with a powerful messaged aimed at ending gun violence.
“I see hope for the future,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “We all know that there is tension between young boys of color and police officers. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project hosts these annual conferences to foster better relations between police and youth which help ease that tension.”
Students from 34 middle schools participated in interactive workshops with law enforcement personnel. Top brass and police officers representing several municipalities joined together to facilitate the workshops with the goal of educating youth on how to interact with law enforcement.
Idris Elba, Issa Rae, NBA Forecast, Quintessential Voters Guide and more highlighted in 2016 Men’s issue
CHICAGO (Sep. 29, 2016)— KEVIN HART rakes in millions touring the world doing stand-up and dominates the box office with his films. The secret to his success is … well, it’s no secret. Whether spitting bars as satirical battle rapper “Chocolate Droppa” or doing viral dances for the ‘Gram, Hart knows how to keep us entertained. But he’s dead serious when it comes to his empire, and he’s become the first comedian to unseat Jerry Seinfeld at the top of Forbes’ highest-paid celebrities list.
EBONY goes one-on-one with the mogul to learn more about the challenges he faced during his climb to the top; the importance he places on marriage and being a family man; and his upcoming stand-up comedy film, KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? Hart also opens up on hot topics including why he isn’t more outwardly “political” during a time when many celebrities are taking sides in the #allivesmatter and #blacklivesmatter debate.
“I love my people. I have never not stood by my people and by my race,” the comic declares. “I love representing my race all over the world at the highest level where people have to look and go, ‘Hey man, that strong Black man right there is a smart individual. He’s got it together; he’s trying to do some positive things.”
Speaking of positivity, the 2016 Men’s Issue is specifically devoted to uplifting Black men.
“This is one of my favorite editions of the year because we shine a much-needed spotlight on the upcoming November election as well as the issues affecting a group of human beings I truly love: Black men,” explains EBONY Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles. “We are so tired of reading negative stories about our brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, cousins and friends, so this issue highlights awe-inspiring gentlemen making a positive change in their communities and offers self-care tips specific to the fellas.”
In addition to the articles on Hart, Idris Elba and Issa Rae, readers will find a comprehensive voters guide; a 20-year retrospective on the debut albums of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown; and an in-depth interview with Abraham Bolden, the first Black Secret Service agent to protect a U.S. president .
For more, pick up the October/November 2016 issue of EBONY, which is coming to a newsstand near you. And to get more Hart, watch the hilarious behind-the-scenes video on Ebony.com. Read and join the conversation on social media using #EbonyHartsKevin