New park in Twin Lakes named in honor of Dr. Arthur Woodard

Dear Blogging Black Miami Readers:

Please join me in thanking Commission Chair Jean Monestime, his staff, and the entire Board of County Commissioners for approving the resolution naming Twin Lakes Park after my Dad. The property that will soon bear his name, is a story of decades long persistent civic engagement by residents of a small neighborhood. There are a few officials around, such as Commissioner James Burke and Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, who remember the beginnings of our fight, and our efforts to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood.  One lesson learned from this journey: Never Give Up.

My classmate, William "DC" Clark and my godparents, Art and Hyacinth Johnson were relentless in making sure my Dad's legacy was properly recognized. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Please stay tuned for details on the dedication of Arthur Woodard Park. Woo-hoo!

~ Va-Va


MIAMI-DADE, FL – A County lakefront park being developed in Twin Lakes will bear the name of the beloved late educator who long maintained the once-private land for local families to enjoy.

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Oct. 6 approved a resolution sponsored by Chairman Jean Monestime to name the park under construction at Northwest 99th Street and 12th Avenue as “Arthur Woodard Park” – a designation sought by the community that loved him.

“As the community approaches the one-year anniversary of the death of Dr. Arthur Woodard, it is fitting that we preserve his legacy and dream by naming this park after him,” Chairman Monestime said.

A lifelong educator and coach, Dr. Woodard served as principal of Miami-Douglas MacArthur High School North until his 1991 retirement.  After Hurricane Andrew, he helped lead efforts to bring the Orange Blossom Classic Festival parade to West Perrine, which played an important role in the area’s recovery.

In 1969, Dr. Woodard decided that the neglected patch of private lakefront land in his Twin Lakes neighborhood could be put to better use, and he began maintaining it at his own expense so that families could play and picnic there. The County’s decision many years later to acquire the land and begin developing it into a County park was the fulfilment of a personal dream.




Dr. Sybil C. Mobley
Dr. Sybil Collins Mobley, Founding Dean of the Florida A&M University School of Business & Industry



Chicago, Illinois  – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® mourns the loss of educator and business leader, Dr. Sybil Collins Mobley.

Under Mobley’s leadership, Florida A&M University created the renowned School of Business and Industry, based on a model of recruiting the brightest students and faculty, providing students with full scholarships and ensuring they completed three internships before graduation. A dedicated professor, role model, and iconic force, she was instrumental in preparing students for the global economy. Mobley served as dean for almost 30 years until her 2003 retirement.

Speaking on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 283,000 members worldwide, the sorority’s International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson lauded Mobley as a "trailblazer and steadfast supporter of education. She was a gifted educator, business leader and a stalwart for excellence among her students throughout her long and distinguished career."

Mobley was initiated into the sorority in 1951 in the Delta Kappa Omega Chapter (Tallahassee, Florida). Mobley is survived by her three children, James Otis Mobley Jr., Janet Mobley Sermon and the Rev. Melvin Edward Mobley. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements for Retired Police Director Robert Parker



South Florida is still in shock after learning of the death of retired Miami-Dade County Police Director Robert "Bobby" Parker on Wednesday evening, July 22, 2015 by apparent suicide. Parker was well thought of and respected in the community. He will be missed by so many. Please continue to pray for his family and friends.

Arrangements for Robert "Bobby" Parker

Viewing/Memorial Service: Friday, July 31, 2015, 6pm - 9pm, New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International, 2300 NW 135 Street ,Opa-Locka, FL 33167

Funeral: Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10am, Florida International University (South Campus), 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199


The Origin of Our Belief Systems


by William "DC" Clark

Word: Black People are an Ancient People. We are the most Spiritual People on this Planet. People have copied our way for years and claimed it to be their own. But since we have forgotten our way, we pay homage to others without realizing we are actually paying homage to ourselves.

Case in point. I see people questioning Christianity, but if you truly understood the origin of this religion, and many others, you will understand why our People are drawn to it. It's  innate. Ten thousand years ago, Blacks worshipped the Sun. The Sun was the giver of life. Without the Sun, nothing would live. Years later, around 3,000 BC, the Sun was personified in the image of Horus. Horus was called the God Sun, the Light of the World, Savior of Mankind, Lamb of God, the Truth, the Light, Good Sheppard, etc. He often battled Set, the ruler of darkness (the Light vs the Darkness/God vs the Devil). Horus was accompanied by 12 Constellations  (12 Disciples). He also was born on December 25th, to a virgin mother (Isis), accompanied by a star in the East (Sirius, the brightest star), and 3 Kings (3 stars of Orion's Belt ). He was also a teacher at 12 and Baptized at the age of 30. Sounds familiar?

But this belief system came from the study of the Constellations. As the Sun moves South in the later months, it gets smaller and smaller and the days get shorter and shorter. The Ancients use to call that the death of the Sun. By the 22nd of December, the Sun stops moving South (officially dead) and stays in that position for 3 days until December 25th. During that time, the Sun sits in the vicinity of the Southern Crux/Cross (Sun God dies on a cross). On December 25th, the Sun rises and moves Northward for the first time in 3 days, thus signaling the Resurrection. The Sun continues to move in a Northern direction but the Resurrection isn't celebrated until the Spring Equinox (or Easter) when the Sun overpowers Darkness and the days become longer.

In the end you must realize there is nothing new under the Sun. They may have taken our history, heritage and culture away from us, but in a sense you are still practicing it everyday whether you realize it or not. You belong to a great people. It's time that you recognize it. Study and practice what you desire. Just recognize it all came from you and yours.

# knowledgeispower


Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Easter Joy

Jesus came to earth,
To show us how to live,
How to put others first,
How to love and how to give.

Then He set about His work,
That God sent Him to do;
He took our punishment on Himself;
He made us clean and new.

He could have saved Himself,
Calling angels from above,
But He chose to pay our price for sin;
He paid it out of love.

Our Lord died on Good Friday,
But the cross did not destroy
His resurrection on Easter morn
That fills our hearts with joy.

Now we know our earthly death,
Like His, is just a rest.
We'll be forever with Him
In heaven, where life is best.

So we live our lives for Jesus,
Think of Him in all we do.
Thank you Savior; Thank you Lord.
Help us love like you!

By Joanna Fuchs

President Obama's message on the 50th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday'

"The single-most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'we.' We the People. We shall overcome. Yes we can. That word is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours." —President Obama: ‪#‎Selma50‬ ‪#‎MarchOn‬


Happy MLK Weekend: The Dream Continues

Repost from Vanessa: Unplugged!:


Today we honor the Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shamefully, in this Year of 2015, his DREAM of FREEDOM, JUSTICE and EQUALITY remains unfulfilled. 

The masses of people in America are uneducated and undereducated, in most instances not due to lack of opportunity but due to intentional distractions and misdirection to keep them ill-prepared, hopeless, helpless, disengaged and confused. To keep Americans fearful of one another because race, religious practices and sexual orientation ensures a nation that will not reach its full potential.

On this day, we must truly reclaim the dream. Now is not the time to succumb to the brief dash of energy brought about through repeated clichés. Now is the time to do what is right, understanding, correction --- knowing, that we have the ability and responsibility to help each other and especially those in need. 

May Dr. King's Dream be fulfilled soon.


Daddyless Daddy’s Girl


My Dad, Dr. Arthur E. Woodard, passed away in October of this year. I still miss him a lot.


It has taken a minute to write this post, it's very personal but I must write so I can move on in my life. I have been doing what I must each day but remain somewhat paralyzed by the loss of my Dad several weeks ago. Fully aware of his long time health challenges and impending demise, the loss has been and still is tremendous. Although I am likely oversharing, writing is cathartic. Stop now or read on, I must do what I must do for me on this journey called Life.  

My Dad is Dr. Arthur E. Woodard. His life was a testament to hard work, persistence and unselfishness. My Dad came from very humble beginnings. He accomplished a lot through education in the traditional school classroom; the military and life. Because of his life's path, I realized, at an early age, there would be no acceptable excuse for me not being successful.

My Dad instilled in me the confidence to do anything I decided to do. He said it wouldn’t always be easy but the satisfaction of the accomplishment of a goal would be worth the sacrifice. There was a time during my adolescence when my Dad worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs to provide for our family and to pay for his postgraduate studies. I thought all little girls had fathers like mine.

Until October of this year, my Dad has always been in my life. As a little girl, I had tea sets, dolls and did girlie things. I was a cheerleader and a majorette. To my mother’s chagrin, I also played football with the boys in the neighborhood and went fishing and crabbing in the Gulf with my Dad. He told me I could do anything so I tried to do everything I wanted to do and to do things well that pleased him. 

My Daddy told me that I never had to worry about anything. He told me that he and my Mom would make sure I always had a place to sleep and food to eat. He told me that I didn’t have to put up with anyone’s foolishness and disrespect whether it was on a job or in a personal relationship. Where many families expected their children to be out of the household by the time they were 21 years old, my parents, especially my Daddy, was the opposite. He said I didn't have to move out. He said I could always come home and so, over time, I did.

Now, when I return home each day, my Dad is not there. It’s a strange disconnected feeling that I’m sure other people experience when both parents are deceased. My Dad was the person I called before I called AAA when I had car trouble. He was the person who taught me how to repair things around the house. My Dad was the person I called when other people called me about helping their child with the application process at our alma mater, Florida A&M. My Dad, even during his illness, was the person our neighbors sought out for help with issues with the County. The list goes on and on.

I miss my Dad. I am logical enough to know that we all must leave this Earth as surely as we are born. I thank God for allowing me to be born to a wonderful Dad and Mom. I thank everyone who has helped me and is helping me through this difficult time of being a Daddyless Daddy's Girl. 

My journey continues. Smooches…


Va-va sig 75x39


My Mom and Dad at a military ball sometime during the 1950's.


Dad and Mom, not sure the year but this could have been taken in the late 1980's or early 1990's.


My Dad and I with Kimeisha Robinson and her family. Kimeisha is the 2014 recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture. She is a graduate of Miami Northwestern and is studying psychology at Florida A&M University.



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."