A Haitian dance studio that literally rose from the ashes of the 2010 earthquake will perform this Thursday and Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center of Miami-Dade County. Ayikodans, pronounced eye-e-ko-dance, is Haitian’s best dance troupe but it was “on the brink of extinction” because it lost its dance studio and everything else it owned. With physical and monetary help of more than 50 different individuals, businesses and foundations in Miami, three years after the catastrophic earthquake, Ayikodans had a new 40-by-20-foot studio in the hills of Pétion-Ville. The walls are made from coral rock and the floor of Caribbean courbaril wood repurposed from its old studio. New artistic work will be a part of the performances Feb 4-6 in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Individual tickets to the show cost $40 and can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling 305-949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.
Kelvin Hair helps kick off Black History Month at Fort Lauderdale History Museum and in local schools
Kelvin Hair, a second generation Highwaymen artist, and son of one of the most famous of the original Highwaymen, Alfred Hair, will be hosting an opening reception, a series of exhibits, shows and workshops, in Fort Lauderdale the first weekend in February to kick off Black History Month. Collaborators include the Old Dillard School Museum, the award-winning arts programs of Dillard High School, Grace Arts FL and the History Museum of Fort Lauderdale.
Play tells the story of Berry Gordy
Musicals can be an underappreciated form of entertainment. National interest recently has sparked with the live broadcast of “The Wiz” last year and the recent broadcast of “Grease” last month. South Florida residents are able to see another significant musical that's playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center. “Motown: The Musical” is scheduled to come to Miami to celebrate a sensational era of music. “Motown is the Soundtrack to our lives. When you hear ‘ABC’ with the Jackson 5 you’re going to remember where you were, who were you with or even what you were wearing. Motown will bring you back to that moment of time,” said Elijah Ahmad Lewis, the performer who portrays Stevie Wonder in the play.
A winning event
Hello Miami. If you missed the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA) Soul Food Cook-Off this past Saturday at the Coconut Grove Gallery and Interiors, you missed a wonderful evening of music, art and food. My evening was spent enjoying dozens of tasty delicacies that included the winning dishes in each category: Starter/Appetizer: a crunchy Kale Apple Salad loaded with fresh winter veggies
Film is a parody of ‘50 Shades of Grey’
Marlon Wayans has excelled in the sport of comedy. In terms of film, he has been notorious for parodies like “Scary Movie” 1 & 2 and his most recent franchise, “The Haunted House.” The latest parody that is in theaters is “50 Shades of Black.” A comedic twist on the romantic drama “50 Shades of Grey,” “this movie answers the question, ‘What if Christian Grey were Black?’ He is rich, a bit shady, and he is really bad in bed,” said Marlon Wayans who plays Christian Black in the film. “50 Shades of Black” is about an inexperienced college student who meets a wealthy businessman whose sexual practice puts a strain on their relationship. The story line is identical to “50 Shades of Grey,” which debuted February 2015. “50 Shades of Grey” was based of the popular book that released in 2011. The book received national exposure by how it illustrates the sexual practices of BDSM or bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism.
Three of four nominees were Black women
Precious Symonette exhaled and exhaled again Thursday as she let the idea sink in that she was just named the 2017 Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year. The creative writing teacher from Miami Norland Senior High School then thanked all who were a part of her journey to the illustrious milestone in her career. In the background Alesso’s “Heroes” played and swelled in the room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center. Symonette finished her speech by thanking her school’s principal, Reginald E. Lee.
According to a recent study, Broward College graduates not only meet the demands of the job market, but also make more money their first year of employment than those completing the same degrees at other schools. The report (“Labor Market Experiences After Postsecondary Education”), a product of the partnership between the State of Florida and College Measures, documents the variations in median first-year wages of graduates from two-year and four-year higher education institutions.
Black History Month, our legacies, histories in churches, organizations, our service and our stories are endless and are told each day, the celebration is more than a month, it is lifelong. We remember, tell and share the stories of Blacks who paved the way. Some were in the struggle, creative geniuses, educators, businessmen and women, entertainers. Some were ordinary people in our communities, from Florida City to Carver Ranches, pioneers in our communities, who made a difference. Our history includes the establishment of many organizations that created decades of bonds in community involvement, friendship and service. They were a refuge and social outlet for members in the community.
From the desk of Dr. Enid C. Pinkney, founder of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, we will continue what has to be done to prepare for the information badly needed for a successful kitchen. We will strive through our historical values and through the arts to create and welcome the arts and culture into their lives. Hampton House activities and services will appear to a cross-section of families without regard for race, educational or economic background. We will focus on Southeast Florida residents seeking to expand their knowledge about the history and contribution of African Americans and other cultures to development of the South Florida community. Through visual performing arts, through historical displays and authentic experience, we will serve a segment of the South Florida Market, primarily Miami-Dade County and reach the entire Southeast Florida region.
Book tells story of the 1912 hanging of four Blacks by a white lynch mob
The skeletons in your closet don’t rattle around much anymore. Most of your family has long forgotten the secrets those skeletons represented, while the ones who haven’t forgotten have made sure they’re not discussed. And it might stay that way forever unless, as in the new book “The Family Tree” by Karen Branan, there’s a journalist in the family. As her 90-year-old, still-feisty grandmother lay dying, Karen Branan hoped to record some of her G’mamma’s recollections. Mostly, she got the usual things: schoolgirl hobbies, gentlemen callers… until G’mamma mentioned a hanging that she’d witnessed as a child. Branan tucked the story away in her mind, along with other hushed, whispered things that tickled at her memories. Then, nearly 10 years after hearing that first hint from a dying woman who embellished her tales, Branan went in search of facts.
Women in Transition of South Florida resumes its Basic Computer Skills class for women ages 18 and up. Registration and Orientation is Tuesday, February 2, call 786-477-8548. ASCENT: Black Women’s Expressions Art Exhibition, Feb. 4 – March 4 at Cotilla Gallery: Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center in Ft. Lauderdale. Call 954-262-4637. The BTW Alumni Association, Inc. presents Ole’ school Alumni Night on Friday, February5 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Shantel’s Lounge. Call 305-213-0188. The Embrace Girls Foundation announces Embrace Girls High Tea Events on Tuesday, February 9 at 4:30 p.m. and Friday, February 12 at 2 p.m. to be held at Arcola Lake Elementary. Call 305- 779-3780 or email www.embracegirlpower.org.
• Feb. 1-26: Florida Memorial University Black History Month Celebration; lectures, films and concerts at 15800 NW 42nd Ave. in Miami Gardens. Call 305-626-3600, email email@example.com or visit www.fmuniv.edu. • Feb. 1-29: Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at 480 NW 11th St.; $10 per person. Call 305-329-2513 or visit www.historicalblackprecinct.org. • Feb. 1-29: Exhibition, “What’s INSIDE HER never dies: A Black Woman’s Legacy & Other exhibits” at the Yeelen Gallery, 294 NW 54th St. Call 954-235-4758 or visit www.yeelenartcom. • Feb. 1-29: Jessie Trice Community Health Center “Almost 50 Celebration;” 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday at 5607 NW 27th Ave. Call 305-805-1700 or visit www.jtchc.org.
Without intervention by the Miami City Commission, South Beach Lady will have to leave the Bayfront
There’s nothing new about seeing yachts docked along the South Florida waterways. But there’s something special about one yacht in particular, the South Beach Lady. Besides having four decks each with a full-service bar; an interior with custom cabinetry and brass plated features throughout; and an open-air sky lounge on the top deck, this massive 125-feet length luxury yacht is Black-owned by a husband and wife duo. In fact, it’s the only Black-owned cruise in Florida. With the South Beach Lady, the owners have an opportunity to claim a stake in the local multicultural tourism industry. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the business.
Norland and Central among the top basketball teams in conference
February marks the beginning of the high school basketball District Playoffs as the first step in a chase for a state basketball championship. District 16-6A features a potential fourth meeting between defending Class 6A Miami Norland Vikings and Miami Central Rockets. The Vikings defeated the Rockets, last year’s GMAC (Greater Miami Athletic Conference) Champions, 56-51, to win this year’s GMAC title. Now, the Vikings take on the North Miami Beach Chargers, while the Rockets face Miami Northwestern. Should the Vikings and Rockets dispatch their first-round district opponents, they will meet for the fourth time this season. The Vikings have won each of the three meetings -- two regular season wins by nine points and the GMAC Championship game. “We’re the defending state cham
Garth Reeves Sr. receives NNPA Global Lifetime Achievement Award
The National Newspaper Publishers Association honored one of its long-time members on Friday. Garth Reeves Sr., publisher emeritus of The Miami Times, was the guest of honor during a recognition dinner and salute to NNPA’s Most Senior Publisher at the NNPA’s Mid-Winter Conference, which took place at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove from Wednesday, Jan. 27, to Saturday, Jan. 30. A reception sponsored by The Miami Times and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau opened the conference at Seaspice Restaurant last Wednesday evening.
Patterson retires from Miami-Dade Police Department
Like much of the nation, J.D. Patterson watched coverage of the 1980 McDuffie rebellion on television. The Miami native was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, and felt helpless. He knew he wanted to return to his hometown and to make a difference. “I knew there was something I needed to do,” he said “ … seeing my community burn up.” This was despite the fact that the community was outraged by the actions of members of the department he eventually would serve. “Law enforcement is vital to any community. It’s critical to the community’s success.” Now more than 30 years later, Patterson has retired as director of the same police agency whose officers were the catalyst for the riots that destroyed large swaths of Liberty City and Overtown. He is not sure about his next move, but he has no regrets about the work that he has done. His last day was Jan. 31. His successor is Juan Perez, who was his deputy assistant director.
Baseball not as popular in some schools
The sporting world is abuzz at all levels -- optimists, high school, collegiate and professional. What’s interesting is how so few Black Americans participate in baseball. Not many, no matter the level. And it is particularly obvious at the high school level, where inner city schools are especially noted for winning football, basketball and track and field state championships. For instance, Booker T. Washington and Miami Central High Schools recently won their third consecutive state football championships. Miami Norland High School is pursuing its fifth consecutive state championship in basketball. And Miami Northwestern High School’s Lady Bulls Track and Field Coach Carmen Jackson is in pursuit of her 10th state championship. “Some schools have baseball programs. Some don’t. We have a baseball program at Central,” said Miami Central Athletic Director Latoya Williams, who is in her fourth year on the job.
Buccaneers beat the Panthers in an 85-65 victory
Barry University’s men's basketball team bounced back in a big way. The No. 21 Buccaneers answered their biggest loss of the season with a resounding 20-point victory at Florida Tech on Jan. 20, winning 85-65. Barry (13-3, 6-2 Sunshine State Conference) remained in second place in the league standings. Florida Tech fell to 10-8, 3-5. Yunio Barrueta and Tray Leonard both had double-doubles for the second time this season. Barrueta had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Leonard finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Florida Tech cut Barry's lead to one 45 seconds into the second half, but Barrueta drove in and scored, Undra Mitchem hit a three and Anders Haas hit a jumper to key a 7-0 Bucs spurt. Leonard scored on a wrap-around pass from Arie Williams to push Barry's lead to 12 with 14:35 to play.
This weekend, instead of cooking, join me for the first Gwen S. Cherry Soul Food Cook-off at the Coconut Grove Gallery and Interiors 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. The Soul Food Cook-off, organized and hosted by the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), offers patrons a tasty, exciting start to Black History Month and will feature culinary delights by dozens of local chefs. The Gwen S. Cherry Soul Food Cook-off brings together a diverse community of people enjoying great food and having fun. The event is a regional competition that will showcase the best soul food South Florida’s talented chefs have to offer, in a relaxed family
The National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group made up of more than 100 Black newspaper owners, will hold its 2016 Mid-Winter Conference in Miami starting Wednesday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove. “This is the 2016 Mid-Winter Conference and the focus is to enhance the business opportunities for members in light of changes in the publishing industry,” Ben Chavis Jr., president of NNPA, said in light of the rise of digital media. Chavis went on to speak about honoring long-time member Garth Reeves Sr. at the NNPA Recognition Dinner and Salute to NNPA’s Most Senior Publisher and the quality of the conference program. “We also seek to salute the outstanding contributions of Garth Reeves Sr. at the Friday night dinner as our leading senior publisher. We also plan to have various workshops to enhance and increase business opportunities for our members.” The program kicks off with a National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation board meeting, and later in the evening with a reception at Seaspice Restaurant, sponsored by the Miami Times and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.