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I’ve Been Thinking What About You?

Celebrate great Blacks this Black History Month

About a week ago I attended the annual AT&T African American History Calendar event and, of course, at this event they unveiled the 2015 calendar. What made this great event even greater is that I was privileged enough to be chosen as one of this year’s honorees and they featured me for the month of October. This year’s list of honorees is very impressive and includes great Black educators, doctors, politicians, dancers, entrepreneurs and even an aviator. I know you are probably wondering how I got the list, well I’m wondering also.

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Chatter that Matters

While the county-owned Joseph Caleb building in Liberty City undergoes a $27.5 million renovation,Dr. Enid C. Pinkney’s Hampton House organization is settling into their new, but temporary home at The Martin Luther King Building, 2525 NW 62nd St. Also new are officers at of the Hampton House Board. They include Dr. Edward G. Robinson, Vice

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The Social Whirl

In the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida (DOSEF) February 8 was Episcopal Church Women ( ECW) Sunday. Over three hundred women, radiant in colors of red and cream or white gathered to celebrate the ECW ministry in the diocese at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Plantation. They were warmly welcomed and applauded by The Reverend Alberto Cutie, Rector and the Celebrant was The Right Reverend Miguel Tamayo, Emeritus Bishop from Uruguay and Cuba. The Diocesan ECW Executive Board President, Gloria Clausell invited me to share some of my stories on the journey and I was honored to do so as I recalled growing up in our home located at 1821 NW 6th Court. Recalling some of the people and places in the wonderful village of Overtown, and sharing a few of my recipes for happiness using the nine “spoons” we’ve been given — the fruit of the spirit — to stir our souls: Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control and Love. Other members of the ECW Executive Board include: Dr. Mona Bethel Jackson, first vice president/president elect; Constance Collie-Blackman, recording secretary; Treasurer/Second Vice President Edith Newbold; Dedra Paul, corresponding secretary; Maureen George, Social Justice Officer; Haitian Community Representative, Marie Oslyne Gaston; Hispanic Community Representative, Irma Rodriquez; Advisor on Missions, Jacky Lowe; Parliamentarian, Sandra Powell; Publicity/Communications/Sunshine, Gloria Evans and Spiritual Advisor, The Rev. Doris Ingraham. The following women serve as Deanery Directors: North Palm Beach, Deloris Warburton; Broward, Jean Officer, North Dade, Eugenie Henry and South Dade, Salome Nwosu. Thanking all in their ministry. As one who always sat at the feet and listened to the stories told by older women, I will certainly miss one of my favorite storytellers, Mrs. Fredericka Dean Wanza, who died last week in Tampa. She was witty, warm, beautiful through the ages and always had some anecdote or saying to share with me when I drove her to church on Sundays. She taught me physical education in elementary school and later was my neighbor when I returned to Miami in 1973. So many readers will remember her. She was a member of the Dean and Stirrup family —pioneers in Coconut Grove. I’ll miss my “Golden girl mentor.” Peace always and sympathy to her daughter Theta, granddaughters Stephanie and Andrea and the entire family. This week, I’d like to share an excerpt from The Smaller Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves: they will have no end of fun. Blessed are those who can tell a mountain from a molehill: they will be saved a lot of bother. Blessed are those who know how to be quiet and listen; they will learn a lot of new things. Happy are you if you can be kind in understanding the attitude of others: you may be taken for a fool, but this is the price of charity.” And, as always, Live, Love, Pray, Laugh and Dance in your whirl.

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MDC graduates first class of '10,000 Small Businesses'

More than 70 local entrepreneurs complete classes to grow, create jobs

More than 70 Miami small business owners on Monday graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, a program that provides small business owners with practical business education, business support services and access to capital.

Kourtney Ratcliff: Building her own future in finance

UM business graduate returns to Miami, establishes new bank branch

While other teens were flipping burgers and babysitting, Kourtney Ratliff was helping to build one of the nation’s premier financial institutions. During high school breaks, she commuted 70 miles from her native Racine, Wisconsin, to Chicago to intern at Loop Capital, the bank her cousin James Reynolds Jr. founded in 1997. Today, Ratliff is a partner and head of the Global Equity and Taxable Fixed Income and Transition

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Gearing up for college football

Miami-Dade's high school student-athletes sign their letters of intent on National Signing Day

It's that time of year again. National Signing Day took place Feb. 4 at public high schools across the nation. During this time, senior student-athletes buckle down to commit to their colleges of choice, signing a binding letter of intent for college football at a NCAA school.

Every day is Ferguson in classrooms across America

We are all justifiably outraged at the events occurring in Ferguson, Missouri. Headlines scream almost daily about a new incident of racial violence boiling over in a town that is struggling to overcome its troubled history. While prominent African American leaders shout their outrage from microphones and television studios and the rest of us express our sadness and anger in the barber shops, salons and churches; we fail to realize an essential hard truth.

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Black astrophysicist speaks in South Florida

American astrophysicist, cosmologist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson was the keynote speaker at Palm Beach State College Foundation’s Feb. 5 luncheon.

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Injured Army reservist no longer a victim

Local firefighters honor young U.S. Army reservist struck by a hit-and-run driver last month

Richard Parsons said he’s always dreamed of becoming a firefighter ever since he was a little kid. Last week, as he recuperated at Jackson Memorial Hospital from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run crash, the 22-year-old Army reservist got a glimpse of his future when local firefighters from six different agencies surprised Parsons with a certificate naming him an honorary fireman.

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SFBJA elects new board of journalists

New officers of the South Florida Black Journalists Association (SFBJA), a chapter of the National Black Journalists Association (NABJ), were inducted on Thursday, Jan. 29. The induction ceremony was at the City of Miami Gardens City Hall in the Council Chambers. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert administered the oath of office to the 2015-2016 Board officers, followed by a social mixer and networking event.

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Black Tech Week converges on Miami

Knight Foundation donates $100,000 to event presented by Code Fever

With the graphic design landscape crowded, Michael Hall needed to refocus his career. A friend in the technology sector showed him how. Today, Hall is head of Digital Grass Innovation & Technology, a company with a focus on diversity that supports tech startups, in lieu of an infusion of cash. Hall is one of upwards of 30 speakers who will share his journey about being an entrepreneur in Miami at Black Tech Week, Feb. 23-28.

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Provider Profile: Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club of Miami

Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club Inc. of Miami

“We are truly grateful for all of our staff and volunteers who give so much time to helping our youth and their families become productive citizens in the South Miami-Dade community.” —Christy Berry-Wilson, director of Social Services. The Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club is a community-based nonprofit organization, which has served the youth, elderly, unemployed and disadvantaged in South Miami-Dade for more than 40 years. Since 1971, the agency has provided a multitude of social services

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Gone and forgotten for Scott-Carver landmark

Last standing Scott-Carver building crumbling as efforts to preserve Liberty Square’s project history remain uncertain

Tucked behind a wall of palmetto palms and an overgrown sea grape tree stands a beige, faded, two-story building at 7265 NW 22nd Ave. Once the home of poor Liberty City residents, the building has been vacant for at least 14 years now. Old bottles and dirty clothes litter the sweeping veranda where children once played. Plywood covering the doors and windows have been spray-painted with graffiti. Birds fly in and out of gaping holes in the building.

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Afro-Cubans need our support

They are our brothers and sisters, but they are also Cubans. Dozens of Afro-Cubans turned out to a recent community discussions to share experiences of racism that are similar to what others in the African Diaspora face. Afro Cubans talked about being

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Youth say ‘yes’ to summit

About 50 students attended the Coconut Grove Youth Empowerment Summit on Saturday

As DJ Fonixx of P.A.T.H Inc. spun and music filled Peacock Park Recreation Center, youth of all ages poured in for the Coconut Grove Youth Empowerment Summit 2015 Saturday. Most students were from the Coconut Grove area, who attend different schools with different interests. The event gave them an opportunity to come together.

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‘Ebony’, ‘Jet’ photos on sale for $40M

Black experience images dating back to 1942

(NNPA)—Johnson Publishing, the mothership company of the beleaguered yet iconic magazines Ebony and Jet, has put their legendary photo archives on the market for an estimated $40 million. The 5 million-image archive have snapped the Black experience dating back to 1942, including intimate photographs of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., singer Billie Holiday and boxer Muhammad Ali. “Nothing exists like it. It’s almost like an African American Getty,” Johnson Publishing Chief Executive Desiree Rogers told Reuters, referring to the renowned Getty Images photojournalism archive.

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Dying to succeed in the funeral industry

Woman takes on big cemeteries with her Black-owned headstone business

Gina Hankerson’s headstone business is coming alive. Since her business was founded four years ago, Hankerson has been slowly carving her niche in a challenging funeral industry that generates $15 billion a year. She often works 12-hour days to build a clientele at her business, Angelic Monument in Lauderhill. She started it as a headstone cleaning business in 2006. After learning more about the business, in 2010 Hankerson expanded her business to also create headstones for cemeteries in Miami-Dade and Broward.

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Lifestyle Happenings

BTW and Northwestern Classes of 1963 will have an oldie - goldie Valentine’s dance on February 14 at 8 p.m. at The Historical Elks Center. Call 305-613-5373 or 305-634-5657. Miami Northwestern Class of 1966 will have a Valentine’s dance on February 14, 8 p.m. at the Fire Fighters Hall. Call 786-554-2130 or 786-953-8076. Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net.

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The Social Whirl

In support of NationaI Literacy Week last week, the administrative team at Miami Central Senior High School read their favorite poems during the morning announcements. The student body, faculty and staff listened to literary pieces “Mother to Son“, ready by Principal Gregory Bethune, “See It Through” read by LeNere Dawkins, assistant principal, “If” read by Assistant Principal Robert Megias, “Our Deepest Fear,” read by Assistant Principal Dillon Williams and “And Still I Rise” read by Vice Principal Lita Thompson. This was an innovative way to support literacy during National Literacy Week for the ‘ rocking “Rockets”.

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Who will return to Liberty Square?

To residents of the Liberty Square housing projects: pay your rent on time. Don’t commit murder or a felony, not even a misdemeanor. If you do, you are no longer in “good standing,” and when the New Liberty Square is built you may not be welcomed back. That’s the word from the top brass at Miami-Dade County Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which announced plans to demolish all of Liberty Square’s 709 units and build new ones to revitalize and rid the area from crime.

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