Deep City producers inspired by grit and soul of Overtown environment
With notebooks of musical compositions and business savvy, recent college graduates Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall returned to the gritty, rhythmic neighborhoods of Black Miami inspired by the brassy beats of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Their mission: to create music.
Inaugural jazz concert for new university President Roslyn Artis
It was over a century ago that a chorus of 500 children performed a song to be heralded by generations of Blacks. The song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” indelibly connects Florida Memorial University (FMU) to the soundtrack of history. In an extension of that history, the university is hosting a jazz concert Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Lou Rawls Center for Performing Arts to commemorate the new presidency of Roslyn Artis.
Engineering school inviting of all cultures, races
Florida International University (FIU) is headed to court Sept. 22 in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former professor who was fired after several attempts to teach in Haiti. Sylvan Jolibois was fired last December and is hoping to reclaim his job in the engineering school, but FIU students were largely unaware of him and his case against the university.
Overtown’s Theodore R. Gibson Park is going through a second revamping with the groundbreaking of a new gym Friday, Sept. 19. Miami mayor Tomas Regalado will join District 5 City Commissioner Keon Hardemon on the grounds of the soon-to-be facility at 10 a.m. The gym, which will be two stories, is designed to s
Miami pilot to bring lessons from sky to children
The new president of the nation’s largest labor union took to the skies in Miami today as the second major stop on her back-to-school tour. Lily Eskelsen Garcia began her role at the National Education Association (NEA) several days ago, becoming the first Latino woman to head the three million member organization.
Local groups show their support
A former engineering professor at Florida International University (FIU) is suing the university for discrimination after confrontations, which spiraled out of control, ultimately resulted in his termination last December. Sylvan Jolibois, who is of Haitian descent, wrote about the island nation’s “golden opportunity” to rebuild its infrastructure after
While many university presidents may be bunkering down for a season on the gridiron, Roslyn Artis at Florida Memorial University (FMU) is analyzing her school with the scrutiny of a seasoned coach. “I looked across the university to find where we’re strong and quite frankly where we’re weak,” said Artis, who was appointed president of FMU in February making school history as the first woman to take on the role.
Local pilot to bring kids live lessons from his plane
The engine of a small aircraft revved as Miami native and international pilot Barrington Irving prepared to take off. Irving is founder of Flying Classroom, a new digital program being launched Sept. 23 at Allapattah Middle School and at least seven elementary and middle schools around Miami-Dade County.
Residents were vocal about their disapproval at local forum
In a discussion hosted by St. Louis public radio Aug. 28, Ferguson residents’ frustrations played out for the world to hear by special broadcast, which featured voices from the town rocked by the recent death of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a police officer.
Exam to begin next March, still unfinished
Florida Department of Education (FDOE) staff is working with outside contractors to develop the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), a new test in line with the Common Core, with an emphasis on analytical thinking skills. The test is replacing the FCAT and will feature multiple answer forms beyond the typical multiple choice. The previously unnamed test will be administered on computers for students in fifth through eleventh grades with a paper option available.
Report calls for distribution changes
Miami-Dade County Public schools has done a poor job of distributing veteran teachers equally among its districts, according to a report released last Wednesday by a research organization called the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCQT). The report, titled “Unequal Access, Unequal Results” detailed the findings of a study requested by the local Urban League chapter. The findings were dismal for areas stricken with poverty and heavily populated by Blacks. NCQT reported that 70 percent of the 60 county schools to earn a D or F letter grade for the 2012 academic year were located in Opa-locka, Miami Gardens,
Survey highlights differences between Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown coverage
The killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer in Missouri has raised concerns about police brutality to a national platform. Brown’s incident is one of several fatal interactions with cops in the past few weeks that has stirred Blacks to protest in solidarity with oppressed communities around the world.
“Living Legends: Civil Rights Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”
The Florida New Majority, a voter participation group, hosted a panel discussion last Thursday to spark conversation about involvement in various social justice movements. An opening parable narrated by African storyteller Djenaba Gregory-Faal set an underlying theme about youth activism to the discussion. Gregory-Faal engaged the audience in song with the words “Bring on the day when a young spirit will be in charge.”
District says data outdated, patchy
Miami-Dade County Public Schools has done a poor job of distributing veteran teachers equally among its districts, according to a report released yesterday, but county officials pointed out the weakness in the data and presented recent improvements.
Documentary details West Grove history, injustice
A tall, skinny building billows out smoke, its forceful dark clouds spewing sift indiscriminately onto school children nearby. On days when the trash incinerator was not operating those same kids would run up and down the mound on which it was built.
As millions of students around the country returned to school Monday, the Urban League of Greater Miami urged local Black fathers to be involved in their children’s education, first by waking up to take them to school. The Urban League’s push was matched by other organizations in over 700 cities across the United States in a movement tagged Million Fathers March. The program originated in Chicago in 2004 by the Black Star Project, an organization that equips minority children with academic resources.
The execution of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager gunned down by Missouri police, is not the first example of deaths at the hands of those whose so-called mission is to “protect and serve.” Aggressors keep turning to a perceived threat as justification for the robbery of Black life, even though those
State ranks second in growth
Florida has created nearly as many technology-related jobs in the past six months as it did for all of last year. The creation of these 4,100 tech jobs and the 90 percent growth they represent ranks the state as number two on a list of states with positive job inclines in the technology industry. Florida is second only to Texas, which according to a report from tech recruitment website Dice.com, produced 8,100 new jobs.
Breasts, though arguably one of the most sexually objectified parts of the female anatomy, are the subject of national debate over their functional purpose — providing nourishment to an infant. With August being National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, several incidents that occurred
Candidates question her political motives
Several weeks before Florida voters take to the polls to select her opponent in primary elections, attorney general Pam Bondi launched a mobile application intended to make her office more accessible. The app, which was released Aug. 1, is free and available to Apple users. Major features include press releases and personal statements from Bondi every week. Users can file a Medicaid fraud complaint form directly on the app, but will be redirected to the web if they try to fill the form for a citizen services complaint.
Voters could elect state’s first Black man to hold the office
On August 26, as part of Florida’s primary elections, voters will determine which of the two Democratic candidates they prefer to run against incumbent state attorney general, Republican Pam Bondi. The attorney general serves as the head legal advisor to Florida lawmakers and is elected to act in the interest of the public. When Bondi was elected in 2011, she became the first woman to hold the position in the state.
Program began in 2004 with first graders
Eric Lewis, program director for a Miami mentoring program, is nostalgic. He recounts the moment he took on the role in 2004 for the I Have A Dream Foundation. “I remember the first day I received the list of 50 kids. They were six and seven years old and I looked around the room and asked myself ‘What have I got myself into?’”
Increasing student diversity requires new approach
When Black students around the nation return to school this fall, they may find their experience different from that of their parents or even older siblings because what they will likely see is more of kids who look like them. According to projections from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), this school year may represent the first time minority students will outnumber their white counterparts in classrooms across the country.
Top stories affecting South Florida's Black communities
Group holds shoe drive to aid earthquake recovery
In 2010 images of Haiti projected the plight of the small island nation into the hearts of many after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the country’s already weak foundation to bits. Fast forward several years to today and conversations about the state of Haiti that would place its recovery as a top global priority are scarce.
Free event in Hollywood on Saturday
The taste of the Caribbean Islands will come to South Florida this weekend with the third annual Colors of the Caribbean Festival, a free event hosted by the Caribbean American Heritage Foundation Inc. (CAHFI). The event, which will be held this Saturday at Young Circle Park in Hollywood, is in observance of national Caribbean-American Heritage month.
Students’ final act in the FCAT saw a small increase in performance on the standardized test. In Miami-Dade County, there was improvement in five of seven areas including math, reading and science. Educators hope the upward results will bring future success as the state continues to transition to the national curriculum standards called Common Core.
Top stories affecting South Florida's Black communities this week.
Northwestern High School students work on mural and gallery
A mural goes unnoticed, tucked away on a short, empty hallway at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. It's colorful and inspired but it was created on walls near the art classrooms and isn't seen by many. Students may not even know that on that hallway an art gallery exists, but for one art student the seclusion is perfect. “This is a quiet place I can express myself and not be judged. It gave me a place to call home - a sanctuary,” said Garfield Joseph, a junior and manager of the new art gallery on which students are working hard.
Miami's seniors take to the graduation stage
Black high school students around Miami-Dade County are taking the next step in their lives by graduating.
Top stories affecting South Florida's Black communities
Organizers push unity for immigration rights
It was the opening day of a national conference hosted by the Black Immigration Network (BIN). Aly Wane, 37, an immigrant born in Senegal, sat in a group of four Black faces: one, who sported a colorful Ghanaian shirt, was from America; another spoke with a strong British accent; an Asian woman sat among them.
Participants in the national conference for the Black Immigration Network came from all walks of life. Some of them were descendants of slaves, while others were Black immigrants from countries all around the globe.
Overtown resident Benjamin Brown and family spent one sunny weekend to pack, reminisce and say their final good-byes before handing over the keys to their longtime home.
About 150 people attended an event seeking community-wide solutions to improve mental health in young, Black males last Friday at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. The event was a collaborative effort called “Black Male Mental Health Conference” in the series “Empowering the Village to Serve Black Male Youth.” Event coordinators said Friday’s conference was created to foster a community of professionals who are dedicated to improving the mental health of young, Black men.