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Erick Johnson



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Lights, camera, action!

New BOCA Black Film Festival opens in South Florida

The inaugural Boca Black Film Festival opens this weekend to showcase the talents of local professionals in film, TV and cinema arts. Held at Palm Beach State College, the festival will include panel discussions, film screenings and educational workshops. The festival is open to the entire South Florida community and neighboring areas. The three-day festival will be held July 17-19. It will provide an array of activities for youths seeking to gain knowledge, information and insight into the entertainment industry. In May, the festival held a scriptwriting competition for aspiring Black film makers.

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Churches unite as a community mourns

The shooting of a popular Liberty City pastor last week has spurred Miami’s Black churches into the fight against crime as religious leaders urge residents to take action against random shootings that have gripped their neighborhoods with fear. Hundreds are expected to march through the streets of Liberty City this weekend to help strengthen a grassroots anti-crime movement that has been brewing in the past several months following the deaths of innocent victims of gun-violence.

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West Grove’s ACE theater gets a chance at redemption

Its closed doors may reopen after being named a historic site

The seats that once held movie-goers are now rusted. Cobwebs cover the entrance of the doors. The marquee that once attracted hundreds of moviegoers to sold-out shows has not lit up in decades. Rewind to the 1950s and ‘60s when the ACE Theater on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove was humming with Blacks who had their own community theater during those segregated times. Along with Overtown’s Capitol,

Proposed bus route cuts include Liberty City

A proposal to eliminate two bus routes serving Liberty City and Overtown was deferred last week after drawing stiff opposition at the Miami-Dade County Commission meeting. Bus routes 46 and 254 are two of several routes that may be eliminated as part of the county’s bi-annual ridership evaluation and service adjustment. The review is taken every summer and fall when transit officials propose service and schedule adjustments as a response to ridership trends.

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Miami Gardens sues county to gain control of stadium area

A legal battle is brewing between the Miami Gardens and Miami-Dade County over the area around Sun Life Stadium. The dispute involves the Dolphin Center Development of Regional Impact, an area surrounding the Sun Life Stadium at NW 27th Avenue and 199th Street. Though located in Miami Gardens, the area falls under the jurisdiction of the county.

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Military photographer wins three-year battle to become U.S. citizen

Elisha Dawkins: It was a battle for my life

He fought for freedom in Iraq but Elisha Dawkins’ real battle for liberty was on American soil where the 26-year-old could not get a job or enjoy the privileges that many citizens take for granted. After three years of clearing his name of serious allegations that could have sent him to jail for years, Dawkins, a Miami Central High graduate and military reserve became a U.S. citizen in a patriotic ceremony filled with deep emotions for the Bahamas native.

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South Florida observes 1964 Civil Rights Act

EEOC to join local organizations at FIU North Campus

Several federal agencies and local government bodies will join forces on July 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA). The landmark legislation, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, was envisioned and drafted by President Kennedy in 1963 and was enacted in 1964 following his assassination. 

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Opa-locka, Miami Gardens hold gun buyback drives for safer holiday

There were sawed-off shotguns, Uzis and rifles. Once owned by residents, the weapons became the property of police departments in Opa-locka and Miami Gardens, who held gun buy back drives on Saturday in an effort to a create safe Fourth of July weekend, traditionally a dangerous time for revelers who are injured during celebratory gunshots from owners.

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Officers not liable in civil trial, community attendance in courtroom low

Activists: Where is the outrage?

In courtroom 10-4 at the King Building in the Miami Federal Courthouse Complex downtown, two blacks watched helplessly as a judge allowed defense attorneys to attack the credibility of Latasha Cure, a woman who sued two police officers who injured her and brutally killed two Blacks in Little Haiti seven years ago. The defense attorney would continue to have their way as U.S. Magistrate Edwin Torres would deny numerous objections from Cure’s attorneys. He would also prohibit jurors for hearing the sullied background of Miami-Dade police officers Ryan Robinson and Michael Mendez. From there, the case went downhill as jurors returned with their verdict: not guilty.

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Education takes center stage at major political forum

Democratic candidate for Governor Nan Rich stepped up her campaign on Monday as she joined Black leaders at New Birth Baptist Church to tout her experience as a solid, unwavering legislator during a major political forum where education, a key issue in the upcoming gubernatorial election, was a hot topic.



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