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The ‘Crazy P’s’

At cocowire, we haven’t been interested. We like good, local, positive news. But the Crazy P’s—the crazy pandemic, the crazy protests, the crazy politics—haven’t been much of that. So, we haven’t been posting as much during the last year. Or two. Including on our calendar because so many events have become virtual. And not as interesting. Even the Caribbean-American for Community Involvement (CAFCI) has cancelled it’s annual Friendship Ball because of the Delta Variant.  But despite all the Crazy P’s, we are beginning to write again. To connect again. We started the monthly newsletter again in May 2021 (read it here). Some events are still virtual—we include them, despite—but most are becoming open again. And outside. With social distancing and face masks. So. We’re all changing. In the world and here. So, share your information with us and we’ll share it with the community. And, even as we decide to ignore the Crazy P’s, there is some good news from all of it: interestingly, the peoples of the African diaspora have been more in the news. In a positive way. And in commercials, being used to pitch products. Check it out! Interesting. But don’t look for the Crazy P’s.

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He Achieves. Continuously.

Jervonte ‘Tae’ Edmonds graduated from college in 2015, opened a now-nationally known nonprofit while there, worked for two different state elected officials. He’s also written a book for children titled Adventures of the Rich and Famous and, even, designed and created a sneaker. Now, today, he is also in elective office, having run successfully for the state House of Representatives in 2021. The nonprofit he founded? Suits for Seniors, which is an eight-week, life-skills training program for high school students that, if they finish successfully, will provide a custom-made suit. In honor of the program, he is co-hosting the I THINK I Can Scholarship Breakfast at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, in West Palm Beach and is still seeking vendors. The first-ever event is being sponsored by the Fredreck A. Deluca Foundation, Verizon and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation.

That’s Steve Harvey in the picture, on the right, with state Rep. Edmonds (District 88). To learn more about the event and to register or become a vendor, click here. And, to learn more about Suits for Seniors, here, about state Rep. Edmonds, here and, even, about the sneakers. Here

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Ever Heard of Soul Movement?

If your child is interested in dance, register her—and him—with Soul Movement, a young, community-focused dance conservatory that provides dance classes for children starting at age 3 and a performance ensemble for the skilled, ages 10 to 18. Indeed, it just hosted a grand opening of its new location in the historic Northwood community in West Palm Beach on June 24. There will be classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Hip-Hop—not twerking—and will expand to include fitness, yoga and wellness classes for adults. That’s according to Samantha Cyprian, the founder. To learn more about Soul Movement, click here to visit its website or just contact Ms. Cyprian at 561-888-9074 or send an email here. “We are very excited to have the ability to give the community dance,” said Ms. Cyprian, herself a dance lady. The picture, above, was taken at a previous event. Watch the video, below, taken on the streets of Northwood during the grand opening event.

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Juneteenth refers to that day, June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas were freed by the Union Army–two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Imagine. Also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states, including Florida. Ever heard of Juneteeth of Palm Beach County? Click here to visit its website. Indeed, they’re hosting an event this month. On June 19.

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Interesting.

That word refers to President Biden’s preferences. Nearly every highlighted-position choice he’s had to make he’s filled with a woman of color. Like Vice President. And Supreme Court Justice. And White House Press Secretary.

Kamala Harris is his choice as vice president. She had been a U.S. Senator, a statewide prosecutor and had even run for president herself.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated as part of a narrowed list of his first U.S. Supreme Court pick—and, then, in April 2022, was chosen as our new, current Supreme Court Justice.

And, just this month, Karine Jean-Pierre was named the White House’s first black female press secretary, a high-profile role speaking for both the president and the U.S. government in press briefings watched around the world.

Each of the positions is high-end and very obvious to the community. They are also being held for the first time by black women. Also, Vice President Harris is of Caribbean descent because her father is from Jamaica, while Justice Brown Jackson is from south Florida and Spokesperson Jean-Pierre is from Martinique which is, also, in the Caribbean. And they’re all married to white men. Except the Spokesperson. She’s in a long-term relationship with her partner, a white woman. That’s because she’s a lesbian. Click here to learn more about her in a national news story and, here, about the Supreme Court Justice. And about the Vice President? Just watch the news.

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…That There’s a New Book About George Floyd?

Yes. George Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis and, as we approach the third anniversary of his murder, two journalists report on the life of the man whose death sparked a massive protest movement and a national conversation about race. Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa wrote the piece, drawing on hundreds of interviews and countless public and private records to reconstruct the course of Floyd’s often-troubled life. A gentle man who sometimes worried that his size intimidated people, George Floyd grew up in poverty–but had big aspirations. And the authors argue his opportunities were limited, time and again, by the effects of systemic racism. Their new book, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life, and the Struggle for Racial Justice, was a highlight of a national news radio show. Click here to listen. Interesting. Really.

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Register by May 15

Back to School PBC will be held on Saturday, July 30 at different locations around Palm Beach County but, to receive the free school supplies and backpacks, students must register here by May 15! And, depending on the locations and resources, students may also receive free food, haircuts, sneakers, socks, school uniforms and health-related resources, such as biometric health and vision screenings. Once students register, they’ll receive an invitation two weeks before the July 30 event. Register here and all efforts will be made to ensure that students are assigned to attend the event at a location closest to their homes. And how is the word getting out? State Senator Bobby Powell (District 30), who shared the news with his community. Click here to read it.

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…That a Young NFL Quarterback Was Killed On a South Florida Highway?

Yes. Dwayne Haskins, 24, the backup Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and a former standout at Ohio State University, was attempting on foot to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 in Fort Lauderdale when he was hit by a dump truck on April 9, 2022. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been here training with teammates when it happened and his death sparked an outpouring of social media support from those who had worked with him and other NFL players. “He was one of the greatest QB’s in Ohio State history,” wrote his college coach, Urban Meyer, in a social media post, “but an even better son, teammate and friend.” Read a national news story here about the loss.

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The SOS Warriors Are Going To London Next Year. They Need Your Help.

The Sounds Of Success (SOS) Community Marching Band—aka the SOS Warriors—has been playing live music for four years, based in Riviera Beach. Band members are young, committed and performing! There’s a summer camp, they play at different events in different cities statewide—including, most recently Tallahassee, Orlando and Ft. Myers—and will be playing in Atlanta in May 2022. And, in June of next year, they will be heading to London to play for the Queen! Indeed, it will be the only band from the United States of many there for the annual event, London Band Week, which does seek to honor Queen Elizabeth II in England. Among other things.

So, watch the video, below, provided on March 16 by a local news source, and consider supporting the band and its founder, the young, hardworking Antoine K. Miller, who has been playing instruments since he was a child, played in the iconic FAMU Marching Band in college and has taught music education at several public and charter schools in Palm Beach County. He created the band in 2018.

“This is what I’ve done all my life,” he says, “and I want to continue.”

To learn more about what he—and the band—does every single day, click here to read a story and here to visit its website. Or just watch the video. And consider being a sponsor. 

The Sounds of Success Marching Band leaders.

And, to learn more about the big event, scheduled for June 27 to July 2, 2023, click here to visit its website. It’s interesting website.

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She Is Achieving.

Nominated as an “outstanding elementary school student,” Skyler Foster is being considered to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM this summer by her teacher at her school, Westward Elementary in West Palm Beach. The summer program will take place in Miami and is scheduled to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics–and leadership skills.

“I can’t afford it, but this will benefit her,” said Tyler Lawrence, 31, who is Skyler’s mother—and who had had three children by the time she was 26 but still graduated from FAMU in 2013.”She’s smart.” 

The 8-year-old third grader was nominated to attend the forum by her teacher, who said she is creative, bright and promising. Her mother, who works as a Family Services Specialist at the Early Learning Coalition in Riviera Beach, is also a single parent with three children who are all smart, fun and hardworking. Like Skyler. To consider helping her arrive in Miami this summer, send an email here

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…that the First African American Woman to Win a Speedskating Medal is from South Florida?

Yes. Erin Jackson, 29, is also the first female to win that speedskating medal and the first American to do so this Olympics season. It happened on Sunday, February 13 in Beirut, China. She is a native of Ocala and first began skating at age 8 in 2003, when she tried figure stating. She ran track and field while at Forest High School, from which she graduated in 2011, and continued her sports interests at the University of Florida, where she earned a degree in Materials, Science & Engineering when she graduated in 2015.

This is Her!

From there, her interests in sports—well, skating—continued.  She started speed skating in 2017—including trying ice for the first time—and began winning. Click here to read a national news story to get a sense of her accomplishments and, here, to visit her website. So, she is from Florida but lives in Utah. Right now, though, she is in China.