Posted on

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.

Posted on

…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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

…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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

…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.

Posted on

He Was Killed 10 Years Ago. A Discussion is Coming February 22.

Trayvon Martin was 17 years old when he was shot and killed on February 26, 2012 in a gated community he and his father were visiting in Sanford, Fla. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator who said the walking young man scared him and they had had physical contact. Zimmerman was found not guilty a year later. The shooting of the young man helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement—and there will be a virtual panel discussion about it all at 7 p.m. on February 22.

The event is being hosted by USA TODAY Network Florida and will discuss a host of topics, including fear of black males, parenting black children and race relations. The point: impact of his murder.

The panelists are a “diverse group of black voices from around the state that will discuss these issues,” said Rick Christie, the executive editor of the Palm Beach Post who will be the moderator.

None of those voices, however, will be Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, “who haven’t been talkative,” according to Mr. Christie, nor probably will one be Prophet Bryce Graham, a local, young, activist pastor who was awarded in 2018 by the Miami Gardens-based Trayvon Martin Foundation for his service to the community. Is he going to participate in the discussion?

“I’ll consider it,” said Prophet Bryce, who is also the second vice president of the central Florida chapter of the National Action Network, founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton. “The topics they’re going to discuss are critically important. Especially now.”  

Indeed, click here to read a local news story about the upcoming discussion, including a full list of the panelists and, here, to attend the discussion. And, to learn more about the Trayvon Martin Foundation click here to visit its website and about Mr. Christie, here. Want to know more about sir Prophet and what he does, day in and day out? Here.

Posted on

America’s HBCUs Under Threat of Attack—During Black History Month. There Will Be a Talk Today.

Indeed, at the beginning of February, bomb threats were made at nearly 20 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)—acts of hate that sought to, apparently, impede the learning of students of color. No bombs were ever found, though several threats happened at several different schools in several different states. Including at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, where a man who claimed to be in a neo-Nazi organization made a threat on Monday to detonate bombs at the school. At each school, there were class disruptions that left students feeling anxious and worried. At 12:30 p.m. today, February 8, there will be a full discussion about it all, virtually, thanks to the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). All the right voices will be in the room, including from the U.S. Department of Education and five different HBCU presidents who had had the negative experience that shut down their schools. To RSVP and tune in, click here. The discussion will include the impact of the bomb threats and how HBCUs are planning for the future. To read a national news story about the national issue, click here. And, to learn more about the organizer, the SPLC, click here to visit its website.

Posted on

…that Maya Angelou is Now On A U.S. Quarter?

Yes. And she’s not just the first woman of color–though she is that–but the poet, writer and activist has become the first woman to appear on a U.S. quarter. The U.S. Mint released a coin featuring her likeness into circulation earlier this month; the coin was created as part of the American Women Quarters Program, through which a five-woman series of special-edition coins honoring American women will be minted over the next four years. This quarter depicts a youthful Ms. Angelou with her arms outstretched, beams of sunlight around her and a bird in flight behind her. Indeed, the bird is a reference to her widely read, coming-of-age memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, from 1969. Ms. Angelou, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 86, is the first coin in the series, which was approved by a bill that passed in 2020. Click here to learn more about the national project. And about her.