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‘I Endorse Him.’

That’s what former longtime Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas A. Masters is saying about the man who beat him politically in 2019 and is currently in that office, Ronnie L. Felder. The former elected official who held the seat for 12 years made the remarks at a recent Riviera Beach City Council meeting. “I said it because he’s never disrespected me,” said Bishop Masters, who is now the International Ambassador for the World Conference of Mayors. “He’s a good man. Always has been. I like what he’s doing in our community, particularly for our seniors and youth. He’s the best candidate to continue to move our city forward.” Indeed, there are several other announced candidates already in the race, which will be held March 8, 2022. Just not Bishop Masters.

And this just in: on February 19, Bishop Masters interviewed Mayor Felder. On social media. Even though Bishop Masters has two radio shows, on WMBX 102.3 FM and on WJNO 1290 AM. “They don’t allow discussions about politics,” the Bishop said, “but I don’t consider this politics. He’s about service to his community.” So, tune in. Interesting. It happened at his church. Click here to do so.

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He’s Famous. And Not Just Because of His Book.

That’s because Terry Greene plays the keyboard, the base guitar, and sings. He has worked with the producers behind Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, Ray Charles and, even, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson. He has also been a producer for Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Green and the GAP Band and, even, put together the performances and equipment for local artist, Jimmie ‘Bo’ Horne.

But today? He’s also an author. And his book, The Man, His Ministry and Music Career, is all about him. That’s because, as he says, looking back over his life, he has achieved. And, “I wanted it to be an inspiration for the young, for them to not give up on their dreams. Like I did.”

Terry Greene.

Mr. Greene, who is originally from Riviera Beach, says when he left home in 1979, he had $100 in his pocket, determined to “not give up on my dreams.” He’s traveled around the world, and lived in California, New York and, today still, in Atlanta.

In the book, which was published in December of last year, he writes about all those music-related experiences and about the fact that he’s now also Prophet Terry, who has also produced ministerial artists and created a record label, Fa7ith Urban Music. He’s also thinking to, today, at age 70, turn the book into a Netflix TV series.

“I’m famous,” he said, “and that’s important to share.”

And did we say he is also the uncle of Riviera Beach City Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson? Yes. He’s her mother’s brother.

The Author, the Councilwoman and her husband, Joseph Anderson, who is also the Chairman of the Port of Palm Beach Commission.

To learn more about him, his career and his book, click here to visit his website. The book is available here on Amazon and here on Barnes & Noble. Also, he is just one of several authors who either live in Palm Beach County or, like him, are from here but live elsewhere. Read about them here.

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Lose a Family Member to the Crazy Pandemic? Help is Here

That’s because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has funds for the families of those lost to COVID-19, but people aren’t responding. Or applying. That’s according to a local news report, here, that notes families can get up to $9,000 for each death–but they’re not applying. Had a COVID family death? Then reach out to FEMA and get paid! Even after the fact. Families just must show proof of the cause of death and where and when it occurred, in terms of the virus. Visit the FEMA website here to learn more. And if it happened, reach out. For real.

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She Has Died

Estella Pyfrom, a longtime educator troubled by the fact so many children didn’t have access to computers, died last week Wednesday, December 29. After she retired in 2009, she used her retirement savings to buy a bus, fill it with computers and bring technology to the kids. The Belle Glade native then created the Estellas’ Brilliant Bus program, the mobile computer lab on wheels that has provided free, computer-based tutoring to thousands of students since 2011.

And along the way, she’d been embraced by Oprah Winfrey, did a Super Bowl commercial and, in 2013, was selected as one of former President Barack Obama’s Points of Light, a huge honor.  And, there was more. Her focus: ensuring that underprivileged children get the same educational opportunities as other children. Indeed, according to the Institute of the Study of Labor, students who lack access to computers are less likely to graduate high school. That is part of what experts call the ‘digital divide.’ So Estella Pyfrom did what she could to help her community and seek to kill that divide. Come back here for updates on her funeral arrangements. And visit her website here to see what she did, every single day. To kill that digital divide.

This just in: the memorial service for Mrs. Pyfrom will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 8 at Camel Funeral Home in Belle Glade. Click here for more information and, here, to watch the service, which is to be live streamed.

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‘Identity, Purpose, Direction:’ Kwanzaa

Today starts the seven-day Kwanzaa celebration. It was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga (pictured), who is the current chairman of the Department of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He created Kwanzaa, which runs December 26 through January 1, as an African-American and pan-African celebration of family, community and culture. His intent: for African-Americans to reconnect with our African cultural and historical traditions by, among other things, studying Nguzo Saba, or the ‘seven principles of African heritage.’ Dr. Karenga had been a major player in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s and, according to him, Kwanzaa derives from the seeking of a cultural revolution that “gives identity, purpose and direction” to people of African descent. Those seven principles, in Swahili, are also connected to those seven candles, below. Here are the principles and what they mean:

  • Umoja (Unity);
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination);
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility);
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics);
  • Nia (Purpose);
  • Kuumba (Creativity); and
  • Imani (Faith).
Visit the official Kwanzaa website here.

Events, like those being held across south Florida, feature community feasts, music, dance, poetry, candle-lighting ceremonies–and lots of interaction between the elderly, adults and the young. Visit the coco calendar to see events that are happening this month in West Palm Beach (WPB), Delray Beach and at The Square in downtown WPB. Click here to see other events that have happened, over time, across Palm Beach County (including this year’s events at the top). To learn more about the founder, Dr. Karenga, click here and, to visit the official Kwanzaa website, here.

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Lots of Problems in Haiti. That’s Why the African Queen Wants to Help.

In the last year alone, the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was killed, thousands of Haitian migrants remain at the U.S.-Mexico border and the country was hit by an earthquake. Indeed, it’s all affecting Haitian families—and their children.  

That’s why Marie Antoinette Jean-Pierre Theligene wants to help.

She is Haitian. She is also the owner of Valley of Love Ministries in West Palm Beach, a nonprofit she founded in 2004 that focuses on feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and helping the needy.  And because of the work she does there, every single day, she was named in September of this year as the first Haitian-American to be named an African Queen. Nigeria learned about her work because she had helped a man from the African nation in 2020 and, when he returned home, he told country leaders about his experiences—and who had helped him.  

She wants to help, now, Haitian children, who have been affected by all of this. And she needs help to do so. From the community here. Watch the video, below, to find out why.

Visit the African Queen’s Website Here.

She’s seeking support from the community, here, in time for Christmas. Click here to do so or, to learn more—and, still, to help!—reach out to the African Queen. She can be reached by email here or just call her: 561-844-2400. And did we say she is the first Haitian-American to be named an African Queen? Yes!

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College Applications Now Open

For Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, that is, which announced last month the launch of its Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program for the college class of 2026. The annual program seeks to provide select academically talented, first-generation, low-income students the financial and academic support needed to graduate from college, debt free. The applications must be submitted by February 1, 2022, and they have three main requirements for those who apply: they must graduate from high school in 2022, apply to and be accepted at FAU and be a first-generation college student—not the offspring of a college graduate. To learn more about the program, and to apply, click here. And, while on the site, watch the video. Really cool!

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Need Help Buying Food?

Palm Beach County’s Department of Community Services is on the team—of the people who live in the County. Whether struck by COVID or by unemployment or by anything else, really, the Department has a variety of programs that do what the Department is about: helping the community. A program in point? Free food cards. There is a list of eligibility requirements, which do not require COVID impact, and can be seen here. The Department has a host of other programs that provide assistance with rental payments and utility and electric services as well. Visit its webpage here and see who its Executive Director is: James Green. He’s on the team too.

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He’s a Pastor, But There’s No Church

That’s because the Rev. Rae Whitely’s focus is his community, not just praying on Sundays. Indeed, he is the founder of two community-focused nonprofits, Children’s Oasis International, which serves underprivileged children in the U.S., Jamaica and Haiti, and Black Votes Matter. Not Black Lives Matter; Black Votes Matter, which is focused on educating and organizing people of color around political and election-related issues. All that, plus he’s also the Palm Beach County representative for Orlando-based Faith in Florida,  which seeks to, as it says, provide a prophetic, interfaith voice on civil rights restoration, immigration and healthcare expansion statewide. To learn more about what Rev. Whitely does—and why—especially for Faith in Florida, click here to visit its website. Or, just watch the video, below.

And, well, Rev. Whitely is actually the Assistant Pastor at Healing Hands Ministries, a church in Boynton Beach that he says “has left the building.” See him? Ask him about that–and about the work he does, every single day, for his community.

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Black Friday is About Shopping. Here’s Two Options

‘Black Friday’ refers to that day following Thanksgiving when many, many stores around the country offer highly promoted sales. It has, routinely, been the busiest shopping day of the year. And in response this year, there are at least two local sales happening in Palm Beach County. Both of them are listed on the cocowire calendar, but they’re right here too! And if your company is having a Black Friday-inspired sale, let us know here so we can share with the community. The two local mentions: the All About Us discount sale, a business which is Africa-inspired, completely online and can be seen here, and the Black Friday Pop Up Shop. The pop-up shop will be live, in person and at the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth Beach. It’ll also be fun! Click here to check it out.