Alex Hibbert and Jacob Piner, Youth Stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” to Receive Keys to City of Miami Gardens

Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner of “Moonlight” (photo via thegrio.com)

article by Kimberly Wilson via thegrio.com

The boys of “Moonlight” will be getting their moment.

Both 13-year-old Alex Hibbert and 12-year-old Jaden Piner, are slated to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens, FL at this year’s Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. The two students from Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens had starring roles in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” with Alex playing young Chiron and Jaden playing Kevin, Chiron’s best friend.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for us to acknowledge what they’ve done at a young age, and tell them how proud we are of them,” shares Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III. “Because so often when you hear about young black kids, people don’t want to tell you the stories of these kids and areas that they excel in,” continues Mayor Gilbert. “We aren’t talking about them most times. Most times we’re talking about young black boys in a negative context, so anytime we get an opportunity to tell them how extraordinary they are, we will do it. And ‘Jazz In The Gardens’ is the biggest stage that we can offer in the city.”

The key ceremony will be just one highlight of the highly-anticipated weekend. As the staple event each year in the city of Miami Gardens, Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is back for its 12th year, and is quickly growing beyond its borders. Hosted again by veteran comedian Rickey Smiley, the city can expect more than 70,000 music lovers from all over the United States and Caribbean Islands.

The festival will take place this upcoming weekend, March 17-19 at Hard Rock Stadium, featuring performances by Jill Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Common, and LLCoolJ.

To read more, go to: Young stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight” to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens | theGrio

Black Television News Channel to Launch in Top 25 African American TV Markets Via Charter Communications

black television news channel, charter communications

BTNC Founder J.C. Watts, Jr. (photo via eurweb.com)

article by Billie1225 via eurweb.com

Black Television News Channel (BTNC), the nation’s only African American news network, is announcing a multi-year carriage agreement with Charter Communications, a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States.

Under the agreement, Charter Communications will launch BTNC to Spectrum TV subscribers in 14 of the top 25 African American TV markets.  These markets include New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Boston, Tampa, Orlando, Cleveland, Charlotte, Birmingham, Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham, and New Orleans. BTNC now has carriage agreements with three of the four major subscription television providers.

Black Television News Channel

BTNC’s network operations center will be located on Florida A&M University’s campus in Tallahassee, Florida. The network operation center will be the first 4K ultra HD newsgathering and production infrastructure of its kind and will include a multimillion-dollar media training center for aspiring young black journalists.

BTNC’s news programming will employ a multi-platform approach that uses traditional linear cable and satellite service for television viewing while also introducing enhanced television services, social media applications, and e-commerce features.  BTNC is expected to create more than 100 new jobs in its host city.

BTNC is the endeavor of J.C. Watts, Jr., former congressman from Oklahoma and broadcast and cable news veteran. BTNC’s programming mission is to provide intelligent programming that will inform, educate, inspire, and empower its African American audience.

To read full article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2017/02/black-television-news-channel-announces-agreement-with-charter-communications/

Former WNBA Player Tamara James Elected Mayor of Florida Hometown

tamara-james-mayor-florida

Dania Beach, Florida’s new mayor, Tamara James (CREDIT: Facebook)

article by Camille Augustin via vibe.com

After a fruitful career on the hardwood, former Washington Mystics player, Tamara James, plans to take her talents back to her hometown.

The 32-year-old activist was recently named mayor of her old stomping grounds, Dania Beach, Fla., Broward County’s “oldest community” the Miami Herald reports.

In a statement issued to the SunSentinel, James thanked her supporters for furthering her dreams of enacting change in her community. “I plan on being a voice for our residents, promoting smart economic growth and unifying us as a city… I’m looking forward to winning championships for the oldest city in Broward County.”

To read more, go to: http://www.vibe.com/2016/11/tamara-james-wnba-mayor-florida/

Chris Bentley and Carlos Miller Start LiveFRESH Mobile Shower Facility for Homeless in FL

Carlos Miller and Chris Bentley, founders of Live FRESH Palm Beach County. (photo via palmbeachpost.com)

Carlos Miller and Chris Bentley, founders of Live FRESH Palm Beach County. (photo via palmbeachpost.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com

Chris Bentley and Carlos Miller, two African-American men who have been friends since middle school, have started an innovative way to help the homeless of Palm Beach County, Fla. The two started a nonprofit—Live FRESH (Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness)—and have launched a mobile shower facility, an air conditioned trailer equipped with six private shower/changing area rooms, to assist the area’s transient population.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the two chose showers specifically: “For us, that’s where dignity and self-respect starts … with the ability to stay clean and be presentable,” says Bentley. “Cleanliness is a fundamental need. We actually see it as basic human right and because the homeless population can be hard to reach, we knew we would have to come to them and make ourselves available in areas they could easily reach.”

Miller writes on the website: “To see a human being, living in the United States of all countries, walk inside a store with apprehension over being shunned or offensive to the atmosphere due to their odor or disheveled state grabbed at the core of my heart.”About 250 people have participated since the program began March 31, reports the Post.

Each participant gets a packet with personal hygiene essentials including deodorant, towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. The organization was able to launch its fund with a $100,000 grant from Impact the Palm Beaches and smaller donations from other organizations.

To read full article and see video, go to: Longtime Friends Start Mobile Shower Facility for the Homeless in Fla.

Thirty NFL Players Complete an Executive MBA Program at the University of Miami 

The first cohort of graduates have received their degrees from the Executive MBA for Artists and Athletes program at the University of Miami in Florida.  Some 30 current or former players in the National Football League, most of them African Americans, were among the program’s first graduating class.

Source: Thirty NFL Players Complete an Executive MBA Program at the University of Miami : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

U.S. House Democrats Stage Sit-in Led by John Lewis on Floor of Congress Over Guns

Rep. John Lewis sits next to Rep. Gregory Meeks on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2016.

Rep. John Lewis sits next to Rep. Gregory Meeks on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2016. (LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE)

article by Lauren Victoria Burke via theroot.com

At noon Wednesday, members of the House shut it down—all the way down.

In a historic act of protest, Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to observe the regular order of the House, staging a sit-in protest over the lack of legislation on gun control.

The protest Wednesday occurred after House Republicans ignored several demands from House Democrats to take action on guns after 49 people were murdered in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub June 12. Their first demand came during a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting after Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) attempted to ask Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) if action on gun-related measures was possible. Ryan gaveled Clyburn down.

Wednesday’s effort was led by civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and featured several members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have had to deal with continuing gun violence in their districts. The group included Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), who represents parts of Detroit; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.); and several others.

“This is the right thing to do, when you look at the polling data and it shows that 90 percent of the American public says we should not allow terrorists to be able to walk in a store and buy a gun and kill 50 people,” former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told The Root steps away from the House floor. “We don’t lose on this. The Congressional Black Caucus did lead this.”
Continue reading

Comcast and HUD to Provide Internet Access to Public Housing in More Cities

(photo via baltimoretimesonline.com)

(photo via baltimoretimes-online.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Comcast and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a joint effort to deliver Internet access to public housing in Florida’s Miami-Dade County and the cities of Nashville, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

The program is called Internet Essentials. It includes high-speed Internet service with download speeds up to 10 Mbps, a free Wi-Fi router, access to free digital literacy training, and the option to purchase a computer for less than $150.

The initiative is part of the President Obama and HUD ConnectHome program to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing.Today’s announcement marks the eighth time in five years Comcast has expanded eligibility for the program in the company’s efforts to aid in closing the digital divide.

Initially, Internet Essentials was offered to families with children in the National School Lunch Program. It was then expanded to those with children in the reduced price school lunch program.  Since, Comcast has expanded the program to include families with children in parochial, private, charter, and cyber schools, as well as students who are home-schooled.

Last year, Comcast created a pilot program to offers the service to low-income seniors and low-income community college students.

Source: Comcast and HUD to Provide Internet Access to Public Housing