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Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year

January 23, 2018 - 

More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections and showed a 20 percent increase over previous years. The inmates who died were, on average, younger than in previous years. “A 20 percent spike in prison deaths is of course alarming, as is the fact that it’s younger inmates that are dying, rather than people who have been in there for decades,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union. “But I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Many of these are under investigations. And there’s multiple causes.”  [Source: Miami Herald]

Category: Media Community


FAMU, FIU, UCF presidents refusing to back down from their enrollment growth plans

January 22, 2018 - The presidents of Florida A&M, Florida International, and the University of Central Florida are pushing forward with their plans for enrollment growth despite harsh questioning on the issue from some members of the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). UCF and FIU have been called on to defend their big student numbers at BOG meetings ever since they both surpassed the University of Florida in enrollment. Back in 2009, UCF took UF’s former title as the largest in Florida. In Fall 2016, UCF was the still the biggest in the state with 64,318 students and the second largest in the country behind Arizona State University. FIU was the second largest in Florida with 55,112 students. Click here for full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Black Alabama student who made racist sorority video go viral talks aftermath

January 22, 2018 - 

When the now viral video of University of Alabama student Harley Barber shouting racial slurs first made its rounds on social media, fellow student Brittney Thomas says she was in complete shock. “Wow, she is really bold to have recorded herself saying these things,” the African-American junior from Atlanta, Georgia recalled thinking at the time. Thomas, 20, was enjoying her day off after classes were canceled due to inclement weather. It also happened to be a national federal holiday: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Her day of peace quickly turned upside down when she noticed the shocking videos on her Twitter timeline. Visit for full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Liberia: George Weah sworn in as new president

January 22, 2018 - Former international football star George Weah beat outgoing vice president Joseph Boakai in a stunning election runoff to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president. Weah has a rags to riches story made for Hollywood. Weah was reportedly born in a slum in Monrovia, an area that depends heavily on iron ore and rubber exports. Drawing on his own experience growing up in an impoverished area, Weah campaigned on growing the economy and eliminating corruption. To a population where 80 percent of people are trying to get by on less than $1.25 a day, those promises were compelling. Click here for full article.

Category: Government & Elected Officials


Aja Evans gears up to bring her #BlackGirlMagic to the 2018 Winter Olympics

January 20, 2017 - You probably heard of Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and perhaps Simone Manuel. All three African-American women made history, winning gold medals during the past Olympic Games. Now Aja Evans is hoping to be the next. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist is currently training for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and she has her sights set on winning gold in bobsledding, and perhaps helping make the sport more prominent in the African-American community, as Manuel did for swimming, and Gabby and Simone did for gymnastics. Click here for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Congress Meets Saturday to Try to End Government Shutdown

January 20, 2017 - 

Though there is enough hand wringing, blame (see #ShumerShutdown#TrumpShutdown) and hypocrisy to go around, the fact is the U.S. government shuttered after midnight on Friday, though members of Congress are scheduled to meet on Saturday to strike a deal. The Washington Post reports the House was expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. and the Senate at noon. Meanwhile, House Republicans and Democrats planned for separate caucus meetings at 10 a.m. Saturday to kick off private talks.

However, though the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before government offices open Monday, the White House is apparently playing hardball saying that it would not negotiate over immigration, calling those who opposed the president “obstructionist losers.” Click here for full article. 

Category: Government & Elected Officials


Jamaica Declares a State of Emergency After Violence Rocks the Montego Bay Area

January 20, 2017 - 

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently announced a state of emergency for St. James Parish, which includes the tourist hotspot of Montego Bay, amid a sharp increase in violent crime in the area. On Thursday, the politician dispatched the military to the area. “I have been advised by the security forces, in writing, that the level of criminal activity experienced, continued and threatened, is of such a nature and so extensive in scale as to endanger public safety,” Holness said, according to a statement from the Jamaican government. Click here for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Tampa Bay leads state in wage growth among major metros

January 20, 2017 - 

TAMPA — Pinellas and Hillsborough counties had the highest year-over-year wage growth of Florida’s metropolitan hubs from 2007 to 2016. According to data released Thursday, Pinellas, which had the highest increase of any major county, jumped about 25 percent from $37,302 in 2007 to $46,496 in 2016. Hillsborough County rose just over 23 percent from $41,216 in 2007 to $50,768 in 2016. "Tampa and Hillsborough County’s sustained efforts to attract and grow companies that pay higher wages and invest in our community is paying off," said Craig Richard, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, in a release. Wages in Florida bumped up from $38,963 in 2007 to $46,346 in 2016. Visit for full article. 

Category: Business


Black media thankfully shut out of Trump Fake News Awards

January 19, 2017 - On Wednesday, Donald Trump rolled out his long-promised 2017 Fake News Awards.

The embattled president announced the Trump Fake News Awards by tweeting a link listing the so-called winners. Unfortunately for the social-media savvy POTUS the awards stumbled right out of the starting gate when the link took visitors to a site that was down for maintenance. Eventually, the list went up on In the rollout, the release noted that “studies have shown that over 90 percent of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.” The year of 2017 also got the distinction of being named “a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage and even downright fake news.” Visit for full article. 

Category: Media Community


Deal Re-Establishes ESSENCE as a 100% Black-Owned Independent Company

January 17, 2018 - Essence Ventures LLC, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce, has announced its acquisition of multi-platform media company Essence Communications Inc. from Time Inc. ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks will continue at the helm of the company and will also join its board of directors. In addition, the all Black female executive team of ESSENCE, including Ebanks, will have an equity stake in the business. “This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” said Ebanks. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.” Visit for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Local community leaders honored for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 17, 2018 - 

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., a group of community leaders in Pinellas County started this year off by being recognized for their work - and they’ve been encouraged to keep it up. The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners announced that they gave a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day proclamation award to two organizations at their first meeting of the year this month. Members of the 2020 Plan Taskforce was in attendance to receive the honor along with honorees James and Gwen Feazell, the founders of the Bridging the Achievement Gap (BTAG) program. Pinellas County Commission Chairman Kenneth Welch was the presenter of the ceremonial proclamation, which is a statement signed by all commissioners recognizing significant activities, organizations or individuals in the community. This is the first time that a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day proclamation has been given. 


Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Haitian-American GOP Rep. Mia Love rips Trump, demands apology

January 12, 2017 - 

On Thursday, Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah, the first Haitian-American to be elected to Congress, demanded an apology from President Donald Trump for his comments about Haiti and African countries being “shithole countries.” “The (President’s) comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love said in a statement Thursday night. “The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.” Visit for more information. 

Category: Government & Elected Officials


Sunshine City Film Festival All ACCESS Pass

Tonight through January 15, 2017 - This exclusive pass gets you free access into All the events happening during the Sunshine City Film Festival 2018. Individual tickets to each event are available on Eventbrite and can be purchased at the door the day off the event as well. Visit for full schedule of events.


Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Double SNAP Benefits at Saturday Morning Market and Florida Farmers Markets with Match Up to $40

When: May 26, 2018 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm 

Where: The Saturday Morning Market Al Lang Stadium parking lot, 230 1st St. SE

As many Floridians continue to recover from the disastrous impacts of Hurricane Irma, and climate refugeesdisplaced by Hurricane Maria continue to arrive from Puerto Rico, Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) is extending an increased SNAP incentive match at participating farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and CSAs across Florida, including the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg. The Saturday Morning Market is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through May 26, at the Al Lang Stadium parking lot, 230 1st St. SE. FAB is enabling Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients and Disaster SNAP recipients to match their SNAP benefits up to$40 in Fresh Access Bucks toward the purchase of Florida-grown fruits and vegetables at participating markets through 2018. For a complete list of participating markets in Florida, please visit

Category: Health Events


Fraud Commission Dissolved but Florida League of Women Voters Remains Vigilant

January 9, 2017 - 

he League of Women Voters of Florida welcomes the dissolution of President Donald Trump's commission to investigate voter fraud, but the group today said it remains vigilant in the face of other potential threats to the voting rights.“The League of Women Voters of Florida, as it has for 80 years, will vigorously protect and defend the voting rights of Floridians from threats wherever they originate — whether it be from Tallahassee or Washington D.C.," said Pamela Goodman, President of the LWV of Florida. "Our right to vote is sacred and cherished."

 On Wednesday, Donald Trump signed an executive order that effectively dissolved the controversial commission on voter fraud he created in May 2017, citing states’ refusal to provide the commission with “basic information.”  The White House said in a statement: “Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action,” according to CNN.  

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Hope Dove's Custom made Cakes and Cupcakes

January 4, 2017 - 

Hope Dove Confections is now offering confections with custom edible images!! Order yours today for that special occasion! *Images are for illustration purposes only*

Call (813) 815-0460 or for more information.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Sean Combs and Colin Kaepernick are serious about buying Carolina Panthers

January 4, 2018 - 

It seems that Sean “Diddy” Combs is serious about buying the Carolina Panthers and the rapper is ready to set up meetings with potential investors that include Colin Kaepernick. He has had a long phone call with the ex-football star and philanthropist who wants to play a role in the ownership of the team. On Sunday, Combs said he was looking to purchase the NFL team after current owner Jerry Richardson let it be known that he is putting his controlling share up for sale. Kaepernick also said he was interested and started making his own plans this week. Visit for full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Meet the 29-Year Old Entrepreneur Who Spike Lee Wants to Work With

January 3, 2018 - Chad Sanders, a 29-year old tech entrepreneur and rising star, is partnering up with Spike Lee for a new TV series inspired by no other than himself. The series entitled Archer is a sociological thriller with a pinch of dark comedy that revolves around the life of a character described as a "young black Zuckerberg." Visit for full article.

Category: Business


9-Year Old Queen Running Her Own Home-Based Line of Bath Products

January 3, 2018 - Jelani Jones from Fredericksburg, Virginia is only 9-years old, but she runs her business... like a queen! In addition to making and selling her own line of bath products, Lani Boo Bath, from her home, Jones is also a straight “A” student in school. How does she do it? “I have a schedule so I can fit everything in,” explains Jones. Spoken like a true entrepreneur! She likes to do everything herself, or at least be involved in some aspect of her business at all times. She even helps to do her own taxes, and has learned how to write a business plan and determine pricing for her products. Visit for full article.

Category: Business


Three FAMU alumni set to be inaugurated as mayors in Georgia

December 30, 2017 - Three alumni of Florida A&M University will soon be sworn in as the new mayors of Georgia cities. Two are graduates of the School of Business and Industry and one is a graduate of the School of Journalism, Media and Graphic Arts (now the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication).  

Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor-elect of Atlanta, GeorgiaCollege: School of Journalism, Media and Graphic ArtsMajor: B.S., Broadcast Journalism Graduation Year: 1991Inauguration Date: January 2, 2018

Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor-elect of East Point, GeorgiaCollege: School of Business and IndustryMajor: B.S., Accounting and Business AdministrationGraduation Year: 1996Inauguration Date: December 30, 2017

Booker Gainor, Mayor-elect of Cairo, GeorgiaCollege: School of Business and IndustryMajor: B.S., Business Administration with a Concentration in MarketingGraduation Year: 2012Inauguration Date: January 8, 2018

Visit for more information. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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