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For Good: A special star shines at a St. Pete school

January 15, 2019

Michael Glenn is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at Tomlinson Adult Learning Center. The school, built in 1924, overlooks beautiful Mirror Lake in downtown St. Petersburg. His adult students attend classes full time 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the sole purpose of learning to read, write and speak English. The majority of his students are new to the U.S. and know little or no English. Tomlinson has other programs for adults such as computer classes and GED.
The many excellent teachers work under the direction of Tomlinson’s administrator Godfrey Watson. My experience for the last three years, however, is with Mr. Glenn. I’ve been volunteering a few days a week, assisting with two of his classes, working with beginning English learners. So this story is about him and my experience in his classroom. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


DNA pioneer stripped of honors over 'reprehensible' race comments

January 14, 2019 

A Nobel Prize-winning American scientist and DNA pioneer has been stripped of his honorary titles at the laboratory he once led after repeating racist comments in a documentary.

James Watson, who helped discover the double-helix structure of DNA alongside Francis Crick in the 1950s based on the work of British chemist Rosalind Franklin, said in a PBS film that genes cause a difference in intelligence between white and black people in IQ tests.

The 90-year-old's comments were labeled "reprehensible" by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) on New York's Long Island, where Watson had been the director from 1968 to 1993.The laboratory said it "unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. James D. Watson expressed," noting the statements were "reprehensible [and] unsupported by science."

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


13 Powerful Quotes About Motherhood From Shonda Rhimes

January 14, 2019

Shonda Rhimes is no stranger to the joys and challenges of parenthood.

The award-winning writer and producer has three daughters ― Harper, Emerson and Beckett. Over the years, she’s opened up about motherhood in interviews, personal essays and her best-selling book, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 13 powerful quotes about motherhood from the creative mind behind Shondaland. Visit to read the full article. 


Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


R. Kelly’s Estranged Daughter, Another Reported Victim, Come Forward to Speak Out Against Him

January 13, 2019

More women are stepping forward to speak out against R&B singer R. Kelly, after the six-hour documentary series Surviving R. Kelly brought renewed attention to the sexual crimes he is accused of.

Kelly’s daughter Joann Lee Kelly, who goes by the name Buku Abi, wrote a long post on her Instagram story Thursday in which she acknowledges that her father is a monster and apologizes for taking so long to speak out against him. The text of her message is transcribed below via screenshots posted on TMZ(pdf).

Click here to read the full article. 

Category: Media Community


Barbara Lagoa tapped as next Florida Supreme Court justice by DeSantis

January 11, 2019

Barbara Lagoa, the first Cuban-American woman to serve on Miami's appeals court, was named Wednesday morning to the Florida Supreme Court.

Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement in front of Miami's Freedom Tower, a symbol for Cuban immigrants arriving in South Florida. Lagoa, 52, will become the first Hispanic woman to serve on the court.

"Judge Lagoa's credentials are impeccable," DeSantis said in his first official act as governor.

It was DeSantis' first selection for Supreme Court justice in what is expected to be a conservative makeover of the state's highest court. The Republican governor will select two more candidates. He is replacing three retiring Supreme Court justices: Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, who often sided on liberal issues and against the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: Government & Elected Officials


Florida again leads nation in ACA signups; numbers higher than last year

January 11, 2019

Florida once again led the nation in Affordable Care Act sign-ups, making up about 20 percent of all enrollments in the federal insurance marketplace during the latest open enrollment period, according to preliminary federal data.

In addition, more Floridians signed up for a plan this year than they did last year, despite deep cuts to the navigator grants and the elimination of tax penalty for people who don’t comply with the health law’s individual mandate. Nearly 1.78 million Floridians signed up for a plan during the open enrollment period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. That’s compared with 1.72 million signups last year and 1.76 million the year before.

“What [the numbers] tell us is that people in Florida really want health insurance and the ability to be able to access health care,” said Jodi Ray, program director of Florida Covering Kids and Families at University of South Florida. Ray’s program handles the federal grant that supports ACA navigators in the state.

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Civil rights institute in Alabama rescinds award for Angela Davis

January 8, 2019

A civil rights institute in Alabama has withdrawn an award for Angela Davis, a longtime radical political activist, author and academic.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's board of directors had chosen Davis to receive its Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award at its annual gala next month.But the institute decided to withdraw the award and cancel the annual gala at which Davis, a Birmingham native, would have been honored.The decision came after "supporters and other concerned individuals and organizations, both inside and outside of our local community, began to make requests that we reconsider our decision," the institute's board said in a statement.

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Pine Hills native Jamal Sowell confirmed to lead Enterprise Florida

January 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’ picks to lead state business-recruitment and tourism-marketing efforts were unanimously approved Monday by the boards of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

The votes to hire Jamal Sowell as president and CEO of Enterprise Florida and Dana Young for the same position at Visit Florida came a day before DeSantis will take over as governor.

Sowell, chief of staff at Port Tampa Bay, grew up in the Pine Hills community of Orange County.

Young, a former Republican state senator from Tampa, will be paid $165,000 a year, the same as outgoing Visit Florida President and CEO Ken Lawson, who DeSantis is moving to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Young, who like Lawson will work without a formal contract, told the Visit Florida board she was “honored to have your trust and support” and that she intends to travel the state to meet with the board members.

Sowell said he intends to “effectively carry out the vision of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis to ensure that jobs are brought to Florida.” Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Book the Manhattan Casino Event Hall & Catering

The Historic Manhattan Casino provides the perfect venue for a variety of special events, with legendary musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, James Brown and Nat King Cole having also once performed at this venue. 

The main ballroom features a built-in raised stage with professional lighting and sound equipment, alongside premier bar service and catering options, perfect for St. Pete Weddings. There is seating for up to 300 people that can be configured to accommodate any sized event.

Visit for more information. 

Category: Food


Free Busch Gardens Admission For Children 5 Years Old And Younger

Limited-time offer: Kids 5 and younger can enjoy FREE admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island throughout all of 2019 with the Preschool Card. There’s never been a cooler time to be a kid!

Must register online. Not available at the park. 

Redeem your Preschool Card by visiting a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your registration confirmation
  • Your child's birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID
Visit for tickets & more. 

Category: Media Community


R. Kelly's accusers and inner circle revisit shocking allegations in new docuseries

January 7, 2019

Allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against R&B artist R. Kelly are in the spotlight again as a six-part documentary series reignites public outrage.

The three-night Lifetime series, "Surviving R. Kelly," brings together Kelly's accusers and inner circle to detail the artist's life that the network described as "riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia."Thursday's premiere episodes revisited the previous accusations against Kelly through interviews with accusers, witnesses and those who were close to Kelly.According to Billboard, the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer's lawyer reportedly alleges that the documentary is filled with false allegations, and suggests the subjects are defaming his client for personal gain.

Click here to read the full article. 

Category: Media Community


Will it be a black woman who turfs Trump out of the White House?

January 7, 2019

Life, as Donald Trump has known it for the last two years, has just changed forever. Quagmired in a government shutdown of his own making, Trump’s ability to manipulate his world is already severely constrained in this very new year. The more he struggles against his new surroundings, the more he sinks.

Last week the president could only watch his beloved cable news channels as a bystander to the biggest tectonic shifts, as the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first candidate to officially emerge to run against him next year. And it won’t be long before the House launches several investigations into corruption and incompetence, while the Mueller investigation continues to tighten several nooses around all things Trumpian. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: Government & Elected Officials


Star names say no to Super Bowl show in support of police brutality protest

January 7, 2019

Rihanna and Cardi B among those declining to perform at half-time over NFL’s dispute with star Colin Kaepernick

Watched by more than 100 million people in the US and attracting stars including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, it is one of the most prestigious music shows in the world. But the Super Bowl’s half-time slot next month appears to be facing an unfamiliar problem: a lack of people willing to perform.

As the National Football League digs in its heels in a dispute with Colin Kaepernick, the star quarterback who refused to stand for the national anthem in protest at police brutality against racial minorities, the show this year has become more about politics than music. The fact that the Super Bowl is taking place in Atlanta, arguably the capital of black music in the US, has only added to the storm.

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


‘The sunrise city’: Florida community reconciles with history of 1920s race riot

January 4, 2019

It has been almost a century since Gladys Franks Bell’s father fled an election day race riot in Florida, clutching his little brothers and sisters and wading through swamps and woodland to safety while the Ku Klux Klan razed the family’s home town of Ocoee.

By the end of the night his uncle July Perry was dead, lynched by a white mob and left hanging from a lamp-post next to a sign reading: “This is what we do to niggers who vote.” The murderous rampage, meanwhile, continued unchecked, claiming dozens of other black lives, according to many accounts, while hundreds of survivors were run out of what then became an all-white town for decades. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Tourism numbers on track to break records in Florida

January 4, 2019

Florida continues to attract visitors to its beaches, national parks, and other attractions. 

The number of visitors coming to Florida steadily climbs each year. And the first nine months of 2018 saw more travelers than ever before, according to Visit Florida. 

Leon County also had a record-breaking year of tourism growth for the 10th consecutive year. 

"It was more than $910 million in economic impacts from tourism in Leon County," said Kerri Post, Executive Director of Leon County Division of Tourism. 

Post said 14,000 people are employed in tourism year round in the county. Visit to read the full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


7-Year-Old Killed in Senseless Shooting Attack on Black Family

January 3, 2018

Police have begun a manhunt for the gunman responsible for shooting and killing 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in an apparently unprovoked attack on a black family.

According to KTRK, the family was exiting a Houston Walmart parking lot in a car driven by Barnes’ mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, when a suspect pulled up beside them in a red pickup truck and opened fire on their vehicle. Jazmine was fatally shot and Washington was also wounded. “Three teenage girls, said to have been family members, were also in the car…but survived the attack,” KTRK writes.

While the suspect’s motive hasn’t been clearly established by police, the racial dynamics at play and the recent uptick of white supremacist violence make the circumstances of the shooting deeply unsettling. A mother and her family doing some shopping only to be viciously gunned down, and a child’s life taken—horrific doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


‘Straight-Up Racist’: Boston State Rep Calls Out Democratic Party’s Institutional Problems

January 3, 2018

A new crop of Democratic leaders isn’t afraid to take its own party to task—saying what has been obvious to many black voters and voters of color for years now. The latest is newly elected Boston state Rep. Nika Elugardo, who at a recent panel called out the Democrats for being “straight-up racist.”

The panel, which included other elected officials—all of them black women—was hosted by WGBH as part of their “Basic Black” program, reports

Mincing exactly zero words, Elugardo told host Callie Crossley, “What needs to be said in a straightforward way is that the Democratic Party is straight-up racist.” 

Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


2019 Young Futurists: Nominate the African-American Leaders Who Aren’t Waiting to Change the World

January 3, 2018

Do you know any young activists who are working to bring social justice to their communities? The bookish, nerdy kids who are using their skills to create what could be that next big thing in science and tech? That young, savvy entrepreneur who has gone beyond the lemonade stand to create his or her own business? The environmentalist who tackling climate change and environmental racism? Or the artistic kids who are using their creativity to speak to issues affecting their lives?

If you know any young game changers and leaders who fit these descriptions, now is the time to nominate them for The Root’s 2019 Young Futurists.

And because these overachievers are getting younger every year, we’re changing the age range to include those age 10 to 24 who excel in the fields of social justice and activism, arts and culture, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, and green innovation. We’ll select 25 young leaders from among your nominations and announce them in March. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations


Port Tampa Bay exec recommended to become CEO of Enterprise Florida

January 3, 2018

The next president to lead the economic development organization for the state is expected to be a top executive at Port Tampa Bay. 

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis announced on Dec. 13 he will recommend that Enterprise Florida Inc.’s Board of Directors appoint Jamal Sowell as its next president and CEO for the DeSantis-Nunez Administration.  

Sowell's responsibility at the port is coordinating the operations of the president and CEO’s office. 

Mike Grissom is currently the interim president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, following the departure of Pete Antonacci

“A native Floridian, Jamal Sowell is a person of integrity who has served his country and, now, has successfully helped to lead and grow the Port of Tampa Bay — one of the largest economic engines in the region,” DeSantis said in a news release. “I am proud to recommend Jamal to serve as the next president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. I know he will bring his acumen to the department, keep our state competitive and ensure our workforce has opportunities.” Visit to read the full article.

Category: Business


FAMU Announces President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,Ward Will Serve as MLK Convocation Speaker

January 3, 2019

Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced today that Everett Ward, Ph.D., president of St. Augustine’s University and general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will be its Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation speaker on January 10, 2019 at 10:10 a.m., in Gaither Gymnasium on FAMU’s campus. The event is open to the public.

King was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. Ward incorporated King’s urgent call for action on civil rights in his Alpha Phi Alpha national theme, “Urgency of Now,” and actively advocates on behalf of causes affecting the African-American community, specifically men of color.  As president of St. Augustine’s and an alumnus of the Raleigh, N.C. university, Ward has championed academic excellence and encouraged innovation in scholarship and teaching.

Ward serves on several national, regional and statewide boards to advance opportunities for citizens throughout the nation. He is a former member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where he served as vice chairman of the DNC Black Caucus. In 1989, Ward made history by becoming the first African-American to serve as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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