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Happy Father’s Day: The Florida Courier staff pays tribute to their dads Page B1

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VOLUME 22 NO. 24

JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014


In the eighth installment of the Florida Courier’s series on Blacks and mental health, we learn that Gov. Rick Scott’s veto will make it tougher to provide mental health care to people in need.


Action taken this month by Gov. Rick Scott has executives with the Florida chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) worried about how they will continue to serve thousands of residents living with mental illness and their families. Tallahassee-based NAMI Florida asked the Florida Legislature this year for $200,000 and was approved for $50,000. But earlier this FLORIDA COURIER FILES month, Scott approved a

ACA applies to former foster kids

Florida budget of $77 billion and vetoed $69 million – including $50,000 for NAMI Florida. The $50,000 may not seem like much, but NAMI officials said it would have helped the organization keep its state office open and continue to service mentally ill residents and their families around the state. A NAMI 2010 report showed that approximately 660,000 adults in Florida are living with serious mental illness; 181,000 of the state’s residents were chil-

dren with serious mental cluding educating families health conditions. about mental illness. There is also a peer program that trains those living with Lots of training In 2012, NAMI Florida re- mental illness to help othceived $143,000 from the ers. “I don’t know how we’re Department of Children going to survive month to and Families. Last year, the grassroots mental health month,” Carol Weber, proorganization did not ask gram director for NAMI the state for funding. It sur- Florida, told the Florida vived on a grant, fundrais- Courier this week. Weber said the lack of ers and funds leftover from funds would lead to ma2012. ny more people in the state With those funds, the state chapter was able to not receiving the education train 110 new teachers, fa- and support they need to cilitators and mentors for stay healthy. She also noted its signature programs, inSee STRUGGLE, Page A2


Next time, it’s for real

Many don’t know they can get benefits of ‘Obamacare’

The United States’ Jermaine Jones, right, leaps over Nigeria’s Juwon Oshaniwa in a scrimmage at EverBank Field in Jacksonville on June 7. USA won, 2-1. The two teams were preparing for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s World Cup soccer tourney, one of the world’s biggest sports events, which kicks off in Brazil today.


Former foster children are eligible for health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act until they turn 26 years old, but many in Florida don’t know it yet. Just as the 2010 health-care law extends coverage to young adults on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, it also extends Medicaid coverage to those who were in foster care on their 18th birthdays. “This coverage is for youth who don’t have access to their parents’ coverage, and so the states have an important obligation to cover them,” said Alice Bussiere, a staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Youth Law Center. “And we think it’s particularly important because the research indicates that youth who have emancipated from foster care have high healthcare needs as compared with their peers, but they’re less like to be covered once they leave foster care.”


Numbers uncertain So far in Florida, though, it’s unclear how many are enrolled. See ACA, Page A2


Scott signs immigration tuition bill NATION | A6

Documents shed light on US spying of Mandela FINANCE | B3

Take your pension all at once or in doses?


Program feeds hungry kids during summer vacation BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

ond Harvest of the Big Bend food bank in Tallahassee.

As the school year ends, classrooms and playgrounds will empty for the summer – but that will leave many Florida children hungry because they rely on free and reduced-cost school meals for breakfast and lunch. Food banks, non-profits and community groups are trying to pick up the slack, using federal funding to help deliver up to two meals per day to kids who otherwise might go without. “The need goes up dramatically in the summer,” said Rebecca Brislain, executive director of the Florida Association of Food Banks. “We know that the need is there, and we hear that from our partner agencies, that they are running out of food because school is out,” said Rachel Mohler, nutrition director at Sec-

Program funded The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the non-profit Florida Impact are working together on Summer BreakSpot, a program that provides healthy food to kids at local sites and reconstructed school buses. Funding for the 2-year-old Summer BreakSpot program comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, funneled through the state agency. Last year, the program served 12 million meals to 300,000 Florida children, and the USDA reimbursed the state $29.5 million for them. Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said the state and local partners – school districts, non-profits and religious and community groups


Children at Wicklow Elementary in Sanford enjoyed lunch at the school cafeteria, in 2011. –are trying to expand the number of locations where kids can get nutritious meals and enrichment activities. The program has 3,400 locations statewide – typically recreation centers and affordable housing sites – “so that it’s right there where the kids are,” Gil-

lespie said. “A lot of these families don’t have transportation, and they’re not going to drive across town to get a free lunch for the kids.” The program also targets rural communities, where food worries for children can be common.


See KIDS, Page A2



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014

Koch brothers’ UNCF gift is worst symptom of HBCU financial crisis David and Charles Koch have given hundreds of millions of dollars to restoring and maintaining the fine arts, finding a cure for cancer and conservative politics. A $25 million gift for them could easily be considered a light “ask” on a slow day. Unless the United Negro College Fund is asking for it. Now, one of the nation’s richest and most influential companies with political leanings that weigh heavily against the  mission and the culture of historically Black colleges and universities, is one of the largest benefactors to our most vulnerable institutions.

Every school paid The gift breaks down into $6.5 million in unrestricted support for the 37 UNCF member schools, with $4 million set aside specifically to fill in gaps created by PLUS Loan/Pell Grant chang-


es – at most, just over $175,000 for each institution. The other $18.5 million is earmarked for 3,000 merit-based scholarships to African-American students in financial need who show an interest in entrepreneurship, economics and innovation. When asked about potential cultural dissonance with the gift, UNCF President and CEO Michael Lomax put us doubters collectively in our places. “Criticism is a small price for helping young people get the chance to realize their dream of a college education, and if I’ve

got to bear the brunt of someone else’s criticism to ensure that we have the resources to help those students, then I can handle it, and I can take the heat.” Then he took the airwaves to defend the gift.

A trick bag So HBCU students, alumni and administrators are put into the greatest trick bag. Do you take money from someone who wants to give the impression of support for Black people without the troublesome task of directly doing so, or do you turn the muchneeded money down to support cultural dignity and moral standing? It is a question that HBCUs, real and fictitious, have faced before. UNCF, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and other advocacy organizations are trading good name and good mission for millions in support of students, because we don’t have enough political and economic autonomy to do otherwise. Advocacy organizations, Black-owned media operations, nonprofits, fraternities and sororities have to find places as modern sharecropping hubs for countercultural partners and

politics, sometimes outside of the general realm of awareness of the HBCU community, and often at the price of their own branding and market presence.

‘Get that money’ It’s hard to blame Lomax for partnering with the Kochs, or TMCF President and CEO Johnny Taylor for partnering with Bacardi, when the first bullet point on their respective job descriptions is “get that money.” Their responsibility is keeping their individual jobs and ensuring that students are able to collectively go to college – in that order. And the way to do that is the daily spin of the Rolodex of fast food and liquor conglomerates, hair care impresarios, automotive makers, insurance dealers, and opportunistic sharks on both sides of the political aisle, hoping that they can garner enough support so that HBCUs can have revenue streams from tuition and fees that will keep them open and operating for another 36 months. We read the coverage of HBCUs and believe that our institutions are in trouble. The advocacy executives see the enrollment data and the endowment numbers and know how certain and


Mynecia Taylor, 18, left, takes a study break with roommate Regina Singelton on January 6, 2013, in St. Louis, Miss. Taylor opted out of foster care at the age of 18.

from A1

Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Michelle Glady said 10,116 young adults are eligible for the extended Medicaid coverage and that, as of April 6, 5,875 had applied. But advocates said both of those numbers might be too high. “That number is surprising – it doesn’t mesh with our experience,” said Robin Rosenberg, deputy director of the advocacy group Florida’s Children First. “We’ll be pleased if it’s accurate, and are prepared to work with the department to find all the eligible youth who are not currently enrolled.” DCF did not have figures for how many had actually enrolled. “We’ve seen some problems with the state’s eligibility determination process that may be preventing eligible former foster youth from being able to access this Medicaid coverage,” said Amy Guinan, an attorney at Florida Legal Services. “But we’ve brought it to the attention of DCF and are in the process of meeting with them to figure out what’s causing these problems and how they can be fixed.”

Improve outreach Bussiere of the Youth Law Center recommended that states dedicate websites for potential enrollees, which she said is important not only in terms of getting the word out, but for helping people who have problems enrolling. By definition, children in foster care have been abused or ne-


glected, they also have higher needs for substance abuse and mental health treatment. “Within the Medicaid program, claims data show that as many as 57 percent of youth in foster care meet criteria for a mental disorder,” Governing Magazine reported last month.

Dental problems Former foster children also tend to have missed out on routine medical and dental care. “Dental is huge,” said Geori Berman, coordinator for Florida Youth SHINE, an advocacy group for foster youths and an offshoot of Florida’s Children First. “Our demographic is wisdomteeth years…What I’ve heard on

the phone (from former foster youths) is, ‘Now I can go to the dentist and get extractions that I need.’ “ Georgina Rodriguez, 23, is an example – in fact, she served as a test case for Florida Legal Services in trouble-shooting the expanded Medicaid coverage. Rodriguez is a member of Youth SHINE who began trying to enroll in December and had trouble signing up. She encountered roadblocks that Florida Legal Services then incorporated into a question-and-answer guide for potential enrollees.

Emergency room treatment Rodriguez, who works two jobs

Many setbacks


Dr. John Seay is secretary of NAMI Florida’s board of directors, while Carol Weber is the program director.


that NAMI has more than 1,000 affiliates around the country and most of them receive some kind of state funding. Florida is near the bottom of money it spends on mental health. It continues to be ranked as 49th for per-capita spending on mental health care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Florida spends about $39 per person on mental health services while the national average is about $129.

‘Wealth of information’ Karin Davis-Thompson is one of the Florida residents who benefited from a NAMI course. Da-

vis-Thompson, whose 13-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a mood disorder, says attending a NAMI Florida course in Tampa helped her learn more about her daughter’s mental illness. “It was a wealth of information and a time to learn not only clinical information, but strategies and techniques other families have used with their loved one,” DavisThompson told the Courier. The mother of two also said she is saddened to hear about the cut in funding for NAMI. “When you begin this journey and you are trying to learn as much as you can, it’s important to have resources like NAMI,” she said. “I learned a lot about how my rights and role will change when my daughter legally becomes an adult. And I learned a lot about where to go for other resources and assistance.”

Davis-Thompson endured a lot of setbacks in trying to find the help she needed for her daughter. Many programs won’t assist because of income. Others have waiting lists that are months long, or require mountains of paperwork.  “It was difficult in the beginning especially,” she said.  “I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. It was a crash course, and I had to do a lot of digging and research on my own.  “Organizations like NAMI are essential in helping parents navigate this world. Raising a child with a mental illness is tough enough – taking funding of any kind away from agencies like NAMI only makes it tougher,” DavisThompson explained.

and wants to go to law school, suffers from Bell’s palsy, a facial paralysis that attacks in episodes lasting weeks or months. Before she had health care coverage, she would get treatment at an emergency room – which would prolong the duration of the attacks. “They’d tell me, ‘We can’t give you anything until we know it’s Bell’s palsy,’ “ she said of the emergency-room personnel. Now, however, Rodriguez has a neurologist and can get steroids to blunt oncoming attacks. She’s also been able to have her infected wisdom teeth extracted. “I’m thankful every day,” she said. ing the state get ahead simply because we don’t treat our mentally ill.’’

Lack of communication Seay said more money needs to go to organizations like NAMI and urges Floridians to express that to their local and state elected officials. “The biggest thing I noticed was the recidivism, the revolving door,” he said, adding that patients at the Chattahoochee hospital often returned because they didn’t have enough community support. He added that another problem is the lack of communication between the justice system, the Department of Children and Families, and the community. “There’s a triad that has to work together,’’ he said.

Misunderstanding of need

Serious loss

Two years ago, NAMI Florida had three employees along with its volunteers. Now Weber is the only staffer and the office relies heavily on student volunteers. Scott’s veto frustrates Dr. John Seay, who worked for 30 years at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. Seay, former pharmacy director at the hospital, retired in 2010 and is on NAMI Florida’s board of directors. “The mentally ill don’t necessarily hold a good-sized voting bloc, so they are pretty much forgotten. In addition to that, it’s a gross misunderstanding in what happens when people are mentally ill and the lack of knowledge of the disease itself,” Seay told the Courier. “We lose a lot of money and productivity that could be help-

Ken DeCerchio, also a Florida NAMI board member, called the loss of the potential funding “devastating to the viability of NAMI Florida.” “Without funding, and we currently receive no state funding, we have no capacity to train teachers and peer facilitators to deliver NAMI signature programs in underserved areas of the state,’’ he said. “We continue to aggressively pursue fundraising, seeking support from pharmaceutical companies, Medicaid HMOs, and others who are willing to support our training and advocacy activities. We are literally operating month to month with the hopes of keeping our doors open. We are appreciative of Rep. Matt Hudson’s and Sen. De-

dire the HBCU situation really is. They are the watchmen of the HBCU doomsday clock, and they realize that every federal policy change and every dollar they are compelled to turn away for moral reasons brings the hand of death closer to midnight. Of all the timeless HBCU adages, the ‘we do more with less’ is perhaps the most accurate, most destructive descriptor of the culture. Twenty-five million dollars will be viewed as a windfall to 37 HBCUs. Meanwhile, Huntington Bank in Ohio invested five times that in The Ohio State University for scholarships and community development around the institution. So what makes us angrier? Twenty-five million dollars from conservative business owners who fix elections, suppress voters and shape policies which negatively impact million of Black folks nationwide? Or the fact that our schools can’t afford to tell the Koch brothers where to shove it?

Jarrett L. Carter, Sr. is publisher of HBCU Digest (www. Click on this story at to write your own response.

KIDS from A1

Food runs out According to last year’s Feeding America “Map the Meal Gap” study, 21.6 percent of U.S. children are “food-insecure,” meaning their households are usually worried that the food will run out before they have money to buy more. In Florida, 25.5 percent of children are food-insecure, about 1 in 4. And of the state’s nearly 2.7 million public-school students, just under 1.6 million are eligible for free and reduced-cost meals, according to the Florida Hunger Data Center, Brislain of the Florida Association of Food Banks said the economic recovery is arriving more slowly in high-poverty areas. “The folks that our food banks see are the first affected by a tough economy and the last to recover,” she said. Summer BreakSpot grew by 12 percent last year and is expected to increase again this year. That’s consistent with data showing participation in summer food programs increasing across the U.S. According to a report out Monday from the Food Research and Action Center in Washington, D.C., nearly 3 million American children participated in summer nutrition programs in July 2013 – an increase of 161,000 children, or 5.7 percent, from the year before. nise Grimsley’s support in getting the $50,000 into the budget. We plan on coming back next session with our request.”

Still hopeful Karen Koch, vice president of Florida Council for Community Mental Health, says, “Mental illness and substance abuse are always the ‘stepchild’ of funding due in part to lack of knowledge and stigma.” Still, the last legislative session “was rich with conversation” about the importance of mental health, she explained during a presentation in May to the Jacksonville Community Council. The nonprofit think tank is leading a major study on mental health in Northeast Florida. Koch believes there is growing recognition that mental health impacts every other area of life. “Due to the child protection crisis in Florida this past year, the majority of funding was directed toward front-end services supporting better-trained investigators to identify abused or neglected children and families in need. However, once these children and their families are identified, nothing has been done to improve the system of care to support them particularly mental health services,” Koch explained. “Next year, we believe legislators will focus on mental health unless there is another health and human services crisis that redirects those dollars. Still, funding for children’s mental health services is more abundant than funding for adults, and this needs much more focus.’’

JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014


A3 the measure over the fierce objections of some conservatives who opposed instate tuition for undocumented immigrants. The bill faced less opposition in the House, where Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, made it a priority. It follows Scott’s push in recent years to hold down the cost of tuition, sometimes by applying pressure to the Board of Governors in a way that rankled university presidents. On Monday, Democrats tried to use the signing of the bill to remind Latinos that Scott had opposed similar legislation in the past and that his rise to the GOP nomination in 2010 was fueled largely by his promises to crack down on illegal immigration. Scott also vetoed a measure last year that would have allowed some young undocumented Floridians, known as “Dreamers,” to receive driver’s licenses.


S.W.E.R (Student Working for Equal Rights) supporter, Cynthia Vizcardo, right, speaks with undocumented brothers, Francis and Jorge Tume, both who then were students at Miami Dade College and Dreamers wanting to apply for deferred action on Aug. 15, 2012, in Miami.

Scott signs immigration tuition bill Undocumented students will be able to pay instate fees at some state colleges BY BRANDON LARRABEE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE – With Hispanic voters likely to play a key role in the 2014 elections, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Monday allowing some undocument-

ed immigrants to pay instate tuition rates at Florida’s public colleges and universities. Scott promptly hit the campaign trail to tout the measure, which also rolls back the ability of state universities to increase tuition without the approval of the Legislature, as part of his efforts to hold down the cost of higher education. Democrats tried to tamp down enthusiasm by noting Scott’s evolving position on the idea of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants who come to

Florida as children. In a sign of the dual nature of the legislation (HB 851), Scott’s camp sent out two statements – one an official press release with generic statements praising the bill, and another from his campaign using the opportunity to rip former Gov. Charlie Crist, his likely Democratic opponent in November.

Affordability tour “I know what it’s like to work your way through school, but for many kids today, the rising cost of

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college tuition is making it hard to afford college,” Scott said in the campaign statement. “That’s why it was so important to reverse Charlie Crist’s 15 percent tuition hike and give every student who grows up in Florida the chance to pursue an affordable college education.” The governor’s statewide “College Affordability Tour” started Monday at a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Southwest Florida and was set to continue Tuesday at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Under the legislation, students who attend secondary school in Florida for at least three years prior to graduation will qualify for in-state tuition, regardless of their immigration status.

Alter’s previous law The legislation dramatically alters the so-called “differential tuition” law, signed by Crist, which al-

lowed 15 percent increases in tuition at state universities to be approved by the Board of Governors. Only the University of Florida and Florida State University now will qualify for the increases, which are capped at 6 percent a year, and only if they meet certain conditions. That distinction and the fact that the existing differential tuition increases will remain in place have largely been paved over by Scott’s campaign. Even before he signed the bill Monday, a committee affiliated with Scott’s re-election campaign was touting the bill in television ads that ignore caveats. “Scott repealed Crist’s tuition increase – wiped it out,” the ad says.

Dems fire back The bill was approved in the final days of this spring’s legislative session, after a procedural move allowed the Senate to vote on

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant told The News Service of Florida that Democrats were happy that one of the party’s longstanding priorities was approved. “But this governor has just signed into law something that he has been adamantly opposed to,” Tant said. “ ... This time last year, he vetoed the rights for Dreamers to get a driver’s license so they could actually go to a community college or a university, go to a job so that they could get ahead and suddenly, deathbed conversion, he’s woken up and decided that, well, maybe we ought to allow for in-state tuition for these Dreamers anyway.” Crist’s campaign also begrudgingly welcomed the signing without noting that Crist has also reversed his position on in-state tuition for undocumented students after opposing it in the past. “While this is a good day for the children of immigrants, I’m sure Floridians are happy there is an election coming up, otherwise Rick Scott would have continued his cuts to education and his assault on Bright Futures scholarships,” said Kevin Cate, a spokesman for Crist.

Governor asks rail line exec to ‘be sensitive’ to residents

tion’s drafting of an Environmental Impact Statement – could be extended from 75 days to 90 days. The letter also asks that extra consideration be given by All Aboard Florida to the drawbridge crossings over the New, St. Lucie and Loxahatchee rivers. “Florida has over a thousand miles of coastline, and access to the water for boating is one of the things that make Florida so special,” Scott wrote.


Major opposition

Gov. Rick Scott wants the president of All Aboard Florida, a proposed passenger rail line along Florida’s east coast that has been steadily picking up complaints, to “be sensitive” to resident’s concerns. The governor’s office released a letter sent to All Aboard Florida President Michael Reininger on Monday, a day after the Tampa Bay Times posted a report that Scott favors the controversial rail project. Scott’s letter outlines the state’s limited involvement in the venture while asking if an ongoing public comment period – part of the Federal Railroad Administra-

All Aboard Florida, a private subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, is working to get passenger service rolling with 32 trains a day from Miami to Orlando by the end of 2016. The rails, which are close to the coastline in northern Palm Beach County and throughout the Treasure Coast, currently handle freight trains. Passenger service has been absent since 1968. Scott noted that residents are concerned about the impact to their “communities, their home values and public safety.” The Times noted that hundreds of people have written emails to Scott against the project.

• Setting goals – When to tell everybody, and when to keep your mouth shut; • Black English, and why Black students must be ‘bilingual.’ …AND MUCH MORE! Download immediately as an eBook or a pdf Order softcover online, from Amazon, or your local bookstore ISBN#978-1-56385-500-9 Published by International Scholastic Press, LLC Contact Charles at

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Judge recommends suspension of teacher in March of Dimes theft NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

An administrative law judge Wednesday recommended a two-year suspension for a former Volusia County charterschool teacher accused of stealing about $28 that had been raised by students for the March of Dimes. Judge Lisa Shearer Nelson said the state Education Practices Commission should suspend the teaching certificate of Nichole Barry for two years, followed by five years of probation. Barry, who was known at the time as Nichole Torres, was a second-grade teacher at Boston Avenue Charter School in 2012 when she was accused of taking

the money out of a mail holder on the school principal’s door.

No contest plea Students had participated in a March of Dimes fundraiser known as “Blue Jeans for Babies,” contributing 50 cents so they could wear clothes other than their school uniforms on Wednesdays. “It is reprehensible that anyone would steal funds collected by children and meant for a charitable fundraiser,’’ Shearer Nelson wrote. “For the funds to be stolen by someone that children should be able to trust is unthinkable.” Barry pleaded no contest to a petty theft charge stemming from the incident, according to the judge’s recommendation. But Barry said in the administrative case that she did not take the money and had told a police officer otherwise because she felt harassed and threatened and feared she would lose her daughter.



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014

Beyond the rhetoric: An energized future at home Climate change is a fact. We have seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, which rotate on an eternal basis. Temperatures vary on an ongoing basis, which is why we have weather reports. Man has no control over the weather. Global warming is a theory that has yet to be proven. Former Vice President Al Gore has created a personal windfall that has given him hundreds of millions of dollars.

Not quite independent There was a time when our oil needs were based on importing. We were dependent on nations that were not that friendly to us. Price volatility was out of our control. Today, America is robust with oil. Only 10 percent of our oil now comes from the Middle East. Canada and Mexico, our friendly neighbors, are our principal importers. We could be totally independent if

Other successes in fracking HARRY C. ALFORD NNPA COLUMNIST

the government would allow us to explore the vast amount of federally owned land and off shore on our coastlines. If we opened up our true potential, we could become a major exporter of oil. That would mean an economic boom for our treasury and an increase in jobs by the millions. Soon, the Keystone Pipeline will be constructed from the Canadian border to our Gulf Coast. The environmentalists have been fighting this fiercely. But the truth has been confirmed by the State Department. There will be no adverse impact from the construction and operation of this project.

mentalists have been pressuring the government to stop the permitting of new docks. We will win We have been having even more that fight also because we are talksuccess with natural gas. Frack- ing jobs by the thousands here. ing is a process of extracting natural gas from rocks buried deep in- New use for coal to our soil. The technique was inThen there is coal. Even our vented in the 1950s but improvepresident has said he wants to ments to it have made it much kill coal. They have caused some more productive and profitable. damage with some coalmines We have become the Saudi Arabia closing and a noticeable amount in natural gas. No nation has more of utility plants shutting down than we do. The price of natural their operations due to pressure gas is about $2 per unit in the Unit- from the Environmental Proteced States. In places like Europe tion Agency. However, that is and Japan it is more than $14 per about to change. Once again, the unit. The environmentalists have innovation of our energy industry been trying fanatically to stop the is taking us to new heights. We can use of fracking but to no avail. now take hard dirty coal and conIn the end, our economy wins vert it to clean natural gas. While it out. We are now taking our $2 nat- is in the ground we can press it and ural gas and exporting it to other separate the carbon from the gas. places for a very nice profit. We The gas is brought to the surface have turned our importing docks for use by our plants. Some of the to exporting docks. The environ- Japanese owned auto plants in the



Supermax prisoners still have human rights Prisoners held for ten years and more in solitary confinement at California’s infamous Pelican Bay Supermax prison have won the right to challenge the constitutionality of their treatment. Their question is simple: Does ten years in solitary – and even longer, for Pelican Bay inmates – amount to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment? Nowhere else in the world is solitary confinement practiced on anything like the scale of America, where 80,000 men and women are held in isolation on any given day. That’s significantly more than the total prison populations of France or Germany or Japan – a Solitary Confinement Prison Nation within the vast American Gulag.

Ghastly torture Solitary confinement for weeks and months is a uniquely ghastly form of torture that rips at the essence of what makes us


human. If 12 years a slave is a horror, how should one describe 12 or 20 years of solitary suffering? What do you call the people who enforce and defend such sadistic savagery? If it were not for the two hunger strikes staged by inmates over the last three years, the so-called civilized world would remain blissfully ignorant of the crimes routinely perpetrated against captive human beings by U.S. civil servants and dues-paying members of the guards union.

Developing snitches

snitches or liars who finger innocent men. Release from solitary is possible only if one admits to gang affiliation and implicates other inmates – who will then be put through the same process. The jailers’ roles are identical to those of the Nazi Gestapo who tortured suspected members of the Resistance until they provided the names of their comrades, or of people they hardly knew, who would then become part of the same torture process. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured by his captors in Afghanistan and locked alone in a cage for maybe a month. In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the maximum isolation time allowed at a stretch is 30 days. So it seems that by both the standards of the Taliban and Guantanamo, Pelican Bay, California is the deepest level of Hell.

For the 1,100 inmates in solitary at Pelican Bay because of alleged gang associations, the solitary conClick on this story at finement process is de- www.f to signed to turn them into write your own response.

Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.

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Charles W. Cherry, Sr. (1928-2004), Founder Julia T. Cherry, Senior Managing Member, Central Florida Communicators Group, LLC Dr. Glenn W. Cherry, Cassandra CherryKittles, Charles W. Cherry II, Managing Members Dr. Glenn W. Cherry, Chief Executive Officer Charles W. Cherry II, Esq., Publisher Dr. Valerie Rawls-Cherry, Human Resources Jenise Morgan, Senior Editor Linda Fructuoso, Marketing Consultant/Sales, Circulation Angela VanEmmerik, Creative Director Chicago Jones, Eugene Leach, Louis Muhammad, Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Circulation Andreas Butler, Ashley Thomas, Staff Writers Delroy Cole, Kim Gibson, Photojournalists MEMBER National Newspaper Publishers Association Society of Professional Journalists Florida Press Association Associated Press National Newspaper Association

Harry C. Alford is the cofounder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Write your own response at

Your Black history moment: Creating your own legacy The election of the first African-American president of the United States of America was a tremendous victory for people of color in that it proved with hard work, determination, and a willingness to rise above naysayers, all things are possible. Yet, the election of an African-American president brought about racism to the forefront that was somewhat hidden for so long. Thinking that we were/are living in a post-racial world is fictitious.

Judged by the minority Every day, African-Americans are unfortunately judged by the actions of a few. What’s troubling is that the unruly actions of a few somehow and someway represent the behavior and traits of the majority of African-Americans. As I mentioned, we are unique in nature because when we are given the chance to compete with the masses, we excel. I don’t want you to think I’m dissing and disrespecting other races or nationalities; I’m simply celebrating the victory of our people. My challenge for the African-American community at large is for us to be more entrepreneurial-minded. School should be viewed as an instrument for us to network with great minds. In addition, our educational


upbringing should broaden our minds and cause us to gather information about a chosen profession that we can eventually become business owners. In his book, Mis-education of the Negro, author Carter G. Woodson deposits the fact that too many African-Americans go to school and advance to higher-level degrees so that they can work for someone else. What needs to happen is that we need to transition from working for someone to creating economic platforms for ourselves and people in our community.

Creating opportunity Entrepreneurship creates opportunity for freedom to make as much money as possible. In addition to the financial rewards of owning your own business, you are making a difference in the lives of employees and your community. Too often, we spend our money with companies that don’t give back to the AfricanAmerican community. Let me say it again. Without understanding where our

money is going and who is making a difference in our community, all we’re doing is throwing money away with no return on our investment. Here’s your mission – if you’re not getting what you desire to be the best, create it through entrepreneurship. If you’re not happy with your status and you desire better, go for it. Don’t allow what others say to deter you from being the very best. People like to quote the Biblical definition of faith which is the ‘substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen’ but fail to walk according to it. Let books be written about you. Let others call you for advice and counsel. You and I have read countless books about AfricanAmericans who overcame obstacles to reach their apex; now it’s time for you and me to be a part of the stories. It’s now about arrogance; it’s about confidence and the strong yearning to leave something of value to the next generation.

Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an inspirational speaker, motivator, author and committed advocate for change. Contact him at or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Write your own response at www.flcourier. com.

Freedom rider: Modern-day lynching Remember the names Garrick Hopkins, Carl Hopkins, McKenzie Cochran, Darrin Manning, and Charda Gregory. They are the latest victims of the unofficial but very real lynch law that has ruled America for centuries. Black people have always been victimized at the whim of racist White people, be they individuals, the police, prosecutors, judges or juries. This late date in history is no exception. Thanks to the work of organizations such as the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement, we know that a Black person is the victim of murder carried out by police, security guards, and self-appointed vigilantes at least every 28 hours. MXGM and groups like it depend on their own resources and initiative, so the number of deaths is in all probability even higher.

Reoccurring events W W W.FLCOURIER.COM

United States have their own individual processing facilities. What about the dirty carbon? It remains underground. It is shipped by way of an underground pipeline to oil exploration sites. It is used in the process of underground oil exploration. It never gets into the air. There is no “carbon footprint” as Al Gore would say. Yes, the future is bright for those of us who support our important energy industry. There will be cleaner and less costly ways to manufacturing and production. Guess who will be the players in that innovation? Naturally, it will be our energy industry as they have the expertise and engineers to do it. It won’t be done by “rookies.”


the officer fired after the assault, but the fact that the cop believed herself immune from prosecution while under constant video surveillance says quite a bit about the criminal justice system.

Stand who’s ground? Now in the 21st century, the barbarians have once again been unleashed and have seized upon their traditional belief in the right to do anything they want to Black people. Stand Your Ground laws are an example of modern day secession from what a civilized country ought to expect. At first it seemed odd these new laws were needed in a country that always accepted a right to self defense. But there is nothing new about racism and nothing odd about it being protected with perversions of the legal system. How do Black people defend themselves when the justice system is arrayed against them? Every White person with evil intent can kill first and fear perhaps being put on trial and fear even less being convicted. If the murderer is wearing a uniform the odds are overwhelmingly against any of that ever happening. The old signs, which read, “a man was lynched today” should be dusted off for use in 2014. The fact that the Garrick Hopkins, Carl Hopkins and McKenzie Cochran were killed in 2014 instead of in 1914 ultimately makes little difference.

In recent months, there has been a spate of killings and assaults on Black people committed by White people whose actions are obviously based on race hatred. In West Virginia, Garrick Hopkins had the bad luck to purchase property next door to the ironically named Rodney Black, a White man with a cache of guns in his home. Black claimed that he thought he was being burglarized by the Garrick brothers, but that is beside the point. He saw two Black faces and, while in a state of psychotic auto-pilot, killed them both. In Michigan McKenzie Cochran was killed in broad daylight and on videotape by mall cops. They killed him with pepper spray and chest compression as he screamed that he couldn’t breathe. Charda Gregory is still alive but only after surviving a brutal assault in a police station, also in Michigan. After Gregory was arrested, restrained, and pepMargaret Kimberley is an editor and per sprayed, a White female police officer felt the need to add insult to injury and hack senior columnist at BlackAgendaReport. off the victim’s sewn-in weave and her hair. com. Write your own response at www.flGregory has had some satisfaction in seeing

JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014


LBJ’s legacy under assault Fifty years later, former President Lyndon Johnson got the tribute he more than earned. Four presidents praised his contribution. The Great Society, the War on Poverty, Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act opened doors that had been locked. “I lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts,” said President Obama, rejecting the cynicism of those who would dismantle Medicare and food stamps, signature LBJ achievements. Bill Clinton praised LBJ for demonstrating “the power of the presidency to redeem the promise of America.” Getting our history right is vital. For decades, LBJ’s achievements have been slighted. Liberals scorned him because of the war in Vietnam, and finally drove him to not seek re-election. Conservatives loathed him because of the Civil Rights achievements, with Republicans moving to displace Democrats as the party of the South.

Saved America The War on Poverty, which dramatically reduced poverty in America, was dismissed as a failure, as the anger of the cities exploded. New Democrats dismissed him for believing in big government, as they tacked to a conservative era. In fact, as the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, recognized



for causes you believe in?”


last week, Johnson was a giant, standing with Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as presidents who saved America. Under Johnson, the scourge of segregation was finally ended, and equal protection under the law moved from a lie to a promise. Millions were lifted from poverty, as the poor were provided a ladder up out of despair. Johnson’s reforms — Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Immigration, Medicare, child nutrition, food stamps and more — were nearly as great as those of FDR, and never matched since. Johnson was propelled by a massive movement for Civil Rights, as Americans moved at the courage and dignity of ordinary heroes willing to stand up or sit down, protest or march, suffer abuse and jail for their rights. He was helped by allies like Dr. Martin Luther King. In the wake of the assassination of JFK, he had a legacy that he could invoke. But his leadership, passion, energy and skill were indispensable. President Obama invoked one of LBJ’s famed lines: “what the hell is the presidency for if not to fight

Not so great Acknowledging Johnson’s greatness in our rearview mirror is important in part because it may help our vision looking forward through the windshield. Today, America is more unequal than ever. Our schools are segregated, by race and by class, separate and unequal. We rank second to the lowest among industrial nations in the assistance we provide to the poor. In LBJ’s time, we enjoyed a broad middle class — for many, there were good jobs and good benefits. Now the middle class is sinking; we suffer mass unemployment with the jobs that are being created too often low pay and part-time. The millennial generation is graduating into the worst economic straits since the Great Depression. And across the country, basic rights are under assault. State after state, particularly across the South, are passing measures to suppress voting — limiting voting days, ending Sunday voting, demanding voter ID, stripping the right to vote from non-violent drug offenders who have served their time, and more. The Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act, and is rolling back affirmative action. Republicans in the Congress want to turn Medicare into a voucher, gut Medicaid and turn it into


a block grant, slash food stamps, Pell grants and other support for the vulnerable. A detailed analysis by the Center of Budget and Policy Proposals finds 69 percent of the cuts in the budget just passed by Republicans in the House come from programs from poor and low wage workers. We do well to honor Lyndon Johnson. He understood the power of government to make Amer-

ica better. But it is not enough to honor his legacy. It is time to stir ourselves, as he pushed himself, to not simply defend his contributions, but to extend them to meet the challenges of our day.

Jesse Jackson Sr. is the founder and CEO of the Rainbow/ PUSH coalition. Write your own response at

Answering the president’s call with My Brother’s Keeper In February 2014, the president launched a new initiative entitled My Brother’s Keeper. The initial purpose of the program was to put together a task force, which would travel across the country and learn the best practices in the different communities of color. The task force was given 90 days to listen, observe, engage, ask questions, and present the president with a report, and action plans to move forward with saving young men of color. The president has declared 2014, a year of action, and he is dedicated to doing everything possible to knock down barriers and encourage our young men of color. It is a fact that Black, Hispanic, and Native American young men are less likely to graduate, stay out of jail, and find a good job. From the very beginning the odds are stacked up against these young men, and the country acts as if they do not exist.


A great program Many of these young men come from single family households and they will get suspended, expelled from school or just drop out. Many African Americans are asking what the president is doing, and very few people of color know the program exists. This is a great program and the president must do a better job marketing this initiative and more civic organizations, political organizations and businesses must help get the word out. In certain Black circles, there are questions about the credibility and integrity of the project. Some of the folks are asking where the federal funding

for the program is, and President Obama needs to go to the Congress and ask for funding. But at this point the president is asking businesses, philanthropic organizations and citizens to reach in their pockets to help get the project started. Last week, the White House released the task force’s first report. The 60-page task force report identified key milestones for predicting later success for a non-white young man. This report is very significant, because it explains why most boys born in poverty never find a way out of their condition. Boys of color begin falling behind in school in the third grade, and they never catch up.

Primary report results Some of the milestones the report indicated as important were as follows: 1) Getting a healthy start in life and school, 2) Reading well by third grade, 3) Gradu-

Dr. Maya Angelou: I rise, we rise, she rises “We hear your calling/ And we begin by giving you 100 years/ Of loving defense/ We shall encourage the world to look/ Upon your complexion and see community.” – Dr. Maya Angelou, from the original poem “We Hear You,” a commemorative tribute to the National Urban League, performed at the organization’s Centennial celebration – July 28, 2010 In the week since her passing, there have been many tributes to the remarkable life of Dr. Maya Angelou. President Obama called her “one of the brightest lights of our time.” Former President Clinton described her as “a national treasure and a beloved friend.” Oprah Winfrey said, “She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.” But it is virtually impossible to sum up in words the many dimensions, the many gifts and the many lives touched by a woman who reigned in regality as the Queen Mother. As I said in my own tribute on the day of her passing, “Dr. Maya Angelou defies any single description. She defined the essence of a ‘Phenomenal Woman’ for us.”

Notable poet and author Maya Angelou is best known to millions as a prolific poet and author. Her first (of six) autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” inspired


the legendary James Baldwin to write, “I have no words for this achievement, but I know that not since the days of my childhood, when the people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself so moved.” As an author of numerous works of poetry and prose, Dr. Angelou continued until the hour of her passing to move us with her words and in so many other ways – as a singer, dancer, actor, activist, teacher, sage and much more. It is widely known that she did not speak for several years following a tragic childhood rape that resulted in the murder of her rapist. But, instead of remaining closed and silent, Dr. Angelou spread her wings, found her voice and soared into the hearts, minds and souls of millions of people around the world. In a lifetime arising out of hard times, there was almost nothing she couldn’t do or didn’t try. Her official website,, recounts that, “As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook…” In the 1940s, she became the first Black woman streetcar conductor in San Francisco. She

even once worked as an auto body shop paint remover. She was also an accomplished dancer and singer. Dr. Maya Angelou was a modern day Renaissance woman who lived her own philosophy, “Pursue the things you love doing and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

Forever grateful The National Urban League will forever be grateful for her spell-binding appearance at our 100th anniversary celebration in 2010, where she delivered an original commemorative poem entitled “We Hear You.” Like us, the world could not help but hear the powerful words and wisdom of Dr. Angelou. She left us with a final wish. On May 23rd, five days before her death, she tweeted, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” We will miss her incredible creative and generous spirit. But the love and vision of Dr. Maya Angelou will continue to rise. It is up to all of us to make sure that we continue to rise with her.

Marc Morial is president of the National Urban League. Write your own response at

ating from high school, 4) Completing post-secondary education or training, 5) Getting a job and 6) Staying on track and getting a second chance. “At each of these milestones some individuals start to fall behind. Once a young person falls behind, success becomes exponentially more difficult,” the report says. This initiative is very important to the president, because he came from a one parent household. Back in February, when the president talked about his childhood, he compared himself to many young men of today getting high and not focused on school. “I didn’t have a dad in the house and I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time. I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short,” said President Obama. But the president had a support

system with his grandparents, teachers and community leaders and this encouraged him to not give up on himself. The project My Brother’s Keeper is about not giving up on young men of color and giving them a second and third chance. Instead of criticizing the program, make a commitment to helping boys and young men who have fallen off the tracks. The work is just beginning, and the response to the President’s callto-action has been good. But, we must be engaged in this initiative for the long haul, because reversing the deplorable conditions in communities of color will take an entire change in the mindset of entire America.

Roger Caldwell is the President and CEO of On-Point Media. Write your own response at

Belle: What a movie! These days, the old saying about “art imitating life” is more commonly applicable to motion pictures rather than old form stage plays. I have had the opportunity to see a lot of movies and consider myself a pretty good judge of “must see” movies. Belle is such a movie. There are few movies made that would receive my recommendation for viewing by the entire family. Again, Belle is that movie. It provides a genuine opportunity, for those whose personal circumstances shield them from the realities of life, to view life as it exists and has existed for the masses. I​ will not be a spoiler by revealing too many details, but I’ll give you a little background information of the movie. The film was inspired by the true story of the main character, Dido Elizabeth Belle, who is played by the very talented actress, Gubu Mbatha-Raw. Set in the 1700’s, Belle is the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle, Lord Mansfield, and his wife, Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her mixed-race status prevents her from the traditions commonly enjoyed by aristocratic White women.


Asante, a British citizen of Ghanaian descent. Amma received her early training at the Barbara Speake stage school in London. Her film and television career began as a child actor, but late in her teens, she left acting to concentrate on screenwriting and film direction. She formed her own production company which, notably, brought her vision of urban drama to BBC viewers. Her film and production credits are impressive, but are no more impressive than the many awards she has received for them. Her last awards have come from her work in the production of Belle. Belle received limited release in May and may not be conveniently located in a theater near you, but it is well-worth the effort and possible travel you may have to undertake to see it. If your thinking is sufficiently abstract, you, like me, will be able to identify many of the circumstances in the film with the challenges we contemporarily face. I believe that the challenges of racism that we face will not soon end. I hope that Belle will encourage you to realize that your response to racism is the only important element in our on-going struggle to overcome.

the story unfolds, we observe the challenges she faces and the personal strengths she develops in order to deal with them. Like many movies in this genre, Belle is both informative and inspirational. Since it’ based upon a true story, it provides a historical window to past struggles. In my humble opinion, our children benefit by understanding the struggles and challenges of our forbearers. They begin to see and acknowledge the difficulties that had to be overcome and realize that achievement and accomplishment are the rewards of perseverance. These are lessons that are not lost on our children, or some adults. Too many of us have fallen into the rut of the mistaken belief that there have been substantive and monumental changes in the perception, attitudes and behaviors of those who could or would denigrate or abuse us. When I compare the physical and emotional impact of behaviors I viewed on the screen with much of the rhetoric and Realities of animus of contemporary brown skin members of society, I am While living under spe- appalled, but not surprised ​Dr. E. Faye Williams is cial rules of her White fam- by the similarities. National Chair of the Naily, Belle examines and tional Congress of Black ponders the inconsistenAward-winning Women, Inc. Write your cies between her true staown response at www.fltion in life and the day-to- director Belle’s ​director is Amma day realities of her life. As



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014

Documents shed light on US spying of Mandela FBI papers show African leader was spied on during 1990 visit BY ZENITHA PRINCE TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE

American intelligence agencies spied on the late South African leader Nelson Mandela during his historic 1990 visit to the United States shortly after his release from a 27-year sentence for anti-apartheid activism. That revelation is but one of the findings from a batch of documents released by the FBI in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidate Ryan Shapiro. The 38-year-old historian sued the FBI, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency in March for failing to fulfill FOIA requests for records about the spy agencies’ alleged involvement in Mandela’s 1962 arrest and his placement on the U.S. terror watch list until 2008, among other things. “Though it’s unfortunate it required a lawsuit, I’m of course pleased the FBI is now complying in part with my FOIA request,” Shapiro told the Afro American Newspaper. “As a result, we now have evidence the FBI spied on Mandela while they were supposed to be protecting him.”


South Africa Nelson Mandela speaks in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington in this file photo from Sept. 23, 1998. a confidential informant, referred to as the “source,” who was at least closely affiliated with Mandela’s U.S. entourage. That informant provided logistical information, such as places and times where Mandela would be, and political information, such as a prospective meeting with Louis Farrakhan, and the identities and recent travels of African National Congress (ANC) leaders in the U.S. At the time, the ANC was still considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. The FBI documents also revealed that several death

Death threats According to the documents, the FBI developed

threats were made against Mandela during his visit. A particularly disturbing one came in the form of a handwritten letter attached to a Houston Chronicle article about the iconic leader’s potential visit to the Texas city. It threatened, “Remember John F. Kennedy in Dallas? Bring this Black murderer to Houston and we will give him a welcome that the world will not forget!!!”

Documents withheld Shapiro said there were several issues that were not addressed in the hundreds

of pages provided by the FBI. “What’s missing from these documents is often as illuminative as what’s disclosed,” he said. “Not only did the FBI heavily redact and withhold documents, but there’s virtually no discussion of U.S. intelligence community involvement prior to Mandela’s 1990 release from prison. “Worse,” he added, “the agencies most likely to possess such records, the CIA and NSA, continue their refusal to comply with my FOIA requests. Hopefully the judge will compel

these agencies to release their documents, but it shouldn’t take a lawsuit to obtain records from a FOIA request. And it’s an especially sad day when the notoriously anti-FOIA FBI is the agency coming closest to compliance with the requirements of the statute.”

Pushing transparency Shapiro, a historian who focuses on political functioning of national security and the policing of dissent, said his FOIA requests and follow-up lawsuits were part of his campaign to increase transpar-

ency among U.S. government agencies. “The democratic process cannot meaningfully function without an informed citizenry, and such a citizenry is impossible without broad public access to information about the operations of government,” he said. “It’s time for the U.S. intelligence community to recognize transparency not as a threat, but rather as an essential component of viable democracy.”

This story is special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspaper.

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one day sale prices in effecT 6/13 & 6/14/2014. “Season’s lowest prices” refers to Macy’s summer from May 1-July 31, 2014. OPEN A MACY’S ACCOUNT FOR EXTRA 20% SAVINGS THE FIRST 2 DAYS, UP TO $100, WITH MORE REWARDS TO COME. Macy’s credit card is available subject to credit approval; new account savings valid the day your account is opened and the next day; excludes services, selected licensed departments, gift cards, restaurants, gourmet food & wine. The new account savings are limited to a total of $100; application must qualify for immediate approval to receive extra savings; employees not eligible.



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014

Pop quiz: A test about famous dads See page B4


Broadway star makes Tony history See page B5







The Florida Courier staff pays tribute to their dads with personal photos and narratives

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY Challenging police power, 1970

Last family picture, 2002

Glenn, Charles Sr., Charles II, 2003

To Charles W. Cherry, Sr., 1928-2004: We fight daily to keep the charge assigned to us. Asking, “What would Daddy do?” allows your wisdom to defy time and eternity, as you continue to guide us. We love you, and think about you every day. The Cherry Family

To my Dad, Dr. Glenn W. Cherry, What a Dad gives a family can’t be measured…except by the HEART. Thank you Dad for all the little things and big stuff you’ve handled with strength and dignity, BUT most of all for planting footsteps for me to follow as a young man!  Happy Father’s Day! Love You! Jamal

Meeting Charles III (“Wig”) for the first time, 2004


To our Dad, Gaddy M. Rawls (9-15-1933 to 3-17-2011) On this Father’s Day, we want to remember you.  Simply, thank you for loving us in your way! We miss you! Love, Valerie and Gerod

Dear Grandpa Fred, (Wardell Lee) Thanks for everything you do for us. We really appreciate you! Love ya! Chayla and Wiggles Chayla, Wig and Grandpa Fred

Jerry Thomas Sr., a fisherman, car enthusiast, military vet and believer in the power of God. Thanks for showing your love through the years in all you do. Remember when we’d go fishing and I wouldn’t put the worm on the hook because it was icky and gross? Well, Dad, it still is. Love ya, Ashley Thomas

He was a man of integrity, a mentor to many. There always seemed to be a twinkle in his eye, a kind word on his lips, and laughter came often and easily. The Rev. M.H. Griffin was a visionary who founded a ministry that continues to help numerous families of all races in Naples. Dad’s earthly life ended 21 years ago, but his messages of faith, hope, joy and love still live on in the many lives he touched. Jenise Griffin Morgan Dad, Thank you for being such an amazing father and a wonderful influence on my life. You’re always quick with a laugh and a helping hand and I love that about you! Happy Father’s Day, Angela Parker van Emmerik

My dad is the best dad in the whole wide world, and we are blessed to be celebrating his 94th birthday on June 15. All to Jesus that Dad is of sound mind, body and spirit. Jeroline McCarthy



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014

Yolanda Adams



James Fortune

Hollywood: Actor and comedian Chris Tucker has a show scheduled July 12 at Hard Rock Live Hollywood. Fort Lauderdale: Tickets are available now for the “American Idol’’ tour on July 19 at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center. Boca Raton: John Legend’s The All of Me Tour makes a stop at the Mizner Park Amphitheater on July 27. Fort Lauderdale: The Common Kings will be at the Culture Room on June 20 for an 8 p.m. show.


Deggans, NPR TV critic and author of “Race-Baiter, How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation,’’ will speak at 5 p.m. June 16 at Mirror Lake Library, 280 Fifth St. N., St. Petersburg.


Gospel singers Yolanda Adams and James Fortune will be part of a gospel show at the Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion over Labor Day weekend in Orlando. More information:

Coral Gables: The MasterMinds Episode concert featuring Rick Ross and Jhene Aiko takes place on June 20 at the BankUnited Center. Port St. Lucie: Scholarships are available for Christian Cultural Cathedral’s Pathways

to Mind and Body Building Summer Program for children in grades 3 to 6. Call 772-607-2628 or 772-807-7771 for details. Miami: Tamela Mann and Vashawn Mitchell are scheduled at the James L. Knight Center on Aug. 16 for a 7 p.m. show. Hollywood: The Wayan Brothers will perform a show at Hard Rock Live Hollywood on Aug. 15. West Palm Beach: The Lionel Richie: All the Hits All Night Long tour featuring Cee Lo Green stops at the Cruzan Amphitheatre on July 15. Clearwater: The crooner Maxwell is coming to Florida. He will make stops in Clearwater, Orlando and Jacksonville in August. More information: www.musze. com.

Tampa Bay Bucs’ Murphy to host charity events in hometown SPECIAL TO THE COURIER

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ newly signed wide receiver Louis Murphy, Jr. will host his seventh First Down for Life charity weekend in his hometown of St. Petersburg from July 10-12. Murphy has invited many of his fellow pro playing friends in the NFL, NBA and entertainment industry. The now, three-day weekend event will include the First Downs 4 Life cheerleading and football camps, Circle of Life teen summit and community clean up, all-star gala and Hooping 4 Success celebrity basketball game.  The donation for a black-tie gala is $60 per person. Tickets for

a Friday night basketball game are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Saturday’s football and cheerleading camp at Lakewood High Jr. Spartans Sports Complex) is free for participants. 

Dream come true Murphy, who founded the camp while a senior and captain on the University of Florida 2008 BCS National Championship team, said, “I am so elated to be home. I’ve dreamt of playing for my city for a long time and now it’s here. I want nothing more than to impact this community by continuously giving back. God has blessed me and I want to be a blessing to others.” In 2009, during his rookie year

with the Oakland Raiders, Murphy won the coveted “Jim Plunkett Player of the Year Award” for his leadership. Murphy has been extremely active within the St. Petersburg and Bay Area communities.  He often spends time speaking at local schools and appearing at community events.  In the last two months, he has visited a number of local schools.

About First Downs 4 Life The event was born out of the vision of a father and son - Louis Murphy, Jr. and his father, Louis Murphy, Sr., pastor of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist in St. Petersburg in honor of their late mother/wife Filomena Mur-

Deltas to descend on Tampa this month FROM STAFF REPORTS

Dr. Jomo Cousins is the senior pastor of Love First Christian Church. His wife, Dr. Charmaine Cousins, also is a pastor at the church in Riverview.

Tampa Bay church a finalist for Harvey Award

RIVERVIEW – Love First Christian Center has been nominated as one of the top churches in the country by the “Steve Harvey Morning Show.’’ The honor comes after a day of community nominations were counted and reported.   The church, based in Riverview, is the only church in the Deep South that made the top four for “Best Church”.  The church shares this excitement with two other Tampa Bay area nominees – Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church (Best Church Choir category) and D & S Hand The public can vote in the “Best Church” category on Monday, June 16 and online at from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The winner of the award will be revealed at the actual Neighborhood Awards Show in Atlanta on Aug. 9. Love First Christian Center is led by Dr. Jomo Cousins and his wife, Dr. Charmaine Cousins.  The church, which is just over five years old, is steadily growing in the Riverview area.  The church participates in a wide range of outreach projects, including feeding the less fortunate, shoes and clothes drives and an annual scholarship program. For more information about the church, visit 

The Tampa Bay area chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will host the organization’s 44th Southern Regional Conference June 26-29. The Southern Region represents Delta chapters in Alabama, the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. The conference will convene in Tampa and serve 3,000 registrants plus 1,000 THE RICHARDS GROUP non-registered guests and TRIM: Same as live friends.LS/COLORS: 133 / CMYK

phy, who succumbed to cancer in 2008. Mrs. Murphy was known for her diligent work with troubled youth for nearly two decades. The All-Star Football Camp is a free, intensive training program that focuses in equal measure on the technical skill of the sport and the personal skill needed to succeed in life. The camp has trained nearly 2,600 youth since 2009, with skills training by Florida Elite Workout and motivational talks by top pro athletes. Camp registration, tickets for the basketball game and more information about First Downs 4 Life is available at


Louis Murphy’s annual charity weekend takes place from July 10-12.

The Tampa Alumnae Chapter, the area’s oldest with more than 200 professional members, is planning the conference with the Tampa Metropolitan Alumnae, Kappa Iota and Tau Iota chapters.

first Southern Regional Conference as the national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will be held in my own city - Tampa, Florida,” said Walker. “I can’t wait to participate in all of the activities and events that have been Community projects planned. I know that the planDr. Paulette Cheryl Events will include a Com- Walker Turner ning committee has been trumunity Impact Day on Thursly working hard to make this 6:30 a.m. at Cotanchobee Fort day, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 conference a huge success.’’ p.m. The sorority will be con- Brooke Park, 601 Old WaDelta Sigma Theta Sorority ducting service activities at a ter St., Tampa. The walk will is a public service sisterhood support some ministries and number of non-profit organicommunity organizations in of more than 275,000 women zations.  in the United States, England, A Reflections program will the Tampa area. Japan Haiti, the Republic of take place on June 26 at 7:30 Korea, Germany, Jamaica, St. Message from p.m. at the Tampa ConvenCroix and the Bahamas. Notation Center. The event will be president an opportunity for sorority Dr. Paulette C. Walker of ble members of this organizamembers to thank its commu- Tampa is the national presi- tion include Florida State Sennity partners in and around dent and Cheryl W. Turner of ator Arthenia Joyner, Angela the entire Southern Region. Mississippi is the Southern re- Bassett and Alexis Herman. JOB #: BON080034 CLIENT: Ad Council AD: Surprised Baby_Horizontal Half-Page For more information, visit  A Walk for Life 5K is schedLIVE: 7'' x 4.875" BLEED:gional .125'' director. uled TBD for June 28 startingINSERTION at “I DATE: am so PUB: TBDexcited that my

FOR QUESTIONS CALL: Todd Gutmann 214-891-3519


The LATCH system makes it easier to be sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly every time. Just clip it to the lower anchors, attach the top tether, and pull the straps tight. To find out more, visit


JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014



Take your pension all at once or in doses? Retirement advice on taking an annuity over a lump sum BY PAMELA YIP DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MCT

Do you take it all at once or in portions over time? That’s a question that many workers face as they near retirement. Specifically, are they better off taking their pension as a lump sum or in monthly payments? “These programs tend to be popular with eligible participants,” said Matt McDaniel, a senior consultant at Mercer, a consulting firm. “When they offer a lump sum, people tend to take it.” By law, he said, pension plans “have to offer you an annuity” that provides fixed periodic payments. “They may or may not offer you a lump sum.” Richard and Sonya Brown of Arlington have decided to take an annuity over a lump sum. Richard, 65, is a technician for a large telecommunications company. He’s considering retiring in January, when he turns 66. Richard said when he retires, he will take his pension as an annuity because he doesn’t want the worries that come with investing a lump sum himself. “We have friends who took the lump (sum), and they’re consumed every day by the newspaper and do they have enough money,” he said. “I don’t want those worries on me in retirement. I would rather make enough or work long enough so that my guaranteed amount would be sufficient to take care of my expenses.”

Annuity options The annuity options can include: Life annuity — This pays a monthly payment for as long as the pension plan participant lives but stops immediately when he or she dies. Life annuity with survivor benefits — Also known as a “joint-and-survivor annuity,” it continues to pay a monthly payment to the survivor after the plan participant dies. Life annuity with period certain — This pays as long as the participant lives or for a set period of time,

whichever is longer. “For example, life and 10 years certain would pay for lifetime or 10 years, whichever is longer,” said Tom Murphy, certified financial planner at Murphy & Sylvest LLC in Dallas. “If the participant dies in the first 10 years, the remaining payments go to the designated beneficiary.” In addition, there are numerous combinations of the annuity options, he said. “Each option has a different monthly payment,” Murphy said. “Life-only is almost always the largest monthly payment, with the amounts decreasing as survivor and period certain are added.”

Weighing options So how do you decide which is the better option for you? “The two things that are critically important for a participant in deciding whether to take this lump sum are how long they’re going to live and how much they would earn in investments if they were to take a lump sum and invest it,” McDaniel said. Of course, you can’t know precisely how long you will live, but you can get an idea by looking at your parents’ longevity and your family’s health history. “Participants who are in good health and have a history in the family of longevity — they might be better off holding out and taking the annuity because then the lifetime payment nature of that annuity would become valuable for them,” McDaniel said. For example, if you chose an annuity, retired at 65 but then died at 68, “then you got three years’ worth of payments, which is typically going to be less than the value of a lump sum equivalent you might have gotten,” McDaniel said. But if you lived until you were 95 “you would have received 30 years of payments, in which case the value of that annuity is probably better than whatever lump sum you would have gotten.” Murphy said, “If you are married and at least one of you is in good health, life and survivor is most likely the best option.” However, if you’re not in good health, a lump sum might be better suited for you. “At your early demise,


Richard and Sonya Brown of Arlington, Texas, have decided to take an annuity over a lump sum. the rest of the money can go to your heirs,” Murphy said.

Managing money The other factor to consider is how good an investor are you? “From a decision-making perspective, participants need to ask themselves how comfortable are they managing a large pot of money and how confident do they feel about their ability to earn a good return on that money over their investment horizon,” McDaniel said. “If you take the lump sum and invest it well and earn a strong return on your assets — everything else being equal — you would be better off taking the lump sum,” he said. “But if you invest it very conservatively or invest poorly and lose money,

you would have been better off with a fixed annuity payment.” Richard Brown described himself as a conservative investor and said he’s not experienced enough to be a good stock picker. So he chose a joint and survivor annuity so his wife, Sonya, would be provided for when he dies. He said that will reduce his monthly benefit by about $200. “I want my wife to have survivor benefits,” Richard said. “Basically, you’re buying an insurance policy to cover your wife that’s costing you $200 a month.” Financial planner Alan Goldfarb said if you choose an annuity, make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. You might want to check whether your lump sum

could buy yourself a better annuity product than the company’s offering,” said Goldfarb, managing director at Financial Strategies Group LLC in Dallas. “If you’re going to compare an annuity to a lump sum, you want to make sure whatever annuity you pick is going to be the highest payout annuity.”

Final thoughts One factor that you don’t need to consider is the financial well-being of your employer. “The stability of the employer is not usually a significant factor as a retiree considers whether or not to take a lump sum payment,” McDaniel said. “Most retirees should instead consider this offer based on their own personal needs.” That’s because pension plan assets are held

in a separate fund that the company cannot tap, he said. Further protection also is offered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which stands behind monthly pension payments if a plan goes into default. Before pulling the trigger on this critical decision, it’s a good idea to consult a financial professional. “As with many financial issues, there is not one answer applying to all,” Murphy said. “Deciding which option to take is one of the most important retirement decisions you will make, and once decided, generally cannot be changed.”

Pamela Yip is a personal finance columnist. Readers may send her email at; she cannot make individual replies.

Study ties car insurance premiums to credit scores BY PATRICIA SABATINI PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/ MCT

PITTSBURGH — In case you needed another reason to pay your bills on time, a new study by WalletHub has found that credit scores have a surprisingly big influence on what you pay for car insurance. The study found that insurance premiums among five of the largest auto insurers nationwide averaged 65 percent higher for a driver with no credit history versus someone with excellent credit. Because many factors go into pricing premiums, the percentage difference won’t hold true for all consumers, the study noted.

Nevertheless, the credit scores will have a significant impact on what you pay, said John Kiernan, senior analyst with WalletHub, a Washington-based social media site focusing on personal finance topics. “Hopefully that will lead people to give a little more TLC to their credit scores, and manage loans and credit cards more responsibly,” he said.


The results also help to explain why insurance quotes can vary widely between companies, Kiernan said. In comparing rates by state, the study found credit data had the least impact on insurance premiums in Vermont (18 percent variance) and the greatest effect in the District of Columbia (126 percent).

Most by Allstate

WalletHub, a Washington-based social media site focusing on personal finance topics, found that credit scores can have a significant impact on what you pay for premiums.

Transparency ratings

The study found that among insurers, Allstate relied on credit data the most, resulting in a 116 percent difference in premiums, while State Farm relied on those data the least with a fluctuation of 45 percent. In the middle

were Farmers Insurance, to gravitate to a company that relies on credit scores Geico and Progressive. Kiernan said consum- less,” he said. Conversely, people with ers could use the results to help them shop for a bet- good credit might want to check first with companies ter rate. bycredit “If your standing that give credit data greater isn’t great, you might want weight.

WalletHub also looked at how transparent insurers were about using credit scores to help set rates. Among 10 top insurers nationwide, Progressive received the most points for transparency, while Liberty Mutual was rated

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the worst. “A lot of insurers aren’t being as transparent as they can be,” Kiernan said. Consumers need to know that they may have a tough time finding out from insurers how much they rely on credit scores, he said. While many people know that motorists’ driving record and type of car they have influence rates, many are surprised to learn about the use of credit scores, he said. “Understanding that fact, and that a lot of different factors go into your quotes, will hopefully help people understand the importance of comparison shopping (for insurance) and improving their credit scores.”



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014


Some fathers pass on their love of sports. These dads went one step further. 1. Which father and son have combined for the most points in NHL history? _________________________________ 2. Who were the first father and son to win Olympic hockey medals as goalies? _________________________________ 3. Which two daughters of former heavyweight boxers met in a 2001 bout called the “The Thrilla in Manila 4?” _________________________________ 4. Who are the only father and son to play on national championship basketball teams?

same time? _________________________________ 7. Name the only father and son to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the same team. _________________________________ 8. Who were the first father and son to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft? _________________________________ 9. Who were the first father and son to reach the Super Bowl? ______________________________ 10. How many of George Foreman’s 11 children have “George” in their name?

________________________ 5. Who were the first father and son to coach in the NBA?




6. Who were the first father and son to play in the major leagues at the

Happy Father’s Day! We know this is the one day of the year that dads are supposed to take it easy, but we wanted to stretch your brain a little. So we decided to test your knowledge with these trivia questions to see how you measure up against other dads. — Jody Mitori, MCT and David Thomas, McClatchy Newspapers

Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman has 11 children.

Match the father-themed lyrics to the song title. LYRICS ___ 1. “Daddy, daddy if you could only see/Just how good he’s been treating me/You’d give us your blessing right now/’Cause we are in love.” ___ 2. “Father, father/We don’t need to escalate/War is not the answer/For love can conquer hate.” ___ 3. “My son turned 10 just the other day/He said, ‘Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play/Can you teach me to throw?’ I said, ‘Not today/I got a lot to do.’ He said, ‘That’s OK.’” ___ 4. “The mama pajama rolled out of bed/And she ran to the police station/ When the papa found out he began to shout /And he started the investigation.” ___ 5. “Then the light begins to shine/And I hear those ancient lullabies/And as I watch this seedling grow/Feel my heart start to overflow.”

___ 7. “There’s two things I know for sure/She was sent here from heaven and she’s daddy’s little girl.” ___ 8. “So fathers, be good to your daughters/Daughters will love like you do.” ___ 9. “It’s not time to make a change/ Just relax, take it easy/You’re still young, that’s your fault/There’s so much you have to know.” ___ 10. “Words can’t express my bound-less gratitude for you/I appreciate what you do/You’ve given me such security.” SONGS A. “Mr. Mom,” Lonestar B. “My Father’s Eyes,” Eric Clapton C. “Father and Son,” Cat Stevens D. “Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle E. “Daddy,” Beyonce F. “Papa Don’t Preach,” Madonna G. “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye

___ 6. “How much smoke can one stove make/The kids won’t eat my charcoal cake/It’s more than any man can take.”

I. “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” Paul Simon J. “Cat’s in the Cradle,” Harry Chapin

Beyonce’s dad also was her manager.


ANSWERS: 1. F, 2. G, 3. J, 4. I, 5. B. 6. A, 7. D, 8. H, 9. C, 10. E

Bill Cosby played Cliff Huxtable on the hit sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

Many are founding fathers, but how much do you know about the U.S. presidents as parents? 1. Which U.S. president had the most children?


A. Theodore Roosevelt

B. Theodore Roosevelt

C. William Henry Harrison 2. George Washington is known as the father of the United States. How many children did he have? A. None B. One C. Three

Match the TV dad with his profession.

3. Who said: “My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States”?


A. Dwight Eisenhower

___ 1. Cliff Huxtable, “The Cosby Show”

B. Ronald Reagan

___ 2. Ray Barone, “Everybody Loves Raymond”

C. Harry S. Truman

___ 3. Mike Brady, “The Brady Bunch”

4. Which president signed the law that made Father’s Day a permanent annual holiday?

___ 4. Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos” ___ 5. Andy Taylor, “The Andy Griffith Show” ___ 6. Merrill Stubing, “The Love Boat” ___ 7. Al Bundy, “Married ... with Children” ___ 8. Ross Geller, “Friends”

A. John F. Kennedy B. Richard Nixon C. Jimmy Carter

___ 9. Homer Simpson, “The Simpsons”

5. How many U.S. presidents were fathers of a president?

___ 10. Archie Bunker, “All in the Family”

A. None B. One


F. Sheriff

C. Two

A. Cruise ship captain

G. Loading dock worker

6. Which president’s grandson was also presi-

B. Obstetrician C. Shoe salesman D. Sports writer E. Nuclear power plant worker

H. Waste management I. Architect J. Paleontologist


Is President George W. Bush the only U.S. president whose father also held the position?

A. William Henry Harrison C. William Howard Taft 7. How many presidents were the sons of ministers? A. One B. Two C. Three 8. David Eisenhower, grandson of Dwight Eisenhower, married which president’s daughter? A. Jimmy Carter B. Richard Nixon C. Bill Clinton 9. Which president’s son served as the secretary of war? A. Abraham Lincoln B. Andrew Jackson C. Franklin Pierce 10. Which president’s father served as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain? A. Franklin D. Roosevelt B. John F. Kennedy C. George H.W. Bush ANSWERS: 1. B. TYLER HAD 15 CHILDREN; 2. A; 3. C; 4. B. NIXON SIGNED THE LAW IN 1972; 5. C. JOHN ADAMS WAS THE FATHER OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, AND GEORGE H.W. BUSH IS THE FATHER OF GEORGE W. BUSH; 6. A. WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON WAS THE GRANDFATHER OF BENJAMIN HARRISON; 7. C. THE FATHERS OF CHESTER A. ARTHUR, GROVER CLEVELAND AND WOODROW WILSON WERE MINISTERS; 8. B. DAVID EISENHOWER MARRIED JULIE NIXON IN 1968; 9. A. ROBERT TODD LINCOLN WAS SECRETARY OF WAR UNDER PRESIDENT JAMES GARFIELD; 10. B. JOSEPH P. KENNEDY SERVED FROM 1938-1940.

B. John Tyler

ANSWERS: 1. B, 2. D, 3. I, 4. H, 5. F, 6. A; 7. C; 8. J; 9. E; 10. G

Ray Romano played TV dad Ray Barone.

H. “Daughters,” John Mayer


JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014


Meet some of

Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution (200 dpi) digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to news@flcourier. com with a short biography of yourself and your contact information. (No nude/ glamour/ fashion photography, please!) In order to be considered, you must be at least 18 years of age. Acceptance of the photographs submitted is in the sole and absolute discretion of Florida Courier editors. We reserve the right to retain your photograph even if it is not published. If you are selected, you will be contacted by e-mail and further instructions will be given.




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andre Andre Smith is a Miami Beach resident and a retired computer specialist technician. He models swimsuits from time to time and loves nature, gadgets and tech. Andre may be contacted at

Sheena “Skye” Hall was born in Rochester, Mich., and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Central Florida. Her acting certificate from the Lisa Maile School of acting and modeling has afforded her the opportunity to cameo in various videos and short films. See more of Skye at or contact her at

Audra McDonald makes Tony history Star now has more competitive wins on Broadway by an actress FROM WIRE REPORTS

Audra McDonald won her sixth Tony Award for portraying Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress. Among those she thanked at the June 8 Tony Awards were her parents for not medicating their hyperactive child. The Tony Awards handed out honors at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in a ceremony that aired on CBS. The latest win — for best lead actress in a play — also makes McDonald the first grand-slam performance winner. She previously won as best featured actress in a play (“A Raisin in the Sun” and “Master Class”), best lead actress in a musical (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”) and best featured ac-

tress in a musical (“Ragtime” and “Carousel”).

‘Raisin’ winners Kenny Leon won his first Tony for directing the revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” He thanked, among other, his star Denzel Washington, and the women in his life. He even managed to plug his next work, “Holler If Ya Hear Me.” One of his “Raisin” stars, Sophie Okonedo, won for best featured actress in a play. “I am loving it on Broadway,” she said. She thanked producer Scott Rudin for believing that a “Jewish, Nigerian Brit” could play the iconic role of Ruth Younger. The show also won best play revival. James Monrow Iglehart, who played the genie in the Broadway production of “Aladdin,’’ took home the award for best feature actor in a musical. The best musical went to “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and the best play was “All the Way.’’

An Associated Press article was used in compiling this report.

Audra McDonald wins a Tony for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.’’

Diggs: Movie studios have unfair standards for Black films


Actor Taye Diggs stars as a homicide detective in Steven Bochco’s new series, “Murder in the First.” It premiered on TNT June 9.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Taye Diggs says Hollywood studios hold African-American films to a frustratingly separate and unfair standard. Whether a studio decides to proceed with a Black-oriented film can depend on the success of other movies with primarily AfricanAmerican casts, even if the projects are unconnected, said Diggs, who starred in “The Best Man” romantic comedy and its sequel. In a recent interview, the actor said he and others who worked on the “Best Man” movies are eager to start on a third. But its fate is tied to how other Black-oriented films, including the upcoming “Think Like a Man Too,” perform at the box office, he said.

“Unfortunately, the business is such that as far as studios are concerned, they judge one quote-unquote Black movie on how other ‘Black’ movies have done, even if they have nothing to do with each other,” he said.

‘Long way to go’ That’s “ridiculously” frustrating, said Diggs, 43, whose movie credits include “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Rent.” He stars in a new TNT drama, “Murder in the First.” “We’ve definitely come a long way. But we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “It’s too bad we can’t do well on our own merit when it comes to the studios. They don’t like to take risks and, unfortunately, we’re still considered a huge risk, even though I don’t think we are.” “The Best Man Holiday” grossed more than $70 million in North America last year and was profitable, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. Universal Studios, which released 1999’s “The Best Man” and its sequel that included stars Diggs, Morris Chestnut and Sanaa Lathan, declined comment.



JUNE 13 – JUNE 19, 2014




hether you’re gathering the neighborhood kids for a backyard celebration or going on a weekend hike with family, you can make fueling up for the fun easy with snacks the whole family can enjoy. Everyone loves popcorn, and this tasty treat is easy to incorporate into a wide range of nibbles perfect for summer. Popcorn’s wholesome taste makes it an excellent partner to ingredients that tease your taste buds with flavors that are sweet, salty or even zesty. Creating a delicious trail mix to carry on an adventurous hike is a cinch when you combine fresh popcorn with your favorite sweet dried fruits and lightly salted nuts. Or, if you’re staying closer to home, use popcorn treats as a more nutri­tious alternative to traditional party desserts. Each of these recipes features freshly popped popcorn paired with common ingredients that appeal to both kids and adults for summery snacks that are big on both flavor and fun. For more creative recipes that give some pop to your summer, visit

SWEET N SALTY POPCORN PRETZEL STICKS Yield: 6 sticks 6 tablespoons peanut butter 6 large pretzel rods 3 cups popped popcorn Sugar sprinkles 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional) Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter over each pretzel, leaving a two-inch “handle” without peanut butter.

Press and roll popcorn onto peanut butter to coat. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. For optional chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips in small sealable plastic bag and seal. Microwave 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. Clip small corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle chocolate over popcorn. Sprinkle with additional sugar sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

CHILI LIME POPCORN SNACK MIX Yield: 1 quart 1 quart popped popcorn 1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast powder 1 teaspoon lime juice 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread popcorn on baking sheet. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn. Heat about seven minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

Sweet N Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks

Popcorn Trail Mix

POPCORN TRAIL MIX Yield: 5 cups 1 quart popped popcorn (air popped) 6 ounces diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.) 8 ounces raisins Place freshly popped popcorn in large bowl. Add diced fruit and raisins. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly. Note: Add whatever fixings your family enjoys: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.

Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix

Blueberry & Pomegranate Power Bars

BLUEBERRY & POMEGRANATE POWER BARS Yield: 12 bars 8 cups popped popcorn 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 cup dried blueberries 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped whole natural almonds 2/3 cup honey 2/3 cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 6 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl. Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly. Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars. Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Popcorn S’mores

POPCORN S’MORES Yield: 20 pieces 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine 1/2 cup corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 10 cups freshly popped popcorn 1 package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows 2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears) 1 cup chocolate chips Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium sauce­pan. Cook over high heat for five minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Florida Courier - June 13, 2014  

Florida Courier - Sharing Black Life, Statewide

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