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Volume 9 – Number 31 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018





Congresswoman Frederica Wilson




contents 7

ONYX Salutes Bishop Allen Wiggins


Finding hope amid despair

10 25 years of excellence: 5000 Role Models Project hits milestone 12 Wilson Scholars 14 Strong. Smart. Bold. Girls, Inc. 15 Men of Vision: A pipeline to success 17 PACE: Believing in girls 18 Tallahassee Boys Choir: More than a choir 20 Preeminent success focuses on black and brown men 22 Spill the Tea during a weekend of bonding 24 Exercises better than crunches to get you in shape for 2018 26 Reading and representing 28 FAMU students take political action 30 Relax. Relate. Release. 32 Black History – Buffalo Soldiers – Last of the riders 33 Newtown youths took a stand in Sarasota




34 Entertainment & Music Miles Jaye takes culinary turn 36 Black History in the Making: Four FAMU graduates recently become mayors 42 Shaquem Griffin: Overcoming obstacles and inspiring others 44 Kick start a new business this year 45 Four dimensions of leadership 46 Recipe for success: Bank of America supports culinary career changes 48 Black wealth matters 49 How to make New Year’s resolutions 50 Profile – B. Lee Green, Ph.D. 51 Profile – Carla Williams 53 Visit the U.S.’s hardest hit hurricane areas 54 Men’s Fashions – New Year, New You 55 Women’s Fashions – Transitioning your wardrobe 57 Restoring felon rights 59 The best time to buy your home 60 Play to win with an executive coach 62 Feed your Valentine chocolate covered strawberries

FROM THE PUBLISHER PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Richard “Rich” E. Black EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Marianne Eggleston, M.B.A. MANAGING EDITOR D. Shenell Reed, M.B.A. ASSOCIATE EDITORS Laura Dorsey Gayle Andrews Sharon Fletcher Jones



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 Wow! Can you believe another year has come and gone? On behalf of ONYX Magazine, we wish you and yours the best that 2018 has to offer. In launching our first issue of the year, we are excited to present on the cover the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. The program hits a significant milestone this year as it continues to mentor young Black and Brown boys and prepare them to graduate high school, matriculate through college, earn a degree, and return to their communities as productive citizens. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who proudly represents Florida’s 24th Congressional District, is the founder of the program. She has committed her life’s work to make a difference in the lives of our youths, and more specifically, young men. She is considered by many to be the modern-day Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune as she serves as a voice for the voiceless. National Mentoring Month is in January, and we celebrate by presenting to you programs from around Florida, which are making a difference in the lives of our youths. I am sure we are all waiting with bated breath wondering what else can take place in American politics. As we gear up for our 2018 political cycle, we the people will make crucial decisions concerning the country’s political landscape. In this issue, we are excited to present College/ University students around the nation who are preparing themselves on becoming informed voters. The students at Florida A&M University (FAMU) have launched the Strike the Vote movement which nudges students to become informed and take political action on campus and beyond. These students are fired up about civic engagement upon graduation. There is something going on at FAMU…did you hear that four FAMU graduates were recently elected as mayor of their respective cities? Don’t worry; we got the scoop in this issue….

PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Brandi Jordan BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt deJager CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mike Boslet Harry Beugelink Keisha Boyd Alexias Brasfield Gigi Brooks Damani Dickerson Penny Dickerson Laura Dorsey Marianne Eggleston

Sarah Fisk Ashley Flete Kristina Fortner Beverly Graham Lena Graham-Morris Ginain Grayes Jasmine Harris Gary Hartfield Mark Hillery

Peter Jideonwo James Jones Sharon Fletcher Jones Vickie Oldham Dee Parker Damien Priester Josee Smith Rev. Anthony C. White

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Natasha Goodley ONYX ADVISORY COMMITTEE Deidre Parker, Chair Michelle Tatom, Immediate Past Chair Bob Berryhill Dr. Lavon Bracy Bryon Brooks Hon. Mable Butler Dr. Cynthia Chestnut James Clark John Crossman

Tony Hill Alma Horne Rodney Hurst Ann Jenkins Larry Lee, Jr. Nancy Port Schwalb Margaret J. Thompson

Gail Thomas-DeWitt Hon. Alan Williams Carla Williams Dr. Samuel Wright Lady Dhyana Ziegler


Well, that’s just a little of what you will find in this exciting issue as we kick off what I’m sure will be a phenomenal year! We ask that you continue to support positive Black media by subscribing to ONYX Magazine online at www.onyxmagazine. com. If you have a great story idea or just want to share your views on any of the articles you read in our publication, please feel free to contact us at ONYX Magazine’s management and staff remain committed to bringing you entertaining, inspiring and informative articles that celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans and those of the African diaspora.




Lester and Lillian Seays ONYX Magazine is published by ONYX Communications and Media Group, Inc., Address: P.O. Box 555672, Orlando, Florida 32855-5872. Phone 321418-7216. Subscription rate is $19.95 for six issues. For subscriptions and notification of address change, contact ONYX Magazine at the above address or e-mail us at Letters to the editor are encouraged. Copyright 2017 by ONYX Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writer or interviewee and not necessarily those of the publisher. Manuscripts, photos and art should be submitted with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The publisher does not assume responsibility for any materials not submitted in manner advised. Unsolicited materials are not subject to payment from ONYX Magazine.




Archbishop Allen T.D. Wiggins, Sr.

Archbishop Wiggins gives words of thanks and first blessing to all in attendance as the New Archbishop and Presiding Prelate of the +I+B+C+, Inc.

Archbishop Wiggins makes a presentation to his wife, Lady Deborah Wiggins, welcoming her as the First Lady of +I+B+C+, Inc.

The Mantle Is Received The Hope Church of Orlando was filled to capacity with dignitaries, elected officials, and clergy from around the country as a crowd of onlookers witnessed the long anticipated “Passing of the Mantle.” The International Bishops’ Conference, Inc., (+I+B+C+) honored Archbishop Leroy Bailey, Jr., and received its new Archbishop and Presiding Prelate, Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins, Sr. The service included heartfelt inspirational words, rousing musical selections and the ceremonial “passing of the mantle,” making for an evening filled with awe-inspiring moments that will be remembered for many years to come. One such moment was when Archbishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr., presented the incoming Archbishop and new Presiding Prelate with a beautifully embroidered cope, previously worn by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cope, which itself holds rich ecclesiastical history, was passed from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Archbishop Rainer Laufers D.D. of the Old Holy Catholic Church of Canada; and later from Archbishop Laufers to Archbishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr. of the +I+B+C+ and Pastor of The First Cathedral in Bloomfield, CT. The presentation of the cope from Archbishop Bailey to Bishop Wiggins caused the crowd to gasp as they witnessed Archbishop Bailey placed the cope around the shoulders of Orlando’s very own Bishop Allen Wiggins. This represented the official passing of the mantle and succession, continuing the legacy and work of the +I+B+C+. During the service, Archbishop Allen Wiggins presented gifts of remembrances as he spoke deep words of gratitude, respect and reverence to each of the Bishops, clergy, and all in

Archbishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr., presents Archbishop Allen Wiggins with the Episcopal Cope, which was passed to him by Archbishop Laufers of the Old Holy Catholic Church of Canada, which was previously presented to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

attendance. Perhaps the most stirring of all his words came as the Presiding Prelate asked for his wife, Lady Deborah Wiggins, and his mother, Beulah Wiggins, to stand as he spoke to them; making evident his deep abiding love and respect for these leading ladies. As the evening ended, the crowd made its way past the new Archbishop and First Lady of +I+B+C+, to be greeted with the Archbishop’s blessing and First Lady’s embrace, capping the eventful night of ceremony and grandeur with appreciation and HOPE. Daniel 2:21 - And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings (leaders), and setteth up kings (leaders): he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: Archbishop Allen T.D. Wiggins is Senior Pastor of The Hope Church of Orlando. For more information about Archbishop Wiggins and The Hope Church or the +I+B+C+, Inc. visit their websites at or



THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2018 11:30 A.M. ALFOND INN, WINTER PARK, FLA. Women on the Move celebrates trailblazers who make positive impacts in their communities and their chosen professions. This event has become a highly-anticipated event to acknowledge these accomplishments.

For more information, visit


Finding Hope Amid Despair By Rev. Anthony C. White


r. Jeremiah Wright listened as the late Dr. Frederick G. Sampson lectured in Richmond on the 1886 Hope painting by George F. Watts. After attending the lecture, Wright preached a sermon titled The Audacity to Hope and that sermon inspired the title of President Barack Obama’s bestselling book, The Audacity of Hope. No doubt there is something inherently courageous and compelling about hope. As we embark upon a New Year, many do so with the hope that the new will translate into better –– better fortune, better opportunities, better relationships than the previous year. This is especially true if the previous year was marked with disappointment, traumatic loss, or just difficulty getting ahead. Still, how does one remain hopeful when although the season and calendar has changed, the situation or condition you find yourself in remains the same? You remain unemployed. You continue to face mounting health challenges. The relationship is still broken, and your family is not yet restored. There is a crisis of hope in our nation today. It is evidenced by the unprecedented opioid epidemic. It is seen in the eyes of the victims of terror, and heard in the silent cries of those wrongly convicted, or who suffer abuse and discrimination. Proverbs 13:12 reads, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Hope begins with desire. But all too often that desire is a wish for something to turn out the way we want it to. Hope built upon our natural desires and not built upon God’s word will often lead to despair. When the Bible speaks of hope, it seldom refers to wishful looking, but rather it is having a confident expectation of something based upon what has already been spoken. Our hope of resurrection is based upon the certainty that Christ’s resurrection has already taken place. The

Scripture says that Abraham hoped even in a hopeless situation because of what God had promised him. (Rom. 4:18) As you consider your present predicament, evaluate the foundation of your hope. What are the pillars of your hope today? This will inform how you embrace the New Year while in the most challenging of circumstances. What is it that God has truly promised you, which is consistent with his character and his word? Focus on that promise that God has spoken over your life. If you can identify that

“With her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God….”

one thing, then you will find hope amid despair. Like the woman in the painting, you, too, will be able to make music and praise God, even if it you must do so with the one string you have left. Rev. Anthony White is the lead pastor at Bible-Based Fellowship Church in Tampa. ONYX MAGAZINE 9


Rep. Frederica Wilson greets young men who are enrolled in the Project.

Years of Excellence:

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson continues to inspire young men to change their lives Young men stand in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Penny Dickerson


ongresswoman Frederica S. Wilson has been an indomitable force for Florida’s 24th congressional district for four terms and each subsists as an example of her high-spirited will to improve lives and legislate change. Some of her most reputable quests include job creation, sustaining Medicare and social security, prohibiting the foreclosure of homes and more. A former principal at Skyway Elementary School and a Miami-Dade County School Board member, Wilson’s remarkable success 10 ONYX MAGAZINE

includes a crowning achievement for at-risk youth: the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project that will commemorate 25 years of infinite growth in 2018. Founded in 1993, the project is a progressive education and mentoring program designed to nurture young Black men ages nine to 19. Founded by Wilson and initiated by the Miami-Dade County School Board, the project is a result of Wilson’s passionate concern for this demographic with some young men who end up

imprisoned, fall prey to drug trade, or became school dropouts. In an effort to change the latter, the project was kickstarted and excelled as the 500 African-American Male Role Models of Excellence. Following immeasurable success and national recognition, it was renamed the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project and expanded to include Hispanics. “The success of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project has exceeded my wildest dreams. I never imagined we would be able to touch the

lives of thousands of boys and young men on a daily basis,” said Wilson. “We have transformed lives of countless students and put them on track to graduate and lead successful lives. Our mentorship does not end at graduation. We have provided millions of dollars in scholarships, and send many graduates to the City of Miami Fire College so they can become firefighters. We are always marveling at the accomplishments of our students and attribute their success to God, because some of their stories

Young men meet with law enforcement officers.

“Students in our program perform at higher levels than their peers because of the extra help we provide.” are truly miracles,” she added. Wilson’s collective “we” includes a bevy of political, celebrity, sport and corporate supporters including President Barack Obama and four U.S. presidents who preceded him. Celebrities like Tom Joyner and Gladys Knight are on board along with retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal. The mentor list is rounded off by the faith-based community, law enforcement, legal education professionals, and families. “Sean John Collection, the retail arm of entertainment mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, has come on board as one of our recent corporate partners. They provide suits for graduating seniors so they will have proper attire for interviews, work, or formal occasions,” said Wilson. “Many recipients have never owned a suit. I didn’t know much about Sean John before the partnership, but they learned about our program and how we work to change the lives of boys and young men. I am humbled by the willingness of people who have supported the program since its inception,” Wilson added.

The project’s core model is to pair young men with professional, adult volunteers who provide advice, guidance, and educational assistance. According to Wilson, the focus has remained the same: “to intervene in lives of at-risk boys, and provide them with alternatives that deter from a life of crime and violence.” Every involved chapter and school has the same mission. “We have been fortunate to grow in a way that maintains consistency. We have programs in Pinellas, Duval, and our newest chapter, Broward County,” said Wilson. “We invite school district leaders and community members from districts interested in starting a chapter. They visit schools to observe how the chapters operate…academically, we have a curriculum that reinforces reading and writing skill development.” Wilson boasts: “Students in our program perform at higher levels than their peers because of the extra help we provide.” Dr. Valerie Brimm has served as the Pinellas County program director since 2009

Two young men are surrounded by fellow Project members when they sign contracts to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

and oversees the operation, facilitates district initiative, and maintains data. “Several program graduates have gone to Duke, Dartmouth, Howard, and more,” said Brimm who added that sports scholarships have also been obtained. According to Brimm, 83 percent of her participating students who began in third grade

Miami, but call back to see if we can establish a program in their new district…we are hoping to expand the program to Detroit in the near future and the council of the Great City Schools, an association of America’s largest urban school districts, is exploring ways to establish the program in districts nationwide,” Wilson added.

Rep. Frederica Wilson gifted Pres. Barack Obama with 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project sneakers.

through high school graduate on time. The Black male graduation rate has increased by 7 percent over the last three years and is attributed to the 5000 Role Model’s program. Wilson looks forward to her program maintaining its vision, but states the reach of the program will exponentially grow. “When people visit districts that have a program or work with our boys, they frequently ask how they can get a program where they live,” Wilson explained. “There are so many former teachers, principals, an administrators who have left

Congresswoman Wilson is a proven winner, and her former elementary school is now her honorable namesake. She cites her dad as her mentor: “My father was a huge influence in my life. He was a small business owner and community leader,” shared Wilson. People frequented our home for advice, and as a little girl, I would hide under the dining room table and listen to conversations. My mother scolded me for eavesdropping, but that experience instilled within me a passion to help others,” she added. ONYX MAGAZINE 11


Kristina Fortner is the executive director of Girls, Inc. of Pinellas Florida.

Strong. Smart. Bold. Girls, Inc. inspires young women to crush limits By Kristina Fortner


ake a reflective moment to think of your path and those who have influenced you in life. Were the role models in your life positive or negative? Did they motivate you, fueling you toward your dreams? Were they less than inspiring or examples of poor lifestyle habits and choices? Mentoring is an incredible opportunity to impress upon youth that there is no limit to their capabilities, show them they have a safe place to ask questions, and teach them that there are caring, trusting adults here to support them. Girls, Inc. is a national organization with more than 150 years of experience as the experts on the issues girls face. Girls, Inc. Regional Director Deb Hopkins oversees the six Florida locations in Pinellas County, Sarasota, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Jacksonville, and Panama City, in addition to the rest of the Southeast Region. She says, “Across our Girls, Inc. network in the US and Canada, we witness the strongest outcomes when girls have ongoing and consistent access to caring adult role models and mentors. When they 14 ONYX MAGAZINE

interact with a successful woman (particularly one who looks like them), they see their own potential as limitless.” Culture plays a key role in the lives of girls, whether racial and ethnic culture, religious culture, community culture, or other cultural influences. A mentoring relationship can be additional support for girls when the mentor understands some of the nuances that relate her decision-making process. At Girls, Inc., our goal is to

Members of Girls, Inc. get ready for program activity.

have an environment that is diverse and inclusive with adults who are relatable and reliable to every girl that walks through our doors. Exposure and connections to role models is an aspect of mentoring at Girls, Inc. of Pinellas. It is highly impactful to have mentoring as a component of regular Girls, Inc. programs in our After-School capacity or in Operation SMART School Break camps. Whether it is a news anchor talking about the effects of the entertainment industry on body image expectations, a female firefighter sharing her life experience, or a cutting-edge woman surgeon discussing the need for more girls in STEM fields, it is highly impactful for young women to see a piece of themselves in exemplary community figures. Mentoring is an influential tool that encourages and supports girls emotionally, academically and socially in achieving goals and reaching their highest potential. Approximately 94 percent of Girls, Inc. girls say that they feel safe at Girls, Inc. and there are adults here who they can depend on; who help them think about their future. Girls, Inc. encourages girls to share their unique life experiences, learn and grow with their peers and gain the confidence to pursue desired aspirations. Girls, Inc. mentoring inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. At Girls, Inc., we are in the youth development business of changing statistics. The development of trusting, mentoring relationships with adults that are grounded in a powerful belief in girls’ rights and abilities is key to social change. Always remember, you can be the change in a girl’s life.



A Pipeline to Success By Ginain Grayes


n a state that leads the pack when it comes to the school-to-prison pipeline, Ross Anderson, the founder of Men of Vision, Inc. (MOV) recognized a profound and urgent need for schools, primarily in the inner city, to offer mentorship to at-risk young men in Tampa. According to an eight-year study conducted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, there were 166,868 school-related arrests in Florida during fiscal years 2004–05 through 2011–12. Nearly half of these arrests (78,821, or 47 percent) were of Black youth, who represent only about 22 percent of the student population in Florida*. Anderson set his sights on Sligh Middle School to bring his vision of a robust mentoring program to life; and in November of 2006, MOV was started with 25 members. Plagued with educational barriers that often led many of the young men down a path of destruction, MOV provided a level of support, discipline, and accessibility to positive community role models for its members—many whom never experienced this. Fast forward to today, MOV has mentored more than 1,000 at-risk male students since 2006. Today MOV actively mentors 175 members between the ages of nine through 19 or third grade through post-secondary

grades throughout Hillsborough County with hopes of expanding into surrounding counties. The program proudly boosts a 98 percent graduation rate with members receiving a standard high school diploma. With more than $250,000 in scholarships awarded to members, the majority of MOV high school graduates go on to earn a degree from an accredited college or university. The organization exposes members to new and diverse experiences and environments through educational trips, opportunities, events, and community service initiatives. “It opens up a whole new world of opportunities where they can picture themselves as productive and successful members of society. It truly is a community and grassroots effort by all,” said Anderson. Community service is a core value and point of pride for the organization. To date, MOV members have completed more than 200,000 hours in community service. The average member clocks more than 100 community service hours lending a helping hand in their communities. When Tampa residents experienced ravished neighborhoods battered by Hurricane Irma, current MOV student president and high school senior Pierre Alsint,

alongside fellow members organized a clean-up effort at a local high school and surrounding neighborhoods. “I realize we can be anywhere right now, but it’s more important to be there for our community. That’s what MOV is all about. It gives us a chance to do good for others while working on ourselves so we can be successful,” said Alsint. The organization has earned many prestigious recognitions for the work members continue to do within the community, including the Hillsborough County Community Unsung Hero Award (2017), the Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero Award (2014), and the Hillsborough County Human Rights Award (2014). Anderson proudly shares, “we are excited about the future as we continue to dedicate our lives to supporting and building up our youth.” Learn more about Men of Vision, Inc. or contribute to the amazing work of ensuring students travel the pipeline to success, visit MOV online at and follow on Facebook and Twitter. *Source: Demanding Zero Tolerance for Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline by Lance Arney & Marilyn Williams Ginain Grayes is the Men of Vision Communications Director.



Narriea L. and Mykaala S. spend the afternoon studying new material. Haley R. and her teacher Mrs. Wynn work together to maintain the garden outside of the PACE Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

Believing in the Power and Potential of Girls PACE Center for Girls, Inc. encourages girls beyond their challenges By Jasmine Harris


n 1985, Jacksonville became the home to the first PACE Center for Girls. PACE believes that every girl has strength, value and potential regardless of what challenges life has already presented her at a young age. Today, PACE continues to expand its reach to 19 centers in Florida and has served more than 40,000 girls over its 32 years in operation. These girls—in desperate need of guidance and support— found a home at PACE and are now able to envision brighter futures for themselves. PACE provides a safe, non-residential environment where middle and high school-aged girls learn to thrive and overcome any obstacle that may be in their path. A balanced emphasis on academics and social services is combined with the organization’s program model to produce a nationally-recognized experience that is one of the most effective programs for helping at-risk girls realize brighter and more productive futures. The stories of girls who attend PACE range from trauma and sexual abuse, academic failure, an unstable home life, bully-

Anisa M. and Destiny M. practice their computer skills with Mr. Mosley.

ing and poverty; but after attending PACE, 90 percent of girls saw improvements in their studies—including those who came to PACE more than one full grade level behind. Ninety-five percent had no further involvement with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, 87 percent of PACE girls were enrolled in school, higher education or employed after completing the program. Every girl who walks through the doors of a PACE center will receive the interventions and interactions she needs to change the trajectory of her life in a positive way. “PACE alumna are doctors, attorneys, educators and more,” said PACE President

and CEO Mary Marx. “Every girl who has come through our doors readily shares that it was because PACE believed in them they found the courage to believe in themselves.” In addition to the traditional PACE model, in 2015 PACE launched a new program in three cities called PACE Reach. The new program made it possible to reach more girls who are beyond the walls of PACE Centers. PACE Reach offers the same girl-centric therapeutic services, individual counseling and case management to girls in need who may not be able to attend the full-day academic program within the centers. Counselors with the PACE Reach program are available to meet girls in the center after school hours or even in her own neighborhood during the evenings. The success of PACE hinges on the unique culture that value all girls and believes each one deserves the opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. To learn more about PACE Center for Girls, visit ONYX MAGAZINE 17


Boys Choir of Tallahassee Director Lee prepares the young men for a performance.

More Than a


By Beverly Graham


arle Lee doesn’t mind preaching to the choir. Maybe that’s because he knows a thing or two about the choir. Lee, the 48-year-old founder of the acclaimed Tallahassee Boys Choir, knows he is helping boys become men with a promising future by utilizing the art of music. The choir’s motto is “no excuses.” In a city with the highest crime rate per capita in the state of Florida, this 22-year-old program provides a safe and nurturing opportunity for young men and in a sense puts them on a path to untold success. “I created this community outreach program which is designed to make sure boys from lower socioeconomic communities don’t get in trouble. That’s what you have to understand, these boys have never been in trouble, we just want to make sure they don’t get in trouble,” said Lee. The Boys Choir of Tallahassee has received numerous awards and recogni-

Boys Choir of Tallahassee Director Lee prepares the young men for a performance.

tions for its performances, including from the White House and the Pope Francis. “One of my favorite moments is when we went to the White House when Barack Obama was in office and I got to shake his hand,” said 17-year-old Travis Parker. These young men have traveled from the Bahamas, to Italy, and quite a few other countries. They sing in seven different languages. Such opportunities have allowed them to expand their cultural knowledge and create memories with their fellow members. They have experienced parts of the world that many young men their age will not get to lay eyes on.

Beverly Graham is a senior in Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication 18 ONYX MAGAZINE

“The Pope pointed to us and called us up to receive communion in front of everyone there, it was unreal,” said Lee. “When we go out of town they sign autographs and take pictures with their fans. They love it. It builds their self-esteem and their interpersonal skills.” This program has created a family of more than 55 brothers. These young men study together before practice, eat with each other afterward, and many of them continue these friendships outside of the choir. “This choir has taught me true friendship and brotherhood…it gave me longterm friends, people I can really talk to,” said 14-year-old Jacob Gay. This is a life-long commitment that is treasured by many of the choir members. “Being in the choir going on 12 years I value mostly being a big brother to some of the younger kids, pushing them to stay on track and do the right thing, not only in the choir but in school and in the community,” said 19-year-old Malik Woodson, who also serves as an intern for the choir. Lee has served as a beacon of hope for these young men who have come to look up to him. “What inspired me to join the choir was the person who recruited me, which was Mr. Lee,” said 13-year-old Corey Johnson. Woodson added: “There are positive Black young males that are doing good things in their community and throughout the country.”


Past conference speakers include singer John Legend, actor Hill Harper and talk show host Steve Harvey.

More than 1,000 young men participate in Black Brown and College Bound.

College Bound Preeminent Summit Focuses on Black and Brown Men


he Black Brown & College Bound (BBCB) Summit at Hillsborough Community College has emerged as one of the preeminent national forums to address issues facing Black and Latino males in higher education. After 11 years, the summit has been successful in attracting some of the most influential national speakers and scholars to address the barriers that affect persistence and completion among minority males. A series of themebased workshops on contemporary issues provide an important focus to the summit, bringing together college students and practitioners to engage in dialogue about critical issues, sharing successful strategies and best practices. The highlight of the summit is the Dr. Sylvia Marion Carley Signature Luncheon located at the Tampa Convention Center. More than 1,200 comprise the audience of corporate sponsors, college administrators, students, staff and community leaders, in addition to state and national elected officials. With a message of national implication, the luncheon has attracted keynote speakers of international prominence including John Legend, General Colin Powell, Steve Harvey, Magic Johnson and Hill Harper. 20 ONYX MAGAZINE

Michael Strahan, 2014 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee, Super Bowl XLII champion, co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and Fox Football analyst, is the keynote speaker at the BBCB Signature Luncheon on Monday, March 26, 2018, at the Tampa Convention Center. Dr. Calvin Butts, pastor of the Historic Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem and President of State University of New York at Old Westbury; and Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also will speak at the conference.

BBCB has been featured in educational, diversity and media outlets such as Tampa Bay Times, Insight into Diversity, NPR, ABC Action News and Estrella TV to name a few. As a result of the success of the Black Brown & College Bound Summit, Hillsborough Community College was awarded the Advancing Diversity Award from the American Association of Community Colleges in April 2017, the highest diversity award among the nation’s 1,200 community and technical colleges. More than 150 colleges and universities from 40 states have attended the BBCB Summit since its inception. The significance of its message has also attracted corporate sponsorship from national companies including SunTrust Bank, Wells Fargo,

Southwest Airlines, Spectrum Communications, Coca-Cola and Nielsen. The summit is also co-sponsored by more than a dozen colleges and universities across the nation. The 12th Annual Black Brown & College Bound Summit will be held March 24-28, 2018, at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel with the luncheon being held at the neighboring Tampa Convention Center. The conference will highlight two important tracks: The Innocence Project on Social Justice and The Impact of Racism on Health. Please visit www.blackbrowncollegebound to purchase tables for the Signature Luncheon featuring Michael Strahan, to register for the conference and to find out more information about BBCB.


Tea Time

Mothers and daughters “spill the tea” for a closer bond By Sharon Fletcher Jones


onica May is the voice many Central Floridians wake up to on Star 94.5’s weekday broadcast of the Tom Joyner Morning Show. More than a popular radio personality, she is a wife, a mom, a business owner (Monica May Communications), a visionary and a community “actionist”. May leaps into action like the wonder woman she is and puts her all into battling society’s ailments; addressing taboo subjects and tackling the hard issues one at a time. In doing so, May has sparked important dialogue, helped to develop viable solutions and garnered numerous awards, including an ONYX Woman on the Move Award for community service. After a powerful conversation with her own daughter, May founded Let’s Spill the Tea, Inc., a one-day conference aimed at empowering women and girls with the communication strategies needed in order to start bridging communication gaps between mothers and daughters. The expression, “spill the tea” has been defined as sharing juicy information or gossip and, as in this case, telling the truth. Seven years later, Let’s Spill the Tea has spawned six annual events and now,

a weekend retreat. The inaugural retreat was recently held at the beautiful San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Fla., with more than 30 families represented. Mothers and daughters (ages 14-21) checked into their rooms not knowing exactly what was in store for them. In keeping with the retreat’s themes: Unplug. Reconnect. Rebuild., there were no televisions, X-boxes, or iPads in the rooms making the setting even more conducive. After a welcome party hosted by DJ Niecy D and an introductory activity, the attendees soon found themselves participating in truth-telling, soul-baring sessions and workshop discussions about topics including date violence, peer pressure, and self-harming behaviors. During the threeday retreat mothers and daughters experienced a full range of emotions and were equipped with communication skills and other tools needed for family success. “When these ladies and their daughters first arrived there was no excitement, no chatter, there were no smiles. But they’re leaving here laughing and smiling and talking with each other and hugging and loving on each other. This [weekend] has

been such a blessing! Everyone is leaving much differently than the way they came,” said Mary, a participating parent and workshop facilitator. Anna, whose daughter is autistic added, “These girls treated my baby as if there is nothing different about her. And being able to share with other mothers about the difficulties of parenting in general was a huge plus for me.” A 30-year radio and television broadcast veteran, May believes the key to living an exceedingly fulfilling and effective life is healthy communication. With continued support from sponsors including Darjeeling Tea, Catering’s Best, City of Orlando, Orange County, YMCA Achievers, The Experience Christian Center, Federation of Families of Central Florida, True Health, and the Multicultural Wellness and Prevention Center, May hopes to expand her reach to more families and offer more mothers and daughters a chance to relate experiences, release negativity, restore families and to spill the tea. For more information visit https:// ONYX MAGAZINE 21


Talk About Sex With Your Child By Glamazon Tyomi


alking to children and adolescents about sex can be a tricky thing. Many parents have the concern of exposing too much information too early on with the possibility of tarnishing their child’s innocence, but speaking about sex doesn’t have to be damaging. With the newly found cases of STDs growing at alarming rates among the youth in African-American communities across the nation, the need for the proper sex talk is apparent, especially in light of the absence of comprehensive sex education programs within the school system. Television, music and even peers have a strong influence on how young people view sexuality today, and it is important for parents to step up and reveal the facts about sex to their children. Dr. Rachael Ross, a 10-year family medicine physician, clinical sexologist and recurring co-host on the Emmy Award-winning talk show The Doctors, shares with us the proper way to speak to children and teenagers about sexuality. “It’s healthy to speak honestly to kids,” says Dr. Ross. “By the time they are nine they’ve felt a tingle ‘down there’, so if you are honest with them about it and they understand what’s going on, they might not rush to have that tingle tickled by someone else. They should know not to let adults and older children touch them or talk about sex with them.” This is an important conversation to 22 ONYX MAGAZINE

have early on, as more children and teens are experimenting with sexual acts at younger ages. “They should be made aware that their bodies are special and should not be abused or shared with just anyone,” states Dr. Ross. She also recommends that parents encourage self-pleasuring versus experimenting with others before the children are aware of their bodies and the responsibilities of sexual activity. “It’s important that they understand you would rather they touch themselves than have another person do it. Masturbation is a natural part of life and it is the safest form of sex your child will ever have.” She goes on to suggest that parents promote sexual activity with equal and loving partners. “Children and adolescents must understand that sex is supposed to be between two people who care about each other.” This message in particular is extremely important in today’s society with sex being regarded as a casual commodity used to be accepted among peer groups or to mimic what is being shown on TV or depicted in music. Technology has revolutionized everything and with ‘sexting’ being a popular activity of choice, parents must set the standard of what is allowed in order to protect their children on the cyber front. “It is also important to set the ground rules about sexting,” advises Dr. Ross.

“If anyone mentions sexual acts online, they are to log off and tell you about it so you can report it to the officials. ‘The rule of Moms’ which is, if you are going to be embarrassed if your mom happens to see this picture, then you should not post it or send it to anyone.” There may be parents who are aware of their child’s sexual interest and a relationship that has already been established, and in this case Dr. Ross has advice for how to ensure sexual safety. “If they have a steady significant other, parents need to bring them into their family physician so they can discuss birth control options.” A great command over sexual health starts at home. Parents should teach their children about STDs and condom usage. “Along with talking to them about condoms,” Dr. Ross says, “parents should speak on why condoms are so important. Show them pictures of different sexually transmitted diseases and really give them the resources they need to understand how important condom use really is. If you buy your boys a pack of condoms, encourage them to masturbate with them on so condom use can be a routine part of pleasure for them early.” Dr. Rachael Ross can be seen weekly on The Doctors and more of her advice can be found on her personal website Reprinted with permission by


New Year Fitness Tips: These Five Ab Moves Are Better Than Crunches



leep it off—the fat that is! One of the most overlooked ways to avoid belly fat is to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Studies continue to show that this amount of sleep is necessary to create the optimal hormone balance for fat loss. When you are faced with the option of watching one more episode of your favorite show or getting to bed for a solid night’s sleep, consider your abs and get the sleep! These five ab moves are better than crunches

Although the basic crunch is still popular, by now it is pretty well-known that this outdated exercise is not the most effective way to flatten and strengthen your abs. It simply does not activate your core muscles to the extent that other exercises do, it can hurt your back, and the small motion does not do much by way of calorie burning. So why are you still doing crunches? What the basic ab crunch does have going for it is its no-equipment, on-the-go nature. You could plop down

1. The Plank To perform a plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders, and your arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your core and pay attention to keeping your back flat. Focus on pulling your belly button in as you hold the position for two minutes. 2. Scissor Kick To perform a scissor kick, lie with your back on the floor and your arms extended to the sides with your palms facing down. With a slight bend in your knees, lift your legs so that your heels are six inches off the ground. Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle while your right leg is still lowered until your heel is about two-three inches from the ground. Switch movements by raising your right leg while lowering your left leg. Squeeze your midsection and focus on your breathing as you perform 60-90 seconds of the exercise.

onto the ground in a park, a hotel room, at the beach, or at the gym to crank out a round of crunches wherever you happen to be. Not the most effective, but, until now, the most convenient. It is time to upgrade your default, basic crunch to a more modern, results-driven exercise. Below I have the most cutting edge, no equipment ab exercise to get you one step closer to those washboard abs that you’ve been dreaming about.

3. V-Ups To perform a V-Up, lie down on your back on the floor and extend your arms behind your head. The back of your hands should lightly touch the floor while your palms face the ceiling. Keep your feet close together and point your toes toward the ceiling. Lift your legs, keeping them straight while you raise your upper body off the floor and reach for your toes. Exhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat a series of 12-20 repetitions.

Russian Twist

The Plank

4. Reverse Crunch To perform a reverse crunch, lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head. Press your lower back toward the floor and pull in your belly button as you lift your feet off the floor. Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and pull toward your chest so that your tailbone raises off the ground, and at the same time lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Focus on squeezing your abs to perform the movement. Slowly lower your shoulders, hips and legs to the starting position, keeping your feet just above the floor. Repeat the movement for 12-20 repetitions while squeezing your abs and focusing on your breathing. 5. Russian Twist To perform a Russian twist, lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle while

raising your upper body off the ground. Exhale while you twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor. Pull your belly button in and squeeze, then slowly move back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side and continue to repeat both sides for 60-90 seconds. There you have it, five modern, results-driven abdominal exercises that you can perform anywhere! Aim to work your abs at least twice a week for the best results. It is worth noting that while strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way to tighten your waist, none of the amazing muscle tone will show if your body fat is above 20 percent. To shed the fat and get that amazing six-pack, join a fat burning fitness program designed to get you into the best shape of your life.

Damien Priester, owner of Prestige Fitness





FAMU Students Take Political Action By Alexias Brasfield and Ashley Flete


oting in presidential elections is usually the first thing that comes to mind when most of us think of being politically involved. Though it’s true that voting for the highest office is important, the changes that mostly affect our day-to-day lives are local elections. Like many, most of our time is focused on national politics. Voting for mayor, and your other local representatives, could mean the difference between creating the change you want to see or witnessing changes with which you don’t agree. However, every two years, the nation goes to the polls to elect the entire House of Representatives and at least one-third of the U.S. Senate. In many recent elections, the balance of power in the legislative branch is up for grabs. This election will provide plenty of opportunities for both 28 ONYX MAGAZINE

political parties to take control of one or both chambers of Congress. The importance of the legislative branch cannot be underestimated. The Congress is the institution where laws are made, oversight of the executive occurs and, as importantly, money is raised and disbursed. As outlined by the founders, Congress is an equal branch of government along with the executive and judicial branches. Therefore, electing the members of Congress is a way for American citizens to affect their government. Campaign week at Florida A&M University is always the most anticipated time of the year. Students become extremely involved with student elections in efforts to promote change on campus. Is this same energy exerted towards local and state elections?

Dajuh Sawyer, a senior business administration student is a member of the St. Petersburg Women’s League of Voters. She helps plan candidate forums, register people to vote, and lobby on behalf of important issues. She plans to participate in the upcoming congressional election by encouraging more students to participate in voting. “I plan on running for city council in the upcoming years, then after serving, I aspire to become the first African-American female mayor of the city of St. Petersburg, Fla. My long-term goal is to get to Congress,” Sawyer said. “I want to run for office because I want the next generation to look at a politician and say, ‘I can be like her, or she looks like me,’ and I want them to know that anything is possible.” “It’s important for students to vote

because we must know how politics has a profound impact, both locally and nationally, that affect our everyday lives. Everyone should exercise their right to vote,” said Sawyer. During the 2016 presidential election, FAMU increased political awareness among students by creating the “Strike the Vote” initiative. This initiative focused on registering all students to vote. Not only are students encouraged to vote but they also are urged to be cognitive of the people they are voting for. University officials hope that initiatives like these become a staple at FAMU and in the FAMU community to further voter education and awareness. Keishia Herring, a senior political science student at FAMU, said that she’s politically involved most definitely. She’s participated in campaigns for Charlie Crist and Kionee Mcghee who serves on the House of Representatives, District 117. “As an African-American woman in this country, I believe my people need a voice,” Herring said. “It’s most essential because of the control and power it truly has. My life philosophy is, you can’t get around the rules if you don’t know them.” With a government elected by its citizens that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate. There is a standing issue with millennials and voting in this era. Most feel their

“As an AfricanAmerican woman in this country, I believe my people need a voice,” Herring said. “It’s most essential because of the control and power it truly has. — Keishia Herring, a senior political science student at FAMU,

vote will not make a difference but there is power behind every vote. According to Pew Research Center, 39.6 percent of minorities do not execute their right to vote. For different reasons, some rather not go through the hassle, some students feel they lack the “political knowledge,” or others simply are not registered to vote. Brandon Johnson, a senior political science student at FAMU, who serves as a campus liaison for the African-Israel Public Affairs Committee, plans to one day run for public office. “I believe that everyone has a role in our political system. Everybody won’t be a politician or serve in a position, but being aware and engaged is everyone’s responsibility,” Johnson said, “Our political system thrives on everyone playing an active role in the process. This is especially important

Alexias Brasfield is a senior majoring in public relations at Florida A&M University

for our students who are enrolled in state funded institutions.” He continued to stress the importance of voting. He believes every aspect of a student’s life from financial aid, housing and the campus police department come from factors controlled by those in political systems. “It is important that students not only are aware of what is going on but also that they engage in these political discussions and hold our elected officials accountable,” said Johnson In the future, Johnson plans to pave his way by starting off in local government and one-day serve on a national platform. He hopes to implement the policy and create the change needed to make our communities safer and more efficient. “I’ve grown up in the Florida political system all my life and I have seen some great and some not-so-great leaders come into power. That exposure has led me to believe that God has called me to a life of being a public servant and making sure I do my part in helping my fellow man. All I aspire to be is a servant leader for my community.” Contrary to Johnson’s belief, others do not hold the same aspirations catered to politics. Marven Laborde, a senior chemical engineering student at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, who has currently been working on local elections in Florida, ensure that everyone who is able to vote can vote. But regardless of such actions, Laborde has no aspirations in politics because of their restrictive role and the position that is carried out by politicians. “I feel like the stance and power of change can be ordered by people with no limits or confined boundaries. I need freedom to perform and act on measures in their most volatile states. Timing and freedom is everything to me,” Laborde said. “History has shown us that if we are not knowledgeable or cognizant of what is going on in our legislative branches or any demands that is made for the majority, someone will have the short end of the stick and be subjected to plans that they will never agree to.”

Ashley Flete is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism at Florida A&M University


Relax. Relate.


Find Your Happy Place in Six Easy Steps By Peter Jideonwo


our state of mind can have a physical impact on your body. It’s not easy juggling a job, home life, hobbies, and the pressures of our society, too. A mental vacation can be an effective way to bust stress, overcome depression, and give you a fresh perspective on life. You don’t have to spend a dime or go anywhere other than a quiet spot nearby to take a mental vacation. A mental vacation has several advantages: No expense; No packing needed; No planes, trains, or buses to catch; No restriction on where you can go. People who are under a lot of stress have physical problems related to constantly being under stress. And if you don’t find ways to relieve it, even in small periods of time, you can have long-term consequences. Six Easy Things You Can Do… Right Now Visualizing a stress-free place and other relaxation techniques are quick and easy ways to help your whole body calm down and give you just the boost you need to get on with your day. Here are six ways that you can slip away onto a mental vacation to reduce stress: 1. Read a book or magazine in bed. This is a great escape and can leave

you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to face whatever is outside your bedroom


door. Your bed is warm, cozy, comfortable, and a peaceful place for you. It feels luxurious, and getting lost in some good reading material is a perfect way to forget, then refocus, your own thoughts. 2. Visualize relaxation. Steal a few quiet moments to close your eyes and think of an image that relaxes you—such as the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean, a big country field sprinkled with flowers, or a trickling stream. Think back to a time when you felt peaceful and relaxed, and focus on releasing the tension from your toes to your head. 3. Look at pictures from a happy time. Pulling out snapshots from a photo

album of a family vacation or a fun dinner with friends. Reflect on your memories of that occasion, and what made it so enjoyable. Spend a few quiet moments reminiscing, and you’ll find yourself more relaxed.

4. Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes. 5. Listen to relaxation music. Invest in a couple of these CDs for a short daily escape. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain—whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress. 6. Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible may offer even more relaxation. Treat yourself to a 5-, 10-, or 20-minute mental vacation each day and train your body to relax and reduce stress—you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after taking just a few luxurious moments all to yourself. This article originally was published in It has been reprinted with permission.


Among the Last of the Cavalry


hen the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, drawing the United States into World War II, Steve Lewis was a senior at the allblack Memorial High School in Palmetto. “The principal, W. J. Anderson, had the students gather around a radio to listen to President Roosevelt,” Lewis recalled. It was Roosevelt’s famous “Day of Infamy” speech, which signaled the U.S. declaration of war on the Japanese empire. Lewis spent most of 1942 in college at Florida A&M, and in 1943 entered the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Clark, Texas, one of the famed “buffalo soldier” units. After the Civil War, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was formed to escort settlers along the western frontier, and to fight in the late 19th Century Indian Wars. It was the Cheyenne Indians who gave the black soldiers the nickname buffalo soldiers for their appearance and bravery. “At Fort Clark, Lewis was told to go to the corral and get a horse. He was issued a saddle, bridle, horse blankets, stirrups” and more, according to his citation from the


Buffalo Soldiers Association. “Lewis fed, watered, and took care of his horse before himself.” He learned how to ride a horse for the first time and to fire a .45 pistol from horseback. Yet, in the age of the blitzkrieg, it became evident soldiers on horseback were no match for Panzer tanks. The 9th Cavalry Regiment was deactivated, and Lewis was reassigned to the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. His unit boarded a ship and embarked for Casablanca. Before war’s end, he would serve in the rear echelon, “getting the supplies ready to go” in Italy, France, and Germany. While his role was noncombat, it was essential to supply American fighters on the frontline. After the war, he returned to civilian life and earned a degree in agriculture from Florida A&M. He taught school for more than 30 years in the Palmetto area. He is quietly proud of his wartime service, and wears his “buffalo soldier” baseball cap wherever he goes, noting he is one of the last survivors of the 9th Cavalry Regiment.

While buffalo soldiers are best known for their service on the western frontier, they also have a Tampa Bay connection. In 1898, they were stationed at Port Tampa and Picnic Island before being shipped to Cuba for the Spanish-American War. This marker on East Columbus Drive and North Central Avenue in Tampa commemorates the location where the soldiers gathered before leaving for Cuba. Reprinted with permission from the Bradenton Herald. For the rest of the story, visit

Photo by Chr. Barthelmess, 1890, courtesy of Wikipedia Random Pictures

By James Jones

A young Johnny Rivers. Photo courtesy of Charlie Rivers Collection Ed James and President Gerald Ford. Photo courtesy of the Edward James II Collection.

Newtown’s Youths Took A Stand in Sarasota The result of their actions still shape the community today By Vickie Oldham


he “Newtown Alive” research report, history book, historic markers, brochure, website, and mobile application are filled with examples of the courage, dignity and determination of African-American residents and newcomers who arrived in Sarasota, saw work to be done, rolled up their sleeves and began leading community transformation. An expansive body of work now captures their recollections and testimonies. Since August 2015, a gold mine of surprising finds surfaced during research of the City of Sarasota-funded Newtown Conservation Historic District project. Watercolor images of Newtown (and completely gentrified Overtown), family photographs, archival newspaper clippings, artifacts, maps, memorabilia and audio recordings — rarely seen or heard — were found in private collections. Each item reveals a robust, rich history informed by over 400 primary and secondary source documents, 46 oral history interviews, and the identification of 151 historic structures, as well as a set of potential historic districts. For me, one of the most interesting themes that emerged from the project was the youthful age of Newtown’s leaders who upended Jim Crow laws that blocked equal access to Sarasota banks, restaurants, downtown shops, the hospital, libraries, and schools. The creative, bold actions and persistence of residents such as Neil Humphrey Sr., Jack and Mary Emma Jones, John Rivers, Fannie McDugle, Dr. Edward James II, William Jackson, James Logan,

Young Sheila Sanders is on the front row, far left, at one of Sarasota’s freedom schools.

Robert “Bud” Thomas, Fredd Atkins, Walter Gilbert, Betty Johnson, Sheila Sanders and many others were extraordinary. These leaders are now considered community pioneers and trailblazers, but it was as young people that they began shaping Newtown’s future, and inspiring others to move the needle of community progress. Retired educator Dorothye Smith recalls Edward James asking many questions in second grade. “He always asked ‘why’ about everything,” she said. So as a Florida A&M University college freshman home on Christmas break in 1957, the first question he asked was “why?” when a librarian denied him and three classmates the right to check out books. Undeterred, James kept asking until a meeting was arranged on the spot with Sarasota City Manager Ken Thompson. The college student’s tenacity opened library services to Newtown residents and students. Today, Dr. James continues to stand in the gap, insisting on positive change and resisting the status quo. As a 26-year-old on staff at the library, Betty Johnson advanced James’ efforts by

BLACK HISTORY working behind the scenes, persuading her bosses at the main library to open a reading room in Newtown. Her idea morphed into a library outreach program that eventually led to the construction of the North Sarasota Public library. As a 12-year old, Walter Gilbert attended NAACP meetings with his mother and was inspired by local NAACP president Neil Humphrey. “I thought he was a meek man. But his persona changed in my face. I wanted to be a leader like him,” said Gilbert, who at 25 became an NAACP member. Gilbert was mentored by NAACP president Rivers and board member Edward James, then later became the NAACP’s president from 1981 to 1985. In third grade, Sheila Sanders and her classmates saved pennies, nickels and dimes to learn about money management. They deposited the coins in passbook savings accounts. When Sarasota Federal Bank would not allow African-American students to tour the facility and vault like other district students, Sanders persuaded her 8 and 9-year-old classmates to close their accounts and open up new ones at the Palmer Bank. As a teen, she routinely studied the agenda of the Sarasota County School Board and rode a city bus to attend the meetings. Years later, Sanders became Gilbert’s campaign manager during his first bid for city commissioner. The team of James, Jackson, Sanders, Gilbert and Atkins made sure that Newtown in District 1 would have representation on the City Commission through a federal lawsuit that they filed and won. Growing up in Newtown, I knew about the community leaders’ work, but realized during this project the youthful age in which they changed community history. The stories of Newtown residents, told in their own words coupled with documents and photos, paint a complete picture of how young people shaped one of Sarasota’s oldest communities. Education, exposure, civic engagement and mentoring prepared the young adults for leadership. The same components can transform, inspire and energize today’s millennials to lead.

Vickie Oldham is the Newtown Conservation Historic District consultant, a community scholar and a higher education marketing and communications strategist. Reprinted with permission from the Sarasota-based Herald-Tribune Media Group,





f you know anything about Old School soul, you’ve definitely heard the R&B classic, “I’ve Been A Fool for You,” among the countless other Billboard hits by the man with the voice and violin, Miles Jaye Davis, aptly named after the legendary jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis. What you may not know is that Miles Jaye has also recorded a variety of jazz releases featuring electric violin, piano and flute. Jaye’s voice impressed Teddy Pendergrass to the point that he was signed to the label on the spot. As a world renowned multi-talented musician, composer, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, and published author; this new chapter in his life is a refreshing addition to his many talents. As I drive down University Blvd. in Jacksonville, Florida, I see a tall sign ahead. On it a reminiscent stenciled outline of the island of Manhattan’s skyline, with embedded letters: Miles Jaye’s Manhattan Jazz Cafe & Lounge. He is standing at the door, dressed in full chef attire, with a big smile on his face, welcoming me with the excitement


of a child with a new toy— and of course there’s that big bear hug. The restaurant is quite roomy with a stylish, contemporary decor sporting crimson blue walls adorned with original art, dining tables draped in elegant black linen, a lounge area boasting over-sized black leather seating, a beer and wine bar, and a stage complete with a baby

grand piano. We sit down at a beautifully set table, and to my surprise, within seconds three waiters appear with several samples of food, and dessert from the menu, prepared especially for me guessed it - Chef Miles. The food is excellent to say the least. We begin our feast!

“There have been days when I’ve mowed the front lawn, vacuumed the lobby carpets, prepped veggies, then changed into a fresh shirt and hit the stage — it’s kinda crazy, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had! —Miles Jaye

“The art of food fascinates me.” he says in his deep, baritone voice, between bites. “The preparation and plating is an art. I’m also into the nutrition side of food, so we will have our own herb and veggie garden for the whole farm to table vibe.” I go on and on about the food. It’s delicious! I ask if he really does the cooking, or if behind those conspicuous curtains is a kitchen staffed by professionals. “Actually, I am a professional. I graduated Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando several years back, so yes, I do roll up my sleeves, and hit the line when needed. I think my kitchen staff gets a kick out seeing me do my thing. We’re careful to balance the food/entertainment ratio, because I don’t think of us as a nightclub, or even a jazz club, but we do have live acts— local talent and national recording artists. Since it’s opening in July of this year, the restaurant has celebrated sold out performances of guest artists such as Alyson Williams and pianist Nat Adderley, Jr.”. I’m curious about his transition from entertainer to restaurateur so I ask if he’s planning to retire from music. Leaning back in his chair, he takes a look around the restaurant. “There have been

days when I’ve mowed the front lawn, vacuumed the lobby carpets, prepped veggies, then changed into a fresh shirt and hit the stage— it’s kinda crazy, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had! I’ve been asked that question on several occasions, but I’ve never considered myself a one trick pony. Besides, my partners would never go for that.” He chuckles. We talk more about the future, and what it means for his music career. After all, we still love that voice. Always the perfectionist, he gets up for a moment to straighten out one of the chairs at another table...and one of the waiters. “Definitely more music— always music. Music is like breathing. Just like I couldn’t imagine waking up without breathing, I couldn’t imagine waking up without music in my head. As for the entrepreneur in me, I can’t say. I have so many ideas. I have a few stage plays in me, a few films, then there’s the writing and visual art. And of course, I want more restaurants in other cities throughout Florida to begin with, then the Southeast, then only God knows, but I just hope I’ll be ready, willing and able. God is so cool though, He’ll make sure I’m ready!”

Good Read Music manager, artist developer and now author, Mathew Knowles keeps himself busy. The author of “The DNA of Achievers: 10 Traits of Highly Successful Professionals,” a No. 1 seller on Amazon. The book is a motivational and inspirational read which focuses on characteristics that are common among successful people from all walks of life. Knowles also is the founder, president and CEO of Music World Entertainment (MWE) based in Houston. MWE is one of the world’s leading music and entertainment conglomerates with record sales exceeding 300 million worldwide. His book “Racism from the Eyes of a Child” is due out in 2018. — Marianne Eggleston



Keisha Lance Bottoms: Making Change in a New Era Keisha Lance Bottoms is a compassionate leader and committed public servant. During her service on Atlanta City Council, Keisha has sponsored groundbreaking legislation that has addressed the City’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability and helped grow the City’s reserves from $7.4 million to nearly $150 million, in just over five years. Keisha has worked with colleagues to achieve the goal of 2,000 officers within the Atlanta Police Department and to successfully balance the City’s budget each year, without increasing taxes. During her term as Vice-Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, the Maynard H. Jackson International terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport opened, solidifying Hartsfield-Jackson’s place as the busiest airport in the world. Keisha also launched Invest in Southwest, a 360-degree urban planning initiative with the goal of revitalizing and expanding economic development within underserved communities. Keisha has also served as Executive Director of The City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (AFCRA). Keisha spearheaded the sale and


$350M planned redevelopment transition of Turner Field (former home of the Atlanta Braves). Keisha has also led a team in redeveloping iconic entertainment venues across Atlanta, including Philips Arena (home of the Atlanta Hawks) and the world-renowned Zoo Atlanta. Alongside her public service career, Keisha has maintained a private law practice for more than 20 years and has served as General Counsel for a multi-million dollar business. Keisha is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, the Dogwood City Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights – Women’s Solidarity Society. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University, Magna Cum Laude, and Georgia State University College of Law. Keisha is the daughter of the late American R&B singer Major Lance and Sylvia Robinson. She and her husband, Derek W. Bottoms, have the privilege of being the parents of four wonderful children.

Melvin Carter: Breaking New Ground Edging out his opponent with more than 50 percent of the vote, Melvin Carter was elected the first African-American mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., on Nov. 7, 2017. Carter, 38, is a fourth generation Saint Paul resident, and has a long history of dedication to his community. “Our goal is to ensure that when people see a St. Paul police officer on their block…they know they can trust that person and know that they’re on the same side,” Carter said the night of his victory, according to the “Twin Cities Pioneer Press.” Prior to his election, he was the executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet. In this role, he advised Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy and advocating for important support in all-day Kindergarten, universally accessible Pre-K, and other critical early education issues to ensure that each child in the state has access to the same opportunities.

Before his stint in the governor’s office, Carter served on the Saint Paul City Council for five years holding the office of vice president during his tenure. He successfully addressed many of the city’s most crucial issues, including: requiring landlords to notify tenants of a pending foreclosure; founding the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood to benefit low-income families; and forming the city’s department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity, among other important measures. According to his website, Carter gained interest in civic involvement in 2000 as an undergraduate student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), when his brother-in-law was turned away from casting a vote in a Florida precinct during a presidential election. Melvin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from FAMU and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Sakeena, have five children.



Booker Gainor: Representing a Younger Generation Booker Gainor, a 28-year-old Cairo native, became the first African-American and the youngest mayor of Cairo on Dec. 7. Family and friends describe Booker as having elevating charisma, astute character, and stupendous ambition and drive. Booker has goals to cultivate Cairo into a thriving and prolific small town. Booker has spearheaded and participated in numerous community outreach events such as a back to school, school supply drive, turkey giveaways, and community Easter Egg hunts. Gainor was inspired to run for mayor of Cairo during his time at CNS Cable. He had to resign from his job, where he worked for more than two years, to campaign. Gainor notes that when this decision was presented to him, without hesitation he left his job to help the people of Cairo carve out a better standard of living for themselves. Booker matriculated through the Grady County School System and graduated Cairo High School in


2007. Later, Gainor earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in 2012. During his time at FAMU, Gainor worked three jobs to pay for out-of-state tuition. Gainor is the son of Paul Sr. and Yolanda Davis and eldest brother of Diamond, Dominique, and Cairo’s all-star P.J. Davis. He matriculated through the Grady County School System and graduated Cairo High School in 2007. Gainor attends Mount Calvary Baptist Church, where Pastor Alexander Mack presides, and is an active member helping with the announcements and responsive reading and is also the Treasurer of the church. He currently is employed with Thomas Grady Service Center in Thomasville Georgia. Gainor is single without kids and says it gives him a chance to truly dedicate his time and effort to his new role as mayor.

Deana Holiday Ingraham: Continuing Progress Together In a runoff election on Dec. 5, 2017, Deana Holiday Ingraham was elected to be the 34th mayor of East Point, Ga., breezing past her opponent with about 65 percent of the vote. Holiday Ingraham is a native of Starke, Fla., where she graduated from Bradford High School as valedictorian. Since college, she has made significant strides as a community servant. “As your Mayor, I will be your voice amongst the cities that make up Fulton County, around the state, and in the country and beyond,” Holiday Ingraham said in a statement. During the campaign, she asked residents to “believe we can, affirm we will and take action to Continue Progress Together in the great City of East Point.” From 2014, Holiday Ingraham has served as an East Point councilmember working with the mayor and fellow councilmembers to conduct the city’s business. An active resident of East Point, she is a graduate of the East Point Citizen’s Leadership Academy and serves on several community, state and national boards and task forces. She is committed to people over politics and creating an inviting, safe, clean, connected and strong

community that works for every East Pointer. During her first term in office she championed the formation of a Joint Learning Committee to extend learning in out-of-school time and implementation of Livable Wages for City Employees. Outside of her civic engagement, Holiday Ingraham is an attorney who has advocated for senior citizens and abused, abandoned and neglected children. She also is a former small business owner who has served as an instructor in post-secondary education, a director in K-12 education and a director in the juvenile justice system. Holiday Ingraham graduated magna cum laude from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration, and a double minor in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She then attended Howard University School of Law and received a Juris Doctorate degree, and later received a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a Specialty in Child Protection and Juvenile Justice from Nova Southeastern University. She is an esteemed member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She and her husband, Willie Ingraham, Jr., are the proud parents of their daughter, Nia.



Red Tie Celebrity Golf Extravaganza


ommissioner Samuel B. Ings has been standing on the red carpet greeting celebrities and golfers at his annual Red Tie Celebrity Golf Extravaganza for seven years. The event inspired and hosted by Commissioner Ings, is a fundraiser and his way of raising money for many of the programs in District 6 and the City of Orlando for seniors and children. “I became a Commissioner to build and help the community and to say yes to as many requests that will help develop our community. The support from


our sponsors, such as ONYX Magazine and many others, including our golfers and celebrities, makes it all possible. Whether, it is a nursing scholarship for a deserving student, or taking our seniors on field trips, the Red Tie makes it happen,� Ings said. The Red Tie Celebrity Golf Extravaganza hosted by Commissioner Samuel B. Ings has supported and sponsored over 80 programs for seniors and children in District 6. More than $57,000.00 was raised for the 2017 Red Tie Celebrity Golf Extravaganza.

Overcoming Obstacles and Inspiring Others By Damani Dickerson


haquem Griffin is no stranger to adversity, or overcoming it. Despite many difficulties, failures and opposition, the senior University of Central Florida (UCF) linebacker continued to work and focus on the things he could control instead of the things he couldn’t. All Griffin wanted was a chance prove himself and once given an opportunity to do so, that’s exactly what the 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year did. Now he intends to use his platform to inspire others to overcome their obstacles. “I was told so much what I couldn’t do, before I was giving an opportunity to show that I could,” Griffin said. “I want my story to let others know that if you want to achieve something, the only person who can stop you is yourself.” Griffin’s story is remarkably inspiring and gives credibility to the phrase “anything is possible.” As a fetus, a fibrous strand of the amniotic membrane wrapped around


his left wrist, which kept his left hand from developing. At the age of 4, his parents decided to have his left hand amputated. They vowed to treat him no different than his siblings and to never allow him to use his circumstance as an excuse. During his childhood Griffin made the best of his condition and never made excuses. Facing impossible odds, he continued to pursue his passion. His hard work

landed him in Orlando playing football for UCF. Once there, he again faced adversity and just like the many times before, Griffin worked while he waited until he earned a spot of the field. “There’s not a player I’ve coached who practices harder than he does,” former UCF head coach Jack Frost said. This season the 6’ 2”, 229-pounder from St. Petersburg, Fla., helped lead the Knights to their first perfect season and earn a trip to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to face Auburn. While decorated as an individual athlete, beating their cross-state rival to secure a perfect season is the moment he cherishes most. “I was so happy I cried,” Griffin said jokingly. “My best award was winning that conference championship. I’m not too big on individual stuff like that, I’m excited for my team.” Just a short while ago Griffin wasn’t so optimistic. After three seasons, he had only played on special teams and found himself buried on the depth chart. Times were hard and he began to feel like football had been taken away from him. Luckily for Griffin, his twin brother Shaquill Griffin, a Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback, was there to help him see the light even during the times when he couldn’t. Although born only a minute earlier Griffin has always seen Shaquill as his older, wiser brother. As children, they competed in everything. The two began playing football together at an early age and in middle school pledged to play at the same college. Holding true to that promise Shaquill passed on several larger offers to attend UCF. “My brother is my backbone. When things got too hard, he would take some of the weight off my shoulders and carry that for me,” Griffin said. “When you have someone who is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good of us, it’s something special.” In the future Griffin hopes to join his brother in the NFL, but also promises to continue be a voice for those who feel like they may be on the outside looking in.

Photos courtesy of UCF Athletics



• You can take your time in setting up and developing your business while you are not forced to make rushed decisions due to financial pressures and the need to generate revenue.

Kickstart a New Business This Year Will it be full or part time? The decision is yours. By Harry Beugelink


efore you start your business this year, decide if it will be full or part time. If you start your own business while continuing in your regular job, you have a couple of advantages. Part time has some disadvantages. Part timers, consider your relationship with your boss. If your new business is going to conflict with your current employer, you may have to quit your job, especially if your business competes with that of your employer’s. But, if it is possible to start your business while continuing in your regular job, you have a couple of advantages: • If you still have a daytime job, you maintain a safety net in place by not jeopardizing your health and pension benefits, holiday and other fringe ben-


efits. Once your business is running smoothly and making good money, then you can set up your own safety net the way you want it. • You are financially not dependent on the new business. Cash flow is one of the biggest problem for a start-up business and having income from a job will take a lot of pressure off you.

But, starting part time has also some drawbacks: • The fact that you may be leaving your job soon may upset your boss. Your commitment may be questioned. You may be forced into another decision: go full time or find another job. • We all have only 24 hours in a day and by holding down two jobs, you may be burning the candle at both ends. The thrill of building a new business could cause you to take on too much, which can lead to personal pressure, family problems, emotional and burn out. • If you still have a daytime job, there is a tendency to reflect, or work on, your new business while you are at work. Even if your business does not conflict with your employer, you still need to keep the two separate. Your employer pays you for the daytime hours, so you should be completely committed to the job. • You might have to rely on your spouse and/or children to help you out, because things might have to be done when you are at your employer’s business. Only you can decide whether you can handle the potential conflicts and difficulties of starting the new business part time or full time. If you do not have enough cash to survive for at least one year, then you should probably wait and put enough money in the bank till you have built enough of a to carry you through year one. If you already have the financial resources to start the business full time, go for it! You will be more focused and able to deal with problems that arise in your business right away. Article provided by Article Factory

The true measure of leadership is influence – Nothing More, Nothing Less. He who thinks he leads but has no followers, is only taking a walk —Author Unknown

The Four Dimensions of Strategic Leadership

Photo by Natasha Goodley

By Gary Hartfield

As a business leader, I practice and coach my management team on four dimensions of strategic leadership: spiritual leadership, operations leadership, people leadership and relationship leadership. These four are mutually inclusive and if a strategic leader is to realize maximum outcome for the organization, all four dimensions must be fully exercised in unison. How do we lead in ways that position a business for the future while meeting current demands? It requires an additional set of skills beyond operational leadership. Strategic leadership requires us to think, act and influence others in ways that promote the enduring success of the organization. Spiritual Leadership is based on two key elements: Your realization of your purpose and; your ability to inspire people to support your purpose. The purpose of spiritual leadership is to tap into the fundamental needs of both leaders and followers for spiritual well-being through purpose/ calling (life has meaning and makes a difference) and membership (belonging). Your inspiration is needed to create vision and value systems across the organization to foster higher levels of employee well-being,

organizational commitment, financial performance, and social responsibility. Spiritual leadership involves motivating and inspiring individuals through faith in a vision of service to all stakeholders and a corporate culture based on the values of altruistic love to produce a highly motivated, committed and productive workforce. Operations Leadership envisions how critical elements of the organization work together for the greatest outcome. Focusing on compliance, customer satisfaction, human resources, money, and tech ability, operational leaders design a tactical framework that nudges the team to success. People Leadership balances your leading by example, equipping your team with tools to be successful and maintaining structure. People do what you do—not what you say. For team members to see you as credible, you must exhibit the same level of integrity you expect from them. Also, make sure they have what they need to complete the job. Nothing frustrates people more than lack of resources. Providing the right tools also shows that you care. Further, maintaining structure is key. Do you want to get the team’s buy-in? Then,

share the company’s strategic plan and policies and make sure they fully understand them and how their roles tie in. This fosters belief that they are an important member of the team, which leads to high productivity. Relationship Leadership depends on building and fostering relationships with internal and external stakeholders to help further business initiatives and create allies. The key to developing access to decision makers is primarily based on who you know and how they perceive your organization. Therefore, our relationship with all stakeholders must be deliberate and genuine. Also, key to relationship leadership is empowering all members of the organization to be ambassadors. Creating a culture of relationship-building starts with effective operations and empowered staff that have clear measures of where the organization is going and how you plan to get there. John Maxwell’s Law of Influence states that positively impacting people to follow you is the essential test of a leader. If people will not follow you, you are not an effective leader.



Recipe for Success Transformative Impact of Orlando Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program Continues to Draw Bank of America’s Philanthropic Support By Mike Boslet


usan Anderson recalls feeling “terrified” as she faced a life-changing decision that could lead to a rewarding job and give her a sense of pride and purpose. She was “always doing for someone else” is how she sums up being a working single mother of eight children and her elderly father’s caregiver. Having gone from one low-paying job to the next, Anderson was ready to take a chance at breaking that cycle, but such a move wouldn’t be without consequences. “All of my life I had given to my kids,” Anderson says, recalling the moment she weighed the opportunity to enter Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Culinary Training Program. “All of my children were almost [grown and out of the home], so what do you do when they’re all gone? Cooking is something I had always loved to do, and I felt I was good at it. I just felt the time was right.” So here was the break Anderson had been looking for, the chance to start over, but going into the 14-week program meant giving up a job that she had for three years. She hated that job, but it kept the lights on at home and food on the table, comforts she


feared disrupting while training for a new job she wasn’t totally sure would be much better than the one she wanted to leave. Still, she had to take the chance. Standing in Second Harvest’s training kitchen on her first day of class with about 10 other students, Anderson scanned the stainless steel environment that would be her world from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. five days a week for the next three-and-a-half months. That’s when it hit her: “I knew this is where I was supposed to be, and I knew I would be successful at what I was going to do,” she says, looking back on the epiphany she had in June 2016. Since graduating from the program, Anderson, 54, has been employed full time at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, where she steadily has gained greater job responsibilities as a prep and line cook and earned a couple of pay raises. She’s also moved into a four-bedroom rental home with her 94-year-old father and 16-year-old son, bought a car and lost 30 pounds. (Four of Anderson’s eight children — seven sons and a daughter — have entered college. Her youngest, an honors student at Jones High School, plans to

study microbiology in college.) Her transformation perfectly sums up the intentions of Second Harvest’s culinary training school and one of the reasons Bank of America has supported the program financially since its inception. Recognizing the impact such a job-training initiative could have on improving lives, Bank of America, in 2011, contributed $100,000 in startup funds and has since invested an additional $110,000 in the program. Included in the bank’s support is an October 2017 check presentation for $30,000 at a graduation ceremony for three classes. The program has graduated 210 students since it launched in 2013 and boasts 100 percent placement in jobs that pay an average of $11 per hour. “Our partnership with Second Harvest is guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better,” says Jodie Hardman, Orlando market manager for Bank of America. “We’re thrilled to support Second Harvest Food Bank in its efforts to offer life-changing solutions to people who desire to learn a skill that’s in high demand in Orlando. Our $30,000 grant is part of nearly $43 million in funding we are providing across the country to advance economic mobility by addressing basic needs and workforce development.” The bank’s latest grant went toward program costs, including the salary of a case manager, a position sustained in part by Bank of America’s consistent support for the school. Each student represents about $5,500 in costs, with Second Harvest employing two chefs as teachers, as well as supplying students with all class materials, uniforms, bus passes, and breakfast and lunch. While in the program, students also undergo life-skills training and mock interviews to help prepare them for handling responsibilities and interacting with potential employers. “Support from local corporations has really made this program happen, and Bank of America has been an enormous

Photo courtesy of Second Harvest of Central Florida

Jodie Hardman, Bank of America SVP and Central Florida Market Manager, with new graduates of the Second Harvest of Central Florida Culinary Training Program.

Susan Anderson at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista.

Building Better Financial Lives Bank of America’s financial support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is just one of many investments the bank makes in nonprofits that address complex societal challenges. Over the years, the company has contributed millions of dollars to Orlando area nonprofits that share a common goal of building better financial lives. For example, Bank of America’s 2017 economic mobility investments include:


“I can honestly say I am proud of who I am today. Things are not perfect. But who I am today in my heart and in my mind and soul is a great person.”

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

—Susan Anderson

part of our success so far,” says Greg Higgerson, Second Harvest’s vice president of development. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort also has played a significant role in ensuring the culinary training school’s success, having hired 13 graduates, including Anderson. Human resources recruiter Ileana Rincon says helping Second Harvest students is “probably one of my favorite things about my job.... I always tell the students, they may not have skills that other cooks or applicants have, but they have the attitude and drive our chefs are looking for.” A great attitude helped Anderson get through culinary training, remembers Idalia Nunez, life skills education manager of the Culinary Training Program. “When she was in the program, she had a lot going on,” says Nunez, adding, “She had a lot of worry on her face.” But that’s not how Nunez remembers Anderson now. A year had passed when Anderson visited Nunez at the food bank, just to say hello. “I was just amazed when I saw her. I couldn’t believe it,” Nunez says, describing the

change in Anderson’s appearance and outlook as “transformative.” And Anderson, what does she think about the new life she’s carved out for herself? “Oh, my gosh, today I can actually look in the mirror and like what I see,” she says, still sounding fresh and energetic after being on her feet all day in the kitchen of the Dolphin’s Fountain restaurant. “I can honestly say I am proud of who I am today. Things are not perfect. But who I am today in my heart and in my mind and soul is a great person.” Looking ahead, Anderson says she wants to get a culinary management degree and perhaps own a food truck that she’d park outside downtown Orlando sports venues on game days. “I love good old-fashioned Southern food,” she says about the cuisine she’d serve if she had her own food truck. “I’m talking about mac ’n cheese with crab in it and Gouda, sweet potato pies made from scratch, yellow rice, collard greens, cornbread.” From the sounds it, she’s no longer terrified of taking chances.

Community Hope Center, recipient of the bank’s prestigious Neighborhood Builders Award. The center seeks to restore selfsufficiency to those in need through a holistic approach to case management, funds assistance, and life skills.

$60,000 Prospera Florida, which provides free bilingual training, support and other resources to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business.

$40,000 Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando, which seeks to eliminate substandard housing by constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes.

$30,000 Teen Achievers at Maynard Evans High School, a program offered by the YMCA of Central Florida, exposes at-risk Evans students to college and career readiness options and opportunities.

$10,000 IDignity Inc., an initiative that’s committed to restoring dignity and instilling hope in individuals by helping them secure documents — birth certificates, Florida ID cards, and Social Security cards — that are essential to establishing residency and gaining employment. “We recognize that individual paths toward economic mobility differ, so we invest in a range of organizations offering support at different moments in time – from food and shelter to job skills training,” said Steve Alch, Orlando market president for Bank of America. “We’re honored to partner with a range of organizations providing innovative and meaningful solutions to pressing challenges. “ — Mike Boslet



Black Wealth Matters By Laura Dorsey


t a time when many Americans are struggling with how to attain long-term financial security, Blacks people are overlooking one of the most critical tools to meet that goal, according to Nadine Watson a licensed financial coach. She contends that regrettably, too many people lack a full overview of all the ways life insurance can be used to provide financial security. Life insurance has always been significant to the Black community. However, often when life insurance is spoken about among this demographic, people shut down, turn away, or even get scared. This blurred view exists mainly because many Black people don’t realize that life insurance can be used to accomplish so much more financially than just taking care of a loved one’s burial expenditures. Life insurance as a legacy has


The most universal comment regarding life insurance is “I can’t Afford it.” In reality, life insurance is not as expensive as most people think. been underutilized and under leveraged by Black Americans for years. On the other hand, other groups have been using life insurance for years as part of their inheritance planning to transfer family wealth to the next generation. Many financial service firms focus on the wealthy. Where does that leave most of Americans of color? Undereducated, underprepared, unprotected, underserved. Given general lack of knowledge about life insurance, it is understandable that most Black people believe life insurance is used for paying funeral expenses and providing income for survivors. But few

Blacks can cite other living benefits of life insurance. Here is a short list of multiple ways life insurance can be used to generate income and enhance finances: • Paying mortgages and debts • Paying estate taxes • Creating an estate • Providing a cash flow in retirement • Equalizing an inheritance • Paying for college • Taking out a loan/borrowing against • Funding charitable contributions With the radical changes in our economy in the last 10 years, purchasing life insurance

took a back seat while many fought to find and keep jobs, hold on to their homes, and scramble their way out of debt. Black Americans say some of reasons preventing them from buying life insurance include: having other financial urgencies and having a hard time deciding what to buy. Many say they find it difficult deciding what type and how much coverage to purchase. It is rare for Black Americans to look to life insurance to account for living expenses beyond replacing income or funding funeral costs. The most universal comment regarding life insurance is “I can’t Afford it.” In reality, life insurance is not as expensive as most people think. According to, people with no life insurance overestimate its cost by three times. For example, a healthy 30-year-old man would pay less than $13 a month for a 20-year, $250,000 level-term policy. That equates to less than 50 centers per day. There is a policy to fit every budget and a financial expert can help you find coverage that is right for you and your family. Life insurance is so much more than being about a quick fix such as covering funeral costs, Watson says. It really is about helping people protect their assets, creating inheritance, and passing wealth to the next generation. There is a movement in this country that has a mantra that Black Lives Matter. If Black lives matter, then Black wealth should certainly matter also.


How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions By Josee Smith One of the main reasons that New Year’s resolutions fail is simply because you are not totally committed to them. Many people make so many resolutions that it is simply impossible to know where to start. So instead of taking action, it is much easier to give up on all of them. The best way to get around this issue is to find something that you truly want to achieve with all your heart. This might be to lose 50 pounds to save $1,000 or to take up a new hobby. Another way to look at your New Year’s resolution is by shifting your perspective of it. Resolutions are viewed as wishes and dreams by many people, and this is another reason why people aren’t successful with them. Instead you want to turn your resolution into a life goal. Goals are more often specific things and desires that you want to achieve. When you tell people what your goal is they are more likely to be supportive. When you say that you just made a New Year’s Resolution they often assume that once February hits your resolution will have disappeared.

Be very specific with your resolution and make it based on one thing. This way you’ll find it much easier to stay on track and achieve your goals. If your goal is a large one that includes a lifestyle change then break it down even further. Break down a large goal into monthly, weekly and even daily goals. By attaining a smaller goal, you’re less likely to lose your focus and you’ll be able to see that you are making progress. Let’s look at an example here. Say you want to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year and make this your New Year’s resolution. If you leave it at that and start working on losing weight in January things are great. What happens, though, is that you don’t lose weight fast enough, and by February you have only lost five pounds. Your immediate reaction is to give up because at that rate you won’t reach your goal by the end of December. You are not alone if you think like this, many people do and giving up acts as an excuse for not continuing. A better scenario would be this:

Break up the 50 pounds into a yearly goal by setting a weekly goal to lose one pound. This is much more accurate and attainable. The chances are that you will have weeks where you lose more than one pound, and this can help give you motivation. Plus, it offers you a safety guard for those weeks when you don’t lose any weight. You must always remember that it’s okay to get off track a little and not meet your goal. For instance, you may not lose weight, but you may be exercising more and feeling great. Think about how one balances out the other, you are feeling great this is a positive. While not losing pounds is not want you want, you are still working on improving your lifestyle, which is another plus! This New Year’s take a new approach and define your resolution as a goal instead. Give yourself a time when you want to achieve it and get support from a coach and share with your family and friends. You’ll find it much easier to keep going and not give up.



B. Lee Green, Ph.D. Vice President at Moffitt Cancer Center B. Lee Green, Ph.D., is the vice president of Diversity, Public Relations and Strategic Communications for Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. He is also a professor in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt. As VP for Diversity, Dr. Green is responsible for ensuring that Moffitt is responsive and actively creating a culture of diversity and inclusion as it strives to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. This includes addressing issues such as awareness and education of cancer prevention and control, community outreach activities, cultural competency, equity and inclusion issues, development of strong partnerships with community organizations and support for other key initiatives. In 2016 and 2017, Moffitt was ranked among “DiversityInc’s” Top 10 Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations for fostering diversity and inclusion, based upon a rigorous, data-driven survey gauging detailed demographics based on race/ethnicity and gender at some of the largest U.S. employers. In February of 2014, Dr. Green added the role of vice president for Public Relations and Strategic Communications with responsibility for guiding the institutional strategy for


both internal and external communications. This involves fostering Moffitt’s positive reputation and image among the community it serves through media relations, community relations, social media, publications, and video production. Dr. Green’s research interests focus on cancer health disparities, particularly minority participation in research studies. As a key member of various research teams throughout his career, Dr. Green has secured over $26 million in grants as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or investigator to support these research endeavors. His work related to minority participation in research studies led to Dr. Green’s membership on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study Legacy Committee and an invitation to the White House for the formal governmental apology. Prior to joining Moffitt in 2006, he was an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. He was also the director of the Texas A&M University Center for the Study of Health Disparities. He serves on various national and regional advisory boards. Dr. Green received a joint Ph.D. from the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Carla M. Williams Manager of Community Relations Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Carla M. Williams is the manager of Community Relations for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) in Tampa. She has coordinated community relations, marketing and business outreach programs to promote HART’s services to the Hillsborough County community for more than 18 years. Williams performs as agency’s primary point of contact to schedule and execute community events and grassroots outreach. Williams serves as HART liaison with business, civic, and community organizations and assures delivery of quality customer service. She develops and implements outreach and awareness initiatives, and creates programs that promote the organization’s image in a positive and community-oriented way. She leverages a high level of community relations expertise, existing networks and public transit experience to develop strategies and provide expert guidance on matters impacting public image outreach. Williams currently serves as president of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Central Florida chapter. Central Florida COMTO is a dynamic multi-modal transportation organization that provides leadership programs as well as, advocacy services to the needs of the businesses, members and communities within Central Florida including, but not limited to, Orange, Hillsborough, Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties. Williams has served on numerous transportation, business, tourism and other service based boards and committees throughout her career; and is a member of Riverview Chamber of Commerce, North Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Chamber of Commerce, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, Visit Tampa Bay and the NAACP. Presently, Williams serves on the Tampa Bay Advocacy Board, Ybor Saturday Market Board, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board and Florida State Fair Diversity Board. She also served as board member of Tampa Attraction Association and Tampa Bay Black Chamber of Commerce.



Visit the Beautiful U.S. Islands Battered In Hurricane Season


hen the hurricanes of 2017 made landfall, they intended to take out everything in their wake. Gratefully, many cities along the paths in the continental United States endured the storm well. But many of our brothers and sisters to the South did not have the same fate. The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys were some of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. We continue to pray for their full recovery and there are many ways to help…being a tourist is just one of them. Check out what you can expect when you visit these beautiful places. The Florida Keys are a chain of tropical islands that meaner 120 miles off Florida’s southern tip, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors come seeking great fishing and boating ventures and exciting scuba and snorkeling excursions. The Keys are also known for their hot party spots, music and culture. When to Go: The winter season

brings lots of people and high prices. However, from March to May, the weather is a mild 70s to 80s, the hustle and bustle dies down and accommodations are reasonably low. Visit for more information. Puerto Rico is a modern progressive and civilized vacation spot that maintains the charm and hospitality of days gone by. You will find everything that the Caribbean has to offer in this all-around family destination - and with it is a people whose warmth is equaled only by the sunshine that graces its shores. When to Go: A popular spring break spot, Puerto Rico enjoys year-round summer temperatures, an average annual temperature of 80°F. The peak tourist season is between December and April, but this has more to do with the climate in U.S. mainland than anything else. July through August is another peak tourist seasons. The best time to avoid the crowds is the low season between May and November, which,

unfortunately, coincides with hurricane season. Visit for more information. St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, a paradise with so much more to offer than the traditional beach vacation. Visitors wishing to immerse themselves in a profound cultural experience can enjoy historical tours, culinary encounters, artisan fairs, parades, storytelling and other special presentations. When to Go: From April to June, you can expect very mild weather and little rainfall. The peak season is from December to March, when the temperature ranges from 70s to high 80s with windy nights. Visit for more information. Although the hurricanes have passed, these U.S. territories could still use your help. Internet search organizations that are bringing aide to these areas. Local churches, emergency services and governmental organizations can help you.



New Year, New You! The Essentials for a Renewed Wardrobe By Mark Hillery


appy New Year! With a new start comes the motivation to finish more assignments and tasks that might not have been resolved by the end of 2017. January gives you an opportunity to rehab your image and purge our closets of outdated and ill-fitted clothing. If you’re having a few challenges organizing your thoughts on how to completely revamp your image, here are a few recommendations on the essential items needed for a renewed wardrobe. 1. Suits: One single-breasted navy blue & one gray suit. These two selections will give you the versatility you’ll need when transitioning from work to an evening out. Remember, nothing too heavy so that you can wear it year round. Tweeds, while stylish and trending, are too heavy, so keep the material medium in weight.

2. Shirts: We certainly have plenty of options when it comes to selecting dress and casual shirts for work and play that can be added to your New Year wardrobe. Consider investing in a white or blue dress shirt with a standard or cutaway collar, depending on the shape of your face. Another great trend is the long sleeve polostyle shirt that looks great with jackets and sport coats. 3. Shoes: First, look for the all-important black dress shoe. The shoe can come in the form of an Oxford, Monks


(single or doubled buckled), Derby or Capped Toe. The second pair is the versatile, brown shoe. Again, your choices would be the Oxford, Monks, Derby, and/ or Capped Toe versions. Until you have a large selection of shoes, I would avoid buying the identical style of shoes in both black and brown. 4. Pants: The look most designers have opted to create have a very slim-fitted and narrow look. The pants are flat fronts without pleats. I’m not saying that pleats are wrong; just know that they typically make you look larger than you are in the waist. Make sure your wardrobe contains at least one black pair, one navy pair, one gray pair, and one khaki /tan colored pair. 5. The Overcoat: Let’s face it gentlemen, there are times in Florida when you have to put on a coat and acknowledge it’s cold or raining. Either way it goes, you will occasionally need an overcoat. Let’s begin with the transitional medium weighted Trench Coat. They are typically heavy enough to ward off early morning chills and great coats to wear as we tran-

sition from summer temperatures to fall. Other options to choose from include the full-length wool or cashmere dress coat or the comfortable driving length coat. January is the ideal time to set the stage for a remarkable year. A polished image will open the door to a number of career and entrepreneurial opportunities. The essential wardrobe pieces we recommended will help take your confidence to the next level and give you a competitive edge. You deserve the best; so let’s go shopping!


Exit Stage Left Lena Graham-Morris, The Entreprenista®


here is a fine line between meshing the desire to be fashion forward with adhering to corporate culture. My creative and production background has allowed me to create connectivity in transitioning from the Green Room to the Board Room! Our decisions are one of our most precious forms of currency. The research will show you that most successful business owners and professionals have certain habits, one of them is wearing a set uniform each day. If you’re given 20tokens each morning that represent decisions you will make throughout the day, and the first 10 tokens are the most impactful, how efficient it is to use a handful of those deciding what to wear? Think of a time you woke up invigorated, ready to take on the day and by the time you chose your outfit you are left a bit drained? I quickly realized to reach maximum productivity; I had to revamp my attire selection process. The first thing I did was create specific looks to categorize my outfits.

Powerbroker. This category is suited and booted! I reserve it for those meeting, presentation and event days. Casual Chic is the look to follow. It is dress down wear but allows you to represent your company or brand appropriately. City Slick is the last with a mix between the two, for instance, a wrap dresses and an optional blazer. This way you can be ready for an impromptu meeting or guest. Next, I organized and categorized all my clothing into these three looks and prepped outfits including jewelry, shoes, and undergarments. I begin to review my schedule on Sunday to understand what the week held. If Mondays are my project day, then my city slicker look is appropriate. If Tuesdays meetings and events, I would pull from my Powerbroker category, and so on. Let’s face it, this is not a production, but we’re always on stage! For More Information Tips, Tutorials and Vlogs visit The Entreprenista Report at or follow me on Facebook at TheEntreprenista/



Unfortunately, our communities of color are affected the most. We must show some compassion for this demographic. They need help and resources.

All Felons Are Serving Life Sentences By Keisha Boyd

Photo by Keem Ibara


he days pass us by with the monotony of work, home, church, and an occasional outing. What can be boring and repetitive is such a blessing to most. While it may seem minor to the dreamers who are living an unfulfilled life, it is what felons want most. Ex-offenders want the opportunity to create that stable lifestyle, but they are serving life sentences. They may not be behind bars any longer, but they are still held down after they do the time. Should criminals be punished? Yes! But when do they get to live life again? When felons are released from prison, they are

expected to be able to pay hefty fines, child support and create a stable environment. Well, how can they if no one will hire them and the system only provides them with the bare minimum when they exit? It’s setting them up for failure from the jump. I have a very dear friend who has worked hard for more than two decades giving back to our communities. She has her own business and is a great activist. However, there are many things she can’t do because she served a year in prison more than 20 years ago. I know many will say, “Well they knew what they were doing when they decided

to commit the crime.” You are absolutely right. But do they truly deserve to be criticized, judged and belittled for the rest of their lives because of it? Once they do the time, they should be able to start anew. How many of us have not been convicted by the grace of God? Some have done some things that would get them put under the jail, but they just didn’t get caught. Unfortunately, our communities of color are affected the most. We must show some compassion for this demographic. They need help and resources. They need people to help them fight for their rights. Entrepreneurs and those in positions of influence should seek to hire qualified ex-offenders. Just like with any candidate, you must use discernment. However, I think the days of automatically disqualifying a person because of their past should be over. As a community, we must use our voices to speak for those whose voices have fallen on deaf ears. If you have friends and family that may be in this situation, check on them. Offer your support and resources if you believe in them. Many times, all that is needed is a little light at the end of what may seem to be a long, dark tunnel. ONYX MAGAZINE 57


When is the Best Time to Sell Your House in Florida?


s we begin a new year, many have questions about the housing market and the best times to buy and sell a home. Waiting for high sales activity may not payoff. You need to look at the bigger picture. Timing the market doesn’t always payoff. Market conditions can change from year to year. If you decide to wait until next year’s peak selling season, any number of things can happen that could change buyers’ attitudes toward buying. The most sales activity is during the first two quarters of the year. The least activity is the last quarter of the year. But there are a few other things to consider if you are trying to time the market: The U.S. Housing Market is Looking Up. An article by Gord Collins says the 2018 real estate market is looking good for sellers, yet home buyers and investors will need to take their homes-forsale search strategy seriously to find homes worth buying. Labor shortages and higher lumber costs are looming, which could mean house prices could rise, and perhaps fewer resale houses will be for sale. With mortgage rates remaining low, mortgage lenders being creative and the economy

doing well, people are buying, and prices are rising in most major markets. The 2018 forecast from Freddie Mac predicts a good year ahead with a solid 5 percent growth in price. It notes that the aging population could keep demand subdued although limited housing for sale should create upward price pressure. The need to refinance is low, homeowners aren’t too stressed out, and they’re using home equity to buy things, which is good for the economy. Overall, Freddie Mac’s report is positive for 2018. The Type of Property. The best time to sell a Florida condo may be different than the best time to sell a Florida house. If you own a single-family home and the most likely buyer will have schoolaged children, then the most activity will be before the school year starts. If you own a vacation-type condo like on a golf course or on the beach, the timing may be different. You don’t want to rule out listing in the last quarter of the year. That’s because a buyer of that kind of property may be looking to settle in before it gets cold up North. If you have an investment property to sell, then the seasons have little influ-

ence on demand. Investors are more concerned about their return on investment than anything else. Consider When People are Looking to Buy. An article by Sarah Max indicate home sales tend to rise with the temperature. Families looking to move will wait to move when their kids are on summer vacation. This means they want to find something in the earlier months, so they can take the summer to get settled in. Acknowledging this, sellers often decide to not list their homes late in the year, and many pull their listings in late fall in hopes of starting fresh in the spring. Overall, the best time to sell your house in Florida depends on your own situation. Just keep in mind that the type of property you are selling plays a major role into your timeframe. With the housing market looking up in 2018, this may be the year to sell your Florida home! The information in this article was compiled by Dee Parker, Broker/Owner at Parker Realty Group and chair of the ONYX Magazine Advisory Council.



Executive Coaches Can Help You Play to Win By Laura Dorsey


hat was once a stigma (“You’re so broken you need a coach”) has become status symbol (“You’re so valuable you get a coach”). Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps have coaches. Even President Barack Obama had a coach, if you count David Axelrod. Major corporations from a variety of sectors, including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises, have turned to coaching to increase employee satisfaction, improve output and strengthen their bottom lines. If elite athletes and organizations think they need coaches, shouldn’t you have one too? Many people may think, ‘I have a mentor or a life coach,’ and equate them to an executive coach. They are not the same! Some mentors are like sounding boards. An executive coach directs a person or organization to a specific outcome. The person/ organization may choose how to get there, but the coach is strategically assessing and monitoring progress and giving advice for effectiveness and efficiency. Where can you find a coach? The International Coach Federation (ICF) has been leading the development of professional coaching. In the state of Florida, there are multiple ICF Chapters. ICF North Florida is headed by Chapter Leader Diane Liewehr. In an interview with 60 ONYX MAGAZINE

Some mentors are like sounding boards. An executive coach directs a person or organization to a specific outcome. Liewehr, she said, “ICF N. Florida’s vision is to be a network of professional coaches sought out to unleash human potential, fostering thriving communities and partnerships. Professional coaching can drive intangible and tangible results for people. I recently worked with a client in my own coaching business, Higher Road Coaching, who was a middle manager wanting a salary increase and promotion to the executive level in her company. Through just a few coaching sessions, she gained the confidence and clarity to develop a plan for making that happen. She was able to negotiate a 60 percent increase (yes, you read that correctly) and her promotion to Executive Director level.” ICF South Florida has Clare Merlo as its chapter leader. Membership is from

Miami-Dade and Broward County. They boast of monthly meetings with dynamic speakers. The focus is on education, networking and community awareness. ICF Central Florida is led by Chapter Leader Sindy Cassidy. The goal of ICF Central Florida is to provide an arena for support and connection for professional coaches from Central and West Central Florida. Demetria Hill Sloan, from the ICF Central Florida chapter, is the founder of Vantage Point Coaching where the belief is when you change your vantage point, you can change your life or the life of the organization. In an interview, she likened organizations to great sports teams. Specific people play different roles within the organization. The coach is on the sidelines. The organization must still have executioners who will execute the plays that the coach has designated for the team to be successful. Sloan also reminds her clients, that like most successful sports teams, success does not happen overnight. She says “coaching can be done short term in as little as three months or long term for a year or more. The game of life has two participants, spectators and players. Pick one!” Coaches develop specific skills for the task, challenges and performance expectations at work or in your business. If life is a game, then with a good executive coach, YOU CAN PLAY TO WIN!


Feed Your Valentine Chocolate Covered Strawberries Lovers everywhere excitedly anticipate Valentine’s Day. The event usually comes with gifts, flowers, candy, and a whole lot of snuggling. Many couples choose to dine out that evening— and restaurant reservations are hard to come by. But others like to spice it up at home. If the latter is your choice, it might be fun for you and

bae to make a sampling of hors d’oeuvres and feed each other. Sound good? Then, chocolate covered strawberries have got to be on your list. There are many ways to make the delectable dessert, but this simple recipe might be enough to get things heated. Don’t forget the red wine, which pairs deliciously with chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Ingredients • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped • 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped • 1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried very well

Directions Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)


Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.


ONYX Magazine_January/February 2018  

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Melvin Carter, Booker Gainor, Deana Holiday Ingraham, Shaquem Griffin, Archbishop Alle...

ONYX Magazine_January/February 2018  

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Melvin Carter, Booker Gainor, Deana Holiday Ingraham, Shaquem Griffin, Archbishop Alle...

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