Page 1


Volume 9 – Number 43 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020








VOTE IN 2020!

contents 6

Publisher’s Column


Heart & Soul – Should different faiths keep us apart


ONYX Salutes Lillian Seays


Black History Month: African Americans and the Vote


MLK Day Holiday: A Day On, Not a Day Off


Travel – Apps you’ll appreciate on your next trip


Centre for Girls: Making waves for positive change


Health & Wellness – Nagging yourself to death


Job Market – Amazon new location brings more jobs

20 Make the library your first stop for Black History Month 22

Black Wealth – Grow your family business this year

26 Education – 5 financial tips for teens 27

Entertainment – Concerts, exhibits and shows


SAGE – Taking time to reflect on the needs of the family caregiver

30 Parenting – Three ways to prepare children for jobs of the future



Cliff Long, CEO Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association Cover photo by Nancy Brown



Workplace – Five reasons now is the right time to advance your career


Black History – Rogers Park: First golf course for Tampa’s black community

34 Relationships – Should you be my valentine? 36 ONYX Reads – Living life courageously 38

Politics/Opinion – Democrats need black women voters now more than ever

40 Feature – Owning Orlando: Cliff Long talks real estate, strong families and black wealth 42 Media – Black Press Association of Florida learns cabinet successes and priorities 44 On the Quad – Florida’s HBCUs 46 Florida Scope and Beyond Florida 48 Money Matters – Mentoring and internships help your bottom line 52

ONYX on the Move/Sports – ONYX around town


Fashion – From clutter to couture: time to tame your closet

54 Food & Wine – Cozy up to warm apple cider






ASSOCIATE EDITORS Gayle Andrews Laura Dorsey Sharon Fletcher Jones

Dear Friends, Welcome to 2020! The new year comes with new perspectives. Often, we make plans that dissipate by March, but I encourage you to find your path and walk it with confidence this year, taking it one day at a time. Last year brought us some sad times—we lost ONYX Magazine’s co-founder Lillian Seays. She was the heartbeat of ONYX Magazine and we are honored to carry on her legacy. We also lost Mary Ann Carroll, the only woman among the Florida Highwaymen artists and ONYX Magazine’s 2018 Woman of the Year. However, we also celebrated many events, debuting our first business and entrepreneurship issue; and hosting the 2019 ONYX Magazine’s Women on the Move, which was heralded the best one yet! But perhaps the most exciting endeavor was our official launch of the ONYX Foundation! Through the Foundation, we will be committed to literacy, black history and arts education, and we are looking forward to community support. We believe 2020 will be the best year ever at ONYX Magazine. So, stick around for all we have planned. In our first cover story of the year, Cliff Long shares his vision for Orlando as the first African-American president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association (ORRA). Read about how black wealth is folded into owning real estate and what you need to know to purchase your home. Also, in this issue, you will be encouraged to make the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday a day on, not a day off. Help your community by serving on that day. February marks Black History Month and we share a story about G.D. Rogers, a philanthropist and businessman who built the second golf course in the state for black people. February also is the month of love. Who should be your Valentine? Our article has some interesting thoughts. How does mentoring and interning boost your business? Read these pages to find out. Thank you for being on this journey with us for more than 22 years. As always, we are dedicated to bringing you entertaining, inspiring and informative information that celebrate us! At ONYX Magazine, we are marching into 2020 with confidence that we are making a difference in the lives of very important people—like you. Sincerely

Richard “Rich” E. Black



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jasmine Browley Patricia Denis Damani Dickerson

Laura Dorsey Frederick Fabella Gary Lewandowski, Jr. Lena Graham Morris

Erin Sullivan James Vargas Tasha Williams


ONYX ADVISORY COMMITTEE Deidre Parker, Chair Michelle Tatom, Immediate Past Chair Dick Batchelor Bob Berryhill Dr. Lavon Bracy Bryon Brooks Marva Brown Johnson Hon. Mable Butler Yolanda Cash Jackson Dr. Cynthia Chestnut James Clark

John Crossman Gary Hartfield Barbara Hartley Tony Hill Alma Horne Rodney Hurst Ann Jenkins Connie Kinnard Larry Lee, Jr.

Brenda March Nancy Port Schwalb Margaret J. Thompson Gail Thomas-DeWitt Hon. Alan Williams Carla Williams Dr. Samuel Wright Lady Dhyana Ziegler


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 321-418-7216. 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 2018 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.


Should Different Faiths

KEEP US APART? By Frederick Fabella


couple broke up because they each belong to different faiths. The woman claimed that her family is very strict about their church’s requirement of marrying someone who holds the same beliefs. And because the man was reluctant to undergo religious conversion, the woman eventually found someone else who was willing. It appears an individual’s fidelity to his or her particular faith is only as strong as the family ties. We are often driven to engage in these traditional practices mostly out of love and respect for our parents. And they in turn, observe these same practices out of respect for theirs. Keeping one’s faith, it would seem, can be a matter of filial piety and not merely of personal conviction. Religion is a formalization of the values we hold. It provides a clear rationalization for what we deem as right and wrong, good or bad. To illustrate this point, the

Ten Commandments is an embodiment of such values that Christians in general strive to follow. When it comes to whether a relationship will last, the more similarities that a couple has the better the chances. In fact, a couple can still get along even when they have differing personalities. If the love is strong enough, such differences may be overlooked. Romantic partners may even be moved to adjust to each other in order to make the relationship work. But it may not be that simple when they possess different values. And because religion is the manifestation of such values, people who have different faiths may not be that compatible when they enter a relationship. Taking this one step further, what would happen if people who have different faiths marry? If they do retain their original religious affiliations, which worship service will they attend? The situation can perhaps

become even more complicated when they eventually have children. Will this set up not cause confusion? In the Old Testament story, King Solomon lost favor with God because some of his wives moved him to worship other gods. Perhaps this is one reason why intermarriage between people of different religions is often discouraged. Should a person trade his faith in exchange for love? We ought to keep in mind that romantic love is an earthly concern. But a person’s beliefs are his own. They are what defines his life’s purpose and the meaning of his existence. And his beliefs form the very essence of his soul. Whether it is right to exchange these convictions for another person’s love is entirely up to the individual making this decision. Is this the right question to ask? It may be wiser to answer this instead: Will their love for each other bring them closer to God? ONYX MAGAZINE 7






illian Seays quietly departed this life Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 9:30am. Lillian, loving mother of three children and devoted wife, passed away at home in the presence of her husband of 59 years, Lester Seays. She was 81 years old. Lillian Audrey Brown was born on November 23, 1937, to Lucia Reed Brown in York, S.C. She graduated Jefferson High School in 1956 where she was the captain of the basketball team and presided as the valedictorian of her graduating class. She continued her education at South Carolina State University, in Orangeburg, S.C. where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and minor in English. She furthered her education toward a master’s degree at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), and the Florida Technical University (Orlando, FL). While attending South Carolina State she met her husband, Lester Seays. They married on January 30, 1960 in Bamberg, S.C. After one year of teaching at Robert Smalls School in St. Helen, S.C. she and Lester moved to Orlando where she taught at Monroe High School (Cocoa, FL) for three years, Carver Junior High School for three years, and two years at the downtown public library before arriving at Memorial Junior High School in 1970 where

she remained until she “retired” in 1992. While at Memorial, she was the first to start the morning announcements in the school and had a studio built in the Media Center where she would bring in media personalities to broadcast the news. She was a member of several organizations and community affiliations. She was a two-term president of the Orlando Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, where she introduced the Delteens of Orlando (now known as the Delta GEMS); one of the charter members of the Orange County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta; and a member of the Links, Inc. She was the publisher and co-author of “Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated: Into the New Millennium;” a visionary in bringing the Ebony Fashion Fair Fashion Show to Orlando; creator of the Minerva Awards; and initiator of the first Sickle Cell Screening Clinic and Health Fair in Orlando. She taught adult GED classes at Jones High School and Webster Elementary School. Lillian was the co-founder of Wedding Bells Magazine, the ONYX Awards, and ONYX Magazine, which still thrives across the state and beyond after 22 years under the leadership of Publisher Rich Black. She also co-founded the LBS Foundation, and as a result of her generous spirit and personality through the LBS Foundation,

dozens of youths were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to assist with their educational endeavors. She was an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church where she played the organ and piano and served as the director of the children’s choir. Later, she served on the site selection committee for New Covenant Baptist Church where she was a charter member. She, with her husband, Lester, chronicled the creation, growth and success of New Covenant Baptist Church through their video ministry. Lillian has been recognized by numerous organizations, as a result of her tireless support of the community. She was honored in 2016 when the Memorial Middle School Media Center was named in her honor. Also, the Kenard Lang Foundation created the “Lillian B. Seays Service Award” to recognize continuing support of the organization. Lillian enjoyed sewing, ceramics, bowling and spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Lester, her three children: Cheryll (Eddie), Kenneth, and Brian (Kristy); seven grandchildren: Kenneth Lester, Julien Abraham, Brittiana Giovanni, Quadir Curtis, Harrison Parker, Bennett Young, and Kendall Reese; six great-grandchildren, and a host of treasured family and friends. ONYX MAGAZINE 9


AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE VOTE The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote. This theme has a rich and long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states’ passage of laws that democratized the vote for white men while disfranchising free black men. Thus, even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and the US Congress, seeking to be recognized as voters. Tensions between abolitionists and women’s suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil War, while black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women’s movement, but within the larger black voting rights movement. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. The theme of the vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.


The Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to





Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century.



Apps You’ll Appreciate on Your Next Trip


rom planning your next getaway to managing your vacation budget, there are myriad apps you can use to make your trip a seamless, more enjoyable experience. Before planning your next trip, make sure you visit your preferred app store to download tools like these that can help with everything from planning to staying on track during the trip to looking back on your experiences when you return home. Map tools. While the most basic function of these apps is obvious, map apps are also useful tools to research the area you’re visiting, plan your routes ahead of time and find nearby essentials like gas stations and restaurants during your trip. Some apps also allow you to download offline maps so you don’t find yourself stranded if you’re going someplace where you’re likely to encounter poor signal strength. Discount rate finders: These apps make it simple to research and compare the best rates and deals for multiple aspects of your trip, often packaged for maximum cost-savings. For example, the Expedia app can be used to research and book everything from airfare and hotels to car rentals


and activities. Once you’ve booked, these app makes it easy to keep track of your reservations and itineraries. Airline resources: Even if you book your ticket through a third party, you can benefit from downloading the app for the airline you’ll be using. Nearly all airline apps include features that make it easier to make changes to your booking, check in, get a digital boarding pass, check your flight status and more. Additionally, most apps will alert you to any changes via push notifications. Vacation rental bookings: Many travelers are opting for vacation rentals over traditional hotels, in part because of the convenience and personal experience you can create. For example, the Vrbo app provides everything you need to book a vacation rental. As an added bonus, Trip Boards allow you to save, organize and compare your favorite properties. You can invite friends and family who will be traveling with you to discuss the trip using the new group chat feature and add and vote on their favorite properties to help narrow down the choices. Unit converters: Handy for international travel, these apps make it easy to compute and convert common units of

measurement, such as currency and distance, and many even convert time zones for you. Having a unit converter app is especially important if you may not have reliable access to Wi-Fi or data during your trip. Budget trackers: Travel expenses can pile up fast, but you can keep tabs on your expenses along the way with an app that tracks the details. Most options allow you to categorize expenses by type and date, and some offer additional features such as splitting balances between friends and families or allowing you to set warning thresholds so you know when you’re getting close to exceeding your budget. Payment solutions: Fees and structures may vary from one app to the next, but all are designed to make sending and receiving money more convenient. When it comes to travel, you can use an app like Venmo to easily split costs and share payments between family and friends during and after the trip. Find more resources for your next getaway at Content provided by Family Features


Centre for Girls

Genia Wilbourn, senior VP of Global Network Operations & Assurance at Verizon was in town and stopped by to visit the girls. Verizon gave the Centre for Girls $10,000 for its technology program!

Making Waves for Positive Change


the opportunity to attend the Centre for Girls at no cost. Creating Futures for Young Girls The Centre for Girls will be the most well-known and highly regarded center for girls in the Tampa Bay area. With highly developed programming and outreach services, the Centre for Girls will create positive change for each girl touched by the Centre, regardless of her socioeconomic background. Fun, Exciting Programs The Centre partnered with Jackie Walker, the Doctor of Closetology, and Junior League of Tampa Bay to put on an amazing Saturday fashion program with middle school girls. Over six weeks of Saturdays, the girls will found their fashion style, learned about skin care, practiced walking the runway, took professional head shots/ Glamour Shots, designed a fashion show, and finally put on their fashion show production at Macy’s. HEARTLANDscapes The Centre For Girls proudly presents HEARTLANDscapes, a multi-arts cultural exchange designed to engage and connect children (9-14 years old) from

Tampa and Tortola British Virgin Islands! These young people utilize various art disciplines to explore their role as global citizens and learn about the interconnectedness of diverse people and places. This program is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Waves of Change The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women hosts its annual women’s leadership celebration at Armature Works in Tampa. A sea of nearly 600 enthusiastic guests gather to celebrate extraordinary women. Waves of Change pays tribute to the founder of The Centre for Women, the late Senator Helen Gordon Davis, who was an iconic champion for women and equality. In 2019, the event raised nearly $200,000 to support The Centre’s programs, which includes The Centre for Girls. To get involved with shaping the life of a young girl, making her a strong woman of the future, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are always available. You, too, can empower a girl so that she can one day conquer the world! For more information about the Centre for Girls and all of the amazing things going on, please call (813) 231-3404.

Photo courtesy of Centre for Girls


he Centre for Girls is a program of the Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Tampa. Located in Old Seminole Heights, the Centre for Girls serves a diverse group from 5 to 14 and offers innovative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) STEMbased programming during after-school hours and an eight-week summer camp. The Centre for Girls strives to instill the core values of: Respect for Self & Others, Empowerment & Leadership, Academic Enrichment, and Physical & Emotional Well Being. Programming includes visual and performing arts, entrepreneurial classes (Biz Girlz), health and wellness workshops, golf, and of course-science and technology. The Centre for Girls and its community partners also work together to provide services that help to increase self-confidence and self-esteem. Many amazing community partners support the Centre: the David A. Straz Center, the Florida Aquarium, Fifth Third Bank, Suncoast Schools, Women of Color Golf and the Junior League Tampa—to name just a few. The largest funding support comes from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. Their generosity affords our girls


Nagging Yourself to Death Constant complaining is bad for your health. By Jasmine Browley


ife can be challenging. We face constant day-to-day stresses that add layers of difficulty to what is already a pretty complicated human existence. So How Are We Supposed To Cope?

Our first instinct is to complain about the stuff that we don’t like, don’t want to do, or wish we had. Somehow, through evolution, it has become a natural default for us. Don’t believe us? Ok, ask yourself, ‘when was the last time I went an entire day without complaining, not even once?’ Can’t recall? That’s ok. None of us can. In fact, research shows that during an average 16 ONYX MAGAZINE

conversation, we complain to each other at least once every minute. Socially, it shows that we like to complain because it is one of the easiest ways to relate to one another. Have you ever heard the adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend?” That does not only apply to people you despise. The common dislike for something can easily bond people. Naturally, for some reason, we think that “venting” is a way to relieve stress. We are wrong. According to some Stanford University researchers, when you complain, your brain releases stress hormones that damage your neural connections. Specifically, complaining affects your brain’s problem-solving and other cognitive functions. Constant complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. In other words, the more you complain, the easier it is to be negative than it is to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which ultimately changes how people perceive you and how you perceive people. On an even deeper level, complaining physically damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to critical thinking and solution-creation. Damage to the hippocampus is extremely harmful, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s. Extraordinarily, the same type of damage occurs when you hear someone else groan, moan, or complain. It is equivalent to inhaling second-hand smoke. So it doesn’t matter if you’re the one complaining or listening, it causes damage either way. However, cutting out complaining can be easier said than done. The above information begs the question, complaining is bad for us, should we just not talk about our problems? On the contrary, by now I know you’ve seen the reports around how passive aggression and bottled emotions can shorten your life span. So what should we do? Fortunately, there are ways to meet in the middle. Here are a few ways to let some steam off without adding more stress and negativity to your life: 1. Formulate Smart Complaints

Complaining with a purpose is a real thing. Before you let something negative just fall out of your mouth,

take a beat and just think about it some more. Don’t complain unless you have already at least THOUGHT about putting a solution together. Complaining is only unhealthy when it is counter-productive. When it is done right, it can be good for you. 2. Try To Write Down Your Complaints and Read Them Back To Yourself

You might not notice it, but you could sometimes complain about the same things repeatedly. Yes, we’re talking to you and that toxic relationship. The “Journal of Social Psychology” recently looked at how mindfulness, happiness, and expressions of annoyance affect each other. They found that complainers who hoped for results were happier than those who didn’t think far beyond their problems. This is because happier people know how to modulate their complaints, when to complain, and who they can complain to. Keep a note pad or text your complaints to yourself and analyze how often that same complaint comes up. You would be surprised. 3. Be Careful Who You Complain To

Complaining to loved ones is a challenging game. We recommend proceeding with caution. It is very important to learn how to tell friends and family when you are upset. If you do not, you end up alone in your pain. But be careful about how often you complain and about what because, like anyone, they can have a breaking point. 4. Avoid Chronic Complainers

Again, the negative effects of complaining can also come from hearing them from other people. Essentially, when we see someone experiencing an emotion (be it anger, sadness, happiness, etc), our brain ‘tries on’ that same emotion to imagine what the other person is going through, in other words, we empathize with that person. There is nothing wrong with cutting off people who constantly bring negativity to your life. To sum it up, before complaining, think about how you can make it better, and try to do that. Jasmine Browley has contributed to national magazines. This article appeared in and has been reprinted with permission. ONYX MAGAZINE 17


Amazon New Location Brings More Jobs By Damani Dickerson


mazon recently became the occupant of a 115 square-foot delivery station at the northwest corner of Grand Street and South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, which will create hundreds of employment openings for the city. Once at full strength, the new 24-hour delivery station that launched November 5, will process roughly 80,000 to 90,000 packages nightly and employ roughly 800 warehouse associates and 400 drivers. The influx of jobs couldn’t come at a better time for an area overwhelmed with unemployment and homelessness. Gavin Henry, the delivery station manager in charge of hiring, encourages all to take advantage of the opportunity. “Apply online, come out and get these jobs,” Henry said. “If we want to make a change in our community it starts with economic empowerment. I refuse to let something like this come into our neigh-

borhood and not capitalize on it.” Dr. Roulous Frazier Jr., pastor of Saint John Baptist Church just blocks away from the new delivery station, couldn’t be happier with the arrival of his new neighbors. He welcomes the new addition and is very optimistic about the positive influence it will have on people in the vicinity. “There is a significant need for job opportunities,” he said. “This will have a major impact on the area.” Central Florida’s location in the Sunshine State has increased its importance as a distribution hub and its overall population and business growth have helped drive demand for warehouses and distribution centers. More than 21 million people live within 250 miles of the Interstate 4 corridor between Daytona Beach and Tampa. This is another example of e-commerce companies growing due to a push toward delivering products faster to customers.

Damani Dickerson is a creative writer in Orlando.


According to Henry, the principal goals of the new delivery station are simple, safety for the associates, productivity for the employees and on-time delivery. “Amazon’s number one metric is customer service,” Henry said. “We are concerned with the competition, but we are obsessed with the customer. When we keep our focus on the customer, everything else will fall in line.” Amazon’s distributions operate under the first mile, middle mile, last mile concept. The first mile is the receiving of the product from oversees via cargo ships or Amazon Air. The middle mile is the fulfillment centers that distribute packages to the delivery stations, which are the final mile that deliver packages to homes. The last-mile delivery station is part of Amazon’s efforts to speed delivery times to customers, including same-day delivery for some items.


Grow Your B Family Business This Year By James Vargas

usiness is a very professional word but when it is attached to the word family, it automatically gets connected to many emotions and values. Taking over a family business is a daunting task as there is a great responsibility of keeping up the expectations and reaching the benchmark already set by your elders. Jumping into already flowing business, you have to deal with many critical aspects of it where your decisions would be a matter of company growth. Setting your workflow that could match the existing pace of running the business is what you need to do first. For anyone who is a newbie in his/her family business and dreams to grow, below are some of the tips that can help you take it to the desired heights. Observe and learn The most important thing that could impact the growth of the business is the learning and the understanding of the niche that you have as the new owner of the com-


pany. Get as much information from your elders about how they dealt with problems and what kind of solutions they have figured out in their times. This would make it easy for you to solve the existing problems without changing the hereditary pattern. Observe the surroundings and the way things worked and what kind of improvement you think you can make or can suggest. Make notes about your observation and rethink it based on today’s running corporate culture. If you think the existing process is good to go with the future developments then I suggest don’t disturb the system in order to bring a change. Keep emotions and business separate The most critical thing that comes with the family business is the emotions and values that took the business to the position it has currently achieved. Understand once you are into the office, you all are professionals, behave like one.

If you have more than one member from the family who is at the head responsibility to make decisions, make sure all of them are on-board during the important discussions of the company. The final decisions are to be made once all of the committee members agree on the same point. If you have a specific thing to convenience, explain briefly what you want to do and how it could benefit the organization’s overall development. Build purposefully Purpose and goals are what act as a base to build a foundation. Your empire is already built, what you need to do here is understand the purpose and define the new goals to be achieved by the company. Here before you make any decisions, study the existing work scenario, find the areas of improvement, if the current operations are working well, its time you can jump for the expansion plans. As a newcomer, you might be having many new ideas and also an enthusiasm to implement them, but be very thoughtful about your actions. Do not stress over mistakes but keep your own track of ups and downs.

Keep up the company’s core values Your elders might have built the business keeping some core values in mind. Make yourself well aware of those things. Preserve the work ethics defined by them. If there is a process going on from years, try to analyze it and if you feel the need to bring a change, talk with the senior workers of the company as they are more experienced and have seen every wheel of fortune that the company went through. You can also meet business advisory services to get the right guidance about growing or maintaining the business as they are someone who knows the market from its roots. Maintain old client and employee relations Employee and company growth go hand in hand. While your business was growing it connected many people whether it’s a client or the employee to build long-lasting relations to work for a lifetime. The relations built here are well nurtured by your elders and as the new owner of the company, it becomes your responsi-

bility to maintain these relations to make it work further for you. Some of your clients might be associated with the company for years, ensure that the new leader of the company will not make any difference in the customer service they have become familiar with years. Here you must be very accurate about hiring new people in the company as you need to analyze whether they would be compatible to understand the values that your company keeps for their clients. Summing Up The feeling of being an entrepreneur might bring butterflies in your stomach but don’t get overwhelmed with it. The new responsibilities are something that could bring out the best in you and your business. As the thoughts of the new generation leaders might differ from the older ones, but that is what we call change. So, don’t be afraid to make your decisions , you are sailing in a very stable boat and all you need to do is learn to row it in the right direction with the pace of the new trends.




hen it comes to economics, many teens’ mouths write checks their knowledge can’t cash. While 93 percent of American teens say they know how the economy works, 29 percent have had no economic schooling, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. teens ages 13-18 by Wakefield Research on behalf of Junior Achievement and the Charles Koch Foundation. Even in light of their false confidence, teens are aware of the importance of financial education. Although the study identified numerous gaps in economic and financial knowledge, it also showed teens do know where to look for credible information. Two-thirds (67 percent) recognize they should use their school as a resource. “One of the things we hear often is that some textbooks are written too academically for most students to understand the concepts,” said Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “Our programs, which work as a complement to the school curriculum, are written from the perspective of today’s teens and use digital content to help bring economic concepts to life for students.”


Beyond the classroom, another 63 percent of students believe they should use their parents as resources for economics education. Help influence the financial literacy of a teen in your life with these practical money-management tips adapted from the curriculum. Set Goals. Managing your money is more meaningful when you’re doing it with purpose. This might mean budgeting to ensure you have enough money to maintain your auto insurance and keep gas in your car, or you may be saving for a big senior trip. Knowing what you want to achieve with your money can help you plan how you spend it more wisely. Weigh Needs vs. Wants. When you begin making your own money, it’s easier to indulge your own wishes and spend money on things you don’t necessarily need. To some extent, that’s not a bad thing; rewarding yourself is fine when you do so within reason. That means not exceeding your available funds, and not forsaking things you truly need, like gas money to get to and from a job or school. Get a Debit Card. Most people find that having cash on hand makes it easier

to spend. If you use a debit card instead, you’re an extra step away from spending so you have a little more time to consider your purchase. Another benefit of a debit card is it helps track your purchases in real time so you can keep constant tabs on your balance and ensure you don’t overdraft your account. Start a Savings Habit. Even if your income doesn’t allow for much, it is a good idea to get in the habit of setting aside a portion of each check. It may only be $10, but over time each $10 deposit can build your account toward a long-range goal. Protect Your Privacy. Teens who’ve grown up in the digital age tend to be less skeptical and cautious about privacy matters than their elder counterparts. It is important that young people understand the potential impact of failing to protect their privacy when it comes to financial matters, including the possibility that their identities could be stolen and all of their money siphoned away. Teaching kids about security is an essential lesson in economics. Content provided by Family Features.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

5 Financial Tips for Teens


Concerts, Exhibits & Shows Jermaine Dupri Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 10:00 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Event Center, Tampa, Fla.

Orlando Museum of Art “Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen” January 24 – May 10, 2020 2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, Fla.

Keith Sweat Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 9:00 p.m. Hard Rock Live Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

Peru Art International Wins at Fusion Fest The cultural collective Peru Art International scored top honors in the ultra-competitive dance competition at this year’s second annual FusionFest, winning the $1,000 grand prize bestowed by a panel of expert judges. Peru Art was recognized for a vibrant presentation that incorporated the dance styles of several nations, symbolizing the kaleidoscope of heritages the festival brought to downtown Orlando November 30 and December 1. The organization’s winning performance featured a total of 24 dancers, including children, teenagers and adults. Colorful costumes and kinetic energy took the audience on a tour through the movement traditions of Peru, Colombia, Korea, Russia, Africa and the U.S.A., with helpful signage establishing the geography of each vignette. In addition to the group’s winning contest entry, its younger children (or “semillitas”) exhibited a Peruvian dance called “Huaylarsh.” And Peru Art also made its presence known with contributions to the festival’s fashion segment, including a design by their director and dance instructor, Italo Alvinez, that combined the looks of Peru and Egypt. All in all, it was quite a showing for the organization, which was new to FusionFest but is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. More than 100 local heritage communities were represented at this year’s festival, which drew approximately 15,000 people to downtown for two days of dance, music, food, art and other creative demonstrations that built a bridge between the participating cultures. For Peru Art director Alvinez, such undertakings are crucial as immigrants to our area seek a balance between identity and assimilation.

Hamilton Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 1:00 p.m. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers, Fla.

Florida Highwaymen Heritage Trail Art Show and Festival Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 Moore’s Creek, 725 Avenue D, Fort Pierce 772-467-3183

Orlando Jazz Festival Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 Apopka Amphitheater Jason Dwelley Parkway, Apopka, Fla. Performing: Sheila E., Najee and more

Jazz in the Gardens Saturday-Sunday, Mar. 14-15, 2020 Hard Rock Stadium Miami Gardens, Fla. Performing: Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, H.E.R., and more



Taking Time to Reflect on the Needs of the Family Caregiver


s loved ones begin to age, many will take on the honorable role of becoming a caregiver. However, caring for an older adult can be time-consuming, reducing the ability to address your own needs. In fact, Home Instead Senior Care found that 63 percent of family caregivers said caring for their aging loved ones made it more difficult to care for themselves. With this in mind, Home Instead encourages caregivers to take a minute to recognize and embrace their own feelings and needs. It can be difficult to watch your aging parent or loved one go through the trials of getting older without it taking a toll on your own health. It’s natural to feel anxious, guilty or sad as a family caregiver. In fact, 53 percent of family caregivers admit to feelings of major depression. That is why it’s critical to find a balance between your caregiving responsibilities and your personal needs. When you’re on a plane, flight attendants always emphasize that, in the case of an emergency, adults should secure their own oxygen masks before helping children. This is because the adult won’t be able to help if they do not have the strength themselves.


Taking care of an older adult is similar: it’s not selfish to take care of yourself first so you are well enough to take care of them. If you or someone you know is feeling the pressure of being a family caregiver, here are some tips from Lakelyn Hogan, a gerontologist and caregiver advocate, to help overcome the feelings that can get in the way of enjoying time spent with family. • Identify and accept feelings of guilt. Recognize that feelings of guilt are common—so common, in fact, that 85 percent of caregivers have reported such feelings have taken a toll on their mental health. • Find support. Go to supportive family and friends to talk about your emotions. There are also many types of professional support groups available. Discussing your emotions is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of self-care and awareness. According to a 2015 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, approximately 34.2 million Americans had provided unpaid care to an adult 50 or older in the last year, making it likely that someone else you know is going through the same things you are.

• Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are doing the best you can and be proud of that. For humans, guilt is a natural emotion that can make it harder to see the bigger picture. Like clouds on a rainy day, the feelings you are experiencing will pass. • Create an action plan. Take a moment to reflect on why you might be having feelings of guilt. Is caregiving preventing you from doing something you want to do or coming between you and something you value? Create a plan and set a realistic goal for yourself to accomplish these things and relieve yourself of some of your guilt. • Make time for yourself. While caregiving can be time-consuming, you should never lose sight of what makes you, you. Carve out time to take a long walk, meet with a friend for coffee, or cross off steps in your action plan. In the long run, having just 30 minutes a day to yourself will benefit your physical and mental health. Remember, you are not in this alone. Try to set aside time for yourself and lean on others for support. For additional caregiving tips and resources, visit


Three Ways to Prepare Children for Jobs of the Future


oday’s technology evolves so rapidly, it’s impossible to predict what new inventions are coming. How can parents and educators today prepare children for technology and jobs that may not even exist yet? A recent education study by Harris Poll reveals that hands-on, collaborative learning experiences increase children’s confidence and ability to learn new things. The study showed that children worldwide who are confident learning STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) feel more confident about their ability to learn overall. And that confidence translates into a willingness to try new things - an essential trait in education and business, where changes occur at a rapid pace. LEGO Education Master Educator Aaron Maurer provides tips for teachers and parents on fostering confidence in STEAM subjects, drawing on his many years of experience using LEGO Education solutions and as a FIRST LEGO League robotics coach.


1. Let Children Try and Fail Children build confidence when they’re given the opportunity to try new things, even if they feel unsure of themselves. Experiencing trial and error, and learning from setbacks, means children can also fully own their successes. If kids are free from the pressure of needing to achieve constant success, they are more willing to learn from their failures. The Harris Poll found that most parents, children and educators from several countries acknowledge the role of failure as a necessary part of learning. And overcoming that failure is the foundation for genuine confidence. As Maurer describes, “When something doesn’t work and kids have the opportunity to troubleshoot and make it work, you can see their confidence light up.” 2. Encourage Hands-On Experiences While the study found that the vast majority of educators worldwide (95%) highly value hands-on learning, teachers said their

schools did not provide enough hands-on learning experiences, due to time limitations and curriculum constraints. What do children gain by engaging in concrete learning experiences, as opposed to passive activities like listening to a teacher or reading a book? Maurer explains, “Hands-on learning - learning through building, through trial and error, through collaboration - has the power to engage kids in a way that lectures and worksheets simply don’t. Getting hands-on with a challenge or a task allows them to explore and realize there isn’t just one answer. It allows them to experience failure in a healthy way and realize that failing at a task is a natural part of the learning process and does not mean a subject is out of their reach.” Parents wanting their children to experience more hands-on learning may want to seek after-school classes and clubs, or games and activities to do at home that foster more hands-on experiences in a variety of subjects. For example, parents can find afterschool clubs such as a FIRST LEGO League, which lets kids of all ages work out solutions to real-world problems in a fun team environment. 3. Encourage Development of Soft Skills While we can’t anticipate every technological advance that may occur in our children’s lifetimes, one thing doesn’t change: Communicating and collaborating with others is a vital part of any job, in any field. How can you help children develop these skills? Provide opportunities where kids work together to solve problems, create - or just play together. Try a sports team, music group or social club. Any opportunity to interact with others positively, working toward common goals, can boost their confidence and ability to be part of a team. Future jobs may be hard to predict, but helping kids develop confidence and their ability in STEAM skills - and soft skills will provide a strong foundation to tackle future challenges. For more ways to boost your children’s confidence in learning, visit Celebrate National Computer Literacy Month this October by helping children learn skills for the future. Content provided by Brandpoint


Five Reasons Now Is the Right Time to Advance Your Career


s 2020 rolls in, it marks a time of new possibilities and change. While some might get the itch to tackle a new challenge or hobby, many adults use this time to reflect on their current job and what might be next for their career path.The good news is that with today’s competitive job market and new educational models, now may be the perfect time to go back to school to advance your career. This article, presented by Capella University, lists five key reasons why: 1. We’re Experiencing a Strong, Competitive Job Market. The fall season is typically the final hiring period of the year and, therefore, the last opportunity to fill any remaining positions, as well as to create positions for the new year. This presents the perfect time for you to explore new opportunities. If you are already at an organization, open positions may present an opportunity for you to step up and fill a new role in your current organization. Show your employer that you are capable to take on new responsibilities and are well deserving of a promotion. 2. Flexible Learning Options are Growing. Don’t let the fear of student loans or your busy schedule stop you from advancing your career. Not only do many institutions provide professionally aligned online degree programs, but some design different learning models that benefit working adults. For example, most colleges have the traditional flexible models. This model makes a lot of sense for educators looking to go back for their master’s in education. When students have the ability to adapt

their courses to meet their busy schedule, they’re able to complete their studies on their time. 3. Trainings and Degree Programs Have an Impact on Earning Potential and Employability. Workforce training and new credentials at any stage in your career can build your experience and impact your salary. Even polishing up soft skills can improve your employability. A study conducted in 2016 found that soft skills training can boost productivity and deliver higher employee retention. Today’s employers have recognized that these traits, like interpersonal communication, time management, and problem solving, are essential qualities and something they look for when hiring and promoting. 4. Many Employers Are Supporting Their Employees’ Continued Education. Right now, organizations across all sectors are looking for new ways to train their employees. Amazon recently expanded its postsecondary training programs to retrain 100,000 of its employees for jobs they hold and for their future. Additionally, organizations are partner-

ing with higher education providers to bring the best training to their employees. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) offers an opportunity to its dealership employees to earn a customized degree through the Degrees@Work program at no cost. With these programs on the rise, don’t be afraid to ask your HR manager about what kinds of tuition assistance and other on-the-job training benefits are available to you. 5. It Will Bring You More Happiness and Fulfillment. In the most recent Deloitte Shift Index on worker passion, only 13 percent of respondents exhibited all three attributes of worker passion: commitment to domain, questing, and connecting dispositions. All workers deserve better, and focusing on learning and development can help turn that around. The World Happiness Report found that people who have experienced longer years of education often experience increased employability, job security and faster promotion, all of these factors being conductive to higher happiness. If you’re on the fence about advancing your career or pursuing a new training or degree, consider all the benefits that it could bring you. Don’t let another day pass you by. As the leaves change, so can you. Content provided by Brandpoint ONYX MAGAZINE 31


Rogers Park: The First Golf Course for Tampa’s Black Community


arfield Devoe Rogers, Sr., was an entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist in Tampa and Bradenton, Fla. He founded a life insurance company for blacks during racial segregation in the U.S. and helped fund the establishment of Rogers Park, the first golf course for Tampa’s black residents during the segregation era and the second golf course for blacks in Florida after one was established in Miami Gardens. Rogers Park Golf Course, built in 1952, has evolved as one of Tampa’s best-kept secrets. The beautiful 18-hole golf facility is steeped in history and rich in heritage. The course offers a serene adventure and a great golfing experience for golfers of all skill levels. Located only 20 minutes from downtown Tampa, Tampa International Airport and the beautiful beaches of Tampa Bay, the 160-acre golf facility is surrounded on three sides by the Hillsborough River, which offers isolation from homes and the hustle and bustle of busy streets. Rogers Park Golf Course is the home of the Tampa City Men’s Open Championship and features one of Tampa’s finest driving ranges. In addition, the 3-hole short game course offers an experience unique to this area. During the days of segregation, Rogers Park was the only picnic area for the African-American community in Tampa. The park took the name of its contributor, G.D. Rogers. After church on Sundays, many families came to enjoy the swings, slides, baseball diamond and picnic area. Mayor Curtis Hixon gave permission to a group of caddies from Palma Ceia Country Club to build a 9-hole golf course. The first Head Golf Professional, Willie Black, directed his group of volunteers, and, with meticulous care, all of the tree removal and shaping was done by hand. Upon its completion in 1952, the Rogers Park Golf Club was born. In 1976, the City of Tampa gave management rights to the newly formed Tampa Sports Authority, and a $400,000 renovation project began with Ron Garl as the designer. An irrigation

system was installed, as well as expanding to another city-owned property across the street. In 2000, the Tampa Sports Authority renovated again, but this time it was decided that a $4 million renovation was needed. The irrigation system was replaced, and the greens were completely rebuilt to modified USGA specifications. An array of other landscaping and reshaping of holes was added to enhance the character of Rogers Park Golf Course, and in 2001, a new maintenance compound was completed and followed by a new clubhouse in 2002. ONYX MAGAZINE 33


Should “W You Be My Valentine? Research helps identify good and bad romantic relationships By Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.


ill you be my Valentine?” People across the country say those words in the run-up to February 14 and the Valentine’s Day holiday. Whether you’re asking a brand-new paramour or a long-term partner, the question can evoke feelings both of romantic uncertainty and possibility. But for the well-being of ourselves and our relationships, “Will you be my Valentine?” is the wrong question. Instead, the more important question to ask yourself is “Should you be my Valentine?” Relationships can be one of the most important sources of happiness in your life, with social connections serving as a key provider of happiness and meaningfulness. Not surprisingly, human beings have a very powerful drive to form and maintain relationships. After all, the future of humankind

depends on people coupling up to conceive and raise the next generation. Because forming relationships is such a powerful motivator, being in any relationship can seem better than being alone. A variety of factors can lull us into relationship complacency—compatibility, friendship, shared interests, inertia, fear of being single or low expectations. The drive to be paired off may lead you to settle for the relationship you have, instead of the relationship you deserve. Figuring out whether your relationship is thriving or merely surviving is daunting. In the hunt for “the one,” how can you know for sure if your partner is the type of person who’s best for you and your longterm happiness? Thankfully, scientists who study relationships know a lot about factors to consider when weighing whether

your partner should be your Valentine, this year and beyond The Problem of Greener Grass No one wants to settle. We all want to be with the best possible partner. In your relationship, how often do you find yourself wondering if you could do better? Are there preferable partners out there whom you’d find more interesting, enjoyable, smarter or funnier? Does your current partner pale in comparison with what else might be out there? Researchers call these perceptions of other possible partners your quality of alternatives. Psychologists measure your perceived quality of alternatives by assessing responses to statements such as “If I weren’t dating my partner, I would do fine – I would find another appealing person to date.” Agreeing with this kind of statement and believing you have high-quality alternatives may sound desirable because you have confidence in yourself and your ability to attract a good partner. However, thinking about and monitoring other partner options can undermine your present relationship’s stability. This type of decreased commitment to whom you’re currently with inceases negative behaviors like cheating. Ultimately, you should be in a relationship where you do not even notice any other greener grass because you are with someone whom you think is the best for you, and who thinks you’re the best for him or her. Building a Better You Relationships provide a lot of benefits. Someone to share your Netflix account with, to talk with about your day, to take care of you when you’re not feeling well. Our social relationships positively affect our physical health, including buffering against high blood pressure and heart disease, by decreasing depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It all adds up to building a healthy, meaningful life together with someone. A good relationship also provides a partner who helps you become a better person. Researchers refer to this experience as self-expansion. It is your relationship’s ability to provide you with opportunities for self-

Relationships that include more selfexpansion are more satisfying, more committed, have higher levels of passionate love. growth. Whether you learn new photography skills, develop a new perspective on politics, gain a new identity such as “organic gardener” or simply feel like a better, more capable person, self-expansion has benefits. Relationships that include more self-expansion are more satisfying, more committed, have higher levels of passionate love, experience less boredom, and have partners who are less likely to pay attention to other potential partners and less likely to cheat. Given the potential consequences of being stuck in a rut, less passionate love and more cheating, if your partner is not helping build a better you, it is time for a better partner. Check with Your Peeps Who is the best judge of your relationship’s

future? You, or your friends and family? To investigate, researchers asked people in romantic relationships to predict their relationship’s future and compared their predictions to those made by their roommate and mom. The daters thought their own relationship would last two to three times longer than what their friends and family anticipated. And people rated their own relationships as significantly better than how others saw them from the outside. Parents, perhaps because their own longer relationship experiences gave them insight into what to look for, were most likely to identify problems. Friends made the most accurate predictions, but it was the person in the relationship who was most confident in the assessment they made about their own relationship. Consider that for a second—it is not a good combination. When thinking about our own relationship, this research suggests that we are highly confident in our predictions, which are often inaccurate. Give your friends and family some credit, because this research shows that they have unique insights into your relationship. After all, they are looking out for your best interests and have a greater ability to see the relationship clearly and objectively without getting swayed by the heady mix of feelings and attraction you likely have for your partner. When in doubt, ask the people in your life who care about you whether your partner really should be your Valentine. Knowing whether you are with the best possible partner for you is difficult. While many of us get driver’s education and sex education in high school, we don’t get “relationships ed.” But learning what science has to say about what makes for a good relationship can help. Being informed ultimately helps us make better decisions about whether to stay or go. After all, not being part of a sappy couple during the chocolates-and-flowers Valentine’s hoopla is hardly the end of the world—especially if it means you are ready to find the relationship you should have, according to science. This article first appeared in The Conversation and has been reprinted with permission. ONYX MAGAZINE 35


Living Life Courageously Patricia Brown Denis

Dare to Love

The Rock and The River

By Penny Dixon

By Kekla Magoon

Penny Dixon is the author of several novels with romantic love themes. In “Dare to Love” she has written a tale that is great for those who want a quick read. The main character, Josi, has an encounter while on sabbatical in Barbados. The relationship that develops challenges her values of love and family. She is forced to wrestle with her own values while running from the truth in her life.

“The Rock and The River,” by Kekla Magoon, is a compelling novel because it carries familiar stories from inside of the Civil Rights movement, with a focus on the rise and controversy of the Black Panther Party, all from the perspective children. Sam and his brother Sticks are two very naïve and impressionable voices unwittingly on the front lines of history making events. The book works because they are two rambunctious young men who observe the disparity of the community they live in. In terms of mentorship, Black history and love, this story covers every theme and makes a great launching point for discussion with young people. There is also a helpful synopsis in the back of the book.

Black Faces in White Places By Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson Randal Pinkett is probably best known for his national debut as an entrepreneur on the infamous television program “The Apprentice.” Although, he landed the top job, in his book “Black Faces in White Places,” Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson outline the strategies they have used to overcome the weight of this moment. They actually consider having a “moment” as a phenomenon we all get to experience – “…we all will have our moment when we are confronted with our challenge related to our race” — this is an intriguing perspective. The book is as in your face and direct as the title. It is informative and instructive and certainly an ideal read for those seeking insight and strategies to win.

Genesis Begins Again By Alicia D. Williams “Genesis Begins Again” by Alicia D. Williams is focused on self-love, the most important love there is in my opinion. The main character has every reason to have self-loathing, at least that is what she tells herself. After spending a few hours getting to know her parents and the people she encounters at her school, it is clear that there are things inside of Genesis that need to get out before she can truly enjoy being herself. The influence of music, friendship and mindfulness play a tremendous role in the life of this young lady.

FLORIDA AUTHOR: TIA YOUNG Success in the social world leads to closing deals in the business world. Gain the valuable tools you need to excel in both worlds. In Tia Young’s “How to Navigate Premium Experiences with Confidence, Your Guide to Social Success”, you will learn how to confidently excel in upscale social and professional settings with ease. Learn “Silver Spoon” secrets, even if you were not born into a wealthy family. This book is ideal for emerging leaders, social shapers, and everyday people who are climbing the ladder of social and business success. Tia Young is a certified etiquette expert and owner of Tia Young Image and Etiquette, LLC, in Tampa. A former International flight attendant, trainer and Mompreneur Queen, Tia is an industry leader in the field of etiquette offering local and national etiquette workshops, seminars and professional development retreats. Tia positively impacts her community and is eager to guide you to social success.

Patricia Brown Denis is a writer and educator in Tampa.



Democrats Need Black Women Voters Now More Than Ever By Tasha Williams


emocratic presidential candidate Julián Castro caused a stir in November when he remarked that it is time to change the order of the primary states in presidential elections. The current schedule puts first two of the whitest states in the country, Iowa and New Hampshire. Neither is demographically “reflective of the United States as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party,” Castro said. After that MSNBC interview, Castro furthered those comments to other media outlets. He told “Rolling Stone,” if Democrats don’t elevate voters


of color, “Why the hell are we Democrats in the first place?” To “Vogue,” he said, “We can’t go around thanking black women for powering Democrats to victory all over the country, and then at the same time hold our first caucus and our first primary in states that have almost no African Americans.” Castro also compared the outdated practice of the schedule, which began in 1972, to the Republican suppression of black votes. Because conversations and results from the first primaries of the season can make or break a candidate’s momentum, the concern the presidential

candidate raises about leaving out black women and thereby silencing their voices are valid. Dems have several reasons to rethink prioritizing rural white voters at the expense of black women voters, because the outcomes can affect the party and the nation as a whole. As a voting bloc, black women are loyal and powerful. Turnouts demonstrate that when we are effectively engaged, our work can make seemingly impossible victories possible, such as the Virginia gubernatorial race and the Alabama senate race in 2017. Our donations and hard work canvassing,

fundraising, making phone calls on behalf of candidates have put scores of Democrats in office every election cycle. Castro and others who may share his point of view are not looking to negate rural white voters as an important part of our democracy. However, prioritizing the early input of this demographic leaves out not only black women voters and potential voters, but also other potential voters across the country. Including black women has the added value of being more inclusive to everyone, especially the most marginalized communities.

No Democratic candidate has received the nomination since 1992 without winning a majority of the black vote.

At least 62.7 percent of the U.S. population is squeezed into cities and their close suburbs. Primaries open to large numbers of black women involve heavily populated states and counties, thereby opening the door to earlier dialogue on nationwide issues relevant to a wide-ranging demographic in those areas. For example, residents in urban centers are more concerned than rural residents about issues such as affordable rental housing, poverty, crime, and the quality of public schools. Curiously, the decision to make Iowa and New Hampshire the first primary states did not come during the heyday of Jim Crow in the South. The schedule was put in place in the early 1970s, not long after black communities were beginning to

benefit from the Civil Rights Voting Act, and, as Castro pointed out to “Rolling Stone,” just when “African Americans started voting primarily as Democrats.” Democrats’ fixation with small town America during and since the early 1970s has given rise to a stream of nominees with limited direct urban legislation experience. The only exception: President Barack Obama whose base—for the state and U.S. Senate offices he held—was in Chicago. President Bill Clinton, on the other hand, climbed the political ladder to the White House from statewide positions of attorney general and governor of Arkansas. His personality made it easy for him to connect with black communities across the nation.

However, his policies, lacking insight and empathy for the way systemic oppression crushes those communities, wreaked havoc for generations—specifically on black and other marginalized people who live in urban centers. Black women have been preserving the integrity of the Democratic platform—the movement toward diversity and inclusion—with their votes for decades. As the party scrambles to connect with religious white voters, debates rage over whether the party should be more open to people who oppose reproductive and LGTBQ rights. Despite being labeled as the most religious demographic in the country, black women have been faithful to a party comparatively more inclusive of abortion rights and LTGBQ equality—a steadfast commitment to separation of church and state. Black women therefore deserve a chance to experience policymaking done with them rather than at them, as well as the right to be involved earlier in the process of choosing who represents the party they loyally support. No Democratic candidate has received the nomination since 1992 without winning a majority of the black vote. What can this actually mean in terms of primary strategy? It means starting with any of 10 politically strategic and more highly populated states that also happen to collectively hold 58 percent of the nation’s black residents: Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York, North Carolina, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Louisiana. All have a large black population and five contain at least one of the 20 largest cities in the nation. Even if starting with the Midwest is a strategic necessity,

why not begin the cycle with Illinois? Or with Michigan, where its majority black cities, Detroit and Flint, can also be a sound option for a diverse early primary. Even Wisconsin is an option, which has a county— including the city of Milwaukee—that contains twice the number of black people than reside in all of Iowa. Some analysts claim that black people only support establishment candidates. If this is true, Democrats may wonder whether there is any real harm in letting the primary season advance before mobilizing black women. Black women certainly helped Clinton defeat Sanders, despite his progressive ideas for economic equality. They also helped deliver wins for more liberal candidates such as Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams in their state primaries, and progressive U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley to Congress. What all of these candidates had was not just the perspective of their racial identity, but the ability to build relationships across political identities while taking the time to engage black women. As Avis Jones-DeWeever, an adviser to the Black Women’s Roundtable, remarked during a 2017 Congressional Black Caucus conference, the far left and centrists alike have been trying to court “white male voters who have not supported the Democratic Party for 50 years” rather than “watering the garden” in their own backyard. No matter the outcome of the primaries, Democrats will need black women voters now more than ever to reclaim the White House. Tasha Williams writes about economics and technology at Yes! Magazine. This article has been published with permission. ONYX MAGAZINE 39



eal estate is property made up of land and the buildings on it, as well as the natural resources that surround it. It has been called king. Everybody wants a piece of it. Since the beginning of time, it has been at the forefront of wars and settlements. Owning it is an intricate part of the American dream. Cliff Long has spent his life helping families and businesses grab hold of that dream. As the newest chief executive officer of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association (ORRA), he is responsible for programs and services that ORRA provides to its 14,500 members, and he oversees the association’s internal operations and external functions. In short, he ensures that anyone purchasing real estate in Orlando is working with professionals who have their best interest in mind. Long, a veteran in the industry, has an ambitious outlook for real estate in Orlando, which ranks fourth in the nation for new residents annually. He shared his vision with ONYX Magazine.


ORLANDO Cliff Long talks real estate, strong families and black wealth By D. Shenell Reed Photo by Nancy Brown


How is the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association making the community and families stronger?

REALTORS® are one of the strongest political advocates for our school systems, if not the strongest. For example, ORRA’s support for local taxation issues that benefit schools resulted $81 million for Orange County schools in fiscal year 2018-2019. Our foundation and its Art in Architecture program develops attractive, workforce housing in partnership with governmental entities. This year we completed an initiative that provided six local military veterans and their families with mortgage-free homes. The association also sup-

ports numerous non-profit organizations through participation in their programs and sponsorship of their fundraising events. How does owning real estate translate to wealth, particularly for black families?

If you uproot a tree, it cannot grow. Oftentimes African American families become transient and don’t have a home or homeplace that the family goes to. When people have a stable living environment, they get a chance to have jobs and to secure other resources that support accrual of assets. So by owning real estate, African American families create a “wealth base” whereby they can grow, and the tree won’t be uprooted. Real estate translates to wealth for African American families very much the same way it translates to wealth for any family. Real estate increases in value over time; it also increases the net assets of its holder. If African Americans hold that real estate, their net assets increase as well. What is ORRA doing to increase the number of black homeowners?

The association as whole does not target one demographic in its efforts to increase homeownership, because the association represents all demographics. What we do is make sure that public policy and advocacy efforts cover all groups. For example, when we lobby for a law, we try our very best to ensure that one demographic is going to become disenfranchised because that law might

suit one group better than another. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) does an excellent job of supporting black home ownership. When groups like NAREB present a need or issue to ORRA that warrants consideration, we evaluate the need within the framework of the association’s strategic plan and mission. If the request warrants, ORRA supports the request and by extension the culture that is represented by that council. What is your vision for real estate in Orlando and what is your path to get there?

My vision is for Orlando to be America’s premier city for residents to live in and for real estate investors to invest in. We are already well on the way, with a strong economy and a continuing high demand from international real estate buyers. I also desire for Orlando be a profitable haven for REALTORS® who specialize in all areas of real estate, and I anticipate Orlando becoming a worldwide example of efficient commerce through real estate transactions facilitated by REALTORS® who demonstrate the highest levels of service and professionalism. Where do you see the Orlando real estate market in the next five years?

I anticipate that the Orlando real estate market will continue to dominate as an investment destination, particularly for international buyers. These

homebuyers are attracted to the area’s mix of resort, urban, and suburban neighborhoods; healthy economy and real estate market; and, of course, our world class theme parks. I also would not be surprised to see Orlando’s share of Florida’s international transactions increase as climate change drives buyers inland, away from coasts. A second movement that I anticipate is added inventory in the first-time homebuyer price ranges, along with additional multi-family rental units in the affordable price ranges, that will buoy Orlando’s reputation as a community of choice for millennials. What is not happening in the real estate industry that you think should be happening, and how do you plan to address it?

With the advent of the iBuyer business model, real estate disrupters are attempting to create an environment where transactions occur exclusively via electronic platform and the agent is cut out. This model may seem efficient and appealing at first glance, but when you consider that purchasing a home will be the greatest investment and expenditure that most people make in their lifetime, do you really think that that should be done sight unseen through an app, without the help of an expert to represent your interests and aid in the process? Which markets, partners or other opportunities can add significant value to your business and how?

Direct foreign investment cannot be overlooked, and we do our very best to attract foreign investors to Orlando. In 2019 we performed trade missions to Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Panama, and Dubai. In 2018, approximately 9.4 percent of Florida’s international homebuyers opted to purchase property in Orlando (making it No. 2 behind only Miami). Our data further show that foreign buyers were involved in approximately 11 percent of all Orlando area real estate transactions, so you can see why we put considerable effort into promoting Orlando as an international real estate destination. What do black families need to know/do to prepare for home ownership?

Black families need to know that they can purchase a home just as any other group can; what’s critical is the pre-purchase preparation. Preparing for homeownership involves ensure your credit is in good shape, that your employment history is solid, and that you are realistic about how much home you can truly afford. Key to preparation is selecting a bank or mortgage company that you believe has your best interests, and of course, using a REALTOR® to ensure that your needs are met during the home search and transaction process. It’s worth repeating: African American families have the same opportunities as any other group. It’s the education that happens before the purchase that is critical.



BPAOF meet with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried: Treasurer Peter Webley, Caribbean Today, Taralisha Sanders, Capital Outlook, Robert Hill WRNE, Gayle Andrews, President, Nikki Fried, Vice President Rich Black, ONYX Magazine, Vernon Watson WBQP TV

Black Press Association of Florida Learns Cabinet Successes & Priorities. By Donnie Williams



embers of the Black Press Association of Florida conducted annual meetings with cabinet officials by reviewing the 2020 priorities of two powerful state regulators; Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. These elected officials run Jimmy Patronis statewide like the governor and U.S. senators, and while they are not as well-known, they wield tremendous influence. That’s because they are regulators protecting Floridians and assisting them in a wide range of public services that impact their daily lives. Both of these cabinet officers are white, young, driven, and passionate about getting things done. Fried is a Democrat, and Patronis is a Republican. They share a common enthusiasm for their jobs and partner up on issues where they agree. That was refreshing. Here are some of the priorities we discussed.

Fried: Fighting Food Deserts, Gun Loopholes, and the Onerous Clemency Process

Patronis: Uses Power to Stop Scams and Save Lives

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stays busy. She says there is Jimmy Patronis was appointed, then elected as Florida’s Chief a lot of work to do in Florida. Among those issues is finding ways Financial Officer in 2018. He has a broad range of regulatory to deal with “food deserts” or food insecurity. Within months of responsibilities over banking and finance, insurance, while also taking office, Fried put together a pilot project in Little Haiti, pro- serving as the Fire Marshall and Treasurer. Fraud has been one of viding universal breakfast to those qualifying. Lift provided trans- the biggest problems Floridians face. Patronis has made combating portation. Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the $100,000 state it a priority, dubbing the effort” Fraud Free Florida.” The CFO himself could have been a victim. He says he received budget appropriation. Fried did not give up, and a social security scam call. “If I got one, someone in Lift didn’t either. The program is operating with- “Right now, we the wrong frame of mind could have been ruined. This out the money, which is a minimal allocation in cannot retain is stealing,” he said. Consumer alerts and coordination is the massive state budget. Fried will come back fingerprints. with local and state law enforcement is ongoing. again this session but has moved aggressively to Patronis turned to the devastation of Hurricane address Florida’s hunger problems by promoting Such commonMichael that ripped through the panhandle leveling and supporting urban farms, food trucks, and a sense communities. “That hurricane resulted in 148,000 host of volunteer initiatives. safeguards insurance claims, $8 billion in damages and $60 milA former public defender, Fried has taken on and the lion in downed timber debris. There are no homes left the cumbersome clemency process that hears pleas reduction of in Mexico Beach, and the tax base in Bay County has from convicted felons to restore their civil rights. collapsed,” according to Patronis, who is working with The process is so expensive and difficult to navi- the renewal insurance companies, FEMA and HUD to rebuild the gate, and few undertake the effort at all. In Sep- time to five community. The deterioration of mental health is also a tember, the Commissioner wrote her colleagues on years face significant problem; a sharp increase in Baker Act comthe clemency board, asking for a hearing to review resistance, mitments resulted after the storm. the rules and regulations. As yet, no response. however, from The mental health overall and cancer insurance covThe Agriculture Commissioner also is responsible for oversight of the background checks for lawmakers and erage for Florida firefighters was an emotional issue for the CFO. He points with pride to the April passage concealed weapons permits. Loopholes in the law gun advocates of the bill that expands benefits to firefighters exposed came to light when Fried’s predecessor, Adam Put- like the to 21 types of cancer-causing chemicals in the line of nam, stopped cross-checking concealed weapon National Rifle duty. It was a major victory for firefighters who had applicants on the FBI crime database for over a Association.” fought for the coverage for years. For the upcoming year. Fried wants to close other dangerous loop— Nikki Fried 2020 session, plans continued focus on digital fraud holes. and mental health issues. “Right now, we cannot retain fingerprints,” Fried said. Such common-sense safeguards and the reduction of the renewal time to five years face resistance, however, from lawmakers and gun advocates like the National Rifle Association. As citrus greening intensifies, Fried is working toward a “come back,” which means finding workers for the processing plants. But she is also looking to alternative crops such as industrial hemp. Hemp’s potential as an environmental asset is tremendous, according to Fried. Hemp will replace paper, plastic, and expedite processing cotton. ‘There is an open market for hemp. It will provide 20-30 billion dollars for the Florida economy,” the Commissioner said. ONYX MAGAZINE 43


QUAD J. Murray Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced. Gibson holds five U.S. patents in techniques for semiconductor layer growth, including a patent on a novel technique for electron beam lithography that led to one spin-off company. His work at Bell Labs on semiconductor epitaxial growth has become important in the development of today’s advanced semiconductor devices used in the manufacture of electronics. As dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Gibson heads the nation’s only shared engineering college, serving Florida A&M University and Florida State University. He is also a professor of mechanical engineering through FAMU at the college and holds the same appointment at FSU. “I am honored to be recognized for my semiconductor research, and marvel that the basic research I and my colleagues carried out decades ago has made its way into today’s cutting edge information technology hardware,” Gibson said. “I have been very privileged by my rich career experiences, culminating in the opportunity to lead our exceptional FAMUFSU College of Engineering.” The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with more than 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.


NSF Awards $999,702 to B-CU and FAMU for Research The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) a 3-year grant of $999,702 for research to improve coastal water quality. The researchers at both universities will investigate oyster-associated bacteria, which have the potential to remove nitrogen (N) from estuarine waters. Excessive nitrogen can act as a fertilizer and exacerbate undesirable harmful algal blooms (HABs) in coastal waters.

FAMU Dean Wins Prestigious Honor

B-CU Hosts Law Enforcement Bethune-Cookman University hosted almost 100 law enforcement professionals from across the state of Florida, as well as Texas and Ohio during the fourth Annual Florida Historically Black Colleges & Universities (FL HBCUs) Law Enforcement Career Opportunity Symposium and Luncheon on Friday, November 15, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Florida. More than 350 B-CU students, as well as a group of visiting students from Edward Waters College (Jacksonville) and Florida Memorial University (Miami), were in attendance in participation with law enforcement agencies from across the state of Florida. Chief Robert Hardwick and Officer Mikayla Preston of the St. Augustine Beach Police Department provided an engaging presentation on why and how a career in the law enforcement profession can be personally rewarding and have a positive impact on communities of color. Sheriff Sadie Darnell (Alachua County), the first female sheriff for the County served as the Law Enforcement Leadership Luncheon speaker. “Sheriff Darnell’s career path and journey as a law enforcement professional really resonated with female students,” said Randy Nelson, Ph.D., Criminal Justice Administration Graduate Program Director. Several of them expressed a newfound interest in considering a career in law enforcement. “Given the national climate relative to police-community relations, the need to attract the best and brightest to the law enforcement profession is more critical now than ever before and Bethune-Cookman University students and faculty deems it an honor and a privilege to lead the way,” he added.

EWC Launches First Honors Program

Edward Waters College (EWC) has heightened its academic profile and institutional competitiveness with the establishment of the EWC Honors College. Twenty students from throughout the nation are participating in the Honors College’s Alpha Cohort, a diversely talented group of future leaders who are primed to make their individual and collective mark on the world. Established in August 2019, the Honors College engages students in enhanced academic and experiential learning opportunities that incubate, promote and support exceptional scholarly academic achievement. Serving as the facilitator for the college’s academic enterprises, the Honors College will support future initiatives such as the development of a comprehensive President Scholarship program that connects students with corporate partners. The Alpha Cohort are passionate and highly knowledgeable in their academic work, for they have discovered a way to use education as a gateway to emerging eminence in academia and the global community. The cohort boasts a 4.01 average high school grade point average and an average score of 1127 on the SAT. The Alpha Cohort are Presidential Scholars and the Presidential Scholarship is a renewable, merit-based award covering full tuition, room, board, general fee, and the cost of textbooks. “The Honors College will achieve Dr. Faison’s strategic vision by creating community, emphasizing critical and creative thinking across disciplines and fostering top-quality undergraduate research and creativity,” shares Dr. Donna H. Oliver, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This program and these students are an example of the premiere academic excellence and eminence at Edward Waters College.”




Beauty and Brains: Five Major Pageant Queens Are Black In May, we learned that America’s three major beauty pageant winners were all black women: Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Since then, Miss Universe and Miss World have all been added to the list of beauty queens making Black Girl Magic happen around the globe. This is the first time in history these titles were held by five black women at the same time. Miss America is Nia Amani Franklin from Winston Salem, N.C.; Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, hails from Charlotte, N.C.; Miss Teen USA is Kaleigh Garris from New Haven, Conn.; Miss Universe is Zozibini Tunzi from Tsolo, South Africa; and Miss World is Toni-Ann Sighn from St. Thomas, Jamaica.

erse Miss Univ

Miss USA

Miss World


Miss Am

Miss Teen USA

Raise Florida’s Minimum Wage to $15? There is a call from Florida workers to raise the minimum wage from $8.46 to $15. Now, a potential ballot in 2020 could be put before voters to make that gradual increase happen by 2026. The proposal has more than enough signatures to get on the ballot—closing in on 800,000. If the Florida Supreme Court signs off on the language, the people will vote on it in 2020. The idea, of course, has some naysayers. Some employers and business groups claim the 77 percent increase could hurt jobs. But proponents say it would benefit the economy, because minimum wage workers tend to spend what they earn. According to the South Florida SunSentinel, employers may seek to curb labor costs by reducing employees’ hours or moving to automation where they can. Consumers could pay, too, in higher prices at their local restaurant or store. Florida’s minimum wage already is slated to go up ten cents in January 2020. The Florida Supreme Court will look at the language for the additional increase in 2020. Babies Born Drug Free First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that she has organized a “Babies Born Drug-Free” Community Initiative in Broward County to take a fresh, comprehensive look at existing resources and find better ways to identify women struggling with opioid and other substance addictions, the best methods to communicate with them, and the leading prevention and treatment management practices to stop the number of newborns suffering from withdrawal. Part of her Hope for Healing Florida initiative, this initiative calls together leaders from law enforcement, health care, the judicial system, the child welfare system, and community organizations in Broward County who have volunteered to participate in this initiative. Many of the participants in this initiative took part in previous listening sessions she held to address the scope and magnitude of the opioid epidemic. 46 ONYX MAGAZINE


Mentoring and Internships Help Your Bottom Line By Laura Dorsey


oing business today requires having low-cost, yet high-quality solutions to problems. Internships and mentorships are two ways businesses can leverage the company’s greatest resources: employees. Interns are trainees who work to gain experience and/or satisfy requirements. Mentees may be experienced workers who are guided by another experienced person in the company to reach certain goals. Strategically developing these workers’ talent contributes to the company’s growth, innovation and bottom line. Why is this important? The average starting point for the cost of onboarding a new employee is $4,125, according to a benchmark report from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). The replacement cost for an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 per year is $15,000, according to the Work Institute’s Retention report. It just makes

Laura Dorsey is one of ONYX Magazine’s associate editors.


sense for organizations to follow some best practices that will be financially beneficial. Here are a few benefits of both internships and mentorships. Internships Hiring has always been a challenge for many organizations and 71 percent of interns agree that getting engaged as an intern helped them land full-time employment. • NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) surveys point out positive employee retention figures for companies offering internships. Forty percent of employers witnessed a higher five-year retention rate among employees hired through their internship programs. • Interns are more likely to blend in with a company’s work culture as a full-time employee rather than those who have been hired later. • Formal internship programs are an excellent way to gain the competitive advantage of mentoring and working with rising stars and gaining top talent for your organization.

Photo courtesy of Xerox

Mentoring Company leadership should embrace, promote and value mentoring programs to realize a return on investment. The biggest benefit of providing business mentors is having someone the mentee can meet with to ask questions. The mentor can be a sounding board, helping sort out problems and giving advice on business matters. The mentee has someone who can offer a sympathetic ear when there is a problem, or if the mentee just needs to vent. • Mentoring programs contribute to the development of the better-trained and engaged workforce. Mentors help mentees learn the ropes at a company, develop relationships across the organization and identify skills that should be developed and improved upon. • Mentoring programs play a key role in decreasing employee turnover. People who have the opportunity to serve as mentors experience greater job satisfaction and a higher commitment to their employer. • Mentoring programs are a cost-efficient way to get employees engaged and empowered. The programs enable you to develop the talent that you already have and increase productivity across the organization.

Executive Ursula Burns Got Her Start as an Intern Ursula Burns began life in a lower east side housing project in New York City to a single mom. In 1980, Burns earned her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. That summer, she began her journey at Xerox as a mechanical engineering summer intern. This internship was included as part of Xerox’s graduate engineering program for minorities, a program that helped pay for her to complete her master’s degree from Columbia University in 1981. After graduation, she went to work full time at Xerox. Her work came to the attention of Xerox president Paul Allaire and she later became his executive assistant. Under his mentorship in 2007, Burns became the president of Xerox and, in 2009, she became the chief executive officer. In doing so, Burns was the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. That same year she was named the ninth most powerful woman by “Fortune” magazine and in 2010 she became chairman of the company.

Most smart, successful people will not talk about their time at school when asked where they learned their craft. They often will share the wisdom of a mentor or a transformative experience as an intern. Leaders should influence others in such a way that builds people up, encourages and edifies them so they can duplicate this attitude in others. Internships and mentoring are all about sharing life’s experiences. Some local colleges, universities and trade schools have robust internships programs. Organizations would find it a beneficial best practice to look at some of them as a means of increasing growth and strengthening the bottom line. Money Matters when it comes to running a successful organization, no matter the size, small business or major organization. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ONYX MAGAZINE 49


From Clutter to Couture: Time to Tame Your Closet By Lena Graham Morris, The Entreprenista


here is that new pair of shoes! Have you ever experienced the frustration of a fashion statement flop because your wardrobe and closet are in disarray? A new year always brings resolution and many times a desire to declutter. To do that, it is crucial to get rid of anything that is just wasting space in your closet. Let’s face it though, taming a closet full of clutter can be a fearful thing. Here are several tips to take you from clutter to couture: Get Inspired Time to get hype and give yourself a motivational kick in the pants. It’s time to put your social media surfing to good use. Scroll through Instagram and Pinterest to find images, decor, and organizational ideas each day that are inspiring you. Tools of the Trade Stock up on the essentials. Once you’re feeling inspired, you’ll need the proper tools to ensure that your organization is topnotch. Is your issue with not having enough space to house all your clothes? You might try space-saving essentials like vacuum seal bags. Or maybe your closet needs to be more structure, in which case it may be time for a trip to IKEA and identify some affordable items. Let Go and Let God Time to be honest with yourself—this is a crucial part of cleaning out your closet. The more honest you are, the higher your success rate. Start by asking yourself, Do I feel fierce when I put this on? Does it still fit? Have I worn it in the last year? No? Then out it goes. New Approach You’ve likely attempted a closet clean-out before, so to ensure that this time is an even more significant success, opt for a different method than you’ve used before. It can help you make up for any blind spots. Here are five tips:

Take Time Out Set aside some time, perhaps block a few hours or a day, depending on your closet scenario. Get some boxes or plastic containers; this is based on how much clutter you have. Lay It on the Line Take everything out, empty it into a pile—all of it. Alternatively, you could choose to do this one section at a time, which could be less overwhelming — but it’ll take a few extra steps, as you’ll have to repeat these steps for each section. Either way works. Move Fast Quickly sort into three piles. Be strong! Here are the choices: keep, toss, or maybe. The maybe is only if you really, really have a hard time deciding—you’ll put these in a box and store them for six months, getting rid of them after that time if you never needed them. The keep pile is for stuff you love and use—if you haven’t used it for six months, put it in the toss pile. Clean Away Once everything sorted is sorted, clean out the closet nicely. Put the keep pile back in the closet (unless it belongs elsewhere). The key is to put it back neatly, organized. Create a system that makes items accessible for you to find and leave spaces between things, if possible. Let’s Make a Deal Immediately deal with the other piles. Take the maybe collection and put it into a box or two. Label it with description and date. Store it somewhere out of sight, and don’t open it for six months. Toss the stuff in 6 months. Take the toss pile, and put it into boxes — donate to charity, package as a gift to friends, or resale. Enjoy your new closet and, more importantly, the option of understanding all your wardrobe options. Of course, this may be a daunting task, so if all else fails, you can always call an expert.

Lena Graham-Morris, The Entreprenista®, is the executive strategist of ONYX Magazine.



FAMU Quarterback Wins MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Florida A&M University redshirt senior quarterback Ryan Stanley was announced as the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year, the conference announced on Tuesday morning. Stanley, along with MEAC Defensive Player of the Year Darius Royster, of North Carolina Central, were officially named during the 62nd Annual National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame press conference in the Trianon Ballroom on the third floor of the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City. “This means a lot to me,” Stanley said. “When you see so many talented people who’ve won in the past, I’m humbled to have my name in this category.”


Photo courtesy of FAMU

During the pregame festivities of the 40th Annual Florida Blue Florida Classic Saturday, Florida A&M President Larry Robinson said to the massive crowd, “Eight is enough” but Bethune-Cookman President Brent Chrite followed up by saying “”Nine is quite fine.” Indeed it is as a resilient Wildcat football team found another way to beat No. 12/13 Florida A&M and extend its Florida Blue Florida Classic winning streak with a 31-27 triumph before a Camping World Stadium crowd of 55,730 – the largest crowd since 2011. This 40th Annual Florida Blue Florida Classic will go down in history as just that...a classic, with a cast of characters and a plot line much bigger that the audience could ever have imagined. Imagine this, the Wildcat football team seemed to be facing exactly what the entire university has been facing all year...the daunting challenge of beating an unbeatable foe and overcoming hurdles that the experts predicted never to be surpassed. “Just a great team effort. These guys have had some real, real serious adversity the last three weeks,” said B-CU Head Coach Terry Simms. “We’ve lost some games that we felt like we should not have dropped but they didn’t quit. They kept practicing hard. They kept preparing. And, you know, I think anyone that watched that game tonight, they saw “bend but don’t break” with all three phases of the game.” “It definitely hurts,” Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons said of the loss. “The immediate impact of it hurts. But once tomorrow comes and the sun shines again, we’ll look back and reflect and we’ll realize that we’ve done some great things this year and these guys have really done a phenomenal job. And I think that’s understated as to what they have been able to accomplish and the pride, the excitement, that they brought back to Rattler Nation.” – Compiled from B-CU reports and live interview with Simmons

Photo by Don Montague/Florida Citrus Sports.

Eight is Enough? No, Nine Is Fine! B-CU Continues Florida Classic Winning Streak

Photo courtesy of ONYX Magazine


Perry Crawley, director of Food and Beverage and Operations, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort; Anne Ogunrinde, marketing strategy manager, Walt Disney World Resort; Daymond John, investor on ABC TV’s “The Shark Tank”; Yolanda Cade, director of Public Relations for Disney Signature Events; Sybil Crum, director of Marketing Strategy, Resorts/Segments for Walt Disney World Resort

‘Shark’ Gives Advice Founder of FUBU and “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John stopped by Walt Disney’s Epcot to share words of wisdom with African American journalists, ONYX Magazine among them. John talked about how he likes to stay in his lane when investing, because he wants to have a full understanding of the product. He also said those who want to become entrepreneurs because they want to work for themselves and have flexibility “have no idea what they are talking about,” he said. “They have to get up before everybody and go to bed after everybody, they are the last to get paid. They cannot tell anybody their problems. A few entrepreneurs I know, the reason they were successful is they said, ‘there’s a problem and somebody has got to solve this problem… guess what, I’m going to do it.”



COZY UP TO WARM APPLE CIDER Nothing beats a cup of warm apple cider on a chilly night. Top off your Valentine’s evening with this spicy beverage.



6 cups apple cider

1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.

1/4 cup real maple syrup

2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.

2 cinnamon sticks 6 whole cloves 6 whole allspice berries 1 orange peel, cut into strips 1 lemon peel, cut into strips


3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling. 4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.


ONYX Magazine January/February 2020  

Cliff Long, ORRA, black history, valentine

ONYX Magazine January/February 2020  

Cliff Long, ORRA, black history, valentine