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Onyx Magazine


May / June 2006


May / June 2006 ONYX MAGAZINE Archiving the African American Experience

COVER: page 22


HOW DID HE DO IT? In just five quick years, under the leadership of Al Tucker, the Multicultural Business Development Plan (Fort Lauderdale) has more than tripled the tourism dollars brought in by minorities.

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DEPARTMENTS 8 From the Editors 9 Letters to the Editor 10 Sorting out the Medicare Drug Program (BCBS of FL)


Stroke: One too Many (Message from UF&Shands)

14 Florida Scope 16 “Diva’s” Summer Movie Highlights 20 Hair Tips by Cathy Howse 24 Onyx Diner Finds Ruby’s by Annaliese Hightower

32 39

Florida Scope

37 Buyout Means Improved Financial Services for 43 Year-Old Black Bank

Blacks in Radio Melvin Graces takes us back 50+ years by Lillian Seays

Does Black College Reunion Have a Future at Daytona Beach?

14 By Willie Clark

Theodore Springer and the story of his training and experiences as a Navy Seal By Steven King


FEATURES 14 Black College Reunion 16 Minorities Deserve Better TV Choice

Photo Gallery

17 This Summer at the Cinema 18 Melvin Grace: Pioneer

At Ruby’s

disk jockey talks about his start in radio during the early ‘50s


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Lee Bryan, President of Florida Sickle Cell Association Accepts Donation from LBS Foundation Incorporated to help send kids to summer camp

26 30

Super Seniors - 2006 Blue, the Black Fish (Part V)

May / June 2006




PUBLISHER / EDITOR Lillian Seays ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lester Seays (Director of Operations) Director of Special Projects Cheryll Daniels Director of Technology Brian Seays Marketing LJM & Associates

Dear Readers, On April 13th, the Oprah Winfrey Show brought to the consciousness of most of our minds a critical problem that America faces today. Our education system is experiencing a serious crisis, and it’s every American’s problem. The question is, What are we going to do about it? We dedicate this issue to our young people. We celebrate those who have taken their education seriously and have not only completed their high school or college requirements, but have excelled along the way. If one dares to question these young achievers about the key to their success, the probable answer would be consistent parental involvement. Parents, we challenge you to inspire your children by offering stimulating experiences when they come home to you. Take an interest in their school life––both the social and the academic side of it. Attend their extra curricular activities and become their biggest cheerleaders, provide a conducive home environment for learning, expose them to cultural environments and activities, read with them, read to them, talk to them, listen to them, and then watch their progress soar. Come up to your “A” game and see what can be done to improve your child’s progress next season. We want them on our Super Senior List! While we know that there are thousands whose names deserve be on the Super Senior list, we invite you to enjoy a peek into a few of Florida’s Finest. We congratulate them for making the right choices, and we congratulate teachers and parents for their guidance. Look at what is happening to tourism in the Fort Lauderdale Area. Albert Tucker can take ownership in some of the growth––no, a lot of the growth. Read the cover story on page 22. It is about what he has accomplished since joining Fort Lauderdale’s CVB five years ago. Winners of the Onyx Awards are highlighted in the Photo Gallery, page 39. Movie goers, Diva has already done your research for you. See page 16. We hope you will enjoy everything we have for you in this issue. Remember to... VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.ONYXMAGAZINE.COM. IN THE MEANTIME, STAY HEALTHY AND STAY SOLVENT.

Lillian and Lester Seays NEXT ISSUE: Up and Coming (Age 35 and under) Submit your photo and profile to Onyx Magazine, PMB 412, 7226 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32818, or email to Deadline June 15th. 8

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Director of Sales David Williams Director of Circulation Kenneth Seays Contributing Writers Karyn Beach Willie Clark Zelma Dickerson Annaliese Hightower Steven King Graphic Design Lisa Moten Photographers Gregory Griffith Maxine Hixon Ted Hollins Larry Mooring Lester Seays Special Projects Consultant RBlack & Associates Onyx Magazine is published bimonthly by LBS Publications, Inc., PMB 412, 7226 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32818. Phone: (407) 293-6102, (407) 579-9894 or (407) 443-6237, Fax: (407) 523-5225. Subscription rate is $15 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 2006 by Onyx Magazine. All right reserved. No part of this 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 by Onyx Magazine.

May / June 2006

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS Comments: The Josephine Hammond Op-Ed was right on. As an employee at a primarily minority community college, I face the exact same conflicts over names I can’t pronounce as if it was my fault and because I struggle with pronunciation, I’m somehow racist. Yet none of them know how to pronounce my Italian last name. Keep up the great work and insightful journalism. G. C., Arlington, TX

Comments: I am a retail pharmacist and I can completely relate to this story. I love the way the writer has taken every thought that’s ever come to my head and put it to words, it’s great! Good on you!! Fatema

Comments: Your article does have a scolding tone to it, yet it’s done in a warm-hearted way. The points you make about the consequences of choosing a strange name of ethnicity--laughs at these awful, hard to pronounce names that scream: ghetto! I’m a teacher; I frequently run into the same situation you described about angering someone because you botched up the pronunciation of their name. Kids don’t need the burden of having to defend their name. They have enough to deal with. Thanks for your amusing and informative article. Jim, Long Beach, CA

SORTING OUT THE MEDICARE DRUG PROGRAM Critics say the program is too confusing and offers too many choices. But insurers and politicians are urging the public, particularly senior citizens, to have faith in Medicare's new prescription drug benefit program, which went into effect on January 1st of this year. All Medicare beneficiaries, not just seniors, are eligible for what's called"Medicare Part D". Simply put, the new program is insurance for prescription drugs, and beneficiaries have 40 or more plans to choose from in Florida alone. Florida Medicare beneficiary, Patricia Morris, reflects the concerns of many seniors who have been bombarding insurance companies with calls and emails as they try to sort out their options. "Maybe I just didn't understand it but to me it was confusing. I need to figure out what the best plan is for me," she said. So what is the best plan? If you enroll in Part D, you pay a monthly premium, an annual deductible and a portion of each prescription. The incentive - the Bush administration estimates Part D could cut prescription drug costs in half for most Medicare beneficiaries, and could eventually cover about 11 million low-income and disabled Americans. "This is protection for now and the future," says Susan Walker, Medicare Part D Team Leader for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. "You never know when you're going to have that life-changing event that could require you to be on five or six drugs. Most seniors are on a fixed income and they're very savvy shoppers. They do their homework. And they realize the benefits of purchasing Part D both for their piece of mind and the financial benefit." Walker says the insurance giant has seen a large volume of calls from seniors interested in the coverage to offset potential drug cost increases in the future. "We've had great response," she said, estimating "tens of thousands of people across Florida have enrolled." It's important to note, Medicare beneficiaries have time to compare plans before they make a decision. Beneficiaries have until May 15th to enroll without paying higher premiums and are urged by government officials, advocacy groups, and private insurers to do their research and ask questions. "Our job right now is to let people know there's help out there for

them. This is a really important benefit and it's worth the time they need to take to learn it," says Cheryl Matheis of the American Association for Retired Persons. Some other important tips: Insurers advise keeping a list of the name, dosage and cost of your prescriptions. Since different Part D plans cover different drugs, this will help you compare plans and choose the right one to meet your needs. Also, enrollees in Medicare Advantage HMO and/or PPO plans may not have to do anything to receive Part D drug coverage in 2006. For example, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Medicare Advantage plans automatically provide Part D coverage to enrollees. And people on a fixed income may qualify for assistance in covering the costs of premiums and co-pays. To find out if you're eligible, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit or the Social Security Administration online at How old is too old to drive? Most people have had a close call with another car, a pedestrian, or an object while driving. Many people have also had car accidents. How do senior citizens and their caregivers know when these situations are cause for concern? “It is important to recognize that advanced age alone does not lead to increased accidents,” said Janet Crozier, senior educator for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. “But old age is often associated with illness and medications that can increase risk of crashes.” Many older adults take multiple medicines and have conditions that increase the risk of unsafe driving, such as Alzheimer's disease, vision problems, stroke, Parkinson's disease, arthritis and diabetes. Although the risk of crashes and serious crash-related injuries usually increases as people get older, there are signs to watch for and steps that can be taken to minimize driving problems for seniors. 1. Problem signs to watch for with senior drivers: Merging or changing lanes without looking; Trouble staying in their lane; Getting lost in familiar places; Stopping at a green light; Stopping when there is no sign to stop or in the middle of intersections; Mistaking the gas pedal for the brake

pedal; Finding traffic signs and signals confusing; Running stop signs or red lights without realizing it; Hitting or nearly hitting cars, people or objects without realizing it; Getting lost in familiar places; and Moving from one lane to another without looking. 2. Steps to help seniors be safe drivers: Caregivers can look to doctors and other health care providers to find out if there is a mental or physical problem that limits the senior’s driving abilities. Have seniors avoid driving at night, in heavy traffic and on unfamiliar roads; Help seniors know the rules of the road that can be found in a state driver's handbook; If you have concerns as a caregiver, have the senior take a driving class from a driving instructor or a rehabilitation specialist; or Have the senior take a driving refresher course offered by groups such as: The Automobile Association of America (AAA); or The National Safety Council. For more information on driver evaluation,driver education, transportation choices, facts about senior drivers and medical conditions contact: Administration on Aging National Eldercare Locator: or1-800-677-1116 The Elder Helpline: or1-800-9635337 American Occupational Therapy Association: or 301-652-2682 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: or 1-888-327-4236 Association for Driver Educators for the Disabled: or 1-608-884-8833.



Congressman Hastings Receives Laurel Leaf Award

Congressman Alcee Hastings was recently extended the highest honor that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated bestows upon any of it’s members, the Laurel Leaf Award. The Laurel Wreath award consists of a jeweled Fraternity badge framed with laurel leaves in gold accompanied by a citation of merit. The award is given in support of one of the following standards: • Extra meritorious contributions to the advancement of Kappa Alpha Psi; • Achievement of exceptional scientific, technological or professional merit; • Exceptional achievement as reflected in the origin or development of a highly representative commercial or industrial enterprise; or • An act of courage or valor worthy of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Congressman Hastings (right) is shown with his Chief of Staff Art Kennedy.

Stroke Stroke STROKE ...

One Too Many

“I went to a Heal Thy Healthy People meeting in January of this year….Little did I know that this meeting would be a potential life saving event for me.”

From the pen of a pastor attendee at Shands Jacksonville Heal Thy People monthly meeting comes the vivid recall of a life changing decision. This pastor made a choice to follow through after expressing some personal medical concerns. “Go to the Eastside Primary Care Clinic for free screening,” the facilitator directed. And what followed was life saving. The magnitude of health education, intervention and prevention is not readily appreciated until it is often too late. Thankfully, that was not the case with pastor “G.” May is National Stroke Awareness Month and everyone should be aware of the signs of a stroke, and the life saving benefits of early intervention if a stroke is suspected. African Americans have many conditions that cause stroke; uncontrolled hypertension, elevated blood sugar, overweight and smoking. African Americans also die more often as a result of stroke. Every death is one too many. Stroke is a medical emergency. “Time is brain,” every second counts. Everyone needs to be aware of stroke symptoms because the person experiencing a stroke may not be able to speak. Approximately 50% of stroke deaths occur before the person ever reaches the hospital, according to the Center for Disease Control stroke facts. Therefore, people need stroke information and education. “Well in addition to checking my blood pressure, which by the way was high, they also checked my blood glucose. This was not so good either,” the pastor went on to say. High blood pressure is one controllable factor as is high blood sugar and being overweight. Taking charge of these three factors helps to decrease a person’s risk of having a stroke. There are, however, some factors that can not be controlled, age, race, sex, genes and prior stroke. Uncontrollable risk factors: • The risk of stroke doubles after age 55. • Men are more likely to have a stroke, but women are more likely to die of one. • African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have a higher risk of stroke than non-Hispanic whites. • People with a family history of stroke are at greater risk. • One in six stroke survivors will have another stroke within two years. A person who has had at least one TIA (ministroke) is almost ten times more likely to have a stroke than a similar person who hasn’t had a TIA. 12

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Managing blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to prevent stroke. If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to get it under control. Because high blood pressure usually has no symptoms, taking advantage of health fairs and other health screening opportunities are extremely valuable to your future health. Again, taking control can help prolong your life. Take control of your health: • If you have diabetes, learn how to manage it. Diabetes increases the chance of stroke. ª If you have hypertension, follow the doctor’s instructions to lower your blood pressure. • If you are overweight, start maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly • If you smoke, quit.

Call 911 for any of the following signs: Stroke Symptoms • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body). • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech. • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination. • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Shands Jacksonville’s

creative response to stroke and other health issues is health education, health intervention, case management, and improved access to health care. Heal Thy People-Healthy People is a partnership with local pastors and congregations dedicated to creating healthier communities one church at a time. Contact Zelma Dickerson, project consultant, (904) 244-9305 for more details.

ANNOUNCEMENT Bishop T. D. Jakes in Orlando June 16 - Urban League State of the Black Church!!!! 7:00 pm (for venue call: 407.841.7654)


May / June 2006

Black College Reunion at Daytona Beach: Its History, Its Future

By Willie Clark

Attendance was down again this year at Black College Reunion (BCR) in Daytona Beach. Some have speculated that it was because BET discontinued their annual broadcast and concert series during the event, but they’ve got it backwards. Actually, the crowd began to dwindle away a few years back when students chose to attend Freaknik in Atlanta. When that event was discontinued, everyone headed to Miami. Why didn’t they return to Daytona? Duh! You can’t continually tell people they are not welcome and expect them keep coming back, not even Black people. Now those dollars are being spent in more party friendly locations like South Beach and Virginia Beach. They should post a big “L” for “loser” at all the interstate highway ramps leading into Daytona Beach. A great city would never intentionally chase away that kind of revenue. Now don’t get me wrong, BCR had its share of problems. A few years ago, I was there taping a TV show and saw a young lady about my daughter’s age have her dress ripped off in the middle of the street by a gang of young boys. When I attempted to step forward to intervene, my colleagues quickly warned that it might not be wise. The girl took off running down the street as everyone in the crowd burst out in laughter. I guess I just didn’t get the joke. I went home and forbade my daughter from ever setting foot in Daytona during BCR. That was the last time I had anything to do with the event. I need to say something here. By and large, the majority of people that attended BCR were well behaved, and were there just to have a good time. There was always a few ruining the good time for the many. Unfortunately, there were too many of them causing mayhem. Through the years, there were many efforts to improve the problems of BCR––most with moderate success. The problem was the event was just too large to manage. Now that 14

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attendance is down, it provides the perfect opportunity to redesign BCR. The economic benefit to the entire region, and particularly African Americans, would be enormous. In addition, it would aid the State of Florida in their goal to increase Black tourism. To truly understand BCR, you have to go back to its roots. During the ‘60s college students from Bethune-Cookman would invite their friends from Florida A&M University and other historically black colleges to join them for a weekend at the beach. The attendance was small and the events went mostly unnoticed. In the 70s, Black pimps and hustlers mostly, from the Orlando area, decided to join in on the party. Their event was called “The Player’s Beach Party”. The weekend was a kind of retreat from their illegal activities and a way of showing appreciation to their employees and colleagues. After a day on the beach, parties were held at night in hotel suites. Though limited and benign by today’s standards, here is where some of the undesirable behavior that emerged into a big problem in later years had its start. The difference was it was all adults and it was behind closed doors. Still the attendance was a mere couple of hundred people, if that. It was in 1979 when what was then called The Black Beach Party got its big boost. I was the afternoon deejay on WOKB AM 1600 in Orlando. Under the moniker, Dap Sugar Willie, I also worked Thursday-Saturday nights at a club called Disco 900. Walter Brown and the late George Cooper (Kwame Akkeballa) owned the club. They were also cofounders of the community action group, Young Blacks in Action (YBA). We attended the Player’s Beach party in ’77 and ‘78. The next year, we met and decided to create an event that the entire community could attend. Disco 900, YBA and the Dap Sugar Willie Show jointly promoted the event for about two weeks as


the Black Beach Party. I don’t remember whether it was spring or summer; neither do I remember the exact date, but I’ll never forget the events of that day. Walter, George and I, along with a small contingent of loyalists, arrived at about 9:00 a.m. on the morning of a wonderfully sunshiny day––perfect for a day at the beach. We had a van loaded with sound equipment. We opened the doors to the van, ran an extension cord to a power outlet on the band shell and started to “punk the funk”. We thought maybe 500 people would join us but we were way off. When we arrived that morning it was just our small group and a beach full

Walter Brown & Willie Clark of whites. By noon, we were in the middle of a quarter-mile swath of Black people extending from the Boardwalk to just beyond the Band Shell. By mid-afternoon, it was all black folks for as far as the eye could see. About 5000 adults and children came to enjoy the fun and the sun of Daytona Beach. We danced, ate, drank and back then people even went into the water. We had a great time until about 5 p.m. when suddenly and quite inexplicaContinued on page 25 May / June 2006

Eight good reasons why...

Minorities Deserve Greater TV Choice Now more than ever before, communications technology is playing a critical role in our lives and in our communities. Today, we rely upon our cell phones to communicate and our computers to receive and send information and our TV for entertainment. In the near future, cable TV will be about more than just entertainment, it will be the place we turn to for information about what is happening in our community, where we find our jobs, where we take educational courses and where we shop. It is critically important to ensure that we have access to the types of information we desire and need. On March 8, 2006, a group of businessmen and women announced the formation of the Video Access Alliance. The Alliance is focused on ensuring that all communities, particularly minority communities, have better quality and more diverse programs for TV. Equally important, we are focused on ensuring that entrepreneurs and business people who are developing these new TV networks have the access they need to be successful. Specifically, we are promoting more choices for independent and minority TV stations and TV channels for the benefit of consumers. We believe the best way to achieve more quality minority programming is to have more competition in the cable TV business. Thus, we support telecommunications companies getting into the cable TV business. We believe that competition will lower prices for consumers and provide for more voices to be heard in our communities. The good news is that in no time in history have our communities been better positioned to ensure we receive the full benefits of technology convergence. Why you might ask? Recent data shows that African Americans and Hispanics have tremendous buying power. Minorities spend more on media products and services than do non-minorities. Our demonstrated buying power will help ensure that telecommunications companies build their new cable TV networks in our communities. In today’s converged world, minorities are the high margin consumers that companies will seek to serve if they want to gain market share. Competition and the market are driving this new reality. The facts speak for themselves: • Minorities have higher penetration rates for digital television, premium channels ; • Minorities are the best pay per view customers; • Minorities are the top subscribers to premium channels, including HBO and Showtime; • 74% of Black urban cable customer subscribe to multiple channels compared to only 43% of Whites; • Blacks spend $70 a month on telephone services while Whites spend $50 per month • Blacks spend $59 on cable satellite while Whites spend only $49; • Blacks spend $27 on premium channels while whites only send $ 22 per month; • 44% of Black Households watched at least one pay per view movie or event in the past year compared to 22% whites. The VAA believes having more competition will bring minority communities more connectivity to the information superhighway and allow more entrepreneurs to enter the market and provide more quality programming. Minority communities deserve more choices in television and entertainment services. Competition is the most efficient way to increase programming diversity, unleash rapid deployment of broadband services and provide our communities with more choice at lower prices. For more information on the Video Access Alliance, please visit 16

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May / June 2006

Onyx Hollywood Correspondent, Karyn Beach Spotlights 2006 Summer Movie Releases

W hen most people think of summer they think of vacations, cookouts, hot weather and fireworks. But me, what excites me most about summer is the crop of big movies that normally fill the multiplexes. But when reviewing this summer’s crop of films, I couldn’t find too much to get excited about. In fact, two of the summer’s biggest movies opened early in May, Mission Impossible III and The DaVinci Code. So what follows are some of the ‘highlights’ of what looks like a very lackluster summer movie season. (The opening dates listed for the film are subject to change.) blockbusters Superman Returns hopes to revive the Caped Crusader like Batman Begins revived the Dark Knight last year, by breathing new life into an old and wellestablished character. Superman returns to May / June 2006

earth after a mysterious absence of several years; but life has gone on without him. Lois Lane is a single mom and the city of Metropolis has learned to fend for itself without its patron and protector. However, as much as things change, some things remain the same. Lex Luthor (played by a bald Kevin Spacey) is still up to his old tricks, and this time he plans to eliminate Superman once and for all. (Opens June 30)

Miami’s hottest detectives Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) make the leap to the big screen in an update of the 80’s classic television series, Miami Vice. This Miami Vice may have a new look – without the dated pastel colored blazers and shoes without sock – but the detectives still walk a tight line between the right and wrong sides of the law as they go deep undercover to expose a drug cartel. (Opens July 28)

Captain Jack Sparrow is back in this first of two sequels to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Both films were shot back-to-back in 2003. The first, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, has Jack (Johnny Depp) and company (Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly) facing off against Davy Jones and his crew of undead swashbucklers. Expect the third installment next summer. (Opens July 7)

kid-friendly There are a number of animated films coming out over the next three months designed to keep the out-of-school kiddies busy. The biggest on the summer schedule is Cars, featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman and Jennifer Lewis. Cars tells the story of big time racecar,


Continued page 29 Onyx Magazine


Melvin Grace bÇçå cÜÉy|Äx If you are 40 years old or older living in Central Florida, chances are you remember “Little Daddy” (Melvin Grace), disc jockey for WOKB (1600 on your dial). Now referred to as Deacon Grace, this Black pioneer of radio in Florida ambulates with the aid of a walker, but having no regrets, Melvin Grace expresses thanks for every one of his many fulfilling experiences. Unlike requirements for radio personalities in the 21st Century, Melvin Grace admits that he stumbled upon his calling in a more unorthodoxed manner. The year was 1941, and Grace was a junior high school student. According to him, there were no Blacks on the air at that time, and the music of choice was Country Western. There was one disc jockey on the air whom Grace’s mother really liked, because he always kept her updated on the time and temperature. That was information she needed to know as she prepared her son to take the 16-mile (one way) hike to school. Digressing for a moment, Grace said, “We (the kids in close-by proximity) would all get into one consortium and walk to school and back. Boy did we catch the devil, it was the day of segregation and the white kids would throw things at us and call us names. [Ironically,] We even passed a couple of schools on our way.” Being curious as well as mesmerized with on-air personalities, Grace said that he asked his mother if it were possible for him to go to the station to see Michael, the disc jockey that she liked so much. Suggesting that he give him a telephone call, his mother gave him a nickel, the cost of a pay phone, because they had no phone in their home. “I called, the deejay,” said


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Grace, “and he said yes.” Melvin Grace and his dad, headed to the radio station in the family’s A-Model Ford. “Ha, ha, ha,” Melvin gave that old familiar “Little Daddy” laugh. Michael welcomed Melvin, and agreed that he could continue to come to the station and observe him on weekends. One day, as Melvin sat observing, Michael said to him, “I’m hungry, I’m going to get a sandwich, if the record is over before I get back, you have a job. Obviously, Melvin thought he was kidding. The record ended, but continued going round and round producing the “click, click, click” sound that records make when they come the end of a recording. Young Melvin anxiously sat waiting for Michael to return, but he didn’t. “I guess this is it,” he thought. There was only one thing to do. He got up, went to the other side of the tiny room, pulled up to the microphone and began to talk. He knew what to say and he knew what records were popular––he had been very attentive during his period of observation. Hearing this unfamiliar voice on the air, the owner of the station called to find out who Melvin was, and where Michael, the hired deejay, had gone. The owner, gave Melvin his name and instructed him to lock the door and not let anyone enter until he got there. The owner arrived, and following a brief conversation, he offered Grace a job as disc jockey at the station. Because he was still a student in high school, Grace had to get permission from his parents. They met the station owner, and agreed that the offer was acceptable. On that day, Melvin Grace’s career in radio was launched.


The owner later bought station WMBM in Miami and Palmer Kaufman wanted to know if Grace would come over there and be a part of it. During that time, Grace had a group called the Melody Echoes. Kaufman wanted to know what genre or music they sang. “We sing spirituals,” Grace answered. “I don’t know if that will go over,” Kaufman countered, “but how would you like to go on air this Saturday?” Imagine the excitement of four 17 and 18 year old Black boys performing on the air in the late 1940s. They were still in high school. Things were going well, but the owner of the station wanted Grace to do a Rupert Beer commercial on their Gospel program. None of Melody Echoes had ever heard of Rupert Beer, but that wasn’t the issue. They would never consider doing a beer commercial on their Gospel show; however, they did do a commercial for Pepsi Cola. Readers who are a half century old or more might remember the jingle. Quickly singing the lyrics, Grace recounts, “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, twelve full ounces, that’ a lot, twice as much for a nickel, too. Pepsi Cola is the drink for you,” Soon, the young Gospel singers were getting assignments all over South Florida: Delray, West Palm Beach, Belle Glade…as time passed, they were scheduled in cities farther out. They had no transportation except one motorcycle owned by one of the guys. He would take us 10 miles (one at a time) deposit that guy and go back to get the others until the trip was completed. The Melody Echoes consisted of Percy Davis, the bass singer; Sam Lowe, Floyd Edgecomb, baritone; and Melvin

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Florida’s Pioneer African American DJ car fixed. Having never been to New York before, the guys were overwhelmed with excitement. Said Melvin Grace, “The deal was that we were to go to New York to practice with Mahalia Jackson and also sing with her at Carnegie Hall. That was our biggest thrill. Our rehearsal was like a revival meeting. Man, you talking about having a good time at rehearsal. That was the first time that I ever heard of doing Gospel music with a bass player, a drum and all the Rock’n’Roll Melody Echo instruments. We had (Melvin Grace, far right) Erskine Hawkins Band, Duke Ellington’s trumGrace who played the guitar and did all of peter––we thought we were hot stuff.” When it was time to perform, they the talking. After a few years—the beginning of found Carnegie Hall packed with spectaMelvin Grace the 1950s, Beth Berman, owner of Apollo tors––all four tiers. Record Company, was on the Beach in recounts the story, “When Miss Jackson Miami and heard the Melody Echos. came out all donned in her white, and her Impressed by their music, she invited them hair all prettied up, they applauded for a to come to New York to sing with Mahalia long time. She was in the spotlight comJackson. (Mahalia Jackson sang under the ing down from way upstairs somewhere. Apollo Record label.) At first, the young Finally, she told them, ‘I want you to meet musicians thought it was all a joke. But my boys from Miami, Florida.’ I just went she convinced them by making a special berserk. My knees were shaking. I’m trip to the radio station to speak to them. standing way on the other side, and I’m Giving them the option to fly or drive, the thinking Bach and Chopin have been all up in here. The other guys were on the young singers preferred the latter. As the young men were in route to other side and we couldn’t hear each other. New York, their old Chrysler broke down But when Mahalia Jackson said, ‘I want in Laurinburg, NC. They called Ms. you to meet my boys…’ they took the Berman from the police station to report spots off of her and put one on me and one their dilemma. The next day, they on the other boys and we started to going. received her wire for $75 dollars to get the That place just went berserk.”

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Needless to say, when the guys returned to Florida, they were regarded as celebrities. Said Grace, “We had a little money that we could give to the family.” Meanwhile, they were permanent at WMBM. Palmer Kaufman confided to Grace that someone else wanted to buy the station. That’s when WMBM had Gospel in the morning and Rock’n’Roll in the afternoon, and the station went off at 6:00 pm. After the station was sold, Grace was allow to remain there to do the Gospel. He also did a little jazz at another station in the afternoon. After that, Grace worked at a station in Miami, at WOBS in Jacksonville, and WELE in Daytona Beach. That’s when he changed over to Rock’n’Roll and the name, “Little Daddy”. When the owners decided to sell WELE, they called John Everbach (now deceased) who made the purchase. At his request, Grace sent him a tape of his on-air performance. Everbach liked it and hired Grace. Before long, he was the morning man at WOKB in Orlando. Little Daddy’s popularity grew as he became known for the record hops that he held for kids. Parents were welcome to anything that he had. His famous countywide record hop was like a big convention where kids got dressed up and came out “looking good and having fun.” Skirmishes were not tolerated. Whenever one would break out, Little Daddy would suspend the action until it was brought under control. Little Daddy and the record hops finally spanned itself out and Melvin Grace went back to his first love, Gospel. Gospel is where he is today, and where he is known as Deacon Melvin Grace.

Onyx Magazine



Hair Tips by Cathy Howse

Will you kindly help to identify the type of hair I have? My hair, in its natural state, is thick and hard, and also is very wiry. It has lots of small coily patterns. Is this enough for you to identify my hair type? To identify the type of hair you have, do a search online for Andre Walkers Hair Types. It is listed all over the internet. Then you can make your own assessment of your hair type. I have a three year old daughter, and I have made a terrible mistake of putting a Kiddy Perm on her hair because it was so unmanageable. Well, that ended up breaking her hair and she is going bald. I am not sure what to do to save it. I want her to have hair! Will you please give me some suggestions? Regretfully, I hate to inform you that the decision you made to put a chemical on your daughters hair was a BAD one. The caustic chemical has gone into her scalp and destroyed her hair cells. There is nothing that will correct this now. Also the Kiddie Perms are nothing more than an ADULT relaxer that is marketed to mothers for their afro textured childrens hair. It is just as caustic and just as damaging as the regular chemical relaxers. I relax my hair and I have a bald spot on the back of my head. Can you recommend anything that will fix it?

Cathy Howse is a Black hair care expert and the founder of Ultra Black Hair Products/UBH Publications Inc., a 16-year old company that teaches the truth about Black hair care and growth. Her book, Ultra Black Hair Growth II, is classified as the only proven black hair growth system in the world. Notoriety for her method has been included in Whos Who in America, Whos Who of American Women, and Whos Who in the World. Visit her website at or send your hair care questions to her via email at  2006 20

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It sounds like the best recommendation I can give you is that you are going to have to give up your chemical relaxers to keep the rest of your hair. Otherwise, you are increasing the problem of thin hair and balding all over your head, which is irreversible! When I comb through my hair, sometimes I get a little breakage not much, just a few hairs here and there nothing severe. Is that normal? When you comb your hair you are stressing it. When your hair breaks when you comb it, I call it stress breaking - dont be concerned about stress breaking unless you get handfuls in the comb. It is the little broken hair all over the sink, floor and your clothes that you need to be concerned about more. You will always have some breakage but the trick to keeping our hair is to minimize the breaking.


May / June 2006

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PMB 412 7226 West Colonial Drive Orlando,FL 32818 Visit

ALBERT TUC Setting the Tourism Industry on Fire in

Broward As Vice President of Multicultural Business Development, Albert Tucker’s primary responsibility is to develop partnerships and alliances with community, civic and business leaders locally, nationally and internationally with the intent to attract a larger number of multicultural conventions, family reunions and meetings to Greater Fort Lauderdale. His focus is to embrace ethnic organizations such as African Americans, Hispanic, Asian and Native Americans. According to Tucker in an interview with Sun Sentinel Senior Editorial Writer Douglas C. Lyons, many destinations never market to these groups, instead, they choose to always utilize marketing to the “mainstream.”


Tucker, a graduate of Leadership Broward Class XVIII serves on the Executive Board of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale where he oversees the organization’s Mentoring Program. Additionally, Tucker has been appointed by the Governor to Chair the State’s Multicultural Committee for VISIT FLORIDA, overseeing a $14.5 million dollar marketing budget. Tucker serves on Meeting Professional International (MPI) International Multicultural Initiative Committee where he is directly involved in the development of the standards for International Hospitality Community relative to people of color. For the past three years, he has been recognized by Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine as one of the most influential Blacks in the tourism industry. In just five quick years, the Multicultural Business Development Plan has more than tripled the tourism dollars brought in by the African American, Hispanic and Caribbean market and has played an integral role for quadrupling the Marketing and Advertising Budget for the Multicultural market. Tucker is smart enough to know that people are not going to visit a place that they never hear about. He understands that it is about developing relationships––bringing in leaders of various ethnic organizations (especially on the national level) and allowing them to see what the area has to offer. This tactic has led Fort Lauderdale to hosting several conventions and retreats. Ebony Magazine recently listed Fort Lauderdale among the six areas in the country that families are choosing as their family reunion destination.

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The multicultural tourism has brought in an excess of $20 to $25 million that wasn’t there before the multicultural blitz. Since the inception of the Multicultural Business Development division, a partial list of the organizations that have committed to bringing their conventions/meetings to Greater Fort Lauderdale:


May / June 2006

KER: County • The National Forum for Black Public Administrators – April 2003 • The National Bowling Association (TNBA) – May 2003. TNBA brought in more than 12,000 bowlers visiting Greater Fort Lauderdale. Tournament attendees used more than 42,000 room nights during the 10 day period resulting in an economic impact of more than $14.5 million dollars to Broward’s economy • National Society of Hispanic MBA’s – November 2003 • United States Hispanic Contractors – August 2004 • National Urban League Executives Mid-Winter Conference – January 2005 • Asian American Hotel Owners Association – March 2005 • Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Industry Retreat – June 2005 • World Youth Netball Championships – July 2005 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – July 2005 • Verizon Black Executives Annual Conference – June 2006 • International Association of Black Firefighters – August 2006 • National Association of Hispanic Journalists - July 2006 • National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives - 2007 While most of Tucker’s focus has been on the African American market, he has made inroads in the Hispanic market through strategic business alliances with organizations such as the El Heraldo Newspaper/Latin Power and the Latin Chamber of Commerce. These partnerships resulted in Greater Fort Lauderdale becoming the site of the 2004 US Hispanic Contractors Annual Conference, which marked the first time in the history of the organization that they held their conference outside of Texas.

Jones a little more than a year and a half ago and discussed with him the possibility of the development of a Gospel complex of education, heritage and preservation and actually utilizing his name to make that happen, and also utilizing the relationship in what we do from a tourism standpoint to bring that to fruition.” As a result, Tucker has been instrumental in bringing Bobby Jones into the area with his Gospel Industry Retreat and also making sure that he has specific relationships with the school board, the Broward Center of Performing Arts and other cultural entities within Broward County. Bobby Jones’ operation is currently located in Nashville, TN. The planned $45 million Gospel museum is expected to boost Broward County tourism significantly. More about Bobby Jones in an upcoming issue.

Representing the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tucker served on Broward County’s International Trade and Tourism Committee, which oversees the Import/Export and Trade, programs for the County. The committee’s goal is to enhance International Trade and Tourism focusing on the Caribbean, South America and South Africa. As part of his outreach to the Caribbean population, Tucker participated in trade missions to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and St. Lucia where he met with the Caribbean Governments. In an article written by Darran Simon, he refers to a crusade to turn South Florida into a mecca for gospel music. This is an industry that topped out at about $140 million in CD sales in 2004. Albert Tucker is a lead player in that crusade. Says he, “I met Bobby May / June 2006


Old Dillard Museum Onyx Magazine


Ruby’s Fine Southern Cuisine By: Annaliese Hightower (Onyx Soul Food Critic)


o you know what it means to have southern cuisine at its best? Welcome to Ruby’s! The food is absolutely fabulous; in fact, Ruby’s is the only place where I feel comfortable eating catfish, and I’m not alone. “I do not eat everybody’s catfish,” said Dawn Fields, a profit attorney. The owner and successor, Daisy Grimes, began working in food services in the early 1980s. Grimes, comes from a large family. “My mother cooked all the time in a small kitchen for a family of 11. My desire for my restaurant was to mimic my aunts, grandmother, and my mother. Their food was always good, and the atmosphere was always elegant and classy,” said Grimes. “It started from the roots of the family tree and blossomed through generations. We had more conversation and presentation at the dinner table, and we never drank from plastic cups or ate from paper plates. The table was always set with mom’s good silverware. At home, my mom always had the proper etiquette for dinning,” Grimes recounted. The name Ruby’s originated from Grimes’ mother’s name. Not only did Grimes name the restaurant after her mother, but she also kept the same 1960s theme. Her restaurant is decorated with reflections of the days when she was growing up in the South. There are signs that read “Whites only,” and lots of antique pictures. The most precious


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antique is Grimes’ mother’s teapot that was passed on from generations. An now it sits in the presence of family at Ruby’s. Grimes said, “I wanted to introduce the southern country home hospitality with old items, and old-time reflection of how things used to be at Grandma’s house. You do not have to be wealthy to provide a nice meal.” Grimes was the food service provider for Bethune-Cookman College for four years before feeling an urge for something new. Behind faith, a dream, and prayers, Ruby’s was born. “At the time, I didn’t have the dollars or the financing, but the Lord opened doors for me, and in October 2005, Ruby’s was finally opened,” said Grimes. Grimes could not do it all by herself. Opening the restaurant required the help of her two sisters from Orlando who frequently come to visit and help out with the restaurant, Gerald Chester of Central Florida Community Development, Jermaine McKinney and Shannon Curry, Ruby’s grandsons; her friends and extended family. They all said it could be done. “I do everything from the dish room to waiting on tables so that every customer is satisfied. I was even the bookkeeper at one point,” said Shannon Curry. Ruby’s fine Southern cuisine and interesting atmosphere have attracted some very familiar faces including Actor Clifton Davis, The Florida Baptist Convention, and actor/ author Malik Yoba. who commented on the great taste of Ruby’s food. After everything was said and done, I had to taste and see what the hype was about. On my plate was catfish, macaroni and cheese, yellow rice, corn muffin, and red velvet cake. Ooh, and I can’t forget about Uncle John’s secret recipe for peach tea. Everything was fantastic!!! They have a variety of home cooked foods from pork chops, to chicken, collard greens and chitterlings and the list goes on. I recommend everyone who visits Daytona Beach to check out Ruby’s located on International Speedway.


May / June 2006

Continued from page 14 bly law enforcement officials from the county, the city and the beach patrol surrounded the entire crowd. Over megaphones, they announced the beach was now closed and we would have to leave. An officer came to the van and ordered us to disconnect the sound system or we would be cited for using the band shell without a permit. We complied and the crowd began to disperse. Up until that time, there had been no public disturbance that I was a ware of, certainly nothing to warrant that level of response. I wasn’t in the area so I don’t know for sure, but I was told as the people began to leave, a mounted police officer and the crowd came into contact. The horse was spooked and the officer was thrown to the ground. This obviously caused a bit of a commotion. When I did arrive at the scene, whatever happened was over and seemed to be no big deal. The next day, the news reported that there had been a major disturbance on the beach that resulted in an officer being injured when his horse was pushed to the ground. This was also the beginning of the three problems that would plague BCR, an unwelcoming city, over reaction by law enforcement and bad press. The next year, we were more determined than ever to go back to Daytona. Word had spread throughout the community about the mistreatment that occurred the previous year and the event was no longer a beach party, it was a protest for civil rights. We were going to show Volusia County they could not treat us that way. We began to promote the event much earlier in 1980 with an extra appeal for community support. We secured a permit to use the band shell. Activities included performances by local bands, deejays and dancers as well as a Mr. and Miss Body Beautiful contest. I’m guessing, but there must have been around twenty thousand people in attendance. Just as the year before, a large contingent of law enforcement were dispatched to the area. There were a few reports of police harassment but the crowd was so large that by the end of the day all May / June 2006

the law enforcement personnel were gone and for all practical purposes, Black people had taken over Daytona Beach. Over the years, I continued to attempt to come up with ways to improve the beach party. One year, I included it in a series of events sponsored by Popeyes Fried Chicken, Budweiser and WOKB called our “Summer Break” concerts.

Preliminary events were held in parks in Orlando culminating with the beach party in Daytona. I later solicited the help of Charles Barnes the Public Relations Director at Bethune-Cookman College to get their support. Once they were on board, the event was a solid success and firmly entrenched an as annual event with attendance approaching 50,000, but problems between police and patrons persisted. In the late 80s, my station changed to a format that was not compatible with what had now become known as “ Black Spring Break”. I was promoted to the front office and my official affiliation with the event ended. When I returned in the late 90s to see what had become of my old event, for better and for worse, it had become what we now know as Black College Reunion. The crowd was three times larger and half the age of those early attendees. But like before, the majority were well behaved; however, I also noticed the criminal element had returned to the forefront. With “ballerz” in tow, a sizeable number of prostitutes and strippers from all over the country poured into the area to cash in on the largesse presented by such an enormous gathering of testosterone


charged, alcohol laced young men. In order to make their money, the ladies needed to put their wares on display. Provocative dress and ribald behavior had become a bit too common. That of course, created more of an image problem. In the minds of some in Volusia County, it validated what they had believed from the events inception, large black themed events in Daytona were undesirable. The rest, as they say, is history. The point to all of this is that the relationship between Daytona and the beach party was adversarial from the start. We now have an opportunity for all that to change. Officials from the State of Florida and Volusia County should convene a group of quality, professional black event promoters to redesign BCR into an African American family themed beach party weekend. Activities could be held at beaches from North Daytona to New Smyrna Beach to spread out the crowd as opposed to being congested in one area causing a traffic nightmare. Performers should come from all black music genres this would attract a more diverse audience. Orlando area attractions could host special events with shuttle service to and from the beach. This would further spread the crowd throughout the region and help with the usual shortage of hotel space in Daytona. The committee should contact the national heads of Black college fraternities, sororities and alumni associations to ask them to schedule meetings and events during the preceding week. The lead up week could also include speeches from national leaders, a Black issues forum, a think tank, business seminars, book signings, a golf tournament, a Black College brain bowl, a Black College intramural basketball tournament, step shows and a scholarship beauty pageant. Such an effort would result in the number one Black tourism event in the country and an economic windfall for Florida’s Onyx Magazine


SUPER SENIORS A Quick Peek at a Few of the Finest Each year Onyx Magazine gives special attention to graduates throughout the state. Here are just a few.

s, n o i lat u ss t a a l r C g a’s Con d i r lo F 06 o 0 t 2 of James Clinton Francis, 17, is a senior at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida. He is a member of the National Honor Society, a nationally ranked debater, an officer with the Trinity Forensic Team, president of the school's French and Spanish Honor Societies (conversationally fluent in French and Spanish) and member of the Key Club. He is also working to acquire the rank of James Clinton Francis Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. The recipient of many academic and community service awards, James has been accepted to Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Science, Harvard College, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. James hopes to work in the field of international sustainable development in the urban and rural areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East––aspiring to achieve solutions in peace and conflict resolution through political, economic, and environmental means. Because of this career goal, James has chosen to attend Columbia University where he has been selected as a Kluge Scholar in the named Scholars Program. Columbia is of major interest to James because of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and its director and international economist, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. The institute, “brings together talent from throughout Columbia University to address complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with particular focus on sustainable development and the needs of the world’s poor.” Besides being a member of Jack & Jill, The Moderneers Social and Civic Club selected James to be part of the 2005 presentation of the Men of Tomorrow. This year, James received the 2006 Drum Major Scholastic Achievement award from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity - Orlando Alumni Chapter. He is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando, his favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. James is the son of Clinton and Lorelei Francis. His grandparents are Olive Salih of Miami, Florida, Thomas and Betty Francis of Cincinnati, Ohio and John and Babette Anderson of Cocoa Beach, Florida. 26

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Natasha Renee Williams Paxon School for Advanced Studies Jacksonville GPA: 3.1 SAT: 1890 (on the new test) Plans to attend: University of Central Florida (Orlando) Major in: Nursing National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalist Who’s Who Among American High School Students

Mallori Renee Phillips Paxon School for Advanced Studies Jacksonville GPA: 3.2 SAT: 1070 ACT: 28 Plans to attend.. University of Central Florida Major: Athletic Training (Accepted into the 2 year LEAD Scholarship Program)

Warren Arthur Smith II William M Raines High GPA: 3.5 ACT: 21 Plans to attend: University of Florida, Gainesville Major: Journalism (Currently, Vice-President of the local Beta Club and accepted in the Outstanding High School Scholars Program in Gainesville) May / June 2006

Super Seniors

Sakeena Gohagen Nova High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.3 SAT: 1250

Dalal Eldick Western Fort Lauderdale GPA: 5.1 ACT: 23

Courtnee C. Reid Stranahan High Fort Lauderdale GPA. 4.3 SAT: 1120

Stephanie Lockhart Dillard High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.2 SAT: 1070

Angelica Hughes Dillard High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 3.7 SAT: 850

Jennifer Tang Hallandale High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.7 SAT: 1310

Gina Lewis

Jennifer Blackmon

Nathalie Ais

Plantation High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.6 ACT: 20

Nicholas Calhoun Winter Park High Winter Park, Plans to major in Business

Casarah Henderson Boone High School Orlando, Florida Plans to Attend: Florida International U. Major: Psychology

Natasha Lias

Britney Hendrix West Orange High Winter Garden Plans to Attend: U of South Florida Major: Communications

Tawatha Valentine Boone High School Orlando Plans to Attend: Florida State University Major: Theatre

Sophia A. Harvey Dr. Phillips High Orlando Plans to Attend: FSU Major: Interior Design

Czamille Wright K.C. Wright Award Winner Dillard High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.3 ACT: 27

Cooper City High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.6 ACT: 27

Jerrel McCoy Freedom High Orlando Plans to Attend: Florida A&M Major: Business Mgmt.

Hallandale High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 4.1 ACT: 20

Sarah I. Fox Seminole High Sanford Plans to Attend: U of FL Major: Nursing

(Not pictured)

Sanquaneice Hankerson

Erica Vega West Orange High Winter Garden Plans to Attend: UCF Major: Communication

May / June 2006

Lindsey Nero South Broward Fort Lauderdale GPA: 3.8 SAT: 970

Dillard High Fort Lauderdale GPA: 3.5 SAT: 890 ACT: 15

Apopka High Apopka Plans to Attend: FSU Major: Pre-Law

To make next year’s Super Senior’s list send the following • your photo • name of your high school • city • extracurricular activities • college you plan to attend • your GPA • your SAT or ACT score • intended major Mail or Email to Onyx Magazine PMB 412, 7226 W. Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32818 Deadline April 15, 2007


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USF outstanding senior leader honored

Super Seniors



hen Edna Jones’ father found out she was chosen as this year’s University of South Florida outstanding senior leader, he said, “That’s what you’re supposed to do, you’re a Jones girl.” And Jones beamed with pride because that is what he always says when he is proud of his children. Jones, a Communications major from Cold Springs, Fla., received her bachelor’s degree May 6. Throughout her four years at USF she has given her father good reason to be proud. She is a USF Ambassador, has done volunteer work in the community, including an internship with the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association where she worked with the Girls Circle Program with six- to 13year-olds and was president of her Delta Sigma Theta sorority chapter and president of the Campus Activities Board. These activities as well as good grades (a 3.57 grade point average), school spirit, leadership ability and two letters of recommendation figured into the criteria used to choose the outstanding senior leader. But Jones came very close to missing out on this recognition. She did not consider submitting an application until USF Associate Dean Sam Wright encouraged her to apply. “Dr. Wright has been the most influential person in my life at USF when it comes to academic advice and personal advice,” said Jones. “For all four years, he’s the one I go to whenever I have an important question about anything and fortunately he just happened to mention this to me one day and I followed through on it.” “She’s lovely, energetic and bright,” said Wright. “It would have been a shame if she hadn’t given it a shot.” And once she applied, Jones made USF Associate Dean Samuel L. Wright, Student Affairs, Outstanding a positive impression on the USF Senior Leader Edna Jones and her parents Pastor Clarence Jones and Alumni Association committee that Co-Pastor Edna Jones on graduation day. interviewed her. “We were impressed by her participation all across the board,” said Keven Woodard, Coordinator, University Advancement/Alumni Affairs. “She is a well-rounded representation of the student body. She has a demonstrated ability to cross over and touch many different student groups and provide leadership wherever she is.” Jones beat out 11 other applicants. “I guess I thought winning was a possibility but it wasn’t tangible,” said Jones, “so when it happened I was in complete shock, then I cried and all I could think was how all my hard work had really paid off. This is truly a great honor and more than I imagined could happen.” Jones is the youngest of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. Her parents have helped raise other children as well, all the while instilling values such as sharing, being helpful and taking charge. “It’s a matter of simple math with me,” said Jones. “My family plus God equals success.” This summer and fall, Jones will continue to stay active. She plans to intern at a national record company, CAJO International in conjunction with Arrow Records, which involves planning concerts in various cities. Then she enters the USF College of Business Administration where she will work toward a master of science in management: leadership and organizational effectiveness. The University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF received more than $287 million in research contracts and grants last year, and it is ranked by the National Science Foundation as one of the nation’s fastest growing universities in terms of federal research and development expenditures. The university has a $1.3 billion annual budget and serves nearly 43,250 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee and Lakeland. In 2005, USF entered the Big East athletic conference.

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May / June 2006

Continued from page 17

This Summer

Lightning McQueen, who gets sidelined in the small town of Radiator Springs on his way to the big race. The detour allows him to slow down long enough to learn a few lessons about life and love. (June 9) Barnyard features the vocal talent of Kevin James (The King of Queens), Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes and comedian, Earthquake. When the farmer’s away, the barnyard animals will play … and walk, and talk and basically do everything humans will do. (July 28) Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Regina King all signed on to tell the story of The Ant Bully. After being bullied at school, a young boy takes out his frustrations on the ant hills in his front yard. He gets a new perspective after the ants shrink him down to their size and put him on trial for ‘crimes against the colony’. As part of his sentence, he must learn to live and get along with the ants in their world. (August 4)

action Waist Deep follows a con with two strikes (Tyrese Gibson) as he is released from prison. All he wants is a normal life and the chance to be a good father to his son. Both dreams are put in jeopardy when the boy is kidnapped by a local crime boss. Now he has just one day to come up with $100,000 to get his son back. Meagan Good, Larenz Tate and The Game co-star. Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall (June 23) The title Snakes on a Plane says it all. Samuel L. Jackson plays a federal agent escorting a witness in protective custody. May / June 2006

at the Cinema

To kill the witness, assassins unleash a crate of deadly snakes on the plane. Flex Alexander, Kenan Thompson co-star. (August 25)

comedy In The Breakup, guy (Vince Vaughn) meets girl (Jennifer Aniston). They fall in love. They buy a condo together. They break up … but neither will leave the condo. Instead each one tries to force the other out. (Opens June 2)

worth seeing Heart of the Game is a documentary that follows novice coach, Bill Resler and his star player, Darnella Russell. With a love for the game and not much coaching experience, this former college professor turned the girl’s basketball program at Seattle’s Roosevelt High into contenders for the district championship. Meanwhile, his star point guard gets pregnant and must contend with another set of problems — staying in school and remaining eligible to play. Narrated by rapper Ludacris. (June 9)

Click features Adam Sandler as an overworked dad and corporate flunky who gets a truly ‘universal’ remote. This magical remote control allows him to fast-forward through fights with the wife, pause live action, rewind to the past and generally make his life easier – that is until it breaks – making his life a lot more complicated. (Opens June 23)

Oliver Stone, one of the most political directors out there, has promised to leave his politics at home in World Trade Center. It’s the story of the rescue of two Port Authority policemen who were trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers. Many of the real life heroes and officers appear in the film. (August 9)

Little Man (Marlon Wayans), a pint sized thief, mistakenly places a diamond in the purse of unsuspecting woman (Kerry Washington). To get it back, he impersonates a baby who is adopted by Washington and her cop husband (Shawn Wayans). To make Marlon’s look convincing, over 1,000 visual effects were created and Marlon’s head was imposed onto the body of a 2’6” man. (Opens July 5)

Andre Benjamin is Percival, a piano player in a speakeasy during Prohibition, and Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Patton is his manager Rooster in the musical Idlewild. The pair has a hand full. Rooster must fend off a group of gangsters who wants to take over his establishment while Percival has to choose between his love for Angela (Paula Patton) and his obligations to his father (Ben Vereen). (Opens August 25)

As Dupree, in You, Me and Dupree, Owen Wilson is an eternal party boy who becomes the annoying house guest of his best friend, Carl (Matt Dillon) and his new wife, Molly (Kate Hudson). Of course, it doesn’t take long before he’s overstayed his welcome. (July 14)

Karyn Beach operates, a movie review website. She is a screenwriter who lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles.


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Blue The Black Fi


EAL Instructors carried whistles that were used for training. One whistle blow signaled the trainees to immediately fall to the ground on their stomachs and freeze. Two whistle blows signaled them to begin low crawling along the ground toward the sound of the whistle. Three whistle blows and the trainee was to recover and resume what they had been doing prior to the whistle drill. Instructors constantly reminded the trainees to pay attention to detail and listen closely when being given instructions. Every infraction discovered by an instructor resulted in some form of disciplinary action. Navy SEAL Instructors are known for being ultra creative in the way they dole out punishment, and each had his own personality and his own favorite way to deal with the recruits. Some instructors preferred to have the recruits get wet while others liked to employ physical training as the way to get a particular point across to a wayward trainee. Being told to get wet was a way to discipline those who fell short of the mark. Getting wet meant you had to sprint from your location into the Pacific Ocean and return dripping wet with sea water. The recruits would sometimes go and wet themselves in the shower instead of going to the sea as instructed. After all, it was much more comfortable to get wet in a warm shower than in the brutally chilling ocean water. To prevent this, most of the instructors would tell the recruits to get wet and be sure to bring back a bottom sample from the bay. The dark muddy sand was proof that the trainee indeed got wet. If an instructor felt that a trainee was not doing his best during PT, a goon squad session was arranged. The goon squad meant additional PT after the days evolutions were over. Every week, there was a four-mile timed run and timed obstacle course. Trainees were expected to improve their times on a weekly basis or face punishment and


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the relentless PT of the goon squad. While the physical requirements placed on a SEAL trainee were extreme, to say the least, the mental stress placed on recruits was just as taxing. Along with the physical evolutions, the Navy SEAL trainees had to attend evolutions in the classroom. They were expected to be competent in courses like cartography map making , hydrographic reconnaissance, venomous animals of the sea, combat medicine and diving physics. On Average, 70% of BUDS recruits chose to drop out of training on their own. Once having rung the brass bell three times, they were sent back to the fleet to finish their time with the Navy. Theo kept a daily journal during BUDS. Lets begin our look into Navy SEAL Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training through the eyes of Blue the Black Fish. Tuesday October 14, 1975 was the official first day of the 23-week BUDS course for class #86. Blue writes: 14 Oct. Today was our first day of training. We spray-painted our helmets green to show that we were a class in phase one of BUDS. We had Physical Training at 5:00 in the morning and a very fast fourmile run. I almost died on the obstacle course. My arms were like lead by the time I got to the cargo net. I was the last person in on the obstacle course. I did terrible. 15 Oct. Today, I ran another four miles. It wasnt as hard as before. I brought my time down on the obstacle course from 23 minutes to 19:05. I sure am hurting on these evolutions. It hurts so badly that the thought of quitting runs through my mind. I am going to stick it out. I am asking God to be with me. 16 Oct. Today was a pretty easy day. Only a May / June 2006

ish: Part V By Steven King

ted hollins photography

few people got wet during the barracks inspection. I got wet this morning during PT. The instructor asked me what my problem was and why I wasnt doing a good time on the obstacle course. All three of my roommates got the goon squad tonight. I hope I never have to get it. But if I dont get my act together on the obstacle course, I will. I am asking God to be with me during this training.

“Providing memories for years to come�

17 Oct. We finished up the first week of training today. We had a three-mile soft sand run and it was a bitch. I liked it better than the regular four-mile run on the beach. We had drown-proofing after lunch. They tied my hands behind my back and tied my feet together. I had to hop into the pool and swim 25 yards underwater. This was a survival tactic to ensure that we could survive in the water if tied up. After the pool the instructor made us march into the bay and do handstands in the water. It was kind of fun, but the water was very cold. I thank God for helping me this far. 20 Oct. Today in training, we had our final drown-proofing practical. We had to swim 50 yards underwater. I did it!! I cant believe it. It was real tough, but I did it. I thank God.

For All of Your Photographic Needs

21 Oct. Today, we had to swim in the cold ocean, and I mean it was cold. I couldnt believe how much my body was shaking. There were some big waves out there and I almost drowned. My swim buddy and I had a mile swim with fins. I did not do too hot. I brought my obstacle course time down to 13:29. My roommate rang out. Ive made it through another day. Thank God.


We will continue to follow Blue through his rigorous Navy SEAL training in our next issue of ONYX Magazine. Visit and click on Theodis Springer in the People section for more about Blue the Black Fish.

May / June 2006

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UNF Students Win National Computer Technology Competition

JACKSONVILLE - Members of the University of North Florida student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals recently won the national COBOL competition at the 11th Annual National Collegiate Conference held in Dallas, Texas. More than 80 colleges and universities—from Florida to Alaska—attended the annual computer technology conference. Two teams represented UNF at the national competition March 30-April 1. UNF seniors Rachel Etter and John Chaney took home first place in the COBOL Programming Contest, beating out Eastern Illinois University and Northwestern State University. UNF senior Gary Klama and junior Homere Akplogan also received an honorable mention in the COBOL contest. The Association of Information Technology Professionals offers opportunities for Information Technology leadership and education through partnerships with industry, government and academia. AITP provides quality IT related education, information on relevant IT issues and forums for networking with experienced peers and other IT professionals for nearly 9,000 members.


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USF and City of Tampa Black History Committee present first Florida Sankofa Award to local artist John Sims TAMPA – The University of South Florida Department of Africana Studies and USF Florida Studies Center in cooperation with the City of Tampa Black History Committee presents the first Black Humanities and Media Symposium with guest speaker, artist John Sims, April 21 at 6 p.m. at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 E. Palm Ave., Tampa. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (813) 274-7032 or (813) 974-6163. The BHMS Committee also will present Sims with the first Florida Sankofa Award for his “contributions to history, art, content and humanity within the state of Florida.” The symposium is part of the Florida Africana Heritage Writers and Artists series and celebrates the legacy of Tampa’s historic Central Avenue. Joining Sims will be USF Professor Cheryl Rodriguez who will make a presentation about Central Avenue history based on research for her forthcoming book on the area and Tampa’s Poet Laureate James Tokley who will read from a new work dedicated to Central Avenue. The program also includes a performance by the Kuumba Dancers and Drummers. “We see this as an inspirational event for the artistic community,” said Trevor Purcell, Chairman of Africana Studies at USF. “The public needs to know more about African-American and Pan-African participation in all media, from literature and photography to cinema, radio and the graphic arts and each year we will concentrate on as many of these areas as possible.” Sims, who also will conduct a workshop at the symposium, is a former professor at the Ringling School of Art and


Design specializing in the areas of mathematical art, ethnomathematics and visual mathematics. The Sarasota-based artist received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida in 2002 and in 2004 served as guest editor of The International Review of African American Art special issue, Rhythm of Structure: MathArt in the African Diaspora. Sims is currently exhibiting at the Crossley, Digital Three and mack b. galleries in Sarasota. He is known for a series of works entitled Recoloration Proclamation Project which focus on the Confederate flag as an ongoing "symbol of terror." He has exhibited Timesculpture, a large-scale public art project in New York City and is working on a documentary film that continues the work launched with his flag art pieces. The renowned artist has lectured in Hungary, Spain, Israel and Argentina and is preparing for a 2007 invitation to turn Buenos Aires into a clock with his TimeSculpture installation. His work has received national attention from Sculpture Magazine, NYarts, Artbyte and The Washington Post. The Black Humanities and Media Symposium was initiated in 2005 out of a partnership between the City of Tampa Black History Committee and USF Africana Studies. “It was designed to ignite a closer relationship between academics, artists and residents within Florida and to add support to the City of Tampa Black History Committee’s work,” said Purcell. “Guided by the four great concepts of human endeavor, art, content, history and humanity, this group is providing a forum to discuss relevant issues within the African-American community. We’re also providing an opportunity to acknowledge those Floridians who have communicated a profound truth through writing, visual imagery or expressive movement,” he said. The USF Florida Studies Center draws upon the USF Libraries’ extensive collections and technological services to promote the arts and humanities education on Florida and its people to students, teachers and the general public. The City of Tampa Black History Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting fellowship and diversity throughout the Tampa Bay area through cultural, historic and scholastic endeavors. The University of South Florida is May / June 2006

one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF received more than $287 million in research contracts and grants last year, and it is ranked by the National Science Foundation as one of the nation’s fastest growing universities in terms of federal research and development expenditures. The university has a $1.3 billion annual budget and serves nearly 43,250 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee and Lakeland. In 2005, USF entered the Big East athletic conference.

JACKSONVILLE - The Division of Institutional Advancement honored the EWC faculty on last Friday in an Appreciation Fundraising Luncheon. Fulltime faculty members were recipients of accolades and gifts for their outstanding service and contributions to the College. The luncheon was held in the Student Union Building. As part of the appreciation, faculty made in excess of $10,000 in pledges to the “EWC Belongs to Me” annual campaign. EWC President Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., challenged the faculty and said he would match “dollar per dollar” whatever they pledged. Dr. Bronson has fulfilled his initial pledge of $25,000 to the campaign. He applauded the faculty for their efforts in providing an outstanding curriculum to the students, saying “I am grateful to you for your service to our students. Many of you have given above the usual; you have become leaders in your fields. Our students are blessed to have you as their professors.” Dr. Valdrie Walker, vice president for Academic Affairs, also applauded the faculty for the outstanding work. “This is the first time since I have been employed in higher education that I have attended a faculty appreciation. You are to be commended for the work that you do with our students and for Edward Waters College.” Other program participants included Mrs. Markeisha Coney-Powell, SGA president, who gave accolades to the faculty on behalf of the student body; Mrs. La’Tasha Ford who rendered a selection on behalf of the Music and Fine Arts Department; and Miss Lucy Milice, who dedicated an original poem to the faculty. May / June 2006

Faculty members were surprised and very pleased with the event. “It feels great to be a part of EWC,” a faculty member stated. Dr. James McLean (right) presents EWC President Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., with an appreciation gift recognizing him for satisfying his pledge of $25,000 to the “EWC Belongs to Me” annual campaign. (PHOTO BY JAY BAKER)

Gretchen van Aken Performs ‘Called Girl’ at UNF JACKSONVILLE - Broadway actress and Methodist minister Gretchen van Aken will perform her one-woman show, “Called Girl,” at the University of North Florida on Wednesday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. “Called Girl” is a hysterical theatrical reminiscence of van Aken’s life. Through monologue, she touches on baptisms and burials; motherhood and sisterhood; marriage, divorce and remarriage; and includes performances from her Broadway days. Van Aken has been traveling to theaters, universities, and festivals all over the nation to share her story. Van Aken grew up in a funeral home where her grandfather was the director. She went on to become a young Broadway actress and preformed in the shows “Walking Happy” and “Oliver.” She later attended Yale University, where she earned her master’s of divinity and became an ordained Methodist minister. She served as campus minister for the UNF and Jacksonville University for several years. Van Aken retired in 2002 but is still very involved within the Jacksonville community, serving as vice president of Compassionate Friends and is a member of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, the Homeless Coalition, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., Faith in Action, the United Way and the Mayor’s Victims Assistance Advisory Council. “Called Girl” is free and open to the public. Individuals who require reasonable accommodation must notify the Women’s Center at (904) 620-2528 at least five working days prior to the event.


Students Explore Europe through ‘Trainsformational’ Learning JACKSONVILLE - It's not your average senior-level physics course. The class consists of only eight students, primarily non-science majors; the course prerequisites are "thinking, pondering, wondering and rigorous curiosity"; and the location for the course will vary by day, beginning 4,242 miles from the University of North Florida’s campus. The course is PHY 4930, Trainsformational Learning on the EuroRail, taught by Dr. Jace Hargis, assistant professor and director of the Office of Faculty Enhancement. Known for his innovative teaching methods, Hargis developed the course as an unconventional alternative to teaching and learning. Instead of presenting material from behind a podium and testing his students’ memorization skills, Hargis will take his students on a 12-day whirlwind train trip throughout Europe so they can apply what they learn in textbooks to the real world. The trip begins June 5 in Jacksonville and will take the students by Chunnel and train to Paris, Zurich, Munich, Venice, Rome, Milan and Madrid. Students will have an opportunity to observe, engage in and explore the cultures of seven countries, with coursework completed en route to each destination. “This course is a very demanding travel-abroad experience focusing on conceptual, contextual learning through the disciplines of the sciences,” said Hargis. "We will be immersing ourselves with local people and cultures, so the students will be expected to highly interact with their colleagues and native residents and to maintain a high level of scholarly activity during less-than-optimal conditions." Hargis made sure students who applied for the course knew this was not going to be a glorified vacation. “The application process for this course was very competitive because I wanted to make sure we had a diverse group of students who displayed particular characteristics,” he said. “This is definitely a course for ‘wash and wear’ students.” In a nutshell, Hargis wanted to select students who were serious about learning, looking for adventure and eager to explore new cultures. Although the trip is still two months away, the students have been meeting monthly since January to complete the required coursework and participate in group-planning of the trip. They must Onyx Magazine


... florida scope UNF Students Recognized for Caring Spirits... complete the required reading, which includes books on Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein, as well as a novel, “The Razor’s Edge,” by W. Somerset Maughham, and a play, “The Physicist,” by Friederich Durrenmatt. In addition, each student has been assigned a leg of the trip, tasked with researching the area, planning lessons and developing an itinerary for a 24-hour period. Amy Wuest, a sophomore doublemajoring in philosophy and English, has spent a great deal of time learning about Rome, since she’s going to be responsible for leading her classmates through the ancient city. “I’ve been looking at maps, reading about the history of Rome, and talking with people who have traveled there to find out where we should go and what we should do,” she said. “I’d like to plan a walk where we can talk about Leonardo da Vinci while retracing his footsteps and experiencing some of the things he experienced in Rome. And I think it would be great if we could check out a café where Sartre and Hemingway used to hang out.” The students will also visit several universities throughout Europe to learn what college life is like in other countries. For example, the students plan to visit Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich to tour the campus and meet a German physicist who won a 2005 Nobel Physics Prize for his work in developing laser-based precision spectroscopy. Hargis said among the course’s objectives is for students to “engage in active, productive discourse relating to the connection between science, literature, media and how they connect to European geography, social and economic parameters.” Funding provided by the University reduced the cost of this trip from $2,400 to $950 per student. UNF has set aside $200,000 for courses, projects and research that require student participation in unique educational opportunities that help to broaden students’ intellectual and world views. A total of 18 programs were funded: 10 for international programs and eight for programs within the United States. Funding for these kinds of transformational learning experiences is unique to UNF. The idea for transformational learning opportunities was initiated by UNF President John A. Delaney when he was inaugurated as the University’s fifth president in 2004. 34

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JACKSONVILLE - One is a biology major and aspires to return to her native land of Jamaica as a physician, and the other is a secondary English education major who dedicated herself to one local non-profit organization, so she could learn and grow as an individual. Both University of North Florida students were recently honored for their caring spirits. Melissa O’Connor was awarded the 2006 Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award, which recognizes a student who demonstrates the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism exemplified by Albert Ernest. She received a bronze sculpture created by Frank Eliscu, designer of the Heisman Trophy, the Oval Office’s Presidential Eagle and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She also received a cash award for a charity of her choice. Catherine Anthony is the recipient of the 2006 Bill & Angie Halamandaris Caring Internship. She will intern at the Heart of America Foundation in Washington, D.C. for eight to 10 weeks. Heart of America Foundation is a national, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit, humanitarian organization that celebrates, honors and empowers young adults who enrich the human race with the quality of their lives. Melissa O’Connor O’Connor, 21, graduates from UNF April 28, with a major in biology and a minor in public health with honors. In addition to maintaining a 3.78 GPA and meeting her rigorous academic requirements in the Honors Program, she has involved herself with several volunteer activities both on and off campus since her freshman year. Organizations where she has volunteered include the JCL Prison Mission; Mayo Clinic; Boggy Creek Gang Camp; HabiJax; Clara White Mission; Breast Cancer Society; and the JCL New Orleans Clean Up during spring break in March. O’Connor’s most notable volunteer accomplishment has been the organization and implementation of symposia aimed at


increasing minority representation in the medical field. As director of the Minorities in Medicine Student Symposium, she planned and coordinated information for participating high school students wishing to enter the medical profession. The symposia included an exhibition hall with participation from medical and undergraduate representatives, faculty from all Duval County high schools, inspirational speakers and local vendors. Anthony, 20, is a junior Honors Program student majoring in secondary English education. She has been involved in numerous volunteer activities since her freshmen year while maintaining a 3.72 GPA. Anthony has tutored students in language, arts and math; volunteered at the Jacksonville public Library, Humane Society and Hubbard House; taught Sunday School; and has facilitated a domestic violence service learning project with the Honors program at UNF. Her most notable volunteer accomplishment has been the organization and renovation of the Hubbard House library, which provides self-help and parenting books for the women in the program, as well as an area for children to read and learn. Anthony initially got involved with the children at Hubbard House to help them with readCatherine Anthony ing and writing skills; however, she saw outdated sets of books that were not helpful to the children or the women. As part of her Honors portfolio project, she led the task of coordinating peers and volunteers for the renovation. They began sorting through old books, discarding unnecessary copies, securing new and donated books, and re-decorating the room with new paint plus a mural on the wall for the children’s area. The new library currently displays a more serene environment, with new books organized by genre, pictures on the wall, and a fun place for children to read.

May / June 2006

Ted Williams’ USF Positions Suit Role As New National Chair of Medical Association Student and Minority Section

TAMPA – One of the University of South Florida’s top administrators, Ted Williams, is combining his extensive background in medicine with his expertise in diversity issues in his new role as national chair of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Student Affairs-Minority Affairs Section (GSA-MAS). Williams is associate vice president for diversity and equal opportunity and associate dean of the USF College of Medicine as well as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. This background offers an informed perspective as Williams unites what might seem to be divergent areas. “GSA-MAS was established in recognition of the essential role minority issues play within academic medical centers and serves in an advisory and resource capacity to all facets of AAMC on issues of minority concern at national and regional levels,” Williams said. “My work at USF puts me directly at the center of this dialogue.” A projected shortage of doctors highlights the need for the physician workforce to reflect the ever diversifying profile of the nation’s overall population. “I’m responsible for conveying the importance of increasing the diversity of our medical school students and faculty and similarly I bear that responsibility university-wide here at USF,” he said. “I welcome this opportunity to work aggressively toward ending under-representation and disparities in both higher education and in healthcare.” His term runs through 2007. The University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF received more than $287 million in research contracts and grants last year, and it is ranked by the National Science Foundation as one of the nation’s fastest growing universities in terms of federal research and development expenditures. The university has a $1.3 billion annual budget and serves nearly 43,250 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee and Lakeland. In 2005, USF entered the Big East athletic conference.

NEXT ISSUE: Up and Coming (Age 35 and under) Submit your photo and profile to Onyx Magazine, PMB 412, 7226 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32818, or email to

Northwest Behavioral Health Services Sponsors its 2nd Points of Excellence Awards Banquet JACKSONVILLE Northwest Behavioral Health Services Incorporated recently sponsored its second annual Points of Excellence Awards Banquet. Six outstanding Jacksonville citizens received honors during the event, which was held at the Jacksonville Hyatt Riverfront Hotel where approximately 250 individuals were in attendance. Keynote speaker for the event was Ms. Carla Harris, Director of Global Markets for Morgan Stanley in New York. Ms. Sarah Cotton was honored with a special tribute as this year’s Northwest Hero of Merit in the field of mental health. The Points of Excellence Committee named two recipients for the Points of Excellence Public Service, and one recipient for each of the four remaining Points of Excellence categories. The Honorable Audrey L. Gibson, state representative and Mr. Alvin Brown, CEO of the Willie E. Gary Classic, were the recipients of the Points of Excellence Public Service Categories. Faithbase, Heal, Education and Economic Development are categories rounding out the five Points of Excellence selected each year for recognition. Wendell P. Holmes, the first African American elected to a school board in the state of Florida and former Duval County School Board Chairman, received the Points of Excellence Award for Education. The Economic Development award was presented to Karl “Jay” Jabor, businessman and owner of Karl’s Clothier. Elizabeth G. Means, Vice President of Community Affairs of Shands Jacksonville, was the recipient for Health, The Reverend Freddie Richardson; pastor of Historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, received the honor for Faith. This year, entertainment included soloist, Maquiata Chaulk and musician, Brian Eichelberger, who are both students at Edwards Waters College. Northwest Board President Stewart Washington and Executive Director Patricia G. Sampson called this year’s Points of Excellence Banquet outstanding and vowed to remain committed to the Northwest mission of promoting a healthy community.

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production of his next film, Stepshow. He shared details on the humble beginnings of his successful Atlanta based company, Rain Forest Films. His inspirational message to the younger generation was that they stay focused and always remember, “Mediocrity is easy, but excellence is hard.” Striving for such excellence has been paramount throughout Packer’s academic career, a commitment that earned him Florida A & M University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Guests were also treated to a runway fashion show with elegant displays of Spring fashions. The services of the members of the NBC-Links have not gone unnoticed. They have been awarded the “Innovative Service Award” by their national organization and the “Outstanding Community Service Award” from the City of Coral Springs. The chapter is committed to improving the lives of underserved families in Broward County.

CORAL SPRINGS - Spring was celebrated on Saturday April 1, 2006 at the Marriott Hotel in Heron Bay when the ladies of the North Broward County Chapter of The Links Incorporated (NBCLinks), adorned in pastel colored outfits and matching hats with pearl accessories, hosted their 11th annual Unity Luncheon fundraising event. The event was sponsored by South Florida Mercedes-Benz Dealers. NBC-Links Chapter President, Dottie Ruffin said, “This year’s speaker, Mr. Will Packer, was one of the best speakers that we have ever had, and I found him to be very engaging even for young people. He delivered a powerful message.” Since last year’s luncheon, members of the NBC-Links have reached out to various charitable organizations, volunteering more than 2,000 hours of community service. The mission continued this year as Ayesha Coker, Mercedes Benz USA Regional Events Mgr, thanks NBC for their commitmembers of the organization gathered on ment to community involvement Saturday, April 8th, to participate in a Wa l k - A - T h o n fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation. The keynote address was delivered by Will Packer, chairman of Rainforest Films and producer of the hit movie, The Gospel. Link Kathy Eggleston, Luncheon Co-Chair; Link Dottie Ruffin, President; Packer is currently in Mr. Will Packer, Speaker; Link Jenelyn Haye, Luncheon Co-chair

Members of the North Broward County Chapter of The Links Incorporated Will Packer (center) 36

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DALTON AGENCY Acquires MORGAN AND PARTNERS JACKSONVILLE — National advertising and public relations firm, the Dalton Agency, announces the acquisition of Morgan and Partners, a Jacksonville based advertising agency that specializes in a variety of fields including real estate, development and retail. “The time is right for this strategic acquisition which brings together an impressive list of extremely talented people and is a perfect fit with our existing client base.” said Jim Dalton, agency president and CEO. The Dalton Agency has grown to be one the region’s fastest growing advertising, brand development and public relations agencies. With a diverse client list consisting of local, regional and national brands, the forty person firm has developed successful award winning campaigns that specialize in consumer, business-tobusiness, health-care, bio-tech and sports marketing. The Dalton Agency presently handles McDonald’s, Armor Holdings, Imagine Orthodontics, MPS Group, Beall’s Department Stores, Nimnicht Chevrolet and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars to name a few. Morgan and Partners, recognized for their outstanding work in the residential real estate and development arena, are also known for developing and implementing successful retail and consumer focused campaigns. Clients include East-West Partners, Centex Destination Properties, Swisher International and Davidson Development. “This is a great opportunity for our firm,” said Mike Morgan, president of Morgan and Partners. “The depth and talent this newly formed firm brings together is quite impressive. Combined, our group will be strong on resources and creative talent.” The combined agency will consist of 58 full-time staff members with capitalized billings of $45.6 million. About the Dalton Agency: The Dalton Agency, a national agency, based in Jacksonville, represents a wide range of global, national and regional clients. The agency is known for its award-winning creative designs, brand development, public and government relations’ campaigns, media placement programs, Web design/ programming and television and radio production in their in-house studios. May / June 2006

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It’s Final! Metro Bank of Orlando Purchased by

Billionaire Robert L. Johnson Dwight L. Bush

Robert L. Johnson

ORLANDO - It’s final. Metro Bank FSB of Orlando has the distinction of having become the first branch of Robert L. Johnson’s Urban Trust Bank, which is based in Washington, D.C. Robert L. Johnson and Dwight L. Bush, President and CEO of Urban Trust Bank, recently held a reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel to make the announcement and to Royce Walden, Board Member of the Bank; Orlando City Commissioner Daisy Lynum; interact with a number of Robert Johnson; Lillian and Lester Seays, Onyx Magazine. Photo by Ted Hollins leaders in the community. Metro Bank of Orlando was established in 1963 under the reception, both Johnson and Bush nomic development of the comname Washington Shores Federal Savings responded to questions related to the pro- munity. and Loan, and has since become an historic jected thrust of Urban Trust. In support of Johnson, known throughout landmark as the city’s first African American the main objective, to improve service and the entertainment world and financial institution. Now, with its new operation, the focus of the bank will be to beyond as the founder of Black identity, the Board of Urban Trust Bank in provide services related to mortgages, stu- Entertainment Television (BET), Orlando expects the buyout to provide an dent loans, small business financing and which he launched at the age of “infusion of capital to bring an end to its other projects that are more significantly 34, is also owner of the Charlotte past series of deficits.” related to Blacks. Bobcats Professional Basketball Dwight L. Bush, formerly of Chase Johnson believes in personal service Team. Selling BET in 2000 to Manhattan and Sallie Mae, will divide his to everyone in order to establish close CBS Corp.’s Viacom unit for $3 time between Johnson’s main operation in banking relationships and understanding billion made him and his ex-wife Washington, D.C. and Orlando. the needs of the customers. As a result, he America’s first Black billionDuring the Q&A session of the sees Urban Trust contributing to the eco- aires. May / June 2006


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Onyx Awards Reaps Rewards for Victims of Sickle Cell Disease As a result of the Onyx Awards, LBS Foundation was able to make a donation to the Tri County Sickle Cell Association and to the Northeast Florida Sickle Cell Association to help send children who have sickle cell disease to summer camp at Boggy Creek. Lee, Bryan, President of the State Sickle Cell Association and Ben Green of Jacksonville received the check on the children’s behalf. The presentation was made at the State Sickle Cell Association Conference, which was recently held in Orlando. The total amount pledged to Sickle Cell from the Foundation this year was $20,000. Shown right are –– Lester Seays, Lillian Seays, Lee Bryan and Ben Green

SEATED: Lee Bryan (State President), Ernestine Hankerson, and Birtha Kyler. STANDING: Pamela Goldsmith, Ben Green, Leroy Gilliam, Barbara Gilliam, Cheryl Blackmon, Francis Powell, Marie Dixon-Jones, Thomas Jones, Gloria Washington, Beatrice Williams (State Vice President), Cynthia Collins, Pamlamia Simmons, Rita Jackson, John Bryan, and Lillian Seays (ABSENT: Veronica Bryant and Laura Edler)

The Onyx Awards is held each year during the fourth weekend in March. Next year, 2007, marks the fifth anniversary of the Onyx Awards and the 10th anniversary of Onyx Magazine. Look for a spectacular celebration next March as both Onyx Magazine and LBS Foundation continue its support to break the sickle cell disease cycle. The corporate sponsors that made the work of LBS Foundation in the community possible were Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Central Florida Educators Credit Union, McCoy Credit Union, 4MSports, Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami), Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Presentation Service, Orange TV, and Clear Channel. Other guests and table sponsors accounted for an attendance of 600 people. Each having a hand in making help for sickle cell victims possible. Photos from the Sickle Cell Awards in the following pages. Residence of Orange County may experience the gala via Orange TV. Check your TV programming schedule. 38

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ONYX Magazine May / June 2006  

The mission of LBS Publications, Inc. d/b/a Onyx Magazine is to empower its readers by offering educational, inspirational and entertaining...

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