Page 1

What this means for you & your family Following two years of strategic work to define Bayfront’s future, the Bayfront Health System Board of Trustees is pleased to announce a strategic partnership that brings together Bayfront and Health Management Associates to jointly own and operate Bayfront Medical Center, in clinical affiliation with Shands Healthcare.

The New Bayfront Moving Forward and Giving Back

“Working at Bayfront allows me to continue my career working with the staff and residency program. For my family, it means that they can still get the same level and quality of care that Bayfront offers with added improvements. It also means an increase in access to services.” Dr. Marilyn Fudge, Assistant Program Director, OB-GYN Residency Program

As Bayfront enters this new partnership, our community can expect an even greater standard of care.

What This Means to You and Your Family: Q. Will my current doctor(s) still be able to see me at Bayfront?

Yes, all doctors’ privileges will remain the same, and you can continue to see the physicians and other health care professionals that you and your family know and trust.

Q: I’m not insured. Can I

far into the future. Bayfront’s commitment to the community will be elevated to new and transformational heights.

Yes. In fact, one of the most promising outcomes of this partnership is the plan to expand access to top quality care for all our patients. We’ll be in a position to provide more people with the care they need and Bayfront’s charity care policy will not change. Both of our partners share our commitment to community and Health Management Associates, Bayfront’s coowner, has a significant track record in caring for the uninsured, with many of its hospitals currently being their communities’ largest provider of services to the poor. The Bayfront Board of Trustees was careful and insistent in its selection of partners that share Bayfront’s sense of social responsibility. This shared philosophy among Bayfront’s partners will be backed up with a formal agreement in the governing documents of the partnership.

Q: Will there be a change

still get medical treatment at Bayfront?

In addition to Bayfront’s maintained policy around charity care, the partnership’s strong financial performance and the good work of Bayfront HERO will translate into even more impact for our community’s healthcare needs

to the insurance companies Bayfront accepts? No. Bayfront operations and services will remain the same as they are now. In fact, our level of service and the range of services we provide will expand under the new partnership.

Q: What will be Bayfront’s specializations be under this new partnership?

This new partnership expands the services and quality of care you’ll receive at Bayfront. We will continue to provide your family all of the services you’ve received in the past. The new partnership will enhance our specializations. For example, Bayfront’s exceptional Level 2 Trauma Center will be clinically integrated with the Level I Trauma Center at Shands, elevating the level of care and access for trauma patients along Florida’s central and western Gulf Coast. For more information about the partnership or to schedule a representative to speak at your community meeting: Email:, Phone: (727) 893-6110, Option 1

The Grapevine Magazine

MONTHLY │ TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA A publication of The Power Broker Media Group


Learn more:

www.powerbrokermagazine. com/grapevine LIKE US OR FRIEND US AT: GypsyGallardo FOLLOW US: powerbrokermag FOR DELIVERY OF OUR MAGAZINES: To request that your

business or office be one of the Power Broker’s 200+ distribution sites, e-mail us at

DIGITAL magazine now available Power Broker & Grapevine magazines is now available in DIGITAL format. Flip through the pages of this edition (and others) online at DIGITALmagazine

Gypsy C. Gallardo PUBLISHER Lonnie Donaldson CO-FOUNDER, The Power Broker magazine Deborah Figgs-Sanders CHAIRMAN, The Power Broker Foundation Gwendolyn Reese ASSOCIATE EDITOR Pop Lancaster OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER Misha Wong CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jeremy Farnum GRAPHIC designer Kimberley Webb DIGITAL media manager Robert Gallardo SOCIAL media manager Adrienne Reddick SPECIAL events manager Aleyah Conway PRODUCTION assistant Briana Lake EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lena Graham BEAUTY editor Pat McGhee FASHION editor Tracy Darity SENIOR writer Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich GUEST columnist Kurt Donley GUEST columnist Ellen Kirkland COMMUNITY journalist Leah Barber-Heinz GUEST columnist


Kellis Glenn - Clearwater Candy Lowe - Tampa Sandra Butler - Polk County Kimberly Albritton -Manatee & Sarasota Counties Kevin Rose - St. Petersburg

News that made

history or hype

Firestorm for Jamie Foxx for saying Black People ‘The Most Talented People In The World’ In early February, actor Jamie Foxx touched off a firestorm of criticism, especially from conservatives, for remarks he made at the 44th NAACP Image Awards, saying “Black people are the most talented people in the world.” Noel Sheppard, writing for the NewsBusters site, which is dedicated to exposing liberal media bias, wrote “Can you imagine the heat a white actor would get if he said at a nationally televised awards ceremony, ‘White people are the most talented people in the world?’ Probably be the end of his or her career.” 10 | the grapevine news magazine

This month & last

“Don’t Shoot. I’m not Chris Dorner” reported in mid-February, a new fashion trend spawned by the LAPD shooting of at least three innocent people in the manhunt for Chris Dorner, the fugitive ex-cop and alleged murderer. “Residents of Los Angeles have begun wearing shirts and placing signs on their vehicles that read, “Don’t shoot, I’m not Chris Dorner. Thank you.”

Rouson’s Election as House Minority Leader Signals Progress

State Representative Darryl Rouson’s election as Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives this February is yet another sign that black politicians are no longer relegated to “single member” and “token” roles in Tallahassee. In fact, all three players in the election drama that unfolded over

half a year were African American: State Rep. Perry Thurston, the current Minority Leader walked a tightrope of neutrality as his second-in-command (State Rep. Mia Jones) went head to head with Rouson for the position. Jones, who was seen as the establishment favorite, narrowly lost to Rouson (23 votes to 21). The bigger question still looms: will Rouson be able to help House Democrats break (or at least crack) the brick wall of resistance by Republicans to get something done for the people? See our feature

article in the March 2013 edition of the Power Broker magazine.

Muhammad Ali On Deathbed, Says Brother reported in early February boxing great Muhammad Ali, 71, is not expected to live through the summer. His brother, Rahman Ali, said “He’s very sick, It could be months, it could be days. I don’t know if he’ll last the summer. He’s in God’s hands.”

Mo Cowan becomes US senator: Can blacks win without asked one of the most important questions surrounding the history made when Mo Cowan was picked to fill the Senate seat vacated by now Secretary of State John Kerry: can African Americans win without being appointed? The appointment marked the first time in U.S. history that we’ve had two black Senators at the same time, but the two were both appointed, rather than elected. An article posted by the MSNBC affiliate noted that “there were only six black senators ever in the history of the U.S. Senate before this year: Senators Hiram Revels (R-MS) and Blanche Bruce (R-MS), who were elected immediately after the Civil War, and three

more black senators who were elected after Reconstruction, Edward Brooke (R-MA), Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL), and Barack Obama (DIL)……It’s not that black candidates haven’t tried to win U.S. Senate races. High-profile candidates including Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) have tried and failed to mount successful Senate campaigns in recent years.”

Sweetbay gone, but new grocer likely? If you followed the news about the surprise departure of the Sweetbay Supermarket in St. Petersburg’s Midtown community, you already know that the eleventh hour play to help save the Sweetbay barely got out of the gate as the chain grocer took less than two weeks to vacate the

premises. But Larry Newsome, the developer of Tangerine Plaza who now has 37,000 square feet of vacant space, says he is cautiously optimistic that a new tenant will be found in the near future. “Several grocers and others have approached us with projects and deals that could be a great fit for the community’s retail needs.” Newsome is CEO of the development group called Urban Development Solution.

Recent News & Notes Tampa Bay, Florida A MONTHLY NEWS ROUND-UP │SEND US YOUR NEWS & PHOTOS TO FEATURE IN AN UPCOMING EDITION: Tampa’s Rev. Dr. James Favorite Appointed as Board Chair of Nat’l Black Leadership Commission on AIDS

New York Times Best Selling Author Carl Weber visits the Bay


arl Weber, author of sensational books like Something on the Side and The First Lady, held an autograph session and a book reading for his latest novel The Man in 3B, during the first web in February at Books A Million in Brandon. To stay plugged into events happening across Tampa Bay, visit www. events.

12 | the grapevine news magazine

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III stepped down as chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA) as of December 31, 2012. Tampa’s Rev. Dr. W. James Favorite, chairman of the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Tampa Bay and a member of NBLCA’s board since 2009, was appointed as the new board chairman and began his tenure on January 1st of this year. Rev. Favorite is the Pastor of Beulah Baptist Institutional.

Miracles Outreach Empowerment Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony On February 16, Michelle Walker and staff hosted a Ribbon Cutting to showcase their new facility, which will house the operations of Miracles Outreach CDC, Children With A Vision, Girls Empowered Mentally for Success, The Federation of Families, and The Faith and Family Uplift Initiative. See the new location at 4501 E Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa or visit miracles online at www.

Clearwater MLK Center Reopened


fter being closed for almost a year, the MLK Community Center has been leased to the MLK Coalition & reopened with a celebrating on December 8th. Visit the new management at 1201 Douglas St. in Clearwater, or reach Center staff at 727-504-3928.

Times picks Welch and Ryan among “Six leaders to watch in 2013” Calling them “six differencemakers to watch,” the Tampa Bay Times editorial team issued its ranking of local leaders – most of them political – as people to keep our eye on in 2013. The line-up included Ken Welch (Pinellas County Commissioner) and Jerome Ryans (CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority), along with Pam Bondi (Florida attorney general), Will Weatherford (Speaker, Florida House of Representatives), Jeff Vinik (Chairman and governor, Tampa Bay Lightning) and Judy Genshaft (President, University of South Florida). Ryans rated for becoming “a key player in Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s plan to enliven downtown and connect the city center with the surrounding neighborhoods.” Welch, often seen as a classic cross-over politician, is the new chairman of the Pinellas County Commission. The Times article notes “After years of micromanaging, expect this commission with Welch’s leadership to have more vision and work more collaboratively.”

If you’ve got news, we want to hear about it; send your photos & news to us at

The Latest & Hottest A monthly events calendar by the Grapevine Magazine

We track hundreds of events each month; see more online at Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Dr. in Tampa Alyssa Rhoads | 813-3422491 | EventsTampa@

Soul Crooners 2

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - Sunday, March 24, 2013 West Coast Black Theater Troupe, 1646 10th Way in Sarasota soul-crooners-2 By popular demand, WBTT revisits the soul music of the 1970s with unforgettable melodies, heavenly harmonies, and great vocalists. You’ll fall in love again with your favorite guys from the original show (Charles, Leon, Mikeyy, Nate and Sheldon) who masterfully croon new songs from the greatest singers of that engaging era. Conceived and adapted by Nate Jacobs.  2013 CFO of the Year Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 1:15PM to 1:30PM A La Carte Event 16 | the grapevine news magazine

Join the Tampa Bay Business Journal for the 2013 CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon! All finalists will be recognized and honored on stage and we will announce the category winners and the overall 2013 CFO of the Year!  “The plight of black nurses, in Hillsborough County: “ What A Difference A Day Makes” Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Branch Library, 2607 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Tampa 813-442-4156 | The Black Nurses of Hillsborough County Historical Documentary Project will be unveiled.  The Purpose of the documentary is to document History for our Black Nurses here in Hillsborough County with regards to their experiences,

For discounts and free offers exclusively for Power Broker readers, become our friend or fan on facebook or follow us on Twitter.

accomplishments, and their contributions made to the nursing profession. The history of hip hop: A Multi-Media Mini Series Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM Eckerd College, Fox Hall in St. Pete Wes Jackson, executive director of The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and president of Brooklyn Bodega, will give a talk entitled “The History of Hip Hop: A Multi-Media Mini Series.” This lecture is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Afro-American Society at Eckerd College. To Kill A Mocking Bird Directed by Erica Sutherlin@ St Pete City Theatre their 1st African American Director to date Friday, March 1, 2013 Sunday, March 17, 2013 4025 31st. St. So. in St. Pete Price: Adults, $22 / Students, $10 St. Petersburg City Theatre | Serria

Newton-Fulford | 727-320-7574 | needtobesincere@gmail. com

1111 18th Ave. So. in St. Pete Momma Tee Lassiter | 727-564-8534 |

A classic of modern American literature comes to the City Theatre Stage. Guest Director Erica Sutherlin brings a fresh, candid and gripping approach to the play adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and Oscar winning movie.

Successes Unlimited Women & Youth Business Center, Inc. and the St. Petersburg NAACP Branch invite you to the 2013 Town Hall Meeting “It’s Time to Speak Up and Take a Stand” We are One!  Please come and express your concerns with Mayor Foster, City Council Members, St. Petersburg Police Chief, Pinellas County Sheriff, Pinellas County School Superintendent and Board Member, Renee Flowers. 

Creole Choir of Cuba Sunday, March 3, 2013 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM Straz Center, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Pl. in Tampa www.strazcenter. org Prepare to be blown away: hear the passionate melodies, wild harmonies and richly textured arrangements of these 10 inspiring vocalists and you will know this is something new from Cuba, the most original vocal sound to come out of the island in a long while. 2013 Town Hall Meeting - We are ONE Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM Enoch Davis Center,

Part-time Law School Info Session Tuesday, March 12, 2013 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st St. in Gulfport 727-562-7802 lawadmit@law.stetson. edu Stetson University College of Law enrolls new part-time J.D. students each fall. Each entering parttime class typically will have between 60 and 65 students. Part-time classes are offered in the evening; a limited number are offered on weekends. Stetson’s program is designed primarily for working professionals — or others with significant

day-time commitments — who wish to pursue a law degree either to change careers or to enhance their current career. Jazz In The Gardens Saturday, March 16, 2013 - Sunday, March 17, 2013 Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL www.jazzinthegardens. com This year’s Jazz in the Gardens will surely surpass last years’ experience with another illustrious lineup that continues to make this festival second to none. Your Jazz in the Gardens weekend experience will include pre-festival events, after parties, fabulous shopping, community events and much, much more! Hosted by Michael Baisden.  Performances by Mary Mary, Rachelle Ferrell, Najee, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, New Edition, Neyo and Earth, Wind & Fire. Third Annual James Weldon Johnson Literacy Festival Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 9:00AM to 4:00PM Johnson Branch Library 1059 18th Ave. So. in St. Pete Price: Free

Let the Grapevine & Power Broker magazines promote your events to Tampa Bay’s growing African American community. Submit your events to us at or on-line at

Kevin Johnson | 727-342-2235 | KevinJohnson5370@ The festival, run by the Friends of the Johnson Branch Library and cosponsored by the City of St. Petersburg, celebrates the joy of reading and the importance of literacy to the African-American community. Admission is free, and free books will be given to children of all ages.  Enjoy live entertainment by the Dunedin Steppers; as well as children’s activities, including a Puppet Show, Hula-Hoop contest and Bounce House inflatable. Drawings, presentations and demonstrations will take place, and the festival will conclude at 4:00 p.m. with the annual Walk for Reading: a parade through the surrounding neighborhood. Refreshments will be sold to benefit the Library.  Vendor opportunities are available. YWCA Tampa Bay Wine and Cheese “Friendraiser” Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM Duncan McClellan’s Glass Gallery, 2342 Emerson Ave. So. in St. Pete Enjoy an array of terrific wines and gourmet cheeses.

18 | the grapevine news magazine

Learn more about the many wonderful things happening with our organization at this time. Please join the YWCA for what is sure to be a joyous and momentous occasion. Kids & Alchohol Town Hall Meeting Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM The Palladium Theater 253 5th Ave. No. in St. Pete LiveFree!, in partnership with WEDU and numerous community partners, will host Florida’s Kids and Alcohol Town Hall Meeting.  Discussion will surround: underage alcohol use, synthetic marijuana use, prescription drug misuse and abuse and peer pressures. Alicia Keys Sunday, March 24, 2013 from 7:30PM to 10:00PM Tampa Bay Times Forum www. This Girl Is On Fire Tour w/ special guest Miguel.  Tickets on sale now at the box office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at ticketmaster. com or charge by phone 800.745.3000. 2nd Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival Saturday,

March 30, 2013 from 10:30AM to 5:30PM 1800 E. 8th St. in Ybor City 813-407-6866 or 813-4077191 | Jolie@Latin-Times. com or Back for its 2nd year, the Cuban Sandwich Festival hosted thousands of people in its inaugural 2012 year AND once again, Ybor City Streets will be closed to honor the Greatest Sandwich that Florida has ever known! Unleashing the Goddess Within: A Cultural Celebration of the Gifts of Women Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 3:00PM to 5:00PM Supa D’s Tropical Bar and Grill, 810 E. Skagway Ave. in Tampa Iyapo | 813-843-4717 | Event will include vendors, a panel of experts, open forum, food, music, and an awesome atmosphere of sisterhood. Women are encouraged to bring their children and partners/ husbands etc. Omega Psi Phi 7th District Meeting From: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8:00AM to Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 11:00AM Tampa is host to the Que’s 7th District meeting. Mike Reid | 813-240-3116 Weekend includes Golf

Tournament, Deep Sea Fishing, Meetings, a Picnic and much more. There is still time for you, your Business/ Service, or Group/Club or Organization to get included in our upcoming Omega Psi Phi 7th District Meeting Souvenir Journal, taking place in downtown Tampa. The deadline for inclusion in the Souvenir Journal is March 7th.

Sistahs of Compassion Supporting Cancer Survivors, Inc. Fundraiser Dinner Cruise Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 6:30PM to 9:30PM StarLite Majesty, Clearwater Beach Price: $55pp 727-455-7827 or 727475-0529 Transportation to event if needed, provided by Alpha Limo-Charter Bus additional $15.00 per person. Final Payment must be received by March 17th.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Sistahs Of Compassion Supporting Cancer Survivors, Inc.  Boarding Pass call 727-

455-7827 or 727-4750529 or mail & make check payable to: Sistahs of Compassion SCS, Inc., P.O. Box 12253, St. Petersburg, FL 33733. Bring pocket change to event. RAFFLES - $1.00 and $5.00 It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – May 12, 2013 West Coast Black Theater Troupe, 1646 10th Way in Sarasota Take a journey through time as this rich and rousing musical revue depicts the evolution of the blues from African chants through the Southern spirituals to the electrifying songs of postwar Chicago nightclubs. Nominated for four Tony Awards, this show captures the heart of American music and leaves the audience clamoring for more! 

Smokey Robinson Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 7:30PM to 10:00PM The Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st St. So. in St. Pete

With his eternally smooth and instantly recognizable falsetto alone – without the strings, bass, guitar or drums – legendary singer/songwriter/ producer Smokey Robinson’s honeycoated voice absolutely is the audio equivalent of comfort food…comfort food for the soul…with soul. 7th Annual Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest From: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 4:00PM To: Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 8:00PM Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto www. Make plans to join us for the 7th Annual Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest. In only its seventh year, Rhythm & Ribfest is fast becoming one of the most exciting, diverse, and anticipated events on Florida’s Gulf Coast. We feature a mix of great music, fantastic food from across the U.S., and lots of fun for the entire family.  Smoke will fill the air as the top Rib Teams from across the Nation return to serve up their award winning recipes and to compete for this

Let the Grapevine & Power Broker magazines promote your events to Tampa Bay’s growing African American community. Submit your events to us at or on-line at

year’s top honors. Mo’Nique Live Friday, April 19, 2013 from 8:00PM to 11:00PM Tampa Improv, 1600 E. 8th Ave. C-112 in Tampa Price: $40 www. Get ready to laugh. Mo’Nique is a multimedia powerhouse whose consistent, extensive body of work has captivated audiences in stand-up comedy, television, film and literature. 2013 Black GIRLS Rock Tampa Bay Award Show Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 5:45PM to 8:00PM 1301 South 78th St. in Tampa BGRinformation@ | www. An entertaining evening of elegance showcasing local black women who have worked tirelessly in the Tampa Bay Community, within these five sectors: Business, Civic, Education, Health & Wellness, and Religious.

20 | the grapevine news magazine

Save the Date: Call the Man Home Community Outreach Rally Sunday, April 21, 2013 Word of Life, 2540 9th Ave. So. in St. Pete www.callthemanhome. com CTMH invites the community out for this community outreach event. Clothing/Shoes Giveaway, Free Food, Music & More! Save the Date: The Gathering of Women, Inc.’s 2013 Men and Women of Distinction. Sunday, April 21, 2013 St. Petersburg Country Club in St. Pete www. thegatheringofwomen. com The 2013 Men and Women of Distinction awards ceremony and luncheon pays tribute to prominent Men and women leaders who have made extraordinary contributions in their professions or their communities. The award winners are leaders in their fields, innovators of unique programs and services, and lifelong advocates for promoting equality between men and women. 

“Matters of the Heart “ Spring Prayer Breakfast Retreat” Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 9:00AM to 11:00AM Glad Tidings Assembly of God, 4200 17th Ave. No. in St. Pete Price: $ 5.00 Matters of the Heart Radio & Connecting Point Ministry | Radio Host Personality Princess Denise Wright 727-488-8818 | princessdenise.8818@ | www. This event will be a time of refreshing for Anointed Women and young female teens which will include Praise and Worship, Special Guest Speakers and a delectable breakfast. Theme: “Living Your Best Life in Faith in 2013! Advance tickets are available for a donation of $ 5.00. Monies will be used to support the Ministry Community Humanitarian Events for Thanksgiving Food Baskets Giveaway for Needy Families and Christmas Toys for Tots Event. Vendors booths available for $10.

Price: $25 Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County |

Funk Fest 2013 From: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5:00PM To: Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 10:00PM Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa www. tampa/ Performing live on Friday - Jagged Edge, Doug E Fresh, Keyshia Cole; and performing live on Saturday - Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, SOS Band, Salt & Pepper, Anthony Hamilton. Save the Date: The St. Petersburg Chapter of The Links, Incorporated “Run For The Roses Gala” Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 3:00PM to 6:00PM Historic Rutland/ Farley Estate in St. Petersburg www. Business Plans for Every Situation Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 12:00PM to 2:00PM 13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200 Clearwater

Whether you just want to stay on task, develop a solid plan for success, or satisfy lenders and investors, we can help you write a great business plan. We will show you how to choose the best format for your purpose, the relevant sections you will need to complete, how to find research and answers that help, and give you plenty of examples to make it as straightforward and useful as possible. The registration fee includes course materials. The Rise of the New Woman Conference From: Friday, May 10, 2013 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 4:00PM Hilton Bayfront, 333 1st St. So. in St. Pete Price: $75.00 727-623-5555 Hosted by Mothers of Civilizations. Keynote address will be on Saturday. Mother’s Day Gospel Celebration featuring Yolanda Adams, Deitrick Haddon and Leandria Johnson Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 7:30PM to 10:00PM Straz Center, 1010 N.

W.C. MacInnes Pl. in Tampa Price: $32.75 The message and ministry of Grammy Award-winning gospel artist, Yolanda Adams returns to Tampa on Mother’s Day weekend with a joyful, uplifting, inspiring and exuberant performance. She will be joined by one of the most exciting Gospel performers and visionary on the scene today, Deitrick Haddon.. A portion of the proceeds to benefits local Breast Cancer Foundations for Women. “News Flash – No More Ticket Fees at the Mahaffey” As of early February, the Mahaffey Theater eliminated all ticketing fees. Event operator Bill Edwards said the ticket fees are being eliminated in an attempt to draw more fans.   “At the Mahaffey Theater, there will be no added ticketing charges,” said Bill Edwards, CEO of Big3 Entertainment. “I subscribe to truth in advertising and full disclosure. The advertised price should be what the community pays.” 

Let the Grapevine & Power Broker magazines promote your events to Tampa Bay’s growing African American community. Submit your events to us at or on-line at

Strength in Numbers New Leadership in Your Neighborhoods By Kurt Donley, President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations of Southern Pinellas County


re you giving up on making your neighborhood a better, more beautiful place to live? Feel like what you see, say or want doesn’t matter? Don’t feel safe in your own neighborhood? You are not alone. The time is right to get some stuff fixed. Your neighborhood is getting organized and your voice matters and deserves to be heard. There is a new wave of leaders in South St. Petersburg and other areas of the City. Just look at Brother John Muhammad in Child’s Park and Lisa Wheeler Brown in the Wildwood neighborhood. They don’t just pretend to be leaders when cameras are around. Their hearts and hands are committed to doing the hard work to make their neighborhoods better for everyone. Do you live near a drug house? Are slumlords or foreclosed properties blighting your street? You can do something about it. Find out where and when your neighborhood meets and ask for help. Make certain they are a part of CONA. CONA is the Council of Neighborhood Associations. You may have heard of CONA,

22 | the grapevine news magazine

they used to be thought of as an Old White Man’s club. Things have changed. Last year CONA was the ONLY organization in St Petersburg to raise awareness of the New Jim Crow laws that are causing the mass incarceration of people of color. CONA was the only organization to voice outrage at over 23 % of African Americans in St Petersburg being felony disenfranchised, unable to vote or get meaningful employment, housing and education opportunities. It is a new day, be part of the solution. Join YOUR neighborhood. Insist YOUR neighborhood is an active part of CONA. To find out when your neighborhood association meets:

MLK Day of Service an Inspiring Success By Ellen Kirkland


y all accounts, the St. Petersburg MLK Day of Service initiative has been a successful, rousing, community wide coup détat of collaboration and esteem building. Dignitaries, award recipients, wellwishers and staff will convene to celebrate St. Petersburg’s inaugural MLK Day of Service initiative at St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) Allstate Center, on February 23. On MLK Day a small army of volunteers converged on almost every sector of the city. Approximately 1,700 volunteers were mobilized and accomplished 55 broad ranging service projects. An astonishing 220 community partnerships were developed between volunteer initiatives and local organizations and businesses. Dr. Linda Hogans, Director of Special Projects at SPC, whose oversight facilitated the smooth implementation of the initiative said, “These partnerships are important because they demonstrate the communities’ ability

Dr. Linda Hogans, Director of Special Programs at SPC and the gang at the MLK Launch party held at The Mahaffey Center.

24 | the grapevine news magazine

to collaborate. When you have that much collaboration between entities, significant bonds are being forged that will extend beyond just that one day.” Award application requests exceeded $305,000. As planned, $100,000 was split between the 55 selected service projects. Many of the awards were a fraction of the amount requested. As a testament to the spirit of this community, the award recipients committed to make the individual and collective events a success by soliciting cash donations, in-kind donations (building materials and other tangible items) and discounts from area businesses. Among the biggest award beneficiaries was St. Petersburg Urban Agricultural Coalition (SUAC), an umbrella organization for community gardens located throughout the city. St. Pete has become the undisputed leader of local efforts, in the nationwide movement known as ‘urban ag,’ since laws were passed in 2011 allowing individual and community gardens in every zoning district in the city.

SUAC received a grant for its “10,000 greens” project and six separate grants were awarded to independent gardens that fall under the auspices of SUAC, as well as Bartlett Park Community Garden which is sponsored by GreenFlorida. The MLK Day of Service helped to launch and to support SUAC’s ongoing efforts.

veterans and troops deployed overseas. BCHS Band and Jr. ROTC performed at Baypines VA Hospital and visited with recuperating vets, while SPHS Student Government Association implemented “Operation Snack Fairy,” packing 160 boxes and bags of snacks and goodies for distribution locally and for shipment to Afghanistan.

Volunteers at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church installed a community garden as well as The Imagine Playground and Tot Garden.

Brown’s Janitorial, Inc. and A & L Tax Service collaborated in a neighborhood cleanup and beautification project that received an impromptu visit by State Representative, Darryl Rouson.

An all-day revitalization effort took place at Happy Workers Child Care Center. Their historically designated and protected, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Building, is in the process of being rehabbed into a family health and wellness center. Volunteers from Omega Psi Fraternity and Pathfinders Youth Group worked tirelessly to fulfill that vision. A legion of parents, volunteers and contractors converged on Happy Workers, in the early morning, and accomplished playground clean up, classroom cleanup, painting, replacement of flooring and the installation of an ornamental garden, which was a collaborative effort with SUAC. Boca Ciega High School (BCHS) and St. Petersburg High School (SPHS) participated in events to honor local

Intergenerational Event at the St. Petersburg Sunshine Center Volunteers pack disaster kits for distribution later at the Enoch Davis Center.

In the morning, this intergenerational effort cleared a vast area of 16th Street, from Central Avenue to 18th Avenue south, of trash and debris. Brown then served up the Brown’s locally famous bar-b-que ribs, chicken and greens to participants and volunteers for lunch. Afterwards, a bounce house was employed to entertain young children while tweens and teens enjoyed MLK related movies and documentaries shown throughout the afternoon on a big screen TV. The efforts of Cynthia Brown, a recent cancer survivor, truly embodied the spirit of the event - to involve the community, especially engaging and educating black youth by stimulating awareness of Dr. King’s message of service and to occupy young people on a day that traditionally sees a

Pathfinders Youth Group paints the historic Dr. Martin Luther King building at Happy Workers under the watchful eye of the center director Evadne Tilbury.

(L to R) Debbie McFarlane, Winnie Foster, Selina Rice and Selina’s daughter, Andrea at happy Workers.

spike in arrests – a result of lack of understanding of King’s legacy and post parade revelry. Fulfilling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service, according to Darryl Rouson, State Representative for District 70, was an inspiration that began shortly after he left last year’s 26th Annual MLK Day Breakfast. Following the breakfast, Rouson went to the parade, a 27 year tradition in St. Petersburg. Then he and a friend went to the Westcare Foundation’s drug and alcohol treatment facility located on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S, to minister to those seeking treatment. “Inside the center,” he said, “were regular folks, who were trying to do better by themselves and their families…outside there was [chaos]. I became convinced that the best way to help my constituents in the area was to engage the community in public service.” After researching available options he decided to pursue an appropriation from the state, and with the funds, create the St. Petersburg MLK Day of Service initiative. Rouson then submitted a proposal to the Florida State Legislature, gained approval and received an appropriation 26 | the grapevine news magazine

Cynthia Brown – Far Right and her crew in front of the bounce house erected for the younger kids on MLK Day.

in the amount of $500,000 to fund mini-grants for volunteer efforts to be initiated or carried out on MLK Day – the appropriation funds the initiative for 2 years. “The MLK Day of Service got its start on August 23, 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed into law, The King Holiday and Service Act,” Rouson said recently, “Philadelphia was the first city to accept the challenge.” Global Citizen, Philadelphia’s MLK Day of Service web-site, states that the first MLK Day of Service started with 1,000 volunteers and has since become a fastgrowing nationwide movement. The Philadelphia web-site also states that 700,000 volunteers have participated in MLK Day of Service events, in cities all over the US, in the 17 years since its inception. In St. Pete, SPC is the fiscal agent administrating the appropriation and granting the local awards which support the volunteer efforts. Dr. Tonjua Williams, Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs, oversaw the administration of grant monies for this year’s project. Dr. Linda Hogan’s, Director of Special Programs, as mentioned above, worked directly with the awards team; project manager, Crista Shaw and two

community liaisons, to successfully fulfill the vision. When asked about her involvement, Williams said, “I came into the project kind of late in the game. It was [Rouson] who solicited funds from the State to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, for what he stood for - service.” SPC was chosen to administer the funds, according to Rouson, “because of its fiscal integrity.” At the MLK Day of Service Awards Conference, in December, Dr. William Law, President of the college told award recipients, staff and supporters that SPC’s involvement in the MLK Day of Service initiative started out as a ‘hallway’ conversation between himself and Rouson. “Mr. Rouson saw me [at the capitol], in Tallahassee, and told me that he had the opportunity to get [the appropriation] and asked if the college would be interested in managing it, and I said, we’d be delighted.”

The St. Pete MLK Day of Service brings this initiative to Florida as a pilot program for the rest of the state. Rouson hopes its success will be a catalyst for MLK Day of Service initiatives throughout the state. In taking that step, St. Petersburg and by extension, Florida, has now become a part of a nationwide movement that works to break down barriers, foster enduring community partnerships and advance awareness and appreciation of Dr. King’s legacy. King once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” He would be proud of the faith many people have shown in the last year. Their vision, hopes, dreams and hard work created St. Petersburg’s MLK Day of Service success.

More recently, at the MLK Day of Service Launch Party held at the Mahaffey Theater, Leila Wilson, Rouson’s district aide, commented on the initial phases of the process. “It is so exciting to see everything coming together right now, in such a short time,” she continued, ”at the very beginning, he told us to; write the vision and make it plain (Rouson quoted Habakkuk 2:1-3 – from the King James Bible).” Selina Rice, Rouson’s volunteer coordinator confided that, “Research started in June. Our first meeting was just in July. From there he sent me out to meet with groups and here we are.”

Mr. & Mrs. Brown of Brown’s Janitorial model their MLK Day t-shirts that they embellished for the occasion.

NRA Chief’s Racial Rant Hides Larger Truth By: Edward Wyckoff Williams for The Root, February 2013 Last week Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, wrote a troubling column for conservative outlet the Daily Caller. In it, the 64-year-old gun-rights advocate painted a horrifying picture of a postapocalyptic world in which African Americans from “south Brooklyn” and Hispanic members of “Latin American drug gangs” were such a threat to the American way of life that the only answer was to buy more guns. “It has always been sensible for good citizens to own and carry firearms for lawful protection against violent criminals who prey on decent people,” LaPierre wrote. “During the second Obama term, however, additional threats are growing.” The tone-deaf rhetoric of LaPierre’s column is very much in line with his recent media blitz following the tragic deaths of 20 children in Newtown. That tragedy, along with record homicides in cities like Chicago -- which claimed more than 500 lives last year, many of them children and teens -- has resulted in a fervent call for stricter gun control. LaPierre, his NRA operatives and their Republican allies have reacted by employing a tried-and-true strategy - racebaiting, fearmongering and subversive innuendo -- in an attempt to halt any proposed gun controls on white men like themselves. By re-engineering the focus of the debate, LaPierre hopes to shift lawmakers’ attention onto black and brown people in urban areas in a classic case of scapegoating. “Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already 28 | the grapevine news magazine

one of the kidnapping capitals of the world,” LaPierre says. Of course, the facts don’t support his claims: As a 2010 FBI report revealed, the states along the U.S.Mexican border are among the safest in the nation; and Phoenix ranked among the largest cities with the lowest violentcrime rates. And because of so much focus on immigration reform over the past few years, and Tea Party Republicans’ insistence on “securing the border,” Obama has invested more in border security than any other president in recent history, fortifying border states with thousands of additional agents and the National Guard. The paranoid NRA CEO also took a swipe at a largely African-American and Latino community in New York City’s Coney Island neighborhood. “After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia,” he said. “Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark or you might not get home at all.” The tone of his commentary is indefensible for its racial overtones - but also because it is completely unhinged from the truth. According to the New York City Police CompStat Unit, for five days after Superstorm Sandy, there were no homicides reported in the City at all. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Daily News, “(In) the 60th Precinct in Coney Island, it was hardly hell week -- there were no murders, no rapes and

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, scapegoating blacks and Latinos to stop gun control

no shootings. The same was true in the neighboring 61st Precinct.” Overall, crime across the five boroughs fell by 25 percent. But of course, facts don’t appear to concern LaPierre, and many conservatives on the far right share his skewed thinking.

Midwest who may be susceptible to LaPierre’s dog whistles. But the real work must be done in Washington, the Justice Department and FBI -- where authorities are already prone to overpolicing African-American communities and young black men in particular.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley tried to link the assault-weapons ban to so-called blackon-black violence. O’Brien quickly reminded Grassley that most mass killings -- like the ones in Columbine and Aurora, Colo., Tucson and Newtown - are carried out by white males.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s own stop-and-frisk program in New York -- aimed at preventing gun violence -- is the best example for its failure on this point. Despite the program’s almost exclusive focus on young black and Latino men, the New York Civil Liberties Union found that white men were twice as likely to have an illegal weapon, if stopped. But they were nine times less likely to be stopped at all.

LaPierre’s manifesto read much like the race-baiting tactics employed by the Republican establishment since President Obama took office: an incoherent tirade about loss of American freedoms, combined with an “us against them” paranoia, which appeals to the worst in human nature - the answer for which is “more guns” and the mantra of which is “stand and fight.”

Much the way Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs led to the mass incarceration of two generations of black men, we now run the risk of expanding the prison industrial complex under the leadership of the first African-American president. As the gun control debate evolves, the question of how stricter regulations can be implemented without creating a more racially inequitable police state must take center stage.

The NRA’s anti-gun control campaign attempts to play on old racial stereotypes -- ginning up the fears of white gun owners in the South and

Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS Washington.

New Partnership


An old and trusted friend is undergoing changes. Over the years Bayfront Medical Center has been known by many names. When it was conceived in 1906, it was a 15 bed facility known as the St. Petersburg Sanitarium, housed in a ramshackle bungalow on Second Street. Over the next 62 years it changed names four times. In 1910 it changed its name to The Good Samaritan Hospital and moved from the Second Street location to a five room house on the land that it currently occupies. After that it became Augusta Memorial Hospital, then City Hospital. In 1923, when it became Mound Park Hospital, named for the Native American mound located nearby, the hospital was a 60 bed state-of-

32 | the grapevine news magazine

for Old Friend Interview with

Kanika Tomalin, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Public Affairs

By Ellen Kirkland the-art facility – for that time.

By 1952 the hospital had expanded to include 251 beds and the construction has never stopped. The medical center continues its expansion to this day. In 1968, it made the transition from a city-owned hospital to a not-forprofit private teaching hospital and became Bayfront Medical Center (BMC). The city retained ownership of the land and entered into a lease with the not-for-profit. Now, in order to continue to meet current standards of care, Bayfront leaders say big changes are again necessary. According to a recent Tampa Bay Times article, “Bayfront says it cannot continue to operate much longer as a stand-alone hospital in a health care environment where hospitals have to band together to

reap economies of scale.” That means that Bayfront needs the benefits and purchasing power that larger health care networks enjoy to remain viable. For the past two years, Bayfront’s board has pursued a partnership with healthcare networks by looking at and investigating networks that would be a good fit with its reputation and one that also supports issues important to the community such as charity care and the continuance of Bayfront’s status as a level two Trauma Center. The Bayfront board chose Naplesbased Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) and its affiliate Shands HealthCare. According to Kanika Tomalin, Bayfront’s Vice President of Strategic Planning and Public Affairs, “We carefully vetted our new partners for their track record in areas such as charity care, and found their commitment on par with Bayfront’s history in the community.” Negotiations with HMA began about a year ago which, Tomalin says, allowed Bayfront leadership the time necessary to comb through every aspect of HMA’s operations. The HMA network includes 70 hospitals nationwide with 22 of them in Florida. HMA’s 2011 annual report, the last year for which figures are available, boasts that its net revenue was $5.8 billion.

Bayfront officials assure that this is a growth oriented strategy designed to infuse resources into the financially beleaguered hospital. Tomalin said, “The community can expect Bayfront to be stronger than ever before.” She and others note that Bayfront has a special relationship and sacred trust with the AfricanAmerican community in St. Petersburg. St. Pete, historically a racially segregated southern city, had racially segregated hospitals, as well. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Fred W. Alsup, the first African American admitted to The Pinellas County Medical Society, Mound Park accepted its first black patient on February 25, 1961. Until that time, blacks were treated at Mercy Hospital, where Johnnie Ruth Clarke Heath Center is now located; whites were treated at Mound Park. Alsup, who once sued the city in a desegregation case that went to the Supreme Court, passed away in 2002 at age 88. He is quoted in his obituary as having said, “I got tired of the separation and felt that we should do better.” With the help of former mayor and pediatrician, Dr. Edward Cole, Mercy Hospital was closed in 1966 and Bayfront became the first fully integrated hospital in the area. For the past 107 years BMC, which is known throughout the Tampa Bay Area and the state, has been unique in its embrace of medical innovation and technology,

according to

through Bayfront HERO.

Among its many achievements, Bayfront created the area’s first helicopter ambulance service in 1986. It was the first of its kind in this area and has grown into the largest trauma transport service in the Southeastern United States. It was also the first flight service in Florida to carry lifesaving blood products on board.

In a recent telephone interview, Councilman Wengay Newton said, “They are receiving a fifty year lease on city owned land. I am going to make sure that everything that can be done has been done. We are going to put a city advisor on the board and we will have enough checks and balances in place that current levels of charity care will continue.”

According to Bayfront’s website it currently has 1,739 employees and had gross revenues of $1.2 billion in 2010. The HMA/Bayfront partnership will turn it into a for-profit facility and create a unified health care system with six other HMA hospitals, including Brooksville Regional Hospital, Spring Hill Regional Hospital, Venice Regional Medical Center, Charlotte Regional Medical Center, Peace River Regional Medical Center and Pasco Regional Medical Center, extending the Bayfront brand to all six. Officials at Bayfront welcome recent questions by city council and the media regarding levels of charity care and HMA’s commitment to the community. Tomalin touted the new Bayfront Health, Education and Research Organization, LLC (called Bayfront HERO for short) as further evidence of HMA’s commitment. HMA has agreed to purchase all of Bayfront’s physical assets for $202 million and according to Tomalin, $162 million will be reinvested in health care, education and research 34 | the grapevine news magazine

Tomalin assured, “Commitment to charity care is unwavering. Bayfront sought this partnership to continue this mission… [our] commitment is reflected in the documents that govern the partnership and the lease.”

Thomas “Jet” Jackson is one of the familiar faces helping to spread the word about the new partnership. He and Bayfront’s Dr. Marilyn Fudge teamed up to produce an information piece that will soon be circulated in the community.

Florida’s Leading Black Theatre Operation

Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Nate Jacobs, Artistic Director

The Maestro: Nate Jacobs creates, sings, dances, acts and performs for the Black Theatre Troupe he created in Sarasota

38 | the grapevine news magazine


rowing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, Nate Jacobs had no idea he would one day create a successful black theatre company in a predominately white community. Almost 30 years after receiving a Fine Arts degree from Florida A & M University, he and his plays are household names in and around Sarasota, Florida. The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT), founded by Jacobs and for which he is the Artistic Director has grown from a grassroots effort to a million dollar operation with almost 3,200 subscribers; six staffers; and 20 troupe members. Shortly after leaving Tallahassee, Jacobs accepted a position at the Westcoast School for Human Development, a private school founded by his former professor

and mentor Dr. Henry Porter, and wife Cynthia. Little did he know that position would be the stepping stone for his career in theatre. For almost 12 years he taught at the school and during that time developed a drama program and began to write original plays. “The students would put on productions three to four times a year, including special performances in recognition of Black History Month, “says Jacobs. The immediate success of the shows led Cynthia Porter to suggest that he contact the Artistic Director for the Asolo Repertory Theatre. The meeting led to a 3 month stint in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes. His performance created other roles and soon Jacobs became a notable “black” actor in the area. It wasn’t long after, he began to take notice of

The Troupe during Songbirds of the ‘70s

the type of roles he was being offered. “Why am I always playing servant roles?” he asked himself.

The question gave way to a misleading perception of the Sarasota arts community. A perception he wanted to change. According to Jacobs, the stereotype that blacks do not support theatre; and whites would not have enough interest in all-black plays to sustain a major production was the culprit. As much as he tried to focus his attention on other efforts, he had an internal battle going on, urging him to step out of the box and make a difference. He just didn’t know how. The how would present itself in 1994, when Michael Judson of The Players Theatre, another popular Sarasota venue, heard about Jacobs, and asked if he would direct a black play for the theatre. Jacobs produced James Balwin’s the Amen Corner, and although he was only given one weekend at the 2:00 pm time slot, the show sold-out for every performance. Blackbird, the story of Josephine Baker

40 | the grapevine news magazine

Jacobs says he knew the community would come-out and support the play, but he had to assure the

theater the surge in ticket sells from black patrons wouldn’t come until the day of the show. Despite the success and demand from the community, the play was not extended. Although he was disappointed, the experience confirmed what Jacobs knew all along, “there was a place for black theatre in Sarasota.” He states on average, his audiences are 50/50 in terms of race. Jacobs now knew without a doubt that he would need to start his own company if he

wanted to produce shows like Dream Girls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, and A Raisin in the Sun. With the support and direction of Dr. Porter, and a $300 donation from the local Arts Corp, Jacobs became incorporated and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe was born. A big break came when someone wanted to make a large donation, the catch; it had to be for a show produced by Jacobs. He presented his creation Cotton Club Cabaret 2 at Theatre Works.

Jacobs as Cab Calloway

Jacobs’ 50s Jukebox Revue

WBTT was given what is known as “dark-nights,” the Sunday and Monday when most productions shutdown so the actors can rest. Again, the crowds came out in full support. The show was extended over a long period of time, but like déjà vu, the plug was pulled despite the crowds. Jacobs took this as a sign that his troupe needed its own location. “The past 10 years did not come without some struggle,” Jacobs admits as he talks about the decision to find a

From The Fabulous 5 show

42 | the grapevine news magazine

building for his productions. He credits much of the success from the financial and business end to the expertise of Christine Jennings, the troupe’s Chairperson of over 3 years. “We are now preparing to purchase and renovate our current location,” he adds. The company has provided a venue for the youth in the area that have an interest in the performing arts. The WBTT has been a springboard for national and international careers, such as: Teresa Stanley, a featured

cast member of The Color Purple on Broadway and the national tour of Rock of Ages; Apphia Campbell, a professional performer and teacher in Shanghai; 13-year-old Troupe member Chris Eisenberg who made it to the top 48 on the television show America’s Got Talent; and Tsadok Porter (daughter of Dr. Henry and Cynthia Porter) is now on a national tour.


Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe 1646 10th Way Sarasota, FL 34236 Telephone: 941-366-1505

Show Times:

Tuesday – Saturday 8:00 p.m. Sunday – 2:00 p.m. Doors open 60 minutes prior to show time. Open seating begins 30 minutes prior to show time.

2012-13 Season Shows: Nate Jacobs’ 50s Jukebox Revue August Wilson’s Jitney Soul Crooners 2 It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues

Drug & alcohol use by teens drops in Pinellas Street Team asks teens how we can make more progress


hy are we seeing a decrease in alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use among teens in Pinellas County? Check the stats for 2012, compared to 2010, and notice the across-theboard drops in each category. The LiveFree! Coalition is going directly to teens and young adults to get some answers about what’s working, and what’s not. The Coalition, which has led the charge for most of the past decade in reducing teen alcohol and drug use, is looking for more insight from teens themselves. The local rap artist Mackey, in partnership with RGE Media, will spend three weeks “on the streets” interviewing teens for their feedback on why we’re seeing forward progress in several areas, and what more can be done to continue the 46 | the grapevine news magazine

gains. From March 1st through the 20th, Mackey and company will visit clubs, shopping malls and at least one St. Petersburg high school to videotape their conversations with teens. The project is spearheaded by Robert Gallardo, the 22-year old CEO of RGE Media, who says “We have a lot of caring adults who want to know how they can help reduce drug and alcohol use by kids. The kids are the ones who can tell you first hand why they’re doing what they do. This Street Team work is our way of spreading the good news but also going deeper into the issues.” The 19-year old Mackey is best known in the area for his “conscious rap,” promoting positive messages. The young rapper will also star in a music video to be aired at the upcoming LiveFree! Town Hall

event on March 21st, performing a song specially dedicated to the LiveFree! mission. The Town Hall will be broadcast on WEDU-TV this spring. Other young people committed to the project include the crew of Local Muzik (an artist consortium run by RGE and rapper Crown Marquiss), and Adrianna

Curry, Publisher of Mieux Magazine online. Five of the Street Team videos will be aired on the LiveFree! website, and via the combined social media network of 27,000 young people, operated by RGE and partners.

Pinellas County High School Students

Pinellas County Middle School Students

Lifetime alcohol use decreased from 65% in 2010 to 62.9% in 2012

Lifetime alcohol use decreased from 36.7% in 2010 to 27.6% in 2012

Lifetime marijuana use decreased from 41.1% in 2010 to 33.8% in 2012

Lifetime marijuana use decreased from 12.1% in 2010 to 9.2% in 2012

Lifetime prescription pain reliever use decreased from 9.2% in 2010 to 5.7% in 2012

Lifetime prescription pain reliever use decreased from 5.9% in 2010 to 2.3% in 2012

Lifetime tobacco use decreased from 35.7 % in 2010 to 28.1% in 2012

Lifetime tobacco use decreased from 19.6 % in 2010 to 12% in 2012

Past 30 day alcohol use decreased from 39.6% in 2010 to 30.1% in 2012

Past 30 day alcohol use decreased from 17.9% in 2010 to 11.4% in 2012

Past 30 day binge drinking decreased from 20% in 2010 to 11.5% in 2012

Past 30 day binge drinking decreased from 6.5% in 2010 to 2.4% in 2012

Past 30 day marijuana use decreased from 20.9% in 2010 to 18.2% in 2012

Past 30 day marijuana use decreased from 7.4% in 2010 to 5.1% in 2012

Past 30 day prescription pain reliever use decreased from 3.8% in 2010 to 1.2% in 2012

Past 30 day prescription pain reliever use decreased from 2.4% in 2010 to 0.7% in 2012

Past 30 day tobacco use decreased from 15.5% in 2010 to 9.3% in 2012

Past 30 day tobacco use decreased from 6.6% in 2010 to 1.9% in 2012

Jump on the Bus

The Black Business Bus Tour is Back By Ellen Kirkland


he Black Business Bus Tour (BBBT) is back and better than ever, so jump on the bus the third Saturday of every month, says founder Candy Lowe and travel the area visiting AfricanAmerican owned businesses. According to Lowe, the March tour is already filling up – so make plans today, to be on the bus. The BBBT which ran once a month from 2006 to 2008, took a hiatus from early 2008 until last month. As businesses throughout the Tampa Bay Area are rebounding from the recession, the Black Business Bus Tour is back. The tour has some new friends and some familiar faces. Jarvis El-Amin has joined the many supporters and helps organize and produce the monthly event. Connie Milton, a regular supporter, has been on board since the first tour in 2006. Lowe wanted to give a shout out and thanks to Keto’s List, owned by Keto Hodges, for all the support he has shown over the years. And a special expression of gratitude to the Power Broker

48 | the grapevine news magazine

Magazine, as well, Lowe said, “The Power Broker Magazine has been there for us from the beginning. I carry copies and give them out on every bus tour.” The tour has enjoyed the sponsorship of two local automobile dealerships. Initially James-Rivard BuickGMC-Ponitac was a regular stop on the tour. In a recent interview, Lowe said, “we took a lady out on the tour with us on a Saturday and on Monday; she came back and bought a car. After that they were sold on the idea of the tour.” During this incarnation of the tour their sponsoring AfricanAmerican owned automobile dealership is Daniels Chevrolet. Lowe confided that she did not see the kind of support in the early days that she sees today. She said that social media plays a big role in that. People connect with the BBBT through social media – Facebook and Twitter. She also credits Black in the Bay, by Keisha Pickett, for rolling out the red carpet for the BBBT at area businesses. When asked what Lowe would most like the African-American

community to know she said, if African-American businesses want to continue to be viable in the community, we have to support one another. When you find an African-American business, go back to your neighbors, your community, your church and let people know what we are doing.

Lowe said, “So many people have been asking for this for the last two years that we just had to bring it back. And I am so happy to be able to do it.� To get involved or ride the bus: 813-394-6363.

Candy Lowe (far left) with some of her passengers on tour

New in Business

Dr. Brian Ligon Joins the Family Business Instead of calling him Dr. Ligon, he’s Dr. Brian, which distinguishes him from the three other Dr. Ligons in his immediately family.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Brian holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, conferred by Meharry Medical College, in Nashville, Tennessee. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Recording Industry Studies, with minors in Business Administration and Chemistry, as conferred by Butler University, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Most recently, Dr. Brian successfully completed post graduate dental study, in residence, at Bay Pines VA Hospital, Bay Pines, FL., where he concentrated in implant and restorative dental surgery, as well as the treatment of medically compromised dental patients. A true legacy in the profession, Dr. Brian enters the practice of Dentistry on a path blazed by both parents, Dr. Reginald Ligon and Dr. Mendee Ligon, as well as his uncle, Dr. Julius Ligon,

52 | the grapevine news magazine

Jr. As product of the public and private education systems of Pinellas County, Dr. Brian has also established his own brand in athletics, as captain of the 2002 State Basketball Champion Lakewood Spartans, and as a 2002 Sunshine Ambassador for the City of St. Petersburg, FL. As captain of the Butler University Bull Dogs, Dr. Brian helped to lead the basketball team to a 2006 pre-season NIT Championship and Sweet Sixteen completion, in 2007. Dr. Brian currently serves the community through the St. Petersburg, FL Sports Alliance and he is an active member of McCabe United Methodist Church. With additional interests in swimming, boating, music composition and production, Dr. Brian brings a fresh, diverse and compelling perspective on the delivery of dental services and service to the community.

A fun moment with Dr. Frederick Guerrier, a well known local physician who attended the reception welcoming Dr. Brian to the practice

Dr. Brian with family & friends, dad far left and mom to his right

The Woman & Her Gift

Why Annie Godbee gave $ 50,000 to the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg By Tracy L. Darity

54 | the grapevine news magazine


any of the people who read or saw the news of her $50,000 gift to the YMCA focused more on the price tag than the person behind it. This past February, St. Petersburg’s Annie Godbee was named the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 21st Lightning Community Hero of the Year, and received $50,000 to donate to the charity of her choice; and Godbee put her money where her passion is. Annie Godbee is a woman who lives her life with purpose. Her passion for education and children comes through in everything she says and does. Godbee was born in Girard, Georgia, the eldest of ten children, but grew-up in St. Petersburg, where she attended local schools, and went on to graduate from Gibbs Jr. College, and receive a degree in Elementary Education from Bethune Cookman College. She was the first girl in her family to attend college, something she took great pride in accomplishing. But in her senior year she received devastating news. Her father had passed away. It was a turning point in her life that almost led her to give-up on her dream of earning a degree.

the reason for her success. “I knew then it was my mission to give back.” As a result of her determination, Godbee returned to St. Petersburg and dedicated 35 years to the Pinellas County school system, as a teacher at Lynch Elementary, before retiring in June of 2003. In 2008, Tamara Williams and Chiriga Murphy, who were with the newly opened Childs Park YMCA, recruited Godbee to tutor students in the Y-Achievers after-school program. Her assigned class started with 8 students, today she has 18, ranging from kindergarten to 2nd grade. Through the Y-Achievers program, her goal is to ensure the academic success of students by teaching reading fundamentals, sentence structure, and math skills. “My first order of business is to go with the parent(s) to a parent/ teacher conference at the child’s school.” Godbee believes that parents must buy into their child’s success. She goes so far as to assign parents homework, thereby holding them accountable. “Just like with the children, “No” is not an answer I will accept, regardless of excuse or circumstance,” she adds.

Reflecting back on that difficult time she acknowledges, “After his death I lost my financial support and was forced to come home and work, but the grace of God my siblings and community surrounded me convincing me to save every penny and return the next year to finish.”

When asked if she has any success stories, Godbee states there are many children who have come through the Y-Achievers program, most from single parent homes with multiple siblings, so every child who achieves his goals in the program is a success story.

She credits the love and support she received during that difficult period as

Her motivation to give back to the community is a result of her own life

“I make sure to give each student enough attention, guidance and recognition to ensure they are confident in their ability to read, comprehend, write and perform mathematical problems,” Godbee says when speaking of what constitutes success in the program.

experience. She learned the value of hard work and perseverance from her parents and members of the community. She watched closely as those around her rose up to tackle challenges head on. Godbee also witnessed many people give up on their dreams and suffer the consequences of those decisions. She nods her head and shares, “When faced with incredible adversity, I chose to persevere.” Godbee believes we all have a purpose and hers is to ensure that all children have the support they need to have a chance. “I realized early that many of the challenges children face are not always because of their inability, but from the lack of availability of individual attention. I understand that some parents have to work, sometimes long hours, or that they don’t have the education themselves to help the children. Over the years I have become the person to fill that void for hundreds of families.” Something she does not mind doing. It is her life mission. In 2011 Godbee, spent more than

1000 hours volunteering in the community to help at-risk children and their parents to succeed. It is that compassion and tireless effort that caught the attention of the Lightning Foundation’s Community Heroes program. Although she spends the bulk of her time mentoring children in the Y-Achievers program at the Childs Park YMCA, she also volunteers at Perkins Elementary School, Mt. Zion Christian Academy and Bible Study Fellowship International. Aside from her volunteerism, she is a devoted wife of 42 years. She and husband Leo, are the proud parents of a daughter, Stephanie, and also raised her nephew, Christopher. The Godbees are active members of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist church, where they are active in ministry. Her hobbies include gardening, reading, walking, biking, and playing volleyball. For relaxation she enjoys fellowshipping with friends and family, eating gourmet food, spending quiet time with Jesus, and being grandma to her grandson, Elijah.

Mrs. Godbee with her “Y-Achievers” after-school students.

56 | the grapevine news magazine

Already a familiar face and voice to the community, Pattye Sawyer is the host of the new Power Broker Community Beat radio show


he Power Broker Media Group is bringing Tampa Bay yet another way to reach the African American community: the new Power Broker Community Beat live call-in radio talk show, every Friday 10:05 to 10:35 am, on WRXB’s AM 1590 (and streaming online at The show concept took flight in January of this year, after another group cancelled its air time during the same timeslot, leaving a growing fan base without its weekly dose of co-hosts Pattye Sawyer and Ann Sherman-White. The two women had become fan favorites for the few brief months in 2012 when they graced the air waves with community news. “This was a perfect expansion for our media portfolio and the audience we reach,” says Gypsy Gallardo,

Listen in weekly: The Power Broker breaks into radio programming with the new Power Broker Community Beat

Publisher of the Power Broker magazine, which is now one among several media properties owned by the Power Broker Media Group. The new Power Broker Community Beat reaches an estimated 20,000 listeners each week. Sawyer says “We’ve heard from dozens of listeners in the community that the show is a bright spot in their day. Based on the early response and the level of call-in participation we’re receiving, the show is bringing the community vital information.” Topics covered in recent weeks included the sudden closing of the Sweetbay supermarket in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg; “The Hush Hush Topic of HIV & AIDS in the Black Church,” with three guest Pastors present; and the new Bayfront partnership that’s been editorial page news for weeks at the Tampa Bay Times.

Ann Sherman White, Show Producer

Listen in every Friday 10:05 to 10:35 am Tune in to WRXB AM 1590 or on-line at www.wrxb. us for the latest community news, plus special guests from the worlds of business, faith, politics, health, fashion & beauty, and community. To sponsor The Power Broker Community Beat, call 727-866-0873 or write us at reachout@

The New Health Law: President Obama, signing the new health law that’s still being resisted by Governors like ours

How it Affects You (Especially if you’re uninsured) By Leah Barber-Heinz


mericans who need healthcare the most are often the people who can afford it the least. Low-income Americans and minorities often are sick more, have fewer treatment choices, and less access to healthcare. These are hard-working Americans like me and you. Here in Florida, its people like Gary Stein, a father of two who struggles to pay for his medication after suffering a heart attack or Mrs. Paulette Wilson, who is deep in debt from routine medical care she needs for her many health issues – including high blood pressure and diabetes or Ms. Peca Cameron,

60 | the grapevine news magazine

a single working mother who fights every day to support her children and pay for her own medical bills. Until the passage of President Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, these families had little hope for getting healthcare. The ACA, which is also known as “Obamacare,” provides affordable basic care that prevents you from getting sick, like regular checkups, cancer screenings, and flu shots. The law puts money into community health centers, like the Johnnie Ruth Clark Center, that serve people who often suffer from higher rates of illness and death from diseases like

high blood pressure and diabetes. It stops insurance companies from charging more or denying health insurance to poor people, minorities and people who are already sick.

They may not have decided but “the people” have and we have to make sure they hear us loud and clear: we want Medicaid expansion, and we want it now.

Another important part of Obamacare is Medicaid expansion. Medicaid provides health insurance to millions of poor but hard-working Americans. The law expands Medicaid coverage to even more communities in need, and will provide nearly one million uninsured Floridians with healthcare by the year 2020. It is also likely to create 65,000 new Florida jobs in its first six years.

Get involved! Be a part of the solution. Tell Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers that you want Medicaid expansion, and share your personal healthcare stories. No parent should have to choose between groceries or health insurance; no child should lose a parent from a disease that could have been prevented; and no family should go bankrupt because of an unexpected illness.

This is a great deal for all people in Florida, especially those who need healthcare and can’t get it. Unfortunately, Governor Rick Scott and his friends in Tallahassee have not decided if they want Medicaid expansion.

We have the power to provide affordable healthcare for all Floridians. We have a say in our community’s future – join the campaign to expand Medicaid for all Floridians. Visit www. to share your health care stories and learn more.

Free Tax Prep

Keep more of your tax refund – tell a friend



he VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program prepares and electronically files tax returns for low to moderate income Pinellas County residents with absolutely no fees. There are no surprise charges for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit. In fact, VITA sites are strictly prohibited from accepting anything in return for this service that helped almost 3,000 Pinellas County residents complete their taxes in 2011. There are some limits to what the VITA program is allowed to do, such as reporting income from rental property, but most basic returns for people earning less than $51,000 per year are within the VITA scope of service and are done free-of-charge. For more details and locations, visit or by calling 2-1-1.

62 | the grapevine news magazine

FREE TAX PREP SITES IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY North Tampa University Community Resource Center 13605 North 22nd Street/Tampa 813-975-2153 Walk-In only Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance 9215 North Florida Avenue, #101/Tampa 813-930-7400 Walk-In Only Jimmie B. Keel Library 2902 West Bearss Avenue/ Tampa 813-273-3652 Walk-In Only Lee Davis NSC (TBB) 3402 North 22nd Street/Tampa 813-272-5220 Walk-In Only Metropolitan Ministries (TBB) 2301 North Tampa Street/Tampa 813-209-1200 Walk-In Only Thirty-Fourth Street Church of God (TBB) 3101 North 34th Street/Tampa (813) 248-8700 ext. 23 Appointment Only Sulphur Springs Resource Center (VITA) 8412 N 12th Street/Tampa (813) 936-3064 Appointment Only Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union (VITA) 1920 E. Hillsborough Ave./Tampa (813) 621-7511 Ext. 87211 Appointment Only West Tampa and Town & Country West Tampa Neighborhood Service Center (TBB) 2103 North Rome Avenue/Tampa 813-272-5074 Walk-In Only

HCC - Dale Mabry Campus 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd (Social Sciences Building, Room 204)/Tampa 813-253-7497 Walk-In Only American Legion Post 152 (AARP) 11211 Sheldon Road/Tampa Walk-In Only West Tampa Library (AARP) 2312 W. Union Street/Tampa 813-273-3652 Walk-In Only Jan Kaminis Platt Library (AARP) 3910 S. Manhattan Ave./ Tampa 813-273-3652 Walk-In Only South Tampa, Brandon, Ruskin, Plant City South Shore Community Center (AARP) 201 14th Avenue SE/Ruskin 813-671- 7647 Walk-In Only King’s Point Clubhouse (AARP) 1900 Clubhouse Drive/Sun City Center (813) 938-8959 Walk-in and by appointment United Community Church (AARP) 1501 La Jolla Avenue/Sun City Center 813-633-2375 Walk-in and by appointment Plant City Neighborhood Service Center (TBB) 307 N. Michigan/Plant City 813-757-3871 Walk-In Only Bruton Memorial Library (VITA) 302 McLendon Street/Plant City 813-757-9215 Walk-In Only Bloomingdale Library (AARP) 1906 Bloomingdale Avenue/Valrico 813-273–3652 Walk-In Only

Seffner-Mango Library (AARP) 410 N. Kingsway Rd./Seffner 813-273-3652 Walk-In Only Hillsborough County Extension (Self-Prep Kiosk) 5339 County Road 579/ Seffner 813-744-5519 Appointment only FREE TAX PREP SITES IN SARASOTA COUNTY Call 2-1-1 or 941-308-4357 for hours and further information. Sarasota United Way Suncoast 1445 2nd St./Sarasota Robert Taylor Community Complex 1845 34th St./Sarasota Venice South County Family YMCA 701 Center Rd./Venice

FREE TAX PREP SITES IN PINELLAS COUNTY ST. PETERSbURg SITES Childs Park YMCA (727) 209-9622 Daystar Life Center (727) 823-5993 Enoch Davis Center (727) 893-7134 James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center (727) 321-9444 Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center (727) 520-9820 FREE TAX PREP SITE IN DESOTO COUNTY Family Service Center 310 W. Whidden St., Arcadia CLEARwATER SITES High Point Neighborhood Family Center (727)533-0730

North Port Intercultural Advocacy InNorth Port Social Services stit- tute (Hispanic Outreach Center) (727)445-9734 6919 Outreach Way/North Port Martin Luther King Jr. Family Center FREE TAX PREP SITES (727) 442-5355 IN MANATEE COUNTY Call 941-744-2666 ext. 8 or visit http://www.suncoastcc. com/vita.html for hours and further information. Bradenton Suncoast Community Capital 302 Manatee Ave. East, Suite 307/ Bradenton Palmetto Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County (Palmetto Club) 1600 10th Street West/Palmetto

LARgO SITES GRAYDI Neighborhood Family Center (727) 584-7200 Tarpon Springs sites Union Academy Family Center (727) 934-5881 SAFETY HARbOR SITES Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center (727) 791-8255 bEACHES SITES Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce (727)360-6957

New Districts for

Tight Races By Ellen Kirkland Every 10 years, following the Census, St. Petersburg redraws district lines for its eight city council seats.

uncertain until the council either unanimously approves or rejects the plan (it has until May 12th).

In 2011 the city created the Citizens Redistricting Commission in an effort to quell past controversy over council members redrawing their own lines.

Councilmember Jim Kennedy has filed to run for his seat again, and is thus far unopposed for the August 27 primary.

The council members and Mayor each appoint one individual to the Commission, which then analyzes existing district boundaries and submits its recommendations to City Council for approval. The Commission’s plan, dubbed Plan #7, has drawn fire from residents who say the proposed districts will protect incumbents, divide neighborhoods and dilute minority districts. The District 4 seat, being vacated by Leslie Curran, who will not run again due to term limits, is another bone of contention. The new district boundaries would have eliminated both contenders for the seat: Darden Rice, Immediate Past-President of the League of Women Voters, who has since moved to remain in the new District 4; and David McKalip, local activist and neurosurgeon, whose candidacy remains

70 | the grapevine news magazine

Former three-time state representative and council member Rick Kriseman tossed his hat in the ring for Mayor on February 11. Kriseman differs from Foster in his approach to the Rays contract and on issues surrounding pier demolition. For one, Kriseman would allow the Rays to look at sites in Hillsborough and pay a fee of $1.42 million. Kriseman is a self-described social-liberal and fiscal moderate and has returned to St. Petersburg because, he said at a recent luncheon, he became disillusioned with Tallahassee’s political climate.

David McKalip

Jim Kennedy

Darden Rice

The sometimes flamboyant and unpredictable advocate of the homeless and hungry, Paul Congemi, has also entered the mayoral race. With the primary six months away and the campaign already heating up, hold on St. Pete, you may be in for an interesting primary ride.

Rick Kriseman

Career Moves

A monthly report by the Grapevine magazine

AntonioHill Marketing &

Communications Manager

Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa Antonio (Tony) Hill joined the non-profit Glazer Children’s Museum in August 2012 after having worked many years in Corporate America. Tony leads the Museum’s marketing, advertising and public relations efforts to drive awareness and attendance at the Museum and its mission to create learning environments where children play, discover and connect to the world around them to develop as lifelong learners and leaders. He has nearly 20 years of leadership, marketing and branding experience from both large and small companies including his previous role as Vice-President of Marketing for PSCU, the nation’s largest Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), where he worked to strengthen and elevate the $660 million company’s brand equity and industry leadership position. Tony honed his marketing and leadership skills across multiple industries and companies including Occidental Chemical Corporation, AT&T, and Trinsic Communications. He is an accomplished marketing strategist and speaker, and holds both an MBA and Bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University.

More about

Antonio Hill Family: Married with a 13 year old daughter Hobbies: Avid golfer and sports fan Hometown: Grew up in San Jose, CA and moved to Florida at 18 to attend FAMU How long in Tampa Bay: Lived in several cities across the country before settling in Tampa in 2000

Have you made a recent career move? In every edition, the Grapevine magazine features someone who’s moving up the career ladder. If you’ve made a recent power move, write to us at: reachout@ powerbrokermagazine. com.

With 157,000 Jobs Added,


Unemployment Shows No Improvement


he release of the jobs numbers in early February showed that the U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs in January, causing a slight rise in the jobless rate, up to 7.9%, while black unemployment remained stagnant at 13.8%. That was below economists’ prediction of 165,000 new jobs. But after the January news that the U.S. economy contracted 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 — the first dip since the recession ended in 2009 — the modest jobs creation was a welcome development, indicating there isn’t another recession likely on the horizon. The difficulty with lowering black unemployment was illustrated in the details of the jobs report: the private sector added 166,000 jobs, but the government cut 9,000 jobs, with more cutbacks expected. AfricanAmericans are disproportionately employed in the public sector. NAACP President Ben Jealous said during a January appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press:

“Right now when you look at joblessness – the country is pretty much back to where 72 | the grapevine news magazine

Published February, 2013 by the AtlantaBlackStar (edited for space) | Written by Nick Chiles

it was when this president started. White people…are doing a bit better. Black folks are doing a full point worse,” Jealous said. “With this president having said to us we need to invest in strategies that lifts all boats, now that some boats are clearly stuck, the question is will Congress join him in getting those boats unstuck too?” When President Obama took office, the nemployment rate for blacks was 12.7%; now it’s 13.8 . Jealous has been meeting with other leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and Marc Morial of the National Urban League, to create a “black agenda” for the president that includes lowering black unemployment.

Y o Per


Yrsonal our

Y our Personal

Your Style

Personal tyle


Listen up, Ladies & Gents. The Grapevine Magazine wants to publish photos of you, “sporting your very own personal style.” Every month, our Fashion Editor – Audrey “Pat” McGhee – will select the best 4 pictures sent to us by readers. So, if you’ve got “the look,” write to us!

Send your photo & details to: Email your name, occupation, age and city: fashioneditor@ Lola Burlitz, the California-based model frequently visits Tampa Bay

Harry Belafonte, A Powerful Voice for Gun Control By JoanMarFollow for Daily KOS, February 9, 2013 Harry Belafonte was presented with this year’s NAACP Image Awards Spingarn Medal and he used the opportunity to speak out about the devastating effect of gun violence in the black community.

“In the gun game, we are the most hunted. The river of blood that washes the streets of our nation flows mostly from the bodies of our black children. Where is the raised voice of black America? Why are we mute? Where are our leaders? Our legislators? Where is the Church? [...] Never in the history of Black America has there ever been such a harvest of truly gifted and powerful artists [...] our Nation hungers for their radical song. Let us not sit back silently. Let us not be charged with patriotic treason.”

78 | the grapevine news magazine

Belafonte supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s confidants. He provided for King’s family, since King made only $8,000 a year as a preacher. Like many other civil rights activists, Belafonte was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He bailed King out of Birmingham City Jail and raised thousands of dollars to release other civil rights protesters. He financed the Freedom Rides, supported voter registration drives, and helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963, and as a result was awarded the Jeremy Nicholson Negro Achievement Award. During “Freedom Summer” in 1964 Belafonte bankrolled the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, flying to Mississippi that August with Sidney Poitier and $60,000 in cash and entertaining crowds in Greenwood.

New Chairperson Leroy Sullivan (far left), CEO Watson Haynes (third from left), and outgoing Chairperson Gail Simpson, to Haynes’ right

Pinellas County Urban League Passes Gavel By Ellen Kirkland In January, at the Pinellas County Urban League’s Annual Membership Luncheon, a light hearted crowd gathered to witness the ceremonious passing of the gavel from twoterm Chairperson Gail Simpson, to incoming Chairperson Leroy Sullivan, Government & Community Relations Manager for TECO Peoples Gas Company. As the crowd of 160 PCUL guests expressed their approval with applause, league officials began setting the stage for an ambitious agenda. Stepping up to the microphone, CEO Watson Haynes told the crowd that, “Even in these challenging economic times our intent is to grow this organization.” He laid out a plan that includes employment initiatives, housing, education and community empowerment through a variety of linked and innovative programs. Haynes coupled an educational program to utility assistance. He explained that when the League assists an individual with an electric bill, more

than once a year, that person will be offered a household budget workshop. Lakewood Elementary Principal Cynthia Kidd highlighted an after school program that is a joint effort by PCUL and The St. Petersburg Science Center. A planned community wide intervention program involves creating educational and employment opportunities for vets, youthful ex-offenders and high school drop outs by utilizing the resources of the Business Assistance Center, Small Business Administration, St. Petersburg College and Pinellas Technical Education Center. Haynes, expressing his enthusiasm said, “This is one of the best Boards we’ve had in years...we plan to extend our reach. Our five year vision is to move beyond the boundaries of St. Petersburg, because we are the Pinellas County Urban League.” To join the PCUL or volunteer in one of their ongoing initiatives please visit or call 727-327-2081.

Bullying and Hatred:

A national prelude to death-by-guns By Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, Ph.D., CENTER FOR COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE, INC.


he Pinellas County Florida high school students participating in the Center for Community and Economic Justice’s (CCEJ) Quantum Opportunities program know well that all of the bullets which maim and kill do not come only out of the barrel of a gun or rifle. All too often venomous words and rejecting epitaphs spew from the mouths of peers, neighbors and even strangers, with such force and laser-sharp precision that the pain is just as paralyzing and the wounds just as life threatening as they would be were they bullets being shot from a gun. It now happens almost every day in America. We have lost count of how often gun-shots are the end of a major pipeline fed by a deadly bullying-hate-kill continuum. No school child is safe. All gatherings of innocent youth in public places are vulnerable. The end often is death, usually of the bullying killer by his own hand, as well as of the innocents. Teased and taunted in their school environments, many of these youth reflect the typical symptoms of bullying – both as targets and as perpetrators: making selfdeprecating hate comments about their own and others’ physical appearance; being over-reactive

80 | the grapevine news magazine

to innocent critiques; displaying isolating and defensive behaviors; showing low tolerance for peers who have gender-neutral personality traits which do not strictly adhere to macho or femme models; and discounting new experiences by derisively rejecting “different-other” encounters out- of-hand. In light of these statistical trends, Quantum Associates, as the teenage participants are known, have created a pathway to safer, more affirming school experiences, one person at a time, in St. Petersburg, Florida, and ultimately - one community at a time throughout Pinellas County and the state. The project, originally piloted as a community service initiative at St. Petersburg high schools, is now nationally focused on a goal of getting thousands of youth to follow their Florida peers by signing an anti-hate, anti-bullying petition that “IT’S O K 2 B U,” pledging the humanity of all individuals, including those who are circulating the petitions:

“On my honor, I pledge to be genuinely respectful of every person including myself -

regardless of race, color or skin tone, creed, gender, age, religious philosophy, sexual orientation, physical appearance or mental abilities.” In exchange for their accepting this pledge, each signer is given a lapel pin, “IT’S O K 2 B U” to wear as a reminder that tolerance, self-acceptance and respect are treasured human values. The Service Project is expanding also to several of St. Petersburg’s Middle Schools as well as nationally to other Quantum Opportunities program communities in Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Toledo, Ohio. The pro-gun National Rifle Association and their opposition to stronger controls against the sale of high-powered assault guns continue their senseless obstruction after yet another group of gun fanatics have run amok in California. But serious grass-roots work needs to begin now to shape young lives more in the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “beloved community” than modeled after some 19th Century cow-boys’ version of chaos at the OK Corral in the wild, wild west. A Chinese proverb tells us: “It is better to light just one little candle than to curse the darkness.”

High school senior Quantum Associates with one of several original posters which they designed and displayed when circulating IT’S O K 2 B U petitions and buttons. From left: Rashawn McCullum; Jaylen Johnson; Edwin Gonzalez; Antonio Bogans; Tajon Hinds; Quantum Mentor Maurice Wheeler; and Anthony Munnerlyn.

Theme buttons with the message IT’S O K 2 B U created by CCEJ Quantum and provided to every signer of the AntiBullying-Anti-Hate Petition


Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies A GRAPEVINE BOOK REVIEW By Tangela Murph-Bailey, Owner, Reader’s Choice Book & Gift Store

This very interesting book can be read alone, or with a group of women. These amazing stories reflect the day to day challenges women experience. As you study their stories, you’ll see more and more how your life parallels with theirs. When thinking about women in the Bible we sometimes assume they lived a trouble free life, not so. Each story begins with a deeper look inside a Biblical woman’s life, and ends with a study that forces you to answer the hard questions about your character. Learn how God is revealing himself to you through each woman’s story. The book also uncovers how the names of some of the women in the Bible had significant meanings. For example… *Abigail means “My father is joy.” Her character reveals that she was known to be generous, wise, and quick-witted. She is one of the Bible’s great peace makers. *Hannah means “Graciousness” or “Favor.” Her character reveals she was provoked by another woman’s malice but refused to respond likewise. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing him to vindicate her. *Naomi means “My joy” or “pleasant”. Her character reveals she was suffering a threefold tragedy. Naomi refused to hide her sorrow or bitterness. Believing in God’s sovereignty, she attributed her

82 | the grapevine news magazine

suffering to his will. But her fixation on circumstances, both past and present, led to hopelessness. A kind and loving mother-in-law, she inspired unusual love and loyalty in her daughter-in-law. Women are nature’s life force, always have been, always will be. Enhance your personal library by getting your copy today. This book is available at Reader’s Choice Book & Gift Store, 3951 34th St. So., St. Pete. (formerly Kmart) Open Wed-Sun. 727 867-3696.

The Grapevine News magazine March 2013  

Introducing Nate Jacobs, Artistic Director of the Sarasota Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Florida’s largest African American company, along...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you