Monday, August 26, 2013


There is a lot of work to do to increase the graduation rates for African American males in Duval County. Black males leave high school before graduation in a much higher proportion than white males. Seeing that a diploma is tantamount for going to college & getting a good paying job, I'd venture to say that we have a lot of work to do. 

Researchers have found that one in four black male high school dropouts are either incarcerated or in detention. Along with the expense of incarceration & the dependence upon public assistance, this adds up to roughly $300,000 in taxpayer money spent over the lifetime of a dropout. The life of our communities depend upon our black children being educated & our males graduating on time. Some states are performing exceedingly well in graduating black males on time. 

More must be done in Duval County to unite parents, educators, mentors & the males themselves in order to turn it around & to see that black males are graduating, going to college, going to vocational school, going to the military or just going anywhere except going to jail & prison. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013


On August 28, our nation will celebrate the "March on Washington" that took place in 1963. This is where the famous "I Have A Dream" speech was uttered by MLK Jr. As we take time to reflect on this moment in time, we must also look around to what is taking place in society today. 

The march is credited with helping to create the Civil Rights Act & the Voting Rights Act for African-Americans. It was a huge rally for human rights & attended by over 200,000 people. People marched together in peace & in solidarity to take a stand against prejudice & racial injustice. 

Although many battles have been fought & won along the same lines since then, prejudice, discrimination, poverty, oppression & injustice still permeate our society. As we remember, let's not forget the declaration, "...All men are created equal...all men have the right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness..."

Thursday, August 15, 2013


A new report by the American Journal of Public Health states that obesity accounts for 18 percent of the deaths among Black and White Americans between the ages of 40-85.  This is a correction of the previously reported number of 5 percent.  Women appear to be more susceptible of dying from obesity than men.  Black women have the overall higher percentage of obesity-related deaths at 27 percent followed by white women at 21 percent.

A child growing up in today's society have a higher risk of obesity than their predecessors a generation ago.  Super-sized drinks, sandwiches, fries and snacks all contribute toward the overall health problems that children face in today's society.  Their clothes sizes are bigger and their peers are bigger.  Our society must do what is not only necessary but mandatory to reduce the number of obesity-related health issues and deaths.

Obesity has been linked to memory loss in older women and even causes the flu vaccine to be ineffective in some instances.  This is not to even mention the everyday challenges obese men, women and children face on a daily basis.  From discrimination at work and school to physical and emotional issues, this is a fight that we must all participate in.  We have had  the  "War on Drugs" and we must now wage the "War Against Obesity."  It's time to put our health first in our children, ourselves and our nation.  We all deserve to live life to the fullest.

Monday, August 12, 2013


North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory  signed a bill Monday requiring photo identification at the polls and eliminating a slew of voting measures designed to protect against voter disenfranchisement.  The bill will require voters to show photo identification, reduces early voting by one week, eliminates same day registration and eliminates pre-registration of 16-17 yr. olds just to name a few.

The governor, announced by way of a YouTube video that he had signed House Bill 589.

Just hours after McCrory's signature, the ACLU of North Carolina and a coalition of other groups filed a lawsuit against the bill, charging that it violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The North Carolina NAACP and Advancement Project followed shortly after, filing another lawsuit.

The latest bill comes after the Supreme Court struck down the core of the Voting Rights Act, which required Southern states with a history of racial discrimination -- including North Carolina -- to have their laws cleared by the Department of Justice.

Stay tuned.  There will be much heated debate and discussion in the months to come as this bill and others like it that will follow, will effect the Democratic turnout in upcoming elections.  This is just another reason why we must all register to vote and exercise the right to vote.  It is our God given duty.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


"When it comes to the education of our children, failure is not an option."
                                                                                   President George W. Bush

Every child has the power and ability to succeed in school and it is our responsibility to help.  When a child has the right supplies for school, they feel prepared, do better and have positive feelings about going to school.  Teaching reading and writing without supplies is nearly impossible as kids have no way to practice the skills being taught in school.  Having pencils, paper and notebooks give children a way to take what they have learned and to practice and apply it. 

Having the right supplies for school allow children to express what they have learned and provide valuable feedback to teachers.  We can all contribute by donating to one of the many back to school supply giveaways in our city or by simply helping a family with children in need.
Some of the kids from Girlz Talk/Boyz Talk.


As our nation celebrated the Voting Rights Act signed by President Johnson 48 years ago on this week, we find ourselves as a nation in a heated debate over the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the very essence of the law.

The issues at hand were whether or not minority voters still continue to face barriers to voting in those states with a history of discrimination.  In a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court freed nine states to change their voting laws without having to obtain advance federal approval.  Section 4 of the VRA prohibited Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia from making changes such as moving a polling place or redrawing electoral districts without advance approval.

The VRA was one of the greatest achievements of the Civil Rights Movement and has made significant strides in reducing the gap between African-American and white voter turnout in the south.  While the debate continues, we must all reflect on where we as a country have come from and the fact that we all have a right to vote for whom we will without being unfairly discriminated against.  If you haven't already, please register to vote.  It is your constitutional right.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


What an exciting time we had today at the Cummer Museum.  Every 1st Saturday is "free for all."  The gardens, the car exhibit, the oil paintings - we enjoyed it all.  Some of the youth had never been to the museum before and it was with great pleasure to see them reading some of the history behind the paintings.  The highlight of the day?  You guessed it, the car exhibit!  Mouths gaped in awe as they wondered how people drove cars back then without the spinning rims, the hydraulics and (thank God) without the booming sound systems!  

Friday, August 2, 2013


August 18 at 2pm
Meet us at Samuel W. Wolfson HS
Join us as we come together to pray for the safety and protection of all children, staff and teachers for the upcoming school year.
Yes, "it still takes a village"...

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Some of our kids enjoying and having fun at Jax Beach!  Still amazes me to see the joy on some of the kids faces that have never been to the beach before.  Money can't buy the feeling you get when one of them screeches "Waves!!!" in wonder.