Celebrating the 4th of July As A City

Celebrating the 4th of July As A City

As the City of Tampa continues to grow and produce and over abundant supply of multilingual talent it is important we celebrate our diversity. As history notes, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th 1776, marking America’s independence from Britain. The lifelong question still surfaces from time to time, “Are we, African Americans truly FREE” in this country?
There have been many attempts to keep division across this nation even locally but the majority always come together and show us how we are stronger and better together. You see it’s easy to join a conversation to complain about everything that’s wrong with the City of Tampa, it can even be convenient for some to reminisce about how bad things were. However, it takes hard work to build bridges with one another and recognize that our differences shouldn’t be the reason we don’t move forward. When we all come together, it is a beautiful thing to see just how alike we all are, regardless of our heritage.
Mayor Castor hosted the cities first ever “Boom by the Bay” 4th of July celebration. This celebration was monumental for our city as all across the riverside it was made up of a vast variety of heritages fellowshipping together. This city came together to send a message that we are a melting pot, but that is what makes us unique.
For most Americans, July 4th is a day off from work and time to enjoy great food and family, concluding the evening by enjoying fireworks. Since relocating to the Tampa Bay area as a child, I have had the opportunity of meeting a highly diverse community with a rich supply of culture and how we celebrate the July 4th around this city speaks high volumes of how much unity is really here in Tampa, FL. A few years ago when I lived in a cul-de-sac, every family brought something out to the neighborhood cookout. The fellas had the grills in the front participating in a friendly cook off, kids were enjoying about 5 backyards of play, and the women were all gathered in my kitchen making sides for dinner. My neighbors at the time consisted of a Puerto Rican family. A few doors down from us was a Chinese family of ten generations, across the street was a young Italian American family, next door was a Middle Eastern family, next to them an African American military family and beside them lived a recent college graduate and her partner. With the neighborhood being fairly new, we all decided to celebrate as a neighborhood and I’ve seen this same act of togetherness happen all across the bay. Color, race, ethnicity, gender, nor sexual preference was the topic of discussion.
This year the City of Tampa residents experienced “Boom by the Bay” a new tradition that can be added to their memory book of photos. A citywide celebration creating an environment for everyone to come out and not only enjoy the fireworks, but each other. Sure, there is a past and we should never forget it, but what makes the 4th of July spectacular is coming together showing how we can work and build together. The more we exhibit behaviors of unity, acts of kindness, and forgiveness, the better off we leave our children in a world that continues to diversely grow. We can’t change acts of violence or hate but we can determine how we govern our actions after a tragedy. It’s up to each and every one of us that make up our communities to play a role in creating an inclusive environment, celebrating our wonderful divine City of Tampa, on July 4th.

By Ebone Cruz Clifton

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Generational Wealth & FLORIDA SENTINEL BULLETIN

Generational Wealth & FLORIDA SENTINEL BULLETIN


Often times we talk about legacy and generational wealth in the Black Family and the lack of it.
However, lately we’ve been seeing more examples of financially astute African Americans that I consider newsworthy.
For instance, the recent billionaire, Robert F. Smith, bestowed a financial blessing upon the 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College an all male Historical Black College or University.
Here locally we have a prime example of generational wealth in the family of C. Blythe Andrews Jr. For more than 75 years, the
Florida Sentinel has been a main stay in the African American community in Tampa FL. Founded back in 1959 by C. Blythe Andrews Sr., the paper has served as a pillar in the Black community and C. Blythe Andrews Jr strategically continued the legacy.. However, unbeknownst to many, the Andrews not only own the Sentinel Bulletin but also own a great deal of real estate, prime real estate at that. C. Blythe Andrews Jr. left more than 600 apartment units and commercial property on what has become the most sought after land near downtown Tampa.
Before his death in 2010, C. Blythe Andrews ensured that his wealth would be transferred to his family and placed the operation of the newspaper and the real estate in the capable hands of his daughter, Kay Andrews Wells and son C. Blythe III.

C. Blythe Andrews Jr. tenacity, ingenuity and activism has established the Andrews as the respected hard working wealthy family in the Tampa Bay area. We as African Americans should make a conscious effort to help maintain and protect the Andrews legacy from unscrupulous so called businessmen that come after the family with schemes and manipulations to try to steal or destroy their legacy. So when you see an Andrews, don’t hate... Congratulate! They have daily battles to fight that we have no clue about.
In 1994 under the leadership of Mayor Sandy Freedman, the city honored the Andrews family by renaming the public library in the African American community at 2607 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Befittingly so, Mr. Andrews was a strong advocate for bringing the library to the College Hill area.
A special feature of the new library is a room that will house the archives of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin, The library has been a meeting place for non-profits, community organizations, activists and individual learning for years. To increase access and improve technology, the old library was torn down and the new 25,000 square foot facility was built in its place. The old facility was one story while the new facility is two stories, twice the square footage with more than 12,000 books adorning the shelves. Kay Andrews reflected on her dad’s tenacity when it came to establishing the library. The $7.75 million project was funded by revenues from the Special Library District ad valorem tax, as well as a $500,000 grant from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services.
C. Blythe Andrews Jr. served on boards of the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority, Tampa Sports Authority, and Florida Arts Council, among other civic endeavors. He and his family were instrumental in acquiring the land on which the library sits, and over the years donated book collections and volunteered many hours to help the library grow and thrive.
This month, we salute the Andrews, the pride of being Black in Tampa Bay.

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What Distinguished Men Do!

What Distinguished Men Do!

Educators, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Judges, Lawyers, Company Consultants and Chief Executives make up the nation’s oldest African American fraternity. The Gamma Omicron Boule’ of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Tampa Bay Area), in partnership with the Tampa Bay Boys and Girls Club, honored five outstanding young men along with their families at a reception at Maggianos in Tampa on Saturday April 13th 2019.
For the third year in a row, the fraternity and Boys & Girls Club teamed up to identify, select and offer a total of $40,000 in scholarships to these five deserving Tampa area young men: Anthony Goden (Spoto High School), N’Jhari Jackson (Carroll Day School), Kendrick Maynor,Jr.(Calvary Christian High School), Jeremiah Nichols (Jesuit High School) and Savon Watson (Blake High School).
The fraternity’s Gamma Omicron Boule’ Memorial Scholarship program is funded by a combination of donations from members, the Boys and Girls Club and other generous patrons.


In addition to the scholarship, the young men will be receive mentoring by the fraternity members and the Boys and Girls Club.
Over the past three years, the partnership of Gamma Omicron Boule’ of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay have awarded over $120,000 in scholarship awards to deserving and outstanding Tampa area young men.”
Hey Guys,
You make me so proud. If you really want to help them with adjusting, how about some laptops and luggage too allowing them to arrive confidently and prepared I would do it myself, if I had it like you brothers.
Love Tampa Bay Tammy

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The Black Agenda

The Black Agenda


Pastoral leaders, small business owners and concerned members of the community gathered at Perry Harvey Park to introduce the Black Agenda publicly as the standard by which elected officials will be measured going forward. The Black Agenda is a grassroots movement of individuals and organizations working cooperatively to improve the lives of Black Tampans.

The purpose is to generate press coverage for The Black Agenda while bringing the Black community of Tampa together to prioritize our challenges as a race of people.
Affordable Housing: (1) Partner with builders and lenders to create equitable building and lending practices. (2) Create an Affordable Housing Model that fosters safe and secure housing based on the average household income of the residents of the community. (3) Ban the Box by ending housing discrimination based on a person’s very old eviction, arrest records or legal charges. (4) Monitor and address racial profiling from lending institutions, landlords and municipalities whose discriminatory practices make housing unavailable.
Criminal Justice: (1) Reduce the present policies and procedures which result in improper stops, arrests and incarceration.
(2) Reduce the financial burden of mass incarceration through reduction in bail.
(3) Change bail system and other policies that result in incarcerations due to inability to pay fines and other legal financial obligations.
(4) End prosecution of all marijuana charges.
Economic Development: (1) Increase the number of awarded contracts to Black vendors/contractors to comply with affirmative action plan.
(2) Equal representation across all salary bands based on city/county affirmative action plans for Black employees.
Educational Opportunities: (1) Provide an enriched and safe environment for Black students without maintaining a prison-like atmosphere.
(2) Monitor the Achievement School Initiative,
(3) Infuse the African American Culture throughout the curriculum in the School District.
Health Care: (1) Remove restrictions that deny health care for any reason.
(2) Allow medical treatment for any low-income persons in the non-emergency and/or walk-in clinics.
(3) Ensure adequate staff and service for all patients that walk-in.
Immigration: (1) Challenge agreements between local and federal agencies that allow for the detention of suspected and/or unlawful residents and biased based policing.
(2) Oppose legislation or policies that criminalize immigrants.
Transportation: (1) Adjust bus routes based on population shifts and socio-economic factors.
(2) Increase safety infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians (i.e., sidewalk connectivity, flashing lights, bike trails and bike paths).

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Dr. Nakosi Stewart Returns to his Roots in Brooklyn

Dr. Nakosi Stewart Returns to his Roots in Brooklyn

In a time when diversity is being questioned and equal opportunities and affirmative action is being challenged, African American men are still managing to be an intricate component in the field of medicine. On any given day, Dr. Nakosi Stewart can be found in the operating rooms or the halls of Maimonides Medical Center caring for patients.
Founded in 1911, Maimonides is a well known elite Jewish hospital located on the westside of Brooklyn New York with a top 10 rating across the United States for clinical excellence.
Stewart started his residency at Maimonides in 2018 as preliminary surgical resident, a far cry from his humble Brooklyn beginnings at PS208 Elementary School.
Born in Kings County Brooklyn to Jamaican born parents, Stewart‘s father relocated the family to Florida in 1994. It has always been Stewarts heart’s desire to return to his Brooklyn roots. Now he has returned as Dr. Nakosi Stewart with a heart and the capacity to do vascular surgery.
One evening during Stewarts Freshmen year of college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Stewart had a soul moment and came to the realization that he could be more effective in the field of medicine and that he wanted to be a surgeon.
Once Stewart makes up his mind he is full speed ahead. After his decision, to become a surgeon, he went on 6 medical missions in three different countries and witness some devastating situations. but was not deterred. Upon his return Stewart founded the student chapter of H.E.R.O which stands for Health Education Relief Organization at Florida State University and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. Stewart received his bachelors degree in Chemistry from FAMU, the top HBCU in the nation and continued to pursue his Masters in Bio Chemistry while working as a adjunct professor there.
When the doors of the medical schools did not open as he expected, again he was not deterred, but even more relentless in etching his space and place in the global medical world. Staying faithful, he was blessed with an opportunity in the Dominica, a small island nation north of Venezuela where he worked closely with doctors in the local hospitals while attending Ross University Medical. School.
As an Intensive care resident physician, Stewart has assisted in saving many lives and has a natural instinct for knowing what to do in the most trying situations. He has assisted with Cholecystectomy gallbladder removal, hernia repair, vascular bypasses and more. Tall dark handsome and strong, he not only brings diversity to the table but strength, love, skill and compassion. Stewart has vowed that he will change the world one patient and one surgery at a time.

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