In an nondescript strip mall off of busy NW 27th in Miami Gardens is a project worthy of widespread attention.
Inside is a small restaurant with big dreams to save a culture before it dies out forever.
This is the story of the place that wants to save soul food in Miami.
At Miami Soul Cafe, soul food is serious business.
“I was raised up on soul food,” Carrollo Phillips said.
“Soul food kind of deals with the person who’s making it,” Willis Howard said. “Putting you heart into it. We were given a lot of scraps a long time ago and we had to make the best with those scraps.”
Well known Miami political operative Willis Howard has wanted to open a place like this for many years.
“it is the largest African-American city in the state. Almost 115,000 African-American residents. And there wasn’t really a black staple. We had a lot of other restaurants from Caribbean, Haitian, Bahamian, Jamaican. But not anything dealing with just African-American food.”
But Howard’s dream of a proudly black restaurant in a proudly black city wouldn’t be possible without this man.
Chef Carrollo Phillips.
“And when you taste that, you gonna taste that love. I don’t care what it is. You’re going to taste it.”
Phillips grew up in Miami and was a big time athlete at Miami Northwestern high school.
He was drafted into Vietnam where he got to hone his cooking skills while running mess halls near the front lines.
But he also saw action and was injured.
“It wasn’t no vacation over there brother. No sir. Still had to go out and survive. That’s what I called it. Survive.”
He came home from the war a damaged young man.
But Phillips took some of the love for soul food he had learned cooking with his mom and grandma and the organization skills developed by the army to start a long career as a successful caterer.
That’s how Howard and him would eventually meet.
Miami Soul Cafe has a large menu of southern soul food favorites.
Howard hopes that his place can help remind his community why soul food is so important.
He wants to save it from disappearing forever.
“Chef is amazing,” Howard said. “Just to have him and his presence. It’s his recipes. And I hope that we can foster something that these recipes don’t die out with us. That other folks come in here and see it. He has no problem showing you everything he does. ‘Let me shows you how to make a biscuit. Let me show how to make grits. Let me show you how to do the fish. Because hopefully, you’ll be able to go out and spinoff and make some more of these things. Because if not, our food will be gone. It will be gone.”
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By Alex Austin
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines terrorism thusly:
“The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of achieving a political goal.”
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? However, in the wake of the shooting which occurred at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, another term is being thrown around: domestic terrorism.
Domestic terrorism is an act of terrorism which is committed by a citizen of the country in which the attack takes place. Note the wording of that definition.
You cannot explain “domestic terrorism” without including “terrorism”. Quite frankly, there should not be two different definitions, as there should not be multiple terms to define what is expressly terrorism.
By allowing multiple terms and definitions to come into play, it has reached a point where people can no longer agree on what is and what is not terrorism. This is particularly poignant when looking at the opinions of the topic by two people who under normal circumstances have very similar viewpoints.
Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential contender, said on CNN’s State of the Union when speaking about the alleged gunman:
“What he did is domestic terrorism, and what he did is absolutely abominable”
Now one could (and should) rip the former governor to shreds for the incendiary and blatantly false things he said later in that same interview. But the fact is that he called the murder of three people “domestic terrorism”. Considering that he would like all Planned Parenthood clinics to be shuttered, that says a lot about what he considers an act of terror.
On the other side of this coin is Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
On ABC’s This Week, the congressman pointed to the mental health of the alleged shooter:
“It’s a tragedy. It’s, I think, a mental health crisis…I don’t think it would fall under quite the definition of domestic terrorism, although I’ll leave that to the Justice Department to make that determination.”
Now usually, Rep. McCaul and Huckabee would be of the same mind when it came to political mindset. However, it seems that the head of the congressional committee on Homeland Security does not seem to know what terrorism is, either.
It is simple; mass murder carried out for political reasons is terrorism. It does not matter if it is in Colorado or Paris or Nigeria or Iraq.
And if you are in agreement with Rep. McCaul about the alleged gunman’s mental state, remember that he outright said, “No more baby parts” when police questioned his motives. This was not a random attack which killed three random people.
This was a hostile shooting carried out to harm people who dared use their rights to safe and legal healthcare for whatever reason they happened to be there. That is terrorism, plain and simple.
However, there is another reason why people are hesitant to label this an act of terrorism, and that reason is almost more dangerous than the continued politically and racially motivated acts of violence we see all across the country.
The fact is that because the alleged shooter is white, he is being defended.
You may recall last June when Dylann Roof killed nine people at the Charleston AME Church. President Obama immediately labeled the massacre an act of terror.
However, the mainstream media, GOP leaders, and even the FBI would not use the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” to describe Roof or his actions.
FBI Director James Comey stated at the time:
“Terrorism is an act done or threatened to in order to try to influence a public body or the citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and then, again, based on what I know so far, I don’t see it as a political act.”
This, of course, is in blatant disregard to Roof’s admission that the attack was racially motivated. If a Muslim shot up a Catholic church, it would be terrorism. Apparently if a white man shoots up a black church, it isn’t.
Who is called a terrorist is so blatantly based on racist and xenophobic attitudes that a study led by University of Illinois communications professor Travis Dixon found that while, according to the FBI, about six percent of domestic terrorism suspects were Muslim, a whopping 81 percent of the domestic terrorism suspects described on national cable and network TV news programs were Muslim.
Regardless of who commits the act or what the mainstream media or politicians want to call it, terrorism should be outed as terrorism.
For years, America has fought a phony “War on Terror” without knowing or accepting that terrorism happens in our own backyard, and by people who may have turned out to be your neighbors.
It is time to stop segmenting terrorism by where it happens, who it affects, and who perpetrates it. It is time to step up and call terrorism what it is: terrorism, plain and simple.
Cover Photo Credit: Jagz Mario/Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0)Post Views: 247
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By Jay Rumph
The 2015-2016 NBA season has already begun, and it’s time to decide on the top 10 players in the league- who also happen to be millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000).
Here is our list of the top 10 millennials players in the NBA:
1) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, PG
NBA champion and reigning MVP, Curry has played lights out thus far in the NBA season. The Warriors are on pace to win over 70 games this season, with Curry leading the way. Leading the Warriors to an undefeated record at 22-0, Curry is one of a kind. He’s the best shooter in the league, and will be the best shooter in NBA history when his career is over. Only 27 years old, he has not reached his prime yet. This year Curry is averaging 32.4 pts, 4.9 rebs, and 5.8 asts with intentions on taking the Warriors back to the NBA Finals.
2) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, SF
James has been the best player in the league for years now. He continues to be a dominant force, and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Returning to Cleveland last year, he lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals his first year back in Cleveland. Plagued by injuries, the Cavs were unable to defeat the Warriors in the Finals after six games. James put the team on his back during the finals averaging 35.8 pts, 13.3 rbs, and 8.8 asts against the Warriors. Without a fully healthy team, the Cavaliers were unable to reach their ultimate goal.
Today is a new day, and LeBron is ready for this season. He is still the game’s best all-around player, and the Cavs only go as far as James will take them. The ultimate goal for James is to bring a championship back to Cleveland. Will this be the year for the Cleveland Cavaliers?
3) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, SF
Kevin Durant is on pace to have his best scoring season yet. With a Returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2014-2015 NBA season, Durant looks to bounce back with full force. The former MVP is averaging just around 27.6 pts, 7.7 rebs, and 3.6 asts this year. In the last year of his contact with the Thunder, will we see Durant in a new uniform next year? His ultimate goal is to win a championship, and he finally has the supporting cast to help him achieve that goal.
4) Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, PF
Davis is the youngest superstar in the NBA at age 22. Davis has tremendous upside and continues to improve every year. He led the Pelicans to an 8th seed in the Western Conference finals last year. A top candidate for the MVP award this season, Davis is averaging 23.8 pts, 10.9 rebs, and 2.8 blks. Last year he had the highest player efficiency rating in the NBA. The sky is the limit for Davis, but his main goal will be to win a championship.
5) James Harden, Houston Rockers, SG
The runner-up for the MVP award last year was James Harden. Arguably the best offensive player in the NBA currently, Harden scores the basketball with ease. James Harden is scoring points, assisting his teammates, and rebounding the ball for the Rockets. He’s averaging 29.5 pts, 6.7 rebs, and 6.6 asts this year, while trying to lead the Rockets back to the top of the Western Conference.
6) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, PG
The 6’3” point guard can do it all on the basketball court. The most aggressive and explosive point guard the NBA has ever seen. He’s a playmaker, scorer, defensive stopper, and superstar. Last year Westbrook earned his first scoring title, fourth All-Star Selection, and the All-Star MVP award. He led the league with 11 triple doubles, while leading the Thunder in Kevin Durant’s absence. There is nothing that Westbrook can’t do, and he has not reached his prime yet in the NBA.
7) Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, PF
Blake Griffin is more than just a high flier. Probably the most athletic forward in the NBA currently, Griffin has worked on many aspects of his game. He’s a much more complete player then before, and has developed his face-up game to go along with his ability to score at the rim. Last year, he averaged 21.9 pts, 7.6 rebs, and 5.3 asts. He also shot 50 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line. At 26, Blake is in his prime and has gained much experience through the playoffs playing alongside Chris Paul.
8) Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, PG
At age 30, Chris Paul is a veteran in the NBA, but continues to be one of the best point guards in the league. The smartest point guard in the league, Paul can still score the ball, pass, and defend the best guards around the league. Paul has never won a NBA championship since entering the NBA. Last year he averaged 19 pts, 10.2 asts, 4.6 rbs, and 1.9 stls earning him second team All NBA honors.
9) Demarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, C
The Kings did not make the playoffs last year, but Cousins showed a ton of upside for the franchise. A very talented center, Cousins has the skills on both sides of the ball to be a top player in the league. Last year he averaged 24.1 pts, 12.7 rbs, 3.6 asts, 1.7 blks, and 1.5 stls which earned him his first All-Star appearance. We can assume that Cousins continues to improve his all-around game playing with Rajon Rondo this year.
10) Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, C
Great defensive player with a talented offensive skill-set. Gasol has emerged as one of the best big man in the NBA over the last couple of years. Last year, Gasol made first team All-NBA honors after he averaged, 17.4 pts, 7.8 rebs, 3.8 asts, and 1.6 blks. He also shot 50 percent from the floor, and 80 percent from the charity line. Marc sets himself apart from other big men with his mid-range touch and savvy post moves.Post Views: 515
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The tiny towns that dot the landscape of every rural region in the country provide endless fodder and perpetuate many a myth and misconception, the kind of stuff urban legends are made of.
I can only speak to the Rocky Mountains because I grew up in Wyoming where “men are men and the sheep are scared,” and have spent most of my adult life in Idaho where potato trucks have been known to tip over, spill thousands of pounds of spuds onto highways, and force temporary closures.
I’ll share what I know.
I can also say with 100 percent certainty that the wide open spaces we are known for promise to embrace anyone brave enough to endure the howling wind.
Here are 10 misconceptions about people who live in rural areas:
1) We are all farmers
As much as I love home-grown food, I wouldn’t know the first thing about tilling the land. Too bad for me.
What’s more unfortunate is the fact that farms and other rural businesses are dwindling, which means the lack of job availability is driving country people into larger cities.
After the recession, deep poverty hit across the board, making rural life unsustainable for a large chunk of the 46 million people who live in rural communities.
But rural tradition is still strong in Idaho, especially during the fall potato harvest, when students in the eastern part of the state get a two-week break for “spud harvest.”
Yep, that’s right.
Kids get to miss school because farmers rely on the extra, strong hands to help with the potato crop, which will eventually be turned into delicious french fries.
2) We tip cows for fun
No, we don’t.
Because it can’t be done.
Cows weigh a thousand pounds or more and don’t sleep standing up.
If you want a good kick to the gut and risk death, go ahead and stand behind or next to a cow while trying to tip it over.
3) We are uneducated
Just because the mainstream media attributed Trump’s presidential win to ‘uneducated rural America’ (the people who came out in droves to vote), doesn’t mean it’s true.
Rural areas are filled with all types of yahoos – from Harvard-educated yoga instructors, to small business owners and blue-collar workers, to freelance writers and tech gurus.
4) We are racist rednecks
Here’s a stereotype that runs deep and can’t be summed up in one paragraph.
Let’s just say we don’t all accuse Mexico of sending rapists and criminals over the border, or call for a complete halt to Muslims entering the country.
We have been known to drive out white supremacist colonies, however.
5) We don’t know how to use the internet
For eight years, I worked for a thriving e-commerce company that is well-known nationwide for its booklets of admission tickets to the most iconic attractions in big cities.
It was/is a highly coveted place of employment in a town of 3,000 people.
Because millions of ticket booklets are sold online, it’s kind of mandatory to know how to use the internets to be employed there.
6) We are survivalist nuts
While possessing canning and freezing techniques are great skills to have, not everyone is that resourceful.
Not everyone stocks their basements with bottled water, cans of beans, Spam, fruit cocktail and powdered Tang.
Maybe we should, though, with the way the world is heading.
7) We all shoot guns
We don’t all shoot and kill animals in the woods for meat.
The hunters I know are very respectful of the animal and the land.
Poachers are considered bad people.
The gun menacingly placed on the rack in the back of the pickup always intimidated me.
Can’t they just buy a handgun and put it in the glove box like everyone else?
8) We don’t have indoor plumbing
This is actually partially true.
It’s crazy to think that nearly 63,000 households in this country do not have complete plumbing.
This means 1.6 million people are living without indoor plumbing, including toilet, tub or shower, or running water.
Many Americans can still remember what it’s like to use an outhouse.
Relics of the past, outhouses are now cute little storage sheds with the crescent moon carved neatly into the door.
9) We use farmersonly.com to find dates
We find our mates like everyone else – in bars, at the gym, and on the internet.
What’s funny is I’ve seen people on Tinder making the joke that they thought they were joining farmersonly.com.
The joke is on them: They are on Tinder.
10) We ride our horses to the bars
Ok, this is true.
I’ve seen it in remote, rural towns, places where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid used to raise hell.
Although a horse probably isn’t the best designated driver, cowboys have been known to tie their horses to the hitching post in front of the bar.
Why else would a hitching post exist in front of a bar?
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Robb North/Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 821
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