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–A large shark was spotted close to swimmers off Miami Beach this past weekend.
-According to the Miami Herald, it was probably a tiger shark, but Vince Conosa, the chief of Miami Beach’s Ocean Rescue wasn’t 100% sure.
-The video was taken by professional drone photographer Kenny Melendez.
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By Troy Duffie
We’re going on an extraordinary trip. But don’t prepare to travel because it doesn’t require a car, train, or any conventional transportation device. It only requires your mind for we’re going on a trip back in time.
The winds pick up as we travel back to Miami circa 1950, a few years after the end of World War Two. We’re moving quickly past fishing boats and the Jungle Queen tour boat at Pier 5, past the Bayfront Park Bandshell, and even past the Olympia Theatre, finally stopping in “Colored Town”.
You may hear the sweet soft echoes of Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald as you make your way down NW 2nd Avenue. You should feel the summer breeze on you cheeks, and savor the smell of fresh fruit in the air.
The crowd you see off in the distance is being let out of the Lyric Theater after watching the latest performance of the hottest play in town. If you turn westward, you may see three buildings hanging above the small houses between NW 2nd Avenue and NW 3rd Avenue. Those buildings are home to St. John Baptist, Mt. Zion Baptist, and Greater Bethel AME, the three churches that anchor this community.
This is the legacy of our nation’s urban policy. This is the legacy of poor race relations in Miami and in America.
Wind begins to pick up speed as we move forward through time. You slowly, then with some consistent pace begin to see houses disappear. Construction trucks pile in, trees are cleared and the earliest version of I-95 is built where those houses were.
As you turn your face northward on northwest second avenue boards go on business windows, buildings are torn down, and frustration rests on the faces of those who’ve called this place home for years.
The wind picks up speed as we move faster towards the present and when you open your eyes again, what you saw on our trip twenty minutes ago is gone.
It’s been replaced with apartment buildings, homelessness, and poverty. The land that held culture and hosted Joe Louis, WEB Du Bois, and Zora Neale Hurston, has been reduced to dirt, sidewalk, and abandoned buildings.
What you see is modern-day Overtown. A land who’s pride was carved out by urban renewal and the interstate that looms over its residents. This is the legacy of our nation’s urban policy.
This is the legacy of poor race relations in Miami and in America. Communities of color are not inherently poor, or crime infested.
They simply aren’t aided the way they should be. So let’s make that effort to stand up for those communities and give everyone a fair shake.
Let’s make the effort to find ways to “improve” our cities without trucking out people of color. Let’s find a way to expand our skyline without destroying history and culture that spans 40+ years.
Let’s attempt to make communities of color better by improving education, attracting small businesses, and creating resources before we attempt to gentrify.
Let’s adjust this broken urban policy so situations like the one in Baltimore are unlikely to happen across America. Miami’s history can serve as a guide to solve this problem.
Troy Duffie is a Miami native who is a student at Howard University. He is also an ordained minister in Overtown.Post Views: 571
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By Morgan Moran
Last weekend, I was walking down my street in a Washington, D.C. suburb and found an old military dog tag in the middle of the road.
It looked pretty old, so I assumed it probably holds a lot of value for the owner and his family.
I decided I would try to track down the owner and do my best to return the keepsake.
It took me a while to decipher the name, as the tag was green with tarnish and misshapen from time.
I could make up the name Victor E. Muniec, Jr., plus some numbers which probably designated his battalion and provided additional identification.
Had I found this piece if history before the age of the Internet, I might not have ever found him.
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But luckily, thanks to Google, I found an old registry from the U.S. Naval Commands, which listed his name along with an address just a few blocks from my house.
I also found his obituary, which announced that he had passed away in April of 2012, at the ripe old age of 87. I learned that Mr. Muniec had been a radio operator with the 53rd Battalion in World War II.
He held a Master’s from Boston University and had worked as an information specialist in the Office of International Cooperation and Development at the Department of Agriculture, working with foreign countries to share new agriculture technology practices.
But what was most interesting to me was his passion for his community.
My search found that he had served on several civic associations in my city, supporting efforts to improve life for its citizens.
Mr. Muniec’s obituary noted that he and his wife were “lifelong advocates of historic preservation,” and requested that donations be made in his name to the local historical society. It was this fact that reassured me that I was doing the right thing; that it was important to return this piece of history to its proper place.
Thankfully, the obituary also listed the names of his children. I tracked down the contact info of his daughter, who still lives in the area, and gave her a call.
I was worried that I had contacted the wrong person, or that she wouldn’t care about maintaining her father’s legacy.
Instead, she was surprised and grateful. She said she had been meaning to send the dog tag and her father’s flag to her brother, but she had lost it and didn’t know if she would ever see it again. I placed it in an envelope and mailed it to her address that afternoon.
We will probably never learn how the military ID mysteriously moved from Mr. Muniec’s daughter’s house to the middle of my street, but from the strange ordeal I gained a greater appreciation for historic preservation, our veterans, and the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips via the internet.
Morgan Moran is a global health advocate and policy professional in Washington, D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2015, where she studied Political Science, Public Health, and Global Studies.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Sarah Bresnahan/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 553
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By Staff Report
Missy Elliott, the still reigning queen of rap proved her title this morning after she released her first new single in over 7 years.
The song, titled “WTF (Where They From)” is a upbeat anthem that features Pharrell in puppet form. It is well worth the watch if you need a few minute break during your work day.
Check it out and tell us what you think in the comments below:
Cover Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Atlantic Records (Youtube)Post Views: 628
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