Across Black America for June 6, 2013

6/5/2013, 5 p.m.

Here's a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.

The Honorable Oliver Gilbert, mayor of the city of Miami Gardens, delivered his first State of the City address recently to an audience of more than 300. Highlighting the success of Miami Gardens, Gilbert outlined what he describes as a progressive and ambitious future as the community marks its 10th anniversary. "This is our moment; our moment to decide whether we want to be as progressive as our thoughts; as prospective as our words. It is our moment to ensure that tomorrow's possibilities are more expansive than today's opportunities," declared Gilbert from the stage at Florida Memorial University. Gilbert told residents details of the city's first General Obligation Bond; a $50 million "Decade of Progress" initiative aimed at increasing and improving city services and amenities. Gilbert laid out a vision to include a new senior center, modernized parks, a science and technology complex, an entertainment/art facility and culinary arts center; all designed to offer improved educational opportunities for city seniors and youths. The city of approximately 110,000 has a majority Black population.

"I Remember, I Believe," the Georgia Department of Transportation's acclaimed film documenting the discovery and relocation of what is believed to be a lost Middle Georgia slave cemetery, has been selected for two gold prize awards from nearly 80 worldwide entries in an international film festival devoted to exploring human culture. The 33-minute film, which focuses on efforts at the Avondale Burial Place in Bibb County, received the Best Script and Best Music awards at the Archaeology Channel's International Film and Video Festival in Eugene, Ore. "I Remember, I Believe," a Department collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting, New South Associates Inc., and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), also was cited by festival judges for honorable mention (being among the top three entries) in the Best Film, Best Public Education Value, Best Cinematography and Most Inspirational categories. It can be viewed at:www.avondaleburialplace.org

Between 1937 and 1938, the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Project Administration (WPA) conducted thousands of interviews with former African American slaves. While historians have known about these oral histories for some time, few researchers have exploited the genealogical potential of these sources--until now! The DVD series "Generations" ( ISBN 978-0-8063-8054-4. #8531) by Dr. James M. Rose presents these ex-slave narratives with critical genealogical evidence pertaining to each interviewee. While varying from one ex-slave to another, the genealogical content includes census record extracts, death certificates, probate records, plantation records, and biographical information on slave owners. When available, pictures of the ex-slaves are also included. By linking these sources with the recollections of hundreds of former slaves, "Generations" reportedly affords African American genealogists the rare opportunity to surmount the brick wall of the 1870 U.S. census. Genealogical.com, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Ste. 260, Baltimore, Md. 21211

New Jersey
The 1st Annual Chocolate Bar Brownie Eating Contest takes place in Manasquan, as presented by SquanStrong during their Tailgate on the Square event Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Manasquan Square, located in the center of town. Children ages 12 years and under looking for a sugar rush will compete at 5 p.m. Teens a adults ages 13 to 100 compete at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit SquanStrong, which aid efforts to repair, rebuild and restore the area's beach community. Brownie-eating contestants go head to head to see who can swallow the most brownies in five minutes. No ordinary brownies, Chocolate Bar are built by hand, and are not too moist or too cakey and are ready for competitive consumption. Those who wish to enter the contest should email alison@chocolatebarnyc.com for rules and entry applications. A $10 entry fee will be directed to SquanStrong.