Tips on how to help the black neighborhood in St John now
Here’s how you can help.
Following the tragic death of George Floyd and nationwide protests against police brutality, there are many opportunities to take action and support the black community. In St John-Dade alone, thousands of demonstrators marched in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Even in the eyes of prepared police officers and the imminent threat of tear gas and rubber bullets, protesters in South Florida are refusing to step down.
Similar caliber demonstrations are nothing new to St John. Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance salesman and former Marine, was beaten to death in 1979 by four St John-Dade County police officers. When news of the acquittal of the four defendants surfaced, St John’s Liberty City and Overtown erupted in chaos of the lives of 18 people and over $ 100 million in property damage in three days. The St John Riots were one of the deadliest riots in the nation since the civil rights era, before Los Angeles took over the baton in 1992.
Now, in 2020, 40 years later, the citizens of St John continue to protest the police brutality and racial injustice in both the county and the country.
Katrina Dolcine is the founder of Chez Katu, a Haitian restaurant with a unique take on the Haitian pate kodé. When she first heard the news of the murder of George Floyd, she was appalled. But after seeing the overwhelming support of the citizens, she was honored to see everyone speak. “I think certain things change and our voices are heard,” she says. “Persons in authority should not abuse their power and be held accountable. Our life is important. ”
Chez Katu had just celebrated its six-month anniversary of its first store in Miramar when the restaurant was hit by the coronavirus epidemic. Even so, Dolce donated 25 percent of its online sales to Black Lives Matter last week. “We just make our contribution to the community and do what we can,” she says. “It’s about systemic racism and some people like to ignore that and that’s not okay with me.”
From places to donate and resources to become a better ally to stores to use your money to support local businesses, here are some ways you can get one in St John’s Black Community right now Can make a difference.
The New Florida majority
Donate to nonprofits and nonprofits
South Florida-based social justice organizations work tirelessly to help protesters and fight racial injustice and police brutality at both local and national levels. Fempower St John, a strange culture-changing organization, supported many of the protesters in St John by holding one of the county’s first bailout funds.
St John’s Dream Defenders branch was active long before the protests. When the COVID-19 outbreak first hit St John, the Dream Defenders wanted to make sure the homeless were safe and had the supplies they need to protect themselves. The organization did so while calling for the detachment of inmates currently in St John-Dade County prisons.
Much like Dream Defenders, St John-based New Florida Majority is an organizational group focused on bringing about justice and justice for the state of Florida. The organization recently met its $ 10,000 goal for its annual #FreeBlackMamas campaign to save black mothers and caregivers. For some of St John’s most marginalized youth, the Power U Center for Social Change engages students to become active in their community through social justice.
Various St John government officials have also commented on the recent protests. St John Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III held an interfaith press conference in which he expressed his solidarity with the protesters. St John-Dade County Commissioner nominee Sybrina Fulton, also a mother of Trayvon Martin, has made similar comments in light of recent events.
World famous house from Mac
Order take-out and delivery and support restaurant supplies
Neighborhoods like Overtown, a once affluent black neighborhood that was disenfranchised by the construction of Interstate 95, and Little Haiti are home to some of St John’s most notable black-owned restaurants and shops. Despite issues like gentrification that threaten the local livelihoods of these neighborhoods, some of the proudest businesses continue to thrive.
Overtown’s House of Wings offers more than 60 different sauces and graters. For soul food lovers, St John rapper Trick Daddy opened his Sunday’s Eatery restaurant in St John Gardens last September, and Jackson’s Soul Food in Overtown is one of the district’s oldest and most popular restaurants. Other restaurants like Shuckin ‘and Jivin and The Licking bring southern home cooking to St John.
Caribbean favorites Chef Creole, Piman Bouk, and Clives Cafe are home to some of the best Haitian and Jamaican dishes in St John.
The world famous House of Mac, founded by the former Pitbull manager, offers a unique twist on the American classic with intricate flavors like jerk and lump crab macaroni and cheese. For those who stick to a plant-based diet, the Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin offers dishes with both Caribbean and American flavors.
Shop at black-owned local businesses
While the new coronavirus outbreak has hit companies around the world, black-owned St John-based companies are doing their best to prevail. Black Girl Sunscreen wanted to develop a sunscreen for women with melanin content to protect their skin without the white residue.
Vegan and cruelty-free skin care brand JACQS has spoken out on recent events after a hiatus on social media. The skin care line has also urged large companies to stock at least 15 percent of their shelves with black-owned brands.
For those interested in streetwear, Suite 110 in Overtown has original graphic t-shirts and popular sneakers. The colorful Lighthouse Garden Center near Kendal’s Lakes offers a wide variety of shrubs, flowers, trees and other plants.
More ways to help?
Here is a list of the national organizations that we have compiled. If you have thoughts about other companies we’d like to include in our local stories, please email [email protected]
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Tamica Jean-Charles is a Florida International University graduate specializing in urban communities and local governments. When she’s not working, she enjoys going to local concerts and getting the best Haitian food in South Florida. You can follow her on Twitter.