People are questioning why Kobe Bryant’s parents were barely mentioned at his memorial service, according to EURWeb.
On social media, there was a big buzz around Byrant’s parents being slighted throughout the memorial. Although it was public knowledge that Kobe was slightly estranged from his parents for them selling his memorabilia behind his back, he had just started speaking to his father again, according to reports.
Fans went out of their way to acknowledge Snoop Dogg posted a photo of Bryant’s parents on his Instagram account.
But people kept asking, “Why weren’t Bryant’s parents, Joe and Pam, mentioned at the memorial on Monday?”
Bermuda is different from other Caribbean islands. It doesn’t have an indigenous culture. The island’s culture is derived from a brilliant mosaic of African, Portuguese, and British influences. This is even more evident in the local food culture. Many people would tell you that Bermuda doesn’t have a distinct cuisine, everything is just someplace else just like the people, but that isn’t the case. It has a unique taste taking something from all of the cultures of the island that separates it from others in the Caribbean.
There is a culinary renaissance happening on the island right now. Locals are taking advantage of their green wealth and creating new food businesses around the island. Local talent is taking advantage of the abundance of rich natural elements sourced from the surroundings and are transforming them into experiences. Entrepreneurs are opening more restaurant choices for tourists and locals. From the popular fried fish sandwiches from the Woody’s Sports Bar by the water to pick up some savory barbeque from Big B’s Barbeque, native-born chefs are showcasing their skills and turning them into lucrative business ventures. The thriving food scene isn’t only limited to traditional restaurants either. Eettafel is a boutique events company that specializes in designing unique food experiences, including luxury picnics at sunset started by local artist Lizzy Blankenda.
(Lizzy Blankenda – Credit: Bermuda Tourism)
Bermudian food is a blend of all its cultures with its individuality. The island has an abundance of rich ingredients ranging from rare herbs to exotic fruits that offer a different kind of vibrancy to its culinary style. The history of the island can be seen in locally grown foods cooked daily in households from cassava, Suriname cherries, and loquats.
“It speaks to the growth and natural progression of the island as a whole,” says Teneika Eve, senior culinary arts lecturer at Bermuda College and local food expert. “Cassava is so universally. I can imagine it was the first sophisticated dish they had [in the past]. Today you can have cassava farina pies. You’re going to find more extravagant versions of it.” Almost every type of vegetable grows on the island. It’s normal to see fruit and vegetable plants growing in someone’s yard. Bermuda’s fertile soil and thriving gardens offer a bounty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs to locals to collect and put in their dishes.
The island may not be as popular as other Caribbean cuisines but they are looking to change that narrative. For this year’s Restaurant Week, it was about celebrating the African heritage of the island just before the start of Black History Month here in the U.S.
Bermuda Tourism teamed up with Top Chef star Eric Adjepong to create a three-course style menu that was inspired by the island’s African Diaspora for the Heritage Dinner during Restaurant Week in January. Last summer, Chef Adjepong traveled down to Bermuda to begin researching local ingredients, visiting farms, and meeting with local food experts to learn more about the African history of the island. Slavery officially ended in Bermuda 1834, twenty years before the United States. The island became known as a safe haven for enslaved African looking for freedom as they were allowed to contest for their release once a ship docked in their pier. “People kept saying that visitors weren’t interested in our history and that’s not true. Yes we have our beaches [but] we have such a rich part in the history,” says Kristin White, Bermudian tour operator who met up with chef Adjepong on his trip. “[African Americans] don’t realize the close ties between the close ties between [us and the United States] and that we are such a rich part of the [African] diaspora.”
Eric Adjepong – Credit: Bermuda Tourism
Eric Adjepong is known for using his West African heritage as an influence for dishes and his culinary storytelling abilities are what made him the ideal choice to work with tourism authority to create distinctive meals that would celebrate the island’s African lineage.
“The one thing that surprised me was the abundance of the amazing product that grows naturally on the island. From wild hibiscus, nasturtiums, and coconut, I was shocked that these items weren’t used more in everyday cooking.”
His heritage menus include everything from a deconstructed version of Bermuda’s famous fish sandwich on freshly baked cinnamon crisp bead, fresh lobster salad, and a savory rib eye paired with local cassava pave and carrots – all ingredients reflective of the island’s beautiful food diversity and African lineage.
Former basketball star Dwyane Wade now has a street named after him in Miami.
This prestigious honor was given to the 3X NBA champion on February 24 when the mayor of the city, Francis Suarez, announced that the Northeast 7th Street that runs near the American Airlines Arena was officially renamed “Dwyane Wade Boulevard,” according to BET.com. Mayor Suarez, who also gave the retired NBA star the key to the city, took to his Twitter account to wrap up Wade’s commemorative weekend celebrating the retirement of his Heat jersey.
“Miami has always been Wade County but, today, it’s official. After giving Dwyane Wade the Key to the City, we’re now designating the street fronting Biscayne Blvd as Dwyane Wade Blvd. This solidifies D. Wade not only as a Miami Heat hero, but a City of Miami hero” he said. Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history in 2006 and also has been a pillar in the community. His organization, Wade’s World Foundation, provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations.
The idea of designating a street after the 13x All-star had been championed since August 2018 by 790-The Ticket morning radio host Brendan Tobin, who along the way had reached out to several Heat personalities to assist in his campaign.
“Give Dwyane Biscayne, now,” former Heat center and current team executive Alonzo Mourning said in a Tobin promotional video.
“Let’s pay homage,” Wade’s former Heat teammate Caron Butler said.
“Give Dwyane Biscayne,” Heat guard Goran Dragic said.
Wade joins a list of other decorated athletes who also have a street named after them. Robert Griffin III, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer, Larry Bird, and John Elway are just a few examples of athletes who have a street named in their honor. Wade now has a county after him, a day named after him and a street named after him; all of which are well deserved.
Some Harvard University students have filed a lawsuit against the Ivy League, accusing the institution of benefiting from company investments in the prison system.
Last week the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign filed a lawsuit against Harvard at the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts for their role in profiting from prison investments.
In a press release, the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign alleges that Harvard University “continues to benefit from its historical ties to slavery through its investments in the prison-industrial complex. Harvard is complicit in white supremacy and we are taking them to court.
“This is not a decision that our campaign arrived at lightly. Turning to the courts is a last resort. Having tried multiple channels, from protests to petitions to rallies to teach-ins to reports to non-official and official meetings, but finding no relief, we have been forced to file this lawsuit against the President and Fellows of Harvard College, the Harvard Management Company, Lawrence Bacow in his capacity as President of Harvard University, and William Lee in his capacity as Senior Fellow.”
“We believe in abolition. We believe in a true end to slavery. We believe in a world and a future without the caging and exploitation of millions of poor, Black, Brown and Indigenous people across the nation and around the world. Towards that end, we demand action on prison divestment now. We are seeking the court to order that Harvard produce a report disclosing its direct and indirect investments in the prison-industrial complex and create and enact a feasible plan for divestment.”
“There is no solution but abolition, it’s time Harvard take action.”
In a report released in October 2019, according to The Harvard Crimson, HPDC estimated the University has at least $3 million invested in companies with ties to the prison industry. University President Lawrence S. Bacow said in April 2019, however, that Harvard’s total prison-related financial holdings amount to roughly $18,000. University administrators have resisted previous calls to divest from the prison industry.
Harvard spokesperson Jason A. Newton confirmed that the University received a copy of the complaint.
The graduate students listed as plaintiffs, Ismail A. Buffins, a student at the Divinity School; Amanda T. Chan and Anna L. Nathanson, students at the Law School; and Jarrett Drake and Citlalli Alvarez Almendariz, doctoral students in Anthropology, held a press conference at the Suffolk County Courthouse after filing the lawsuit.
“We do not just stand here as students who are working in agitating for abolition and for divestment. We’re standing here as donors to Harvard University,” Chan said. “So somewhere floating around in that $40.9 billion endowment is $20 of my hard-earned debt money, which means that under the charter, the University has to consider my will and has to consider its charitable purposes.”
“I’m a descendant of enslaved people in this country. My ancestors built courthouses like this. They built statehouses like the one on Beacon Street. They built universities like Harvard,” Drake said. “And as a descendant of enslaved people, it’s impossible to see our system of mass imprisonment, and not see the relationships — the direct, direct relationships.”
“I’m here today, standing, literally, on the moral and the physical infrastructure that my ancestors, the ancestors of other people — enslaved people, exploited people — have built,” he added. “And that, to me, matters as much, if not more than, the legal standing.”
Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant and mother of Gianna, has filed a lawsuit against the helicopter operator and family of the pilot flying the helicopter that crashed, causing the death of her loved ones, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Monday against the company that operated the helicopter that caused the deaths of her husband, 13-year-old daughter and seven other passengers. Bryant’s complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, was filed against Island Express Helicopters, Island Express Holding Corp. and the estate of the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
The wrongful death lawsuit stated that the pilot was careless and negligent by flying in foggy and cloudy conditions on January 26 and he should have aborted the flight. “Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit obtained by The Los Angeles Times reads.
Bryant filed the lawsuit on the same day as a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where he spent his entire 20-year career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The attorneys for Vanessa Bryant are Munger, Tolles & Olson and Kansas City-based Robb & Robb, which specializes in helicopter crashes.
Bryant was a five-time NBA World Champion, a two-time Finals MVP, and the 2008 Most Valuable Player. During Bryant’s career, he made the All-Star team 18 times. He was the youngest player to ever reach 30,000 points. Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 and scored an NBA-season high 60 points in his final game.
Charles Daniels and his wife, Samantha Fils-Daniels, started Fathers’ Uplift eight years ago, a program that works to assist fathers in overcoming financial, oppressive, emotional, traumatic and addiction-based barriers that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives. They also provide mentoring, cultural outings, and counseling to children who are growing up without their fathers.
Fathers uplift strengthens families nationwide through service, love, and encouragement, Good Morning America reports. The organization also provides safe transportation home and mental health and mentoring plans to get them back on their feet — a service that is greatly needed especially in the black community. There are more than 800,000 incarcerated parents in federal and state prisons and 92% of them are fathers, according to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, a federally funded resource for dads.
“We see there’s a misconception that fathers behind bars don’t care about their kids. We know that they do care,” he said. “When they held their child for the first time, they did not imagine living a life without them.” Daniels says.
When people are released from prison, they usually get a plastic bag of their belongings and leave wearing the same clothes in which they came into prison. This sparked an idea for Daniels to create a “bags for dad” program through Fathers’ Uplift. A simple duffel bag filled with essentials like toothpaste, deodorant, clothes, and a blanket are bare essentials for someone who was previously incarcerated and have next to nothing.
Currently, Fathers Uplift consists of a team of around 30 employees that help not just dads in prisons but dads who may be divorced, having financial difficulties or who simply don’t know how to be a father because they didn’t have a role model in their own life. To date, the organization is nearing 3,000 fathers helped and overseeing a new institute that trains social workers and psychologists to help fathers, particularly fathers of color.