Tag Archives: Miami

Young Anger: Death comes to Miami

Youth, anger, lack of life experiences, and aimlessness can force a young person to do the unthinkable. When news of the murder of a 17-year old at the Miami Job Corps was reported, I asked myself how could four Job Corps students take the life of one of their own. First, Job Corps offers young adults (16 – 24) a free education (High School Diploma and certification in a career such as nursing), free housing, free meals, free dental work, free health insurance, free career placement, free counseling, and other free resources. Often times, the access to stable housing is what attracts a number of applicants to the nation wide government program.  These students live in transitional housing with a relative, a spouse, or a friend and are in need of permanent housing. Also, Job Corps is attractive to young people who are homeless.

The four students involved in the murder, Christian Colon, Desiray Strickland, Kaheem Arbelo and Jonathan Lucas were known as violent bullies on campus. However, it is not Miami Job Corps fault for allowing these students to stay on campus. The goal of the school is to transform the lives of young people. If school officials and the residential staff saw potential in the students, I am sure if previous incidents occurred they argued on behalf of the students. No one working at the school wants to throw a student out on the streets to potentially fall prey to human trafficking, prostitution, selling drugs, or gang activity or being a victim of violence. All of those realities are possible for a young person living on the streets in Miami.

Hopefully, the school doesn’t lose funding from the Department of Labor and the public realizes that this was an act of violence committed by people with anger issues created by the systems that the school was trying to protect them from. This death is no different from the number of deaths that occur across the country at various schools and jobs. However, this fact does not minimize the loss that has wounded the students at Miami Job Corps.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Written Word

flava works sues sizzle miami

Flava Works, Inc, the controversial black/Latino gay pornography company, is suing Sizzle Miami’s parent company. Dated March 9 2011 the court papers show ” Flava Works seeks to “recover damages arising from infringement of Plaintiff’s copyrights and trademarks in its creative works by the Defendants.” In other words, using “multiple images of its models for its website and email blasts, as well as a print publication, to promote Sizzle Miami last year.” Sizzle Miami is a black gay circuit party in Miami during Memorial Day Weekend which attracts thousands.

FlavaMen Blatino Awards ceremony, Atlanta, Geo...

Phillip Bleicher with Tocarra Jones and Warren Bullock at FlavaMen Blatino Awards

Last year it was advertised that Flava Works would host a Hot Body Contest and Pool Party. However Flava Works moved to D.C. Black Pride according to a statement by Flava Works. Both Sizzle Miami and D.C. Black Pride fall during Memorial Day Weekend.

“The Flava Works models DeAngelo Jackson, Flamez, Baby Star and Ace Rockwood, who were slated to be part of Miami Sizzle, will all be attending DC Black Pride instead and will be available for autograph signings,” the statement read. “FlavaMen’s Hot Body Contest and Pool Party have also been made to fit the DC Black Pride lineup.”

“We apologize to all the fans who booked their tickets to come to Miami for this and other FlavaMen events during Miami Sizzle, but due to scheduling conflicts, we had to change venues at the last minute,” Flava Works Operations Manager Warren Bullock said. “We hope all our fans will be able to join us for a fun time in D.C.”

Flava Works relocated to Miami in 2006 after a very public report by the Chicago Department of Public Health was released concerning “a high level of sexually transmitted diseases” among the models of Flava Works most popular website Cocodorm.com. Other sites owned by Flava Works include PapiCock.com, ThugBoy.com, CocoBoyz.com and FlavaMen.com.

In 2007, Flava Works and Derrick L. Briggs partnered with Sizzle Miami for an open-forum discussion on “Online Hook-ups and Sex” which Atlanta blogger Darian Aaron attended and enjoyed.

“Sizzle Miami has a history of violating others’ copyrights and saying sorry later,” CEO Phillip Bleicher told JRL CHARTS, a gay film industry website. The company “used copyrighted photos of their performers Baby Star, DeAngelo Jackson, Matrix and Xavier Vega in order to increase its profits.”

“Dwight Powell and Sizzle, Inc. had no right to use our intellectual property to promote their products and services. By doing so it diluted our valuable trademarks and is causing confusion among consumers that believe Flava Works endorses his products. We filed this lawsuit as part of the overall process to vigorously defend and protect our copyrights and trademarks,” Bleicher said.

Sizzle Miami’s partner company Platinum Planning Group is owned by Dwight Powell and Luis Medrano.

In 2008, Flava Works won a copyright suit against DGSource, Gairoo, ISTackPorn, and internet forums for $350,000.

It is uncertain how the Flava Works/Sizzle Miami suit will turn out.


Filed under The Written Word

yeah x 3: i just got signed to a book publisher

Eslite Bookstore in Taichung Chung-yo Departme...

Image via Wikipedia

hardwork does pay off in the end. i starting writing my first book, the taste of scars, in 2005 while working for two newspapers while living in ann arbor. newspaper writing was my life. i stopped working for the newspapers to focus on writing the book. at times, i thought why am i doing this. in 2006 after the first draft was finished i submitted a query letter to a literary agent at writer’s house in nyc. he nicely wrote this letter.

Thanks Victor, but I’m afraid this isn’t right for me. By the way, the manuscript looks too short. Most novels should be closer to 70,000 words at least.

i was devastated but kept writing (2007) and kept writing (2008) and kept writing (2009) and kept writing (2010) and kept writing (2011). 45,000 more words, 50 drafts, and 10 new added chapters later my best friend sent me an email to check out a small publishing company, AddisonCraft, in Houston. I sent them my revised (40 drafts) query letter. About a week later they requested the first two chapters and a headshot. In March, I received an email that they wanted to sign me and publish my book.

In my head I saw book tour. As an artist (word artist) I believe art doesn’t exist until it is viewed, read, or heard.

The scheduled release date in June 2011. I will put up a schedule of the book tour. The first stop – Miami.


Filed under The Written Word