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2016 ONYX Awards VIP Celebration


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2016 ONYX Awards




Orlando, FL (July 1, 2016) –The ONYX Awards was held at Orlando’s beautiful Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday, June 25, at 7:00 p.m.

The Headliner for the 12th Annual ONYX Awards was media icon and recipient of the 2016 ONYX Lifetime Achievement Award, Tom Joyner whom announced today is returning to the Orlando market with the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Tom Joyner’sphilanthropy work and syndicated broadcasts continue to influence opinions worldwide. Joyner, is credited with raising millions of dollars in scholarships while reminding the nation of the relevance and importance of maintaining America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Florida is home to four such institutions, Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial College and Edward Waters College.

The ONYX Awards paid a special tribute to the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre and in the memory of Orlando’s youth activist Gino Nicolas.

Special Guest Host comedian Shawn Banks from BET and Laugh Out Loud brought his larger than life personality to the show.Bank’s is a comedian who can connect with and energize an audience the moment he sets foot onto the stage.

Live performances included American Idol’s energetic young artist, Tyanna Jones, and the show was topped-off with musical Superstar, Angela Winbush. Angela got her start singing at an early age at Temple Church of Christ; the church was founded by her grandparents in St. Louis, Missouri.

She rose to stardom with a string of musical hits, and continues to dazzle audiences worldwide.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of this year’s awards program. ONYX continued to embrace those who are influencing our world.  We wanted to celebrate the contributions of these extraordinary African Americans because they help shape the future. We look forward to the 2017 ONYX Awards on Saturday, April 1, 2017,” said Richard Black, ONYX Publisher.

Publisher’s Award

Terry Prather, First African-American Theme Park President, President of SeaWorld

Lifetime Achievement in Sports Awards

Derrick Brooks– NFL Hall of Famer

Humanitarian Award

Attorney Mark NeJame, Co-founder of Runway to Hope, Florida’s largest charity organization supporting cancer research for children

Performing Arts Award

Maurice Starr, Producer of Back Street Boys, New Kids on the Block, and New Edition

Communication Award

Gayle Andrews, Broke the color barrier in broadcast journalism, media relations and lobbying and heading the state’s oldest corporate and political media consulting firm.

Community Service Award

The Alachua County Branch of the NAACP

Cultural Diversity Award

The University of Central Florida, America’s Second Largest University

ONYX Spot Light Award

Ribault Girls Basketball Team, Florida’s State Champions and Dick’s Sporting Goods National Champions, First team to hold both titles simultaneously.

Gino Nicolas Mentoring Award

Orlando Magic, Magic of Mentoring Male Youth Summit

Business Award

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, First and only African-American owned Coca-Cola bottler

The ONYX Awards was supported by partners andevent sponsors:

Bright House Network, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando

Health, Florida Lottery, A1 Audio Visual LLC, IDT Integrated DNA Technologies, NCFDiagnostics & DNA Technologies, City of Orlando (The City Beautiful), Access Florida FinanceCorporation. Orlando Police Department, Mears Transportation, Clear Channel, ONYX Magazine,African-American Chambers, Chestnut Funeral Home, Access Florida Finance Corporation, Greenlight Ventures, Inc., University of Central Florida, Orlando Magic, SKANSKA Construction, IHW consulting, OLEY’s, Parker Reality, Batts Daniels Law Firm, Camping World Stadium, Central Care Missionand Coca-Cola Beverages Florida.

For more information contact us at 407-451-2891

Visit us at



Tom Joyner Acceptance Video



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The 10th Annual Blues B-Q

The 10th Annual Blues B-Q was held on February 27, 2016 in Downtown Orlando.  The event was free with live music performances by; Three Forks Road, MoMo Browne, andCeCeTeneal.  The Featured Headliner was the legendary American Funk Band “War” whose known for hits like “Low Rider, “Spill the Wine” and “Why Can’t we be Friends” and closed the show with an awesome performance.

For some of the greatest tasting OrlandoBBQ there were choices from Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ, Oley’s Smokehouse, Hard Rock Catering and Smokey Jay’s that treated Blues B-Qers to some mouthwatering, finger licking good tasting BBQ.

Tables were situated throughout the event with information from Metro PCS to State Farm Insurance who also served up some awesome tasting Pulled Pork Sandwiches.  Also if you wanted to add a little sweetness to your palate a visit to Cold Sweetness Italian Ice helped supply that craving.

With a packed crowd the event was successful and had everyone including the costumed stilt walkers on their feet partying to the music.

Maria Barnes


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11th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival Weekend

Written by: Petula Burks

The City of Miami Gardens celebrated another successful Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival weekend on March 18-20. The weekend kicked off with the annual Women’s Impact Conference & Luncheon, where hundreds of beautiful, brilliant and fierce women celebrated womanhood. Mayor Gilbert participated as a panelist during the star-studded “Is it a Man’s World?” panel, which also featured Hot 105’s Rick Party, Bern NadetteStanis who is best known for her role as “Thelma” on Good Times, Dr. Heavenly Kimes of Bravo’s Married to Medicine, former NFL Player Ray Crittenden, and comedian Razor. Transformational Life Coach Dee Thompson hosted the conference and the Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Cynthia Bailey served as the Luncheon’s keynote speaker.

The rain couldn’t keep thousands away from enjoying the food, atmosphere and musical performers during the music festival hosted by comedian Rickey Smiley. Event-goers danced, sang and praised with many top notch artists such as Usher, Charlie Wilson, Babyface, Kool and the Gang, Brian Culbertson, Fred Hammond, Michael McDonald, the Average White Band, Janelle Monae, Najee, Regina Belle, Alex Bugnon, and extraordinary local artists: Ronnie VOP, LaVie, CriStyle Renee, and April Racquel.


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ONYX Magazine, Florida’s premiere African American lifestyle publication, held its inaugural Women on the Move High Tea Celebration on March 31, 2016 at the Barry University School of Law Legal Advocacy Center.  The event was organized by Mr. Richard Black, Publisher and Ms. Towanna Hogue, Associate Managing Editor, ONYX Magazine, LLC. Each honoree was celebratedfor their accomplishments and contributions as well as recognized as some of Florida’s most influential and impactful women.

This year’s honorees wereCongresswoman Corrine Brown, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Senator Arthenia Joyner,Dr. Roslyn Artis,Julia Brown, Briana Daniel, Dean Leticia Diaz, Dr. Marie Jose Francois, Dr. Gwendolyn Golsby Grant, Kathleen ‘Kat’ Gordon, Sandy Hostetter, Latria Graham Leak, Sisaundra Lewis, Dr. Elmira Mangum, Deborah McDuffie, Ellen Parcell, Kezia Rolle, Tiffany Moore Russell, Nancy Schwalb, Carole Ann Taylor, Doretha Hair Truesdell and Belinda Wilson.

Dean Leticia M. Diaz, PhD, JD, founding faculty member of Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law who was appointed Dean in 2007,hostedand welcomed everyone to the event.Dean Diaz also holds the distinction of being the first Cuban-American female to hold the position of Dean at an ABA-Accredited Law School in the United States.

Ms. Deidre Parker, Owner, Parker Realty Group and Ms. Aramis Ayala, Esq., Professor of Law were the co-chairs of the event. Our guest received greetings from The Honorable Geraldine Thompson, District 12, Florida; The Honorable Samuel B. Ings Commissioner, District 6, Florida; The Honorable Victoria Siplin Commissioner, District 6, Orange County Government, Ms. Michelle Tatom, Chair, ONYX Magazine, LLC., and by Ms. Laverne Kelly, President, NCBW 100 Black Women-Central Florida.

Carolyn Fennell, the first female Director at Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and currently Senior Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations served as the event’s Mistress of Ceremony. She also recognized our honorary co-chairs and provided the closing remarks. Ms. Fennell was also the publicist for Walt Disney World and production assistant for Peter Jennings of ABC News in London, England. She was named Orlando Business Journal’s 2010 Businesswoman of the Year and Business Executive of the Year and inducted into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame by the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality.

Performances included violinist Ms. Leah Flynn and by Mr. Ernest Collins, pianist/vocalist. Invocation was by Rev. Erika Rembert Smith, M. Div., Pastor, Washington Shores Presbyterian Church, Orlando, FL.

The keynote speaker for this prestigious inaugural event was Yolanda Cash Jackson, Esquire of Becker &Poliakoff Legal and Business Strategists and was introduced by Ms. Eryka Washington, Investigative Reporter, WKMG News 6. Cash Jackson is an experienced Government Law Attorney with an impeccable reputation for leadership in professional, community, and charitable organizations. She has been a member of Becker &Poliakoff’s Management Committee since 2010, is a member of the United States Senate Military Affairs Committee, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and also served as General Counsel to the Miami Dade Branch of the NAACP.

In addition to ONYX Magazine and Barry University, event sponsors includedthe National Coalition of 100 Black Women, In Bloom Florist and City Prints. Ms. Michelle Tatom, Chair, ONYX Magazine LLC., and Ms. Barbara Hartley, President, Downtown City Arts recognized each of our sponsors for the Women on the Move High Tea Celebration.