By Dervina ‘Nicole Narae’ Knowles
Photo by Maddy Bee
LAUDERHILL, FL — The City of Lauderhill and The MLK Task Force hosted their 17th Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 4, 2017, at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center. The annual celebration was in honor of the life, legacy, and dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has allowed the MLK Task Force to reach their goal of awarding deserving college-bound youth with scholarships to help further their education. Michael Baisden, nationally syndicated radio personality and New York Times bestselling author, was the guest speaker. During his keynote address in Lauderhill, the author said that mentoring and economic power are the answers to a lot of the challenges that urban communities are facing.
“Mentoring is the solution to many our of problems. Everything I do is mentoring,” he said.
Baisden served up a lot of hot topic realness throughout his address by creating an open dialogue. Concerning topics such as love and relationships, politics, family values and role changes, educational growth for minorities and women, and the enhancement of Black businesses were at the forefront of the question and answer session.
He kept emphasizing the impact of community partnerships.
“We need money and we need resources,” said Baisden. “It’s somebody in this room who can help you or someone in this room who can connect you to someone else who can help you.”
“We are too threatened by young people. Pass the torch. When one of us steps down we need to be bringing someone else in our seat. I am going to train a younger black male to be in my seat when I leave radio,” said Baisden. “And young people you’ve got to get out. Martin [Luther King, Jr.] was a leader at 25. You all are waiting for us to lead. It starts with you.”
Dee Thompson, life and business coach of Miami, Fla., asked Baisden, what he THOUGHT was his main impact on mentoring the students at Evans High School in Orlando, Fla., for his ‘One Dream One Team’ all-male mentoring class. Baisden quickly replied, “Consistency is the key to relationships. Don’t do it if you can’t be consistent.”
He continued, “A lot of these kids are used to being disappointed. They don’t even think their own father is going to show up so what makes them think you are going to show up. I went every time I was supposed to and if I missed a day or even an hour I made up the time.”
Dr. Rosalind Osgood, of Broward County School Board District 5, said that “Our kids really need you — the community. We cannot miss this moment. Our kids are hurting. We have to take this serious.” She continued, “Yes, it is a sacrifice but please don’t give up. They (children) need time. They need the opportunity to even work in your businesses.” Dr. Osgood says she will continue to use the resources she already has by connecting with Divine 9 sororities and fraternities, law enforcement agencies, and organizations such as The Links Incorporated. She is also focusing on more African American male programs.
Sergeant Chauncey Sims, Sr., of the Lauderhill Police Department, says that his job is to serve and that police officers should be given a chance to do their job. “We have a job to do and sometimes you may not like it, but it’s our job. I have a Black son and daughter. I am a Black man. Even as a super-visor, it’s all about respect.”
Baisden closed out the celebration with his announcement that he has already returned to radio and will continue to use his platform to mentor through the airwaves.
The Michael Baisden Show is set to return to South Florida on Hot 105 FM from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST with George Wilborn and Tamara G on Feb. 20, 2017. “We’re bringing grown folks radio back,” he said. “We will be airing here on Hot 105 with Tamara G in a few weeks.”
Baisden was one of the most influential voices during former President Barack Obama’s campaign. He said, “If I was on radio Trump wouldn’t have won. Hillary would have won.”
He continued by saying, “I didn’t come back for me,” as he addressed the series of killings of African American men and boys that erupted in summer 2016.
“We are back,” said Baisden. “We got the mic back for the people.”
The City of Lauderhill’s MLK Taskforce is led by Lauderhill Commissioner Margaret Bates. For 17 years, the MLK Task-force has held numerous educational events & programs in regards to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and civil rights.