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MLK Pompano Beach CRA Talent Show

First place winner sister and brothers Elan and Jordynn Second place winner 2D Dance Crew and Third place winners the C.F. Steppers

First place winner sister and brothers Elan and Jordynn Second place winner 2D Dance Crew and Third place winners the C.F. Steppers

MLK Pompano Beach CRA Talent Show

By A’Nassya  Bruton

In North Broward County competition was heating up at Annie Adderly Gillis Park. The MLK Marketplace event was a free event, where people in the community could come shop, eat, mix and mingle while enjoying the talent show where people of all ages compete for $1,500.

That’s right! In Pompano Beach Florida June 8, 2013 there was a MLK Marketplace event. The Annie Adderly Gillis Park is located at 601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

There were eight finalist competing including: Elan and Jordynn, 2D Dance Crew (David and Daniel), Austin Gladstone, Dynamic Sisters (Jashae, Jada, Jade), Davion Jones, Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaugns, Divine Providence and the C.F. Steppers.

All of them showed up and gave their all but only three walked away claiming a title. Taking home 3rd place was the C.F. Steppers, holding 2nd place was 2D Dance Crew, and winning the title of first place taking home $1000 was Elan and Jordynn with their mixture of popping, acrobat and salsa dancing.

Elan, 18, and Jordynn, 15, are brother and sister who have been dancing together for two years.

While the talent show was the main event, the underlying theme was all the new changes taking place on MLK Blvd. The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), is a semi formal government lead by elected officials. This advisory board was created so that people could express how they wanted their community to look.

Carlton Moore one of the sitting board members said, “The reason for this event is to show how we will change their environment and bring in residence.”

The CRA has been around for 30 years but this project is just taking effect. Right now the city is doing some underground cleaning making sure the sewer and pipes are in good enough shape so that they can start to build on top of the roads.

Construction just started a month ago with phase one. One thing a lot of people are excited about is the reopening of the Ali building located on MLK Blvd., which is a historical building.

In this building they plan to have shops and a multicultural center. One of the companies that will be taking full advantage of this is the Ashanti Cultural Arts, which was founded by Linda Houston-Jones.

With classes in the arts and entertainment, Ashanti has been serving the communities of Broward, Dade and Palm Beach for over 20 years now.

Other things that will be sprouting up on MLK Blvd. are more businesses, shops, and apartments.

Speaking with the loan man-ager for the CRA, Andy Sherenfant, stated, “You must live here or already have a business here to qualify for the $25,000 max per business, 62 businesses have received funds, and over 1 million has been given away.”

Speaking with Shelton Pooler a new member, “Within the next 10 years people won’t know MLK Blvd.”

That seems to be another underlying theme for the evening as others on the board were all on the same page with the changes occurring.

Chairmen Whitney Rawls stated, “If we could we would revamp all of Pompano. But we do have a new civic library and a cultural arts center coming.”

Commissioner Poitier, who has been on the board since 2008, says, “The CRA’s mission is to take care of Blacks, unemployment, and the terrible community.” From the Interstate 95 all the way east to city hall is their concentration right now.

Within the next couple of years things seem to be looking up for MLK Blvd. Speaking with a few locals they all seem to be elated for what’s to come. Lonnie Snell says, “There are improvements that still can be made, but just the thought of them considering this area is a great move because some parts look good and some parts look bad.”

Linda Houston-Jones who has been a residence of Pompano Beach for 15 years says, “This is the most empowering project of the century. MLK Blvd. use to be the hub of the city where Black businesses flourished but then became an impoverished community. We need to help empower the community, return pride and economic stability back to the community.”

In no time at all the community of Pompano Beach, Florida will be restored to the community the residence once knew and loved.

     Summer intern, A’Nassya  Bruton is a Junior at Florida A&M University seeking a bachelor’s degree in Broad-cast Journalism.


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