Sunday is celebrated throughout the world as Valentine’s Day, a day when the theme of love just seems to overflow.
Last week, the rose and chocolate merchants opened early and closed late to give as many of you as possible the opportunity to buy something for the love or loves of your life. On some vacant lots, there were canopies set up, with tables filled with roses and stuffed animals with little white heart-shaped signs that said “I love you.”
I think it is a good thing to remember those we love at these special times. We should also remember them for the rest of the year — when Valentine’s Day is history.
It might sound silly, but I wish I could bottle up some of the love that’s being spread today and save it for a day when I see an incident of road rage. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you, or I, had a bottle of love that we could just fling at those who are screaming at each other? Or when we see someone arguing over a parking space at the grocery store; or a cranky patron at a restaurant? Wouldn’t it be fun to see their reaction the minute the bottled love is sprinkled on them? There would be fewer abusive parents and spouses; fewer neighbors screaming over fences; and fewer racist incidents.
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OK, I know it doesn’t work that way. We can’t bottle up love and sprinkle it around. I wish we could. I do believe that we can start by teaching our little ones how to love. Children usually grow up doing what they have been taught from the cradle. If they are taught love, they will be loving and will pass it along.
We can all be more loving. We don’t have to do any great acts to show love. How about just saying “I love you” to someone today? And mean it. Giving someone a compliment will do, too. In fact, any random act of kindness to someone will be just fine. It will brighten somebody’s day and yours, too. Before you know it, you will be spreading the love.
I read somewhere, or maybe I heard it in a song, “Love isn’t love until you give it away.” So dear friends, let’s spread some love today and the next and the next and so on.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
WALK THROUGH HISTORIC OVERTOWN
In celebration of Black History Month, the Voices of Praise Choir of the Historic Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Overtown will present “Walk Together Children — A Walk Through Historic Overtown” from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 20.
The walk will start at the church, 301 NW Ninth St. (Willie Waters Way), and conclude at the Jackson Soul Food restaurant at Northwest 10th Street and Third Avenue.
Before the walk begins, participants will be able to view the Black History exhibit in the church lobby. Some of the stops on the tour will include Ward Rooming House, built in 1925 and served as a rest spot for blacks who were banned from staying in white hotels; the Dorsey House, built in 1913 and was the home of Dana A. Dorsey, one of Miami’s most prominent black businessmen and philanthropists; the Lyric Theater, a focal point of social life in Overtown (known then as Colored Town); the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1416, organized in 1936 and was a labor union for men working the Port of Miami; Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church, organized in 1896, it is home of one of Miami’s oldest African-American congregations; and the Negro/Black Police Precinct and Courthouse, established in 1949, five years after five Negro patrolmen had been sworn in.
Other activities will include stories and music by the Voices of Praise. A gift bag will be given to the first 25 people to RSVP by calling Gail Willingham at 305-633-3583 or emailing email@example.com. The tour is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in lots on the corner of Northwest Third Avenue and 10th Street.
ALVIN AILEY COMPANY BACK IN TOWN
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, led by our very own Robert Battle, will open Feb. 18 at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Shows run through Feb. 21. The program will include Awakening, Battle’s first world premiere since taking the helm as artistic director and featuring Jamar Roberts, another Miami native and a star in the company.
The packed program will feature a family matinee at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 and will feature Awakening and Alvin Ailey’s uplifting Revelations, followed by free post-performance questions and answers in the theater with Battle and Roberts.
At 7 p.m. Monday, Battle will host a community conversation to give the community a chance to meet him and hear first-hand his inspiring story. He will also read excerpts from his children’s book, My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey, as well as sign copies. The free event will be at The Café at Books & Books at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Call 786-468-2299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Tickets for the performances start at $25 and are on sale at arshtcenter.org or by calling 305-949-6722. Group discounts are available by calling 786-468-2326 or by emailing email@example.com.
MIAMI CITY CEMETERY SERVICE
The community is invited to the 23rd annual commemorative service, the eighth annual youth talent on parade and the 21st annual essay contest at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE Second Ave.
The event is sponsored by the African American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust and will honor the late T.B. Carr, an African-American city of Miami incorporator. The event will also honor four members of the committee who died in 2015: Eugenia Thomas, Bonnie Newbold Stirrup, the Rev. Dr. Preston Marshall, and Dorothy Wallace Graham.
Admission is free.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORKSHOP
The 2016 “No More Broken Hearts,” a domestic violence workshop hosted by School Board Vice Chairwoman Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 20 at Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School, 1331 NW 46th St. The all-day workshop will provide information on domestic violence intervention and prevention, and service providers.
The workshop will include a conflict resolution and teen-dating violence tract for students and will be presented by representatives from the Jonathan Spikes Foundation’s Affirming Youth and Urgent Inc. The adult panels will include discussions on intervention, prevention and education.
‘CONVERSATION ABOUT DISCRIMINATION’
“A Conversation About Discrimination” will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.
The public event is to give and get a perspective on discrimination of all kinds, what it looks like, what has been happening and what people can do about it.
David S. Kessler will be one of the guest speakers.
‘SHAKESPEARE, MUSIC AND LOVE’
You are invited to a lecture/performance by Peter Rogen, with Karen Carlisle-Neal and Brian Neal titled: “Shakespeare, Music and Love: A Celebration in Words and Music” at 7 p.m. Monday in the Frost Art Museum Cafe on the Florida International University Modesto A. Maidique Campus.
In the lecture/performance, Rogen will offer dramatic readings and commentary from Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Vocal and instrumentals will be provided by Carlisle-Neal and Neal, two of Miami’s finest classical musicians.
It’s free and open to the public.
WOMAN’S CLUB OF COCONUT GROVE
Congratulations are in order for The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove on the occasion of its 125th anniversary.
In keeping with the anniversary, the club, in association with New Theatre, will present Footprints, the historical play written by member Sandra Riley and based on the lives of pioneers Mary Barr and Kirk Munroe at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at the club’s Founder’s Day celebration at 2985 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove.
Tickets for preferred seating are $50 and $30 for general admission. Refreshments, anniversary cake and a champagne toast will follow.
Miami Mayor Tomás Regaldo will honor the organization for “being a landmark of tradition in our city and for its contributions to the betterment of Miami.” He has declared Feb. 19 as the “Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove Day.”
The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove was established in 1891, five years before Miami became a city, by Flora McFarlane and the pioneer women of Coconut Grove. It is the oldest community service organization in South Florida and its clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends & Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.