Miami-Dade County

Sounds of the city: Film tells the story of soul music of Miami

Back in the day when we were young, Willie Clarke, a short stature of a guy, played the bass drum in our Booker T. Washington High School Band. He was on the quiet side, but very assertive. His friend Johnny Pearsall, was tall and attended school in Tallahassee.

When he went off to college at Florida A & M University (back then it was Florida A &M College), Clarke took with him his dream of starting a record company.

At FAMC (now FAMU) Clarke and fellow musician Johnny Pearsall, whose mother was the longtime principal of Dunbar Elementary in Overtown, shared their dream and became business partners.

“Both were from the streets of Miami," said Dorothy J,. Fields, founder of Miami's Black Archives. "They honed the business and musical skills learned at FAMU and went on to change the face of soul music in Miami and eventually the country by creating the first black-owned record label in Florida — Deep City Records."

(Clarke, was one of the first to recognize the talent of Miami soul singer Betty Wright, and for a while, served as her manager.)

On Sept. 16, WLRN will feature the premiere film screening of Deep City —The Birth of the Miami Sound at the Historic Lyric Theater at Northwest Second Avenue and Eighth Street in Overtown. The event is produced by WLRN and sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Tickets are complimentary and refreshments will be served.

The event will start at 6 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. The film starts at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the producers of Deep City stars.

RSVP is required by Sept. 12. To make reservations, call The Black Archives at 305-636-2390.

Also, on the first Friday of every month, the theater presents Lyric Live, which features local talent, Fields said. "It's like 'Live at the Apollo' ," she said, "... lots of fun. Show time is 7:30 p.m., and is the best show in town."

Tickets to Lyric Live are $10, $15 and $25 each and can be purchased by calling 305-636-2390.


A warm welcome to Hector B. Gray, the new athletic director at dear ole Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown.

Gray said his "vision for the student athletes, is to be able to attend any college or university of their choice. He said the students will be able to do so because "... they do not only have the ability to excel on the field, court or track, they also excel in the classroom.'

As the athletic director Gray will serve along with Kenneth Williams , the school's athletic business manager, and with Marilyn Stephens Dela Cruz, the school's assistant athletic director. Gray said he believes that academics and athletics play a "major role in preparing our youth for their future."

A Miami native, Gray lived in the Liberty Square housing project at Northwest 62nd Terrace and 13th Avenue until he was in the second grade at Holmes Elementary School. His family then moved to Northwest 42nd Street and 19th Avenue. He is a graduate of Miami Springs High school, where he played football and basketball and ran track.

He later attended Florida State University on a football scholarship and played professional football with t he Detroit Loins for a few years. He has also coached football, basketball and track.


Tony Larkin, a Miami playwright/director, has added another notch to his creative belt: He is now a filmmaker, too.

At 6 p.m. Sept. 22, Larkin will premier his first movie, The Life Exchange, at the Cinema Paradiso of Fort Lauderdale, 503 S. E. Sixth Ave.

Tickets are $10 each. An after party is scheduled at Gulfstream Park immediately following the premiere at a location to be announced at the premiere.

For tickets and more information call Larkin at 786-226-3607.


A screening of the film Blueberry Soup, a feature length documentary about the Icelandic "people's movement" will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the University of Miami School of Law, Room E352, 1331 Miller Dr. in Coral Gables.

The film documents the Icelandic community taking back power in 2008, from a fractured government while demanding swift and necessary change to save their country. The film documents the "inspired" work of a group of Icelandic citizens striving to save their country by rewriting their natio's constitution.

The film screening will use Blueberry Soup as an example of developing citizen driven solutions to social dilemmas. The focus on law institutions is to bring a pivotal example of participatory democracy in front of the future policy makers and translators for consideration within a nation's evolution.

A question-and-answer session will follow the film. The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required.Visit

Also coming to at the University of Miami School of Law: the fourth annual Louis Henkin Lecture on Human Rights. This year's speaker will be Michael Posner, who will discuss "Examining Human Rights and Global Business —A New Frontier."

In his lecture Posner will examine the changing landscape of the global economy where large and powerful multinational companies are operating in relatively weak states. The lecture will also examine the role of the companies both in advancing economic development and poverty alleviation. At the same time Posner will tackle the human rights challenges they fce relating to their core business operations.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Alma Jennings Foundation Student Lounge. RSVP by Sept. 10 to: Or call the School of Law at 305-284-9810.