Community Voices

Liberty City church elder celebrates three milestone anniversaries

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

Congratulations to Elder Thomas P. Edwards, who celebrates a triple anniversary on Sunday: his 70th continuous year as a member of The Church of God Tabernacle in Liberty City (where he is assistant pastor); his and wife Maxine’s 66th wedding anniversary; and his 64th year preaching.

And if that isn’t enough to celebrate, Edwards’ family is celebrating the first Edwards/Hanna Family Reunion, which culminates Sunday with a Celebration Luncheon. As the oldest living member of the family, Edwards has been designated the family patriarch.

The day’s program also features a special church service where the honoree will preach the sermon, with a special tribute in song from daughter Linda E. Glover and remarks from Phillip Edwards, one of the honoree’s three sons.

Edwards was among the first African Americans hired as a Miami-Dade County bus driver. He retired in 1993.

A handsome man at 86 (he will be 87 in September), he often tells how his fellow bus drivers gave him a short time to stay on the job because of the many temptations he faced, mostly with women. “But I always remembered that I was a child of God and that God had given me a beautiful wife,” he said.


The historic Lyric Theater will be rocking with rhythm on July 1, when the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida presents a two-part program at its Lyric Live showcase. The first part of the program will feature local performers competing for a $500 prize.

The second part of the program — Lirica Libre — will feature Afro-Cuban performers from the Afro Forum Forum showcasing their talents in a cultural exchange.

Said Timothy A. Barber, executive director of the Black Archives: “Blacks in Cuba and America, each with distinct cultures, belong to branches rooted from the same tree. The Black Archives is proud to be a conduit for the exchange of significant aspects of the South Florida culture. Little Havana is just a stone’s throw from historic Overtown. Lirica Libre will allow us to get together and share our stories through the unifying vehicle of the performing arts.”

Performers for Lirica Libre will include hip-hop artists MC Soandry Del Rio and MC Raudel S4dron Patriota, who will be visiting from Cuba. Others include local Afro-Cuban spoken-word artist Omnipoeta Amaury Pacheco and DJ Raphox.

Other local artists will include vocalist Theron Early, who appeared on The Voice, Overtown poet Brittany Jean and hip-hop artist Josh the Man.

The show will be hosted by comedian Chello, with live music by Jody Hill and Deep Fried Funk Band, DJ Ed the World Famous and the Showtyme Junkanoo Band.

“As proud members of the African diaspora, the Afro-Cuban Forum is pleased to join forces with the Black Archives to bring young, talented Afro-Cuban artists from the island to perform at the historic Lyric Theater,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of the Afro Cuban Forum. “Through their art, we hope that this celebration of our common heritage serves to strengthen the ties that unite us all as citizens of the world.”

The Lyric Theater is at 819 NW Second Ave. in Overtown. Showtime is 8 p.m., with doors opening 6 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, call 786-708-4610 or visit


Here’s more from the Historic Lyric Theater:

The third annual South Florida Marching Band Precision Camp will be July 21-30 at the theater.

The 10-day camp is designed to develop middle- and high-school students’ level of musicianship, marching band skills, dedication, creativity, pride, life-long friendships, teamwork and overall enjoyment.

This year’s camp will include students from Miami-Dade, Broward and other Florida counties who will participate in daily rehearsals on the campus of Booker T. Washington High School. The band students will be led by some of the most noted band directors in South Florida, with Shelby R. Chipman as head camp clinician. Chipman is a graduate of Miami Northwestern Senior High and is the former band director at Miami Central Senior High. He recently was promoted to band director at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

While at the camp, campers will showcase their talents at three free public events: a Symphonic and Ensemble Concert at 6 p.m. July 28 at the theater; a performance at the Happy Birthday Miami Celebration in downtown Miami on July 29; and a marching band performance at 11 a.m. July 30 at Gibson Park in Overtown.

Parent orientation and registration will be at 6 p.m. July 21 at the Lyric. The camp fee is $60 per student and includes daily lunch and T-shirt. Bus transportation is available at an additional cost. To register, visit or call 786-708-4610.


As a former domestic worker, I know how important that job is. Just so others will know and respect this noble occupation, there will be a domestic workers assembly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 23 at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., downtown Miami.

The news release from the Domestic Workers Assemble said: “Domestic workers do the work that makes all other work possible for millions of families all over the United States. ... Domestic workers deserve dignity, respect, and labor protections.”



Girl Power, a nonprofit community social change organization, is looking for new board members to serve two-year terms.

The organization is located in Miami and its goal is to promote positive behavior, enhance social skills and improve academic performance in adolescent girls.

Girl Power offers several empowerment programs for young girls and their families throughout Miami-Dade County, including an alternative-to-suspension program; an after-school program; summer camp; mentoring; girl choir; and post-detention programs.

The organization’s mission: “To empower girls and their families to succeed in order to protect, restore and preserve the family unit.”

If you are interested in more information, email

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.