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News & Events

Sounding the Global Jukebox: we owe Alan Lomax a debt of thanks

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If Alan Lomax were still alive, he would turn 100 Saturday. His name might not be as familiar as some other giants of folk music in the 20th century (such as Pete Seeger). But if you listen to folk or world music, use internet music streaming services, or just enjoy music from cultural traditions other than your own, you might owe Lomax a small debt of thanks.

A remarkable career

For around seven decades, from the 1930s through the 1990s, Lomax devoted his activities as a folklorist, musicologist, writer, producer and activist to promoting the understanding and appreciation of folk music.

Born in Austin, Texas, his career began as a teenager, when he worked alongside his folklorist father. When Lomax died in 2002 at age 87, the world lost one of its most tireless advocates for folk music.

Today Lomax is best known for his extensive audio and audiovisual recordings, many of them now publicly available. He is renowned for bringing fame to artists like Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, and Leadbelly.

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Alan Lomax: A Life of Sound

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A Miami Beach love story born at Miss Universe 50 years ago

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The GreensThey met a half-century ago at the very same Miss Universe pageant now at Florida International University. And the library on that very college campus now bears their names.
In 1964, the year New York welcomed the World’s Fair, Dorothea Langhans, 19, recently crowned Miss New York, traveled to Miami Beach to compete for the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles. She stepped from the plane donning a miniature version of the iconic World's Fair globe atop her head.
In the midst of the pageantry, Langhans met Steven J. Green, a college student working as an adminstrative assistant to then Miami-Dade Mayor Charles Hall.
“The mayor and Steve were backstage when I met them. Steve was so nice and so gracious. I was there a couple of weeks with all the pageant activities and we kept bumping into each other,” says Dorothea Green, 69. “After the contest we started dating.”

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Ayikodans bring flavor of Haiti to the Rialto

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Posted: 12:00 pm -  Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

By Shelia Poole - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeanguy Saintus wants to share his perspective on Haiti with Atlanta.

It’s a view that may contradict what many people hear about the Caribbean nation.

Saintus wants to focus more on pirouettes than poverty, dance instead of disaster, and culture rather than crime.

“People always see negative things in the news about Haiti,” said the founder and artistic director of Ayikodans, an acclaimed Haitian dance company.

But, Saintus said, “when the dancers go onstage, the spectators immediately have a different perspective on Haiti. It’s a celebration of life and beauty through dance.”

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Read moreAyikodans bring flavor of Haiti to the Rialto

FIU’s med-school students healing more than bodies

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-Early in my professional career, I worked as a field researcher for a nutrition program in a low-income area in Atlanta. I was charged with collecting information on the fruit and vegetable consumption of local residents, and in exchange they would receive a small honorarium.

One day I arrived at the home of a single mother of two whose electricity had been disconnected because of a delinquent bill. The apartment windows were partially boarded up, and the only consistent light came through the front door. As I prepared to reschedule my visit, the mother explained that she needed the honorarium to help pay her electric bill.

We sat with the front door open and hurriedly completed the survey, racing against the sunset.

Read the full article here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article2172761.html#storylink=cpy

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