By Bryan Boggiano
June 11 will forever be known as Kodak Black Day in Broward County.
Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness made the declaration Friday at a charity basketball tournament to coincide with Kodak Black’s 24th birthday.
The event took place at the Coral Springs Gymnasium and raised $5,000 for the Lippman Youth Shelter in Oakland Park.
Kodak Black and organizers originally planned for the event to be held in Pompano Beach. Due to COVID safety protocols, they moved the location, according to Francky Pierre-Paul, Black’s charity and outreach director.
Twelve teams participated in the tournament, four each from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Kodak Black, born Dieuson Octave, is also known as Bill Kapri. He rose to prominence in the mid-2010s and released the hits “Tunnel Vision,” “Zeze,” and “Wake Up in the Sky,” and “No Flockin.”
In 2021, then-President Donald Trump commuted his 46-month prison sentence on a weapons-related charge.
“Many will look at you and point fingers back at your past, but fail to realize that your heart, mind, and soul is much bigger than that,” Pierre-Paul wrote on Instagram. “You [give back] without wanting anything in return, so it’s only right to get a blessing on your Bday!”
According to Pierre-Paul, Kodak Black previously gave to the youth shelter while he was incarcerated. He loves the children and spending time with them. For his birthday, Pierre-Paul said that the rapper wanted to give back since the day and event were about the kids.
“For them to have an opportunity to see their idol in person and see him give back, it was just a different perspective for them,” he said.
Kodak Black’s charitable contributions are extensive. According to the proclamation, he donated to the Jack & Jill Center, distributed turkeys for Thanksgiving, and donated books to Broward County students during the pandemic, among other acts.
In 2021, he established a $100,000 scholarship in honor of Meadow Pollack.
Hunter Pollack, who helped organize the event, said Kodak Black’s decision to make his birthday about giving back speaks volumes to his character.
“He cares about the community he grew up in, and I think the entire community is proud of him,” he said. “It shows he has a good heart, and he wants to make a difference.”
Pollack said that Kodak Black deserves the honor for all that he has done for Broward County.
“When you are successful, you should give back to people in your community who need the help, and Kodak Black has been a positive example by doing that,” he said. “ He’s used his trials and tribulations to be a positive role model and influence in Broward County.”
Pierre-Paul echoed the same sentiments, saying that Kodak Black’s impact expands beyond the community.
“Despite your past, Kodak is setting a perfect example for others that you can change for others,” he said. “ Kodak Black is not just a local hero. He is a world hero.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master’s. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.