Cuba Gooding, Sr., long-time lead vocalist of the Grammy-nominated R&B ensemble, The Main Ingredient, and Father of Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr., thought it was a great idea to hold two benefit concerts in Orlando late last year during the annual Florida Classic Weekend – a historic and annual college football game between Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University – to raise needed money for the two historically black colleges. Both schools agreed.
Gooding is accusing executives of The Dr. Phillips Center (who took over the day-to-day operations of The Bob Carr Theater) of multiple mistakes and failure of its obligations as a venue, most glaringly, to offer viable opportunities for people to purchase tickets to the benefit concerts, via Internet or the venue’s box-office.
In a gesture to correct its many wrongs, Dr. Phillips’ executives, according to Gooding, offered to donate $1,000 to each of the two black universities, to which Gooding, said, “No Way!.” He finds the offer insulting, not only to himself and his family, but to the two schools as well. Gooding said, “If Dr. Phillips Center had good intentions to help the two black schools, the venue would not have made so many unprofessional mistakes, blunders, and oversights.”
Gooding also said there were many other failures and acts of negligence on the part of the Dr. Phillips Center and its brain trust, which will be revealed in court. “I’m in this to win this for the two Historically Black Colleges and Universities that would have given them much more than the insulting $1,000,” said the legendary singer, whose signature hit song is, “Everybody Plays the Fool.” “These two schools, like so many other HBCUs are fighting for their very existence and should not have to be subjected to negligence or mistakes on the part of a venue that should have known better and should have operated with more professionalism.”
Gooding is not going away due to the pressure of Dr. Phillips’ name in greater Orlando. “I’m from Harlem – I’m used to a good fight” says the Father of the Oscar Winner, “but what a shame that it had to come down to this. They were quick to take my money for the two events, while rendered nothing close to what was promised.”