As the world turns, it gets crazier and more absurd. Once semiautonomous areas like Hong Kong and Kashmir may soon be swallowed up by Beijing and India, respectively. War and repression are traveling at breakneck speed like a bad contagion across the planet. President Donald Trump is on vacation for 18 days in August. Hope that it is a peaceful period for the world. He issued a new rule pertinent to legal immigrants and wealth requirement which can only be construed as blatantly racist. The courts will have to decide. The POTUS 45 actions are beyond my ken. On a more cheerful note, I was pleasantly surprised to view the photo op of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar visiting the “Door of No Return” in Ghana two weeks ago. Guess that Omar took Trump up on his suggestion to go back home! Only in America!
BRONX: Since Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano announced that he is serving his last term, everyone has come out of the woodwork to succeed him. NYC Councilmen, Afro-Latinos Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Ritchie Torres; Assemblyman Michael Blake and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former NYC Council Speaker who lives in East Harlem and brags about her progressive bona fides. Then all of the local political listservs ran a story this week about a discriminatory practice while she was Council Speaker. She had an African American manager removed from a NYCHA building in the Bronx and demanded that a Latina succeeded her.
The City&StateNY.com will host its first Bronx POWER 100 ceremony on September 16 from 6-8 pm at the Wave Hill Public Gardens, located at 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx. The Bronx Power 100 identifies the borough’s elites in politics, media, commerce, activism.
QUEENS: Is the Democratic establishment vulnerable based on the Queens DA special election results? Tiffany Caban conceded in the Democratic special election to Melinda Katz. Tiffany said, “WE terrified the Democratic establishment.” But there is so much work to be done in Queens and beyond. Queens DA to incumbent Queens Boro President Melinda Katz, who after multiple recounts, won the race by 55 votes, which does not augur well for Queens Democrats. Who replaces Katz as Borough President?
MANHATTAN: NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer hosted a Community Stakeholder Round Table at the First Corinthian Baptist Church on July 24, the first of many such sessions according to Nina Saxon, the Comptroller’s Office Harlem liaison. …. Two weeks ago, there was uncertainty about Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s interest in reelection in 2021. More than a handful of Democratic lawyers are in the wings waiting to challenge him. Vance’s office has been under attack for its mishandling of cases germane to the city’s richer and famous people like Harvey Weinstein, the Trump family and the late Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire pedophile sex offender. Their misdeeds and crimes go unpunished. With the FEDs detention of Epstein, many New Yorkers are calling for Vance to resign.
MUSIC: HOLD THE DATE: November 16 for the 35th Anniversary of the Premiere of Vy Higginsen’s “MAMA, I WANT TO SING,” America’s longest-running African American Off-Broadway musical. The 35th Benefit Gala Anniversary will be held at the restored El Teatro of El Museo Del Barrio, formerly the Heckscher Theatre, where “MAMA” got its start.
BOOKS: When Ibram X. Kendi, professor and director of the Antiracism Research & Policy Center at American University talks, people listen. He won a National Book Award for his book, “STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING,” about the history of racist ideas. He wrote the 5/29 NY Times essay, “An Antiracist Reading List,” which WGO referenced. His new book, “HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST,” will be published this month and it’s getting lots of mainstream media buzz. He tells Time magazine that his antiracist tome is hopeful because there’ve been so many times that the impossible has happened.
FINE ART: Laura and Ray Palmer opened the AKWAABA GALLERY, located at 509 S. Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ, this year. The next exhibit, “ORIGINS: Memories from the Metropolis,” opens on August 16 to September 30, showcasing works by 8 fine artists who are New York- or London-based and boast Caribbean ancestry. Curated by Anderson Pilgram, “ORIGINS” artists include Ademola Olugebefola, Carla Armour, Carlton Murrell and Francks Deceus. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646.267.8831.
FILM: NYC Councilman Bill Perkins presents MOVIE NIGHT UNDER THE STARS screening the Netflix miniseries “WHEN THEY SEE US, A TRUE STORY” about the Central Park 5 on two nights: August 30 at 7 pm, Parts I & II, and September 6 at 7 pm, Parts III & IV. Movies will be screened at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza, located at 163 West 125th Street, Harlem. [Call Keith Lilly at 212.678.4505]
Congratulations to newlyweds former New York State Governor David Paterson and Mary Sliwa, the former Mrs. Curtis Sliwa. They exchanged their wedding vows, a la black tie, at the tony Water Club. Mayor David Dinkins officiated. The new bride takes her husband’s middle and last name, hence Mary Alexander Paterson.
The following includes the top 10 companies who made the cut for the 2019 Black Enterprise magazine’s 100 most prosperous companies. They are in order of importance: 1) Worldwide Technologies, 2) Act 1 Group, 3) Bridgewater Interiors, LLC; 4) Coca-Cola Beverages, Florida, LLC; 5) Modular Assembly Renovations, LLC; 6) Bridgeman Foods; 7) Thompson Hospitality Corp.; 8) The Anderson-DuBose Co.; 9) Urban One; and 10) Hightowers Petroleum Co. The combined Black Enterprise 100 companies generated more than $25 billion in revenues and employed more than 70,000. Dave Steward founded Worldwide Technologies, at the top of the list, and is its Board Chair. He is America’s second-wealthiest Black billionaire.
The Brent Staples’ 8/13/19 NY Times Opinion piece, “The Radical Blackness of Ebony Magazine,” is required reading for all students, media and African American history in the USA. Story details what John Johnson’s goal was when he started Johnson Publishing, the umbrella of Ebony and Jet, the offspring of his Negro Digest. Johnson’s intention when he started his media empire was to create a platform for Black middle-class life, often eschewed by mainstream publications. Staples’ piece is Ebony/Jet history and epitaph about the revolutionary media emporium which John H. Johnson built. A Ph.D. in psychology, Staples is a member of the NYT Editorial Board who won a 2019 Pulitzer Prize.
A Harlem-based brand and public relations consultant, Victoria can be reached at