What's Going On

WGO by Victoria Horsford


Three down and one to go. Tuesday, September 13 was New Yorkers third outing to the polls this year and we are suffering from voter fatigue. The 2016 voter turnout in New York hit record lows. Hopefully, our interest was revived and we voted for some good progressive Democrats and African-Americans, whose numbers are diminishing in NY electoral politics. Hope that voter fatigue malaise evaporates before the November 8 general election, when we have to elect Hillary Clinton as our new president.




NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Brunch Bill into law which makes it legal for New Yorkers to have a Bloody Mary at 10 am on Sundays. Effective on 9/11, restaurants and bars can serve drinks at 10, which is an overhaul of the Blue Law.


Sean Combs

HARLEM:   One-man conglomerate, Corporate America master of Branding e also

Sean (Diddy) Combs recently opened his highly publicized Capital Preparatory Harlem School, which serves a predominantly Black and Latino 6th– and 7th-grade student population. The school occupies one floor at the Museo Del Barrio in East Harlem. The Capital Prep school system was founded by Steve Perry, Ph.D., a frequent critic of teachers’ unions. Combs has turned his attention to politics recently when he told Rev. Al, “We got shortchanged by President Obama”.

Another Harlem church bites the dust. Brooklyn landlord Haim Nortman bought the LaGree Baptist Church, an 11,890-square-feet building located at 362 West 125th Street, for $28.5 million.   LaGree purchased the property in 1975.  Nortman’s other Harlem properties include a residential building at 220 West 149th Street and a mixed-use building located at 2546 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.



BROOKLYN: According to the Real Deal Internet News, Brooklyn heads the TOP 10 NYC real estate list for filings in August. The Auker Companies, a leader in affordable housing development, filed plans to erect two buildings in East New York: one at 911 Erskine Street, which will be a 9-story mixed-use property, and one at 11629 Seaview Avenue, which will be a 6-story apartment property.

The jury is still out on the West Indian Day Parade’s satellite celebration, J’Ouvert and its shelf life, considering the fatalities which attended the merriment. Brooklyn is the city’s most violent borough, notable for daily shootings and murders, J’Ouvert notwithstanding. While Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that J’Ouvert is here to stay, the situation is multilayered. The marriage of Labor Day merriment and violence needs to be addressed by all borough stakeholders like residents along the J’Ouvert route, the NYPD, the Brooklyn Caribbean community, NYS and NYC legislators, and the business and faith communities. I had no idea that J’Ouvert attracts a crowd of more than 250,000, partying under the cover of darkness along a path that winds through a number of Brooklyn Council, Assembly and Senate districts. It also meanders through some of Brooklyn’s most dangerous neighborhoods where gangs, not interested in bacchanal, hold forth.



The Essie Green Galleries 2016 Fall Exhibit, ARTISTS AND STYLE, features works by Alexis Peskine, Charles Alston, Romare Bearden and Frank Stewart that runs from September 17 to October 22. The gallery is located at 419A Convent Avenue in Harlem. (212.368.9635)


The Brooklyn Book Festival runs from September 12–18. It is the largest free literary event in NYC and one of the premier book fairs nationally. More than 300 literary lions will participate on 9/18, which will include Margo Jefferson, Chester Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Terry McMillan, John Williams, Okey Ndibe and Kaylie Jones. The festival sites cast a wide net from all over Brooklyn and across the river to Manhattan’s Revolution book store on Lenox Avenue. (Visit brooklynbookfestival.org)



Joy Ann Reid

There is a movement afoot to press MSNBC-TV Uber journalist Joy-Ann Reid to co-moderate with Fox News’ Chris Wallace the third and last Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debate. Wallace has already said that he is not going to fact-check candidates’ remarks. He really needs a brainy analyst like Reid as a counterpoint.


Ed Gordon, veteran broadcast journalist, whose credits include 60 Minutes II, BET, MSNBC and NPR, returns to TV on 9/13 with “The Ed Gordon Show”, a quarterly newsmagazine which airs on BOUNCE with programming targeted to African-Americans. Gordon was the first American journalist to interview O.J. Simpson following the highly notorious trial.



Reverend Dennis Dillon adds another feather to his busy professional cap. He hosts “The Dennis Dillon Show”, a TV variety reality show which is taped at the Brooklyn Christian Center and which airs on the RNN Channel on Sunday and Thursday in NY, NJ and Connecticut.

RIP: Stanley Nelson, 100, passed on September 9.   A renaissance man, Nelson was a father, grandfather, dentist, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and was engaged in the civil rights movement. He and his family loved New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, where they summered. A pioneer in reconstructive dental surgery, he founded the American Institute for Progressive Dentistry. Dr. Nelson is the father of filmmaker Stanley Nelson and writer Jill Nelson.




The Harlem Business Alliance will host a “Disrupt Harlem Business Innovation Summit 2016” on September 27 at the Mural Pavilion at Harlem Hospital, 506 Malcolm X Boulevard. Enter the Disrupt Harlem Pitch Tank Competition for a chance to win a grand prize of $1000 and a 6-month membership to Creative Workshop space. Application deadline for the competition is 9/19. E-mail pboateng@hbany.org.   Good luck!

The 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly begins at its NY headquarters on September 13. Delegations, usually led by heads of states from 193 countries, are expected to take part in the GA opener.


The Park River Independent Democrats hosts its 57th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser on September 15 at Arte Café, located at 106 West 73rd Street, honoring Geoffrey Eaton, President of the Mid-Manhattan branch of the NAACP; Ruth Messinger, former Manhattan Boro Prexy; and Senator Brad Hoylman.



Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

The NY-based December 12th Movement and Friends of Zimbabwe are organizing a Pan-Africanism Lives March and Rally on Saturday, September 17th at 12 noon. The rally flyers, with Robert Mugabe’s image, reads Our Land! Our Flag! Our Fight! Marchers will assemble at Lexington at 53rd Street. Rally will be held at UN Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. For more info call 718.398.1766.


Do not miss “WHEN SUGAR HILL WAS STILL SWEET: A Centennial Celebration of 409 & 555 Edgecombe Avenue” on Friday, September 16th, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm at Barnard College, Columbia University. It is a day of performances and panel discussions: “Of The Cloth: Theologians, Ministers and Christian Capitalists” with William Seraile, Ph.D., and Rev. LaKeesha Walrond, Ph.D.; “Pride and Harlem History” with Rich Blint, David Hadju and Gordon Thompson; [Film], “Saying Something: Voices of 409 & 555 Edgecombe”, directed by Barbara Montgomery; “The Talented Tenth and the Ninety Percent on Edgecombe Avenue” with Jelani Cobb, David Levering Lewis and Herb Boyd ; “For the Love of Sweet Pea” aka Billy Strayhorn: Event is free and open to the public. E-mail Africana@barnard.edu.


Support and attend the Save the Education Clinic – formerly the St. Aloysius Education Clinic – at the Cove Lounge, 325 Lenox Avenue, on September 20 from 6-8 pm. The St. Aloysius Catholic School, a former appendage to the church of the same name on W. 132nd Street in Harlem, opened in the mid-Forties. It closed in June 2016. One of its signature programs was a free reading enrichment program that was open to students of all ages. For more info, call Regina Smith at 212.665.7010.

A Harlem-based writer, Victoria Horsford can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com.



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