Last week, African American Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Howard University grad, was sworn in as the newest member of Congress after winning a special election in Florida with a 79% vote. She succeeds the late Alcee Hastings (D), who died last year. Her victory gives the Dems a 222 to 212 advantage over House Republicans. While she won by a landslide, her White male Republican opponent Jason Mariner refuses to concede and is suing her.
Brooklyn-born Cherfilus-McCormick was also raised in Queens. At age 13, her parents from Haiti relocated their family from New York to Florida. She later earned degrees from Howard University (BS) and St. Thomas University School of Law (JD).
Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick and her attorney husband are parents of two.
Congrats also to African American Latoya Cantrell who was sworn in for a second term as New Orleans Mayor.
Fresh from the November election season, New Yorkers are getting ready for the 2022 primary season for NYS Governor, Attorney General, NYS Legislators and Congress.
A few special elections will be called to replace electeds who got “kicked upstairs.” NYS Assembly lost members to NYC Council and Governor Hochul’s office. East Harlem Assembly member Robert Rodriguez is new NY Secretary of State. Special election for his successor was held last week. African American Eddie Gibbs won Rodriguez’s seat in a predominantly Latino majority district. Election should be called to replace former Assembly member Diana Richardson, newly appointed Deputy Brooklyn Boro President.
ARTS AND CULTURE
MEDIA: Black World Media Network, BWMN, a new comprehensive, multimedia platform to serve the Global Black community, debuts on February 3, during Black History Month 2022 cycle. A multimedia digital platform, BWMN connects the Black World through news, information, and culture from African Diaspora capitals in the USA, Canada, African, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Great Britain and beyond.
The BWMN will produce and distribute original programs and podcasts hosted by prominent scholars, activists, journalists, policy and system analysts, et al. Black World Radio, a 24-hour audio streaming service that features news, commentaries, spoken world, Black music and public service announcements, is the centerpiece of BWMN. Video Services and free mobile apps will also be available via www.blackworldmedia.net on You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Some early contributors to BWMN include Professor/journalist Herb Boyd; Milton Allimadi, BlackStarNews.com; Rev. Dennis Dillon, NY Christian Times; Journalist Bev Smith; Dr. Julius Garvey, MD; George Fraser; and Sir Hilary Beckles, UWI.
The BWMN is the brainchild of Don Rojas, Communications Director for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, founded by Dr. Ron Daniels in 2002
FOOD: EATER NY ranked two Harlem restaurants on its top 40 most affordable restaurants. list. They are: Senegalese Pierre Thiam’s popular, TERANGA, housed in the Africa Center on Fifth Avenue on 110 Street, which specializes in West African cuisine, culture and décor; and Sideon Steward’s JERK HOUSE, featuring Jamaican cuisine, located on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard near 127 Street.
FASHION: Harlem Fashion Week, HFW, will celebrate NY Fashion Week and Black History Month, February 5-10, at the Kente Royal Gallery in Harlem. HFW is the center of gravity during New York’s Fashion Week seasons, including fashion shows, talks and related activities employing multiple venues. This year, COVID dictates that HFW must be fashion safe, observing all COVID protocols. HFW will incorporate the Black Experience in Fashion with a special exhibit honoring the legacy of fashion and style historian Andre Leon Talley. Visit HarlemFW.com
RIP: Lani Guinier, 71, died on January7, from Alzheimer’s-related complications. New York born trailblazing legal scholar, Guinier was named the first tenured woman of color at Harvard’s Law School in 1998. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Yale Law School, she came to national prominence in 1993 when President Bill Clinton pulled the plug on the nomination for her to become Assistant AG for Civil Rights, US Justice Department.
Her dad and his dad were lawyers and Guinier wanted to be a lawyer during her tween years. Her perennial interests were voting rights and racial equity. Her work credits include the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, the US Justice Department and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A prolific writer, her book titles are: “Lift Every Voice: Turning A Civil Rights Setback Into A New Vision of Social Justice” about her Justice Department nomination; “The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy” and “The Tyranny of the Meritocracy.” She is survived by her husband Nolan Bowie, Harvard legal scholar and their son, Nikolas, a Harvard Law Professor.
RIP: Coy Maurice LaSister died on 11/31. New York born and bred, he was a former NYC Assistant Commissioner with the Department of Ports and Trade and with the Department of Business Services before launching his own real estate development firms, LaSoeur Management and Development and LaSoeur Brownstones, LLC. His brother Charles Knox LaSister is a real estate lawyer. The Coy LaSister memorial service will be held at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, located at 132 West 138 Street, on Friday, January 28 at 3 pm.
RIP: Cheryl Hickmon, National President and Chair of the National Board of Directors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a Black Greek organization, transitioned on January 20 after a recent illness. Ms. Hickmon has been a Delta since 1982.
A Harlem based management consultant, Victoria can be reached at email@example.com