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What’s Going On – 10/13



NYC: The city is growing more complex every day. No one was prepared for the post-Covid conditions. Mayor Eric Adams has the new 5BORO Institute, which will serve as a policy recommendation for his administration to address matters related to daycare, teacher enrollment/training, and mental health infrastructure. Hizzoner called a state of emergency to deal with the arrival of 17,000 asylum seekers transported to NY, whose numbers overwhelm the city’s resources. Economic relief from NYS and the Federal government should be on its way.

Antonio Reynoso

The downstate Democrats are somewhat in disarray. In Brooklyn, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, 48, was re-elected Brooklyn Party leader after several accusations of questionable maneuvers at recent caucus meetings. This week Brooklyn Boro Prexy Antonio Reynoso fired Deputy Brooklyn Boro Prexy Diana Richardson for cause. She has been working from home for weeks due to complaints by her staff and colleagues about her hostile behavior. What’s next for Ms. Richardson? She left her NYS Assembly seat for the Deputy Boro Prexy post.
Across the river, Inez Dickens, NYS Assemblymember, told the NY Post that she is entertaining a run for her old NYC City Council seat, representing Central Harlem, currently occupied by Kristin Richardson Jackson. The latter is the subject of constituent complaints since her January swearing-in. Kristin argues that she is working hard, serving her district, and is not going anywhere. It is necessary to get the consent of local Dems to get on the ballot. Manhattan Democrat Leader Keith Wright said that he does not talk with Kristin. Next year, New Yorkers vote for City Council members.
Apropos of the 11/8 elections, I assumed that Democrats Senator Chuck Schumer and NYS Attorney General Tish James were running unopposed. I was wrong.

Robert Smith

Last week’s business papers were rife with rumors that private equity Black billionaire Robert Smith, the philanthropist who paid for the Morehouse men’s tuition a few years ago, is looking at a new acquisition, Compass, one of the nation’s most prominent real estate firms co-founded by African American Robert Reffkin who is CEO. Compass denies that it has suitors. Smith’s company Vista Equity Partners is silent.

The 10/09 NY Times included a highly informative supplement titled LEARNING about the effects of COVID on a student’s life. It is instructive for parents and educators alike.

Somebody’s lying. Two of the nation’s most prominent public universities, the University of California and the University of Michigan, announced that their affirmative action programs targeting Blacks are unsuccessful. They plan to dismantle those programs. An October 9 Washington Post piece says that the University of North Carolina, which once would not admit Black students until the 70s, now boasts a 12 % Black student body of accept Black students and will have to fight today’s Supreme Court, which feels that its Affirmative Action Program is too successful. As the Courts trend right, schools have to defend their policies.
What sort of pressures were put on the University of California and Michigan? Those campuses were subjects of Supreme Court scrutiny for their affirmative action programs 30 years ago.

AFRICA: BURKINA FASO: A former West African French colony, experienced its second coup d’etat this year. Both coups were executed to erode the widespread influence of Jihadists. ETHIOPIA: The United States State has been involved in the monthslong cease fire there has been in place. Civil war broke out two years ago between the Ethiopian central government and the Tigray region. The ceasefire is dead, and new civil war aggression threatens the stability of the entire Horn of Africa.

NORTH AMERICA: The fragile South of the border neighbor HAITI seeks military help from the international community to stem the widespread chaos. The US takes immigrants from Afghanistan and tens of thousands from Ukraine and Central and South America. Why not some Haitians?


FINE ART: The Africa Center’s new art exhibit, STATES OF BECOMING, showcases works by 17 fine artists from across the African Diaspora who have lived in the U.S. for the past three decades. Curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, the exhibit opens on October 14 with a conversation that day between the curator and participating artists. The Africa Center is located at 1280 Fifth Avenue, Harlem.

Michelle Obama

BOOKS: Former US First Lady Michelle Obama’s book, the LIGHT WE CARRY; Overcoming In Uncertain Times, is getting ready for a multi-city book tour after its November 15 launch.

American history buffs should voraciously consume a new nonfiction book, SOUTH TO AMERICA: A Journal Below The Mason-Dixon To Understand the Soul Of a Nation,” by Imani Perry, which deals with laser-like precision about race, America, and the South. “The different Souths that many Black Americans carry with them is the book’s central theme,” says the reviewer for The Nation Magazine. Dr. Perry is an interdisciplinary scholar of race, law, African American Literature and a prolific writer.

Imani Perry

Internationally renowned fine arts photographer Tony Barboza’s new book, EYE DREAMING, will be published soon. The publisher will host a book signing on November 2 at the Rizzoli Book Store at 1133 Broadway, Manhattan.

FILM: The Reel Sisters of the African Diaspora African Film Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary this month, honoring actress Mugga and filmmakers Stacey L. Holman and Booker T. Mattison on October 7. Visit for the Film Festival fall lineup.

A Harlem-based consultant/historian, Victoria can be reached at