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What’s Going On – 10/6

OCTOBER 2022
AS THE WORLD TURNS, navigating or imagining what’s coming next becomes more challenging. Will it be blatant man-made folly, war, national elections, coups d’etat? Or will natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes be related to man’s folly? Americans don’t understand what’s left of its precious republic and the necessity to vote on November 8. Polls could be war zones based on Republican-led state houses, new redistricting maps, and new voter suppression laws. Secretaries of State, the chief Election officers, will determine who the 11/8 winners are. As election day approaches, Democratic and Republican electeds fear for their safety based on threats. A cold war exists in America! Has the USA already become like parts of the Kremlin or Teheran, where dissent is not tolerated?

Who is this influential Group Helping Mayor Eric Adams Identify a Vision for NY? Known as the 5Boro Institute, the group was founded by local business and civic leaders like publisher Tom Allon and Richard Ravitch, former NYS Lt Governor, Hizzoner’s close allies. 5Boro will focus on daycare, mental health infrastructure, and recruiting/train teachers.

The Politics of Black wealth should translate to show us the money! Black American wealth is under the nation’s banks radar screen. Stories regularly unfold about the obstruction of Black wealth—the 9/29 NY Beacon cover story: “TD BANK – No Friend to Minorities. The cover included stats. The TD Mortgage record is abysmal, rejecting 54% of Black home buyers and 45% of Latino home buyers. Its business model relies far more on overdraft fees than other large banks.” TD has branches in underserved areas. In March 2022, business media disclosed that WELLS FARGO BANK rejected nearly 50% of Black homeowners who applied for refinancing. WELLS FARGO is housed in underserved areas.

A 9/29 NY Times story about a US Justice Department case, “ Redlining Is Racist: $12 Million Settlement Ends Lending Inquiry,” into the Lakeland Bank in NJ, which has agreed to set up a $12 million homeownership fund; open to new branches in minority neighborhoods; increase mortgage lending in underserved communities of color in northern NJ. Lakeland is in talks with Provident Bank for a $1.3 billion merger. Provident knew about Justice Department probe when Lakeland merger talks began. If banks are not making monies available to Black for business growth and development or mortgages to Blacks, what do they do in the community? The preceding stories are set in NY/NJ.

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Americans must understand that elections have consequences. All eligible Americans must register and VOTE on November 8 while our democracy is still afloat.

They were surprised at a news item about Arab Americans being fed up with being classified as whites in federal data. They want the US Office of Management and Budget to identify them as MENA, an acronym for Middle Eastern and North African.

Etienne Charles

ARTS AND CULTURE
MUSIC: the David Geffen Hall, originally Philharmonic Hall, at New York’s Lincoln Center opens this week after a $500 million facelift. Trinidad-born trumpeter Etienne Charles Creole Soul has been commissioned to do an orchestral piece with the Philharmonic for the grand opening on October 8. He has composed an article for the NY Philharmonic that will include influences from the myriad cultures and people of San Juan Hill – Irish, US Blacks, Italians, Latinos, Germans, and West Indians. The orchestral piece includes five movements influenced by Calypso, Country, R&B, and Latin music.

Wendell Pierce

THEATER: 2021 was the year of the Black Theater season with almost a dozen plays, presented Off and On Broadway, featuring Black protagonists. One of them, A STRANGE LOOP, by Michael R. Jackson, walked away with the TONY for best musical. The 2022 Theater season is one of the revivals of theater classics with Black lead characters. On Broadway, August Wilson’s A PIANO LESSON starring Samuel Jackson and directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson, open 10/13. Arthur Miller’s work about the pursuit of the American Dream, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, starring Wendell Pierce, is the centerpiece of media chatter because Willy Loman is African American for the first time on Broadway. Pierce was profiled in the Washington Post story, “Wendell Pierce On The Role Of A Lifetime,” and in the 10/3 NY Times story ‘Everyman’To, An Ideal Salesman.’

Off-Broadway, Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN is playing at the Public Theater.

Mary McCleod Bethune

Civil rights architect/educator Mary McCleod Bethune’s life will be immortalized onstage with the premiere of the Off Off play, BETHUNE: OUR BLACK VELVET ROSE, directed by and starring Richarda Abrams, which runs from October 7 -23 at the Theater lab 357 West 36 Street, Manhattan. Mary McCleod Bethune 1875-1955 was born and raised in Jim Crow, South Carolina. Born to shatter glass ceilings, McCleod Bethune was an advisor to American Presidents, a successful businesswoman/ philanthropist, and the founder of the Bethune Cookman College in Florida. She has earned her place in the pantheon of American heroes. Recently, Bethune’s statue was unveiled in the UN Capital’s Statuary Hall, replacing a confederate statue. Visit firstbyfaith.com.

Lori Stokes

TELEVISION: Comic/writer Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show host spot after a successful 7- year stint. No departure date was given………Veteran TV news anchor Lori Stokes, 60, retired last week after more than 20 years at NY stations WABC and Fox newsrooms.

REQUIRED READING: NYS Assembly member from Harlem Inez Dickens dons the cover of Positive Community Magazine; the story is a tribute to her years as a public servant and her family’s legacy in business and politics.

Congressman Adriano Espaillat’s essay “Remedying Past Unlawful Military Intervention: The Case of the Dominican Republic,” published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, highlights his legislation HR2725. How many other congress members from Third World nations will follow his lead?

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Harlem-based consultant/historian, Victoria, can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com.

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