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What’s Going On -11/11

Jumaane Williams

While Democrats across America did not win all of the seats in play, they fared well in NYC and beyond. Blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans did well in many electoral races. The NYC power configuration resembles its diversity. NYC has Eric Adams, Black mayor-elect and Jumaane Williams, Black Public Advocate, who is second in the NYC governance chain of command. In NYC, the 2022 City Council will boast a women majority, 31 out of the 51 seats in the chamber.
Three of the five NYC boro prexies are people of color, Vanessa Gibson, Bronx; Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn; and Donovan Richards, Queens.
Three of the five NYC District Attorneys are people of color, Alvin Bragg is Manhattan District Attorney-elect. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez ran unopposed on 11/2. Darcel Clark, the Bronx DA, is in her second term, runs again in 2023.
After election day, NY politicos fled to Puerto Rico for the SOMOS gathering intended to heighten awareness of the Latinx electeds and to lay the groundwork for the NY 2022 campaign season. Mayor- elect Eric Adams left PR for a few days of schmoozing in the Dominican Republic. From the DR photo ops, I’d say that Ydanis Rodriguez could be one of Adams’ deputy mayors. Moreover, Latinx will have a major role to play in Mayor Adams’ Administration. Look at who introduced him on election night at victory party, exiting Bronx Boro Prexy Ruben Diaz, Jr. Former NYS Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV also attended SOMOS.
In other parts of America, 11/2 was good for Blacks. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania elected its first Black Mayor, Ed Gainey, a state law maker. Virginians elected the first Black woman Lieutenant Governor, Jamaica-born Winsome Sears.

The cable outlet, Black News Channel, BNC, founded last year, by a group headed by former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, is still undergoing growing pains. BNC reconfigured its prime-time lineup to include anchors Marc Lamont Hill, Attorney Yodit Tewolde, and NY Times columnist Charles Blow.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Meet some of’s Most Influential African American 2021 List ages 25-45. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD, heads the list, formerly with the National Institute of Health who worked with Moderna on the COVID19 vaccination. She joined the Harvard University faculty this year. Other Most Influential in no special order are Tiffany Cross, MSNBC-TV; Marc Lamont Hill, BNC; Wesley Morris, NYTimes; Megan Thee Stallion; Congresswoman Cori Bush, St. Louis, Missouri; Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Boston University; Nikole Hannah-Jones, architect of NY Times supplement “The 1619 Project,” Howard University; and Chadwick Boseman.

Two HBCUs, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University, are recipients of a $13.7 million grant by the Faculty Institutional Recruitment For Sustainable Transformation, FIRST, to create systemic and sustainable culture change to support more extensive health disparities research. Money will be used to hire faculty with research strength in neuroscience and with knowledge of diseases that affect Black Americans today such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

NY billionaire Shawn Carter takes on joblessness. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partnered with the Reform Alliance Foundation to co-host the first TEAM ROC NY Job Fair, at Madison Square Garden on November 18, from 9 – 5 pm. The Job Fair’s target audience is New York’s underserved communities, single moms, previously incarcerated, and other disadvantaged people. Participating companies include Lowes, Amazon, Foot Locker, Zara, VICE, Madison Square Garden, Live Nation, the 40-40 Club. Visit

DANCE: Complexion Contemporary Ballet opens its 27th Season with live performances at the Joyce Theater, Manhattan, November 16-28. The company presents the world premiere of SNATCHED BACK FROM The Edges, a chronicle of our challenging times with a soundtrack that runs the gamut from Beethoven to Jessye Norman to Jon Batiste, during its first week. It also includes last season’s hit ballet LOVE ROCKS, a full company piece set to the works of Lenny Kravitz. The company presents “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” a suite of repertory favorites and Love Rocks.

Dwight Rhoden

Founded in 1994 by African Americans, master choreographer Dwight Rhoden and the legendary Desmond Richardson, COMPLEXIONS was conceived with a singular approach to reinventing dance through a mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, COMPLEXIONS is a world renown brand. Visit

THEATER: October 20 was the world premiere of the much anticipated GET UP, STAND UP: THE BOB MARLEY MUSICAL, at the Lyric Theatre in London, England. Nigeria-born Arinze Kene portrays the global reggae eminence. The musical opened to great reviews: and the show has been extended to September 2022. It may be a while before it gets to Broadway. Tentative NY opening date is Fall 2022.
BOOKS: Memoirs about African Americans are flooding the book publishing market, not the least of which is WILL, the story about megawatt celeb Will Smith, co-written with Mark Manson, a best-seller personal growth author. Book chronicles his life from Philadelphia where his life as a HIPHOP denizen began, to TV sitcom stardom in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to movie stardom, beginning with “Six Degrees of Separation.” Memoir covers domestic life, growing up in a middle class home with Daddio and Mom Mom, his affectionate terms for his parents, his two marriages and his time parenting, a work still in progress. His rise to fame seems to be a mix of good timing, good management and the law of serendipity at work in overtime.


HARLEM RESTAURANT WEEK is back from November 7 to 21. Best Harlem eats for $10 and meal deals are higher. Visit

The Yale McMillan Center Council on African Studies will host two conversations: “From Exile to Government: The Invention of New Women At Zimbabwe’s Independence” on November 10 @ 4:30 pm and “Addressing Democracy Decline in West Africa” with Mohamad Ibn Chambas, former ECOWAS President, Juldah Jalloh, Sierra Leone VP, as keynote speakers with Yale scholars/panelists, on November 11 @ 12:30 pm. Registration is required bit/ly/3Ec2z9. Suspect that this conference was planned before the East Coast of Africa – Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia – started to explode.

Nick Perry

President Joe Biden nominated NYS law maker Nick Perry for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Jamaica. Veteran NYS Assemblyman since 1992, Perry represents Brooklyn 58th district, which encompasses East Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville. When confirmed, he will be the first Jamaica-born US Ambassador to Jamaica.

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