What's Going On

What’s Going On – 11/3

NOV 8 VOTE
According to a Black Enterprise essay, “Black Voters Over 50 Will Be Paramount To Who Wins the 2022 Midterm Elections.” Writer Derek Major cites various sources, including AARP stats, Black voter trends, interests, and voter turnout. Americans who are 50 plus are the nation’s largest voting bloc. Black senior voters will be decisive in the US Senate vote. Their interests focus on social security, Medicare, and lower prescription drug costs. Their concerns are rising food and living costs.
About 66% of Black women who are 50 plus believe the US economy is working.
One reason for the optimism is that there are more Black Republicans in the various election races. Does Major know what he is writing about?

Media spent two years speculating about MIDTERMS, and everyone is woefully wrong about election day outcomes. Since 2020, we have listened to political pundits discuss what would happen in 2022. Initially, a GOP victory was inevitable. During 2022 summer, the word was that a Democratic majority would prevail in the two Congressional chambers. The two parties are in a statistical dead heat in most races a week before elections.

Kathy Hochul


The biggest surprise in surveys is what is happening in Blue New York. Is NY about to go Red? Can the Republican Conservative Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Trump ally who voted to overturn election results on January 6 after the Republican riot at the Capitol, who is challenging Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, win? Hochul once enjoyed double-digit poll numbers and is now looking at a 3-4 point lead. Zeldin is hawkish on crime, which the GOP has made a Democratic Party’s weakness. It’s scary.

New Yorkers vote for Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, US Senator, and Congress Reps. NYS Senators, NYS Assembly. Dem incumbents include Kathy Hochul and Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado, Letitia James, Thomas DiNapoli, and Chuck Schumer. Registered voters should know their Congress members and NYS politicos. Vote Yes for the four ballot proposals. Visit nycvotes.org.

Sidney Poitier

ARTS AND CULTURE
FILM: Look for the 2022 documentary SIDNEY about the life of Sidney Poitier, from his early childhood to his Hollywood career and Academy Award. The documentary is an Apple TV+ film directed by Reginald Hudlin and produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Derik Murray in collaboration with the Poitier family. The film will be in limited theater distribution and air on Apple TV+.

The New York-based AuntyLand Film Festival, ALFF, is back for a second year, and the call for submissions is open until January 2023. FESTIVAL offers an extensive menu of digital and in-person screenings of films by women, Blacks, Indigenous, and People of Color.

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Sylvia Wong-Lewis

It includes short films that intersect diverse communities, cultures, and genres: romance, politics, features, and more. The brainchild of filmmaker Sylvia Wong-Lewis, AuntyLand Film Festival, is a Women’s History Month staple from March 8 to 31, 2023. Visit filmfreeway.com/AuntyLandFilmFest.

BOOK TALK: April Ryan, the longest-serving African American White House correspondent, currently affiliated with TheGriot, Byron Allen Black media platform, has a new book, “BLACK WOMEN WILL SAVE THE WORLD: AN ANTHEM,” about her storied life as a journalist, about the current American election cycle and how Black women have always been our saviors.

Nelson Mandela

THEATER: Another ancestor’s life will be immortalized in theater soon. The new production, “MANDELA – A Revolutionary Musical,” opens at the Vic Young Theater in London on December 8. Musical centers on anti-apartheid activist/liberator Nelson Mandela’s life and the 27- year liberation struggle for majority rule in South Africa. The production is made possible by a partnership of myriad players, including Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa, and the Mandela Family, and with NY-based Front Row Productions (“MJ, the Musical,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”) principals Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones.
AWARDS: Theater, film, and TV actress Sheryl Lee Ralph was awarded the Order of Jamaica, the nation’s fourth highest honor. Born in Connecticut, Ralph is a Jamerican who won a 2022 Emmy for her work on TV’s sitcom hit, “Abbott Elementary.”

Ben Crump


Media mogul Byron Allen hosted the Grio Awards Gala 2022, honoring 12 icons and leaders who have impacted the Black community and culture, on 10/23 in Los Angeles. Honorees included Dave Chappelle; Ben Crump; Alysson Feli; Jennifer Hudson; Patti LaBelle; Queen Latifah, Norman Lear, Alena Analeigh McQuarter; Don Peebles; Tyler Perry; Philanthropist Robert F. Smith, and Kenan Thompson. The Gala will air on one of Allen’s media platforms soon.

NEWSMAKERS
RIP: Calvin Butts, III, 73, Sr Pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, died 10/28 after battling pancreatic cancer. Rev. Butts was a leader with many portfolios: faith community, business, education, and politics. An Abyssinian Baptist church clergy for 50 years, he was Senior Pastor for 33 years. He took community engagement and empowerment to new levels. His influence was far-reaching as a faith leader, educator, and force for change. In 1983, he got a Congressional hearing to investigate police brutality in NY, which resulted in Mayor Koch naming a Black NYPD Commissioner. He founded the nonprofit Abyssinian Development Corporation, a source of affordable community housing and education empowerment. Rev. Butts raised more than $1 billion to remake one of America’s most storied Black communities.
A retired President of the NYS University College of Old Westbury, Rev. Butts helped launch the Thurgood Marshall Academy within the NYC DOE; he challenged record companies for foul and offensive language included in their inventory; cigarette companies targeting Blacks to their menthol brands; and many local Black authorities. The Morehouse man loved doing battle for just causes, usually emerging victorious. Rev. Butts served as President of the Harlem YMCA; Africare NYC; and was a member of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. No NY church could compare with an Abyssinian Black funeral homegoing services officiated by Rev. Butts. Rev Butts’ funeral service will be held on Friday, November 4.
A Harlem-based management consultant, Victoria, can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com.

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