NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NYC: Eric Adams will be sworn in as the 110th Mayor of NYC on January 1 and walks into a lion’s den of challenges, corona virus/variants and vaccinations; economy resurgence; gun violence; a public school system in disarray; food insecurities; affordable housing, and the criminal justice system in disrepair. We wait with eager anticipation the Adams’ correctives and dream team. Will Phil Banks, retired NYPD Chief of Department, be named Public Safety deputy mayor? His brother Dr. David Banks, is on Adams’ short list for Education Chancellor. Political pundits are not sure about who emerges as NYC City Council Speaker.
NYS: According to a recent Siena College poll, Governor Kathy Hochul leads the crowded field of 2022 Gubernatorial contenders with 36%. Letitia James comes in second with 18% and Jumaane Williams with 10%. Poll reflected that NYC Mayor de Blasio, who may run for Governor is disliked by 70% of statewide voters. Economic opportunity and crime are major concerns of people polled.
Disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo is weighing victory opportunities and is looking at the AG race.
THE NATION: We end the second year of this decade with promise and hope. The Democrats must hold their majorities in Congress and the US Senate if President Biden’s agenda is to have a shelf life. In 2021, the DC Democrats, with reluctant bipartisan help, accomplished a new stimulus package. They passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill which benefits the nation. They anticipate the passage of Biden’s BUILD BACK BETTER, social and environment initiative by year’s end, a plan which will impact and stimulate national growth and development. Dems are to be commended for their aggressive COVID containment protocols.
The Democratic majority failed to get a voting rights bill or to manage gun reform, despite the national epidemic of school shootings and carnage.
The good news out of Georgia last week is that Democrat Stacey Abrams will be a 2022 candidate for Governor opposite incumbent Republican Brian Kemp, who narrowly defeated her in a questionable 2018 election. Last year, Georgia went from a red to a blue state thanks to Abrams political activism. In 2021 Kemp and the legislature introduces voter repression laws, designed to dilute Black votes.
Since Omicron, the last coronavirus variant arrived stateside, it has been the best motivation for Americans to get the booster shots. The anti-vaxxers remain adamant. According to CDC stats, nearly 60% of US population is fully vaccinated. About 70% have had one dose with near universal coverage among the 65+ age demographic.
Last week, NYC launched the nation’s first safe injection site for supervised drug injections with medical professionals present. Opened these sites in response to overdose death rates in NY and nationally. nation. More than 93,00 people died in the US from drug overdoses in 2020. These sites are located in East Harlem and Washington Heights, Manhattan. More than 15 lives have been saved by 12/7
HAITI: Nothing has changed in the first Black republic in the New World. The nation has been reduced to a failed state. Two of the 17 missionaries abducted a few months ago were freed. Read 12/5 New York Times Opinion piece, THE US IS HINDERING OUR PLAN TO SAVE HAITI, by Monique Clesca, a Port-au Prince based journalist, former UN official and member of the Coalition to Search for a Haitian Solution to the Crisis.
BARBADOS, that easternmost Caribbean Island, held double celebrations on November 30, 2021, which is the nation’s 55th Independence Anniversary Day from Great Britain, and colonial rule, and which was the day that it formally became a republic. Queen Elizabeth is no longer that nation’s head of state. She has been replaced by African-Caribbean local, Dame Sandra Mason, who was elected Barbados President. Pomp and circumstance dominated the proceedings, which were attended by Prince Charles and Bajan native, RIHANNA Fenty, billionaire/philanthropist, who was named a National Hero.
EUROPE: Will the world greet 2022 with a Russian invasion of Ukraine? Russia has mobilized more than 90,000 troops along its border with its western neighbor, Ukraine. Invasion, war…..not now! Europe says that it will present a united front on Ukraine.
ARTS & CULTURE
FINE ARTS: Visit African American photographer Carrie Weems’ exhibit, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, a multi-work, large-scale installation about “the pageantry and circus-like quality of contemporary American political life” especially during the past year, at the Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan, through December 31.
James Van Der Zee Photographs: A Portrait of Harlem, focused on the 20s, 30s, concurrent with the Harlem Renaissance is a new exhibit housed at the The National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C. through May 30.
BOOKS: The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, a CUNY City University of NY campus, hosts its 16th Annual National Black Writers Conference, March 30 to April 2. Scholars, literary professionals, students, and the public will participate in the virtual Conference themed “The Beautiful Struggle: Black Writers Lighting the Way.” Founded in 2002 by Dr. Brenda Greene, the Center for Black Literature and the NBWC is one of the most coveted events for literary lions. Poet Tracy K. Smith: author Jacqueline Woodson; journalist Herb Boyd; and scholar Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. are the 2022 NBWC honorees. The Call For Papers (Dates and Guidelines) deadline is January 7 at email@example.com. Visit centerforblackliterature.org.
DANCE: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual season began last week with live performances through December 16 at the NYC Center. The season, includes two stage premieres by Theater’s creative director Robert Battle and by Jamar Roberts. Visit nyccenter.org.
Robin Williams’ Uptown Dance Academy will host its 26th Annual Black Nutcracker Holiday show, at the Oberia Dempsey Center, located at 127 West 127 Street, Harlem, on Friday, December 17 at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm; 3:30 pm. Visit uptowndanceacademy.com
FASHION: Harlem Fashion Week co-founder fashionista Yvonne Jewnell hosts an Art of Style Holiday Fashion Event, at the Aloft Harlem Hotel, on Saturday, December 11 at 6 pm. Registration is necessary to attend the runway show, network, access vendor space. Visit HarlemFW.com
BUSINESS: RESURGENCE 2022 is a year-long Black Church/Black Business Conference Project in collaboration with Rev. Dennis Dillon’s NY Christian Times and community-based organizations such as NYC Small Business Service Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement. Conference will kickoff at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 303, 21 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, on December 16, 8 am to 3:30 pm and will include the 30th Anniversary celebration of the NY Christian Times’ Clergy/Corporate Awards Lunch at 1:30 pm. Conference admission is free.