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What's Going On

What’s Going On

President- elect Joe Biden continues to announce his nominees for the 15 US Cabinet posts and other senior level support networkers. To date his candidates are eminently qualified and represent diversity. It is well known that the Biden victory formula included a coalition of suburban women, African- American and Latino women, college educated voters regardless of race or ethnicity, and young voters. The following lists Biden choices of Blacks for cabinet and senior level posts.

ECONOMICS: Nigeria-born Adewale (Wally)Adeyemo, an Obama Administration alum and a key negotiator for his Trans Pacific Partnership plan which would have curbed China’s geopolitics ambitions, which was abandoned by Democrats like Hillary Clinton and others in 2016, for Deputy Treasury Secretary. Princeton University economist, Cecilia Rouse, is nominee to Chair the Council of Economic Advisers, a cabinet post level post.

COMMUNICATIONS: The Biden White House communications and press team is all female. Black staffers include 1) Ashley Etienne, former Nancy Pelosi’s communications chief, will be Vice President Harris’ communications director. 2) Karine Jean Pierre, former ubiquitous MSNBC/NBC political analyst and public affairs official, who served as Chief of Staff for VP Kamala Harris has been named principal deputy press secretary. 3) Symone Sanders, Sr. Adviser/Chief spokeswoman for VP elect Kamala Harris.


GEORGIA: The State of Georgia is on everybody’s mind. On January 5, 2021 runoff race in that state will determine the fate of the US Senate and easy execution of the Biden presidential agenda. Neither party holds a majority in the US Senate. The outcome of the runoff determines if America must navigate four more years of McConnell GOP obstructionism or if we can set sail into calmer waters welcoming a speedy economic recovery and elimination of the COVID blight. The two Georgia Democratic candidates for the US Senate are African American Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jewish businessman and media executive Jon Ossoff, who represent American hope and a Democratic Senate majority, which the nation has been lusting since 2016. Send your money and prayers to Messrs. Warnock and Ossoff for a Democrat miracle. There will be 16 days of in person voting. December 7 is registration deadline. If Georgia made a Biden victory possible, it could reprise that Democratic turnout and victory for January 5, 2021 Senate race.

CALIFORNIA: Who replaces Kamala Harris in the US Senate whose term expires in two years? It’s a worrisome choice for Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Does he name a loyalist Latino like Secretary of State Alex Padillo or an African American like Congress members Barbara Lee or Karen Bass. Latinos comprised 1/3 of the state’s 2020 electorate and represent 40% of the state’s population. Governor Newsom may take a more diplomatic route and name eminence grise, like Willie Brown, 82, former California Assembly Speaker to replace Senator Harris.

The Electoral College votes on December 14


NYS Senate Democrats have a 2/3s supermajority with 42 members out of 63 in 2021.after all, enabling it to override a governor’s veto. This will be the largest Senate majority in NYS history.
Same group will have power to draw new district lines in 2022. Both NYS chambers are lead by Black American Democrats: Carl Heastie is NYS Speaker of the Assembly; and Andrea Stewart-Cousins is Senate leader. NYC math teacher, Progressive Democrat Jabar Brisport in NYS Senate elect from Brooklyn’s 25th District. Three incumbent NYS Senators, including Charles Barron, are contender for 2021 NYC City Council races.

FILM: The 27th Annual NY African Film Festival goes virtual, from December 2-6, which showcases feature films and shorts from Nigeria and Sudan. Feature titles include “Khartoum Offside,” about women playing football; “Kadara” a high-intrigue romantic adventure set in Nigeria to win over a beautiful princess; and “Three Thieves,” a mistaken identity comedy about Nigerian friends contracted to pull off a simple theft, and inadvertent complications when a young girl slips into their car. Visit Tickets are $12.

Debra Ann Byrd
as “Othello.”

THEATER: The Harlem Shakespeare Festival in partnership with the National Arts Club present a virtual performance of the world premiere of “Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey,” a solo multimedia theatrical performance by Debra Ann Byrd and directed by Tina Packer, recorded live and streamed on Zoom on Monday, December 14 at 7:30 pm. “Becoming Othello” is a choreopoem memoir about “Byrd’s trial and triumphs with race and the opportunity to perform classical theater. Go to to register for the free online show.

MUSEUM: The Metropolitan Museum of Arts appoints Lavita McMath Turner as Chief Diversity Officer, effective January, 2021. Dr. Turner’s CV boasts more than 15 years in academia serving in civic engagement, equity and inclusion efforts at CUNY’s Stella & Charles Guttman Community College and at Kingsboro Community College; and at the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Turner reports directly to Daniel Weiss, Met President/CEO and will help bring new approaches to the Met’s human resources unit and how it will build, study, and oversee the collections and programs among other priorities.


EDUCATION: On Tuesday, December 8 at 5 pm, the Teachers College Columbia University will host a live panel discussion and Q&A: THE MODERN SCHOOL (TMS): “A Renaissance Education: Mildred L Johnson and the Harlem School She Built.” Johnson, an enterprising African American college coed founded TMS, a Black private school in Harlem, in 1933 to qualify for an education degree. Discussion panelists include Columbia University Teachers College faculty, Dr. Diedre Flowers, Nicole Furlonge, and Ainsley Erickson; Melanie Edwards, educator/TMS founder’s daughter; and Karen D. Taylor, CEO/While We Are Still Here

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