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What’s Going On – 2/24/22

Happy Birthday to Anna Maria Horsford

NEW YORK, NY
NY Democrats held a two-day Convention last week in NYC to pick their slate of contenders for the 2022 ballot. Gov Kathy Hochul, AG Letitia James, US Senator Chuck Schumer, Lieut Gov. Brian Benjamin and Comptroller Tom Di Napoli were the delegates’ choices. Congressman Tom Suozzi, a gubernatorial hopeful named his LG running mate, Diana Reyna, former NYC Council member and Deputy Boro Prexy Brooklyn. This week, Brian Benjamin tested COVID positive and NY Republicans want to pull former NY Governor George Pataki out of retirement for the Governor’s race.

Stacey Abrams

THE NATION/WORLD
Republican state houses are working on new guidelines to determine if 15 weeks cut off time for abortion, akin to laws passed in Florida, Arizona and Texas, is appropriate. When will GOP lawmakers remove themselves from American women’s groins and start working on policies that serve the best interests of their populations? Colombia in South America decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks. At least 19 Republican state houses have enacted voter reform legislation that will erode the Black vote. The Democratic National Committee needs to raise monies to identify strong contenders to derail re-election efforts of Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas; Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia; and Ron DeSantis, Florida. Georgia has a competent Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, who ran in 2018 and who lost by a narrow margin, ostensibly stolen/manipulated.

Robert Smith

Black History Month opened with Brian Flores, former NFL African American coach alleging discrimination in NFL teams re: management and franchise ownership. He aired NFL dirty laundry on the eve of the Super Bowl 2022 much to the chagrin of NFL team owners. The Flores revelations were met with unanimous denials. It looked like Flores’ coaching career would meet the same destiny as Colin Kaepernick’s… until last weekend when he was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as senior coach. Rumors abound about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell courting Black billionaire Robert Smith, whose net worth is $7 billion, to consider the purchase of the Colorado Broncos. NFL franchises come with hefty price tags, $2+ billion. In 2019, when Jay-Z decided that it was time to stop taking the knee, I thought that a deal was cut with the NFL to sell Blacks and Kaepernick that team ownership was within reach.

When the COVID19 pandemic arrived two years ago, it has been a disruptive force. It came unannounced with a coterie of variants which still destabilize all attempts at recovery and anything resembling “normalcy.” It has claimed the lives of more than 900,000 Americans, savaged economies and has been anathema to thousands of American entrepreneurs, stimulus monies notwithstanding. The 2022 American midterms are near, and blue state governors, in CA, NY, NJ and CT are relaxing COVID19 protocols because of lessons learned since the November 2021 elections…..and their state’s low COVID positivity numbers. Dems lost the Virginia gubernatorial race and NJ Governor Phil Murphy won a narrow victory. NY Governor Kathy Hochul, up for election, is playing it safe. The Governors bypassed CDC review saying they are following the science, perhaps political science. The blue state governors’ no-mask policy is premature and misguided.

THE WORLD 2022
Putin’s bellicose talk of Russia-backed Ukraine regions confronting the West on 2/21 portends a dark spring/summer for world society. War is inevitable with Russia’s neighbor Ukraine, a David-like sovereign state. At press time, Russia was invading Ukraine. Putin wants to renegotiate the alleged humiliating terms of the end of the Cold War.

ARTS/CULTURE
EDUCATION: Billionaire Robert Smith who paid the 4-year student loan debt for the Morehouse Class of 2020, directs his monies to HBCU students through his Student Freedom Initiative and partner Prudential Financial they will provide $1.8 million in microgrants to HBCU students effective this semester.
NYU named Dr. Michael A. Lindsey new dean of its Silver School of Social Work. A nationally renowned scholar of child and adolescent mental health, Dr. Lindsey is the Social Work’s School first Black Dean.

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Shirlene Blake


Trinidad-born Shirlene Blake joins the NYC Department of Education Office of Arts and Special Project as new Director of Dance. Blake holds a BA in dance from Southern Methodist University and an MA in Dance from Temple. She is currently pursuing Doctoral Studies in Dance Education at Teachers College Columbia University.

THEATER: The Harlem Opera Theater presented a virtual concert tribute to the 150th Anniversary of poet/novelist Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Tribute will livestream online on Smart TV through 12/31. Link: harlemoperatheater.org

TALK: Conversation: Collecting African American Art with African American Gallerist Peg Alston and Dr. Halima Taha, PhD, author of the best seller, “Collecting African American: Works on Paper and Canvas, on February 23 at 5:30 pm at 875 Third Avenue, 52 Street, Lower Level Atrium, Manhattan. Link for virtual viewing Facebook.com/events/1179924169443933

PEOPLE
Piscean Birthday Greetings; Historian Michael Henry Adams; Milton Allimadi, Blackstarnews.com; journalist Flo Anthony; Harry Belafonte: US Olympian Simone Biles: Imhotep Gary Byrd; Ruth Jolina Cogen, Douglas Elliman; Dr. Irene Elmore; entrepreneur Harriette Cole; COMMON; Stephen Curry; Ambassador Harold Doley Jr; NY NAACP President Hazel Dukes, who turns 90 on 3/17; Cheryl Duncan, NY public relations influencer; author Lady Pearl Duncan; Charlayne Hunter Gault; Dr. Jessica Harris 2021 Time Magazine 100 Top Influencers; Frank Hernandez, Tridez Real Estate; Knoelle Higginson, Mama Foundation; Anna Maria Horsford; Daniel Horsford; Vonetta Horsford Jacobs; Quincy Jones, Professor Myrtle Jones; Queen Latifah; Narrative Network News publisher Sylvia Wong Lewis; Community advocate Henrietta Lyles; Author Rosalind McClymont, The Network Journal; Athena Moore, Manhattan Boro President Mark Levine’s Uptown Officer; Trevor Noah; Shaq O’Neal; NYS Senator Kevin Parker; rock star, fashion entrepreneur and expectant mom RIHANNA; Congressman Ritchie Torres; Retired nutritionist Jocelyn Valentine; and Ambassador Andrew Young.

RIP: Educator Yolande Du Bois Irvin, 89, the only grandchild of Black scholar W.E.B. DU BOIS, died in November in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a PhD in Psychology at the University of Colorado and joined the faculty of Xavier University in Louisiana. Wife, mother, grandmother, Dr. Du Bois Irvin is survived by three children, Nina, Arthur, and Jeffrey, five grandchildren and four great grand. Her Family plans a celebration of her life and legacy in February, corresponding with the W.E.B. Du Bois birthday on February 23.

A Harlem-based social media consultant, Victoria can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com

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