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What’s Going On – 2/3

HAPPY FEBRUARY 2022
To be sure, February will be better than January, which was a very dark month augmented by a Mercury Retrograde. February is the month for celebrations. Some of its tenants include Black History Month; Lunar New Year, the Tiger (1) Super Bowl, 13; Valentine’s Day, 14; Presidents Day, 21. By month’s end, President Biden will nominate a Black woman to the US Supreme Court.

NEW YORK, NY
There are so many moving parts in NY, NY. The Governor is downstate daily. In Albany, the legislators are busy with redistricting chores, a momentous undertaking. They will announce new election district configurations and what NY Primaries will look like this year. It looks like Downstaters will get two additional seats in the Senate. Downstate congress members should be a tad nervous about their future and those who are running against incumbent Governor. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, first Black to head that office, has been under attack by local and national media and high ranking NYC/NYS electeds, most of whom did not read his first-day-on-the-job guidelines to staff in its entirety. Last week, he was summoned to Gov Hochul’s office about the same memo. This week, Bragg and the other four NYC DAs had an audience with Mayor Eric Adams. It is hard to determine if Bragg’s detractors are racists or just politician opportunists.

Hazel Dukes

The current issue of CITY AND STATE NY Magazine includes its 50 OVER 50 List which does not include the usual suspects. Read about the African American leaders who made the cut. They include Hazel Dukes, NYS NAACP; Anthony Wells, President, Social Service Employees Union Local 371; Natasha Cherry-Perez, Community Engagement Manager, NY Charter Schools Association; Sonia Daly, Executive Director Operations, IDNYC, a municipal identification program aimed at allowing undocumented and homeless residents to access social service; Lawrence Hammond, Senior Vice President Director of ACCESS (Acquiring Capital and Capacity For Economic Stability and Sustainability), a $20 million fund; Juanita Holmes, NYPD Chief of Training, who was on short list to be named NYPD Commish by Eric Adams; Christian Hylton, Partner Phillips Nizer, LLP, lawyer specializing in land use; Ida Landers, Sr. Director of Domestic Violence Emergency Shelters, Urban Resource Institute; Kerron Norman, Chief Program Officer, Lutheran Social Services of NY and Darlene Williams, President/CEO Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow.

Eunice Lee

THE NATION
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer made it official that he will retire at the end of this term, in June or July. President Joe Biden has said that his nominee to replace Breyer will be a Black woman. Republican Senators, assorted racists and others are protesting the Biden announcement. The United States has had 115 Supreme Court Justices in its short history. Only two of them were Black, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. President is casting a wide net with as many as 14 Black women candidates. This is a sequel to last week’s Our Time Press cover story. The highly speculated short list of candidates includes 1) Ketanji Brown Jackson, US Court of Appeals, DC, Harvard Law School 2) Leondra Kruger, California Supreme Court, Harvard Law 3) Michelle Childs, Federal District Court, SC. She has support SC Congress members, Senators Tim Scott, Lindsay Graham, and Representative Jim Clyburn. 4) Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, US Circuit Judge, US Court Of Appeals 5) Sherrilyn Ifill, outgoing president, NAACP Legal Defense Fund 6) Eunice Lee, US Court Of Appeals Judge, Second Circuit, Law Yale School 7) Tiffany Cunningham, Federal Court Judge, N.C, Harvard Law School 8) Holly Thomas, Judge 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals, Yale Law School 9) Wilhemina Wright, US District Court, Minnesota 10) Melissa Murray, NYU Law faculty 11) Nancy Abdu, an 11th circuit nominee. Supreme Court watchers argue that women without judicial experience are unlikely candidates. President Biden promises a nominee by February 28.

ARTS AND CULTURE
Black History month began with untoward events. At least 17 historically Black college and university campuses were disrupted with bomb threats since January 31. Former Miami Dolphins head coach African American Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the National Football League, Giants, the Denver Broncos and Dolphins alleging that the sport is “rife with racism.” The Flores claim was delivered on the eve of NFL’S big annual celebration, the Super Bowl on February 13. He has a compelling argument because numbers do not lie. He coaches teams that perform well but has little mobility in the NFL hierarchy.

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THEATER TALK: The Manhattan Theatre Club and the Billie Holiday Theatre company present Black Theatre: Radical Longevity: A Continued Conversation on the role of Black theater in the midst of health racial and economic pandemics with Dr. Michel Eric Dyson, playwright Dominique Morriseau, moderated by Michael Dinwiddie, a virtual event on February 6 at 5 pm. Talk will be streamed live on MHTC and the BHT Facebook pages.

Symone Saunders

TELEVISION: Symone Saunders, former senior adviser and chief spokesperson for US Vice President Kamala Harris, joins the MSNBC network and will host a weekend show across cable and streaming beginning this spring. Saunders worked on the 2020 Biden presidential campaign and looked forward to the coveted White House press secretary job, which was not to be.

Whoopi Goldberg, was suspended for two weeks from co-host chores on THE VIEW TV show for her misinformed remarks about the Nazis and the Jewish holocaust.

Wayne I. Charles, Sr.

ANCESTORS
RIP: Harlem businessman Wayne I. Charles Sr., 68, passed on January 17. Born in North Carolina, he grew up in Harlem. Charles attended NY public schools then earned a BS in Accounting at NYU and an MS in Education at the CCNY He did managerial stints at M&T and Con Edison and was a Borough of Manhattan Community College Adjunct professor. A student of pre Gentrified Harlem, he learned a lot from the large community of Uptown Black entrepreneurs including real estate developer Walter Edwards. Charles started the WIC Group of Companies, an umbrella for his diverse skills and perennial interest in real estate, buying, rehabbing, developing. He is survived by his children Danielle, Wayne Ivory II, Leland, Cherokee, Hannah and his four sisters. Homegoing arrangements: Wake: February 3, 1-4 pm Benta’s Funeral Home, 630 St. Nicholas Avenue. Funeral: February 4, 10 to 11:30 am officiated by Rejoice Ministries, The Church of Healing, at Ephesus SDA Church, 101 West 123 Street, Harlem

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

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