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What's Going On

What’s Going On – 3/10

NEW YORK, NY
A recent New York Daily News cover story read: “City ends vax mandate for indoor activities,” “Students allowed to go mask free in schools” and “Mayor Adams says we can’t sit at home. ” A few days earlier New York State Governor Hochul said that the 5-day office workweek is a thing of the past since COVID arrived. Many large New York City corporate chieftains concur with her. These are mixed messages. Who is telling the truth? Then consider New York City stats and people fearful about public transportation. Who knows what normal is going to look like?

So many NYS electeds are running for re-election. Is Andrew Cuomo staging a comeback? Will he be on NYS ballot? Which office? When the going gets rough or he is staging a comeback? Cuomo heads to Black churches. Last year, he visited Mt. Neboh Baptist in Harlem while his sex harassment scandal unfolded. He later resigned. Last Sunday, he attended service at God’s Battalion of Prayer Pentecostal church in Brooklyn. Is a ballot announcement imminent?

THE NATION
COVID has been downgraded from pandemic to endemic status by everyone save the scientific community. COVID protocols have been relaxed throughout the lower 48. I plan to err on the side of caution and keep my masks when I go out.

Last week, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. Named the Emmett Till Bill, after the 14-year-old Black teenager who was tortured and murdered in 1955, it will be punishable for up to 30 years in prison.

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TEXAS: In last week’s governor’s primary results in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott won handily. As crazy and racist as he is, most of his GOP contenders were running far to his right. Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who ran against Ted Cruz for the US Senate a few years ago, won the Democratic primary vote for governor.

Karen Bass

2022 WOMEN ELECTEDS: 2022 MIDTERMS: Black women in politics. Congress member Karen Bass is running for Los Angeles Mayor. Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia, who lost the race for governor in 2018. Most believe was stolen by current governor Brian Kemp, who was then Georgia secretary of state. Florida Congress member Val Demings eyes the US Senate seat currently occupied by Marco Rubio.

Janai S. Nelson

Janai S. Nelson, a scholar of election law, takes the helm as President and Director- Counsel, at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on March 14. She succeeds Sherrilyn Ifill, the seventh LDF President, who was recently considered as a US Supreme Court Justice nominee.

LAND USE/NY
What was once 282 West 132 Street, the southeast lot on Frederick Douglass Boulevard has been vacant since 2008 and will be developed into an eight-story, 85 foot high building with 52 residential units and commercial space. The lot was purchased by Hillcrest Management in 2015 for almost $15 million.

The 3656 Freedom Tower project, arguably the largest skyscraper in North America, in the tony Hudson Yards area, had to be scuttled. Subject building was to be headquarters for the NAACP and another Black culture museum. Led by Black real estate baron Don Peebles, the project had a lineup of investors that was predominantly Black architecture, developer and financing. Like other proposals submitted to NYC, it did not win City Council approval last year. This is a new year and a new City Council.

BUSINESS MATTERS
Darryl Lelie is the first Black owner of a restaurant on New York’s City Island, a seafood enclave in the Bronx. His SEAFOOD KINGZ 2, located at 634 City Island Avenue, opened on February 26 and serves everything from king crab legs to fried lobster tails.

Cheryl McKissack

Read Crain’s NY Business Magazine issue about 105 Notable Black Leaders, which highlights trailblazers in law, medicine, finance, entertainment, business, engineering and construction. The following is an abbreviated list of the NOTABLES, including Michael Pugh, Carver Federal Savings Bank; Michael Garner, Metropolitan Transit Authority; Larry Scott Blackmon, Fresh Direct VP and The Blackmon Organization Consultants; Cheryl McKissack Daniel, McKissack & McKissack; Leonard “Charlamagne Tha God” McKelvey, The Black Effect Podcast Network: Paisley Demby, Goldman Sachs; Melvina Miller, Association for a Better NY CEO; Jessica Walker, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce CEO and Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn , NYS Assembly and Democratic Brooklyn Party chief.

ARTS AND CULTURE
THEATER: The 110-year old Cort Theatre on NYC’s Great White Way, will be renamed after award-winning theater/film/TV thespian James Earl Jones. The Cort was the venue where Jones made his Broadway debut.

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“PARADISE SQUARE, A NEW MUSICAL” is a story that centers on a Black saloon owner and her Irish American husband who live in lower Manhattan’s mean streets and how their cultures intersect in the early 1860s. The musical opens in preview on March 15 at the Barrymore Theatre on Broadway.

“Emmett Till, A New American Opera” conceived by Clare Coss and composed by Mary D. Watkins premiers in concert performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in Manhattan on March 23. Story item above about Emmett Till Bill.

Danny Simmons

FINE ARTS: The Caribbean Art Fair, CAFA, is back in Barbados in its 12th iteration from March 9 to 23. The 12th edition of the CAFA fine art and performance expo can be viewed in person or virtually. Founded by Anderson Pilgrim, CAFA will showcase work by more than 40 artists from the Caribbean, the USA, Africa and the United Kingdom. Tafa, Danny Simmons, Sadikisha Collier, Ademola Olugebefola, are some of the participating artists. Workshops, panel discussions, concerts and spoken word are on the 2022 CAFA menu. Visit cafafair.com and caribbean.global

FILM: AuntyLand Film Festival unspools March 8 to March 31. The brainchild of New York journalist/filmmaker Sylvia Wong Lewis, AuntyLand Film Festival is a platform for short films, 20 seconds to 20 minutes, by and for diverse women and girls. Cash rewards will be given to outstanding submissions. Visit auntylandfilmfestival.org.

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

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