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What’s Going On – 3/18/22

Rihanna, uber pop star, cosmetics/fashion mogul, is considering an Initial Public Offering with a $3 billion valuation for her Savage X Fenty lingerie brand.

THE WORLD/PRE-SPRING
Don’t want to consider the possibility of another World War, which originated in Europe by a megalomaniac. The world has not recovered from the war against COVID19 yet as the world gets ready for the fallout from a containable hot war initiated by Russian aggression against Ukraine. For more than two weeks now, we have not seen any Ukrainians with masks. Moreover, Ukraine is a major food supplier. A media outlet warned. “War In Ukraine is catastrophic for global food supply.”
Last weekend, President Barack Obama tested positive for COVID–the two shots and the booster shot notwithstanding. Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff tested positive for COVID19. COVID surges reported in the United Kingdom, Germany and France and Asia. Why is Pfizer working on approval for a second COVID booster vaccine for people 65-plus years?

BUSINESS MATTERS
MONEY/MONEY The Harlem Entrepreneurial Micro-Grant Initiative, in partnership with BET, the Apollo Theater and the 125th Street Business Improvement District will award 10 businesses and nonprofits, which have been affected by the world health crisis, with $10,000 grants. Applications will be accepted through March 31. Visit Harlem Entrepreneurial Micro-Grant Initiative and email BID125thst@aol.com.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine’s office has partnered with the Hebrew Free Loan Society to offer $2 million in interest-free loans to Manhattan small businesses impacted by the pandemic. HFLS is a non-sectarian lender. For more info, contact Mark Levine’s office at 212-669-8300 or email info@manhattanbp.nyc.gov.

Melba Wilson


Melba Wilson of Melba’s restaurant comfort food fame, located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard Avenue on 114th Street in Harlem, is expanding her brand. She plans to open Melba’s 550 at 550 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey later this year. Today, I get an email for a New York Senator Cordell Cleare re-election fundraiser, set for later this month, at Melba’s on Lenox, located at 161 Lenox Avenue, Harlem, a venue that she booked before the Coronavirus era.

Kenneth Morrison


The Robeson, is the name of a sleek, new 10-story, mixed-used building, located at 407 Lenox Avenue aka Malcolm X Boulevard at 131st Street with 79 rental units. Named after world-renown Black actor/vocalist/activist Paul Robeson, the building will house a church and boasts 7,500 SF of commercial space. Property was developed by African Americans Kenneth Morrison and Harrison Rayford, Lemor Development principals.

Linda Thomas Greenfield

WOMEN IN THE NEWS
African American women are at the forefront of US foreign affairs as the Russian initiated war on Ukraine continues. The Vice President has been liaising with our NATO and EU eminences. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN, must walk a fine line on the matter of Russia aggression at the UN’s General Assembly and Security Council. There were 141 members of the 193-nation General Assembly that voted to condemn the Russian war in Ukraine. Ambassador Greenfield and her boss, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have their work cut out for them. The State Department has key role to play for a ceasefire in the Russian/Ukraine war.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Teresa Clarke’s Africa.com will host a virtual summit, WOMEN HEADS OF STATE INITIATIVE, which will “focus on Africa’s Advancement Agenda -agriculture, manufacturing, economic policies, and climate change – through a gender lens. Held on March 23 at 8 pm NY time, summit participants will include 22 women, who are former and current heads of state, as president or prime minister, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia; Joyce Banda, Malawi; Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius and Namibia Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. Register to attend at virtualeventcenter.africa.com

Rihanna, uber pop star, cosmetics/fashion mogul, is considering an Initial Public Offering with a $3 billion valuation for her Savage X Fenty lingerie brand. Her accountants and lawyers are reportedly working with banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to make it happen this year. What’s next on the IPO radar for Rihanna! Her cosmetics empire?

ARTS/CULTURE
FINE ART: The marble bust “Why Born Enslaved!” was first conceived in 1868 by French sculptor Jean Baptiste Carpeaux. It is the centerpiece of the new Metropolitan Museum exhibition, “FICTIONS OF EMANCIPATION: Carpeaux Recast,” which is an “in-depth look of “Western sculpture in relation to the histories of TransAtlantic Slavery Colonialism and Empire.” The exhibit includes “35 works from the Met’s American and European collections embracing the role Western art played in representing misconceptions of racial differences.” The Met is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and the exhibition runs through March 5, 2023. Visit metmuseum.org

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The New York Historical Society says BLACK DOLLS is a landmark exhibit, which showcases about 120 handmade cloth dolls, made mostly by African American women between 1850 and 1940. It explores the evolution of Blacks in America, through the lens of race, gender and identity, beginning with the antebellum era. Exhibit is supported by the Coby Foundation, the NEA and Carol Sutton Lewis and Bill Lewis and New York Historical Society’s Frederick Douglas Council. Exhibit runs through June 5. Visit nyhistory.org.


Mattel’s Barbie doll family is growing more diverse. In honor of Women’s History Month, two Black women Shonda Rhimes, TV producer/director and writer of shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Scandal” and Black British cosmetics legend Pat McGrath, whose Pat McGrath Labs had a $1 billion valuation about five years ago. Rhimes and McGrath were among 12 global role models whose likenesses joined Barbie doll counters this month.

MEDIA NOTES: Mary J. Blige and Halle Berry are Women’s History Month fifty-something magazine cover subjects. Actress Halle Berry dons the cover of the Feb/March issue of AARP Magazine with a story titled “How Halle Berry Found Her Groove.” Queen of HIPHOP Soul Mary J. Blige dons the cover of the March 13 New York Times Magazine’s The Music Issue, with an illuminating Q&A about her life and “The Songs That Get Us Through It.”

MUSIC: The 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, honoring bassist Stanley Clarke, saxophonist Donald Harrison, drummer Billy Hart and vocalist Cassandra Wilson, will be held, at the San Francisco Jazz Center on March 31, at 7:30pm Pacific Time. For live webcast and radio broadcast info, visit sfjazz.org

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

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