What's Going On

What’s Going On 5/12

SPRINGTIME IN AMERICA

Karine Jean-Pierre

Karine Jean-Pierre, 44, takes the helm as White House Press Secretary on May 15 becoming the first African American and openly gay person to ascend to that role. Don’t know why or how Jen Psaki got the job first. Jean-Pierre has a long history of political activism and action. A Columbia University graduate, her impressive CV reveals that she worked for MoveOn, worked on campaigns for John Edwards, worked in the Obama Administration, and on Joe Biden’s 2020 Presidential campaign. She got her start working with NYC Council members. Her memoir, “Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work and the Promise of America” was a popular bestseller. Like many other political cognoscente, she believes that the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race was stolen from Stacey Abrams. She has a lot on her professional platter this year, an important one for the future of our democracy.


There are lots of Republican primaries across the nation this month. And many political hopefuls supported by Donald Trump are performing well at the polls. In Ohio last week, J.D. Vance, a GOP candidate backed by Trump, won the primary race for US Senator. Author of the memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” Vance once said, “President Trump was taking this country to a dark place.” Now he is his acolyte. Celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, a US Senator hopeful from Pennsylvania as a Republican got the Trump nod.


The 2022 midterms may be more important than the 2020 election. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have any large majority. Redistricting in Republican states is a monster. Perhaps the US Supreme Court’s potential overturning of Roe v. Wade is a gift horse to Democrats.

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NEW YORK, NY
NYS primaries begin next month. State residents do not know what their congressional and senate districts look like after the state’s highest court invalidated Albany’s redistricting lines. An August 23 primary is an August primary.

NY politicos are caught up in semantics etiquette about soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor, Antonio Delgado, whose career I followed since he announced his 2017 candidacy for Congress. The controversy about his Hispanic ancestry. He is African American and Cape Verdean. His name is Portuguese. Cape Verde is a group of Islands off the African west coast. Cape Verde was colonized by the Portuguese. Now an independent nation, it is a part of the African Union. The Official Cape Verde language is Portuguese. Portugal is a Latin country. The language derives from Latin. Learned however, that Latin America means one thing in North and South America but has a more nuanced, historical meaning in Europe. Senor Delgado is Afro Latino. He is not Hispanic, which suggests a relationship with Spain. Looked ups Delgado Caucus affiliations in Congress. He is a Rhodes Scholar who holds an undergrad degree from Colgate and a Harvard Law School degree. He’s even a former rapper and in the Upstate Basketball Hall of Fame. He is with the Black and with the Hispanic Caucuses. Enuf said

Magic Johnson

BLACK ENTERPRISE
Former NBA champion and current serial entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson, reportedly is partnering with a group headed by 76ers co-owner Josh Harris, to bid on the NFL franchise, the Denver Broncos. What happened to billion-dollar media empire CEO Byron Allen’s potential bid for the same team a few months ago? If there is a deal the ballpark figure is $3-4 billion. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been wooing the wealthiest African American Richard Smith to buy into a franchise. I was disappointed when Jay-Z announced that it was time to stop kneeling, referencing Colin Kaepernick. Thought that NFL would soon announce an African American franchise owner. All that we got was the management of halftime at the Super Bowl! Read that Jay-Z and friends were interested in an NFL franchise.

ARTS/CULTURE
THEATER Congrats to 2022 Tony Nominees for excellence in Broadway theater. Broadway season was more inclusive with cast and focused on pieces about Black people. Shows with Black protagonists got a plethora of nominations like “Strange Loop” about a Black gay guy writing a musical about a Black gay guy; “MJ the Musical” about Michael Jackson; “Paradise Square” set in NYC in 1863 during the draft riots; and “Girl From North Country.” Best Play nominations include “Clyde” and “Skeleton Crew. Best Play Revival: “For Colored Girls…”, which closes soon, and “Trouble In Mind.” The Great White Way never looked this Black!!!

FASHION: Harlem Fashion Week hosts “The Art of Style” runway show,” which will feature works by cutting-edge designers, including House of Q by Anthony Mitchell; Renee France Designs; and Malcolm Savage, on May 14 at 7 pm at the Aloft Hotel. Black and white is the dress code for “The Art of Style” show, a veritable feast for the eyes. For reservations, visit Harlem FW- Instagram/Facebook

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James Ijames

LITERATURE: “Fat Ham” by African American playwright James Ijames won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama on May 9. A comedic takeoff of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “Fat Ham” is set in a Southern BBQ restaurant. It’s a story about a Black queer’s discovery of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty. The play opens at NY’s Public Theater this week and is a co-production with the National Black Theatre. It is directed by Saheem Ali.

FILM: A new documentary film, “Black Women in Theatre, New York,” starring theater vets like Kim Weston Moran, Linda Armstrong, Peg Alson, Perry Gaffney, Elizabeth Van Dyke, Petronia Paley, Joyce Sylvester, Elain Graham and Terria Joseph will unspool at its world premiere at the Bombay Theatre, 68-25 Fresh Meadow, Flushing, Queens, on May 23 at 7 pm. A Juney Smith film, “Black Women” was executive produced by actor Glynn Turman.
The premiere of Harlem Film Company’s HFC, new work, “The Patterson: Another Bronx Tale,” set at the eponymous NYCHA building, directed by Bahati Best, which features NBA Hall of Famer Tiny Archibald, will be held at the Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem, on May 17. A panel discussion follows the screening. Visit Harlemfilmcompany.com

Dennis Dillon

TALK: The 13th Annual Pastors and Leaders Prayer Symposium convenes a free virtual event, “How can the Church be an agent of reconciliation in a Post-George Floyd World?”  on May 14, from 9 am to 12 noon. Nine leaders will participate, including Special Guest Speaker Rev. Dr. Clarence Hill, Jr, Antioch Community Church, Oklahoma; Rev. Dr. Samuel Vassel, Church of the Nazarene; Rev. Dennis Dillon, Christian Times; Rev. Dr. Reford Mott, Generations Church and Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Barker, Palmer Institute. To register visit Intercessoryprayerministry.org/APLS

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

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