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What’s Going On – 6/2

JUNE is filled with celebrations. It is African American Music Appreciation Month; Alzheimer’s And Brain Awareness Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month LGBT PRIDE Month and Soul Food Month. It welcomes JUNETEENTH on 19; Father’s Day, 20 and Summer Solstice, 21.

PRIMARIES IN AMERICA
Last week’s primaries in Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas revealed that Trump is losing his Midas Touch with Republican voters. Trump and his followers symbolize a lot of the flaws in American political culture. The past three weeks in America in Buffalo, NY; Uvalde, Texas, and the church in California have been tragic and call attention to the nation reigning in on gun reform, for openers. Last week ended with a former US President greeting gun lovers at the National Rifle Association’s Convention, a few days after a massacre that took the lives of 19 elementary school kids and two teachers. Our nation is in a bad way. It’s in the midst of a nervous breakdown and has to be cured.

What will Americans vote for in November? The right to bear arms and own weapons of mass destruction? Denying a woman’s right to an abortion? Abrogating and diminishing voters’ rights– which is related to the redistricting maps all over the country. I thought that NYS was progressive before I started to understand that a man called a Master just gerrymandered the NY Congressional map, which favors Republicans and resembles a map submitted by a Republican group a few months ago. This reconfiguration of the congressional map translates to fewer NYS representatives. Is this NY or Georgia, Florida and Texas?

Jumaane Williams

NYS POLITICAL MAP. CITYSTATE/NY MAGAZINE published a new list, ALBANY POWER 100. The Political Leaders at the Dawn of the Hochul Era. The following is an abbreviated list of most of the Black elitists. Andrea Stewart- Cousins, Senate Majority Leader, 2; Carl Heastie, Assembly Speaker, 3; Letitia James, 4; Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assembly Majority Leader, 6; George Gresham, 1199 SEIU, 8; NYC Mayor Eric Adams, 11; Dr. Mary Bassett, NYS Health Commissioner, 16; Kyle Bragg, 32BJ SEIU, 21; Damian Williams, US Attorney Southern District, 25; Dr. Lester Young, Jr. Board of Regents Chancellor, 28; Hope Knight, Pres/CEO Empire State Development, 31; Adrienne Harris, Superintendent, State Dept. of Financial Services,34; Camille Joseph, Group VP, Charter Communications, 62; Brooklyn Senator Jabari Brisport, 63; Patrick Jenkins & Associates, 67; Hazel Dukes, President NAACP NYS Conference, 78; State Senator Samra Brouk, 80; Public Advocate and Gubernatorial hopeful Brooklynite Jumaane Williams, 92; and Antonio Delgado, Lieutenant Governor, 97.

Mayor Eric Adams jokingly hinted at his interest in a 2024 presidential run. Why not? It is a tradition for NYC Mayors like Bloomberg, Guiliani and deBlasio. He also put in his bid for NYC to host the 2024 Democratic Convention.

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HARLEM/LAND USE
There is no longer a pause on construction activity in NYC. East and Central Harlem is no exception. The new Studio Museum in Harlem, on West 125 Street, is still under construction as is the building across the street between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards, which will be the National Urban League headquarters and a mixed-use office and residential building. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theater building on Fifth, between 125th and 126th Streets, was demolished and will be developed into a mixed-use building, part residential, and part more expansive home for the National Black Theater. The completion date is 2024.

BUSINESS MATTERS
COMPASS residential real estate tech company is 10 years young and it made the 2022 Fortune 500 List. Compass is the largest independent brokerage in the nation, focusing on helping realtors expand their businesses. It operates an online platform for buying, selling and renting real estate.

The Crain’s NY Business Magazine published its NY Area’s Largest Minority -owned Companies List of 20, based on 2021 revenues. There was only one Black-owned business–the Bronx-based Cooperative Home Care Association Inc., a paraprofessional home care service. It made the list, ranking 12. I don’t know about the accuracy of this Crain’s list. Black construction and development companies enjoyed robust revenues last year. Oftentimes I wonder about the validity of these media lists

ARTS/CULTURE
The 2022 Tonys Awards for excellence in Theater will by held on June 12.
Musicals with Black protagonist have garnered lots of nominations like a “Strange Loop” written by African American Michael R. Jackson, about a Black queer writing a musical about a Black queer; and “MJ” as in the late great Michael “Man In the Mirror “Jackson. Think both Michaels will collect a few Tonys next week.

Audrey Edwards

BOOK TALK: The Viola Davis book, FINDING ME, A MEMOIR, has dominated the NY Times Best Selling book list for three weeks. USA Today says, “Finding Me reads like Davis is sitting down for a one on one about her life warts and all.” An Oprah Book Club pick, Harper’s Bazaar says. It is one of the best books of 2022.

The National Association of Black Journalists will honor Audrey Edwards with an Outstanding Book Award for her edgy memoir, “Black and Free in Paris in the Trump Years,” at its Annual Convention this year in Las Vegas, August 3-7. NABJ holds a 2022 joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

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Yves Michel

NEWSMAKERS
RIP: Businessman and philanthropist Yves Michel passed away on May 25. Born in Haiti, he relocated to New York in 1962, and started driving a cab, for a while before buying his first taxi medallion. He married Harriet Richardson in 1968. The union produced two sons. Buying more medallions, Yves also purchased a building that eventually would house a 200-car garage. Y&H Enterprises was born! The business, a yellow cab fleet, and auto service company, prospered, creating scores of jobs for locals. His philanthropist outreach was Haiti-centric. The family was the centerpiece of his life. He was an American Dreamer.. He is survived by his wife Harriet, sons Christopher and Gregory, daughters-in-law, Valerie and Michelle, and four grandchildren Isabella, Dominique, Luc and Alexandra. Yves Michel’s Homegoing Arrangements: Visitation, Benta’s Funeral Home at 630 St. Nicholas Avenue, June 3, 2-4:30 pm. Memorial Service, The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, Harlem, on Saturday, June 4 at 11 am.

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