What’s Going On
September is back-to-school month. It is Caribbean/East Coast USA hurricane season and the UN General Assembly convenes its new session. It is New York Fashion Week (9/6-14) and Harlem Fashion Week (9/15-19). The National Football League season begins, as does the autumnal equinox! Hurricane Dorian has already claimed 5 lives in the Bahamas. Stateside, Florida, North and South Carolina are preparing for heavy flooding, whether or not Dorian touches down.
FILM/TALK: Margaret Troupe’s Harlem Arts Salon hosts a discussion with filmmaker Stanley Nelson, whose latest bio film is, “MILES DAVIS: Birth of The Cool,” and with Columbia School of Journalism Professor Patricia Bosworth, who will share photos of Miles in 1955, taken by her late husband Tom Palumbo. The salon is based at 1925 Seventh Avenue, Suite 7L, and will be held on September 9 at 7:30 pm. Food and wine will be served. Registration is necessary. [Call 212.749.7771 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org]
BOOK NOTES: Edwidge Danticat’s new book, “EVERYTHING INSIDE,” is a collection of short stories about life’s divine comedy and ironies, which skews mostly to female protagonists with ties to Haiti. Stories center on life in Haiti and its Diaspora, written with love and compassion by one of its most celebrated native daughters. It is poignant and insightful with stories about love, pain, the whole damn thing for Haitians through the Danticat memory lens.
College professor and film historian Donald Bogle completed a newly published book, “HOLLYWOOD BLACK: The Stars, The Films, The Filmmakers,” which includes a foreword by John Singleton. “HOLLYWOOD BLACK” covers the history of Blacks in the film industry, from “Birth of a Nation” to “Black Panther.” The exhaustively researched book navigates the labyrinthine Hollywood and indie film terrain. An excellent analyst, Bogle talks about “Do the Right Thing,” “Boys N’ The Hood,” the “Madea” franchise and “Moonlight.” And that’s just for openers. His first book, “Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks,” is a classic which should be prominently displayed in homes and public libraries.
Javaid Khan was named Head of the Middle Division of Horace Mann, which is one of New York City’s premier private schools. A Mann Class of 1992 graduate, Khan’s previous jobs include 4 years as the Head of the Upper School at Bank Street, after serving as the Director of Diversity at Poly Prep Country Day School. A Bank Street alum grades 1-8, Khan has a professional proclivity for returning to alma maters. An English teacher before serving in administrative education positions, he was a faculty member of the NYSAID Experienced Teachers Institute.
NYC public schools and diversity are not being taken seriously. Why is the NYC public school system the most segregated one in the USA? School systems are toying with busing again, which is a viable solution. We should start with more money and better teachers in the schools attended by Black and Latino students in NYC. The NYC Department of Education policymakers need to pull a few pages from Professor Ibram X. Kendi’s book, “HOW TO BE ANTIRACIST,” includes numerous solutions to the disparities in education between white and nonwhite students. Book debuted at #4 on the 9/1 New York Times best-seller list.
The fourth campus of the revered University of the West Indies (UWI) opens on September 16 in Antigua-Barbuda. Based in Antigua, the new UWI addition will be identified as the Five Islands Campus. Its first class will consist of 800 students, most of whom are registered in Levels 1 and 2 of the UWI programs. Antigua joins the three sister UWI campuses, located in Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago and Barbados, and becomes a major Anglophone Caribbean education destination.
Kanye West wants to be the “Henry Ford of Real Estate,” building “affordable housing” as well as explore his interest in urban design. His real estate track record to date is good for a novice. He and Kim paid $9 million for their Bel Air home in 2013 and sold it for $17.8M in 2017. In 2014, they paid $20 million for their current digs in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles, with a current guestimated value of $60 million. Kanye has constructed dome-structured buildings on his property, which were not code-compliant. He has been ordered to dismantle them. Real estate investment is a necessity for high net worth denizens. Last year, WGO reported that Queen Latifah invested a few million into a NJ- based affordable housing complex.
Actress Keisha Knight-Pulliam partners with Arian Simone to launch a $5 million Venture Capital Fund to support start-up businesses owned by women of color. Keisha Pulliam is the erstwhile “Rudy Huxtable” of the “Cosby Show,” and entrepreneur Arian Simone wrote best-seller books like “My Fabulous & Fearless Journey: From Homeless to Hollywood.” The funds targeted to Black women proliferate. Upstart Black businesses is the first step in combating income disparities between Blacks and whites.
The syndicated talk show, “TAMRON HALL,” debuts on WABC-TV in New York on Monday, September 9 at 10 am. Isn’t that the same time slot of the syndicated “The Wendy Williams Show’s” 11th season which begins on September 16 at its Fox-TV berth in NY? Leave it to media to keep TV interesting with two Black women rivaling for Nielson credits.
HARLEM FASHION WEEK, founded and curated by African-American mom/daughter team Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell, will launch its 7th Season on September 15-19, and celebrating the Harlem Renaissance Centennial they will host an Opening Night Charity Gala and Awards ceremony honoring fashionistas Misa Hylton and Geraldine Ross, as well as Harlem eminences Vy Higginsen, Mama Foundation of the Arts; Tony Rogers, Harlem Week co-founder; Jackie Row-Adams, Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E; Athena Moore, Northern Manhattan Director of the Manhattan Boro President’s Office; the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the Harlem Police Athletic League. [Visit HarlemFW.com]
The 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly opens on September 17. The UNGA General Debate, which permits heads of state of UN member states to address the group, is on September 24-30. That period transforms New York City into the planet’s most cosmopolitan city during the time. Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN was elected President of the General Assembly in June. Ambassadors of UN member nations host lavish parties and receptions to promote business opportunities and attract investors to their nation. The Africa America Institute hosts its big gala during the General Assembly session. AAI Gala will be held at the Museum of Natural History on September 24.