What's Going On
What’s Going On – 9/22
For a fortnight, the world has been mourning Queen Elizabeth II’s death, 96, and what is signals germane to the end of the empire, British royalty, and the Commonwealth. African and Caribbean leaders from countries once colonized by Britain have been reticent about the Queen’s transition. However, most of them attended the Queen’s funeral. In the USA, November 8 is the crucial date that will determine which way the political winds will blow in the US Congress and Senate and State Houses. Will it signal the end of the post-WWII American empire? Many January 6 insurrectionists at the Capitol are on ballots across the nation. Will the Democrats prevail in most races and the country evolves to that more perfect union, or will the Republicans succeed in accelerating America’s descent into a more autocratic entity, with unequal rights for all, a gridlocked Congress, a conservative US Supreme Court, and a return to states rights? Will Texas Governor Abbott and Florida Governor De Santis, who are sending immigrants to sanctuary states, be re-elected? Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams enjoys a slim lead in this week’s poll. Voter restriction laws are going to make election sites war zones.
NEW YORK, NY
HARLEM: The 9/18 African American Day Parade breakfast was the Talk Of The Town. I could not believe all of the elected Democrat A-Listers were in attendance. The Parade Breakfast Committee was chaired by Keith Wright, NY Democrat leader, who pulled diverse interests together. NYS Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado; Mayor Eric Adams; NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams; NYS AG Letitia James, Congress members Adriano Espaillat and Gregory Meeks; Manhattan and Bronx District Attorneys Alvin Braggs and Darcel Clark, respectively; NYS Assembly members Inez Dickens, Al Taylor, and Edward Gibbs; NYS Senators Kevin Parker, Cordell Cleare and Robert Jackson; NYC Council members Gale Brewer and Kristin Richardson Jordan; and Boro Prexies Manhattan’s Mark Levine and Bronx’s Vanessa Gibson. Former NYS Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin made a cameo appearance.
NATIONAL HISPANIC MONTH
The National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, beg many questions. City&State NY just published its 100 Hispanic Power Elite. The lion’s share of elitists is unknown to me, a voracious reader! AOC Alexandria Ocasio Cortez heads the list, which includes Adriano Espaillat, who was #1 on City&StateNY’s Manhattan Power list; Ritchie Torres and Brooklyn Senator Zellnor Myrie, whose parents are Costa Rican, made the cut. Crain’s NY Business Magazine lists NY Hispanic/Latinx power players. The Crain’s and CityState lists bear no resemblance and beg many questions.
NYS introduced a $200 million Small Business Seed Funding Grant Program for early-stage small and micro businesses and for-profit arts and cultural programs impacted by the pandemic. To qualify, a business must have been operating on or after September 1, 2018, and have at least six months of operation at a time when the application is submitted, with earnings between $5K and 1 million. Grants maximum is $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. For application assistance and guidelines, contact Harlem Business Alliance at 212 665.7010.
The HOPE Enterprise Corporation, by way of the HOPE Credit Union, has generated more than $3.6 billion for more than 2 million Black people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee since 1994. The HOPE Credit Union recently pledged $1 billion to improve the lives of the Deep South communities underserved.
The Real Deal, a real estate publication, includes BANKING: New York’s TOP LENDERS charts. The TOP 10 include JP Morgan Chase; Wells Fargo, isn’t that the bank that has an egregious record for refinancing applications for Black homeowners; Citigroup; Barclays’s Capital Real Estate; Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, First Republic Bank; Citizens Banks; and Citibank.
MEDIA UPDATES: Many readers responded to WGO’s reference to NYC/NYS funding of yeshivas last week. Item was based on the NY Times 9/11 investigative report, “Failing Schools, Public Funds: Hasidic Students in NYS Are Deprived of Basic Skills” by Eliza Shapiro and Brian M Rosenthal. Yeshivas are Jewish private schools emphasizing Jewish theology, which have received more than $1 billion in NYS/NYC funds in the past five years. Yeshivas do not conform to NYC/NYS basic requirements in reading and math. Neither Governor Hochul nor Mayor Adams has tried to intervene. When yeshiva students recently took standardized tests, more than 80% failed in reading and math competencies. Imagine comparable scores by NYC Department of Education students!
TV/FILM/THEATER impresario Tyler Perry dons the cover of AARP September issue of the Magazine with a Q&A about his Journey from Poverty to Power……. The Positive Community Magazine’s cover subject is Rev Dr. Michael Waldron: “Reimaging Church, the Magic of Pastor Mike”………… CNN anchor Don Lemon leaves his prime time berth to co-anchor a CNN morning show.
THEATER: Rome Neal presents Ishmael Reed’s “The Conductor,” a play, a virtual reading, in two acts, which throws light on the power of American billionaires who ultimately manage government, tossing aside the will of the electorate, and which is directed by Carla Blank, on October 13 to 16 at the Theater for the New City, located at 155 First Avenue, Manhattan, Performed in life streamed at 8 pm ET with a 10/16 matinee. For reservations, email RomeNeal25@gmail.com.
MUSIC: The Harlem Chamber Players 2022 -2023 season begins next week through March 20. The season opener, September 23/24, will be a string quartet and cellist performance of Franz Schubert’s Quartet Suite and Spiritual Fantasy No12 by Frederick Tillis, And Mendelssohn Octet at the Broadway Presbyterian Church at 601 West 114 Street on Broadway. Manhattan/ For the full HCP calendar, visit HarlemChamberPlayers.org.
A Harlem-based consultant/historian, Victoria, can be reached at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.