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What’s Going On – 9/30

Kathy Hochul

In attempt to stem the spread of COVID19 and the Delta variant which have claimed so many lives, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul have vaccine mandates in place. Many essential workers in public education and at health care facilities are vaccine averse and are prepared to lose their jobs. Additionally, those people will not be able to collect unemployed insurance. In other states, many anti vaxxers changed their minds once the reality of salary interruption set in. Hopefully, NY anti vaxxers will change their minds. City cannot deal with work shortages as it transitions back to some sort of workplace normalcy.

Manhattan Democrats elected Central Harlem denizen Cordell Cleare to run on its line for the 30th District New York State Senate seat recently vacated by NYS Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. Cleare was running against about 13 Democrats for the coveted law maker post. A community leader for more than 20 years, Cleare has been a district leader and served on the Community Board and as the Chief of Staff to NYS Senator Bill Perkins. The 30th District encompasses Harlem – East Central and West – and parts of the Upper West Side.

Gayle Jones

BOOK NOTES: The reclusive Gayle Jones is writing again. Her new novel PALMARES is the subject of considerable media interest. Set in 17th Century Brazil the story centers on a coming-of-age, enslaved Black girl who escapes from a plantation and settles at Palmares, a fugitive slave colony, which existed for nearly a century and which is well documented by historians. Jones’ novels “Corregidora,” “Eva’s Man,” and “The Healing” focus on Black women in the New World and how they process race, sex desire, trauma, and history. She was quite the literary lioness in the 70s. Read the 9/26 NY Times Magazine essay “She Changed Black Literature Forever. Then She Disappeared: In Search of Gayle Jones Whose New Novel Breaks 22 years of Silence,” by Imani Perry.

Heather McGhee

Black authors who made the 2021National Book Awards Long List of 10 best non-fiction book titles: Hanif Abdul Raqib, “A little Devil In America; Notes In Definition of Black Performances;” Heather McGhee, “The Sum Of Us: What Racism Cost Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together;” Clinton Smith, “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With The History of Slaves;” and Deborah Willis, “The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship.”
FILM: The 59th Annual NY Film Festival, September 24 to October 10, opened with the movie “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” shot in black and white which stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in a re-working of Shakespeare classic set in medieval Scotland.

MUSIC: Vy Higginsen’s Mama Foundation has scholarships for two of its most popular Programs, which target promising vocalists, MAMA GOSPEL FOR TEENS, age demographic 11-19 years old and MAMA WEDNESDAY SINGS, for adults age 20+. Teens apply on Saturdays, starting October 2, from 11 am to 1 pm. Adults apply on Wednesdays, starting October 6, from 7 pm to 9 pm. Where: 149 West 126 Street, Harlem. Visit or call 212.280.1045.

The Sarah Dash Homegoing Service will be held on Saturday, October 2 at the War Memorial Building, located at One Memorial Drive, Trenton, New Jersey. Viewing; from 9 am to 11 am. Service from 11 am to 2 pm. Dash was a founding member of 70s girl group LaBelle.

Colson Whitehead

The 16th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival is a hybrid literary event with live and virtual programs, held September 26 to October 4, at multiple locations in Brooklyn. More than 140 writers and publishers from all over the world will participate, including Walter Mosley, Heather McGhee, Joyce Carol Oates, Cornel West and Colson Whitehead. Festival is New York City’s largest free literary event. Visit
The African Restaurant Week Festival will be held from October 9 to 10, from 12 noon to 7 pm at Hillel Plaza, Flatbush Junction, Brooklyn, NY. The Mini Fest is a celebration of African/Black Diaspora cuisine and culture. Visit or call 646.643.6261.

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