For a fortnight, the world has mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II, 96, and what signals the end of the Empire, British royalty and the Commonwealth. African and Caribbean leaders in countries formerly colonized by Britain have been reluctant to the Queen’s transition. However, most of them attended the Queen’s funeral. In the United States, November 8 is the crucial date that will determine which way the political winds blow through the US Congress, Senate and State Houses. Will he sign the end of the post-war American empire? Many Jan. 6 insurgents on Capitol Hill are on the ballots across the country. Will the Democrats prevail in most races and will the country evolve into this more perfect union, or will the Republicans succeed in accelerating America’s descent into a more autocratic entity, with unequal rights for all, a paralyzed Congress, a conservative US Supreme Court and a return to states’ rights? Will Texas Governor Abbott and Florida Governor De Santis, who send immigrants to sanctuary states, be re-elected? Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams enjoys a slim lead in this week’s poll. Voter restriction laws will turn election sites into war zones.
NEW YORK, NY
HARLEM: The September 18 African American Day Parade breakfast was the Talk Of The Town. I couldn’t believe all the elected Democratic A-Listers were in attendance. The Parade Breakfast Committee was chaired by New York Democratic leader Keith Wright, who brought together diverse interests. New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado; Mayor Eric Adams; Adrienne Adams, NYC Board Chair; NYS AG Letitia James, Congressmen Adriano Espaillat and Gregory Meeks; Manhattan and Bronx District Attorneys Alvin Braggs and Darcel Clark, respectively; Inez Dickens, Al Taylor and Edward Gibbs, NYS Assembly members; NYS Senators Kevin Parker, Cordell Cleare and Robert Jackson; NYC Council members Gale Brewer and Kristin Richardson Jordan; and Mark Levine of Boro Prexies Manhattan and Vanessa Gibson of the Bronx. Former NYS Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin made an appearance.
NATIONAL HISPANIC MONTH
National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, raises many questions. City&State NY has just released its 100 Hispanic Power Elite. The lion’s share of elitists is unknown to me, voracious reader! AOC Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tops the list, which includes Adriano Espaillat, who was No. 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 New York’s Hispanic/Latinx Power Actors. Crain’s and CityState’s lists are not alike and raise many questions.
NYS has introduced a $200 million Small Business Seed Funding Grant program for small and micro start-ups and for-profit arts and culture programs impacted by the pandemic. To be eligible, a business must have been in operation on or after September 1, 2018 and be at least six months in business at the time the application is submitted, with revenues between $5,000 and $1 million. Maximum grants are $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. For assistance and application guidelines, contact Harlem Business Alliance at 212 665.7010.
HOPE Enterprise Corporation, through 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. HOPE Credit Union recently pledged $1 billion to improve the lives of underserved communities in the Deep South.
The Real Deal, a real estate publication, includes BANKING: New York’s TOP LENDERS. The TOP 10 includes JP Morgan Chase; Isn’t Wells Fargo the bank with a glaring record of black homeowner refinance requests; Citigroup; Barclays Capital Real Estate; Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, First Republic Bank; Citizen Banks; and Citibank.
MEDIA UPDATES: Many readers responded last week to WGO’s reference to NYC/NYS funding yeshivas. The article 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 private Jewish schools with an emphasis on Jewish theology, which have received over $1 billion in NYS/NYC funds over the past five years. Yeshivas do not meet basic NYC/NYS requirements for reading and math. Neither Governor Hochul nor Mayor Adams attempted to intervene. When yeshiva students recently took standardized tests, more than 80 percent failed in reading and math. Imagine comparable scores by NYC Department of Education students!
TV/FILM/THEATER impresario Tyler Perry graces the cover of AARP’s September issue with a Q&A on his journey from poverty to power……. Positive Community Magazine cover story is Reverend Michael Waldron: “Reimaging Church, the Magic of Pastor Mike”………… CNN anchor Don Lemon steps down from prime time to co-host a morning show from CNN.
THEATER: Rome Neal presents Ishmael Reed’s ‘The Conductor’, a play, virtual reading, in two acts, which highlights the power of American billionaires who ultimately run the government, ignoring the will of the government electorate, and which is directed by Carla Blank, from October 13-16 at the Theater for the New City, located at 155 First Avenue, Manhattan, performed in streaming life at 8 p.m. ET with a 10/16 matinee. For reservations, email [email protected]
MUSIC: The Harlem Chamber Players 2022-2023 season begins next week through March 20. The season opener, September 23-24, will be a performance for string quartet and cellist of Franz Schubert’s quartet suite and Frederick Tillis’ Spiritual Fantasy No12, And Mendelssohn Octet at the Broadway Presbyterian Church in 601 West 114 St on Broadway. Manhattan/ For the complete HCP schedule, visit HarlemChamberPlayers.org.
A Harlem, Victoria-based consultant/historian can be reached at [email protected]