By Victoria Horsford
More than 300 local elites attended the annual United Negro College Fund(UNCF) “A Mind Is…Hamptons Summer Gala”, netting $300,000 for its scholarship coffers. Event honorees are denizens from the worlds of entertainment and finance: the 2016 Academy Award Producer Reginald Hudlin; Media mogul Cathy Hughes, Radio One Founder/Chairwoman; and Derek Jones, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor Private Markets. Event sponsors read like a monthly ad schedule for Forbes and Town and Country magazines which was toplined by the Lincoln Motor Company, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Palladium Equity Partners, Combs Enterprises and Moet Hennessy. Staying on message, UNCF Director Dr. Michael Lomax said that it is hard to resist the UNCF mission: access to American colleges for students of color. The guest list, which spanned four generations, included Dr. Janet Bell, Earl Graves, Joyce Mullins Jackson, Lauren Delly, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, Karen Hunter, Cheryl Hill and book publisher Regina Brooks. Nancy Silberkleit’s Easthampton estate and the sun-kissed day were pitch-perfect settings for the UNCF Hamptons outing, a veritable summer pleasure.
Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, Joyce Johnson and Norma Darden co-hosted A Mid-Summer’s Night Social Mixer at Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread bistro, located at 366 West 110th Street. The invitation read gets fortified for the battles ahead and this summer of political, social discontent. A multicultural distaff thing, there were no speeches nor sales pitches, just a lot of savvy gals sitting around talking about everything from the US Presidential hopefuls to global warming and recent holidays to Vietnam and Barcelona. Miss Mamie’s was filled to overflow. Some of the smart set who attended the mixer included Attorneys Gail Wright Sirmans and Joy Vida Jones; Maddy deLone, Innocence Project; Harriette Mandeville; Sarah Kovner, Democratic operative; Irene Elmore; Brette McSweeney, Eleanor’s Legacy; genealogist Ruth Hunt; Rosemary Reed and Maxine Spence.
Group Nduom of Ghana invested $9 million in the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association(ISF), a failing Black-owned Chicago bank. ISF was acquired in May 2016. Ghanaian businessmen reckoned that other foreign ethnic groups come to the rescue of people in their Diaspora, why not Blacks.
The EASCO Boiler Corporation, an African-American-owned, Bronx, NY-based company celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year. Founded by Barbados –born Arlington Leon Eastmond, Sr. in 1926 in Harlem on Lenox at 145th Street before moving to West 142nd Street between Eighth and Bradhurst Avenues where he realized his dream of manufacturing the first Eastmond steel storage tank. Eminent domain made business relocations necessary. The A.L. Eastmond & Sons, Inc. was formed in 1948. His son, Arlington Leon Eastmond, Jr., joined the business and started the old Victor Steel Plant in the Bronx in 1972, which begat EASCO, and manufactured the first Eastmond Federal Boiler. The Eastmond Group, Inc. is under the flagship Eastmond & Sons umbrella. The EASCO Boiler Corporation is a direct descendant of the Eastmond, Sr. business, founded 90 years ago. Today, Eastmond, Jr. is chairman of EASCO, which employs 80 staffers and boasts annual revenues just north of $12 million. He will soon be ready to pass the baton onto the next generation of Eastmonds.
Read the Joel Dreyfuss Washington Post opinion piece, “Only HAITIANS CAN SAVE HAITI”. It refers to little victories like the UN acknowledging that its troops are responsible for the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It refers to larger and darker matters instigated by the USA and France for more than 200 years when the Haitians fought for their emancipation and independence. I think that Dreyfuss is on to a winning solution to Haiti’s monumental problems.
Auditions for Vy Higginsen’s Mama Foundation For The Arts “Gospel for Teens” Program will be held on September 10th and 17th from 1-3 pm at 149 West 126th Street. Sing gospel or R&B songs. Classes begin on October 2nd from 11 to 1. [Call 212.280.1045 or visit mamafoundation.org]
Adenika Olanrewaju, NY Public Library senior publicist assigned to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture during Dr. Khalil Muhammad’s tenure, adds a new position to her CV. She joins the New York Times publicity department.
Birthday greetings to VIRGO the Virgin natives: Sherron Barnes; Angela Bassett; Beyonce; Shawnee Braggs, Catered by Shawnee; Kobe Bryant; Dave Chappelle; Ava DuVernay; Idris Elba; Fern Khan, Bank Street Dean Emerita; Justin Khan; Geoffrey Eaton, Mid-Manhattan NAACP President; Linda Haynes; Taraji P. Henson; Rocky Horsford; Jennifer Hudson; Ruth Hunt; Errol Louis, NY1; Dr. Kanya McGhee, Tree of Life guru; Jada Pinkett; Valerie Simpson; Barbara (B.) Smith; Iyanla Vanzant.
The astrology cognoscenti should know that a retrograde Mercury is in effect from August 30th to September 22nd. Beware of communication glitches!
RIP: Beloved Harlem community matriarch Henrietta Johnson, 106, longtime resident of the Gladys/Lionel Hampton apartment complex in Harlem, died. Born and raised in North Carolina, the widowed Johnson was one of New York City’s oldest residents. A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she had a large family circle of friends which spanned 4 generations.
RIP: Harlemite Gideon Manasseh, 77, died. Born Gerald Shaw in Chicago, Illinois, Gideon was a filmmaker, photographer and educator. A CBS-TV Morning News cameraman for more than 10 years, he aspired to higher posts like cinematographer, which did not materialize. He launched his still photographer career which became lucrative and was the master of the Kodak moments while shooting African-American subjects. A photojournalist, his work was published extensively in most NY Black newspapers.
OUT AND ABOUT
The West Indian Day Parade, a celebration of Caribbean history and culture, will be held on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn on Monday, September 5th, Labor Day.
NY FASHION WEEK is from September 8-15. The NYFW show heads Uptown for the first time with Harlem Fashion Week, which runs from September 7-10, including fashion-centric symposia, receptions, fashion shows at venues from the Harlem State Office Building, Cherie bistro, the Museum of the City of NY and beyond. The Harlem Fashion Week Uptown Satellite is the brainchild of Yvonne Jewnell and Tandra Birkett, a mom/daughter team, themselves principals of the Yvonne Jewnell fashion design company. [Visit harlemfw.com]
West Indian Carnival in Harlem: The nation of Antigua and Barbuda, bitten by the NY West Indian Carnival bug, will host a special Labor Day weekend event, “Antigua Day – Caribbean Splashdown”, on Saturday, September 3rd at 2 pm at the Marcus Garvey Park, along Madison Avenue between its 120th to 124th Street corridor, Harlem USA. The Antigua Day Cultural Festival will showcase some of the nation’s finest musical talents, including Tian Winter, Claudette Peters, Ricardo Drue, Laurena Davis, Supa Mario. The Antigua Day Splashdown 2016 doubles as the official launch of a yearlong international tourism/culture promotion of the 60th Anniversary of the Antigua/Barbuda Carnival on August 8th, 2017. A delegation of Antigua/Barbuda VIPs, headed by Minister of Culture E.P. Chet Greene, will attend the NY Antigua Day event.
THE MID-MANHATTAN BRANCH OF THE NAACP celebrates its 50th Anniversary and the 15th Annual Freedom Fund Luncheon on Saturday, September 10th at Marina Del-Rey, Bronx, NY. Luncheon honorees are Frederic Roze, L’Oreal USA-America President/CEO; Marci McCall, Director, NYS of Health; Paul McIntosh, Wadleigh School for Performing & Visual Arts Librarian; Micki Grant, composer, playwright, actress; and Sylvia White, Mid-Manhattan branch. Luncheon menu includes music by the Warren Daniels Band and dancing. For reservations, call 212.749.2323.
A Harlem-born writer, Victoria Horsford can be reached at email@example.com.