By Victoria Horsford

 NEW YORK CITY

 The 5/29 NY Sunday Times news section cover story,  “Dreams Stall as City’s Engine of Mobility Sputters: Woes at CUNY Mirror a Trend in Higher Education,” is a disturbing account of public college culture.  the essay gives a laundry list of woes, not the least of which is the ongoing political feud between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo.   Class overcrowding, adjuncts overseeing classrooms, and some CUNY schools can lose accreditation this year.  Opened in 1847, what is now the City University of NY was tuition free system until 1976.  It was often known as the poor man’s Harvard.

 

The 5/29  NY Times Sunday Review opinion piece  THE END OF BLACK HARLEM by agent provocateur Michael Henry Adams, is a good  polemical read  for students who follow  the intersections of  preservation, culture,  politics and gentrification. Adams wrote the meticulously researched book, HARLEM: LOST AND FOUND.

 

The Brooklyn Community Services,  BCS, organization celebrates its 150th Anniversary at a kick-off Gala,  on June 6,  at the Brooklyn Marriott.  The BCS  Benefit  honorees are philanthropists Charles J and Irene Hamm; Chirlane McCray, NYC First Lady;  Forest City Ratner Companies;  Lanetta Darlington; and Ellen Fine Levine, BCS Vice Chair.  The BCS  works with low-income communities and promotes economic self sufficiency.  Visit  wearebcs.org.

 

CARIBBEAN AMERICANS

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. The following is a Caribbean-American WHO’S WHO directory.

LAW:   Franklyn Hernandez, Jr; Adrienne Lopez; Afua Mensah; Melanie Okpaku; Ernst Perodin;  Michele Rodney;   California AG  Kamala Harris; Nathanael Wright

MEDICINE/HEALTH:  Dr. Michelle Alexander,  Dr. Samuel Daniel, Dr. John Mitchell, Eddie Mandeville,   Dr. Cheryl Smith, Dr. Kevin Martin Roslyn Woods Cabbagestalk, RN; Joycelyn Valentine, nutritionist

 EDUCATION:  Dr. Lorraine Monroe; Fern Khan, dean emeritus Bank Street; Professor Carole Boyce Davies,  Professor Clarence Jones,   Wanda Ballard Wingfield;  Carrie Simpson, Kenneth Thomson.

ARTS/CULTURE:   Joseph Bethune;  Bette Byer;  Clifton Davis; Pearl Duncan;   Joy Elliott; Melanie Edwards;   Vy Higginsen, Anna Maria Horsford;  Queen Latifa; Debra Lee, BET;  Iyaba Ibo Mandingo; Nia Long;   Sharon Lopez, Nia Long, Hakim Mutlaq;  Anderson Pilgrim;  Jada Pinkett Smith;  Voza Rivers;  Eric Tait, Ramona Wall, Kerry Washington; Randy Weston.

CORPORATE AMERICA: Ursula Burns, Xerox Chairman/CEO; George Hulse, Healthfirst; Franklyn Thomas, Ford Foundation and BedStuy Restoration.

ENTREPRENEURS:  Jason Benta,  Benta’s Funeral Home;  Laurent Delly, IDEACOIL, IT company and real estate;    Bryan Benjamin, Genesis Companies, real estate;  Al Cunningham, real estate;  Eugene Giscombe Real Estate; Earl Graves, Black Enterprise;  Lowell  Hawthorne, Golden Krust;  Frank Hernandez, Tridez, Robert Horsford, Apex Building Co; Maurice Grey, Edward Sisters Realty;  Garry Johnson;  Paula Walker Madison whose family business is  Williams Group Holdings, LLC;  Roy Miller, Jamerica;   Charles Richardson; Alyah Sidberry, Cove Lounge;  Karen Soltau, real estate; Yvonne Stafford Real Estate.

MEDIA:    Rushell Boone, NY1;  David Greaves, Our Time Press, Brittany King;  Karl and Faye Rodney and Karlisa Rodney,  NY Carib News; Sylvia Wong Lewis;  Errol Louis, NY1;  Lester Holt, NBC;   Joy Reid, MSNBC, Sheryl Huggins Salamon; Jean Wells, Positive Community Magazine;  Constance White

POLITICS: Nicole Benjamin, Cordell Cleare, Leroy Comrie, Denny Farrell,  NYS Assembly Speaker  Carl Heastie, David Paterson  Basil Smikle,   Roy Paul,  Jumanne Williams,  Charlie Rangel, Keith Wright,  Mathieu Eugene,  Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, Ny Whitaker

GOVT/COMMUNITY:  Rev.  Jacques DeGraff;  Rev. Dennis Dillon;  Chirlane McCray, Stanley McIntosh,  Lloyd Williams, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce;  Dr. Keith Taylor, PhD;  Susan Taylor;  Rev. Dr. Michael Walrond

 

EDUCATION UPDATES

 

The NY Urban League’s (NYUL ) NEXT Academy  invites 8th graders and their parents to  its  Summer STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Program.   The Next Academy is a community STEM engagement program composed of two summer learning academies with a parent and student track.  Courses will be held at NYUL office at 204 West 136 Street Harlem.  Students begin classes on July 11 and run for 6 weeks,. Courses for parents begin on July 18.  Application deadline is June 10.  Visit www.nyul.org/next or call 212,926.8000, X136.

 

The UNCF  “A Mind Is …..Hampton’s Summer Benefit” will be held on Saturday,  August 6  from  6-9 pm. Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, Hudlin Entertainment President; Cathy Hughes, Radio One, Inc.;  and Dereck Jones,  managing director GCM Grosvenor Private Markets are the Gala honorees  The evening unfolds with a jazz combo, a fashion show, networking.  The United Negro College Fund is the nation’s largest and most effective “minority education” organization having raised more than $4.5 billion since it was founded in 1944.

 

BLACK MUSIC MONTH

 The Uptown Dance Academy, UDA,  hosts its 21st Anniversary Gala,  honoring its  benefactor PRINCE, at the Hostos  Center for Arts and Culture,  at 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx,  on June 3, 7:30-9:30 pm.  Based in East Harlem, the UDA was founded by dancer, Ms. Robin Williams, who is its artistic director.   Conceived as a dance school for urban youth,  it offers classes in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, Hiphop, and African dance forms. Music man, PRINCE  Roger Nelson  donated $250,000 to UDA.  Visit uptowndanceacademy.com, call 917.202.1601.

 

The Duke Ellington Center For the Arts revives Ellington’s First Sacred Concert on its 50th Anniversary,  at the Grace Congregational Church, located at 310 West 139 Street, Harlem,  on June 4/5.  The sacred concerts were Ellington’s way of bringing the Cotton Club revue to the church, which was usually Grace Congregational.  Virtuoso musicians will provide accompaniment for vocalists Chantel Wright, Tammy McCann, Brandi Sutton  and for  dancers  Maurice Hines and Savion Glover.

 

The  “Lush Life, Celebrating Billy Strayhorn” concerts, with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, joined by vocalist pianist Johnny O’Neal,  completes  the JALC’s  2015/2016 season, will be held on June 10/11 at the Rose Theater, at Jazz At Lincoln Center, on Broadway at 60 Street. Visit jazz.org.

 

The annual “Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson” concert, returns to the northeast, on June 11, from 5-11 pm,   at the NJ  Performing Arts Center, in Newark.   Show stars MJ impersonator Michael Trapson and is produced by Darrin Ross, the MJ choreographer for 23 years.  MJ classics like “Thriller,” “Billy Jean,” “Beat It”  will be performed, and a re-imagining of MJ works and how they would play today is part of the INVINCIBLE  plan.  Call 917.416.1745.

 

ROOTS

 It is hoped that everyone saw the ROOTS miniseries remake which was broadcast simultaneously on the A&E, Lifetime and History Channels, from May 30 through June 1.

The first  segment was poignant, visceral and addictive.  Many scenes were cathartic to a Black viewer.  The story opens on location in Africa, the genesis of modern history’s greatest tragedy, the enslavement of African people by Europeans, who brought them to the appropriately named New World. ROOTS unfolds in early 18th Century Virginia.   To be sure,  the cable channels will rerun the series regularly.

A Harlem-based writer, Victoria Horsford can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

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