By Victoria Horsford
Trump’s transition team has named Omarosa Manigault, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE TV reality show alum, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. On January 4th, Manigault and senior members of the Trump transition team hosted an invitation-only “African-American Listening Session” for about 60 Democratic-leaning folk, members of the National Association of Black Journalists, CBC, 100 Black Men, NAACP et al. Manigault promised the first press interview with President Trump to Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a trade association of about 200 Black newspaper publishers. Black Republicans are pissed about the invite-only meeting and their exclusion!
A Democrat who worked with Vice President Al Gore and with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Manigault crossed the aisle last year and is a firmly entrenched Republican with access. Her academic creds are sterling: Central State University(bachelor’s degree) and Howard University(master’s and Ph.D. in communications).
True or false? Will Hillary Clinton toss her hat into the NYC Mayor’s race consistent with tabloid newspaper rumors?
Harlem welcomes Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who moved into his new NY office headquarters last week at the State Office Building on 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, the space formerly occupied by retired Congressman Charlie Rangel.
On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, there is a special election date for the NYC Council seat formerly held by Inez Dickens. Athena Moore, aide to Manhattan Boro President Gale Brewer, formally joined the group of contestants. Senator Bill Perkins is busy organizing fundraisers and making telephone pitches for support.
Former NYS Assemblyman Keith Wright joins the law firm of Davidoff, Hutcher & Citron in its Government Relations practice. During his tenure as a NYS public servant, Wright has chaired committees such as housing, election law, social services and labor. WGO predicted a few months ago that Wright would probably return to law. He continues to wear his hat as Manhattan Democratic Party honcho.
2016: YEAR IN REVIEW
Kudos to Lloyd Williams and his GREATER HARLEM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE team who hosted the organization’s 120th Anniversary invitational gala reception on October 4th, which was held at the Mural Pavilion of the Harlem Hospital Center. The festivities were attended by the usual suspects and, of course, legions of business, community, political elites and muckety mucks like Jeanne Parnell, Jacques DeGraff, Michael Garner and attorney Bill Covington. It was like “ole home week”. The party was grand in planning and execution. My favorite gift bag item was the 56-page booklet, a six-score pictorial and narrative history of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce–what an invaluable piece of Harlem history!
Distaff power: The Women For Hillary, a Harlem-based group of predominantly African-American women which was organized by Millennial movers and shakers Mari Moss Yawn and Nika Milbrun, raised $23,000 for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Three generations of Black women, Democrats and Republicans, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, educators and politicos all contributed to the quickly planned, successful fundraiser. Harriet Michel, Harriette Mandeville, Jeanne Parnell, Eileen Frank, Alice Dear, Hazel Dukes, Valerie Bradley, Copper Cunningham, Inez Dickens, Joyce Johnson, Alyah Sidberry, Dr. Janet Bell and Henrietta Lyle were Women For Hillary committee members and/or supporters. The October fundraiser was held at Harlem’s Lenox Sapphire.
EDUCATION AND JOB OPS
An Ebony.com story lifted from the 2016 US News & World Report’s TOP 10 HBCUs, which are in order of importance: 1. Spelman, 2. Howard University, 3. Hampton University, 4. Morehouse College, 5. Tuskegee, 6. Xavier, 7. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical(FAMU), 8. FISK University, 9. Claflin University(SC) and 10. NC Central at State University. The USNWR study included 80 HBCUs. About 60 were ranked. Schools like Central State, Ohio and Wilberforce, Ohio made the list but were not ranked. Moreover, Talladega College in Alabama was not ranked. Talladega’s marching band will be performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremonies on January 20th.
. The Harlem Business Alliance is accepting applications for the second cohort of the Lillian Project, a plan targeted to Harlem’s enterprising women. The Lillian Project is a 16-week business education series, a community B-School intensive. Administered by the Harlem Business Alliance and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Lillian Project applicants must be African-American women who are in the low- to middle-income range and who live in Harlem. The Lillian Project, 2nd cohort, application due date is January 20th. [Visit hbany.org]
ARTS AND CULTURE
There was no “whitewash” at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards ceremony for excellence in film and television on Sunday. The winners were Viola Davis, “FENCES”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”; Donald Glover, “ATLANTA”. Moreover, last week’s top American film grosser was “HIDDEN FIGURES”, with $22.8 million. “Hidden Figures” is based on a true story about three Black women mathematicians who worked for NASA and America’s launch of its space program.
The Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation hosts a new exhibit FEM-FRAGMENTS, a group show which “explores and dissects the current understandings of femininity at the Corridor Gallery located at 334 Grand Avenue in Brooklyn and which runs through February 19th. Curated by Corrine Gordon and Charlotte Mouquin, the show’s participating fine artists include Capucine Bourcart, Michaela Pilar Brown, Aisha Jemila Daniels, Camille Eskell, Mira Gandy and Gail Skudera. [Visit rushphilanthropic.org]
The Steven Kasher Gallery’s new exhibit is the first major photography retrospective of works by Ming Smith. The retrospective includes 75 vintage black and white prints by the artist “whose works are less focused on the documenting of Black life than creating a personal response to that life”. Show opens on January 13th at 515 West 26th Street in Manhattan. Ming is the first African-American woman whose work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art.
The 63rd Winter Antiques Show(WAS), the nation’s preeminent arts, antiques and design expo, convenes January 20-29 at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. The 1/19 WAS opening night gala is a benefit for the East Side House Settlement, a 125-year-old community service organization which focuses on education and technology, and whose beneficiaries are African-American and Latino youngsters. The WAS opening night party usually launches the NY winter social season. [Visit winterantiqueshow.com]
A Harlem-based writer, Victoria Horsford can be reached at Victoria.email@example.com.