America is in the midst of a long hot summer and its chaos has reached Africa.
Hundreds of Black American US citizens and green card holders have been stranded in Ghana since March when President Nana Akufo-Addo closed its borders to check the spread of the coronavirus. The US government sent limited flights to Ghana to repatriate some Americans, but not enough. Life has been a nightmare for the travelers, who are short on funds and facing possible evictions and/or mortgage foreclosures stateside.
A group of 50 of those stranded coughed up monies to access a flight from Togo, one of Ghana’s neighbors, to Newark. They never crossed the border into Togo and lost the monies paid for the trip back home. The US is indifferent to their plight.
New Yorker Nova Felder, one of the Ghana stranded, drafted a letter to US media, NGOs, the US State Department and US Senators to elicit action. The demand is for the US to send flights to Ghana to repatriate its citizens.
Cable Channel NY1 has been diligent with its daily coverage of the stranded Americans in Ghana. US Senator Chuck Schumer was interviewed on air and promised more aggressive intervention. Felder has retained legal counsel and plans to sue the US government for its negligence. Send him an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, after registering a complaint with your elected officials. Is the US State Department asleep at the wheel when it comes to protecting Black Americans overseas during the COVID19 era?
Until January 2017, America was once the jewel in the crown of world governance, a model for which most nations aspired. America was the most diverse nation in modern history as it worked to fulfill its promise of a more perfect union. Today, the nation is in turmoil, divided into many factions, unequal to some Third World nations in even coronavirus containment.
George Floyd’s death nine weeks ago ushered in a global movement and new social consciousness. Ninety-six days from today, November 3, hopefully, this consciousness will prevail as Americans determine at the polls if Trump will be a one-term president.
Ford and the National Urban League launched a $600,000 initiative to help Black businesses hardest hit by COVID-19. The New York Urban League received $100,000 from that grant which was earmarked for six cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Detroit. Last month, the NY Urban League received a $200,000 United Way of NY grant for distribution to families severely impacted by COVID19.
The US Senate Republicans announced its new $1 trillion Stimulus program which should be DOA in Congress. There are no monies for states and cities which are hemorrhaging economically due to COVID 19, now a blight in 30-odd states, especially those that re-opened prematurely.
Unemployment will spiral upward because workers who returned to work early are now COVID stats.
The GOP also plans a $400 reduction in the $600 weekly supplement, set to expire tomorrow, Friday, July 31. Congress has already presented a $3 trillion stimulus package, which some say is prohibitive. Most economists say it’s inadequate.
NYC: The 2021 NYC Mayoral hopefuls list is getting crowded with African Americans. Brooklyn Boro President Eric Adams has company: Ray McGuire, 63, Citigroup Vice Chairman and Chairman of its banking, capital markets and advisory businesses, is testing the waters as a Democrat. A Harvard undergrad and grad alum, McGuire earned an MBA and a JD at Harvard Law School. Likened to Mike Bloomberg, McGuire’s Wall Street creds include Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. A seasoned Democrat, he supported Kamala Harris’ presidential run and now supports Joe Biden. Newsmakers Vernon Jordan and Keith Wright are part of McGuire’s political coterie.
USA: Kanye West is a man for all media. You find him in the business, political and never-ending gossip pages. He’s running for the 2020 US Presidency which he announced in a July 4 Tweet. (His ideal ticket would include HIPHOP billionaire Jay-Z as his VEEP.)
Wonder if West was encouraged by POTUS 45 to divide the Black vote. Billionaire West is jockeying for a seat on the Boards of the GAP and Adidas companies with whom he is partnered. He tells the GAP that their $100 million clothing deal could fall apart if his demand is not met. Stay Tuned!
Howard University received a $1 million gift from HBO, the cable TV content provider, to benefit students interested in careers in arts and entertainment. It is named Coates-Forbes-Watson HBO Dream Seekers Endowment Fellowship which includes Howard alum, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote The NY Times bestseller “Between The World and Me,” the subject of an HBO special he will executive produce with Apollo Theater executive Kamilah Forbes and Brooklyn-born “This is Us” star Susan Kelechi Watson. The HBO special announced to premiere in the fall.
Holy matrimony is arguably the most sacred of the seven sacraments. Congrats to all couples observing wedding anniversaries this year, including New Yorkers Antoinette (Toni) and Carney Burns, who celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last montand Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro who celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary on July 19.
BOOK NOTES: In Isabelle Wilkerson’s new book, “CASTE: The Origins of Our Discontents,” she writes. “Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate.” She links the caste systems of America, India and Nazi Germany and explores the eight pillars that underlie these caste systems. Wilkerson’s THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS about the Great Black migration from the US South in the 20th Century, won a Pulitzer Prize.
Audrey Edwards, prolific writer (The Man From Essence with Ed Lewis) and journalist (Essence and Black Enterprise Magazines) documents her NY/Paris life since 2017, in a new book, “AMERICAN RUNAWAY: Black and Free in Paris in the Trump Years” in bookstores August.
A Harlem –based media/branding specialist, Victoria is reachable at Victoria.email@example.com