2020 U.S. ELECTION
Americans never cease to bewilder, from the Oval Office occupant, to its athletes, to its everymen/women.
Last week was one of bewilderment and a hint at the nation’s promise. When the National Basketball Association, the WNBA, MLB, tennis pros, the National Hockey League and the NFL took PAUSE from business as usual following the latest assault on Black America, another police shooting in Wisconsin of a Black man, Jacob Blake, there was a hint that the GenXers, Millennials and GenZers have come of age and understand their clout and leverage. They are the new agents of change.
This is a reminder that voters will be busy at the polls on November 3. In addition to the Presidential contest — arguably the most important one of our lives, the ballot will include Congressional, NYS Assembly and NYS Senate races. Get the names of your representatives. Next week, WGO reviews local races.
Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a 9/01 press conference to announce that school semester dates have been revised. NYC public schools will open on September 21, not September 10 as publicized for weeks. What changed his mind? Was it the United Federation of Teachers’ threat to strike if recommended coronavirus protocols were not met by NYC.
Why have respected and retired Democrat electeds, former Governor David Paterson, former Manhattan Boro Prexy C. Virginia Fields and former Bronx Boro Prexy Adolfo Carrion, formed a new advocacy group, the Campaign for New York’s Future, “whose goal is to boost New York’s economy amid a recession induced by the coronavirus pandemic without taxation of the rich.” Why are they advocates for the rich? Who are invisible hands behind the CAMPAIGN? Is Cuomo involved? Cuomo fingerprint anywhere?
BANKING: There are 20 Black banks left in the United States. Two Black commercial banks merge to create the nation’s first Black-led bank with over $1 billion in assets. The principals are Broadway Federal Bank, based in Los Angeles and City First Bank, based in Washington, DC. Brian Argett, City First CEO, will be CEO of the combined operations which will use City First as its brand name but will keep publicly traded Broadway Financial Corp as its bank holding company. Wayne-Kent A Bradshaw, Broadway’s CEO will chair the combined operation. Merger is expected to close by early 2021. Black banks have gotten a mild adrenalin rush from the government Stimulus PPP distribution to Black businesses.
MEDIA: The Harlem Community Newspapers is the umbrella for 4 weekly newspapers, Harlem Community News, Brooklyn Community News, Bronx Community News and Queens Community News, with the tag line “Good News You Can Use,” celebrates its 25th Anniversary. The HCN concept was pioneered by veteran media guru Pat Stevenson.
Writer extraordinaire TaNehesi Coates guest edited the September VANITY FAIR Magazine, which explores Black Americana activism, art and power, which includes works by 40 prominent artists and photographers such as Jesmyn Ward, Eve L. Ewing, Bomani Jones, Ava DuVernay, Hank Willis Thomas, Ola Ebiti, Jacqueline Woodson, Quil Lemons, and John Edmonds. Coates bibliography includes NY Times bestseller “Between The World and Me” and “The Water Dancer”
This year, Vogue Magazine digressed from its traditional fashion-bible- thick September issue whose cover is reserved for the likes of American superstars like BEYONCE or Taylor Swift this year. Vogue has released two September 2020 covers painted by contemporary African American fine artists, Kerry James Marshall and Jordan Casteel, which features images of Black women. Copy superimposed on cover art reads HOPE, A Special Issue.
The 8/31 Time Magazine cover story, THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION: Visions of a Black Future That Fulfill A Nation’s Promise” by Pharrell Williams, is required reading, Williams curates conversations and essays with African American boomers, GenXers, Millennials and GenZers, including Kenya Barris; Angela Davis; Imara Jones; Naomi Osaka; Yara Shdidi; Tyler the Creator; Geoffrey Canada; Barbara Lee, Jamaal Bowman; Dr. Otis Brawley; Janaya Future Khan and more. Issue preceded last week’s heroic time-outs by African American and white athletes last week following the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake by Wisconsin police.
The Black Public Media, BPM, develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about African Americans and the global Black experience. It is accepting submissions for its 360 incubator + program, a 3-month development and fellowship initiative, which helps BPM identify quality content created by Black filmmakers. Incubator offers training, mentorship, instructional sessions while filmmakers prepare to compete for up to $150,000 in funding during the Program’s culminating event, PitchBlack. Application deadline is September 15. Visit Blackpublicmedia.org/incubator-360/
RIP: Beloved matriarch Annie Duncan, 95, passed away peacefully on August 5, in Palm Bay, Melbourne, Florida. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, she migrated to the Bronx, in NYC where she and her husband Rev. Elisha Duncan raised their eight children, in a cheerful, religious home. She earned a nurse’s aide certificate and worked in the garment industry and in nursing. She and her husband retired in Florida. She is survived by her husband, her children, Pearl, Cynthia, Enid, Delores, Judith, Norman, Audrey, and Eli.; 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
RIP: Actor/playwright Chadwick Boseman, 43, passed on August 28 after his own superhero battle with colon cancer. Born in South Carolina, he graduated from Howard University before launching his acting career in film, TV and theater, including a stint at New York’s New Federal Theatre where he also served as a Trustee. Boseman starred in three bio-pictures “42” about Jackie Robinson, who broke the color line in MLB; “Get On Up,” about the King of Soul James Brown; and Marshall, about first Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He channeled those men with aplomb and reverence. Then came his raison d’etre, the $1.3 billion grossing film “Black Panther,” and the lead role as T’Challa the quintessential Black superhero, which he was on celluloid and in life.
The next CUNY (City University of New York) Black Male Initiative Town Hall, “The United States of Our Mental Health: Feelings, Fears, Future,” featuring Dr. Jeff Gardere, psychologist; Dr. Shatiece Riley, psychologist; and Dr. Henry McCurtis, psychiatrist, will be held on September 10 at 12 pm, and will be broadcast live on YouTube: CUNYBMI
The Brooklyn NY West Indian Day Parade goes Virtual this year, on Monday, September 7, Labor Day. Parade theme is “One Love Virtual Road 2020.” A zoom video Parade presentation highlighting a visual feast of luxe costumes and masqueraders will air on Facebook and Instagram pages, from 9 am to 9 pm. Visit wiadcacarnival.org.
The UN General Assembly celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year. The UNGA will open on September 15. The first day of high-level GA Debates will be September 22. Debates will be virtual.
A Harlem-based media/branding specialist, Victoria is reachable at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org