We know that Joe Biden is the United States president elect and will be sworn in on January 20 and that the Democrats retain a majority in the House of Representatives. We know that POTUS 45 Donald Trump is not going quietly into the night. He obstructs access by the Biden transition team to government work sites and important info despite the COVID19 contagion stats and deaths spiraling north, across the nation. Pandemic spread and deaths will top the Trump Presidential legacy list. His trademark chaos style continues unabated. He is withdrawing US troops from Middle Eastern and African hotspots and considered an Iran invasion to strike nuclear sites, before being dissuaded..
We also know that a DC trifecta victory is within reach if Democrats win two runoff election seats in Georgia for the US Senate. Who are the Democrats? They are Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, an African American and a Jewish media executive and entrepreneur, respectively. Now to get vote-weary Georgians back to the polls on January 5. The GOP will spend $20 million to retain those seats and the Democrats will match those funds.
COVID19: The recent good news about COVID19 vaccines, one developed by Pfizer and the other by Moderna, with both boasting high efficacy outcomes signals euphoria. Americans must still await FDA approval and review by the CDC. The devil is in the details, especially vaccine distribution.
Please keep Thanksgiving dinners small.
OUT OF AFRICA
GHANA: Ghanaians mourn the loss of former President, statesman Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings. 73, who died on November 12. Rawlings came to political prominence in 1979, when he staged a military coup intent on ousting the country’s corrupt leaders. Mission accomplished, he changed course as he navigated the nation to civilian rule, then winning to democratic elections for presidency. Ghana was the first subSaharan country to pull away from colonial rule, the Brits, in 1957 by Kwame Nkrumah who was overthrown by a military coup in 1966 which resulted in widespread poverty
ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation,with 115 million people, is on the brink of civil war. A two week light military conflict between the central government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray rebel group, based in a northern region, has spilled into neighboring Eritrea. Already more than 25,000 Ethiopians refugees are pouring into Sudan. The conflict has its roots in ethnic rivalry and the ruling class warfare. The Tigrays represent about 8.8 million and once wielded disproportionate political power in Ethiopia. Prime Minister Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, recently warned “the final and crucial military operation will be launched against the Tigrays in coming days.” COVID19 and a civil war are a toxic mix in 2020.
BOOK TALK: Thought leader Edgar J. Ridley, author of “The Golden Apple: Changing the Structure of Civilization, Volume 3, Aftermath,” 127 pages, a study of mankind’s behavior from antiquity to the present and its reliance on symbolic thought to the detriment of symptomatic thought, begins its virtual book tour. Stop #1 was at the Sankofa Bookstore in DC on 11/17. The Source of Knowledge Bookstore in Newark, NJ. Presents: A Talk with Golden Apple author Ridley moderated by LIU Professor Larry Banks, on 11/22, 2-4 pm. Zoom/Live ID: 6310917953. Password: zF7S82. Call 973.824.2556
The Barack Obama memoir THE PROMISED LAND arrived on 11/17. Already it tops the Barnes and Nobel and Amazon best seller lists. The British Literary Awards were delayed two days to avoid clashing with the Obama political memoir, a few years in the making and divided into two parts. Crown Publishing order a first printing of 3 million for the US/Canada market. The 844 page, Promised Land, #1 deals with the early years of his presidency and includes info about his early childhood, Indonesia, Hawaii, and the joys of parenting. It ends when he meets the Navy Seal Team who killed Osama bin Laden. I’ve read many Promised Land reviews, but none more insightful than the NYT piece by Nigerian literary lioness Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Hatchette, the fifth largest American book publisher, gave the nod to a new imprint, LEGACY LIT, which will focus on social justice subjects written by authors of color. Imprint will publish 12-15 books annually, including narrative nonfiction, memoir, histories, inspiration, wellness and some fiction and set for a 2022 launch. LEGACY LIT imprint is the brainchild of Krishan Trotman, Hachette executive editor who has bee promoted to VP/Publisher.
Happy Birthday, Sagittarians: NYS Senator Brian Benjamin, a 2021 NYC Comptroller race; filmmaker Grace Blake; Jeff Burns; Dr. Njeri Cruse; Copper Cunningham, Perle Mesta of Summer Picnics in Riverside Park, frequented by NYC Black A-Listers in the 80s; Harlem politico Cordell Cleare; NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo; George Faison; Journalist/Publicist Fern Gillespie; Motown’s Berry Gordy;Tiffany Haddish; Kwaku Horsford and Robert Horsford, Apex Building; Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter; Juanita Merritt, PhD; Joy Ann Reid, MSNBC; Attorney Ernst Perodin; Professor Linda Ridley; Dr. Adelaide Sanford; Robin Roberts, GMA; Karl Rodney, NY Carib News; Attorney Gail Wright Sirmans; billionaire Robert Smith the Morehouse Class of 2019 benefactor; Journalist/ Documentarian Eric V.Tait; and Dionne Warwick.
RIP: Al Howard,93, passed on October 21. The cause was COVID19. Howard had a distinguished NYPD career. He was the officer at Blumstein’s Department store in Harlem in 1958 who saved Dr. Martin Luther King’s life after he was stabbed at a book signing. In 1977, he headed the NYPD detective team which apprehended the serial killer, Son Of Sam. After leaving NYPD, Howard cut his entrepreneurial teeth and bought Showman’s Club, a popular jazz spot, next door to the Apollo Theater, which offered nightly music. Showman’s was a sanctuary for jazz musicians like Bill Saxton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Duke Jones, George Benson, and Patience Higgins. Showman’s moved to Eighth Aveue at 124 Street, now Magic Johnson cinemas, before its finest tenancy at 275 West 125 Street, a building which Howard acquired.
THANKSGIVING: With possible nationwide lockdowns in the Lower 48, traditional Thanksgiving will be scaled down, per epidemiologists recommendations, in favor of zoom dining and keeping the family dining small. Harlem catering operations are taking orders for Thanksgiving Dinner, as has been their decadeslong custom. including Norma Jean Darden’s Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread at 212.865.0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Sylvia Woods’ Sylvia’s Restaurant at 212.996.0660 or visit sylviasrestaurant.com. Orders must be placed ASAP and picked up by Wednesday,November 25. Bon Appetit!
Dionne Warwick celebrates her 80th on December 12 at a live/virtual Christmas extravaganza with friiends lie Johnny Mathis, Billy Ray Cyrus and others. For ticket info, visit officialdionnewarwick.com