By Victoria Horsford
I attended the 90th Birthday Celebration for David Dinkins, 106th Mayor of the City of New York, which was hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray at Gracie Mansion on July 10. Like the honoree, it was an elegant affair attended by about 400 members of the city’s gorgeous mosaic. Muckady mucks and A-listers were ubiquitous. Public Advocate Letitia James, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Herbert Daughtry, former Congressman Charlie Rangel, Medgar Evers College President Dr. Rudy Crew, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, hedge fund titans Ed Lewis and Frank Savage, UNCF’s David Walker, Dr. Janet Bell, NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop, Harriet Michel, Dr. Hazel Dukes, Attorney Wallace Ford, Faye and Karl Rodney, Jeanne Parnell, Dinkins’ wife Joyce and their children David and Donna were in attendance. Dinkins was in rare form, a happy but humble 90-year-old public servant who conjured up nostalgia for the Dinkins era. I thought about that memorable night on November 8, 1989 as I raced to the Sheraton Hotel to celebrate our first Black mayor-elect and all of the hope and promise that his new office would embrace. I also recommend the highly informative Dinkins memoir, “A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic”. Happy Birthday Mr. Dinkins.
NEW YORK CITY
NYC Mayoralty: According to the NY Daily News, Philip Banks, 54, former NY Police Department’s Chief of Department, is considering a NYC Mayoral run. Banks, a 28-year veteran of the NYPD who left after being appointed first deputy commissioner, which was the result of some falling out with then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Last year, he was named in a federal probe about local businessmen who traded gifts for favors with NYPD brass, which seems to be commonplace in NYC. However, he was never questioned by the feds. Married with three children and living in Queens, if Banks decides to run for the mayoralty, it would be the first for a current or former NYPD member.
The jury is still out about the fine print that accompanied the final NYS Legislature vote in favor of extending NYC Mayoral Control of the schools. There were concessions made that satisfy the charter school advocates, which have not been formally disclosed by Mayor de Blasio’s office. More on the school deal next week.
The May issue of Essence magazine’s cover story, “100 WOKE WOMEN: How We Rise Up, Speak Out and Push the Movement Forward”, is a good read which includes bios and pictures of the elite, distaff multigenerational group. Essence says that “these women are change agents as part of a new guard of activists, educators, journalists, thinkers and creators who are more than conscious – they are ever-vigilant about creating a nation in which we all have seats at the table”. Joy-Ann Reid, Shonda Rhimes, Tamika D. Mallory, Opaki Tometi, Sybrina Fulton, Linda Sarsour, Brittany Packnett, Michelle Alexander, Viola Davis, Yamiche Alcindor, Ava DuVernay, Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama and Maxine Waters are some of the 100 WOKE WOMEN, an informative essay.
The twin island nation of Antigua/Barbuda is poised to host the Caribbean’s biggest summer carnival, which runs from July 28 to August 8. This year is also the 60th Anniversary of the Antigua Carnival, a multigenerational tradition which taps into the island’s culture. Since its 1957 debut, the Antigua Carnival had a twofold purpose. It was a tourist attraction and a commemoration of emancipation from slavery. Calypso, Antigua’s indigenous music, dominates the carnival season, as does its carnival royalty, its dukes and lords, steel pans and drums. Beauty pageants, music competitions and nonstop cultural immersion are some of the Antigua Carnival trappings. [Visit Antiguacarnival.com]
NY Carib News will host its 22nd Annual Caribbean Multinational Business Conference in the American Virgin Islands from November 9-12. Conference brings together more than 300 American business and corporate leaders, elected officials and thought leaders to brainstorm and develop strategies for economic and social empowerment and how to make the world a better, more sustainable place. E-mail email@example.com or call 212.944.1991.
The David Dinkins Tennis Club is held every Saturday from July 1 to August 19, from 9 am to 11 am, free for children under 10 years old, at the tennis courts of Fred Johnson Park, aka The Jungle, on Seventh Avenue at 150th Street in Harlem. Balls, racquets and books are provided. An initiative to honor David Dinkins, tennis enthusiast, and to honor the late Dr. Bernadette Whitley Penceal, co-founder of the DDTC, with her husband and educator Sam Penceal. [Call 917.301.9303 to register]
Danny Simmons and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation presents ART FOR LIFE: Midnight at Oasis, its annual summer fundraiser in Bridgehampton, NY on July 15 at 6 pm. The benefit calls attention to the Rush Foundation’s mission and the fine artists who bring its work to light. Gala honorees are Sanford Biggers as the Art for Life 2017 featured artist, as well as Essi Eggelston Bracey, Chuck D and Bozoma Saint John. Cocktails, dinner and a special performance by “The Color Purple’s” Tony Awardee Cynthia Rivo are some of the benefit highlights. [Visit artforlife.rushphilanthropic.org]
JAZZMOBILE 2017 is up and running at a NYC park near you. The music festival runs from July 5 to August 25. Music virtuosos Wycliff Gordon, TK Blue, Solomon Hicks, Alyson Williams, the Jimmy Heath Big Band and Allan Harris are among Jazzmobile 2017 headliners. Jazzmobile was founded in 1964. For more info, visit jazzmobile.org.
HARLEM WEEK 2017 is a “Celebration of Harlem Continuum, its past, present and future” which includes a series of family-friendly summer events, indoor/outdoor music concerts, an Upper Manhattan Auto Show, a film festival, a health fair, 5K run sporting event, fashion shows, youth programs, an HBCU Fair and Expo, and much more. Harlem Week 2017 opens on Sunday, July 30 with its “A Great Day in Harlem” marathon festivities at the US Grant National Memorial Park and continues through Saturday, August 26. Launched in 1974 as “Harlem Day”, a one-shot promotion to bolster the spirits of local residents, Harlem Week has evolved into a monthlong cultural festival which attracts millions of people, locals and tourists. Harlem Week is a permanent fixture in the NYC summer festivals calendar. [Visit Harlemlocal.com/harlem-week]
RESTAURANT WEEK/NYC Summer 2017 runs from July 24 to August 18. At participating restaurants, lunch is $29 and dinner is $42, which includes a three-course meal. For Restaurant Week directory, visit nycgo.com/restaurant-week.
A Harlem-based management consultant, Victoria Horsford is reachable at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.