SPRINGTIME IN AMERICA
A week after Easter, the season of rejuvenation and rebirth. America is reading the obit of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African American, killed by a white police officer in Brooklyn Center Minnesota, who says she could not distinguish between her taser and her revolver. The murder unfolds against the backdrop of the court trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin, the white Minnesotan policeman, who killed George Floyd, while cellphone cameras rolled, almost a year ago. Brooklyn Center is less than 10 miles away from Minnesota. American racism is an epidemic. It seems deeply embedded in police culture nationwide. COVID19 is not the only disease afflicting Black people disproportionately.
NEW YORK, NY
2021 ELECTIONS: On April 13, the Harlem Business Alliance hosted a virtual meet and greet with African-American Ray McGuire, one of the short- listed eight NYC Mayoral hopefuls in the June 22. Walter Edwards HBA Chair and Regina Smith HBA CEO moderated an informative 60- minute session. Polls indicated that Andrew Yang is the lead player in the Mayoral race. It is hard to gauge what that means since the poll size is low and more than 50% of the electorate admit that they are among the undecided. New Yorkers are 10 weeks away from the final stretch. The Working Families Party announced its support for Scott Stringer’s mayoral campaign.
Why aren’t the mayoral candidates buying ad space in Black print and social media?
With more than 330 contenders for the NYC Council’s 51 seats, perhaps other nonprofits could follow the HBA lead and host virtual sessions for those districts that have 10 or more contenders. Errol Louis political anchor of NY1’s INSIDE CITY HALL cannot accommodate 51 debates or meet and greets.
GOP CULTURE: Republicans running for the 2021 NYC Mayoralty include Curtis Sliwa, radio host and Guardian Angels founder; Fernando Mateo, businessman and taxicab advocate and activist and Sara Tirschwell, assets manager.
Don’t know what’s in the NY air or about its many pollutants. Last week, it was announced that Andrew Guiliani, 35, son of disgraced former NYC GOP Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Donald Trump’s lawyer, is weighing a run for New York State Governor. Where’s the experience? His last “gig” was a $90,000 job in the Trump White House.
NYC Republicans advised their members to cross party and register at a Democrat before the June 22 Democratic Primary. More than 2,400 Republicans voters and more than 4,700 voters have switched to Democrats. The 2021 pre Democratic Primary strategy was to influence the Democratic Primary outcome so that a moderate/center victor would emerge. GOP understands that the Primary winner becomes next NYC mayor.
HISTORY: The 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, of the NY Army National Guard, the first African Americans to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI. The Hellfighters may be honored for their service during WWI and WWII, with a Congressional Gold Medal, an award given by Congress when it believes that a potential recipient is long overdue for recognition. Congressman Tom Suozzi has introduced legislation to make it happen. The Hellfighters fought under the French Army during WWI because white American soldiers refused to fight alongside Blacks. WWI ended in 1918 when the French have been lavish with praise and honors for Hellfighters heroism and military prowess. Well, better late than never.
MUSIC: One of New York City’s cutting- edge entertainment impresarios Rome Neal brings his Banana Puddin ’ Jazz to the 22nd Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival on Tuesday, April 20 at 7 pm EST with his BROOKLYN IN THE HOUSE jam session, featuring 19 past and present jazz masters, including Danny Mixon, Steve Cromity, Eric Frazier, Lafayette Harris, and Gene Ghee. The free, virtual performance will be streamed live on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE. Visit www.romeneal.com.
TALK: The Museum of the City of New York presents the first event, “Revisiting The Harlem Renaissance” in its Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Distinguished Lectures in Urban History department with a “Harlem Renaissance: Art Is Philosophy” talk on April 22 at 5:30 pm, at 1220 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. The Lecturers Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart, Chair of the Black Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of “New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” winner of the 2018 National Book Award/non-fiction and Lana Turner, Harlem-style intellectual, will hold forth on their disciplines. @MuseumofCityNY.
RIP: Eugene Webb, 102, co-founder of the Webb and Brooker real estate firm, passed away. Born and raised impoverished in Jim Crow Alabama, he served in the US Navy during WWII, then relocated to NY where he attended Columbia University, obtained a NYS real estate license and had an indelible footprint in the world of Harlem real estate. In 1968, he co-founded Webb and Brooker real estate firm, and served as its Chairman and senior policy adviser for more than 40 years. Webb and Brooker specializes in property management, sales and leasing, residential and commercial.
Eugene Webb, the visionary, was a part of the group of Black founding fathers of Harlem-based was financial institutions, Carver Federal Savings (1948) and Freedom National, both responsible for the explosion of Black home ownership. He helped spearhead Harlem’s real estate revival, encouraging City Hall to release brownstones it acquired via tax arrears. He was a partner in the development team responsible for Renaissance Plaza, a $61 million mixed-use construction project on 138 Street in Harlem. His other real estate bona fides include National Association of Real Estate Brokers membership; Governor Emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York, REBNY. He co-founded the Harlem Real Estate Board. The Dean of Harlem real estate, Webb was among New York’s real estate elites.
A Harlem based brand/media consultant, Victoria can be reached at email@example.com