By Victoria Horsford
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Last week was one of the ugliest, darkest moments in America this year. America is in the doldrums! Two innocent African-American men, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, were shot and killed by local white or non-Black policemen in as many days. While most of the nation mourned the loss of the slain men or prepared to march/protest the killings in Dallas, Texas when an African-American male sniper kills five policemen in an act of revenge. Violence and terror have replaced apple pie as the new symbols of America, especially for Black Americans. On Monday, July 11 Americans were still in mourning and bewildered. Americans must awaken and understand that all men are created equal with equal rights. And that Black Lives really do matter! While the USA is still the world’s greatest nation, domestically, it is a broken, racist system in need of immediate repair before it self-destructs. Last week’s killing fields underscored how much work has to be done to eradicate racism in the two Americas.
American cognoscenti are talking about Professor Michael Eric Dyson’s NY Times Op-ed, “Death In Black And White”, a/k/a “What White America Fails To See”, a meditation on last week’s American tragedies which is generating extensive, heated online debates.
The inaugural HARLEM FASHION WEEK(HFW) will be held concomitant with NY Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2017 Collections, during September 2016. The 4-day HARLEM FASHION WEEK extravaganza will kick off with an opening night gala on September 7 at the Museum of the City of New York. HFW promises to be “an explosion of culture that will bridge the downtown fashion hub to the uptown vibe”. A runway show, a fashion awards ceremony, multiple after-parties are some of the items of the HFW culture calendar. Harlem Fashion Week is the brainchild of Harlem mother/daughter fashionista team Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell, owners of YVONNE JEWNELL NEW YORK, LLC, a cutting-edge women’s wear company. [Visit Harlemfw.com]
July 10 was a day of summer pleasures. I attended the 10th Anniversary of the Lee Morgan Legacy Exhibit at the Shrine of the Masters(SOM) Jazz Gallery at a Harlem brownstone off Edgecombe Avenue. Afternoon was relaxed with a guided tour, live music, video remembrances, food and drink reminiscent of the Harlem parlor days. Curated by Lena Sherrod, hostess extraordinaire, the party was thick with arts, culture and intellectual types like Audrey Edwards, Ed Dessisso, Dr. Theda Palmer Saxton and Beatrice DuPont….. A fundraiser was held at Denise Fisher’s Strivers Row townhouse for Roy Paul, a young politico running for the 33rd Assembly seat in Queens. Keisha Sutton James, Stanley McIntosh, Yvonne Durant and Michael Adams were among Paul’s supporters who attended.
THE CLASS OF 2016
The New York Urban League announced its Whitney M. Young, Jr. Scholars, the Class of 2016. They are Florence Adeosun, Miranda David, Hinda Diakite, Shenise Duboulay, Jazmine Francis, Laura Hernandez, Sharai Hornedo, Maya Jabaar, Kayla Jessup, Alexia Johnson, Tori Johnson, Kayla Mackie, Jerson Mejia-Castro, Samantha Metellus, Sokhna Ndiaye, Marie Nije, Laurette Parrella, Edison Pilamunga Malan, Nathaniel Shepherd-Tyson, Marquis Taylor, Shadae Tingman and Abdulaye Wouadjou.
The University of Maryland’s Dental School, the oldest in the New World, recently graduated its first African-American summa cum laude student in its 176-year history. She is Ohio-born Tera Poole, who was the Class of 2016 President. Dr. Poole begins her residency in orthodontics at the University of California campus in San Francisco this month. The UM Dental School admitted its first Black student in 1972.
Senegalese internationalist Babacar Ndiaye needs a big favor! He needs 10,000 signatures for a petition to support universal access to immunization throughout Africa for its children, many of whom could be future leaders. He needs those signatures NOW! The immunization petition can be signed online and in a nanosecond. Please visit SPEAKUPAFRICA.ORG to sign up. Ndiaye is President of the AFRIVAC Foundation and honorary President of the African Development Bank. [#Everyshotcounts]
UPDATE: Dr. Roscoe Brown, 94, beloved community leader, educator and decorated American war hero, died last week. His family plans a memorial service, which is tentatively set for early fall. Cards can be sent to the family at Dennis & Bernadette Brown, 60 Beach Avenue, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.
RIP: Vaughn Harper, 71, died. The Harlem-born Harper was a force of nature since his mid-teens. Well above a 6-footer, Harper was a natural for Brooklyn’s Boys High School basketball team which he led to a city title. He played with the Syracuse University basketball team. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons. However, fate had other plans. Back in NYC, Harper cut his teeth as a radio disc jockey at WBLS-FM in 1976. And the rest is history. In the 80s, he launched the “Quiet Storm” format. His basso voice, coupled with his music selections, was pitch-perfect for profits and high-listener ratings. Harper also did DJ stints at WBGO, WWRL and WTJM. WBLS was always headquarters! He suffered a stroke in 1993 which ended his radio career, but he hosted music-centric events at Mist Harlem. The funeral arrangements: Saturday, July 16 at The Riverside Church, located at 490 Riverside Drive, Harlem. Viewing: 9-11 am; funeral service: 11 am.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced the FREE Lunch Time Live Jazz Concert Series, which runs on July 14, 21, 28 and August 4 from 12 pm to 1 pm at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza at 209 Joralemon Street. Musicians tapped for the Jazz Lunch Series includes the best of Central Brooklyn Jazz Musicians, the Ken Simon Quartet and Cliff Lee Plus Three.
A Harlem-based journalist, Victoria Horsford is reachable at email@example.com.