What’s Going On
By Victoria Horsford
The cityandstateny.com just released a new list, the “2019 Power of Diversity BLACK 100.” Don’t know the criteria for listing but I had fun adding my comments to the “Black Power Elite” bios. WGO will list power people, 51 to 100. The column will include the top 50 which will be followed by the other 50 next week. 1) Letitia James, NYS Attorney General from Brooklyn who may one day be a candidate for NYS governor; 2) Hakeem Jeffries, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Brooklyn; 3) Carl Heastie, NYS Assembly Speaker, a Bronx resident who succeeded Sheldon Silver; 4) Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Westchester, NYS Senate Majority Leader, first Black woman to man the post; 5) Eric Adams, Brooklyn Boro President, possible 2021 mayoral contender; Alas, no Harlem leader in the top tier, a rarity in Downstate politics.
Other leaders who passed muster with cityandstateny.com: 6) Jumaane Williams, NYC Public Advocate and second-in-command to NYC Mayor; 7) George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU, a health care union; 8) Congressman Gregory Meeks is the first Black to head the Queens Democratic Party; 9) The First Lady of NYC, Chirlane McCray, known for her THRIVE NY program, a mental health initiative–frequently compared to Hillary, she plans a career in elected politics;
10) Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Democratic Assembly Majority Leader; 11) Former NYS Assemblyman-Attorney Keith Wright, who is Manhattan Democratic Party leader; 12) Al Sharpton, National Action Network leader and MSNBC TV host, best known for his politics, activism and monitoring police misconduct nationwide, who opposes ban on menthol cigarettes; 13) Laurie Cumbo, Brooklyn City Council member and City Council Majority Leader–woman with a plan; 14) Errol Louis, anchor of NY1 cable TV’s “INSIDE CITY HALL” show, a must-stop for local politicians; 15) Bronx NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres is gay and progressive who is eyeing the seat to be vacated by Jose Serrano, longest-serving Latino in Congress; 16) Ruben Diaz, Sr., Bronx clergyman and politico who was a member of the NYS Senate before being elected to the NY City Council–he is also interested in Congressman Serrano’s seat; 17) Bill Thompson, former NYC Comptroller, who is Chair of the CUNY Board of Trustees and a Wall Streeter; 18) Congress member Yvette Clarke is a NYC Council alum; 19) Democratic freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado is a part of the 2018 Democratic election tsunami; 20) Byron Brown, Buffalo Mayor in 4th term; 21) Kyle Bragg, President, 32BT SEIU, advocates for fast-food workers; 22) David Jones, Pres./CEO, Community Service Society, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) board member who has problems with the 500 police to man subways; 23) the well-connected Patrick B. Jenkins, of eponymous firm, which is engaged in political consulting, community relations and fundraising; 24) Elias Husamudeem, NY Corrections Officers Benevolent Association, which plays a big role in law enforcement policies; 25) Gregory Floyd, President of Teamsters Local 237; 26) Hazel Dukes, NAACP NY Conference President; 27) Wayne Spence, President, NYS Public Employees Federation; 28) Gwen Carr, Activist/Mother of Eric Garner who died in the infamous chokehold caught on cell phone video; 29) Rowan Wilson, Associate Judge, NYS Court of Appeals; 30) NYS Senator Jamaal T. Bailey; 31) Dennis Walcott, Pres./CEO, Queens Public Library; 32) Brooklyn’s Charles and Inez Barron, Assemblyman/NYC Council member, respectively; 33) NYS Assemblywoman from Brooklyn Rodneyse Bichotte; 34) Robert Cornegy, Brooklyn NYC Council member and Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee; 35) NYC Councilman Donovan Richards, a Queens Boro Prexy special election hopeful; 36) Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts III, Sr. Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church and soon-to-be retired SUNY Old Westbury President; 37) Harlem-based NYS Senator Brian Benjamin and 2021 NYC Comptroller hopeful; 38) Brooklyn-based NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie; 39) I. Daneek Miller is a Queens NYC Councilman; 40) Deborah Rose, NYC Council member from Staten Island; 41) Charlie King & Rachel Noerdlinger are MERCURY Partner and Managing Director, respectively; 42) NYS Senator James Sander, Jr.; 43) NYS Senator from Brooklyn Kevin Parker; 44) NYS Senator from Queens Leroy Comrie; 45) Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren; 46) Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO/Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; 47) Nikole Hannah-Jones, NY Times correspondent and architect of the 1619 PROJECT; 48) Kiara St. James, Co-founder/Executive Director, NY Transgender Advocacy Group; and 49) Sheena Wright, Pres./CEO, United Way NY.
DECEMBER is winter solstice and Capricorn month. Capricorn Birthday greetings to politico William Anthony Allen; William Burgess, The Burgess Group; Ronald Caldwell, stylist; Londel Davis, Jr., political consultant; Laurent Delly, IDEACOIL, IT executive and serial entrepreneur; Walter Edwards, Full Spectrum real estate developer; Mary Flowers, entertainment impresario; Michael Garner, President, One Hundred Black Men (OHBM) of NY; RN Marilyn Gobern; Attorney Wallace Gossett; Michael Horsford; Rafee Kamaal, TV/Film entrepreneur; June Kelly, June Kelly Gallery; Rev. Dr. Al Johnson; Eula Johnson; Byron Lewis, founder of UniWorld Group, a multicultural ad agency since 1969—retired, he is UniWorld chairman emeritus; Steve Manning, entertainment agent; First Lady Michelle Obama; Voza Rivers, Harlem Arts Alliance; Denzel Washington; Laurita Watson, chef extraordinaire; Lloyd Williams, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; and Attorney Nathaniel Wright.
“A Christmas Carol in Harlem” is a clever theatrical reimagining of the timeless Dickens classic about Scrooge and the spirit of the Yuletide. This Classical Theatre of Harlem family-friendly production unfolds on Harlem’s not- so-mean streets, owned by Scrooge, a villainous real estate developer. The sequences of the “Spirits of Xmas Past, Present and Future” are worth the price of admission. A story with a lot of heart.jpy and energy, “A Christmas Carol in Harlem” runs at the Aaron Davis Hall on Convent and 135th Street, Manhattan, runs through Saturday, 12/ 21. [Visit CTHNYC.ORG]
Try to see the film “QUEEN & SLIM,” written and co-produced by Lena Waithes and directed by Melina Matsoukas. Story centers on Queen, a lawyer, and Slim, a nonprofessional man. Their first date is a disaster. While driving Queen home, Slim has an encounter with police which turns ugly and the couple is on the lam and they fall in love. Film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith is the first Hollywood-financed romance with two dark-hued African-Americans. Blacks/Police issue is the subject of one of the Ailey dances.
Broadway’s critically acclaimed “THE SLAVE PLAY” at the Golden Theater is a must-see. Written by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Robert O’Hara, both African-American theater denizens, the drama wreaks havoc with the senses and sensibilities as it is poised on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality in the 21st century. Has the plantation been really interred in the American psyche?! Play runs through January 19. [Visit slaveplaybroadway.com]
A Harlem-based branding/media consultant, Victoria can be reached at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org