Our Time Press

WHAT’S GOING ON

By Victoria Horsford 

THE 2020 PRESIDENCY. 

Corey Booker

          Alas, the Democrats have lost their incredible diverse team of candidates  in pursuit of the presidency.  Democratic U.S Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker the two African- American  contenders for the Presidency have suspended their campaign operations.  Perhaps,  it was not meant to be.   After reading a few  analyses, this was not their time.   Harvard Professor  Skip Gates,  Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and others imply that the Obama Presidency and whites perceptions about  Black progress during the Obama era paved the way for the Trump 2016 victory.   

 Perhaps, Toni Morrison nailed the source of   the POTUS 45 victory.  The   Nigel Robert’s essay, “Fear  of Crumbling  White Privilege Led  To Trump Victory,” begins with the following… “ In New Yorker essay “Mourning for Whiteness,” Toni Morrison states that scores of educated and poorly- educated  white votes embraced the shame and fear sowed by Donald Trump because they’re terrified of losing their diminishing White privilege in an increasingly diverse America.  These people are not angry. They are terrified.”   Morrison was spot on.  And Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts Governor, needs to withdraw from the Presidential race soonest.   The time is not now! 

NEW YORK, NY POLITICS 

David Dinkins

The 30th Anniversary:   David  Dinkins was sworn in as the 106th Mayor of New York City on January1, 1990, by Judge Fritz Alexander.    David Dinkins was first African American elected to the second hardest job in America.   

The  NYS Legislature convenes this week and  the 2020 session will be contentious as it broaches a budget deficit and laws.    Headlining the list of  woes  is the unsettling  NYS  2019 Law about  Bail Elimination , which prohibits bail and detention for  misdemeanors and non  violent felonies.   Law was conceived to  circumvent  the politicization of the bail systems which affected  nonwhites  and economically  challenged  people disproportionately. That Law into effect  January 1.    The  law specifies  which acts fall within its jurisdiction.    Detainees would be bail- exempt  for second degree burglary of a residence, second degree robbery aided by another person;  using a child to commit a controlled substance crime, vehicular assault, multiple times, to name a few.  

The  Bail  Elimination law  is accessible digitally.     

 Law must be revised.  How was  it initially researched?   Since 2020 began,  a bank robber detained for two acts in one day,  was released without bail. The robber was shocked that he could walk.    The law’s naysayers as well as the the Brennan Center for Justice conclude  that  90% of these arrested  in  NYS will not  pay  bail. The Bail Elimination law must be revisited.  Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart –Cousins and  Governor Andrew Cuomo are on board  to review Bail Elimination; Assembly House Speaker Carl Heastie  is not.  

HOLD THE DATE:  Assembly member  Inez Dickens presents  the Second Annual Honorable Charles B. Rangel  Leadership Awards at Mist Harlem,  on Thursday, February 6 at 6 pm.   

HARLEM:   Dorrance  Brooks Square was ablaze with gunfire on Saturday, January 11 at 11:30 pm.   This quiet 4-5 block community,  along  lower Edgecombe Avenue,  was  awakened by gun shots exchanged between two warring groups,  one  ensconced in the  Dorrance Brooks corridor and the rival  was  sheltered  in  St Nicholas Park.   

ON RACE  

Read  the 12/10  NY Times Business expose  “This is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry,” a look at business practices at the JP Morgan Chase bank in  Phoenix, Arizona last year.     A JPMC Black  financial advisor  and a  Black retired NFL player  recorded  talks with banks  white managers about  the branch’s culture vis-à-vis Blacks, which was offensive.     Is Jim Crow still alive and well?  A day after story ran,    Jamie Dimon,  JP Morgan Chase  Chair /CEO,  says  that he’s  disgusted with racism practices at his company.  Well, Mr Dimon so are African Americans.       

2020  ARTS/CULTURE 

Richard Pryor

TELEVISION:  THE  LAST DAYS OF RICHARD PRYOR, a two hour ABC-TV News Special,   airs  Thursday, January 16 .   Actor, director, writer, Pryor  was among   THE  American Kings  of Comedy from the 60s to 80s.  When will his memoir be published..   

FINE ART:  The  June Kelly Gallery’s new exhibit,  Carl E, Hazelwood Drawings & Collages, Recent Works,  runs from January 17 to  March 3.  A Brooklyn- based artist, the Guyana-born Hazelwood, holds degrees from Hunter College  and Pratt Institute. France, Guyana and the USA are some of the countries where his works were solo exhibited. Co-founder of  Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ Hazelwood says that he is  “basically  a painter who approaches abstraction.  The June Kelly Gallery is located at 166 Mercer Street, Manhattan, 212.226.1660.   Visit junekellygallery.com 

The  Skoto Art Gallery’s  new exhibit  The World Gives Life, which is  recent mixed media works by Liberia-born Trokon Nagbe, runs from January 16 to February 29.  Nagbe’s works draw on the themes of memory, migration, history and the passage of time through the filter of personal experience.   Skoto Gallery is located at 529 West 20 Street,  Manhattan.  Visit skotogallery.com.  

OSCAR SO WHITE 2020   Cynthia  Erivo  portrays HarrietTubman, in the film HARRIET about  the runaway enslaved African,   who evolved  into abolitionist/ heroine, who leads enslaved  Africans to freedom by way of  the Underground Railroad.  Erivo  got two Oscar nods for HARRIET,  one for the best actress  and for best song.    

ANNIVERSARIES 

Sheena Wright

Sheena Wright, President/CEO of United Way NY President/CEO and former CEO of Abyssinian Development Corporation  celebrated  her  50th birthday anniversary in grand style at Mist Harlem  on  Saturday where she hosted an  gala with all the “golden year”  party trappings, which was attended by  about  200,  including three generations of her family, her parents and children, friends and colleagues.  Food, libations and  a non-stop DJ  made the night electric.   

Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.   Public is invited to a free  open rehearsal  of  Odaliques Variations from Le Corsaire,  on  January 16 at 6:30 pm.  at  the Everett Center for Performing Arts, located  at 466 West 152 Street, Harlem.  

JANUARY  CALENDAR 

The  Dr Martin Luther King Jr  National holiday will be  observed on January 20.  

 On that date, note the following  1)  the Brooklyn Academy of Music  hosts  its 34th marathon celebration of free  arts,  culture and conversations,  in honor of  Dr. King.    Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the  NY Times Magazine single issue, “The 1619 Project,” will be  keynoter . The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir performs.  Visit BAM events page and  The      

The  African Burial Ground Monument  commemorates    Dr. King  on  1/20 with assorted  programs, including the screening of  3-hour film,  KING. A FILMED RECORD FROM MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS, unspooled in two parts.  

 RESTARANT WEEK NYC 2020   dates are  January 21 to February  9. During that time participating  restaurants   offer reduced dining options,  which include a  two-course lunch at $26 and  a three- course dinner at $42.   Visit nycgo.com/restaurant week     

A Harlem-based brand and media consultant, Victoria can be reached at Victoria.horsford@gmail.com

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