What’s Going On – 6/17 – Our Time Press
SUMMER 2021/VOTING RIGHTS
NEW YORK: June 2021 is a busy month in NY which observes Caribbean American Heritage, Black Music Appreciation, and Gay Pride for starters. Then there is Juneteenth; the summer solstice; and lifting most COVID restrictions. Arguably the most important day is June 22 Primary Day, when the electorate determines who will govern Gotham – as Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, the 51-seat City Council, and the Manhattan District Attorney – for the next four years.
The Democrat mayoral protagonists include Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang. Guardian Angel’s Curtis Sliwa and Dominican-born business man Mateo are the Republican candidates. Adams has enjoyed a two-week lead according to reliable polls, but rank voting could eat into that optimism. Will NYC get its first woman mayor? Will Attorney Alvin Bragg become the first African American head of the Manhattan D. A’s Office?
THE NATION: Black Americans keep their eyes on 2021/2022 US Senate and Gubernatorial races, despite 1) newly-enacted voter repression laws enacted by Republican Governors targeted to the Black electorate, and 2) the US Senate obstructionism re: voting right bills approved by the House.
MARYLAND: Maryland-born Wes Moore, the NY-based Robin Hood Foundation CEO, a Rhodes Scholar and a Veteran US Army officer, will run for Governor of Maryland.
FLORIDA: Democrat Congress member Val Demings plans to unseat US Senator Marco Rubio next year.
MICHIGAN: Recently retired Black Republican Detroit police chief James Craig is considering a run for Governor as is Nigeria-born entrepreneur Austin Chenge. They will challenge Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2022.
TEXAS: Allen West, former Florida GOP Congressman relocated to Texas, and was elected state GOP Chair, from which he will soon resign, getting ready to challenge Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott.
The FORTUNE 500 List of the largest American Corporations is on newsstands — the June/July issue. The TOP 10 companies include 1. Walmart; 2. Amazon; 3. Apple; 4. CVS; 5. UnitedHealth Group; 6. Berkshire Hathaway; 7. McKesson; 8. AmerisourceBergen; 9. Alphabet and 10. Exxon Mobil.
Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs leading, global financial institution, named Comcast EVP African American Kimberly Harris Jones to its Board of Directors.
Film mogul/billionaire Tyler Perry pulling MADEA, the tough love Black film matriarch whom he portrays, out of retirement. MADEA returns in 2022, as a part of Netflix streaming. To date, the MADEA 11-film franchise, has generated more than $1 billion in North American revenues. A MADEA HOMECOMING is the first film in her new incarnation.
Congrats to all 2021 Pulitzer Prize winners for excellence in journalism, books, drama, and music. African American winners include Playwright Katori Hall for the “Hot Wing King’ about Black masculinity and a loving gay couple, for drama; the nonfiction book “Franchises: The Golden Arches in Black America” by Marcia Chatelin, for History; Wesley Morris, NY Times, who writes about the intersection of race and culture, for Criticism; and Darnella Frazier, who recorded the 5/25/20 George Floyd murder in Minneapolis, a video that instigated worldwide protests for social justice.
BOOK NOTES: The 6/20 NY Times best seller book list in nonfiction is toplined by “How the World is Passed: A Reckoning With The History of Slavery Across America,” by Clint Smith, a Black poet and Atlantic Magazine writer. The narrative is described as a cross-country survey of slavery and remembrance. This exhaustively researched, scholarly but accessible work sounds like a readable 336-page cogent response to critical race theory naysayers.
Ursula Burns was XEROX Corporation’s CEO from 2009 to 2016; and, in that capacity, was the first Black woman CEO to make the coveted FORTUNE 500 List. Her new memoir, “Where You Are Is Not Who You Are”, charts her life’s course from NYC tenement governed by a Panamanian single mom to the uppermost level of Corporate America.
Salutes to Caribbean Diasporans and their progeny during June 2021 Caribbean American Heritage Month!
Federal Government: VP Kamala Harris, Susan Rice, Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, US Justice Department, and newly-appointed UC-San Diego Professor, Dr. Renee Bowen, who was appointed Biden Administration‘s senior economist for trade with the Council of Economic Advisors.
Congress: Yvette Clarke, Stacey Plaskett, Stephen Horsford, Ritchie Torres, Adriano Espaillat, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
NYS Assembly: Speaker Carl Heastie, Rodneyse Bichotte, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Diana Richardson
NYS Senate: Democrat Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Roxanne Persaud, Leroy Comrie, Zellnor Myrie, Jabari Brisport, and Brian Benjamin (a 6/22 NYC Comptroller) hopeful.
NYC Council: Farah Louis and Eugene Mathieu, a 6/22 Primary Brooklyn Boro Prexy hopeful. NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray is Caribbean American.
EDUCATION: Yinka Stanford PhD; Fern Khan, Bank Street Dean Emerita; Javaid Khan, Horace Mann Dean; Nafees Khan, PhD, Clemson University Professor; Brenda Clark; Peter Blair Henry, PhD Economist, former NYU Stern Business School Dean.
REAL ESTATE: Beatrice Sibbles, BOS Development; Frank Hernandez, Tridez founder and Harlem real estate historian; Robert Horsford, Apex Builders; Ed Poteat, Carthage Advisors; Yvonne Stafford; Kenyatta Punter, KP and Associates; Dr. Malcolm Punter, HCCI; Russell Grey, Ramona Grey Harris, and Aden Seraile, Edward Sisters Realty, oldest Black NYC real estate firm; Karen Soltau; Meredith Marshall, BRP Companies
ENTREPRENEURS: Laurent Delly and price-Mars Delly, founders of IDEACOIL, IT ; Al Cunningham; Maria Granville, Madisyn.com, IT; Leyland Hazlewood, international business; Fritz Mc Clymont, international business; Harold Doley III, Finance; Maxine Larmond, Finance; Alyah Horsford Sidberry, Cove Lounge; and Jason Benta, Benta Funeral Home; and Shawnee Braggs, Caterer.
MEDIA/4th ESTATE: David Greaves and Bernice Green, co-founders, Our Time Press; Raymond Joseph, Haiti L’Observateur; Karl, Faye and Karlisa Rodney, NY Carib News; Jean Wells, Positive Community; Joy Reid, MSNBC; Errol Louis NY1; Lester Holt, NBC; Sheryl Huggins Saloman, City&State NYand NYU; Rosalind McClymont, The Network Journal; Rev. Dennis Dillon, Christian Times; Ryan Brooks.
NON PROFIT: Karen Dixon, Harlem Dowling CEO; Wes Moore, Robin Hood Foundation; Roy Paul, Cents-Ability CEO; Sheena Wright, United Way NYC; Stanley McIntosh, Neighbors United of West 132 Street, Harlem; Vy Higginsen, Mama Foundation; Lloyd Williams, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; Angela Clark, Eaton Benevolent Society; and Elizabeth Alexander, Mellon Foundation.
MEDICINE/HEALTH: Cheryl Smith, MD, John Mitchell, MD, Romeo Adams, MD; Marilyn Gobern, RN, Crystal Gobern, Occupational Therapist; George Hulse, Emblem Health; Jocelyn Valentine, Nutritionist.
CARIBBEAN NEWS: Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley plans to make her nation a republic and remove Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state by November 2021, which will be the Barbados’ 55th Independence Anniversary.
JUNETEENTH will be a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery. It happened in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 when about 250,000 enslaved Africans learned that slavery had been abolished in 1863. Yesterday, the House voted 415-14 to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, the nation’s 12th federal holiday. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk. (See p6)
A Harlem based, brand management consultant, Victoria is reachable at [email protected]