[Column: What’s Going On]
FINE ARTS NOTES: The 54th Annual Winter Antiques Show, a benefit for the Bronx-based East Side House Settlement, at the Park Avenue Armory is considered the jewel in the crown of NYC fine arts expos, lives up to this lofty reputation. As in previous years, the art tilts heavily towards Eurocentric Americana, but this year shows is more diverse and inclusive.
I spied a breathtakingly beautiful landscape by the African-American master Robert Scott Duncanson, at the Alexander Gallery (NYC) booth, which has a $400K price tag and some exquisitely crafted wood carvings by Nigerian, Benin, Cameroonian, and New Zealand artists at the Conru Primitive Arts, (Brussels) booth.
And there’s much more eye candy for discerning collectors. Show runs through January 27. This is a prelude to next month’s art menu: Swann Gallery Auction of African-American Art and the Black Fine Arts Show.
HOLD THE DATE: The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) hosts its 11th Annual “The Legacy Continues” Awards Dinner on Monday, January 28 at the Waldorf Astoria. A black tie gala, the 2008 AFUWI salutes 12 notables:
Denis O’Brien, founder/chairman of Digicel, Reginald Canal, Raymond Goulbourne, Noel Hankin, Roy Hastick, Sr., Marc Morial, Colbert Narcisse, Paul Atlman, Rollin Bertrand, Vincent HoSang, Minna Israel and Dr. Harry Belafonte.
The AFUWI was founded in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the U.S for the University of the West Indies, UWI, which was established in 1948, initially as an external college of the University of London, was subsequently made fully independent in 1962. UWI operates in the Anglophone Caribbean with campuses in three countries – Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago – and twelve centers, in Anguilla, Antigua-Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada,
Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia , and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Diplomatic elite, ambassadors to Washington and to the UN, attend the Annual AFUWI Gala.
OBAMA AND THE CLINTONS: Local well wishers stopped by for the hoopla that attended the opening of the “Barack Obama for President” Harlem headquarters, last Saturday, January 19. Alas neither Gloria Steinem, who wrote a NY Times feminist manifesto, “Women Are Never Front-Runners” in support of Senator Clinton’s candidacy for president. The essay is replete with many sentences which begin with “what worries me” as she rails against the freshman Senator Obama about his inexperience and gender.
The Steinem op-ed begat a retaliatory response from veteran, African-American writer/intellectual Ishmael Reed which is titled “Bill, Steinem and US: Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man,” who adeptly navigates the history of US sexism and racism, comparing African-American male with white women, invoking chapters from US101 on politics the antebellum and reconstruction South, Jim Crow, civil rights, feminism, and voting rights. Both are required reading for any serious student of Election Year 2008.
BLACK PHAROAHS: The February National Geographic cover story makes it official! There were Black Pharoahs in ancient Egypt, which then as now, still is an African country. The Black pharaohs, arrived in Egypt circa 730 BC, after a successful military campaign launched by a very dark man named Piye, a Nubian, who came from what is present day Sudan. Piye and his clan ruled for 75 years. These dark pharaohs ruled Egypt during the 25th Dynasty and are credited for their empire building. Article begs many questions; but it is a beginning, an attempt at truth about African antiquity.
SPITZER TO CLOSE PRISONS: Governor Spitzer’s plan to close 4 upstate prisons, an action that would save NYS taxpayers more than $70 million, during the next 3-4 years, has been met with a chilly reception by the usual suspects, upstate Republican lawmakers, the Patrolman Benevolent Society, the NYS Corrections Officers. Most of the detention facilities, tenanted by downstate Black and Latino inmates, are the economic mainstays of many predominantly, white, upstate communities.
Facilities scheduled for closing currently operate at 50 % inmate capacity, owing to a sharp decline in crime. NYS Corrections employs 31,000 employees for an inmate population of 62,234 at 69 facilities. The Spitzer prison-closing initiative will become increasingly political.
Horsford’s column appears weekly
To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to
“Speaking Truth To Empower.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment