DIA’s ‘Detroit Collects’ shows why the Motor City is a treasure trove of Black art

click to enlarge “After Manet, from May Days Long Forgotten,” 2002, Carrie Mae Weems, American; digital chromogenic print. Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections runs through March 1 at the DIA. - SHIRLEY WOODSON AND EDSEL REID COLLECTION; COURTESY OF THE DIA

  • Shirley Woodson and Edsel Reid Collection; Courtesy of the DIA
  • “After Manet, from May Days Long Forgotten,” 2002, Carrie Mae Weems, American; digital chromogenic print. Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections runs through March 1 at the DIA.

Opened to the public on Tuesday, Detroit Collects exhibits 60 works of all mediums from 19 Detroit-area art collectors, some of which are now available to the public for the first time ever. All are focused on Black artists, including works by Carrie Mae Weems, Romare Bearden, Nick Cave, Alison Saar, and Rashid Johnson, as well as artists with Detroit connections, like Charles McGee, Mario Moore, Tylonn Sawyer, Allie McGhee, and others. The DIA’s General Motors Center for African American Art bills itself as the first curatorial department dedicated to Black art in the U.S.

See DIA website for schedule; 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org. Free with general admission, which is free for residents of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Show runs through March 1.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Heads up for Black people in 2020; stay woke

Black people

As we enter the last quarter of the 400th anniversary of our African ancestors being forcibly brought to enslavement in North America, here are my suggestions for 2020 and beyond. 

That we as a people stop trying to claim people who don’t want to be claimed. We are not so lacking in quality people that we must lay claim on people who regularly insist that they are not Black artists, writers, scholars, etc.

But ones who just happen to be Black. It’s time we let such people be what they want to be and call them whatever they want to be called. 

That Black people speak out in a loud voice against those writers, singers, film makers, playwrights and rappers who pass off their crude, sleazy and vulgar products as shining examples of being Black.

They’re being American to sell their creations with crudeness, sleaziness and vulgarity, not being Black. 

Recognize economic power 

That we recognize that our collective economic resources are a potentially powerful weapon on the struggle for equal justice and equal opportunity that we rarely, if ever, use effectively. 

For instance, there was much talk recently about banks that seldom provide loans to Black applicants. Immediately there was a call from some for a big, loud protest. 

Much more effective than that would be for 500 Blacks to turn up at that bank one morning and withdraw all their money. That’s the proper use of economic power. 

Appreciate Black teachers 

That Black folks will realize that we are sitting on top of a gold mine of Black history. If properly mined, it can be very productive for us both educationally and financially.

That Black people recognize that there is no more valuable member of any community than a master teacher. Much more needs to be done to show such a person how much he or she is appreciated for taking on the essential task of educating our children. 

That those Black folks who are insensitive to the attempts of Native Americans to change the name of the Washington Redskins ask themselves how they would feel if the team was called the Blackskins?

That we recognize that predatory street criminals and selfish me, myself and I Black professionals are equally destructive to efforts to build politically, economically and culturally powerful Black communities throughout the country. 

That Black students reject any notion that striving for academic excellence is somehow trying to be White. The fact that even a few Black students believe such stupidity is a victory for our enemies. 

Use common sense 

That we let the whole nation know that the emphasis on Black self-help did not begin with the so-called Black conservatives. People such as Martin Delaney, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, among a host of others, were emphasizing self-help long before it was discovered by Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. 

One of the major differences between the approach of those like Malcolm X and the latter is that while advocating self-help, they didn’t believe in letting the government off the hook. 

Black people pay much more in taxes than they get back in goods and services so they have a right to demand their share of public monies. 

Finally, that we remember what my grandmother once told me when I was over-complicating a problem.

“Use your common sense, Boy,” she said. We as a people need to use our common sense in 2020 and beyond.

A. Peter Bailey’s latest book is “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher.” Contact him at apeterb@verizon.net.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

‘Flow’ series to feature African American artists in 2020

Published 7:49 am PST, Sunday, November 17, 2019

CINCINNATI (AP) — A new performing arts series in Ohio will feature and celebrate African American artists throughout 2020.

“Flow, an African American Arts Experience” is a series presented by ArtsWave, a nonprofit arts organization that funds arts projects and organizations in the Cincinnati region.

The series will feature performances by African American artists and groups from various disciplines each quarter. It kicks off Feb. 21-22 with performances by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.

Education and discussion will also be part of the programming. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will act as a resident artist and engage with Frederick Douglass Elementary students.

ArtsWave CEO Alecia Kintner says ‘Flow’ is a part of the organization’s long-term goals which include deepening the roots of Cincinnati residents and bridging cultural divides.

Why Franco is in a coveted position for any living Kenyan artiste

Franco Luambo Makiadi [Photo: Courtesy]

In October, the world marked 30 years since the death of Africa’s most famous singer, Franco Luambo Makiadi. That is a coveted position for any living Kenyan artiste.

Franco’s fame went beyond his role in associating the two Congos with ‘the heart’ of African music. Others rightly point out that his skill lay in the ability to praise and criticise the Zairean state at the same time. Franco’s genius was, for me, in the use of music to strengthen Congolese nationhood in ways that included our continent, and touched on issues that Africa contests with the world.

But he did not act alone. Graeme Ewens’ 1994 book, Congo Colossus, obviously lacks the lyrical breadth and beauty of Gary Stewart’s Rumba on the River (2000), but it contains the most intimate knowledge about Franco.

Sorcery, talent, laughter, language and ideology, which Ewens gives as contributors to Luambo’s success, have all led analysts to spread the myth that Franco was a superhuman. They conveniently forget the most important point: the Zairean presidency.

Sorcery is the easiest to kick out first, since it is the word African systems of knowledge invented for anything outside their understanding.

Johny Junior: The reigning king of local Rumba music

One only needs to read about the stoning of women with perfect teeth in Ghana, and of merciless killing of child ‘sorcerers’ in many African societies when famine is coming.

An example of sorcery falsehood is in our Akamba community.

A convincing research shows that the unhelpful Kenyan association of the Akamba with sorcery is based on a single incident in Kambaland during the 1950s, when villagers lynched a number of witchdoctors.

Franco Luambo Makiadi [Photo: Courtesy]

One is tempted to add male circumcision and the narrow-minded futility of its sorcery in Kibra Constituency, where old medical doctors go back to children’s habits of throwing stones – the same childishness from which they claim male circumcision liberated them. It is therefore understandable ‘sorcery’ when Franco, a poor, unlucky boy, suddenly builds a music empire.

Franco was a talented guitar player – not singer – with a narrow vocal range. Ewens notes that the singer’s height was just slightly above average. Dalienst Ntesa, Lutumba Simaro and Djo Mpoyi were all taller.


His laughter was the third factor. The illiterate village boy tickled people on a scale that no Congolese singer before or after him did, and probably because they went through college education (I think that formal education kills true art).

Franco caused laughter with as much ease as does West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo. Prof Lonyangapuo would have won ardent fans across all Kenyan tribes if he were a Kenyan musician who sings in Kiswahili.

Pioneer singer

Language is important. It has been observed that over 90 per cent of rumba is sung in the Congolese lingua franca (Lingala). Kenya’s most successful pioneer singer (Daudi Kabaka) mostly sang in Kiswahili, and not in his native Tiriki. It is also possible to explain the current fame of the Ohangla singer, Emma Jalamo, on the musician’s regular use of Kiswahili.

Read Also: The re-birth of local Rumba music

Pride in Africa’s indigenous languages affirms our humanity, but this position does not address the practical hardships, which come with that desire. Those who preach linguistic extremism in Kenya have a good argument, that we read Russian Literature through translation.

But they never say Russia is a country of 146 million people, and that the massive linguistic inertia in such a country reduces the headache of the politics of ethnic identity. Someone who says I read Leo Tolstoy in translation obviously assumes that I value the Russian writer over my Kenyan author who was born in Narok. I do not.

Millions of Kenyan students read HR Ole Kulet in English, not in translation from his Maasai mother tongue. The other specific difficulty with Kenya is that all songs that preach ethnic hatred are sung in indigenous languages. Franco avoided such ethnic gossip by preferring Lingala to his native Kikongo.

Franco Luambo Makiadi [Photo: Courtesy]

This points to Makiadi’s personal philosophy. TP OK Jazz occasionally included singers from Nigeria (Dele Pedro), Cameroon (Manu Dibango), Zimbabwe (Isaac Musekiwa), Zimbabwe/Angola (Sam Mangwana), and Congo Brazzaville. Franco supported Patrice Lumumba (of the Batetela tribe), and not Joseph Kasavubu (his own Mokongo tribesman).

The only brave Kenyan singers who would join his club are Bomet County’s Sweetstar, and Homa Bay’s Attomy Sifa, for supporting politicians outside their tribes. Makiadi would find it interesting that our singers say very little about the African continent. The death of 400,000 people in Southern Sudan’s civil war is not enough to make them reject bad leadership in Africa.

Franco’s legendary fame partly came from his own personal attributes, but it rested solidly on the singer’s ties to president Mobutu Sese Seko’s active interest in the power of music.

Cultural ambassador

Mobutu first anointed Franco as Congo’s national cultural ambassador by sending the singer to the first World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966, and, from 1973, made Makiadi the president of Congo’s music trade union, UMUZA, which Franco ruled with as much cruelty as Mobutu did Zaire.

Stewart writes that the trade union strategically barred other Congolese bands from visiting abroad when TPOK Jazz travelled the world. Then came Franco’s acquisition of Zaire’s main record-pressing plant, MAZADIS, and other huge properties he entitled himself to through Mobutu’s patronage. Franco was an entrepreneur musician backed by state connections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has done many positive things for our music. He remains the only leader who has publicly questioned the small coins that reach Kenyan singers’ mobile phones through mobile money transfer. He knows where his achievement falls in comparison to the Mobutu presidency’s robust support of music in the former Zaire, and how this affects the growth of Kenya’s nationhood.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Lloyd Blankfein Helps Black Artists, Kobe Bryant Funds Diapers

Kate Hudson, Vanessa Laine Bryant, and Kobe Bryant

In a week of impeachment hearings, twitter fights and a lot of chaos, two nonprofits had major nights.

In Los Angeles, some very thin, famous and fabulously dressed people improbably carb-loaded and watched Paula Abdul perform “Cold Hearted” as they raised almost $5 million for Baby2Baby, including a $50,000 pledge from Vanessa and Kobe Bryant.

Sponsors paid for “every spoon, fork, cocktail and flower” so every dollar donated would go to the organization, Gwyneth Paltrow said on stage in front of an animation of a tree made by artist Jennifer Steinkamp.

2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Inside

Gwyneth Paltrow

The hosts at 3Labs in Culver City were Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein, moms with spouses in the entertainment industry. They founded Baby2Baby eight years ago to distribute diapers, clothing, cribs and car seats to children living in poverty.

Along the way, they’ve created a party drawing media (Weather Channel owner Byron Allen), fashion (Rodarte’s Laura Mulleavy and Jenni Kayne), finance (Todd Lemkin of Canyon Partners and Adam Nathanson of Mapleton Investments), tech (Greycroft’s Dana Settle) and Hollywood (Billy Eichner who passed on noodles for the Jon & Vinny’s pizza).

2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Cocktails

Byron Allen and Jennifer Lucas

2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Inside

Ara Katz and Dana Settle

Proceeds from the gala make up about 70% of the organization’s budget, which now serves 200,000 kids locally, Weinstein said. It worked to get the sales tax on diapers eliminated in California, effective in January, and advises groups in more than 30 cities on the logistics of helping families in need, Patricof said.

2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Cocktails

Jamie Patricof, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, Norah Weinstein and Brian Weinstein

2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Inside

Jessica Alba and Alan Patricof

Guests were mostly parents with young kids, though some elders, such as TPG’s David Bonderman and Greycroft’s Alan Patricof, mingled with Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner. Kelly Rowland (of Destiny’s Child fame) sipped a cocktail with Brian Weinstein, chief operating officer of Bad Robot, husband of Norah and a co-founder of a charity himself, Opportunity Network, which helps underprivileged high school students in New York City get to college and beyond.

Four days later, one of the most influential opportunity networks for black artists, the 51-year-old Studio Museum in Harlem, held its gala at the Javits Center. The event Wednesday raised $3 million and represented an apotheosis of institutional and social diversification.


Dancing after dinner at the Javits Center

Studio Museum in Harlem

It’s no small thing that the museum is building a new home on 125th Street designed by David Adjaye, and that its director and chief curator, Thelma Golden, has curated an exhibition of Michael Armitage at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the crowd were former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (hours before tweeting about Elizabeth Warren), private equity investor and Goldman board member Bayo Ogunlesi, Lazard’s William Lewis, Blackstone’s Neil Simpkins, Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer and Donald Newhouse.


Duro Olowu, Deborah Roberts, Bayo and Amelia Ogunlesi

Golden and Ray McGuire are forces in raising the Studio Museum’s profile, aided by black artists such as Torkwase Dyson, who received the $50,000 Wein Prize at the gala in part for her work exploring climate change.


Torkwase Dyson and Thelma Golden

Golden came from the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she was the first African-American curator, and has brought influential collectors into the Studio Museum’s fold. (To wit: the Whitney’s former chairman, Leonard Lauder, was this year’s gala honoree, though he wasn’t able to attend.)


Ray McGuire and Crystal McCrary

McGuire, a vice chairman at Citigroup, is chairman of Studio Museum, and serves on the boards of the Whitney and the New York Public Library. He’s also been honored by charities all over town, where he frames access — to the arts, to education, to diapers, to books, to jobs — as the critical issue for our time.

“Access is a lifeline to creativity, confidence, self-worth, dignity and belonging,” McGuire said.

In this, both Baby2Baby and the Studio Museum in Harlem are doing their part.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

At Sotheby’s, It Was ‘No Froth, No Excitement.’ That’s the New Normal.

If the French-Israeli telecommunications entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, who bought Sotheby’s in June in a deal worth $3.7 billion, needed proof that auctions are unlike any other business, he got a clear introduction to that reality during this week’s unpredictable sales.

On Tuesday night, Sotheby’s saw a 40 percent drop in its Impressionist and modern art sales compared with the equivalent sale last May. By Thursday, the auction house was heartened by the $270.6 million total of its contemporary art sale — though that, too, was 28 percent lower than the spring total.

To drive home the fickleness of the salesroom, Christie’s, on Wednesday, achieved an auction high for an Ed Ruscha work, fetching $52.5 million for the Prince of Pop’s 1964 word painting “Hurting the Word Radio #2.” The following night, Sotheby’s, on the other hand, couldn’t even manage to sell Mr. Ruscha’s egg yolk on silk, “She Gets Angry At Him,” from the collection of the designer Marc Jacobs. Ultimately, the auction house brought the piece back to the block as the last lot of Thursday evening — and sold it for $1.7 million, below its $2 million low estimate.

“The art business is not something you can equate to any other business,” Helly Nahmad, a New York dealer, said. “They’re not selling stocks and bonds here. They’re selling fine art.”

This week’s sales provided ample evidence of why the art market continues to defy predictions and to confound those looking for results they can count on. This auction season was buffeted by uncertainty around geopolitical trends. Collectors held onto their best material but, at the same time, buyers were still willing to pay top dollar for the best works that did emerge.

The auction houses suffered in the absence of any major estate sales. On the other hand, they benefited from the seemingly insatiable appetite for blue chip works of contemporary art.

In the end, as in recent years past, dealers, collectors and the auction houses themselves were able to end the week trumpeting the results as proof of a resilient market.

“A lot of people bidding a lot of money on a lot of paintings,” said Marc Glimcher, president and chief executive of Pace Gallery. “It was a strong sale. Everybody’s happy.”

Mr. Drahi, who took Sotheby’s private in a surprise deal — and recently appointed Charles F. Stewart from Altice USA as his chief executive — is expected to try to streamline Sotheby’s, paring down costs at the auction house and emphasizing digital development.

But art experts also caution that applying standard business practices has been tried before and may continue to prove challenging. The particular alchemy of the auction world depends on personal relationships with collectors, on auction specialists with years of expertise and on the serendipity of a live sale in which bidders decide — often in the heat of the moment — to go to the mat for the same object.

That type of frenzied excitement was evident on Thursday night at Sotheby’s, as bids came fast and furious for Kerry James Marshall’s “Vignette 19” park scene of 2014, propelling the final price to $18.5 million — well over the high estimate of $7. 5 million. (Though shy of the painter’s top auction price of $21.1 million last year for “Past Times,” bought by Sean Combs.)

Four bidders also competed for Mr. Marshall’s 2013 painting, “Small Pin-Up (Lens Flare),” which sold to the Los Angeles dealer Stavros Merjos for more than twice its low estimate: $5.5 million.

Mr. Marshall’s mentor, the late printmaker and painter Charles White — who last year was the subject of a MoMA retrospective — also had a big night, his first in a Sotheby’s evening sale. Mr. White’s poignant and impressively large 1953 charcoal drawing went for $1.8 million against a low estimate of $500,000, setting a new auction high for the artist.

Called “Ye Shall Inherit the Earth,” the drawing shows Rosa Lee Ingram, an African-American woman who became an icon of the social justice movement. In the late 1940s she was accused, with her two sons, of killing a white sharecropper. All three were sentenced to death, but after a public outcry, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

The strength of these artists Thursday night was emblematic of a growing interest at auction in artists of color. An abstract painting by Norman Lewis, “Ritual” from 1962, sold for $2.8 million, a record at auction for the artist’s work. Works by Mark Bradford brought strong prices at both Christie’s ($7.54 million) and Sotheby’s ($5.8 million). Last month at a Phillips sale in London, a sculpture by Simone Leigh set a new auction high for the artist at more than $215,000 on a top estimate of about $74,000.

“African-American art is strong at the moment,” the dealer Christophe Van de Weghe said. “The auction houses have struggled to find good material. People don’t want to sell their paintings. But when the auction houses find good things, they fly.”

At the same time, the more obvious trophies were also in high demand. Three abstract paintings went to Asian bidders. Willem de Kooning’s large-scale abstract, “Untitled XXII” — which was sold by the New York art dealer Bob Mnuchin and had never before been offered at auction — went for $30.1 million, having been guaranteed by a third party to sell at $25 million.

Similarly, Clyfford Still’s 1946 “PH-399,” not seen on the market since 1970, sparked a 15-minute, three-way telephone battle before falling for $24.3 million to the same collector as the de Kooning. It had been estimated at $12 million to $18 million.

And Mark Rothko’s bright orange abstract, “Blue Over Red,” from 1953, sold for a solid $26.5 million, on a low estimate of $25 million, despite having been unloved by some visitors at the auction preview.

The different results at Sotheby’s and Christie’s contemporary sales made clear how dependent auction houses are on the quality of the consignments they are able to corral each season. All but four of Sotheby’s lots were successful, with 70 percent selling for hammer prices above their low estimates. The previous evening at Christie’s, 40 percent of the material sold below estimate.

“Maybe they had a more interesting mix of things,” said the art adviser Nancy Whyte, speaking of Sotheby’s.

At Phillips earlier on Thursday night, the total results were healthy, if not exactly effervescent: $108.1 million, up slightly from May’s sales.

“Everyone is a little apprehensive at the moment,” said Frances Beatty, a New York-based art adviser. “Art is very easy to buy, but not so easy to sell.”

One of the most remarkable signs of nervousness in the current market is the fact that auction sales of works by the American graffiti artist and designer KAWS ($70.6 million) were higher in the first half of 2019 than those of the art market powerhouse Jean-Michel Basquiat ($65.6 million), according to Artnet’s latest Intelligence Report.

The Phillips sale included Mr. Basquiat’s red-dominated 1981 canvas, “The Ring,” showing one of the artist’s trademark boxers in polka-dot shorts triumphantly holding a spear above his head. Guaranteed to sell for at least $10 million, the painting went to the art adviser Abigail Asher for $15 million, with fees.

It is also easy to lose perspective on the astronomical sums buyers continue to lay out for items that will hang on the wall. While a season without $100 million artworks may qualify as muted in today’s overheated market, buyers are nevertheless continuing to pay $10 million for a 1977 Warhol silkscreen of Muhammad Ali, as one did at Christie’s on Wednesday night, or $27.6 million for Monet’s “Charing Cross Bridge,” which one collector did on Tuesday.

All in all, the week attested to the vagaries of the art market, which can simultaneously seem as volatile as tech stocks and as reliable as United States Treasury bonds.

“It was steady,” said Hugo Nathan, a London art adviser. “No froth, no excitement, but robust results.”

“The auction houses did a great job with what they had,” he added, saying that “this might be the pattern for a year or two.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

New nonprofit to focus on growing, retaining African American leadership in Milwaukee

Jeanette Mitchell at the launch of AALAM.

Last updated on November 15th, 2019 at 05:30 pm

The African American Leadership Alliance of Milwaukee, a nonprofit organization focused on growing and retaining the region’s pool of African American talent, publicly launched Friday.

AALAM aims to address disparities by supporting African American leadership across various sectors.

Among its goals are to “redefine Milwaukee as a top-ranking city for African Americans” by 2025, ensure African American leaders choose to live in Milwaukee and enhance a growing pool of African American leaders who “contribute to positive change” in the city.

Its board includes several prominent business and community leaders, including chair Antonio Riley of Stewart Riley Consulting LLC, and members Angela Adams of Goodwill Industries, Kyle Lindberg of Rockwell Automation, Jasmine Johnson of ManpowerGroup, Michael Morgan of MLM Consulting LLC, Kamilah Williams-Kemp of Northwestern Mutual and Kathryn Dunn of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

AALAM leaders have been laying the groundwork for AALAM since 2017, when 80 community leaders participated in a three-day strategic planning session to identify solutions to the region’s racial disparities.

“We see an extraordinary opportunity to harness Milwaukee’s African American talent to transform the Milwaukee region into a global destination where everyone, regardless of race, can thrive and prosper,” Riley said.

The organization, a 501(c)(3), will take on the African American Leadership Program, which has been housed at Cardinal Stritch University since 2008.

AALAM grew out of conversations among area leaders about how to expand the reach of the leadership program, which takes cohorts of about 20 individuals through a series of leadership development sessions and coaching over nine months. The program has produced about 200 alumni in the for-profit, nonprofit, entrepreneurial and civic sectors, and has been successful at connecting African American leaders with a supportive network as they advance in their careers, said Jeanette Mitchell, who founded AALP and is a founder of AALAM.

“This is an opportunity to leverage the lessons we’ve learned from AALP​,” Mitchell said. “AALAM is truly a natural evolution from the AALP program, serving as a connector for supporting sustainable, s​ystem-​wide change across the Milwaukee region.”

AALAM’s work coincides with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Region of Choice initiative, which aims to increase the number of African American and Hispanic employees in metro Milwaukee by 15% and managers by 25% by 2025. Tim Sheehy, president of MMAC, and Julie Granger, executive vice president of MMAC, have been involved with AALAM over the past two years.

While AALAM’s work is aimed at addressing disparity, it’s important to shine a light not just on disparities, but also to “change the narrative regarding African Americans in Milwaukee,” said Genyne Edwards, partner of P3 Development Group.

“Although this is a city that really struggles around some of those horrible indicators, there are African American leaders who are doing really awesome work, there are people who are leading, who are bright, talented and ready to engage, but often the energy is focused on the disparity,” Edwards said. “So how do we ensure that we are putting a light on the really great things that are happening?”

The founding team plans to have AALAM’s executive director and staff members hired by mid-2020. Moving forward, AALAM will hold quarterly meetings for members, which include those original 80 leaders who convened in 2017, to check in on the organization’s goals and monitor its progress.

The Greater Milwaukee Committee is the fiscal agent for AALAM. Leaders are exploring models to sustain the organization with earned revenue, rather than relying solely on philanthropic support. Cardinal Stritch will remain a higher education partner of AALAM, Mitchell said.

Leaders announced the organization’s public launch Friday at the ManpowerGroup headquarters as part of a day-long series of events and sessions focused on retaining African American talent in the Milwaukee region.

AALAM Seeks to Transform Milwaukee by Advancing African American Leadership

Local organization cultivates diverse and influential network to transform Milwaukee into a more inclusive city where everyone can thrive

This Friday, November 15, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m at the ManpowerGroup headquarters, the African American Leadership Alliance of Milwaukee (AALAM) is hosting a press conference to publicly launch as an organization. AALAM addresses Milwaukee’s racial disparity by focusing on sustaining African American talent in the region through a system-wide approach that supports and develops leadership in all civic sectors and at all levels of the community.

In 2017, more than 80 African American leaders and allies came together to participate in a three-day strategic training to identify solutions to address racial disparities and improve the vitality of African Americans in the Milwaukee region. Building upon the 12-year history of the African American Leadership Program (AALP), Milwaukee’s premier leadership experience for developing high-performing African American leaders, AALAM provides a cross-sector network of African American leaders and allies dedicated to developing, supporting, and positioning Milwaukee’s pool of African American talent.

“This is an opportunity to leverage the lessons we’ve learned from AALP. AALAM is truly a natural evolution from the AALP program, serving as a connector for supporting sustainable, system-wide change across the Milwaukee region,” said Dr. Jeanette Mitchell, Founder and Chief Catalyst of AALAM.

AALAM will present its goals and engagement strategy to the community during Friday’s press conference. The organization’s goal is to transform Milwaukee into an opportunity-rich city where everyone succeeds and flourishes. ALAM focuses on positioning African American leadership across various sectors. The diverse, cross-sector leaders are organized into action circles, which allows them to leverage their spheres of influence to promote and sustain system-wide change.

“We see an extraordinary opportunity to harness Milwaukee’s African American talent to transform the Milwaukee region into a global destination where everyone, regardless of race, can thrive and prosper,” said AALAM Board President, Antonio Riley. Utilizing his experience as the Former HUD Midwest Region Administrator and his unique background of 20+ years within national leadership appointments, state government, and economic development, Riley embodies AALAM’s role as a connector among civic leaders, community organizations, and policymakers.

One of the influential organizations partnering with AALAM is the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), which is committed to increasing the economic vitality of the metro Milwaukee business community. The organization recently released the Region of Choice study, which outlines not only the need for urgency but for the type of strategic action AALAM provides. Julie Granger, AALAM strategic partner and Executive Vice President of MMAC, will make remarks on MMAC’s relationship with AALAM and the benefits of investing in local African American talent.

To commemorate the significance of all the events being hosted on November 15, AALAM is recognizing the day as African American Talent Day. The AALAM public launch is just one component of the day’s activities that will feature other community events, with more than 300 African American professionals focused on developing and retaining African American talent in the Milwaukee region. Community organizations engaged in these events include The Greater Milwaukee African American Employee Resource Group Connection, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Diversity Leadership Society, and The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources.


AALAM, founded in May 2017, is a cross-sector network of African American leaders and allies dedicated to developing, supporting, and positioning Milwaukee’s pool of African American talent. Its ultimate goal is sustained, system-wide change that transforms Milwaukee into a more inclusive, opportunity-rich city where everyone can thrive.

For more information or press credentials, contact Ericka Kelly at (414) 336-6712. [email protected] aalamilwaukee.org.

Hampton Art Lovers Presents Point Comfort Art + Fair during Miami Art Week

Hampton Art Lovers Presents Point Comfort Art + Fair during Miami Art WeekHampton Art Lovers Presents Point Comfort Art + Fair during Miami Art Week

MIAMI – Hampton Art Lovers (HAL) introduces their Point Comfort Art Fair + Show, December 5-8, 2019, in historic Overtown at the Historic Ward Rooming House (249 NW 9th Street, Miami FL 33136).

The Point Comfort Art Show provides a platform for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) museums to showcase their collection of the African American masters of American fine art at the largest art exposition in North America.

The Point Comfort Art Fair showcases modern masters of black art and emerging contemporary artists that speak to the future of black art.

This year HAL will feature selections from the (HBCU) Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. The jointly curated exhibition will feature “Home: The Beverly Buchanan Collection” and “Barrington Watson: The Spelman Years.” The art show is sponsored by the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.

Point Comfort Art Fair + Show is an art exhibition inside the gallery and an art fair behind the gallery in a fully enclosed, climate-controlled tent.

The name “Point Comfort” is derived from the place in colonial Virginia where captives from the West African Kingdom of Ndongo (Angola) arrived in 1619. This marked the inception of American slavery and what we call the beginning of African American Art.

The people of Ndongo and other African tribes were stripped of their native tongues, and many of their traditions here in America, and through tremendous adversity, remnants of these lost traditions continue to express themselves in the song, dance, art and crafts of today’s African American community.

“Point Comfort” celebrates those remnants.

“Miami Art Week / Art Basel is the premier cultural expo of the Western hemisphere, and the visibility it provides for African America art is vast. Its a world exchange of art and ideas. Point Comfort Art Fair + Show in Overtown presents a seat at this table, showcasing African-Americas art for all people to admire and acquire. We set the foundation with a collection from the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art for show, providing an HBCU Art Museum a platform to showcase surrounded by works for sale by established contemporary artists.”- Christopher Norwood, Co-Founder, Hampton Art Lovers

“In furtherance of the implementation of the Historic Overtown Culture and Entertainment Master Plan, the Hampton Art Lovers exhibition in Overtown once again is becoming a global destination of unique culture, history, and entertainment.” – Neil Shiver, Executive Director, Southeast Overtown Park West CRA.

HAL’s key contribution to Miami Art Week in 2018 was the exhibition Elizabeth Catlett and the Hampton Arts Tradition and Ernie Barnes: Eyes Closed. The Elizabeth Catlett exhibition presented 30 works on paper by Elizabeth Catlett, on loan from Hampton University (HBCU), while the Ernie Barnes at fair featured 25 original paintings and prints for sale in Overtown.

Point Comfort Art Fair + Show Schedule

Operating Hours: Thu, Dec 05 through Mon, Dec 09 | 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

  • Wed | Dec 04 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm | VIP | Press Preview and Spelman Alumni Reception
  • Thu | Dec 05 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM | VIP | Opening Reception Sponsored by Wilkie D. Ferguson Dr. Bar Association
  • Fri | Dec 06 | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Indaba Art Conversations: “Hampton Arts Tradition” with Musa Hixson, BUCK! and Phil Shung moderated by Dr. Lindon Malone-Colon (Hampton University, Dean, Liberal Arts, and Education)
  • Fri | Dec 06 | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM | Indaba Art Conversations with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (Moderated by Dr. James Peterson) followed by Book Signing “Jay-Z: Made in America.” Also featuring Hampton Art Lovers commissioned limited edition prints of the illustrations from “Jay-Z: Made in America” by Everett Dyson and sponsored by Florida New Majority with a reception to follow.
  • Sat | Dec 06 | 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Indaba Art Conversations: “Home: The Art of Beverly Buchanan” with Anne Collins Smith (Curator of Collections of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art) moderated by Dr. Linda Malone-Colon (Hampton University Dean of Liberal Arts and Education)
  • Sat | Dec 7 | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Indaba Art Conversations: “The Art of Patronage: Collecting and Valuing Our Culture” featuring Artist Bisa Butler with MoAna Luu (Chief Content & Creative Officer for Essence Magazine) and Anne Collins Smith (Curator of Collections at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art) Sponsored by Essence Magazine & Hosted By Spelman Alumni and Concerned African Women Inc.
  • Sat | Dec 7 | 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM | Indaba After Party: “Good Times” (Rare Grooves and Classic Samples) Hosted By Hampton Art Lovers

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Legendary radio icon, ‘Papa Don’ Schroeder has died

Troy Moon, pnj.com Published 10:35 a.m. CT Nov. 15, 2019 | Updated 10:35 a.m. CT Nov. 15, 2019


Pensacola lost a legend early Friday morning when Papa Don Schroeder passed away after a long battle with throat cancer. Former PNJ reporter Troy Moon caught up with Papa Don in June of 2018.

We share that story again, originally published June 13, 2018, today in his memory.

Pensacola’s ‘Papa Don’ still in love with radio

At the end of your prayers tonight, you might want to throw in a get-well “Papa Ding Dong Diddley Daddy Debateably Darin’ Diggin’-Out Dash-n-dip-diggin'” amen for Papa Don Schroeder, one of Pensacola’s true musical giants.

The 77-year-old former radio producer, disc jockey and television host — the above gibberish was his well-known radio and television tag that he would spout when introducing his program — is in recovery at a Pensacola medical facility after suffering seizures recently. 

His face is thin and frail; far from the well-known Papa Don who even is his 40s seemed to sport a healthy, full-cheeked baby-face; a half-century from the days when he used to make the scene as a flashy musical Svengali, all swagger and monogrammed sweaters and initialed leather boots and visions of hit songs in his head. Visions that sometimes came true.

A musical pioneer in Pensacola

“Everyone in music in Pensacola knows Papa Don,” said well-known area musician and instructor Cecil Clark, whose 1960s-era rock band received a little airplay on Schroeder’s radio program. “He was Mr. Music Man around here.”

Schroeder has had plenty of trauma and health problems in recent years. Two of his three sons have died — Michael Schroeder in 2013 and Jerry Schroeder in 2009. He’s survived throat cancer, and the once fast-talking Papa Don even lost part of his tongue in the process.

But during a recent visit, Schroeder still managed a croaky “Papa Ding Dong Diddley Daddy Debateably Darin’ Diggin’-Out Dash-n-dip-diggin'” shout out to his fans.

And he reflected on his musical legacy — not just as a hit maker, but as a taste maker.

His hugely successful radio program at WBSR, and later at WNVY, in the 1960s was unparalleled in terms of local ratings. One of the secrets was his energetic style, and the other was his outreach. He was one of the first DJs to put callers on the air. And the first to integrate local airwaves.

“I was the first white DJ to play James Brown,” Schroeder said. “I wanted music to bring black and white people together. I really believed music could do that.”


Making and finding hits

His radio program was largely dominated by black artists performing rhythm and blues.

In the late 1950s while living in Michigan, Schroeder released a solo record “Melanie” that became a minor regional hit in the Midwest. But his biggest fame on a national scale would come after he opened his own production company in Pensacola. In 1968, he opened his own studio at Cervantes and A streets.

He promoted concerts, but also began producing records, starting with Mighty Sam McClain’s cover of “Sweet Dreams.” He was then introduced to James and Bobby Purify, featuring Florida cousins — James Purify from Pensacola and Robert Lee Dicky from Tallahassee. (It was Schroeder who had them record and perform as James and Robert Purify.)

Working together, the three recorded two major hits: “I’m Your Puppet” and “Shake a Tail Feather.”

“I’d go back in the record business today,” Schroeder said from his bed, “if I could find a singer as good as James Purify and had a hit song in my back pocket like ‘I’m Your Puppet’ or “Shake a Tail Feather.'”

Schroeder also found major success in 1974 when he produced Carl Carlton’s hit  version of “Everlasting Love.” He would work with numerous artists throughout the years, but followup success on a national scale was elusive.

Papa Don tries TV

He purchased the Pensacola radio station WPNN in the early 1970s, and the station, which now plays talk radio, is run by his surviving son, Scott Schroeder.

Papa Don moved to the small screen in the 1980s with the wonderfully strange and weird “The Papa Don Schroeder Show” on BLAB-TV, where the charismatic host was joined by an assortment of characters, including his dogs and pet parrot and his wife, Gail Rose Hollingsworth Schroeder, known to TV viewers as “Mama Gail.” (She and Papa Don also have a daughter, Melanie Saccomanno.)

A long-time born-again Christian, Schroeder would even like to branch out into a new genre for him, according to Clark, who performs with the longtime popular local band Clark & Company.

There was an assembly at Pensacola High School a few years back, and Clark, a music teacher, found himself sitting next to Schroeder, who was there for the assembly.

“He tried to talk me into doing this Christian rock thing and touring Europe,” Clark said. “I told him ‘Papa Don, I have a gig here.’ But he’s like that, always trying to put something together.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/11/15/papa-don-schroeder-legendary-radio-icon-has-died/4201567002/

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment