Naomi Campbell joins leading black Britons in photography show

Naomi Campbell, Thandie Newton and Laura Mvula are among 37 black Britons whose portraits will go on show in a major exhibition.

The trio, with other familiar faces including Sir Trevor McDonald and Tinie Tempah, were all photographed by Simon Frederick for a BBC documentary, Black Is The New Black. In it, they discuss their experiences in the UK.

The 39 prints will go on show at the National Portrait Gallery in November next year. The collection is the largest acquisition of portraits of black Britons in the gallery’s history and was donated by Frederick after a donation from tech firm AOL. Other sitters included John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, and Homeland actor David Harewood.

Gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan said: “These striking portraits of black British sitters powerfully reflect the diversity and variety of contemporary British achievement in public life. The National Portrait Gallery is delighted to receive Simon Frederick’s very generous gift of photographs.”

Frederick will also speak at the gallery on Thursday, to mark Slavery Remembrance Day, about the effect one of its paintings, Benjamin Robert Haydon’s 1840 piece The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, had on his work.

Are you a budding artist? Enter the Evening Standard Contemporary Art Prize in association with Hiscox and you could win £10,000. Visit

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Koch Brothers Reaching Out To African Ameri

Curley Dossman

[Business Exchange Column]

What do you think of the Koch brothers?  Many Blacks may want to take a look beyond the headlines to see what Koch money has been doing where we live.  

Koch entities are in the forefront challenging America’s disparate systems, particularly that of criminal justice. Koch-affiliated organizations and entities dedicated to reducing society’s reliance on imprisonment as a solution to social problems have engaged with numerous Blacks toward improving their communities’ well-beings. 

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who spent decades pushing for criminal justice reform, have engaged with Koch affiliates to counter the overwhelming effects the War on Drugs has had on communities of color. The staggering racial disparities have wrought are: Blacks are jailed on drug charges 10 times more often than Whites. More people of color are in prisons and on probation than ever before: One in three Black men can expect to be incarcerated in his lifetime.

At the 57th Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) national convention in Baton Rouge Dr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis, Jr., was part of a panel for reforming the criminal justice system with Mark V. Holden, the senior vice president and general counsel of Koch Industries, Inc.  

The “Bipartisan Efforts to Reform the Criminal Justice System” panel was sponsored by Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries.  An affirmed civil rights leader, Chavis is president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.  

Chavis acknowledges that the Koch brothers engage in conservative politics, but sees merit in working with them. Holden, Koch Industries’ general counsel, said the company has been working on criminal justice reform for the past 12 years and that the reform he seeks “should be broad-based and include everything from racial profiling to disparate sentencing and prosecutorial misconduct.” 

It’s not hard to see that the Koch brothers have been making inroads into Black American lives and institutions. Over the years, Koch grants have supported scores of Historically Blacks Colleges; their $25 million contribution to the United Negro College Fund was roundly criticized by some Blacks and applauded by others. Georgia-Pacific, a Koch subsidiary, has been a longtime supporter of SCLC, and Chavis has signaled his intention to enlist Koch Industries to advertise in Black newspapers.

The Koch viewpoint is to “replace dependency with opportunity.”  Surely to advance their message, Koch organizations should partner with the nation’s network of Black community news and information entities as a means of connection and communication.  

The “main man” in the Koch orbit is Curley Dossman, a Georgia Pacific vice president in Atlanta.  At the $20 billion-a-year Georgia-Pacific behemoth Dossman heads the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, which funds: education, enrichment, environment and entrepreneurship.   

A Black Louisiana-born Cajun, Dossman has supported Atlanta-based projects such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Black Art Festival, and as national president of 100 Black Men of America.  

Georgia-Pacific and SCLC have schools, community leaders and businesses working to teach character-building, financial literacy and career development through the lens of great American ideals and civic responsibility.  Aspiring young Black entrepreneurs are funded by Georgia-Pacific in the YEGeorgia business education program targeted to nurture such skills among high school students.

Entrepreneurial Blacks endorse the Koch’s capitalistic values and beliefs.  Many Black groups are very liberal in their orientations; causing them to accuse the Koch brothers of: the government shutdown; voter suppression; global warming; and, numerous other diabolical and evil plots.  

But, in the end, Chavis is “progressive” to align Black publishers with Koch free-market programs and principles. Led by many second-generation entrepreneurs, America’s current crop of Black Press publishers provide voice for Blacks and their interest through operation of some of the oldest, most trusted community newspapers in America.  

These are the leading newspapers in their markets and communities, because Black Press newspaper operators provide readers a unique blend of local news coverage, commentary and marketing opportunities.  

There is a high need for entrepreneurial education among African Americans; the Kochs and their affiliate organizations can facilitate broad information and philosophy exchange by partnering with the Black Press to get their libertarian message out to and through urban America.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Hope HB160 – First Look

Hope are finally ready to unleash the Beast from Barnoldswick to the public. Hope owners, Ian Weatherill and the late, Simon Sharp, had always dreamed of building their own bike. There are hundreds of different sketches and renderings at Hope HQ and prototype bikes, but it wasn’t until now that they could finally construct a bike they wanted to ride, and more importantly to them, build almost entirely in-house.

The HB211 prototype was shown to the public, but the brand was always coy about whether or not it would make it into production, or if it was purely a showpiece. Now the bike is available to order, in limited quantities, and you can have it in any color you like, as long as it’s raw carbon and black. In fact, the only option for customers is the color of anodized parts, the usual six Hope shades will be available, and finally Team Green will be available to buy on this complete bike only. Color aside, the bike is only available as one package (with some options on rotor size, stem length, chainring size), built with as many Hope parts as possible, and only from selected Hope dealers or direct from the factory. Available from September onwards, Hope will produce 500 bikes per year, so get in line. How much is the big question: £7,500 will get you a piece of hand laid history.

Hope HB160 Details

• Intended use: trail, enduro, mountain biking
• Carbon front triangle, alloy rear
• Travel: 160mm
• 27.5″ wheels
• 130mm rear hub spacing
• Fox Suspension
• Weight: 14 kg (claimed)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Made in the UK
• Price: £7,500 / $9,663 USD approx.

Hmmm weavy...

Hmmm, weavy…

Hmmm machiney...

Hmmm, machiney…
Where to start on the details? It seems that every nook and cranny of the HB160 has been pondered over many a brew (that’s tea in Yorkshire). Not simply selecting parts from a catalog and putting them in the right place, but thinking critically and making parts that better suit the needs of this bike. The front triangle is carbon, laid in Barnoldswick in return for British wages, safety standards and income directed into their local community. Cable routing is internal with 3D ports printed in-house. The water transfer graphics are added before the final matte finish lacquer is applied.

Carbon production is currently always associated with Asia. But Hope pointed out some good reasons UK manufacture is a smart move. Firstly, one of the major costs of a carbon bike is the mold. If your entire business revolves around machining bike parts, then this isn’t an issue, though they did have to buy a machine bigger than anything they had previously to machine the huge £700 hunks of raw material into shape.

Secondly, the UK has a huge wealth of carbon expertise related to Formula One car construction, so finding an expert to help with the finer details of this black art was easy.

Production models will be badged the HB160. Does that mean there could be some other numbers following the capitalised letters in the future

Production models will be badged the HB160. Does that mean there could be some other numbers following the capitalized letters in the future?

Cable routing ports are 3d printed in house.

Cable routing ports are 3D printed in-house.
Hope’s solution to creaky press-fit BB’s uses a tube that threads together inside the frames bottom bracket shell for a solid fit. There is a custom chain guide that fits onto tabs above the bottom bracket shell, single chainring compatible only, of course.

Moving towards the rear wheel things get more interesting with the funky offset rear triangle; following somebody along a trail on the HB160 almost looks as if their bike has taken a side on impact from a car. The idea here is to reduce the width of the rear hub to 130mm for better clearance through Yorkshire gritstone, though the hub flanges sit a similar width apart to a boost hub. Space is saved between the frame and disc, and disc and spoke flanges, the spoke angle is also symmetrical which is touted as the ultimate solution for reliable wheel building. The hub axle is 17mm instead of 12mm, which is the size of Hope hub inner bearing races, the races sit directly on the axle, instead of on spacers on the axle.

I m glad that a company finally sorted out the waste of space found at the rear axle of nearly every bike on the market. Instead of making it wider you can just make it better

I’m glad that a company finally sorted out the waste of space found at the rear axle of nearly every bike on the market. Instead of making it wider, you can just make it better.

The radial brake and mount are also Hope’s own. Both are designed to sit perpendicular to the hub. This means that to change disc size riders can simply to add or remove spacers to raise or lower the caliper, instead of trying to find that obscure ‘IS160 Front Old to PM203’ mount from 2003 that you need on your modern bike to upgrade the rotor by 20mm. There are also Lego-like bosses on the mount that sit inside the bolt hole on the caliper to help keep things in line.

Confused and frustrated by numerous weird brake mounts across the industry Hope made it more confusing by creating another one themselves. At least this one is perpendicular to the axle so simple spacer can be used to change the disc size instead of hunting through boxes of old mounts to get the right one.

Confused and frustrated by numerous weird brake mounts across the industry, Hope arguably made it more confusing by creating another one themselves. At least this one sits perpendicular to the axle, so a simple spacer can be used to change the disc size instead of hunting through boxes of old mounts to get the right one.

Hope HB211

The rear brake caliper is a custom version of the Tech4. The bolts are neatly placed through the main bulk of the caliper instead of on tabs.

Some people may complain that Hope are creating more standards, but this bike is a package deal only. If you care about the fact that you can’t insert ‘Component X’ here or there, then you have missed the point of this bike.

The sections of the swingarm of the HB160 are now bonded together. This gives a cleaner finish and is also said to be a more accurate way to keep the bike aligned during manufacture.


Hope said they wanted to stay on the conservative side of geometry rather than chasing the longer, lower, slacker, trend. That said, the numbers are still fairly progressive compared to a few 160mm travel machines that are lagging behind the times.


There’s one build kit to choose from, and of course, it’s dominated by Hope. The suspension is from Fox via a 36 and Float X2, the dropper post is a Reverb from RockShox. The gear shifter, chain, and derailleur are XX1 11-speed from SRAM. The saddle is from Fabric and will be a custom Hope edition for the production bikes. Maxxis supply tires. Everything else is all from under one roof: grips, bar end plugs, handlebars, stem, top cap, headset and spacers, hubs, rims, cranks, seat clamp, chain guide, cranks, chainring, bottom bracket, hubs, cassette, and brakes – can any other brand boast this spread of product?

Hope hubs have gained a reputation as the benchmark over the years.

Hope hubs have gained a reputation as the benchmark over the years.

The Tech 35W rim is Hope s latest hoop. A 35mm internal width with a chunky cross section. This isn t simply a narrow rim that has been stretched to a super thin limit.

The Tech 35W rim is Hope’s latest hoop. A 35mm internal width with a chunky cross-section. This isn’t simply a narrow rim that has been stretched to a super thin limit.
The rims are the only component made in Taiwan, to Hope’s specification, as finding rim manufacturers in the UK is, well, basically impossible.

Hope brakes are a love hate affair.

Hope brakes are a separating subject, a love/hate affair with many riders.

Hope HB211

The rear brake caliper is a custom version of the Tech4 caliper.

Of course Hope spec their own Cranks chainring and specific HB211 chain guide.

Of course, Hope specs their own Cranks with 30mm axle, direct mount chainring, and specific HB160 chain guide.

The Hope handlebar is the second carbon component to come out of the Barnoldswick factory.

The Hope handlebar is the second carbon component to come out of the Barnoldswick factory.

Hope HB211 - First Look

Stem, top cap and spacers are all from Hope.

Suspension Design

The rear triangle of the HB211 is machined from aluminium.

Parts of the rear triangle of the HB211 are machined from aluminum, then bonded together with tubes.

Hope are open and admit that all suspension is a compromise, rather than marketing they have found a perfect solution. They went with a four bar, horst style link that provides fairly neutral characteristics all around. The only thing that isn’t neutral is a lot of progression that should work well with coil shocks or large volume air shocks with minimal spacers inside.

We headed to the Serre Chevalier region of France where the HB’s main engineer resides. Guillaume uses the epic alpine trails here as his local test bed, and what better place to get to grips with the bike.

The HB160 gets on with most tasks well, the geometry isn’t fully new-school, and of course, me being me, would say I would like a degree or two added to the seat tube and a couple knocked of the headtube, as well as a few more millimeters in the reach and chainstay. But that’s not the point. The geometry plays well with all types of riding and is comfortable enough for long days, climbing and descending nearly anything put in front of it.

Neutrality is key is key here as Hope themselves suggested was their goal. But after stating they wanted to stay on the conservative side of things, the HB160 is still more aggressive and capable than many bikes aimed at the same genre of riding.

The standout feature for me was the rear suspension; the back of the bike has amazing tracking characteristics across rough cambered ground and corners. The progressive suspension allows the pilot to take commanding and aggressive approach. Driving the HB into corners and through compressions is superb, and picking up speed is natural as the chassis spurs onwards.

We are looking forward to getting some more time on an HB160 on our regular test tracks, a bike that needs to be lined up against some potential rivals.

Pinkbike’s Take:

bigquotes The HB160 is more than a bike. It’s for a collector, a connoisseur, an enthusiast that wants a piece of history. It’s born from working man’s heart, soul, art, and life work. More importantly than the ride, it’s a joy to possess, admire, and show to your friends, and eventually your grandchildren when it’s hanging on a wall, pride of place.
Paul Aston

About the Reviewer
Stats: • Age: 31 • Height: 6’1” • Ape Index: +4″ • Weight: 75kg • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: astonator
Paul Aston is a racer and dirt-jumper at heart. Previously adding to the list of non-qualifiers at World Cup DH events, he attacked enduro before it was fashionable, then realized he was old and achy. From the UK, but often found residing in mainland Europe.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Fayetteville troupe to open season with Fun Home

Fayetteville professional company TheatreSquared opens its 12th season Wednesday with Fun Home (music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics and book by Lisa Kron, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel) at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. The show runs through Sept. 17; curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with an additional 7 p.m. show Sept. 17.

The 2015 Tony Award-winner for best musical, which focuses on Bechdel’s childhood memories of playing with her brothers around the caskets in the family funeral home, contains adult language and mature themes, so the theater recommends it for audiences 13 and older.

Tickets are $17-$48; $10 for patrons under 30; $5 for recipients of SNAP benefits through the theater’s Lights Up! For Access program. Call (479) 443-5600 or visit the website,

Rogers railroading

Model railroad displays in various gauges and sizes will be part of the Sugar Creek Model Railroad & Historical Society’s model railroad show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Rogers Historical Museum’s Education Annex, 120 W. Poplar St., Rogers. Admission is free. The show is part of Rogers’ annual railroad-centered Frisco Fest. Call (479) 621-1154 or visit

’18 art lineup

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, will mount an exhibition with the working title “Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art,” May 26-Sept. 3, 2018, pairing “significant” works by O’Keeffe with pieces by contemporary artists Sharona Eliassaf, Monica Kim Garza, Loie Hollowell, Molly Larkey and Matthew Ronay. Visit

The rest of the museum’s 2018 lineup (all working titles):

• Feb.3-April 23: “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” organized by the Tate Modern, London, making its U.S. debut at Crystal Bridges, examining how the work of black artists during the 1960s-’80s reshaped American culture.

• Oct. 6. 2018-Jan. 7, 2019: “Native North America,” charting the development of contemporary indigenous art from the United States and Canada since the 1960s.

Messiah rehearsals

The Arkansas Choral Society starts rehearsals for the 2017-2018 season at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 (continuing at 7 p.m. Mondays) in the choir room of Calvary Baptist Church, 5700 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. (The church’s sanctuary building is actually a block up at R and Pierce streets.)

Fall rehearsals will point toward the society’s 87th annual performance of portions of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 1 with members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at the church. The schedule also includes a fundraiser “pops” concert in February or March, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem April 27, with members of the Arkansas Symphony and the University of Arkansas at Monticello Concert Choir. Kent Skinner is the music director and conductor.

The chorus is open to all singers without auditions; membership dues are $50 per year plus the cost of music. Call (870) 820-9645 or visit

Ballet auditions

Western Arkansas Ballet will hold combined open auditions Sept. 23 for two ballets — its 32nd annual performances of P.I. Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in December and Snow White (with music by various classical composers) in March — at its studio, 4701 Grand Ave., Fort Smith.

Candidates should be at least 6 years old with at least two years’ experience in dance and/or gymnastics; parts are also available for adults and boys with little or no dance experience.

Registration begins a half hour before the audition times — for girls ages 6-8, 10:30 a.m.-noon; 9-10, 12:30-2 p.m.; 11 and up, 2:30-3:30 p.m. For boys 6-8, 11 a.m.-noon; 9-10, 1-2 p.m.; 11 and up, 3-3:30 p.m. Wear appropriate dance clothing. Audition fee for both ballets is $40 ($20 is refundable if you are not cast); for one ballet, $30 ($20 refundable).

Nutcracker performances will be Dec. 16-17. Snow White will have two performances March 3. Call (479) 785-0152 or visit

Ballet season

Arkansas Festival Ballet will stage a full-length storybook ballet version of Beauty and the Beast, which Artistic Director Rebecca Miller Stalcup will choreograph primarily to music by Pierre Adenot and Alan Menken, May 18-20 at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre in MacArthur Park, East Ninth and Commerce streets, Little Rock. They’ll hold auditions Nov. 11.

The rest of the 2017-2018 season:

• Dec. 9-10: Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors and portions of The Nutcracker with the Conway Symphony Orchestra and conductor Israel Getzov, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. (Tickets:

• Spring 2019, TBA: “Dance Melange,” a mixed-bill concert with guest Paula Weber, choreography by Kirt Hathaway, Mary Trulock, Katie Greer and Meredith Short Loy.

Call (501) 227-5320 or visit

Jonesboro season

Jonesboro’s Foundation of Arts’ 2017-2018 season opener, Little Women (music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, book by Allan Knee, based on the Louisa May Alcott classic), continues its run with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Stage Too, 328 S. Main St., Jonesboro. Tickets are $10.

The rest of the lineup (except as noted, shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Monday; 2 p.m. Sunday, The Forum Theatre, 115 E. Monroe Ave., Jonesboro; tickets: $17, $8 children 12 and younger, discounts available for senior citizens, college students and military):

• Sept. 8-11: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. $15, $8 age 12 and younger

• Oct. 21-24, 26-27: Peter Pan (music by Morris “Moose” Charlap, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, additional music by Jule Styne, additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)

• Nov. 17-21: The Nutcracker (ballet)

• Dec. 15-19: A Charlie Brown Christmas, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, based on material by Charles M. Schulz

• Feb. 10-16: Seussical, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics and book by Lynn Ahrens, based on stories and writings of Dr. Seuss

• March 15-18: Exodus the Ballet, arranged and composed by Raphael Xavier, originally choreographed by Rennie “Lorenzo” Harris

• April 27-30: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Joseph Robinette, dramatized from the stories of C.S. Lewis

• June 23-26, 28-30: The Producers, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan

Paintings and sculptures by Georgia O’Keeffe, including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 — will be part of an exhibition with the working title “Georgia…

Paintings and sculptures by Georgia O’Keeffe, including Abstraction — will be part of an exhibition with the working title “Georgia O’Keeffe and Conte…

Season ticket packages are $65-$115. Call (870) 935-2726 or visit

Style on 08/20/2017

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

One more thing we love about Issa Rae: How “Insecure” showcases black artists

The second season of Issa Rae’s groundbreaking HBO comedy “Insecure” is amazing for a number of reasons. The characters are complex and funny, the story lines are hilarious, and Rae is brilliant at showing so many sides of blackness, something that so many shows fail to do. Rae also does something else through her show that is much needed in the art world: she’s launching careers and providing platforms for other artists.

I remember when I first started out as an artist, running around as a writer and a photographer. Writing was the passion but photography paid the bills. I’d rip through the city shooting anything and everything, and eventually the word got out that I was cheap and pretty decent, so I started booking steady hood gigs: weddings, rap album photo shoots and parties, mostly. I even shot a funeral once.

As my reputation grew, I started getting bigger gigs. One was for a popular writer. I shot all of his events — I even did some for free, just for the opportunity to meet people in the publishing world. In between gigs I’d share my writing ambitions with him and he’d give some good insights, but he never offered any connections, not even for the opportunities he didn’t want. The same thing happened with my photos — he’d post my images, but would never credit me as the photographer.

Sometimes I’d say to him, “Yo, give me credit on my pics. I’m trying to get some money!”

And he’d say, “My apologies, bro, I got you!” before posting my name — without my social media handle. I quickly realized that he had no interest in promoting anyone other than himself.

I didn’t let his actions make me bitter. Instead, I told myself that if I ever made it, I’d use my platform to help promote other artists. I’ve been doing that from the moment I became fortunate enough to travel to promote my work, and watching Issa do it on Insecure has given me more hope.

We are barely halfway through the season and I’ve already noticed Rae using her HBO platform to plug the amazing artwork of Derrick Adams by showcasing his work in a Los Angeles gallery. The show has used music from Baltimore’s talented hip hop musician TT The Artist, and showcased the cover of Angela Flournoy’s award-winning book “The Turner House.” All of these people are gifted and experiencing success; however, that push from “Insecure” will definitely help increase their profiles and grow their audiences, which could ultimately take their careers to the next level.

I hope more influential artists with large platforms follow her lead. Rae is proving that we all can win, especially if we help each other.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Orphan home

The Evansville Orphan Asylum, also known as the Orphan Home, opened in October 1872, in the former home of Dr. John Laval.

The home sat on 20 acres at the end of West Indiana Street. Originally, the orphanage housed children of all races, as well as provided temporary care for children while their parent sought care in local hospitals or the Boehne Camp.

As many other aspects of Evansville society began to segregate, so did the Orphan Home. In 1983, a Colored Orphan Home, as it was known at the time, was built across the street, about 800 feet away from the original orphanage, to house displaced African American children.

History Lesson is a pictorial history of Evansville compiled by Daniel Smith, local history and digitization librarian at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Arts, Culture And Resistance

[Notes From The Frontline]

Atlantis! We’ve known each other since she was just 2.

Only, somehow, suddenly, this annoying spoiled child, is 6-feet-tall, in her stylish, satrapy, high-heeled slippers. Elegantly arrayed in an evening gown, her hair swept up, her neck and ears adorned by sparkling rhinestones, Atlantis has become a young woman, all grown up!

Last week, along with 100 other well-wishers, I attended an intergenerational party in honor of her graduation from Hunter College.

Near Marcus Garvey Park, on 121st Street, her parents’ Victorian row-house is a perfect place for an impressive blowout. With most of the furniture removed, despite the throng and the heat, a steady breeze from the high windows and frosty, tropical punch, kept everyone dancing comfortably to the DJ’s nostalgic selections.

The “baby” of her family, her parents make a striking pair. Habitually wreathed in smiles, Carman is a native of Guyana. Not long ago she was lovingly described by her dotting husband, resting on their bed, after her bath, as appearing like, “a seal on the beach”.

Ordinarily affable, pallid and skinny Axel was born in Germany so, sometimes his stern side does surface, particularly, if he’s espousing his anarchist political views. But there was none of that, not the other night. All eyes then and all thoughts too, were on a radiant lady at the threshold of a useful and meaningful life. It’s a life that’s been well planed for and carefully thought out. She intends to lead it, right where she was born, in Harlem.

It’s not merely because, as an adolescent, Atlantis introduced me to one of my favorite TV programs, that makes me look up to her. More important is her independent spirit and determination to succeed. Watching Sex In The City together, that first time, her great insight astonished me.

Initially ecstatic, because the hottest guy at her gym had gone out with her, the character, Miranda, best known for declaring later that she wouldn’t be caught dead living in Brooklyn, gloated to her friends with pride. Only, the more assertive and less needy she becomes, the more distant and turned off “Mr. Adonis” seems.

“Oh my goodness”, exclaimed my precocious companion, a 14 year old, “she is ‘lettin’ him make her lose her self esteem!” How could one help but to hold in high regard such a self-confident girl?

Alright, I confess, Like Miranda, from Sex In The City, I’m one of “those”, too. Snooty, lazy, irrational, I’m a Manhattanite, loath to leave local splendors to laboriously venture to Brooklyn. In a way, our position is perfectly reasonable. There is so much to do, to see, conveniently here—why bother, to go elsewhere?

For those of us who are African American , or who admire Harlem of yesteryear, there are two excellent reasons to visit the “city of churches.”

The fourth largest urban area in the nation, before it became a part of New York in 1898, Brooklyn’s historic significance, to people of color, pales compared to Harlem’s. Only thanks to gentrification, now, it’s Brooklyn that boast the region’s biggest Black population. As a result, it’s also become home to many of the restaurants, night clubs, shops and other ethnic repositories of culture, that are not always so easily found in an ever more assimilated Harlem .

“Is the whole world crazy?” That was the rhetorical question raised by my friend, Malcolm Harris, the handsome fashion designer who founded the activist group, Designers for Darfur. It was opening night for Alvin Ailey at BAM. We were being given a hard time about our tickets, by an officious young man in charge of public relations. He made us miss the first piece. Yet, after turning down wheelchair seats, ultimately, we were placed in one of the opulent auditorium’s commodious, always empty, boxes; put there by a courteous and understanding Black usher. This proved, once again, how important perseverance is.

Completed in 1908, as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM is an ornately embellished architectural masterpiece that was designed by theatre specialist Herts & Tallant. They were also the designers of Harlem’s lost Polo Ground’s grandstand. Their building at BAM is reminiscent of the earlier, stylistically more flamboyant Harlem Opera House, that was torn down in 1970.

Resident at BAM from 1969-1971, the Ailey troupe’s return to Brooklyn after a 35 year plus absence, was a part of their 50th anniversary celebration. Followed by a lively party, flawlessly executed, their performance featured three audience favorites. Highly appreciative, at every opportunity, the capacity crowd , that included notables like Joan Rivers, greeted the dancers with abandoned applause and lusty cheering.

Establishing his award winning, classically trained company in 1958, brilliant Black dancer-turned choreographer, Alvin Ailey, was as passionate about life, as he was about art. The first time we met was over 20 yeas ago. We were both engaged in a favorite, highly pleasurable diversion.

In those days, shopping at the extraordinary, untidy and disorganized, combination thrift store-antique shops, found all over Harlem , was a guaranteed “cheap-thrill”. Among dusty piles of indifferent merchandise one was liable to find anything from a Serves vase to a Van der Zee photograph.

Ordinarily, $15 was my limit, for these purchases which always filled me with delight. This afternoon, first seeing Ailey, I made an exception. Chatting breezily with the proprietor, he’d seemed familiar. Was he someone I’d seen on TV?

As knurled as the Chinese philosopher’s stone he was considering on the counter, it was Alvin Ailey’s bare, aching, dancer’s feet, that gave his identity away. Alas, because of the interest he expressed in a pair of rock crystal-like, engraved Lucite obelisk I’d spotted, I’d had to pay the full $35 being asked.

But, this incident, leading to laughs and a friendly conversation about mutual friends, had provided the opportunity to meet an admired hero. It also helped me make up my mind about my antique fix. Sadly, not long afterward, Alvin Ailey died.

Emphasized by the tumultuous reception at BAM, it’s pretty evident that the maestro’s legacy lives on. Like me, many present have seen Ailey’s famous dance, Revelations, the grand finale, literally dozens of times. And, still, when it ends, jumping to our feet, we cheer and clap with glee! Why?

Partly, what it is that keeps one riveted watching Revelations, is Ailey’s sure juxtaposition. He’s constantly contrasting “life’s big picture”, with the varied intimate episodes of everyday. In each act, much as in a battle scene or an orgy, in a movie, apart from the general action, there’s individual activity that also commands one’s attention.

As recognizable as they are magnificent and timeless, the longing spirituals that score this dance, are also integral to its power. You need not be Christian or even necessarily religious to be moved by the music’s magic. Along with the dancers evocative movement, it can compel anyone with a modicum of understanding about what it is to struggle to be human.

Even while accomplishing feats of athletic virtuosity, worthy of an Olympic gold medal, the dancers are always smiling. We are too far away to notice their heroic effort, to observe either, their fierce panting for breath or perspiration that flies, like showers of rice at a wedding. So splendidly muscled, brimming with vigorous energy, from where we sit, they seem to be some separate, elevated species, removed from poor ordinary weight-watching mortals.

This is why, for me at least, the experience of the dance, always includes my musing, “will I ever, again, find romance with someone so exquisite?” Women, my friend Atlantis assures me, are not burdened by these petty carnal distractions, but I wonder?

It’s also perplexing to contemplate, how these dancers, manage to bring such brio to each presentation, that it seems to us, that they’re experiencing it for the first time?

Imposing, bald and beautiful, Judith Jamison, who succeeded Alvin Ailey as company director in 1989, insist, “it’s Alvin, he wrote the drama that makes his work new to you each time, in each piece!”

A faun-like Parisian, who says he’s danced Revelations some 107 times; Willy Laury, more pragmatically explains how the performers have the challenge of dancing a different role each time they appear.

Sylvia Waters, my neighbor, who runs Ailey II, credits both the richness of the choreography, as well as its varied demands, with giving Revelations an always changing vitality. “Let’s face it”, she says, “Notwithstanding its lofty status, It’s a modern classic, but it rocks!”.

What is the nature of the genius of Black style, of Black art? Long held apart, held back, we’ve evolved with our own parallel universe of cultural achievement. Undeniably, it’s been heavily informed and even imbued by white influences. But, all the same, it’s somehow different. Some maintain, that this difference, contrasted with the ennui inducing predictability of America’s moribund European-derived cultural offerings, makes Black culture better?

This was what we were discussing at a round table, after BAM, at Chez Josephine, my favorite restaurant at Mid-Town Manhattan on 43rd Street. It’s a homey kind of place, not unlike renowned Harlem spots from back-in-the-day, such as the long gone Jocks, on 125th Street. 

A whole lot of the intoxicating atmosphere  found here, is due to exceptional old-school entertainers. Crowned by an extravagant hat, playing piano standing up, the inimitable Sarah McLawler and her sidekick, swinging trumpeter, Jean Davis, are supreme jazz stylist. Short and sassy, Boncellie Lewis, on the other hand, is a soul-singer! That lady can make one weep, belting out the blues from a vast repertoire of sentimental love ballads.

Ageless, elfin Jean-Claude Baker, sporting a coral-colored silken tunic, befitting one of the “rainbow tribe” of children adopted the legendary artist Josephine Baker, is our host. Nothing short of a secular shrine, dedicated to the ultimate Auntie Mame-type of guardian some of us once craved, Jean-Claude’s place is as festive as a bacchanalia and as subtlety decorated as a Christmas tree.

As he’s providing us with excellent champagne, so cold and so good, we know not to be too disagreeable. It’s he who declares jazz and Black dance to be superior to any white counterpart. This prompts me to recall thoughts expressed earlier at BAM, by Brooklyn Councilmember, Leticia James. “How important it is having Ailey here again !”, she’d shouted, “It’s so important for young people in my district to see all the possibilities of what people who look like us can do given the chance.”

Recounting this caused Jean-Claude to denounce public schools, postulating, the absurdity of failing to teach little children, living in Harlem or Brooklyn, with low expectations and little hope of becoming the model, actor, hip-hop star, or sports giant of their dreams and then to denounce them for finding a little pleasure and needed income, from sex or drugs: “Before my mother rescued me, the limited world of most children in Harlem, that was my world too.” Then, for a second time Malcolm Harris asked, “Is the whole world crazy?”

Round and round, and back and forth we went. More champagne, then food arrived, lobster bisque, salmon tartar, Chinese ravioli, fraise bois, with ice cream, coffee, port.

Utterly undeterred by the repeated necessity of rising and leaving us to greet an arriving guest or bid those departing, “adieu”, our host more than held his own. Everyone agreed, that the unlikely triumph of Senator Barack Oboma, was an encouraging miracle.

It wasn’t until after the port arrived that Malcolm Harris really got started. Before that, Senator John McCain was being criticized, but in a general way. After a while, for the fashion designer, this wasn’t good enough.

“Is McCain crazy?”, he asked? “His president and his party have been in charge for nearly eight years. They’re the ones who lied about WMD, about the war. They’re the ones who lost what they started. Who, but they can be blamed for $4-plus gasoline? Can you even remember Gray Davis, the Governor of California ? He was pushed aside through a devious manipulation of deregulated energy. Artificially, people like Bush, people like McCain, didn’t they make fuel prices skyrocket then? That’s the same thing happening now, and they’re the ones, people like Cindy and John McCain.”

“And Amanda Mortimer Burden”, I added insistently. “Yhea, Amanda Mortimer Burden too, who are benefiting. They deregulated the S&L’s, leading directly to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, right? Who else deserves credit for their mess? How, doing the same crap that led to the disaster we are all living, can John McCain, possibly be an agent of change now?”

This was enough to even silence Jean-Claude, if only for a moment. Following an affirmative grunt, he called out, “calvados for my friends!”


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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Artists to discuss Detroit Institute of Arts exhibition ‘Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement’

As part of its commemoration of the 1967 Detroit rebellion, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) presents panel discussions with several of the artists featured in the exhibition “Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement” on Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The programs are free with museum admission, which is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

From 10 a.m. to noon, Detroit artists Allie McGhee, Rita Dickerson, Tylonn Sawyer and Sydney James discuss their art, the Detroit art scene for African American artists from the 1960s to the present and issues surrounding the idea of African American art as being inherently political.

From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., artists who jointed collectives, established in the 1960s as a means to combat racial, social and political injustices, will talk about the advantages of being a member of such an organiation. Artists Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Anthony Barboza and Ademola Olugebefola will discuss their art as members of AfriCOBRA, Kamoinge and Weusi respectively.

“Civil, social and political justice issues from the 1960s and 70s are still relevant today,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “We are fortunate to have many of the artists who expressed their feelings and ideas about these issues with us to provide the history and context of their work both then and today.”

The discussions will be moderated by Valerie J. Mercer, curator and department head of the DIA’s GM Center for African American Art and Juana Williams, GM Center research assistant/intern for exhibitions and programs.

This program is organized by the General Motors Center for African American Art and sponsored by the Whitney Fund.

The museum is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays, and the DIA encourages visitors to see the “Art of Rebellion,” which has been generously supported by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Whitney Fund while in the museum.

Image: “1967: Death in the Algiers Motel and Beyond,” 2017, Rita Dickerson, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Museum Hours and Admission

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $14 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 62+, $8 for college students, $6 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art individually and with each other.

Also On The Michigan Chronicle:

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges an Electrician or Electrical Worker with Mesothelioma in Colorado To Call for Attorney Suggestions-For A Better Compensation Result

Please do not fall for some disingenuous Internet ad that says nonsense about ‘no lawsuit needed’ and or they are some federally sponsored or VA ‘claims center-because this is nonsense”

— Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, August 18, 2017 / — The Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center is now urging an electrician or electrical worker anywhere in the state of Colorado who has mesothelioma to call them anytime at 800-714-0303 for suggestions about some of the nation’s top attorneys they should be talking to. There is a strong likelihood an electrician or electrical worker with mesothelioma in Colorado was also exposed to asbestos in other states. Multi state exposure to asbestos can dramatically increase the value of a mesothelioma compensation claim as the Center would like to discuss anytime. http://Colorado.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

High-risk work groups for exposure to asbestos in Colorado include US Navy Veterans, power plant workers, oil refinery workers, miners, manufacturing workers, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, machinists, or construction workers. In most instances, these types of workers were exposed to asbestos in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, or 1980’s.

The Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “If we had one vital tip for an electrician or electrical worker in Colorado with mesothelioma it would be aim high when it comes to hiring an attorney. Some of the nation’s most skilled, experienced and capable mesothelioma attorneys will-definitely want to assist with your compensation claim. Please do not fall for some disingenuous Internet ad that says nonsense about ‘no lawsuit needed’ and or they are some federally sponsored or VA ‘claims center-because this is nonsense. As we would like to discuss with a person with mesothelioma in Colorado anytime at 800-714-0303-why do business with law firms that are involved in false advertising?” http://Colorado.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

The Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center wants to emphasize theirs is a statewide initiative available to a diagnosed anywhere in Colorado including communities such as Denver, Colorado Springs, Golden Leadville, Brighton, Durango, or Parker.

For the best possible mesothelioma treatment options in Colorado the Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center strongly recommends the following heath care facility with the offer to help a diagnosed victim, or their family get to the right physicians at this hospital: The University of Colorado Cancer Center for diagnosed victims in the Centennial State or the victim’s family:

The states indicated with the highest incidence of mesothelioma include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Washington, and Oregon. However, mesothelioma does happen in Colorado.

However, based on the calls the Mesothelioma Victims Center receives a diagnosed victim of mesothelioma could live in any state including Colorado. http://Colorado.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For more information about mesothelioma please refer to the National Institutes of Health’s web site related to this rare form of cancer:

Michael Thomas
Colorado Mesothelioma Victims Center
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

August 16 – 1988: Dorothy West died

On this day in 1988, Boston-born writer Dorothy West died on Martha’s Vineyard.

1988: Dorothy West died on Martha’s Vineyard

Boston Black Brahmin, Harlem Renaissance writer, was raised in Oak Bluffs

On this day in 1998, Dorothy West died on Martha’s Vineyard. The Boston-born writer was the last living member of the Harlem Renaissance, a movement of African-American artists, writers, and musicians that energized American culture in the 1920s.

Although profoundly influenced by her years in New York, West was strongly tied to Massachusetts to the exclusive society of Boston’s “Black Brahmins” in which she was raised and to the Martha’s Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs where she spent idyllic childhood summers and where she lived for the last half of her life. From her cottage in Oak Bluffs, the former Methodist revival camp that became the nation’s first black resort, West wrote stories and novels that illuminated the class- and color-consciousness she observed first hand in African-American society.

1992: Kennedy Museum opened in Hyannis


In the summer of 1992 the Kennedy Museum opened, and the Travel advisory on this day in the Sunday New York Times wrote;

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, which opened last month in Hyannis, Mass., is the first public facility in the town to illustrate the late President’s life on Cape Cod. President Kennedy used Hyannis Port as a summer White House.

Housed in the historic brick Old Town Hall, the museum exhibits some 50 photographs spanning the years from 1934 when Kennedy was 17 to his death in 1963. The pictures, displayed gallery style and interspersed with printed quotations, show the President in candid and formal portraits with family members, his Cabinet and government officials. Others show him playing touch football with his PT-109 comrades, sailing and golfing. Museum organizers hope to add a video and some family memorabilia, such as the scrimshaw that the President made.

(Above: The museum is at 397 Main Street, Hyannis, and is administered by the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation, Inc.)

1988: Will the mall change Wellfleet?

“Mall Becomes a Harbinger of Change In the Character of Cape Cod Village”


In August of 1988, the New York Times reported:

J. F. O’Connell of Ponte Vedra, Fla., who spends summers here, said Wellfleet has changed since last season and not for the better. In particular, he misses the old clapboard post office on Main Street. It served as a place for Wellfleetians to exchange greetings and news and conduct business. The post office was closed last February and officially moved to a new building on the outskirts of town, where it will be part of Wellfleet’s first mall.

With it, Mr. O’Connell and many other residents fear, went part of the character and life of Wellfleet, one of the last villages on Cape Cod that retains a vital, old-fashioned center.

”I used to enjoy walking to the post office and saying hi to people,” Mr. O’Connell said on a recent visit to the new building, on busy Route 6. With traffic at its worst in July and August, he said, ”Many people get their mail delivered and have given up coming here,” adding, ”You don’t get the social contact of the old place.”

Read the entire story in the New York Times here.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment