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Mitzi Turner joins ancestors, greatly missed

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 10/13/2011, 11:42 a.m.

Meanwhile upstairs in the Langston Hughes auditorium, the audience was equally enthralled with performances by Voza Rivers' Impact Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, which is in the process of forming their touring company once again (hooray!), and a presentation by Muhammad, who spoke at length about his future plans for the Schomburg and his latest book, "The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern America."

Happy birthday to Roger Daniels, Jamie Foster, Lil' Kev (118th St.) Kevin Gaddy, Kevin (Coconut) Copeland, Shawn Manley, Charlie Yellowday, Herbert Moultire, Linda Roberson, Ralph Benjamin, Derrick (Fat Dickey) Stevens and Julia Viola Sarjent Mitchell.

Happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Donovan, Tarrah Smallwood and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Carroll.

The afternoon was sunny, warm for a fall day but welcome just the same. The children had just come home from school and the streets were bustling with the usual late afternoon activity. All seemed peaceful and everyone's thoughts were either on the task at hand, what was for dinner or idly dreaming the rest of the day away. Pop, pop, pop. Downtown, a helicopter crashed into the East River. Uptown, the all too familiar sound of gunfire went off as another one bit the dust.

There are a couple of crazy things in this recurring scenario. No matter how many times you hear gunfire, you still think-or maybe hope-that it's just firecrackers going off. You almost tend to ignore it-maybe because you want to believe so badly that it is someone who just got hold of some illegal firecrackers instead of an illegal gun.

However, fantasy quickly turned back to reality as in less than five minutes the police sirens were racing through the air as patrol cars head to the scene of the crime. It's amazing how quickly they respond after the fact. What's even more amazing is how, in less than 10 minutes, the NYPD helicopter is in flight. Canvassing the neighborhood, the surveillance team peers into your window, invading the privacy of the innocent as they bear down on every street. Round and round they go, where's the culprit, nobody knows.

While news coverage of the helicopter crash was extensive, there was no news about the Harlem shooting. Legislators rushed to announce the need for new laws regulating air traffic and the use of helicopters; after all, helicopter crashes are happening on average about once a year. As horrible as that is, how horrible is it that shootouts occur in Harlem, in the middle of the day, on a crowded street filled with innocent bystanders-children, the elderly who can't run for cover, moms, dads, working people, people who are just people-on average once a week and NO ONE is doing anything about it? Sigh! Need I say more?

Until next week...kisses.