Honoring Community advocates
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 1/17/2013, 1:14 p.m.
Did you know that St. Nicholas Avenue between 141st and 145th street is now officially known as Dorothy Maynor Way? Dorothy Maynor was a world-renowned concert artist, beloved first lady of St. James Presbyterian Church, founder of the Harlem School of the Arts, Harlem's cultural ambassador and a relentless advocate of community pride, improvement and empowerment way before the terminology became popular.
Another advocate of community pride, Joseph P. Fleming, who was known as "General Counsel to Harlem," was recently laid to rest but not before receiving the tribute of a lifetime. Friends, family, colleagues, clients and those who knew him well and best all gathered at Abyssinian Baptist Church for a final farewell. Words of praise and thanks for a job well done were poured upon him by community members such as James Davis Jr., the Revs. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and Dino Woodard, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, Nicholas Cherot Esq., Robert Adair, M.D., Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Lloyd Williams of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Adelaide Sanford of the Board for the People of African Ancestry, Alex Pressley, Gail Monroe-Perry, Prince Riley and LaShonna Holloway, the Revs. Reginald Williams and Roy Fleming Jr., Gina Moore, Monte O. Harris, M.D., and Lateefah, Joey, Terilyn and Lavon Fleming.
There was also a reading by Betty Dopson; "My Life is in Your Hands" was sung by Roderick Covington, accompanied by the LoveJonesNYC Band & Singers; son Joey Harris Fleming sang an original composition, "Heart & Soul"; and Sophia Nicole sang "Total Praise."
Joe was a man of true grit. He walked it like he talked it. Always there, a true friend and aid to those in need of legal assistance or just a shoulder to lean on. Honorary pallbearers included Brian Adjo, Corwin Breeden, Russell Broome, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jambey Clinckscales, Tom Collins, Virgil Ecton, Leon Ellis, Anton Gladden, Bennie Hadnott, Chris Ifill, Carl McCall, Arthur Miller, Robert Perry, Anthony Ricco, Patrick Waldron, Nathaniel Joseph Williams, Winston Williams and Kenneth Woods. Besides all of those, he leaves to mourn his mother, Mary Terry Fleming, devoted assistant Drew and beloved wife, Temple-Jene. Never goodbye, just so long, Joe, until we meet again.
Also passing unexpectedly was Bryant Mills, rest in peace.
Still celebrating birthdays are Mary Moultrie, Mahou and Caleb Crawford, and Bianca Featherstone. Happy anniversary, Larry and Harriet Coldwell.
While the summer madness is over, it's never too late to visit the Winery Tasting Room at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard, located in Sagaponack on the east end of Long Island. Open year-round, the winery has the most interesting collection of wines, including one sparkling brut that will have you coming back for more. With apple and pumpkin picking nearby, why not make a day of it and "become part of the experience."
The Mid-Manhattan Branch NAACP's annual Freedom Fund Benefit Luncheon took place recently at Marina del Rey, and as always, it was a smash. Honorary chairs this year were Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Dr. Marcella Maxwell and Dr. Roscoe Brown. Honorees were Wyclef Jean, City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Robin Bell Stevens, NBPA Executive Director "Billy" Hunter; Willie Walker, general manager of the Harlem State Office Building; Anthony Harmon, who is director of parent and community outreach at UFT; and branch members Marti Greenberg, Ruther Miller, Anna Lewis Esq. and Beverly Wheeler. A reception, luncheon and dancing to the Warren Daniels Band on a beautiful Saturday afternoon--who could ask for more?