Do you think the snow is pretty much done? Isn’t it almost the middle of the month? We’ll just have to let Mother Nature do her thing. Obviously, the Earth needs a good cleansing, and snowstorms one day and temperatures close to 50 degrees a few days later is a mighty potent cleanser. But who knows, with the arrival of daylight savings time Sunday, maybe temperatures will continue to rise and spring will be in the air.
Neither snow, sleet, rain nor daylight savings time kept avid reader Elizabeth Rankin Fulcher indoors as she joined the Black Women’s Leadership Caucus, headed down to Alabama. The Black Women’s Leadership Caucus has touched the lives of so many people in financial need through their philanthropic works while keeping us all connected to our history. You may recall that the organization worked tirelessly to have March 10 recognized as Harriet Tubman Day. This year, they will be proud to say they were in the neighborhood as history was being made on the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery. The group joined the multitudes Sunday as they walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Elizabeth’s previous trip was to D.C. last month, when she hurried down to Washington to attend the unveiling of a stamp for Robert Robinson Young (Valerie Jarrett’s grandfather) at the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum. The ceremony was followed by the evening’s opening reception for its latest exhibit, “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights.” The exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum runs through March 2016. The Smithsonian’s next unveiling will take place April 7, when Dr. Maya Angelo is being honored on a postage stamp.
A little closer to home, the Bronx Museum of the Arts held its 2015 Spring Gala and Auction, raising more than $825,000. Proceeds from the event will enable the museum to continue offering free public programs that make art accessible to communities throughout the Bronx and neighboring boroughs.
Saturday, March 14, the Urban Park Rangers will conduct a tour of the night sky beginning at 5 p.m. at the Isham Street and Seaman Avenue Inwood Hill Park location. The “Night Sky” program highlights history and folklore, using the naked eye to locate stars and planets. The event is free, and maybe March 14 will be one of those 50-degree days. What could be more romantic than stargazing on a warm, clear night?
The Harlem Cultural Archives will celebrate the naming of the northwest corner of 135th Street and Madison Avenue after Harlem icon Dr. John L. S. Holloman Jr. A meet-and-greet reception will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and testimonials to his lasting legacy will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harlem Hospital Center Atrium at 136th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. Immediately after the testimonials will be the unveiling of the new street sign at 135th Street and Madison Avenue. RSVPs are required, so check out the Harlem Cultural Archives website for further information.
This site has a great video that recalls the history of the American Negro Theatre while recognizing founder Frederick O’Neal. The theater, which began in the basement of the original Schomburg Library on 135th Street at Lenox Avenue, spawned many artist who went on to become famous actors. O’Neal was the first Afro-American president of the Actor’s Equity Union and never gave up in his quest to provide a platform for Black actors.
Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. was honored, along with Wells Fargo and Macy’s, Thursday, March 5 at the United Negro College Fund’s annual “A Mind Is…” gala. NBC 4 New York co-anchor David Ushery was the evening’s host, which featured student vocalist Amber Whitaker from Rust College, and acknowledged presidents from UNCF’s 37 member institutions. The gala also gave special recognition to five retiring member-institution presidents: Dr. Carlton Brown, president of Clark Atlanta University since 2008; Dr. Johnnie B. Watson, president of LeMoyne-Owen College since 2008; Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College since 2002; Dr. Larry L. Earvin, president of Huston-Tillotson University since 2000; and Dr. Norman C. Francis, president of Xavier University of Louisiana for the past 46 years, who is currently the longest-serving college president in the country. It was the UNCF’s 71st gala and as Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO stated so eloquently, “Tonight is a night to honor and celebrate all we have achieved together with the help of our honorees, but it is also a call to action on how far we still have to go in providing our young people with the tools and support they need to get to and through college.”
Wells Fargo received the Frederick D. Patterson Award, named after the founder of the UNCF, for its support through a host of programs, initiatives and scholarships. Over the past six years, Wells Fargo has donated more than $5 million to the UNCF. Accepting the award on behalf of Wells Fargo was Jon Campbell, executive vice president of government and community relations at Wells Fargo.
Macy’s, received the UNCF President’s Award for its support of the UNCF. Macy’s has been a long-time supporter of the UNCF and in the past 10 years has donated $1.4 million in support across all markets of the UNCF for scholarships, special events, UNCF an Evening of Stars and the UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid, which offers last-dollar scholarships to UNCF member-institution students. Macy’s actively recruits from the UNCF’s 37 member institutions for their Executive Development Program, Sophomore Diversity Program and summer internships. Accepting the award on behalf of Macy’s was Jeff Gennette, president of Macy’s.
A popular figure in the community, Brown, a noted educator and Tuskegee Airman, received the Shirley Chisholm Community Service Award. Named for the former New York congresswoman and the first major-party African-American presidential candidate, the award is presented to Brown in honor of his longtime work addressing and solving educational challenges in the Greater New York City area. Brown commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegee Airmen, in World War II. Currently, he is the director of the Center for Urban Education Policy and a professor at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. He is a past president of Bronx Community College.
To date, more than $20 million has been raised to help thousands of UNCF students stay in school. Representing those students was Erica Nicole Walker, a UNCF member-college graduate from Bethune-Cookman University, who received a CESA scholarship and is now a graduate student and actress in New York.
Writer social and architectural historian Michael Henry Adams, another of our prominent local figures, was spotted having lunch at the very posh Michael’s, a high-end meeting place for the crowd that does lunch.
“An Evening of SeriousFun Celebrating the Legacy of Paul Newman” was held at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Seen having serious fun were singer Aloe Blacc, George Clooney, Natalie Cole, Danny DeVito, Renee Fleming, Tom Hanks, Carole King, David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Meryl Streep and the SeriousFun campers. The event was sponsored by the Newman’s Own Foundation.
The premiere party for the new film “Loisaidas,” executive produced by Kanye West and Damon Dash, was held Saturday, March 7 at the Leanor, 529 W. 29th St., between 10th and 11th avenues, where Stretch Armstrong & Boogie Dash did the spinning.
City College Center for the Arts hosted a kick-off cocktail and book signing event for Stewart F. Lane, Tony Award winner and City College of the Arts advisory board member, at Aaron Davis Hall. With introductions by Tony Award-winning producer Stephen Byrd and special performances by the cast of “On Kentucky Avenue” and the Sho Off Dance Company, event promoters Biddle & Bellidora put on a fantastic event.
Celebrating birthdays are members of the Dr. Michelle Reed family. Mom’s day is March 7, dad is March 14, husband Scott is March 23 and a niece ends the month. Also celebrating is Jean DeWees March 10; the late Donald DeWees would have been 73 March 15.
Until next week … kisses.