Congratulations! The U.S. Senate finally, at last, confirmed Loretta Lynch as the nation’s first Black female attorney general. What more can I say? Well, I can say plenty, but our fearless leader, President Barack Obama, has said it best: “Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next attorney general, and America will be better off for it.” And nobody can say anything better than he can.
The Harlem Cultural Archives most appropriately chose the warmest day of the year to welcome spring and to proudly host the street renaming ceremony honoring the late, great Dr. John Lawrence Sullivan “Mike” Holloman Jr. Now immortalized, Holloman was an early and ardent advocate for medical equity. Although his private practice included a number of celebrities, from John Coltrane to Sugar Ray Robinson, he was perhaps best known for his role as the de facto medical arm of Martin Luther King’s movement during the Selma to Montgomery march, some 50 years ago.
The program, held at Harlem Hospital Center’s elegant pavilion, began with testimonials offered by those who knew and loved him best, and gave new insights into both the personal and professional sides. Especially enjoyable was the broad selection of original photographs of the doctor with a host of luminaries, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Dali Lama.
Among those in attendance were members of Holloman’s family, including his sister, Grace Holloman Davis; his wife, Patricia Leo Holloman; his daughters, Charlotte Wesley Holloman and Ellen Victoria Holloman; his son, Paul Stefan Leo; his son-in-law, James W. Fuerst; his nieces, Diana Parker, Jessica Rose Jackson, Patricia Roberts and Jacqui Jones; his nephew, Jason Holloman Parker; and his grandnephews, Mathis Jones and Francisco Davis. In addition, members of the Second Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., where the Rev. John L.S. Holloman Sr. was minister for more than 20 years, also attended the celebration.
Opening remarks, given by HCA Co-Executive Director Glenn A. Hunter, thanked Sylvia White, Harlem Hospital Center’s chief of staff, City Council Member Inez E. Dickens, Community Board 11 and the elected officials and organizations that provided letters of support. Testimonials of Holloman’s impact and legacy were given by Dr. Don Dayson, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Sean Christopher Gayle, Barbara Minch, Mark G. Barksdale, Ann F. Bove and Jacklynn N. Price.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright and NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch President Geoffrey Eaton were present for the ceremonial unveiling of the street sign at the northwest corner of 135th Street and Madison Avenue, adjacent to the building where Holloman treated his private-practice patients. HCA Co-Executive Director Dr. Keith A. Hunter was the master of ceremonies.
There is still time to purchase your ticket to Celebrate Northside at the Northside Center for Child Development Gala 2015 at Cipriani Wall Street Monday, May 4. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., with cocktails followed by dinner and awards honoring soloist of the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland; president and CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo; and our very own publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Amsterdam News, Elinor R. Tatum. Among the co-chairs for the evening are Carolyn Wright-Lewis and Edward Lewis, Susan and Alan Patricof, Cynthia and Richard J. Rubino, Marva A. Smalls, Leslie Ziff, Dana and Michael Goldstein and Jennie and Jeffrey Deutschman.
Most of us know the story of Northside’s humble beginnings, but for those of you who don’t, Northside was founded by Drs. Kenneth B. and Mamie Clark, two of the country’s most prominent and early pioneers in psychology. Their work focused on how racial inequality negatively affected the self-esteem of young Black children. Their findings were instrumental in the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which legally ended segregation in public schools. Today, Northside continues to carry the baton, perpetuating the Clarks’ vision by offering a unique blend of high-quality education and behavioral health service throughout New York City to those who seek their assistance. With a focus on early childhood and family support, Northside offers a myriad of services so that there is something for everyone in need.
Thelma Dye, Ph.D., the Hilde L. Mosse executive director and CEO adds the splendor and elan to make this one of the year’s most coveted events. Both committed to the cause and charming, Dye is still walking on air, having hosted both Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and New York City first lady Chirlane I. McCray, wife of Mayor Bill deBlasio. All of the regal ladies were in the same house, and the house was Northside Center.
Both Dom Perignon and Moet Hennessy USA were in the house to celebrate the inaugural gala of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, which has moved from its former location on Madison Avenue to the Meatpacking District. The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded in 1930 by artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875−1942). The museum features the most formidable collection of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Over its more than 80 years in existence, the Whitney Museum has steadfastly sought to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit American art while serving a wide variety of audiences. Of course, among those in the crowd of more than 400 people representing the epitome of the art world were Glenn Ligon and Thelma Golden. Golden looked like a beautiful work of art herself, draped in a one-of-a kind outfit that can only be described as unique and stunning. If I didn’t tell you these things, who would?
Did you know Wednesday, April 16 marked the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier, and in commemoration of him, the world celebrated “Jackie Robinson Day.”As part of the commemoration, the Dodgers, Robinson’s former team, announced they will erect a statue of him at their ballpark. This is a great tribute to a man who was a six-time All-Star player, the 1947 Major League Rookie of the Year and the 1949 National League MVP. That same year, he also won the league’s batting title. All of that under the pressure of racial hatred and abuse.
Did you get your invite to Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s pre-fight party kickoff event as a prequel to the fight of the year? The party, to be held at Las Vegas’ Fiesta Rancho Casino Thursday, April 30 will let friends, fans, boxing enthusiast and well-wishers take pictures with the father, mentor, righthand corner man and legendary trainer of the five-division undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. Be there or be square. Yikes, I guess that means me, as a trip to Vegas isn’t in the budget.