The Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary at Carnegie Hall. Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the keynote speaker.

Rev. Al Sharpton and VP Kamala Harris Credit: JT Trollinger photo

The number of recorded deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 5 million worldwide. About 9,000 municipal workers in the city are put on unpaid leave for refusing to comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that goes into effect. The Atlanta Braves win the 2021 World Series, defeating the Houston Astros. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is hospitalized after a fall at Howard University in Washington, D.C. while meeting with the school’s president Wayne A.I. Frederick and students about housing conditions on the campus. Mayor Bill de Blasio files paperwork to set up a run for New York State governor. The number of recorded deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 5 million. Singer-songwriter and musician Ronnie Wilson, founder of R&B and funk group the Gap Band, dies at age 73 after suffering a stroke. In the New York City general election, Democrat Eric Adams beats Republican Curtis Sliwa taking 66% of the vote. Adams is elected the city’s second Black mayor. Alvin Bragg is elected the first Black Manhattan district attorney. Vanessa Gibson is elected the first Black and first woman to serve as Bronx borough president.

Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Alvin Bragg Credit: Photo courtesy of Alvin Bragg

In a special election, Cordell Cleare is elected to replace Brian Benjamin, who was appointed lieutenant governor, as state senator representing Harlem’s 30th District. In Buffalo, N.Y. Byron Brown declares victory as a write-in candidate over democratic socialist India Walton. In Pittsburgh, Ed Gainy is elected the city’s first Black mayor. After a close race, incumbent Democrat New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy defeats Republican Jack Ciattarelli. In a close race in Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeats Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The 50th TCS New York City Marathon is held after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 33,000 entrants are allowed instead of the usual 55,000 due to coronavirus pandemic precautions. Albert Korir of Kenya wins the men’s race and Peres Jepchirchir, also of Kenya, wins the women’s race. The U.S. House of Representatives votes 228-206 to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. President Joe Biden signs the act into law. A crowd crush at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, kills 10 people and injures more than 300 while rapper Travis Scott is on stage. Flutist and visual artist Lloyd McNeill dies at age 86. The murder trial of three white men charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, begins in Georgia. Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough says he doesn’t want “any more Black pastors” in the courtroom after the Rev. Al Sharpton sat with Arbery’s family. Funeral services are held for the late Colin Powell at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Pfizer Inc. announces that its experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults. A report released by Advocates for Children of New York indicates that over 101,000 students in the city were homeless during the 2020-21 school year. The city’s Veterans Day parade returns after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Democratic lawmakers push new legislation that would benefit surviving spouses and all living descendants of Black WWII veterans whose families were denied benefits with housing and educational benefits through the GI Bill. After missing for nearly a month, Black 14-year-old Jashyah Moore of New Jersey is found in Harlem. The teen is staying in a shelter after running away. Her mother, Jaime, is later arrested and charged with child endangerment. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announces he’s running for New York State governor. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that Times Square will be open for New Year’s Eve. Revelers will have to show proof of vaccination to be admitted. Norman 3X Butler (Muhammad Aziz) and Thomas 15X Johnson (Thomas 15X Johnson) are exonerated by Manahttan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commutes the death sentence of Julius Jones, who sat on death row for 20 years. Jones was convicted in the 1999 murder of an Oklahoma City businessman. Evidence presented points to his innocence. Kyle Rittenhouse is found not guilty for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz during a protest in 2020 in Kenosha Wisconsin. White Kansas City police officer Eric DeValkenaere is convicted in the 2019 fatal shooting of Black, 26-year-old Cameron Lamb. Rapper Young Dolph is fatally shot by two men in Memphis, Tenn. Vice President Kamala Harris serves as acting president from 10:10 to 11:35 am EDT, while President Joe Biden undergoes colonoscopy under anesthesia making her the first Black female U.S. president for 85 minutes. The U.S. House of Representatives votes 220–213 to pass the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package. Malcolm X’ youngest daughter, Malikah Shabazz, is found dead in her Brooklyn home at age 56. Police say she died of “natural causes.” The three white men accused of killing Black, unarmed Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Ga. in 2020, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, are found guilty of his murder. When Arbery was killed, the suspects were not arrested until 74 days after the murder and after a video of the murder was released. The Soul Train Music Awards take place at the Apollo Theater. R&B singer Maxwell is honored with the Legend Award and singer Ashanti is honored with the Lady of Soul Award. The Hampton University marching band performs at the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison announces that he is retiring. Harrison had been with the police department for nearly 30 years, starting when he was a cadet. Professional golfer Lee Elder dies at age 87. He was the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament in 1975. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Jackson, Miss. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announce that the Third National Black Political Convention will be held in Newark in 2022. Former Florida Congresswoman Carrie Meek dies at age 95. The city authorizes supervised injection sites for heroin use and other narcotics in an effort to prevent overdoses, the first in the nation. The centers are criticized over their location including one in East Harlem near a daycare center. The World Health Organization reports the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in South Africa. The variant has an unusually large number of mutations and there are concerns over immune system evasion, and vaccine resistance. Travel restrictions are put in place in several countries to contain the spread. The Omicron variant is found in the U.S. including cases in New York City. Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh dies at age 41 after battling cancer. The Caribbean nation of Barbados becomes a republic on its 55th anniversary of independence while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Four are killed and seven are injured during a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. Civil rights activist the Rev. C. Herbert Oliver dies at age 96.

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