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Juneteenth in The District, Harlem, Capitol Heights, Mitchellville, Alexandria, Mitchellville

Celebrate freedom! Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

In The District
The Washington, D,C. Public Library, in partnership with the DC Office on Aging and the African-American Civil War Memorial and Foundation, are commemorating Juneteenth with performances and a film festival. The celebration will occur at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library from Tuesday, June 15 to Friday, June 19. For details call 202- 727-1211.

In Harlem
The historic Masjid Malcolm Shabazz Mosque and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Greater New York Support Group will come together Saturday, June 13 for their 16th annual Juneteeth celebration. Festivities include a parade at 11:30a in Harlem, activities at the Honorable Marcus Garvey Park and street fair on 116th Street. For more information

call 212-662-2200.

In Capitol Heights
Saturday, June 20 at Walkers Mill Park, 8001 Walker Mill Road in Capitol Heights, MD hear entertainers, including the Howard Gospel Choir, and speakers, play games and engage in arts and crafts while having an old fashioned picnic. Call 301-218-6700 for more information.

In Alexandria
Port of Harlem print issue contributor C.R. Gibbs explores the unique story of African peoples in Texas at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street in Alexandria, VA Friday, June 19 from 7p to 8:30p. A reception will follow. The event is free. Call 703-838-4356 for a reservation.

In Mitchellville
Saint Michael’s Truth Church is celebrating Juneteenth Saturday, June 20 from noon to 6p. There is will be music, dance, food and fun at 700 St. Michaels Drive in Mitchellville, MD. For more information call 301-249-6222.

 


 

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Their Eyes Were Watching Smut II

By Wayne Young

Port of Harlem again attended the annual Bookexpo America at the Javits Center in New York. Again, both I and our book reviewer Ida Jones were disappointed by the Black representation.

In short, it left us wondering how we view ourselves. While non-Black publishers offered readers an array of subjects and titles, Black publishers offered narrow-subject “Urban lit” titles ranging from Watermelon Faith to Binderella - Almost a Fairy Tale. Sure there were other titles like Let’s Go Home to Indiana Harbor, however, unlike the non-Black publishers there were not books by Black interior designers, chefs, financial experts, fashion designers, travelers, or medical personnel (diverse subjects we cover in Port of Harlem).

One book seller tried to convince me that “Urban lit” was good because it encouraged our young to read. It is good. Just as good as Superfly was to movies, the traveling staged production You Get What You Put Out did for the theater, and my once favorite show That’s My Momma was for TV.

Then I recalled newscasters announcing earlier that day that an Asian-American had won the spelling bee - - again. We wondered what kind of expectations her parents had set for her. Surely, we agreed, they did not see reading “Urban lit” as the encouragement she needed to win the spelling bee.

More telling was the type of booth one Black company placed in the “general” section and the one he placed in the “Black” section. You know which section got the hand me down.

Help a child see a larger Black world, subscribe to Port of Harlem.

 



Radio Golf

By Wayne Young


I have seen many of August Wilson’s plays. I have even seen Radio Golf on Broadway.

Radio Golf is not only the best play of Wilson’s that I have seen, but its Washington production equaled, if not was better than the one in New York. The Studio, unlike a Broadway theater, offers very intimate seating and the theater design makes the play audible.

After hearing the following line that xx delivered as xx, I remembered where I had gotten it from (paraphrased):

When you are White and your parents die, you get money from them.


When you are Black, you get a bill from the undertaker.

The play is full of needed drama and depth while providing a humorous look at the divide between the Black poor and Black middle class with regentrification as the backdrop.

Radio Golf is now at the Studio Theater, 1501 14th Street, NW, through June 28. Performances are Wednesdays - Saturday 8p, Sunday 7p. Select Tuesdays, June 16 and 23, 8p. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday 2p. Tickets $34 -$61. Senior, Military and Group (10 or more) discounts available. Tickets and Parking info: 202-332-3300.

Radio Golf - Pay What You Can -

Saturday, June 20 2:30p


Flaunt a Fashion Show at the Honfleur Gallery in Anacostia

By Millée Spears

The show opened in the heart of Anacostia to a packed house. The audience was comprised of new-world fashionistas dressed in everything from Roman sandals, colorful patent leather pumps to mini skirts galore.

It was truly an international event at Honfluer Gallery's Runway Show with representation of nearly every race, age, and walk of life. One New York artist sat in the audience wearing his own creation of an off the shoulder caplet made completely of vintage neck ties and sporting a Salvador Daliesque moustache! The two- year old Honfleur gallery rocked to the beat of Billy Ocean, the wine flowed and the audience eagerly waited for the show to start.

The show opened with the fashions of Nigerian-born Lara Akinsanya. Her collection featured truly lovely summer frocks in traditional Nigerian textiles with a Western cut, reminiscent of the 50's fit and flare.

Local artist and fashion designer Dana Ayanna Greaves collection opened with what appeared to be a dress made of brown butcher paper with the model sporting a very tall paper feather hat, true three dimensional art.


Will Sharp of The DURKL menswear collection opened with a clear tomato red bomber-hoodie, with the models face draped in hair like Cousin It of the Addams family TV show.

Dubai born Taimur Baigs’ collection of women’s wear was unique and wearable. His section of the show opened with a delicious paprika red blouse. His day wear section also featured some very interesting peg legged pants.

The show was a five star hit. The audience was beautiful and polite. The models not only modeled, but stayed in character throughout the show and took performance art to another level. And the clothes were exciting, unique and thought provoking right in the heart of Anacostia.

10 Reasons Why Anacosita

Has Become So Cool

 

1. The most reasonable real estate prices in the Washington Metropolitan area.
2. The huge houses which offer great views of the river, city and monuments.
3. Easy access to major thoroughfares: I-295, I-395, I-95, the BW Pkwy and minutes to Downtown DC.
4. The small town community feel.
5. A new class of upwardly mobile professionals moving in everyday.
6. New luxury condos & townhouses being developed.
7. The new name, "River East," for the larger community.
8. The overall positive buzz about Anacostia.

9. DC's focus on making the Anacostia River a focal point of the city and the redevelopment of Anacostia Park which offers a health club, pool, biking and running trails, tennis courts, picnicking, and river rowing fun.

10. New business: art galleries, banks, restaurants, jazz club, Anacostia's first full-service realty company (Anacostia River Realty).

 

 


African Warriors Make Transitions

 

Ivan Van Sertima (see video), born January 26, 1935, is a Guyanese-British historian, linguist and anthropologist noted for his Afrocentric theory of pre-Columbian contact between Africa and the Americas. Van Sertima has written books in which documents that the Ancient Egyptians were Black and his 1976 book “They Came Before Columbus” was a bestseller and achieved widespread fame for his documentation of prehistoric African influences in Central and South America.. On July 7, 1987 Van Sertima appeared before a United States Congressional committee to challenge giving credit for the discovery of America to Christopher Columbus.

Ray “Reparations” Jenkins - If the concept of black reparations seems radical today, imagine what it sounded like in the 1960s. That's when a querulous real estate agent from Detroit became one of the first to call for African-Americans to be compensated by the U.S. for slavery. Ray Jenkins, 88, toiled in obscurity as he pursued his quixotic quest for two decades The idea gained traction in the late 1980s and again in the late '90s, with endorsements by civil rights groups, a best-seller on the issue, and a string of government apologies. Detroit Congressman John Conyers Jr., who had been hounded by Jenkins for years, finally proposed a bill to set up a committee to study the issue. He has proposed the legislation every year since. A national group formed around the issue in 1988. The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America holds annual conventions and distributes a newsletter.

Read H.R. 40 Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act

Read

Reparations of Sorts

By Melvin Mitchell, FAIA

in the current print issue of Port of Harlem.

 




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Harlem’s Newest

Cultural Center Opens

The Dwyer Cultural Center opened in Harlem Tuesday, June 16 reports the New York Amsterdam News. The Center at 258 St. Nicholas Avenue, preserves, celebrates, and documents Harlem’s history and traditions through exhibitions, performances, workshops, and public programs.

 


Obama Still Fails to Create Miracles

In the past three weeks, America has again delivered the message that Obama cannot create miracles, at least not in every aspect of life.  In Philadelphia, a White woman Bonnie Sweete claimed that two Black men abducted her and her daughter. Her story was

a hoax.

In Harlem, a White officer mistook a Black officer for a criminal and shot him. The Black officer is dead.

 “There is nothing reasonable about the fact we never see Black or Latino cops accidently gunning down White undercover officers, but the reverse has been true in several high-profile cases,” commented Errol Louis in the New York Daily News.

 

 



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