June 25 - July 08, 2015
On The Dock This Issue:
The Middle Passage:
Stories of Survival
The telephone rang. It was seven o’clock on a Thursday morning.
Hello, I said in a scratchy voice. There was a long pause. “Greg, my mom died last night.”
Oh no, oh no, oh no, Jeffrey, I groaned with my heart sinking with every word. What happened?
“The doctor said that my mom’s heart was weak and that it gave out.” Wow! I am so sorry Jeffrey. Do you want me to come to Baltimore now? I will call off from work. “No Greg. I have some friends coming over. I will be all right.” Well, I am coming to be with you when I get off from work. I promise you that. “Okay Greg. What would I do at a time like this if it wasn’t for my friends?”
That evening, I spent a few hours with Jeffrey reminiscing about his mom. But, we mainly spoke about other things like his work at his company and part-time job at a retail store. Truthfully, I really wanted to lift his mood and give his mind a reprieve from the constant barrage of images of his mother’s passing.
A few days later, Jeffrey and his family had settled upon a church where he would have his mother’s home-going service and place of internment. Jeffrey called me, as it was his daily custom. “Greg, I need you to get the table clothes, cups, plates, and utensils for the repass. I have other friends bringing food and beverages. Also, can you do a scripture reading at the service?” Jeffrey, I would be honored. And don’t worry about the repass; I will take care of it. “Thanks Greg. I have so much to do in such a short time,” Jeffrey said with a tone of voice that sounded less burdened.
On the day of his mother’s funeral, there were so many amazing things that happened. Jeffrey’s brother preached their mother’s eulogy with such fervor that I know their mother smiled with pride from heaven. I marveled at his strength, which enabled him to preach his mother’s funeral. If that wasn’t enough, I observed in awe how each of Jeffrey’s friends took on an important task to carry Jeffrey through the most difficult day of his life.
Often times, the only thing that will get you through the storm is the support from others no matter what form in which it comes. A kind word, card, and simply someone just being present, can soothe a grieving heart.
One friend sang two selections that raised the roof off of the church, yet wrapped a spirit around the family that reminded them that everything was going to be all right. Behind the scenes, a friend baked a cake and rushed from work to attend the funeral; afterwards, she went back to work. After working the entire night . . . getting off at seven o’clock in the morning and arriving at the church at 9:30 a.m., another friend helped to carry Jeffrey’s mom’s casket into and out of the church. Church members draped table clothes and meticulously arranged plates, utensils, and food trays in a work of art.
After the funeral, Jeffrey and friends gathered at a local bar. We laughed and joked with each other. Then, in a lull in our conversation, Jeffrey addressed the group saying, “The high-point of my mother’s home-going day is having all of you here and seeing how each of you are giving something of yourself to make the worst day of my life endurable.”
Losing a loved-one is one of the most difficult situations that you can face. It’s heart-rending. Sometimes you will feel like you are losing your mind. Often times, the only thing that will get you through the storm is the support from others no matter what form in which it comes. A kind word, card, and simply someone just being present, can soothe a grieving heart.
One of Harlem’s most intriguing eateries Harlem Shake is showing film classics that feature Harlem. For $30, the burger and milk shake shop is offering each movie goer an unlimited menu of beer, soda, Harlem Classic sliders, chicken strips, hot dogs, cole slaw and fries while Harlem Shake project a movie on a large screen.
Other patrons will be able to see the movies, too. Upcoming movies include Jackie Brown on June 30 and Coming to America on July 7.
to Record $358 Billion
Charitable giving rose 5.4 percent last year to a record $358.4 billion, according to estimates released recently by “Giving USA,” the annual snapshot of American philanthropy. “Giving USA” says that the2009-to-2014 Obama recovery is the fastest on record in the past 40 years.
Arts, culture, and humanities groups topped the growth list of charity beneficiaries, with a 7.4-percent increase in giving, to $17.23 billion. Environment and animal causes together were the second fastest-growing cause, at 5.3 percent.
Giving to all types of charities rose last year except to international aid groups, which dropped 3.6 percent, in part because few natural disasters called attention to the need to donate. Giving was slow to human services agencies as well, increasing by 3.6 percent.
The figures show that donations from individuals, corporations and foundations last year topped the record giving figure achieved in 2007, just before the recession started to affect donation figures.
Note: The Port Of Harlem Gambia Education Partnership
will release its year-end donation goals later this year.
Black Lives Matter Message
The DC Black Theater Festival
is seeking performers wishing to share their five minutes or less short poems, skits, monologues, and scripts Saturday, June 27.
The Reading Series starts at 6p at the St. Elizabeth East Rise Demonstration Center; 2730 King Ave, SE; Washington, DC. Registration for performers is free. Admission for free.
Maryland Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have expanded voting rights to felons. The veto affects 40,000 Marylanders, most of whom are Blacks according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
To override the veto, supporters need only two additional votes in the Senate and three in the House.
The Exposure Group
African American Photographers Association
Eighth Awards Dinner
1600 M Street NW
Sat, Jun 27, 5:30p, $180
Advance Tickets Only: email@example.com
Ghanaian pianist George Francois
The Concert Space At Beethoven's Piano
211 W 58th Street
Fri, Jun 26, 7p, $
Voodoo - A Harlem Renaissance Opera
The Harlem Chamber Players
Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (116th Street)
Fri, Jun 26 - Sat, Jun 27, 7p
$25 General Admission $20 Students/Seniors
Harlem Arts Festival
Marcus Garvey Park
Fri, Jun 26 – Sun, Jun 28, free
Charlie Wilson Booksigning
I Am Charlie Wilson
46 W 116 Street
Wed, Jul 8, 7p-9p, free
Legends Of Motown: Celebrating The Supremes
GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Ste. A245
Thu, Jun 25 – Spring 2016, $
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Fri, Jun 26
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