September 30 - October 13, 2010


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Black Professionals Buy Black on the Potomac

Chicago-based Maggie Anderson was in Washington, D.C. during the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend to promote the 2-year-old Empowerment Experiment she heads. “All I’m doing is fighting for the American dream,” proclaimed Anderson as she cruised the Potomac River on The Motor Yacht Pelican, one of the few Black captained and owned boats sailing the Potomac.

With recent reports revealing that more than 1 of every 4 Blacks in America is living in poverty compared to less than 1 in 10 Whites, Anderson continued, “The American dream is dead until people of all races are able to shop Black, and create jobs and opportunities in Black America!”

The upcoming Port of Harlem print issue will feature an interview with Anderson, who is spearheading the newest Black self-help incarnation program. Such programs date back before the founding of the National Business League by Booker T. Washington in 1900.

Networking superstar George Fraser hosted the cruise that featured cuisine prepared by Black caterer, Chef AJ, and cognac from Pour Moi, whose cognac was made by a Black woman for women (though men enjoyed the cognac, too).

As the enthusiastic audience sipped Pour Moi in the night air Anderson reminded them that 30% of Hennessy’s (cognac) business comes from majority-Black Detroit. “I’m tired of sending Hennessy’s children to college. I want to know what Hennessy has done for Blacks.”

Photo top: Left to right, Sharon Bullock owner of Metamorphosis Boutique (women’s clothing), Jackie Thompson, owner of Overdue Recognition (art gallery), and Ida Polite of Ida’s Idea (women’s clothing).

Photo top: Sheena Jones of Pour Moi and Clarence Adams of Capitol Credit Group.



Black Women and Hair Discussed at Black Caucus

It was during my pregnancy that I said, “I am so done with the hair,” said Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) as she opened a session on Black women and their hair at the recent Congressional Black Caucus. While the discussion was on hair, the congresswoman made it clear it was really about “how we see ourselves and how we value ourselves.” Dr. Calendar, a Maryland-based dermatologist, was one of the panelist and she revealed that women who suffer hair loss is a large part of her patient population. She blames their hair loss on relaxers, coloring, weaves, and too tight braids.

Don’t Miss the November release of Port Of Harlem: The Art of Natural Hair


The Post-Racial Obama Myth Discussed at Black Caucus

Sherrod, anti-Muslim sentiments, and anti-immigrants rallies, “all these incidences are interrelated,” said Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant. “I could have had a good life, but I chose to serve my people” and let the world know that I am Black, declared George Fraser to much laughter, who is light enough to pass for European-American. Both joined Dr. James Peterson in a panel discussion that questioned whether we are in a post-racial society. (Fraser also hosted the Potomac cruise honoring the Empowerment Experiment - see Black Professionals Buying Black on the Potomac). Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) sponsored the session.

Dr. Gloria McNeal and Dr. Mervyn M. Dymally officially cut the ribbon to open the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles. The $43 million research facility will offer an accelerated five semester program for an entry level Masters of Science in Nursing. Enrollment is open to anyone who currently holds a BA or BS. The university was founded in response to the 1965 Watts riots to train non-White doctors who would serve the poor of the South Los Angeles area.

The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing is named in honor of Dr. Mervyn M. Dymally, who served as the first and only Black California Lieutenant Governor, and later served for six terms as a U.S. Congressman. Dr. Dymally is currently a professor in the Charles Drew University College of Medicine and Director of the Urban Health Institute.

Washingtonian Opens Italian Restaurant on The Hill

"I loved growing up in Penn-Branch SE, it is quiet, there were other kids in the neighborhood, and we were able to play in the streets,” says Ralph Lee, who recently opened an Italian restaurant, Acqua Al 2, in the tony Capitol Hill neighborhood in his hometown. Lee says the idea of opening an Italian restaurant began to cook when he joined his best friend in Italy. “I went to help to open a restaurant and ended staying there for two years,” he says.

He and his friend, Ari Gejeenson, eventually became business partners with the owners of Acqua Al 2 in Florence, Italy. The owners of the Florence eatery later provided the pair technical assistance in opening the Washington restaurant that wears the same name and menu.

The American business partners met at Sidwell-Friends School. Lee went on to graduate with a business degree with a concentration in Marketing from the James Madison University in 2004.

Photo: Ari Gejeenson and Ralph Lee.


Ron Donovan

"The Black Shoe King" at Everards

RonDonovan shoes are now available in Washington, D.C. at Everards Clothing in Washington, D.C. Everards will host a special event RonDonovan truck show Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2, 11a-5p at the Georgetown store, 1802 Wisconsin Ave, NW. near the new Safeway where street parking is readily available.

Everard's Clothing is an upscale, full service boutique with exquisite and exclusive designers from around the globe. Everard’s offer men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories as well as custom clothing and tailoring.

2010 Underground Railroad FreePress Prize Winners Announced

The Underground Railroad Free Press announced the names of the 2010 The Free Press Prizes that they award annually for contemporary Underground Railroad preservation, advancement of knowledge, and leadership. The winners are:

The preservation prize went to:
Wilma Morrison, a long-time Canadian activist who has been involved in countless efforts at preserving Canadian Underground Railroad history and the Canadian church which Harriet Tubman attended.

The Hortense Simmons Prize for the Advancement of Knowledge is:
Colgate University's Graham Hodges, author of David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City, a landmark biography of a free Black Underground Railroad giant.

The leadership prize went to:
Carl Westmorland of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in recognition of a lifetime's work promoting and interpreting the Underground Railroad.




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