port of harlem magazine

Nov 15 – Nov 28, 2012


ivan brown realty

Meshell Ndegeocello Sings Nina Simone

Meshell Ndegeocello To Be Young Gifted and Black” is a beloved song by Nina Simone.  It is also a track on Meshell  Ndegeocello’s latest recording, Pour une ame souveraine (For a sovereign soul) - A dedication to Nina Simone.  With a career spanning almost 20 years, Ndegeocello is a singer, songwriter and musician revered for her skill as a bassist and her ability to mesmerize an audience.  Young, gifted and Black is an apt description of Meshell Ndegeocello. 

For her 10th recording, Ndegeocello chose to honor music trailblazer and icon Nina Simone. Listening to Ms. Simone’s music and honoring her at the Schomberg’s Women in Jazz series in Harlem inspired  Ndegeocello  to do this recording. Recorded in less than two weeks, she hopes that this record will encourage listeners to learn more about Simone. Regarding Simone’s unique gift as a song stylist, Ndegeocello notes, “She is just an exceptional singer and arranger.  She uses her voice to shade the story, not to employ the styling of the day.”

As a collection of 14 songs famously recorded by Simone, Pour includes collaborations with Cody Chestnutt, Lizz  Wright, Sinead O’Connor, Toshi Reagon and Valerie June.  Ndegeocello has said about Simone, “She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible.  She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud, Black, female voice during a time when Black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”  A strong argument could be made that neither Simone nor Ndegeocello bent to industry expectations, producing “radio-friendly music,” “Black music” or music meant for sale to the masses.

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port of harlem gambian education partnership

Opinion: 'Power of Words': Developing a Culture of Reading Will Unlock Liberia’s Consciousness

robtel pailey

It was a dog-eared copy of Breath, Eyes, Memory, a coming-of-age story loosely based on the life of its Haitian author, Edwidge Danticat. I found it on the bookshelf of my local library, a red-brick building in the heart of Washington, D.C., with life-sized Egyptian pillars.

I was 12, and the protagonist, Sophie Caco—an immigrant from Port-au-Prince who moves to New York to reunite with her mother—gave voice to my very own story of migration. It appeared as if Danticat were speaking through me, to me, and about me, all at once. This book was the closest I could find to an authentic Liberian story while abroad, far removed from the grotesque images of war and carnage on international newsfeeds. After reading it close to 10 times, I eventually bought my own copy.

Since then, Breath, Eyes, Memory has been replaced by a number of other loves, but none more gratifying than the love of reading. Whenever my world seems to be teetering on an edge, reading brings me back to center. Reading gives me the vocabulary to express myself intellectually and emotionally. Reading makes me appreciate the power of words.

Publisher's Note: Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Robtel Neajai Pailey, was a contributor to Port of Harlem and is now an opinion fellow with New Narratives, a project supporting leading independent media in Africa. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Development Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation Ph.D. Scholar.

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POH Gambian Education Partnership Gets 501 © Status

port of harlem gambian education partnershipSince 2002, many POH readers have gained great personal satisfaction by making sure an economically challenged child in The Gambia, West Africa got a head start in life with a nursery school education.  Every year we would send donors a picture of the child and a note from the child they sponsored.

Now, through the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP), they and you can sponsor a child and deduct your contribution from your taxes.  “Getting 501c status has been a long process,” says POH Book Reviewer and POHGEP board member Ida Jones, who visited the nursery school in The Gambia in 2007.

POHGEP has several other projects in The Gambia including the West Africans in Early American exhibit added POH publisher and POHGEP president Wayne Young.  Young says they are also starting other projects to include people who would like to visit the West African country and conduct a project or program while visiting the country.

Sponsor a Child - It is Only $30 Per Year

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Election 2012 Results–
America the More Inclusive
America the More Diverse

2012 Election Results by County (above)
Mr. Obama is blue. Mr. Romney is red. Obama
laregly won urban counties. (click image for more info and to see maps of Alaska and Hawaii)

Congratulations Mr. President!
Decision 2012:

America's Historic Quest for Freedom, Justice, Equality and Equity

Muslims Legislatures Affirmed
Indiana re-elected Democrat Andre Carson to the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.

Minnesota re-elected Democrat Keith Ellison.

First Buddhist in the Senate
Hawaii Democrat Maize Hirono, is the first Asian-American woman elected to the 100-member U.S. Senate. Born in Japan, Hirono is Buddhist.

First Hindu in the House
Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is the first practicing Hindu elected to the House.

steve horsfordFirst Black from Nevada
Steven Horsford will
become Nevada’s first Black congressperson.

Same-Sex Issues Much Less Controversial
Wisconsin elected its first same-gender-loving person, Democrat Tammy Baldwin , to the US Senate.

Maryland, Maine, and Washington (state) voted to allow same-sex marriages.

Minnesota voted not to include a same-sex marriage ban in their state constitution.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David S. Wiggins was on the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009 when it struck down Iowa’s ban on gay marriage in a 7-0 ruling. In 2010, Christian conservatives led a campaign that successfully removed three of those justices.  Efforts to remove him November 6 failed.

Bi-Sexual Wins in Arizona
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema will become the first open Bi-Sexual in the House.

Marijuana More Acceptable
Voters in Colorado and Washington have approved legalizing marijuana for all uses, not just medical ones. (Voters in Oregon and Arkansas said no.)

Women Rule New Hampshire
 The voters of New Hampshire elected women to occupy the governor's mansion and to fill both House seats. Together with the two women senators, women have all the top jobs in New Hampshire.

20 Women in Senate
It once was an all man “club.”  The new Senate will have 20 women, including 16 Democrats, one of which will become the first open Lesbian senator. (see Same-Sex Issues Less Controversial).  The Senate has no Black members.

cherie buckner webbIdaho Gets Black State Senator
POH Snippets Subscriber and Democrat Cherie Buckner-Webb has become the state’s only Black state senator.

White Southern Democrats a Dying Breed
However, Georgia re-elected White Democrat
John Barrow. 

Black Female Republican Mormon Loses
Mia Love lost in her effort to win a House seat from Utah.

Death Penalty Still in California
The NAACP was disappointed that Californians defeated Proposition 34, which would have abolished the death penalty in the most populous state in the nation, 52.8% to 47.2% vote.

NAACP Data on Black Voters
A full 93% of respondents favor the Dream Act, which would provide an opportunity for undocumented youth to seek US citizenship (71% strongly, 21% somewhat). In national polling, only Latinos come close to this level of support.
The data also found majority support for marriage equality for gays and lesbians. When asked about a constitutional right to marry, African American voters favor this 50%, and only 40% opposed.

Intolerance Takes a Back Seat
Florida Allen West (FL-18), who is Black, seems to narrowly lose his House seat, but Minnesota Michelle Bachman (MN-6) won hers, but narrowly.  Both have routinely made anti-Muslim remarks.

Money Alone Can’t Buy You Votes
Linda McMahon spent $91million of her own money over two Senate campaigns and still didn’t win.

obama with bat in handKeeping Obama's Vision on Track
Obama's organization has a new site,TheAction.org, for those who want to remain in the process of keeping his vision on track.


POH Snippets YouTube Channel Hits 500 Views

YouTube Here are the top three videos since our YouTube debut on May 22, 2012. We have since garnered more than  500 views of our short videos that include a range of inclusive, diverse, and Pan-African topics.

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (117 Views)
The Project supports the installation of port markers to identify areas where slave ships arrived outside of Africa to honor those who died and those who survived the Middle Passage. The Project hopes to plant markers in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Blacks at Supreme Court Building React to Health Care Decisions (60 Views)
There were few Blacks at the Supreme Court Building, Thursday, June 28, 2012 when the High Court affirmed the Affordable Care Act.  However, the Act heavily affects Blacks and others.

Celebrations (47 Views)               
Port Of Harlem joined celebrations demonstrating the diversity within the African community: African-American Culture in Charles Town, West Virginia - Taste of Eritrea - Eid-Ul-Fitr, Zarinah Shakir

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champion services travel - group travel

Things to Do

Baltimore - Washington

A POH Snippets Event - - Film Screening
African-American Pioneer Muslimahs
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA
Sat, Nov 17, 2p-4p, free

Stop the Pipeline to Prison: Create Educational Opportunities, Jobs and Wealth
Panel moderated by Dr. Charles J. Ogletree
Metropolitan AME
1518 M Street, NW
Sat, Nov. 17 4p to 6p, free

crgibbsBlurred Vision: Racial Stereotypes in American Film & TV
CR Gibbs
Tue,  Nov 20, 7p, free

On The Cutting Room Floor: The Image of the Black Woman in American Film
CR Gibbs
Wed, Nov 21, 7p, free

Zawadi Arts Ornamental Festival
1524 U St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Fri – Sun, Nov 23-25, 10a-6p, free

BZB Holiday Gift Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P St, NW
Fri, Nov 23 – Sat, Nov 24, 10a-7p
Also Sats, Dec, 1, 8, 15, 22 and Mon, Dec 24, free

African Encounters – from Coast to Coast
Watercolors and Collagraphs
by Kathleen Stafford

Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA
The exhibition continues until
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, donations accepted

Harlem and New York City

An Afternoon of Bach Arias
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street
New York, NY 10027
Between Broadway and Amsterdam
Sun, Nov 18, 3p

Film and Discussion: African-American Pioneer Muslimahs in Washington, DC


The Alexandria Black History Museum and Port Of Harlem magazine present the free screening of the one-hour film African-American Pioneer Muslimahs in Washington, DC.  “It’s a very interesting representation of African-American culture with a barely heard Islamic twist,” says Port Of Harlem’s Wayne Young. The screening is Saturday, November 17, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Museum.

Created by Zarinah Shakir, the presentation explores the lives of three South Carolinians who converted from Christianity to Islam in the 1940s and 1950s. Young added, “The heartwarming stories are typical of those of southern Blacks who moved from the South to the North for greater opportunity and freedom.  Their stories are full of sometimes funny ‘southernisms’.” Shakir will follow the film with a discussion.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; please RSVP to Alexandria Black History Museum at 703.746.4356. Patrons needing special assistance should contact the Museum at least one week prior to the event for accommodation.

The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Street parking is free and the museum is three blocks from the Braddock Road Metro, on the Blue and Yellow Lines. 

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Charlie Wilson, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick at Executive Leadership Council Gala

charlie wilsonRight outside the nation’s capital, in National Harbor, Maryland, The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) held its annual Recognition Gala Thursday, October 18, in the ballroom of the Gaylord National Hotel. African-American executives from the corporate, media, philanthropic, finance, and political sectors joined in an evening celebrating inclusion and emphasizing the goal of increasing diversity in CEO positions and in corporate boardrooms.

The theme for this year’s celebration: Lead. Elevate. Change.  During the evening’s program, the ELC presented the 2012 honorees:  Edward Lewis, co-founder of Essence Communications; Christopher J. Williams, the Williams Capital Group, LP; and corporate award winner, Sodexo.

Elegantly handsome, actor Boris Kodjoe charmed guests as host of the pre-gala festivities.  Actress Gabrielle Union, as Mistress of Ceremonies, beautifully kept the program moving along with a quick wit and strong stage presence.  The ceremony concluded with musical entertainment provided by Charlie Wilson. The Gap Band originator performed a funky, energetic set with a full complement of dancers and musicians, each adorned in an eye-popping display of color.  The intimate after party entertainment was provided by hip hop legends Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick. 

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