October 31 – November 13, 2013


ivan brown realty

Removing Klan Name From FLA School

forrest high jacksonville flThe Duval County (Jacksonville, Florida) School Board announced that the first step toward changing the name of a high school named for white supremacist Nathan B. Forrest will take place November 4.  Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the student advisory council’s (SAC)  vote on the matter is the first step and their decision will decide if the school district will begin the process of considering new school names.

More than 159,000 people, including Port Of Harlem subscribers, signed a Change.org petition in support of the name change says petitioner Ty Richmond.

The school got its name in 1959, when White civic leaders wanted to protest a court decision that called for integrating public schools.   The school was then nearly all White.  Today, the school in half Black.

By Florida law, each school must have a SAC and be composed of the principal and an “appropriately balanced” number of “stakeholders.” These individuals must be representative of the ethnic, racial and economic makeup of the community served by the school.  High schools and vocational technical centers must have students on the SACs.

Born poor, Forrest made a career of trading Africans, owned Africans, was a Confederate general, and a Grand Wizard of the infamous Ku Klux Klan. By the time the American Civil War started in 1861, he was a millionaire and one of the richest men in the South. A grandson, Nathan Bedford Forrest II (1872-1931), was president of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a Grand Dragon of the unpatriotic, domestic terrorist group, the Ku Klux Klan.

The continued racial cases coming out of Florida seems to buttress Rev. Jesse Jackson’s claims that the state is “the Selma of our time.” 


Entertainer to Watch:
Emma Nyra from Houston to Lagos

emma nyra 

Emma Nyra’s life has not been so predictable.  Before she won the Nigerian Entertainment Award for Most Promising Female Act to Watch earlier this year, she graduated with an undergraduate degree in Health Administration.  However, while studying at Texas Southern University, her eyes were on being an entertainer.   “I was doing talent shows, modeling, and movies including two Nollywood movies,” said the Nigerian-American.

Like her father and sister, she graduated from the historically Black university. “It seemed like the family choice, plus I got a full volleyball scholarship,” she smiled during our Skype interview.

Adding to her unique journey was her trip to the stage from Houston to Lagos instead of via New York or Hollywood.  “In our (Nigerian-based entertainment industry), you are paid and respected based on your popularity in Nigeria. There are few, maybe no Nigerian entertainers who are based in America that are big in Nigeria, but the reverse is generally true,” she explained from Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.

Promoters recently had her headline a 14 city North American tour, including four in Canada. “Instead of being an American based opening act, I was the Nigerian-based headliner,” she said.

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Meet Buba


Bubacarr Camara is the guy in the middle, with the blue vertical stripped shirt; people call him Buba (pronounced Boo ba).  He’s one of the founders of the Baobab Youth Development Association (BYDA).  I have met a lot of good people in The Gambia, but Buba stands out because of his quiet, effective leadership, hard work, and fair mindedness.

By day, and sometimes night, Buba drives a fork lift.  With the BYDA, he works as the chief organizer and construction manager who willingly provides muscle, too. 

When BYDA agreed to provide the labor to fix a roof at the local nursery school  that the Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP) partially funds - - in exchange for a building capacity program for his organization - -   he not only provided a detail list of materials needed and costs, but provided the cost of materials and labor his group would contribute to future projects (we have the financial plans for the new projects including their contributions on the POHGEP site).  Buba told me, “Donors like to see what the accepting group is going to contribute.”

For those reasons and more, we have already raised money for their bread project, an act of compassion BYDA performs during Ramadan, $325 for six scholarships, and $425 for a phone cell recharging business that we are micro-financing, in a community where electricity is scarce. This will be their first for-profit business.

Now, our biggest challenge is raising $550 to ship books donated by Abrams Books for the small neighborhood library they will run.

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Gansler The Hypocrite?

Back in July, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler  said of his chief rival for governor of Maryland,  Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown:  “I mean, right now his campaign slogan is, ‘Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland.”  Fast forward to October and he selects a Black woman, Jolene Ivey, as his running mate in a state that is 30% Black. 

Children’s Africana Book Awards

Africa Access will hold its annual Children's Africana Book Awards and book sale Saturday, November 9 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave SW, in Washington, D.C.  The event starts at 11a and ends at 2p with book signings and refreshments.  Africa Access’ director, Brenda  Randolph, founded the organization in 1989 to help schools, public libraries, and parents improve the quality of their children's collection on Africa.

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Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Things to Do

 sherry ways
Decorating for the Holidays with Sherry Ways

Decorating for the Holidays
with Sherry Ways
A Port Of Harlem Event
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Free street parking
3 blocks from Braddock Rd Metro
Alexandria, VA
Sat, Nov 9, 11a-1p, free
Registration Encouraged

Children's Africana Book Awards and
Book Festival 2013

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Sat, Nov 9, 11a-2p, free

Glory (the movie)
Surratt House Museum
9118 Brandywine Road
Clinton, MD
Sat, Nov 9, 6p, free

Trash to Treasure Green Fair
45 vendors selling a variety of environmentally-friendly, hand-crafted items made from at least 50% recycled, sustainable, organic or fair trade materials
Watkins Nature Center
301 Watkins Park
Upper Marlboro, MD
Sat, Nov 9, 10a-4p, free

Evening of Art
With Al Burts
16451 Hayes Lane
Woodbridge, VA
Sat, Nov 9, 3p-6p, free

The Long Hard Fight: Blacks & the War of 1812
Lecture by CR Gibbs
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA
Mon, Nov 11, 11a, free

Origins of the Afro Comb Project
Anacostia Museum
1901 Fort Place, SE
Nov 12, 10:30a-noon, free

Coming to DC
23rd Annual BZB Holiday Gift Art Show
Shiloh Family Life Center
1510 9th Street, NW
Fri, Nov 29- Sat Nov 30
Sats Dec 7, 14, and 21,  10a-7p, free

Whoo’s Up for Owls
(learn about owls – up close)
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
300 Oella Avenue
Sat, Nov 2 1p-3p, $3

New York (Greater)
RFA gallery presents Shaunté Gates
2075 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, Blvd
(7th Ave. @124th St.)
Till Friday, Nov 29

Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A Comin'
American Masters 
Tue, Nov 5, 9p-11p (ET) on PBS, free 

Decorating for the Holidays-Nov 9


Sherry Ways is passionate about designing interiors using Feng Shui and will lead a fun-filled, interactive holiday workshop on Decorating for the Holidays at the Alexandria Black History Museum.  “Tis the season to be conscious of our health and the environment,” she says about the eco-conscious decorating tips she will share. 

Ways is also a contributor to Port Of Harlem magazine. Port Of Harlem is co-sponsoring the event along with the Alexandria Blacks History Museum, whose mission includes enriching the lives of Alexandria's residents and visitors.  Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership, a charity that has been connecting Americans with Gambians since 2002, is also supporting the free event.

Join us for a free eco-conscious focused class on basic decorating to enhance the environment this holiday season.  There is free on street parking and the museum is three blocks from Braddock Road Metro. However, there is limited seating.  To make your reservations, call the Alexandria Black History Museum, 703-746-4356, or click here.

Feel Good Spaces Decorating Ideas With
Sherry Ways

WBAL-TV Baltimore

Sherry's latest Port Of Harlem article:  Hottest Home Colors in 2014

Decorating for the Holidays
with Sherry Ways
A Port Of Harlem Event
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 9p ET

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Too Black To Be Hispanic?

 jakiyah mckoy

Jakiyah McKoy is a 7-year-old who was recently named Little Miss Hispanic Delaware. After complaints that McKoy’s beauty doesn't "represent Latino beauty" because she is Afrolatina, the organization sponsoring the pageant, Nuestras Raices Delaware, withheld her title pending an investigation of her heritage, an investigation which none of the other contestants were subjected to.

The contest requires 25% Latino heritage to qualify, but since Jakiyah's Dominican grandmother has died and came to this country undocumented, the family was unable to provide proof and Nuetras Raices took McKoy's crown away.
From Our Archives: A great book by African-Hispanic Eric Velasquez, Grandma’s Gift. 

booty warrior 
Most Popular Page and Searched Word
on the Website for October, to Date 

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