Thursday, February 28, 2013


New York City mayoral hopeful Adolfo Carrión helped a major developer win approval for an apartment and retail space project while serving as Bronx Borough President in exchange for providing an architect to make renovations to Carrión's home, the News reports:
The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to pass two bills that would restrict the city's cooperation with federal authorities on deporting immigrants, with Bloomberg expected to sign both bills into law, The New York Times writes:
Donovan Richards, the former chief of staff to former City Councilman James Sanders, was officially declared victorious in the special election to fill Sanders' seat, with additional paper ballots bringing his victory margin to 80 votes, the News reports:

Fw: Harlem Heritage Tours Offers a Tour of Literary Harlem


 Harlem Heritage Tours offers A Tour of Literary Harlem to compliment the Harlem Book Fair experience.

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Dear Book Lovers & Words People,

The weekend of July 19 marks the 15th anniversary of the Harlem Book Fair and we are asking you to join us for a most signature event. Along with our outdoor celebration of books, authors, and exhibitors, our author main stage, indoor author panel discussions, readings and workshops will offer surprising and engaging entertainment for every type of booklover.  Under the banner of  New Voices, New Vision, we will celebrate theater, books to film, e-book authors and e-book workshops (I know you like to turn that page but trust when I say e-readers are seductive and here to stay. I have 5 two-hundred page books by my bed waiting to be read! How many do you have???) We can talk about it at the Harlem Book Fair.

Leading up to the book fair are the Friday night Wheatley Book Awards at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Featuring the music of Atiba Wilson and the Befo Quotet,  and the Harlem Book Fair Poets of the Dispossessed, the Grammy Awards will have nothing on this event. You can preview our awards nominees now (or nominate your own) at the Wheatley Awards Nominations page.

Here is your link to your reservation to the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards Program. Reserve seats now or forever hold your peace (I had to look that one up.)

Does it sound like I am having fun? Does it sound like I am excited by the 15th Anniversary celebration of the Harlem Book Fair? I am. And check out our hotel discounts from Aloft Harlem and Marriott Hotel partners! Books, Film, Theater, E-Books, Music, Poetry, Food, and Awards? File this one under Too Good to Miss.

Here is your link to your HBF 2013 Exhibitor Application. A whole bunch of somebodies are going to want to buy your book!

Please set your calendars and pass the Word! Words People, this is our event and we are going to fill the house! See you in July!


Max Rodriguez
Founder, Harlem Book Fair

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Cruise the historic streets of the Black capital of the world and see over 40 historic locations associated with Harlem's history.


Special attention will be paid to sights pertaining to literary Harlem such as the Amsterdam Newspaper Office, the Langston Hughes House, Niggerarti Manor, Strivers Row, Dark Tower and the former residence of Rudolph Fisher. This multimedia experience takes you to actual sights and locations and presents applicable archival footage, rare prints and recordings at the sights where history happened. Tours should be more than guides speaking for history; the  Harlem Book Fair Multimedia Bus Tour allows history to speak for itself.

Working with community partners, such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Apollo Theater, Harlem Heritage Tours has developed a series of multimedia bus/walking tours that present archival video and sound at the very sight where history happened, adding a human touch while bringing the past to life. We hope you will add this piece of history to your Harlem Book Fair weekend!


Will Your Harlem Book Fair Weekend be a Harlem experience or a New York City experience? Enjoy either with a Harlem Book Fair Hospitality discount provided by our HBF Hospitality Partners! Visit to explore your options and reserve a room! Or click below!

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Abena Afreeka: Philadelphia Therapist Announces ‘N*gga Recovery Program’

Abena AfreekaIf you’re someone who feels that “nigga” is a term of endearment that empowers Black people by removing the sting of racism from the word, or if you’re a rapper who loves your “niggas” like you all escaped from Candieland plantation together and call each other “my nigga” to remember where you came from, then Abena Afreeka‘s “Nigga Recovery Program” just might be for you.

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Though the program has been in the conceptual stages for close to a decade, the Philadelphia therapist was motivated to kick it into overdrive after seeing the accolades heaped onto the shoulders of Hip-Hop heavyweights, Jay-Z and Kanye West, for their club smash, “Niggas In Paris.”

Because people of African descent have never engaged in the process of healing for experiences and effects of those experiences that came out of that term, continued use of the term without attending to deep emotional wounds is irresponsible on the part of all parties involved,” said Afreeka to The Philly Post. So I’ve developed this program, and am asking other folks of African descent, and Jay and Kanye, asking them and inviting them to engage in the process of recovery.

Afreeka goes on to explain the logistics of the therapy group and what participants can expect:

They will meet with me in a group. It’s a group intervention. There would also be some individual work. They would complete a cultural genogram, they would learn to understand their relationships, their history, they would work to learn and understand self. This is substance abuse, the substance being using the N-word. And many of them are benefiting from using that substance.

The use of the word has been in the news once again recently due to self-proclaimed comedian, Lisa Lampanelli, calling Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO’S hit series, Girls, “my nigga” on Twitter. Both women are White.

Me with my nigga @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!
Lisa Lampanelli (@LisaLampanelli) February 18, 2013

In a strategic interview conducted by actress Pia  Glenn for, a defensive Lampanelli felt compelled to explain to a Black interviewer why Black people shouldn’t be offended by White people using the word:

“The N-word ending in ‘er’ is far different context from the word ending in ‘a.’ Ask any person who knows the urban dictionary, it means ‘friend,’” she said. “And by the way, if I had put the word ending in ‘er,’ that would have been a very derogatory thing about Lena meaning she is less than me, and I view her as very above me. ‘A’ on the end means ‘my friend.’”

“I’ve played every comedy club and every theatre across the country for the last 25 years and seen a lot of audience members from different ethnic persuasions,” she continued. “I have been using these words since I started in comedy and guess what, people? I won’t stop anytime soon, just because your ass is up on Twitter. I have always used in my act every racial slur there is for Asians, blacks, gays, and Hispanics. To me, it’s acceptable if the joke is funny and if it is said in a context of no hate. It’s about taking the hate out of the word.”


According to Afreeka, we live in a world of “White lunacy” where the use of the word “nigga” has become commonplace and the illness — brought about by historical trauma — must be treated like any other addiction, scientifically and systemically.

So how long will this treatment take?

“As with most treatment for folks in mental and behavioral health, treatment time varies,” said Afreeka.  “You start with where the person is, assess and go from there. The cost is on a sliding fee scale. Rap artists like Kanye and company would be expected to give more.”

Take Our Poll

Abena Afreeka: Philadelphia Therapist Announces ‘N*gga Recovery Program’
Kirsten West Savali
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 00:38:51 GMT

Afro-Caribbean Cultural Center for El Barrio

Afro-Caribbean Cultural Center for El Barrio

The nation's leading Afro-Caribbean cultural center will begin construction in early 2014 on an eye-catching new $5.5 million home in a converted landmark firehouse on 125th St. in East Harlem.

Afro-Caribbean Cultural Center for El Barrio
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 01:08:15 GMT

Big Gulps safe from Bloomberg’s soda ban

Big Gulps safe from Bloomberg’s soda ban

ALBANY — Big Gulps are safe for the foreseeable future.

Big Gulps safe from Bloomberg’s soda ban
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 01:08:38 GMT

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fw: BeFORE it's too late...

Final weeks of Fore & Spring 2013 Exhibitions + Projects
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Studio Museum | E-Newsletter | February 27, 2013

Final weeks of Fore!

If you have not seen our Fall/Winter 2012–13 exhibition yet, now is the time! Fore is on view through March 10.

The Artist's Voice: West Coast Vernacular
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 7pm

Franklin Sirmans, Head Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art moderates a conversation with Fore artists Sadie Barnette, Noah Davis and Brenna Youngblood. The conversation will focus on the artists' processes, participation in Fore and the influence west coast culture has had on their work.  

Tickets are limited. Click here
to reserve seats.

Hands On: Books & Authors, Kids!
With Special Guest Jacqueline Woodson, author of Show Way!

Sunday, March 3, 2013, 2pm

Enjoy an interactive storytelling experience as Jacqueline Woodson reads from her picture book, Show Way, a story inspired by her own family history. Enjoy a hands-on art project after story time, and have your book signed by the author!

To RSVP, please visit


Fore is made possible thanks to Leadership Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Major support provided by Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  Additional support is provided by the Ed Bradley Family Foundation.

The Artist's Voice is made possible, in part, by MetLife Foundation and an endowment established by the Ron Carter Family in memory of Studio Museum in Harlem Trustee, Janet Carter.
Family Programs are funded, in part, by Council Member Inez E. Dickens, 9th Council District, Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council.


(left, from top to bottom) Fore (installation view). Photo: Adam Reich /
Franklin Sirmans. Courtesy the Menil Collection. Photo: George Hixson; Brenna Youngblood, Buffalo Burger, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles/ Jacqueline Woodson, author of Show Way. Courtesy the author.

(right, from top to bottom):
Abigail DeVille, Haarlem Tower of Babel, 2013. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich/ Fred Wilson, Local Color (installation view), 1993. Courtesy the artist. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of the Artist,  09.5.1/ Sadie Barnette, Untitled (Boombox), 2012. Courtesy the artist


Upcoming at the Studio Museum

Target Free Sundays: March 3, 2013

1pm: Gallery Tour: Fore
Enjoy an interactive and informative tour of Fore with a knowledgeable museum educator. The tour will have something for everyone: adults, families and kids of all ages are welcome!

Target Free Sundays: March 10, 2013

Gallery Tour: Fore
Explore Fore on its closing day!

2pm: Hands On: Line, Texture and Collage
Join this workshop to construct monochromatic textured collages inspired by Fore artist Yashua Klos. Create your work of art using a variety of paper, shapes, pencil and markers.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

11am: Lil' Studio: Torn Paper Assemblage
Parents with little ones ages 2.5 to 4 are invited to the Studio Museum to enjoy art-making and other activities that encourage creative time and bonding. Lil' Studio is free, refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is required.


Things We Love This Week

Assistant Curator Lauren Haynes interviewed by NBC New York on Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967

Huffington Post Arts's "30 Black Artists Under 40 You Should Know"

Ralph Lemon's new book, Come home Charley Patton

The upcoming Black Collectivities Conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Block Museum, Northwestern University

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Black Leaders Call For Blackface Assemblyman To Resign From Leadership Post

Black Leaders Call For Blackface Assemblyman To Resign From Leadership Post

dov hinkind racist blackface

Dov Hikind‘s apology for donning blackface at a party in his Brooklyn home is falling on deaf ears, as Black leaders intensify their criticism of the assemblyman, the Gothamist reports.

Led by Assemblywoman Inez Barron, a group of African American leaders and other public officials gathered in from of City Hall in New York City Tuesday to lambaste Hikind. Barron began her attack on Hikind by criticizing his vocal support of racial profiling.

SEE ALSO: High School Students Cause Uproar As They Don KKK Masks During Hockey Game

“Dov Hikind’s latest antic is another reveal of who Dov Hikind really is,” Barron said. “His assertion that he did not know that appearing in blackface is offensive to black people is incredulous… Mr. Hikind, your egregious behavior is shameful, degrading, unacceptable and unworthy of a leadership position.

Barron’s husband, City Councilman Charles Barron, went as far as saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver should remove Hikind from his position as Assistant Majority Leader. “His inability to repent, to generally repent and ‘get it,’ is another problem,” Barron said. “The governor needs to say something, and we need to go beyond condemnation verbally.”

Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg sided with Barron when the City Councilman asked him to comment on Hikind. “This time, we agree,” he responded.

SEE ALSO: The Blackest White Folks We Know

Conrad Tillard, a minister at the Nazarene Congregational Church of Christ in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said that Hikind’s actions were inexcusable.

“The NAACP…fought against ‘blackface’ in the ’20s and ’30s,” he said. “For an elected public official to feel comfortable not only dressing in blackface but defending his actions is an outrage that says to me that the dignity of African-American people is under attack. As a clergyperson, I am here to say that we will defend our dignity. We will not allow public officials, corporations or anyone else to demean or deprive us of the dignity that we deserve.”

At first, Hikind was very dismissive of the outcry directed at him over his decision to wear blackface, a form of theatrical makeup that has a well-documented history of mocking African Americans during minstrel shows for more than 100 years. On Monday, he took to his blog to post his initial response to the outcry:

dov hikind blackface

Hikind said he wore the makeup during a party in which he and other attendees celebrated the Jewish holiday Purim.

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In an interview with the New York Times, Hikind said he was shocked that people would be so offended by the costume.

“My wife, you saw the picture, she was the devil,” Mr. Hikind said. “Believe me, she’s not the devil.”

“A lot of people just don’t realize, on Purim, in a sense, forgive me for saying this, you do crazy stuff,” he added. “It’s not done, God forbid, to laugh, to mock, to hurt, to pain anyone.”

Though, when you read the definition of Purim, it says nothing about offending people and doing “crazy stuff.” According to Judaism 101, “Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.”

Moreover, the spirit of the holiday, as it is explained above, falls oddly out of step with comments he made to the AP regarding racial profiling–especially when looking for terrorist suspects. Watch the video below:

Despite his missteps, Hikind told The Times that he learned his lesson. But he still ended up putting his foot in his mouth when he elaborated.

“Next year I was thinking I’d be an Indian,” he said. “But you know, I’ve changed my mind about that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Somebody will be offended.”

Black Leaders Call For Blackface Assemblyman To Resign From Leadership Post
Terrell Jermaine Starr
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 03:22:07 GMT

'Downton Abbey' may jazz up Season 4

'Downton Abbey' may jazz up Season 4

PBS’ smash-hit retro-soap “Downton Abbey” may be moving more openly into the Jazz Age its upcoming season four. The show’s producers are looking to cast a black actor as a suave, charismatic jazz singer, according to a story in the London Sun.

'Downton Abbey' may jazz up Season 4
David Hinckley
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:00:16 GMT

Heart disease, diabetes make a lethal combination

Heart disease, diabetes make a lethal combination

Heart disease and diabetes are two of the biggest public health problems in this country, affecting about 80 million and 25 million Americans, respectively. And as it turns out, the two diseases are related.

Heart disease, diabetes make a lethal combination
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:00:56 GMT

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fw: REMINDER...Two very important African American History screenings not to be missed - Wed. Feb 27th and Thurs. Feb 28th at 7:00pm

Two very important
African American History screenings
not to be missed  
RSVP and order tickets via
Date:  Wednesday, February 27th
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
343 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10027

RSVP and order tickets via
Date:  Thursday, February 28th
Time: 7:00pm 
MLK Labor Center (Auditorium)
310 West 43rd Street
(bet. 8th and 9th avenues)

YoungMissCEOs, Inc

145 West 135th Street
New York, New York 10030




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