by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Well we’re nearly in the middle of June, and this month has just been moving on, NON-STOP. There is so much going on simultaneously, you practically have to be on rollerblades, or clone yourself to do it all.
Not only is June Caribbean Heritage Month, celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our brothers and sisters throughout the Caribbean, but it’s also Black Music Month, celebrating the vast treasure trove of music we have contributed and continue to contribute to the world. This also Juneteenth, the celebration of the first pronouncement of the Emancipation Proclamation – though slaveholders in Texas and other southern states tried to hide the truth from our ancestors. This is a time for celebration and jubilation. We also lost our beloved Icon, Michael Jackson, in June.
Wow – of course for those of you who are June Geminis, the fact that this month speeds by twice as fast as any other month is perfectly normal to you. Being that you’re twins, you are accustomed this break neck pace. My June Cancerians, on the other hand, have a way of mellowing the month out and taking it all in stride.
That being the case, those of you who are in Queens will definitely want to participate in this monumental community development event. I received it from my friend, Glenn Greenich, a co-member of NY CitiWorks:
Farmers Boulevard Empowerment Week to be held from June 14-16, 2012
Empowerment. Oppression. Historically these have been very forceful words that conjure up images and memories of the civil rights movement and similar struggles from the history of nations around the world. Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corp. (FBCDC) is using these terms in a somewhat different manner for a series of forums being held from June 14-16 called Farmers Boulevard “Empowerment Week.”
We put forth that “empowerment” is a conscious decision to settle for nothing less than the best that you deserve and the best that you are capable of. Hence, “oppression” is a pattern of settling for less than your best. Are you living an empowered life, or an oppressed life?
Who are we to ask such an intrusive question, and how does this conversation relate to our mission of revitalizing Farmers Boulevard? Well, take a look at our agenda for Farmers Boulevard Empowerment Week 2012, and please join us in these important discussions about the development of our community:
Entrepreneurial Empowerment Forum: New Idea to New Venture Thursday, June 14, 6:30 p.m: Presented by Queens Economic Development Corporation in partnership with FBCDC. We have the goal of attracting new and vibrant businesses to fill the storefront vacancies along Farmers Boulevard. We need empowered entrepreneurs to achieve our goal, but this event is open to anyone considering starting a new business venture, whether you plan to locate on Farmers Boulevard or elsewhere.
Artist Empowerment Mixer & Forum: First Comes Love, Then Comes Manage Friday, June 15, 7:00 p.m: This ground-breaking event will be held at the soon-to-be reopened “triangle building” on Farmers Boulevard, which is being redeveloped as an event space. By registration only we are including painters, poets, authors, actors, playwrights, producers, musicians and many other types of artist in the June 15th social mixer and panel discussion about earning an income from your creative talent.
Early Childhood Empowerment Forum: As We Rise, They Will Shine Saturday, June 16, 11:00 a.m: Farmers Boulevard is a hub for a significant concentration of daycare centers, pre-schools and K-5 public elementary schools. Many of these programs have been experiencing a variety of challenges, including reduced enrollment, budget constraints, need for renovations, and other issues that detract from the teachers’ ability to provide a first-class experience to these young children. Our June 16th forum will bring together parents, educators, pre-school directors and community stakeholders to identify the most important action steps and investments that we, as a community, must make to secure a bright start for our young ones.
Returning to Work Saturday, June 16, 4:00 p.m: There are unspoken numbers of men and women in our local community who are unemployed or underemployed, and several who were formerly incarcerated. FBCDC recognizes that it is difficult for all kinds of people to find employment in this economy, but minorities and especially those among us with criminal records and without diplomas and degrees have a strikingly challenging battle to fight. The traditional channels of education and job-seeking do not always welcome everyone with these backgrounds, but we must identify the best ways to gain employment and to empower each member in our community to earn a productive living.
The Empowerment Week events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is necessary for the Artist Empowerment Mixer. All events will be held at the African Center for Community Empowerment, 111-20 Farmers Boulevard, St. Albans, except the Artist Mixer which will be held at the Triangle Building. If would like to attend any of the forums, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you. Visit Us Online at www.farmersblvd.org Follow Us On Twitter http://twitter.com/farmersblvd Glenn Greenidge, Commercial Mortgage Consultant; Commercial Real Estate Specialist Unlimited Realty Services, Farmers Blvd Community Development Corp; Money Quest/Cost Segregation Services Inc. 347 776-7817 cell “Ask me how I can create Tax Savings for Commercial Property Owners for 2011 Tax Year”
June is CARIBBEAN HERITAGE MONTH: In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the SenatE. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This year marks the seventh anniversary of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month.
The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, to ensure that America is reminded that its greatness lies in its diversity. Caribbean immigrants from founding father Alexander Hamilton, to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who have shaped the American dream, Shirley Chisholm and Una Clarke New York City Council; Yvette Clark, US Congressional Represent from Brooklyn’s 11th CD; to the Mighty Sparrow, and so many others Celebrate June… Caribbean American Heritage Month
JUNE IS BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
In 1979 President Jimmy Carter named June Black Music Month. President Obama recenty announced it to the public as African American Music Month. It is a time to appreciate all that our musical talents, past, present, and future, have added to this rich culture.
That said, I, selfishly, chose to honor MANDRILL, a group whose music spans rhythm & blues, Latin, Jazz, Caribbean soul, including calypso and reggae.
The group, which now celebrates it’s 42nd year, has consistently gone above and beyond the mundane when it comes to music, with as much appeal to our contemporary artists as they had to us Black in the day. Such songs as Fence Walk, Ape Is High/Git It All, Lord of the Golden Baboon, are as danceable to day as they were in the 70’s.
The Bad Boys from Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy (do or die) deserve much props for their continued commitment to excellence and quality through music and lyrics. They have shared the stage with legends such as Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron, the late Jon Lucien, Miles Davis, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Bootsie Collins, Tito Puente, Earth Wind & Fire, The Eagles, Santana, James Brown, Deep Purple and David Bowie, Randy Weston, War, among so many others. According to Kenneth Mallory, of the Washington Afro-American: “Mandrill’s music has shaped Rock & Roll history.”
To The Wilson Brothers: Lou*, Ric, Carlos and Wilfredo more power to you – in 2012 and beyond!!
To their many fans, if you happen to be on the West Coast, mark your calendars for MANDRILL LIVE IN CONCERT 2012, Presented by Mandrill on SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 @ 7:30 P.M. at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater. Hollywood will pulsate with excitement when MANDRILL, pioneers of Funk and World Music, comes “outta da bush!!”
For those of us on the East Coast, who want to see more of the group, start requesting – no, demanding – that they be included in the upcoming events, such as Summer Stage; and concert tours – are you listening LIVE NATION?
NAACP SILENT PROTEST MARCH AGAINST STOP AND FRISK: Sunday, June 17th
This Sunday, we’ll be marching from Harlem in a disciplined silence, determined to put an end to racial profiling. And though we will march in silence, our voices will be heard loudly in New York City and nationwide thanks to thousands of supporters like you. Last week, the NAACP asked supporters across the country to serve as the voices of their silent marchers, who will walk to end “stop and frisk” this Sunday. Thousands submitted messages to appear on banners and posters. Now they just need someone to carry them. These words are strong, they are bold, and they say exactly what our silence on Sunday will mean. We’re missing only one thing: YOU! Those of you who are either victims of “stop and frisk” tactics, or have friends or relatives who have been through this humiliation, must join the NAACP’s protest march to put an end to this travesty.
NAACP President Ben Jealous shared the startling statistics last week: In 2011, New York City police made more stops of black men between the ages of 14 and 24 then there are black men between 14 and 24 living in the city.
This Sunday the NAACP is doing something to stop this. Thousands of supporters will silently march through the streets of New York to protest the “stop and frisk” policy. And millions across the country who know our children are being profiled and targeted because of the color of their skin will support them.
Their words will be my voice as I march in silence this Sunday. Take a stand against the profiling and targeting of our children—march with us to end “stop and frisk” on Sunday: SKIN COLOR IS NOT PROBABLE CAUSE TO STOP AND FRISK A BLACK YOUTH!!!
Get involved. For details log onto: http://action.naacp.org/march-with-us Pick up a poster and walk with me, Hazel Dukes, in the NAACP’s silent march through New York to end “stop and frisk” on Sunday, June 17th.
Last, but not least, June is the month that I officially launch “Obama A Day”, which will include something positive about our President that will be included in every Blog I write from now on. I am also urging my fellow Bloggers, writers, BLACK journalists, ministers, activists to do likewise, as a pro-active measure against all the hate, lies, and garbage spewed out on an ongoing basis by the Rep-ugh-blicans, Koch Brothers, Tea Baggers, and corporations that would drag us back to the bad old days of segregation, racism and lynching.
This is my Obama-A-Day report for Wednesday, June 13, 2012
White House Report from June 2, 2012 – in case you missed it: Extraordinary People: On Tuesday the President awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 13 extraordinary individuals. These people came from all walks in life, ranging from a doctor to a musician, the President said that each has made his or her mark on America, “Together, the honorees on this stage, and the ones who couldn’t be here, have moved us with their words; they have inspired us with their actions. They’ve enriched our lives and they’ve changed our lives for the better. Some of them are household names; others have labored quietly out of the public eye. Most of them may never fully appreciate the difference they’ve made or the influence that they’ve had, but that’s where our job comes in.”
A Step in the Right Direction: President Obama also signed a bipartisan, Import-Export Bank reauthorization bill to help strengthen our economy. “Soon, there are going to be millions of new customers for our goods and services in Korea, in Colombia and Panama. That way, even though we got some Hyundais over here, we’re also going to have some Chryslers and Fords and Chevys in Seoul that are imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago.” The President also took this time to reiterate that more needs to be done in order to fix our economy and particularly focused on the need for Congress to get to work on the “To-Do-List” that President Obama has been pushing for over the past month.”
If you know of something positive, empowering, endearing, significant that our President has done, please feel free to share it with me and the rest of your friends, family and associates. Don’t keep it to yourselves. Remember, an Obama-A-Day keeps the stupids away. Don’t let corporations brainwash you into thinking that because they have more money they can determine the outome of the presidential election. Remember DOLLARS DON’T VOTE, PEOPLE DO. If you have an 18 year old in your household, make sure he or she is registered to vote. Instead of just a birthday card, give him or her a Voter Registration card as well. And hand deliver it to the Bureau of Voter Registration. We are each and all responsible for making sure President Barack Obama is re-elected to continue the good work he has started.
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com
Gloria Dulan-Wilson is available for speaking engagements: Black History, African History, Foreclosure Prevention, Home Ownership, Education, etc., Contact her via email@example.com