Obama Continues To Inspire Millions

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Debra Lee: “Barack has the ability to galvanize this population unlike any other recent candidate,� She adds.


US ELECTIONS 2008:  Barack Obama has done the impossible.

He’s making Americans feel good about their republic again. Prometheus gave man fire; and today it is hope that we so desperately need, something that Obama serves in mega doses. If he continues to inspire and energize eligible voters in large numbers -  African Americans, whites, Latinos, Millennials, GenXers, young and old, then I say that some party needs to have him on its quadrennial ticket for life. He certainly has cornered the youth market. That hope is paying off. His campaign donations last month climbed to $32 million. His popularity is not lost on the  HIPHOP community.  He is the first politician to have adorned a Vibe magazine cover. 

A Crain’s NY cover story titled “HipHop’s Candidate”, quoted BET Chief, Executive Officer, Debra Lee. “Barack has the ability to galvanize this population unlike any other recent candidate,” She adds. “A whole lot of people thought the he would never see this happen.”  I wonder if Debra was alluding to her partner, billionaire Bob Johnson, who has apologized for his Obama diatribe at a Hillary Clinton rally last month. Has the campaign triggered marital discord!  Well, not exactly.

There is tension in certain households where spouses are supporting opposing presidential hopefuls.  Take the Rangels, for example. Charlie supports Hillary and his wife Alma, supports Obama.  Maria Shriver, the first lady of California, spoke at a UCLA Obama rally two Sundays ago. Her better half, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger supports McCain.

There are problems in paradise among the Congressional Black Caucus, who are evenly split between Hillary and Barack, each with 17 supporters. And I am still aghast at the conservative NY Post's Obama endorsement!

DAVID LEVERING LEWIS:  For more cerebral pleasures, I recommend viewing a repeat of  C-SPAN, Book TV’s 3 hours, with  author and historian, twice-honored Pulitzer awardee, David Levering Lewis, who strutted his cultural and academic stuff about antiquity, modernity, Herodotus, John Hope Franklin, CLR James, Che Guevera, Islamic culture, King Leopold in the Congo, Graham Green, and Robert Graves. A septuagenarian, who ostensibly spends most of his waking hours either immersed in books, writing manu scri pts or traveling, Lewis, was a Fisk  freshman at 15, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and later earned his PHD at the London School of Economics. Dr. Lewis’s book credits include “God’s Crucible: Islam And The Making of Europe;” “When Harlem Was In Vogue;” and two WEB DuBois biographies.  He enthused. “I think that I have at least one more book in me.” The erudite Lewis navigated the viewer into his rarified world of ideas, a place seldom visited by commercial or cable television. A great allocation of TV time, the David Levering Lewis in-depth segment  has to be re-broadcast soon!

EVIDENCE GALA: On Monday, February 11, The Evidence, a Dance Company, hosts its Annual Winter Gala, at the Hudson Theatre, housed at the Millennium Broadway Hotel at 145 West 44 Street. The crème de la crème evening begins with cocktails,  then dinner and culminates with the Evidence Company dance performance.  The Winter Gala is one of the highlights of the African-American elite’s social season. Founded in 1985 by its choreographer/artistic director, Ronald Brown, Evidence is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit which focuses on dance and storytelling throughout the African Diaspora, which sponsors outreach programs, workshops, master classes for dance enthusiasts of all ages.
Reginald Van Lee is Evidence Board chair.  For reservations, call  718.230.4633 or email info@evidencedance.com

NYABJ AWARDS DINNER: The New York Association of Black Journalist (NYABJ) hosts its 20th Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner on February 13 at Columbia University’s Low Library Rotunda.  This year’s honorees include TV legend Roz Abrams; the late Gerald Boyd;  Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, and Wilbert Tatum, Amsterdam News. Philanthropist Kathryn Chenault will receive a special award.  The NYABJ recognizes the best in Print, New Media, Radio, Magazine and TV reporting of issues that affect the Black Diaspora. Most African-American media muck-the-mucks attend the Gala. It’s great for people watching and networking.  For reservations, call 917.721.8395. Sade Baderinwa  (WABC-TV) and  Maurice Dubois (WCBS-TV) are dinner emcees. 

A BETTER CHANCE:  Do you have the next Barack Obama at home?  If the answer is yes, and your child is 8th Grade bound next September, then you should enroll him or her in The Wadleigh Scholars Program (WSP) intensive. The WSP prepares middle school students for admission to the nation’s top boarding schools – Choate, Andover - with scholarships.  Through academically-rigorous, weekly Saturday enrichment classes, which  focus on reading and math efficiencies, the program prepares young students for the labyrinthine boarding school admission process. The program is
free and weekly attendance is compulsory. The WSP operates out of Wadleigh HS on West 114 Street in Harlem.
The brainchild of educator Edouard Plummer, the WSP is almost a 50 year old Harlem institution.  More than 550  Wadleigh Scholars have successfully completed boarding schools,  finished college and know work as doctors, lawyers, Wall Streeters, educators, engineers, and social workers.  Call Derrick Wallace at 212 281.2105 to schedule an appointment with the WCP screening committee.

Congrats to former Manhattan Borough president  C. Virginia Fields, who was recently 
named President/CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission On AIDS.

To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com

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