The world’s longest week is coming to a screen near you.
The annual Harlem Week Festival won’t be stopped by the coronavirus, but it will take on a very different look in 2020.
Now in its 46th year, the festival will be held virtually for the first time in its history.
This year’s programming will be streamed online between August 16 and 23.
Sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the festival serves as a celebration of Harlem’s culture scene.
Held amid a global pandemic and a national push to end systemic racism, the 2020 festival will use the theme “Movement of the People” and feature community building initiatives around racial justice, education, economic empowerment and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams said the events of 2020 are “unlike anything we have ever seen.”
Listen, I get it. “Already living in a dictatorship” sounds harsh. Needlessly alarmist. Overblown even. But if I may. We are living through an out-of-control pandemic with a near depression walloping the economy and we have a senile and racist mad man in the White House. Said mad man has a compliant and neutered State Media apparatus in Fox News and his popularity among the GOP base is just shy of 100%. The Republican Party has become, in the words of activist and author Tim Wise, a “White Identity Cult.” If that does not give you reason for extreme concern, then you are simply not paying attention. This is a recipe for disaster.
We have never been this polarized and divided as a nation since the Civil War. Yes, in theory, this is still a democracy. And again, yes, in theory, there will be an election this November. But and this is a ginormous BUT, if we care to admit it, we simply don’t know where this is headed. Trump and the dastardly Republican Party are the party currently in power and they will not relinquish that sovereignty without a struggle.
The GOP has, for quite some time now, been busy plotting to disenfranchise people of color with an effective, targeted and comprehensive voter suppression regimen. Oligarchy not democracy is really their thing. Only a Blue Wave will suffice this year. If that Blue Wave fails to materialize then we as a nation are doomed and voter suppression, hatred and xenophobia will have won the day. The American Experiment will be no more. The American Dream will wither to a mere illusion.
Tyrant Trump has already floated the constitutionally illegal idea of “delaying” the election on Twitter of all places. How futuristically fascistic of the Tyrant. Even during the aforementioned Civil War, we didn’t delay an election. But since Trump feels he may lose to Biden; a delay is bandied about ever so flippantly.
Make no mistake about it, we are engaged in an epic battle for the soul of this nation. The future is not guaranteed. It must be fought for. Apathy is not an option. Let’s get it!
So much winning. The Ottoman Empire was once known as the sick man of Europe. In that same vein, the U.S. can be considered the sick man of the first world. We are the only developed nation to still be in the throes of the pandemic after 4 months. Of course all those other countries don’t have a sociopath and an imbecile as their commander-in-chief. Ed Yong writing in The Atlantic pens an absolute must read on how the pandemic defeated America.
That’s right familia, The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) returns September 14-20. For over 2 decades, NYLFF has been relentlessly pushing the culture forward. Shining a spotlight on creatives of color and blazing trails for our people to follow is their mission and calling. I am beyond proud to be the Social Media Manager for the fourth year in a row of this crucially important institution. Keep checking out NYLFF’s social for more.
If you are looking to help out your community then look no further than this initiative to clean up the community. The series of weekly cleanup events in neighborhoods throughout New York’s 13th Congressional District kicks off Saturday, August 8 at 10 am at 207th Street and Broadway.