Let’s quickly sum up 2018 New York Caribbean Carnival and J’Ouvert festival happenings in Brooklyn: Both events ended without any major incidents reported, yet some media outlets linked unrelated criminal incidents to the carnival events.
“Please stop blaming the Caribbean community for common holiday shootings. We are tired of the disrespect,” wrote one Facebook user, disturbed by unfair coverage.
Despite the restrictions of increased security, the creative masqueraders, steel pan musicians and spectators were thrilled with the J’Ouvert event.
Over the years, the traditional J’Ouvert celebration was marred by criminals and gang violence. Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Cuomo, was fatally shot by alleged gang members in a shootout near the J’Ouvert route in 2015.
But some recent Facebook comments were aimed at a major New York paper’s report that irresponsibly reported “Man shot during annual J’Ouvert festival,” despite fact the incident took place more that a mile from the J’Ouvert event.
The article also falsely connected J’Ouvert with the 2:25 a.m. “non-life-threatening” shooting of two women — which took place almost four hours before festival and a half-mile away from the route.
In another article, the same newspaper maligned the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade by stating that a Sept. 3 shooting at 7:20 p.m. occured “a short distance from the parade route,” but it actually happened close to a mile away — about 1½ hours after the end of parade along Eastern Parkway.
Both New York Carnival Parade — presented by the West Indian American Carnival Asssociation — and J’Ouvert had significant police coverage.
Earlier on Labor Day Monday, the early morning J’Ouvert festival, organized by the J’Ouvert City International organization, benefited from strict rules, procedures and a sizable police presence. There were secure entry points to the set up to gain access to the procession route and hundreds of light towers were set up along the way, in addition to high-resolution security cameras.
But even the Prospect Heights edition of the proudly neighborhood-focused Patch Network website got it wrong, posting that a “Man Shot Near J’Ouvert Celebrations, Police Say” article, when distance alone reveals this incident was not “Near J’Ouvert.”
There is a problem with this type of coverage considering that time, distance from the respective parade routes can be calculated in a minutes by even a child with a smartphone.
Was the event coverage marred intentionally or by incompetence? You make the call.
To its credit, WPIX-TV ran a “Man, 25, in critical condition after Crown Heights shooting: police” article — with a “Clarification: “The previous article said the shooting happened near the J’ouvert parade route. Police later said the incident was not related to the event.”
NEXT WEEK: What President Trump has in common with New York Caribbean Carnival and J’Ouvert parade organizers.
The Harlem parade with Carib links
Caribbean New Yorkers, who have been involved in the life and times of Harlem for generations, will be making their impact and influence known today in Manhattan at the anticipated African-American Day Parade.
There will be an impressive Caribbean presence at the 49th edition of the parade, with the participation of entertainer Doug E. Fresh and members of the Transit Workers Union, Local 100.
And in addition to Fresh and the TWU union local, many participants and spectators with have connections to the region.
Fresh, who was born Douglas Davis and has Caribbean roots, is one of the grand marshals for the event. The well-known rap performer is nicknamed “The Human Beat Box,” for his ability to replicate the sounds of electronic drum machines and other devices.
The other 2018 grand marshals include pioneering dancer and Dance Theater of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell; award-winning Spectrum NY1 journalist veteran Cheryl Wills; WBLS-WLIB radio news director Ann Tripp; syndicated radio host Tom Joyner; and Bob McCollough, former college basketball star and co-founder of the Each One Teach One, a developmental and mentoring nonprofit program.
Parading with the pride, a contingent from the TWU local — which has sizable number of Caribbean-American members — will represent labor group’s 41,000 public transportation workers who keep the subways and buses moving 24 hours a day.
The Caribbean is representation beyond the general membership with union executives, such as Barbados-born union local Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips
“Culture Is Key” is the theme for the 49th annual parade, which is held every year with a focus on “five basic components that help to strengthen the community: Business, Education, Health, Politics/Government and Arts/Culture.”
The procession begins at 1 p.m. at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. at W. 111th St. and continues north on the boulevard to W. 136th St. The parade ends at 6 p.m.
For information, visit www.africanamericandayparade.org
With high fashion as an attraction, the Mustard Seed Communities’ 28th annual benefit luncheon will be held next Sunday in Manhattan at the New York Hilton Hotel, Avenue of the Americas (at W. 53rd St.), starting at 12:30 p.m.
“Stepping Into Fashion” — produced fashion veteran Walter Green and featuring top Caribbean designers and models — will benefit Mustard Seed Communities programs assisting children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS and others throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Africa
The organization will also honor some companies and individuals who have given their services to the Mustard Seed Communities over the years — including Caribbean Airlines, the Cambia Center for the Gifted Child, Monroe College, Marcia James, Rob Chilemi and Michael and Jocelyn Pascucci.
For information on the luncheon, call Daphney Mahoney at (212) 477-2848. And to learn more about the organization, visit www.mustardseed.com.
The session is titled “What is Caribbean Fashion?” and several professionals will examine and answer the question in a free event at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan on Tuesday , starting at 6 p.m.
Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis with RSVP required.
The public program, presented by the Museum at FIT, will be held in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater in school’s Fred P. Pometatnz Art and Design Center, Seventh Ave and 7th Ave. and w. 27th St.
The presenters — Janice Lawrence-Clarke, president and creative director of Caribbean American Fashion Exchange (CAFÉ); reality TV star, designer, and FIT graduate Nikhol Hing; and stylist and production designer Richard Young — will tackle the subject of Caribbean fashion, looking at its unique its identity and aesthetic.
The presentation is generously supported by Leros Point-to-Point Limousine Services, Flag Fantasy and Online Marketing, Inc.
To RSVP for the event, visit http://bit.ly/Caribbeanfashion
Masqueraders for pilot
For a select few in New York, carnival time is not over, according to producer Roger French, who is seeking costumed carnival revelers for a broadcast pilot.
French, the creator and executive producer of “The Roger French Show,” is shooting the pilot around the city through the winter.