Memories of New York Call 2004


New York Call 2004 was a wonderful extravaganza at Long Island ’s Eisenhower Park that topped off the summer season.  With the Republican National Convention about to begin the following week, Grammy award winning gospel artist Donnie McClurkin gathered Christian ministers and musicians to draw attention to some of the issues, such as cultural, racial and Christian denominational barriers facing the American populace.  Many religious, political, and secular leaders supported the event, which included Richard Smallwood, Dr. Elaine Flake (The Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York), Martha Munizzi, Joanne Rosario, Tom Souzzi (Nassau County Executive) and Bishop Frank O. White (Little Zion COGIC).


Republican National Convention 2004

A White Elephant Riding On A Black Donkey

A Perspective of the 2004 Republican National Convention

             Hempstead Mayor James Garner was running last year as a long-shot Republican candidate in Carolyn McCarthy’s heavy Democratic congressional district.  Two years ago McCarthy had a white woman run against her with no success, who placed nasty attack ads trying to say candidates like McCarthy were soft on terrorism. The 2004 presidential election cycle had a Black male pitted up against the white congressional representative who was made an honorary member of the Congressional Black Caucus.  During the RNC, Garner held a fundraiser the first day of the convention, attended by Bush heavy-hitter Ed Rollins and Nassau ’s Republican engineer, Mondello.  Another New York Republican heavy hitter, who attended the reception at the Sheraton Hotel, was Fred Brown.  Fred is that ever present gentleman, who wheels and deals from white power brokers, for dedicated Black Republicans through out the city, state and country. Brown, an icon of American Black Republicanism, has a flair and quiet force to be reckoned with.  When you have a Republican, president, governor, and mayor, it is expected that some of the line soldiers in the various districts, precincts, and regions could ask for and receive favors.  One big favor that was being doled out around New York during the convention, was passes to attend the heavy policed and protested festivities.   Campaign workers, veterans, family friends, city, state, and county politicians and their guests, attended a variety of lavish parties, breakfasts, luncheons, brunches, cocktail sips, sporting events, and even a visit to the Apollo with a small tour of Harlem.  Loyalists do and did receive favors. 

             On the last day of the convention, the National Black Republican Council gave a well-attended, full tilt blow-out, at the fabulous Central Park Boat House, complete with jazz trio and special entertainment guest Melba Moore, the night of the President’s speech.  First class all the way.  Stars of New York ’s Republican Black elite, shone in their support for W.  Only there is one big problem.  How do you deal with the issues of being Black in America and still support the Bush administration, when many in the communities that are the hardest hit by Bush cut backs, complain of being ignored by the Bush administration.  Black elephants site the appointments of key cabinet positions of African-Americans in the Bush administration as a show of advancements for Blacks.  “These are not enough,” says local community activists, such as Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely of Harlem .  “Getting reparations is the number one issue facing Blacks in America ,” she feels. The opportunity arose were Vice President Cheney shook Dr. Blakely’s hand and personally took her business card, which has on the back, a list of agendas and issues facing the Black community.  She attended both the Democratic and Republican conventions, with hopes of getting the word out to the candidates that the descendents of enslaved Africans want reparations immediately.  (Photo credit: Cay Fatima)



Romance Slam Jam - 2004      Cay had the opportunity to play love songs for guests and attendees of the Romance Writers Slam Jam Conference that was held recently at the Marriott Financial Center, New York City.   The 250 plus writers who attended the four-day long event, shared an intimate midnight “Champaign and Chocolate” affair on the opening night of the conference with piano music by Cay setting the mood high above the Wall Street district over looking the re-construction of the World Trade Center on the east of the hotel and Lady Liberty to the west.             Donna Hill's Diva's Inc Book  Launch Party For those of you who missed Donna Hill’s new book Divas Inc. launch party at Akwaaba Mansion missed out on a serious reception for the Essence best selling author, with entertainment by yours truly Cay Fatima, food by the caters of the Akwaaba Cafe and  pampering by the self care and wellness experts, Warm Spirit .  Bernice McFadden's Birthday Party After the book launch Donna, with Divas Inc. in tow, shot over to national best selling writer friend Bernice McFadden’s super summer kick off party at her fabulous Brooklyn brownstone home. 


Sag Harbor

        What a fabulous summer soirée out in Sag Harbor to launch BET Books’ author Donna Hill latest release “Sizzling Sands” I attended.  Although it poured buckets of rain, I just made it on time to play music for dear friend Donna Hill’s new book party.  The launch took place at the Grenning Gallery located 90 Main Street, in the heart of the quaint village of Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York .  Nature’s puddles did not stop guests from arriving for famed author Hill, which included painter Joanne Carter and husband Bob.  That weekend I got a chance to meet some great new folks, like writers (Audrey Edwards, Stephanie Stokes Oliver), filmmakers (William Archer), painters (Nelson H. White), event planners, (Harriette Cole), and photo stock agents (David W. Deas).  Old family friends who had not seen me in umpteen years, like NAACP New York State Education Chair, Audrey Gaul heard me play for the first time!  Coordinating the event for BET Books was Angela Harris and Andree Michelle Jackson, manager of Grenning Gallery.  Last, but not least I can not forget Carol Spencer of Diaspora Books, who came into the gallery with Essence magazine editor Audrey Edwards and hired me to do Stephanie Stokes Oliver’s pool side book signing the next day at Essence’s Susan Taylor’s summer home.  There, I had the pleasure to meet Harriette Cole and family, photographer John Pinderhughes and wife and also David Deas' father, famed Dr. Gerald Deas and his wife.  It turned out to be a tiring, but wonderful weekend especially with the help of assistant Nichole Anderson, of Nichole Anderson & Associates assisting me through it all.  [Shown with Cay is Actress and Malverne High School Alumni Marcella Lowery and Essence writer and Editor Audrey Edwards]      




Brown vs. Broad of Ed. 50th  Anniversary     After 50 years, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is still fighting to keep Topeka, Kansas integrated in the school systems. This year all around the country, programs, seminars, lectures, symposiums, speeches, marches, forums, and debates have taken place to discuss the landmark civil rights case. College at Old Westbury hosted a forum which featured Theodore M. Shaw, President, Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  [Shown with Cay Fatima are Theodore Shaw and Nassau County Police Commissioner James Lawrence]                                

Black History Month  Cay Fatima got an opportunity in February to meet Ms. Kadiatou Diallo, mother of slain African Muslim Amadou Diallo. Mr. Diallo was slaughtered with 41 bullets from white New York City police officers, inwhich all were acquitted of murder charges. Her autobiography, "My Heart Will Cross This Ocean" is a testament to her son's life and to show that he was more than how newspaper accounts depicted him as an "unarmed West African street vendor".   Panther's Den Food Court was open for business at the brand new student union at SUNY Old Westbury. Rodolfo Cammeron, general manager, greeted alumnna Cay Fatima while she was on campus lecturing during Black History Month 2004.   The Long Beach Ledger featured a newspaper article about the highlights of Cay Fatima's photo exhibit during February's Black History Month at the Long Beach Library. Friends and family gathered at a packed reception of the "People, Places, Politics photo exhibit that was held in her honor.

In addition Cay received a Citation from Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi for her performance at the 1st Annual African Americans of Distinction Awards ceremony during Black History Month.  

     “Whereas you, … you have worked diligently and contributed to the success and prosperity of all segments of our citizenry, and through the years you have demonstrated a selfless commitment to the community that warrants attention and gratitude.”

Heart & Soul Certificates of Recognition were presented to Cay Fatima in honor of Women's History Month 2004 from the Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby and Nassau County Legislator Roger Corbin at the reception of the performance "Heart and Soul" - A Celebration of Black Womanhood at the Lakeview Public Library.

Cay Fatima was one of the winners in the 24th Annual Juried Photography Show of the Long Island Arts Council, sponsored by Astoria Federal Savings Bank at Freeport Memorial Library in April.



Winston Grant Street Naming Town Of Hempstead dedicates street Honoring Lakeview 9/11 victim Winston A. Grant  

          On September 11, 2001 long, time Lakeview resident Winston A. Grant perished in Tower One of the World Trade Center.  The Lakeview, Long Island community was gratefully pleased when it was announced the Town of Hempstead would honor his memory by ceremonially dedicating Carol Street,Winston A. Grant Street.  Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, along with other dignitaries such as Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Nassau County Legislator Roger Corbin, Town of Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, TOH Receiver of Taxes Don Calvin, Hempstead Mayor James A. Garner, New York State Assemblywoman Earline Hopper, and Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weizman, presided over the moving ceremony of placing a commemorative nameplate on top of the intersection of Carol Street and Glen Road, Lakeview, Long Island, New York, on what turned out to be a sunny Saturday morning May 22, 2004.   The program that was scheduled to start at 10:30 AM, was briefly held up by all the throngs of family and friends who wished to pay there respects and acknowledgments.  An employee of Empire Blue/Cross Blue/Shield, Margaret Jacob and her son Eric traveled all the way from Syracuse, New York just to be there for the occasion.  Family members flew in from Texas, Canada and as far away as Paris, France.  As people commented, this shows the type of person Winston Grant was and why he was admired for the manner in which he carried himself, as his stepson Adrian Duran eloquently spoke about his father, "a humble man of God".



"Photos from Home" for New Museum of the African Diaspora

     New York, NY - Gordon Parks, Deborah Willis and Chester Higgins, three of America's most celebrated African American photographers, announced an international call for photographs to help launch the new Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) set to open in San Francisco in the summer of 2005.  The photographers announced details of the global photo call at a news conference on Tuesday, May 25   at The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street in New York.  Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, MOAD board members Belva Davis and Pamela Joyner   attended the news conference, as well as trustees and staff of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Go to


Cay Fatima was one of those who took part in this yearly spring event in which over 100 professionals from every occupation participated, including jazz bassist Tracy Wormworth.  Ms. Fatima showed a taped Today Show piece of young 10 year old playwrights that included her niece Kulondi Frier.  Kulondi, a graduate of Shaw University, who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City is now a talented radio announcer in Miami, Florida.  Students also got a rare treat of a mini performance with Cay reciting one of her poems “Brothers Please” for teenagers, who gave her an enthusiastic applause at the conclusion of each class segment. 


Fidel and Shaqueena's Wedding