Levity replaced nostalgia when Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz commanded attention at the citywide event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Monday, Jan. 21.
“To those bigots who thought the president’s victory was a fluke: Get over it!,” the borough president declared.
His unyielding, Brooklyn accent punctuated advice to a Republican senator from Kentucky: “To Senator (Mitch) McConnell who said he would work to make Obama a one-term president – Call him Mr. President.”
If the borough president had not already been crowned King of Kings (county) on King Day, he could have easily achieved monarchy.
The people seemed unanimous in appeal for the president of Brooklyn, who offered a wish--list to President Obama, urging him to “end America’s love-affair with guns.”
“No more Columbines, no more Auroras, no more … there is no room for extremists of the NRA. Let us learn from Dr. King. Let us rid our streets of guns once and for all.”
In keeping with the theme of honoring Dr. King’s legacy he lauded the achievement of Blacks during a segment that exposed his affinity to pop culture and reality television.
Oprah Winfrey won raves for her OWN Network; Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby Blue Ivy also received mention. Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss did not miss his list. And Olympians Venus and Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas, the recovery of ABC-TV morning anchor Robin Roberts, athlete Michael Strayhorn who replaced Regis Philbin by teaming with Kelly Ripa to co-host the popular morning show all found favor from the BBP.
He garnered loud chuckles when he mentioned a TV rivalry between Nicky Minaj and Mariah Carey, reality TV show “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s pregnancy and loudest applause when he expressed green-eyed envy for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ ability to flaunt his association with a German model during a vacation on a beach.
The veteran politician also managed to spread kudos to Keija Minor, the Editor-in-Chief of Brides Magazine who became the first Black editor-in-chief in the Conde Nast publishing house’s 100 year history.
Markowitz delivered more good news when he informed the audience about Maurice Ashley, the Brooklyn resident who emerged the first Black chess master last year.
He also paid tribute to prominent individuals who departed.
“We have not reached the Promised Land,” Markowitz said referencing Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, “but it is right there before our eyes.”
He added that in order to reach a closer proximity, kids should have more access to essential services. He implored young men who wear their pants low in the waist to “Dress with dignity.”
A majority of the audience seemed to endorse this mention.
“Pull up your pants!” he shouted into the microphone.
He added that only after conquering AIDS and the aforementioned “…then we can be free at last.”
None of the speakers disappointed the capacity crowds that meandered around the landmark structure from early in the morning.
And if ever, the affirmation that “Brooklyn is in the house” was evident, on inauguration day when Pres. Obama took his second oath of office as the 44th president of the United States, Brooklyn represented in Washington D.C. and in the most populous New York City borough.
Residents and visitors exuded pride on the national holiday when a screen revealed The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Wearing scarlet red capes trimmed by black fur, their “Glory, Glory Aleluia” rendition switched the focus to Washington D.C. and the second inauguration ceremonies for Pres. Obama.
From the rafters at BAM to the VIP orchestra section, cheers and applause persisted throughout the performance.
And when inaugural chairman and NYS Senator Chuck Schumer officially opened the ceremony it seemed the Brooklyn audience comfortably resigned to a New York state of mind.
Myrlie Evers-Williams won cheers.
The widow who made history becoming the first of her gender to deliver a prayerful invocation at a presidential inauguration received a special Brooklyn reception.
Claimed a citizen of the county due to the naming of a CUNY institution in her late husband’s honor – Medgar Evers College – she spoke at the historic capital setting.
With Dr. Pollard, the president of that institution of higher learning in the midst, the Brooklyn crowd felt included.
However, the decibel rose highest when Pres. Obama laid his hand on two bibles — one that belonged to Pres. Abraham Lincoln and one that was owned by Dr. King to accept the task he was re-elected last November when he gained a majority of votes and overwhelmingly endorsed to serve a second term in office.