NY Democrats and The Machine

If you’ve ever sighed (or worse) when you’ve heard about closed-door decision-making and sleeze in the Democratic party’s political machine (here in Harlem and in the state as a whole), here is your chance to get involved and make a difference.

New York State Committee members have just been given information on the upcoming Fall 2023 State Committee Meeting: Wednesday, November 15th at the Long Island Marriot in Uniondale. Some events/meetings will also take place the evening of Tuesday, November 14th.

Please join a group of reform minded community members who are advocating for change and transparency in New York’s Democratic policical system in a meeting on Sunday, November 5th, from 6 to 7:30pm. Advocates for changed will discuss what sort of organizing efforts they want to take on for the State Committee meeting and also provide space to talk about some really important reform resolutions that will be voted on at this meeting.


The reforms that are being proposed are premised on the belief that State Committee Members/District Leaders, County Committees, and Chairs are the heart and soul of our party and seek to codify protocols, funds, infrastructure, and tools to support them. Over 200 state committee members have already weighed in, and friendly amendments have been provided to the drafters. We’ll review the proposals, try to answer any questions you have, and decide how we’d like to move forward as a coalition on these proposals.

Here is a 2-page Summary of the Reform Package. You can also request access to a Google Doc of the full version – with Preface, Resolutions, and Appendix – here.

This effort is spearheaded by the Steering Committee and Coalition to Replace Jay Jacobs.

The Brownies Book On View At The NYPL

The main research branch of the New York Public Library – 42nd and 5th – has a display of one of the seminal books for community uplift – the Brownies Book:

The exhibition on the main floor as you enter the building, shows a May 1920 edition. The magazine, created by three individuals linked to The Crisis, an NAACP-affiliated publication, had W. E. B. Du Bois as editor and Augustus Granville Dill as the business manager. Jessie Redmon Fauset served as the literary editor.

Annually, The Crisis had featured a “Children’s Number,” showcasing black children’s stories, photographs, games, poetry, and educational achievements. It also covered serious matters like political events and lynchings. Du Bois was concerned about their impact on black children.

In the October 1919 “Children’s Number,” Du Bois announced The Brownies’ Book’s upcoming release for children aged 6 to 16. Dill and Du Bois established Du Bois and Dill Publishers to produce it.

The magazine aimed to challenge stereotypes of Africa and its people and encourage African-American children to embrace their racial identity. The name “Brownies” alluded to historical oppression. Its goals included expanding black children’s literature, youth involvement in the NAACP, and developing future black leaders.

In “The True Brownies,” Du Bois outlined seven goals:

Normalize being “colored.”

Familiarize with Negro history and achievements.

Highlight successful colored individuals.

Teach honor and relations with white children.

Transform hurt into ambition and love.

Promote worthwhile life aspects.

Inspire preparation for future roles with sacrifice.

From W. E. B. Du Bois, “The True Brownies,” The Crisis, October 1919