LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, Aug. 24, 2020 – The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby will be like none other. There will be no fans in the stands at Churchill Downs, and for the first time in 13 years, African Americans will have ownership in a derby qualifying racehorse.
Ray Daniels, a Lexington businessman and Greg Harbut, a Lexington Bloodstock Agent are two of three owners of the Kentucky thoroughbred, Necker Island. The two are among a tiny group of Black men to ever own a Derby qualifying racehorse. “My family and I are excited and truly blessed to be part of such a momentous event,” Daniels said.
Especially noteworthy of this historic accomplishment is Harbut’s lineage. He is the grandson of Tom Harbut, a groom and subsequently the general manager for Harry F. Guggenheim’s breeding stallion operations in the 1960s. Tom Harbut owned a racehorse, Touch Bar that ran in the 1962 Kentucky Derby. He did not attend to watch his horse because Black’s were not allowed to sit in the grandstands. Greg is the great-grandson of Will Harbut, the legendary groom for Man o’ War from 1930-1946. Many industry experts consider Man o’ War to be the greatest racehorse of all time. “My family has been on this journey for nearly 100 years. Horseracing is in our blood and I am humbled and honored to continue the legacy of my grandfather and great-grandfather,” Harbut said.
Many organizations are calling for a boycott of the Derby as a pathway to justice for the unarmed killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville Police Department. “There is a powerful social movement sweeping the country that cannot be ignored,” said Daniels. “Black lives matter, and I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the family of Breonna Taylor in the call for justice.”
Necker Island is a colt by Hard Spun who finished second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and amassed nearly $3 million in career earnings. Necker Island will be ridden by Miguel Mena on Sept. 5th.
VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand. Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes. Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com. www.vippcommunications.com
Late Friday evening, word spread quickly about the passing of Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.
The “conscious” of the U.S. Congress died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
The Freedom Rider attended Fisk University and when he was not in class he was leading demonstrations and sit-ins.
Within the last two hours the following statements were released.
Former President Barack Obama says “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.”
The Congressional Black Caucus says “The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest serving member. The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus. A fighter for justice until the end, Mr. Lewis recently visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. His mere presence encouraged a new generation of activist to “speak up and speak out” and get into “good trouble” to continue bending the arc toward justice and freedom.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton say “We have lost a giant.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.
The Lewis family tried to hold the news of his passing because Dr. Martin Luther King’s lieutenant C.T. Vivian also of Atlanta, Georgia passed away earlier in the day. Out of respect for the Vivian family they were trying to wait.
In celebration of Black History Month, it’s the Kentucky Black Authors Expo at the Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street in Lexington on Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.
Some of the authors featured will be Rev. Dr. Jim Thurman, Frank “X” Walker, Rev. Dr.C.B. Akins, Rev. Herbert Owens, Vanessa Sanford, Ron Spriggs, Dr. Junior Greenlee, Rosetta Quisenberry. James “Chali” Jones, Shonda White plus many other talented writers.
The Kentucky Black Authors Expo is free and open to the public.
My first segment for The Lens, a weekly program focusing and celebrating urban lifestyle and their unique perspective on issues took place in the historic Smoketown neighborhood. It’s the oldest African-American neighborhood in Louisville, KY.
“Behind me you see the Ali gloves. Fun fact did you know they were made by Louisville native Ed Hamilton? Now, this week’s The VIPP Report.”
Here’s some of the events I profiled in the inaugural show:
*It’s Bring It Live, The Dance Battle. The show takes place on Monday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.
*The Juneteenth Jubilee at Waterfront Park had to be rescheduled due to rain. So they moved it to Sunday, July 28th. The new date signifies the adoption of the 14th amendment to the U-S constitution was certified. The amendment granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States which included slaves.
*Boys 2 Men will be at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday, August 14th.
*The Kentucky State Fair announces Sheila E and the GAP Experience on Friday, August 16th. The concert is free with paid gate admission. The KY State Fair runs August 15th through the 25th.
*The NAACP Hardin County Branch will host their 28th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, September 21st. Their special guest speaker will be Roland Martin.
*It’s Wu-Tang Clan’s 36th Chambers 25th Anniversary Tour on Friday, October 18th at Paristown Hall on Brent Street. Tickets are $115. You can purchase them at kentuckycenter.org.
I’m excited to announce that i’m one of the producers of a new show. I will also have the wonderful opportunity to present The VIPP Report.
The memorial will be at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
Today, (Sunday 11th), veterans , officials and community leaders will gather at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage Center, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd for the official unveiling of the Charles Young Veterans Memorial. This is the first project of the Freedom Flag Initiative. It works through Public-Private Partnerships to install American Flags throughout communities and states across the nation and build memorials to honor our nation’s veterans. The public is invited to attend the Veteran Flag Memorial Project ceremony which takes place at 2:00 pm.
The memorial will be named in honor of Colonel Charles Young. Col. Young was born a slave in 1864 in Mason County, Kentucky. He was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the first black colonel in the U.S. Army. He also served as a member of the 9th Calvary also known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Young died in Liberia in 1922.
The Veteran Flag Memorial Project was created by the Region VI Commanders of the National Association for Black Veterans as an opportunity to unify people and communities by providing beautiful spaces to reflect on a symbol that can unify us all.
If you are unable to attend but would like to have photos of the event send your request to email@example.com and we will give you a summary of the event and photos of the groundbreaking.
VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand. Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes. Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.
Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television/ABC
I saw several people on my social media pages talking about Prince Rogers Nelson donating money to a Louisville library. I have spoken with the spokesman with the Louisville Public Library and they confirm that Prince’s charity “Love 4 One Another Charities” donated $12,000 to the Louisville Free Public Library. It was earmarked for the Western Branch Library. In 1905, the Western Colored Library opened at 1125 West Chestnut Street, the first free public library in the nation for African-Americans staffed entirely by African-Americans. On October 28, 1908, the newly constructed Carnegie Library opened at its current location. The branch was led by pioneering African-American librarian, Reverend Thomas F. Blue.
I have obtained the check that Prince sent to the charity.
If you have a story idea send it to The411@whas11.com. You can follow me on Twitter at @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro for real-time news.
(Exclusive Coverage) Prince performs onstage during the “HitnRun” tour opener at The Louisville Palace on March 14, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.
AT THE KENTUCKY CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
Due to a medical emergency, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage did not get to debut the stage play “The Meeting”. It’s about the meeting of the minds between two of the most prominent names in the Civil Rights Movement. They had two totally different approaches but their ultimate goal for racial equality was the same. While it was timely to do during Black History Month the story is timeless.
So on Sunday, April 24th at 3:00 p.m. the Griot Players Series at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) presents “The Meeting”. The play is by Jeff Stetson and directed by Baron Kelly. Admission is only $5 per person.
If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had met for an hour or so, what would they have found to say to each other? Jeff Stetson undertook to answer that question in this one-act play. The play sets the clock back to the year 1965, when a fictionalized meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X took place at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, New York. One who believed in non-violence while the other believed in self-defense, the scenes in the play reveal the shared pain behind their very different philosophies to address racial inequality are very compelling.
Aukram Burton, Executive Director for KCAAH says “The playwright provides a fascinating premise in the “The Meeting.” The play imagines Martin Luther King visiting Malcolm X at the latter’s invitation in his Harlem hotel room in 1965, just days before Malcolm X’s murder and three years before an assassin’s bullet would kill Dr. King’s life. “The Meeting” is an important play that will provide an engrossing story about two great Black freedom fighters that remains relevant to audiences today. I encourage families and youth groups to see a piece of history”.
This program will be produced by the Kentucky Center African American Heritage in collaboration with the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville.
For additional information on “The Meeting” contact 502-583-4100.
If you have a story idea, send it to us at TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com. You can follow us on Twitter @TheVIPPReport @vippcomm.
The VIPP Report was created by Sherlene Shanklin. Owner of VIPP Communications based out of Louisville, KY. @Vippcomm @Sherlenemediapr
Special report contributed by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville
Misty Copeland is having a great week in the eyes of the arts community. Copeland made her New York debut in the lead role of “Swan Lake”, which is one of the most important roles in a ballerina’s repertoire. Today, she woke up to some even bigger news. She had received a promotion. The Missouri-born dancer was named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Copeland is the first black woman to achieve that status in the company’s 75-year history.
A principal dancer explained to me is the highest rank within a professional dance company. They are likely the star of the company.
Over the last several years, the 32 year old has become a strong voice for diversity in dance. She even penned a best-selling memoir, , “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.”
Throughout the day, she has received congratulatory messages from entertainers and other artists in the industry from Taye Diggs, Star Jones to the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Copeland joined the company in 2001 and was appointed in a soloist spot in August 2007.
If you have a story idea, send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com. You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram Sherlenemediapro.
Later this week, President Barack Obama will be in Louisville, KY. At this time, White House officials are not releasing very many details. I do know that the President will visit Indatus, a Louisville based technology company on Thursday, April 2, 2015. The business is located on E. Main Street, which is just down the street from the KFC Yum Center and Whiskey Row, a new business development designed to promote Kentucky’s bourbon and other related products.
If you have a story idea, send it to me at TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com. You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr @vippcomm.
The VIPP Report by Sherlene Shanklin: Today friends and family paid their final respects to one of the last living members of the Tuskegee Airmen. Louisvillian Alvin LaRue Sr.passed away on Monday, February 3rd. LaRue was a flight officer for the Tuskegee Airmen and World War II veteran. He retired from the Army Corps of Engineers.
I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to find the Kentucky members of the prestigious Alabama unit about 13 years ago for Black History Month. The first person I found was Alvin LaRue Sr. I knew him because I knew his son. We sat down and talked about his accomplishments and how important it was to let people know their history. I remember that he was very humble and so willing to share his story about the segregation in the Army even though they were all fighting for the same thing.
LaRue is a native of Louisville and he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh when he was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1943. LaRue then went on to become one of America’s first Black military airmen.
LaRue was buried today at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff, KY. Alvin LaRue Sr. was 89 year old.
During this Black History Month remember those who made sacrifices so that their children, and their children’s children could have a better life.
If you have a story idea send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com
The VIPP Report: In the February edition of Ebony Magazine renowned sculptor Ed Hamilton has one of his pieces featured. The African American Civil War Memorial began in 1992 as a Bill in Congress presented by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia. Work began to develop the site and select an artist to design the commemorative art piece. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities commissioned The Spirit of Freedom designed by artist Ed Hamilton from Louisville, KY. To learn more about Hamilton contact firstname.lastname@example.org.