By Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind… And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Long Live the King!

Remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gunned down 50 years ago in an act of senseless violence. Fifty years later, people are still dying at an alarming rate. It’s not too late to live and honor the life of the King. Talk and educate the young people about Dr. King, who believed in non-violence and died for his belief knowing he had made a difference.

“You must take the “A train.” To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem. If you miss the “A” train. You’ll find you’ve missed the quickest way to Harlem. Hurry, get on board, it’s coming. Listen to those rails a-thrumming. All aboard, get on that “A” train. Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.” Duke Ellington

People travelled from Boston, New York, Connecticut and other locations to party at the Boom Boom room in celebration of Rita Horsley-Johnson’s, “Fabulous 50 Harlem Nights” birthday party.

“Drop me off in Harlem any place in Harlem. There’s someone waiting there who makes it seem like Heaven up in Harlem.” Duke Ellington

Guests dressed as characters from the popular movie like Sunshine, Vera, Bennie, Sugar Ray and Quick. They arrived at the party to a room transformed into the Boom Boom with chandeliers, flashing lights and champagne.

The honoree was stunning, dressed in a sweeping, gold, sleeveless gown with a red feather boa, matching tiara fascinator and red feather fan. She entered the Boom Boom room on the arm of her husband Tim Johnson who looked like Sugar Ray Sweets, to musical excerpts from the Harlem Nights soundtrack playing in the background.

The Panama Band provided the music and kept the guests on the dance floor until the “other side of midnight.” The joint was jumping as women in gowns and men in pinstripe suits and fedoras strutted their finery reminiscent of the roaring 20s.

“Play it as it lies,” is one of the fundamental dictates of golf. The other is, “Wear it if it clashes.” Henry Beard,

Longest drives, putting contest, food, drinks and John Daly, one of the most colorful golfers created a fun evening at Maryland Lives’ Prime Rib restaurant, during a reception honoring the legendary golfer. Invited guests dined on prime rib, crab cakes, salmon and more, while enjoying photo ops with the affable Daly.

“A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in. A minute to smile and an hour to weep in. A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, and never a laugh but the moans come double. That is life. A crust and a corner that makes love precious, with a smile to warm and tears to refresh us, and joy seems sweeter when cares come after, and a moan is the finest of foils for laughter. And that is life.” Paul Laurence Dunbar

What’s happening!

April 8, “A Sunday Kind of Jazz,” featuring Definite Friends at Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, 1206 Ettings Street. For information, call 410-523-7200.

April 10,12 and 14, “Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows,” an opera about the life and love of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore at the Murphy Fine Arts Center 2201 Argonne Drive. Call 443-885-4440 for more information.

April 21, the AFRO’s second annual tea at New Shiloh Baptist Church. For tickets call Diane Hocker 410-554-8200.

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Such a great feeling when we can honor our young adults for their contributions to society. Congratulations to Mario Armstrong and his company on their nomination for two Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’ New York Chapter. Armstrong was nominated for, Facebook Live (Nasdaq & FedEx), “The Never Settle Show.” Armstrong was also nominated for Best Program Host and Best Interactive Show. The Digiday Publishing Awards has also nominated Mario for Best Use of Facebook Live, “The Never Settle Show.”

Congratulations to Preze D. Watson Jr on his nomination for Carroll County’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Proud are parents Valerie and Myron “Moe” Bundy. Preze has also accepted a speaking engagement in Indiana.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life – longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We remember the following families in our thoughts and prayers as they grieve the death of their loved ones. Carolyn Hill-Harp and family on the death of her brother George Hill; Fred Shaw on the death of his brother David Robinson; James Benton and family on the death of his wife Anastasia Benton and to Angela Adams and family on the death of her husband Howard Adams.

Family, friends and patrons of The Place Lounge are mourning the death of longtime barmaid Terri Daniels. Terri’s brilliant smile greeted you as she prepared your favorite libation at The Place.

Celebration time!

It’s your birthday Elvard Cooper, Olivia Libby Harris, Shelonda Stokes and to my mother, retired United Methodist pastor Rev. Pauline Wilkins, a happy and glorious birthday.

I’ll be seeing you Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch