Anthony Hamilton performs at The Gathering Spot on Oct. 16 for the Founding Members Gala. (Photo by Carnegie Hardy)

By Imani Wj Wright 

Anyone who walked into Washington D.C. ‘s The Gathering Spot (TGS) on Oct. 16, felt the immense levels of Black elegance and excellence. When Georgetown graduates Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen opened TGS, this atmosphere is the one they envisioned. 

Men were draped in tuxedos and women were wearing their finest gowns, while attending TGS’s Founding Members Gala. 

DJ KAYBHART was responsible for spinning uptempo records while founding members enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and seemingly endless drinks at the bar. The beef and catfish critters were highlights in their own right. However, members were ecstatically waiting for a performance from soul artist, Anthony Hamilton. Once the theater doors opened, there was an undeniable buzz in the room– almost a good anxious, and within minutes the room reached capacity. 

Hamilton and his band performed a few new songs along with some of his classics such as “Best of Me.”  The love for Hamilton was evident as it appeared guests seemed to know every word to the crooner’s most popular compositions.

Following his performance, Hamilton sat down with the AFRO to discuss TGS’s significance in the community, and how he himself uses his leverage to progress those from the African diaspora.

In a previous interview with the AFRO, Wilson noted: “Black folks are over mentored and under-resourced.” Since Hamilton has influence and respect in the community, he spoke on how he attempts to make an impact and commented on Wilson’s sentiment. 

“A lot of people are speaking, but they’re not giving you the tools or resources you need to get to the next level,” Hamilton said.  “They’ve been told information, and heard information, but they hear more talking than actually providing access to what they need,” said Hamilton.

Guest enjoy the night at The Gathering Spot’s Found Members Gala on Oct. 16. (Photo by John Walder)

Hamilton’s approach to impacting his community starts at home and is rooted in creating opportunity. 

“First off, I by doing my duties as a father and as a provider for my six sons. And, I hire people. I preach that if you give people opportunities, they have a chance to make a difference, if they put in the work,” Hamilton explained. 

Hamilton’s performance was exciting and artistically pleasing; though, it wasn’t only how he performed, but where he performed. Hamilton is a quintessential example of the demographic TGS seeks to attract and cultivate. Hamilton gave his thoughts on why places like TGS are needed. 

“You always need a place to go where people feel safe, and feel like we belong, and have ownership of something. A lot of times we have to go outside of our own people, go to different places, and rely on them,” Hamilton exclaimed. “Now we have the resources, the ability, and the know-how to make things happen. So, being here, and it’s Black owned, it’s aura… it means a lot. It instills you with another level of confidence and encourages you to do something well.” 

The singer’s latest album is titled “Love is The New Black. He explained the messaging behind the title and new music. 

“Get up every day and put love first above everything. Not your black car, not your black hat, not your black Louis bag. Whatever it is, let love be that thing you put on,”said Hamilton. 

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!