Harlem Renaissance 100th: A Nite brunch series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
As the Brunchnista, there is nothing I love more than a great brunch and Ki-Ki. So when the opportunity to host an exclusive IRL experience for my Brunchbabes presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
The journey to this event began almost a year ago when my co-producer, Bonsu Thompson, a brunch lover, Nite Brunch purveyor and one of my IG Brunchbeaus, approached me about hosting an idea to celebrate both Juneteenth and the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance (of course, via a Nite Brunch). The result was the Harlem 100th, a Brunch series which commemorates Harlemites who represent Harlem Renaissance today.
We knew the inaugural experience couldn't take place anywhere other than a black-owned business. I felt Cove Lounge's warm and sexy atmosphere + delicious brunch menu would provide excellent ambiance. It did. Once the location was secured, we needed a spirit sponsor. There was no partner more on brand for such a celebration than Hennessy Black.
The velvet cognac served as the center of our signature cocktail menu:
The Juneteenth: Black, Chandon Sparkling, Lemon twist (sparkling cocktail)
The Poet Laureate: Black, Hibiscus & Orchard Orgeat, juices (Punch rendition)
The Great Migration: Sidecar on ice Black, agave, lemon, bitters
Securing the honorees was the most challenging task. As a Brooklyn girl, I had to connect with the Harlem community while
Researching its most dynamic creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. The selected Honorees selected were Visual artist and Director at the Harlem Hospital Ronald Draper,
Marketing & PR Strategist and Harlem Digital coach for Google Sandra Lowery, and Event producer, Model and screenwriter Musa Jackson, a self-proclaimed Harlem Ambassador
Musa Jackson represents the past. His family arrived from South Carolina Harlem during the dawn of the Renaissance movement Musa solidified his place in Harlem history by becoming the first black model for the favorite clothing store The Gap. He then used is a celebrity to produce screenplays and some of Harlem's most significant events -earning him the moniker- The Harlem Ambassador.
Ronald Draper represents the present. He is a Visual Artist and Owner of the RD Showroom and Director of Contemporary Arts & Culture, Harlem Hospital. Ronald's stellar accomplishments at age 32 are the reasons why this Harlem son embodies the present day Renaissance man.
Sandra Garcia represents the future. While digital is new to the Harlem Renaissance, it certainly is a part of the future. Sandra has developed marketing strategies for a plethora of media brands and most recently was appointed as a Google Harlem Digital Coach leading small businesses into the next generation of innovation.
In honor of their impactful legacy and significant contributions to the Harlem community, we presented the honorees with an engraved bottle of Hennessy Black.
The evening was an electric one as guests sipped a few of Hennessy Black's most innovative cocktails, networked and snapped "instagramable" photos against our sponsored Step & Repeat.
I want to thank my co-producer, Bonsu Thompson, and his willingness to share with me his Nite Brunch brand and immense knowledge of the event production process. Jennifer Moncrieffe for her assistance with the construction of this experience. Cove lounge NYC and Kim Wilson Marshall PR for the opportunity to partner. Team Hennessy for seeing and believing in the vision, and Monique Johnson for going above and beyond to make sure this event was a triumph.