Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joint Center For Political Studies 40th Anniversary


By Norris McDonald

Anniversary Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.

It was quite and event last night. I don't get to go black tie very often, so this was a special night for me. I was a Special Guest at the American Association of Blacks in Energy table. The luminaries were there: Clyburns, Butterfield, Ford, Cummings, and more. I reconnected with some people I had not seen in years. Did a little networking. Okay. I had more than one glass of wine with my meal: the dinner wine list included Chateau St. Michelle "Indian Wells" Columbia Valley, Chardonnay-2007 and LeCrema, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir-2008.

The first course of Lump Crab Salad with Crushed Avocado was marvelous. The avocado really brought out the natural taste of the crab meat. Having lived on the Chesapeake Bay for 3 years with free crabs in the creek in my backyard, I am a connoisseur of crab and have put every conceivable concoction on it. So I finally just like the crab meat with nothing on it so that you can taste the actual meat, instead of Old Bay seasoning. The second course of Grilled Beef Filet was tender, juicy and accessorized with Southern Succotash, Sweet Potato, and Red Eye Gravy. The small portion was perfect for a guy moving away from red meat. The Apple "Tatin," cinnamon Ice Cream, Lemon Sable was a great finishing touch.

Joint Center Chairman of the Board of Governors Roderick D. Gillum gave Welcome Remarks and NAACP National Board of Directors Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock gave the Invocation. Joint Center President and CEO Ralph B. Everett and National Dinner Chair and AT&T North Carolina President Cynthia G. Marshall gave remarks. Valerie Jarret (everybody knows her by now) gave surprise remarks (she was not on the evening's program). The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. received the Louis E. Martin Great American Award and gave, as usual, an inspirational keynote speech.

Sponsors included: AT&T, The Stafford Foundation, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, United Health Group, WalMart, Norma Ketay Asnes, Verizon, AARP, Aflac, Amgen Inc., Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc, Best Buy Co Inc, CH2M Hill, Comcast, DCI Group, LLC, Entergy Corporation, ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Kraft Foods, Lily USA, LLC, Lockheed Martin Corporation, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, Pepco Holdings, Inc, Perennial Strategy Group/ServiceMaster, Southern Company, Time Warner Cable, United States Chamber of Commerce and United States Telecom Association.

Afro Blue, Marcus Johnson and Benjamin Lee provided music and singing.

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