The “You Missed It!” Review

This past weekend, Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi pulled no punches at “When Harlem Came to Paris.”  She involved the best and brightest of DC’s creative class.  From the food (the lobster maccaroni and cheese was a standout) to the  jazz stylings of the W.E.S. Group led by Dr. William E. Smith who portrayed W.C. Handy, each guest was transported to 1926 Paris, France.  Everyone danced as if it was the latest music.  It only emphasized that “good music” is truly timeless.

The W.E.S. Group portraying W.C. Handy & the Memphis Orchestra
Dancing to the tunes of Duke, Basie and W.C. Handy.

Guests were introduced to a myriad of Harlemites throughout the evening.   Ms. Mamie Mason, Chester Hime’s fictional character in the book Pinktoes and the Hostesss With The Mostest, was the mistress of ceremony for the evening.

Mamie Mason portrayed by Dorothy Tene Redmond

Ms. Mason introduced us to: Lillian Hardin-Armstrong, who passionately played classical and jazz tunes on the piano; Dorothy WestClaude McKay, Wallace Thurman and Zora Neale Hurston who recited excerpts of their literary works; and The Mother of Blues Ma Rainey sang a lively rendition of “Black Bottom”.  I found this instructional video for those wanting to learn the Black Bottom Dance.  (I don’t know how true-to-form it is, but it give us an idea. 🙂 )

Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan as Lillian Hardin-Armstrong, Richard Davis as Wallace Thurman, Roger Bonair-Agard as Claude McKay, Michele Lee Gray as Dorothy West, Risikat I. Okedeyi as Zora Neale Hurston and Ne'a Posey as Ma Rainey

However, one of the the best parts of the evening were the fashions.  The gentleman were dapper and the ladies were sophisticated.   The outfits really set the tone for the event.

The Sophisticated Ladies & The Dapper Dans

Also during the event, a silent auction took place.  Authentic Contemporary Art was on-hand to exhibit paintings of the featured artist James Stephen Terrell.

One of the several paintings of James Stephen Terrell featured at the event.

As I continue to say, Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi is a social and cultural architect in the District.  I am so glad that I attended this event.  It was so much more than a party.  I left the event enlightened, enriched and more knowledgeable of the Harlem Renaissance.  Let’s continue to support people who offer fun, creative and original events within our community.  I can’t wait until next year!

ThatKellieGirl, Kat & Emeka

And what better way than to celebrate an accomplishment than to attend the Winter Music Conference!  I wish I was going. 😦  I will be there next year though.  Ya’ll have a good time.  Tell Nathan I said hello! 🙂


  1. Kellie! Thanks so much for coming and supporting our third installment. I have big plans and appreciate the folks who get me. You looked wonderful and I am so glad you got to experience the event live and direct!

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