J. Wesley Tann spent much of his life traveling the world, gallivanting among the most fashionable sets and cavorting with the elite.
He was one of the first black fashion designers to open a shop on New York City’s Fashion Avenue, and he designed clothing for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Leontyne Price, the famed black opera singer.
But on a misty Saturday afternoon recently, Tann, 83, was deep in the belly of the Boylan Recreation Center in Newark’s tough West Ward teaching the finer points of dining and social etiquette to the children of this hardscrabble city.
“Good living is easy,” Tann proclaimed. “All it takes is practice.”
Tann’s students were mothers, fathers and children all taking part in a city-sponsored program that Mayor Cory A. Booker hopes will take politeness and manners from “abstract concepts” to daily essentials. The city hopes that by improving the niceties shared among Newark’s residents the quality of their lives and their futures will be markedly improved — one fine meal and one properly executed place setting at a time.
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article courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com