Stevie Wonder in Brooklyn

Stevie Wonder Takes Over Brooklyn

Artists and media makers now have a new home in Brooklyn, The BRIC Arts Media. The $41 million dollar project houses art galleries, studios and a broadcasting center. Last month they celebrated all things Stevie Wonder. Check out all the fun they had below.

Jose Vargas

Immigration and Civil Rights: Jose Vargas at the Tenement Museum

 

The state of New York should allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses, a prominent immigration-rights journalist and activist said on Dec. 4.

Jose Vargas, who was born in the Philippines and became a Pulitzer–prize-winning journalist, urged an audience at the Tenement Museum to write to Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeking a change in state regulations that restrict driver’s licenses to people who are U.S. citizens or documentation to be in the country legally.

Vargas, at the museum to promote his film Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American that will show in theatres in spring, came out about his undocumented immigration status in a 2011 article in New York Times Magazine.

The film chronicles Vargas’ traveling the country and talking to people about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant. Read more »

Ruby Walks in Hunts Point

Civil Rights Heroine Ruby Bridges Now Walks in the Bronx

*Below is an excerpt of a story I wrote for The Hunts Point Express, a Bronx-based newspaper. You can read the full story by clicking on the link at the end.*

Pedestrians on Hunts Point Avenue next to Bruckner Boulevard can now walk with a civil rights heroine by their side.

A multi-paneled mural depicting six-year-old Ruby Bridges’ historic walk to school in 1960 now adorns the wall of a bridge that crosses over the railroad tracks.  Bridges was the first black student allowed into an all-white school in New Orleans that year.

The mural is based on Norman Rockwell’s famous 1964 painting “The Problem We All Live With” which shows Ruby in a cute white dress and braided pigtails, being escorted to school by four federal marshals. The mural, however, shows Ruby walking alone.

“Someone has walked before you, and someone is walking with you. You’re not doing this by yourself,” said artist Sharon De La Cruz, who created the mural. -

See more at: http://brie.hunter.cuny.edu/hpe/2013/11/11/new-mural-evokes-civil-rights-theme/

Black Pop Culture and Civil Rights

The Link Between Black Pop Culture and Civil Rights

College football and Soul Train had as much to do with the Civil Rights Movement as political action and the black church.

That’s what authors Sam Freedman and Ericka Blount Danois said at their event “Black Pop Culture and Civil Rights” at the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn on October 28th. Read more »

Andre and Drea

Foto Friday – Single Dad in the City

Andre Lythcott raises his four children in the South Bronx. He says it’s difficult providing for his children while on public assistance. Although grateful, Lythcott says with four kids it’s not enough. He says, “I think it’s a system designed to keep people down.” Read more »

smw-lagos-snippet

Update: Back to Africa 2.0, This Time Nigeria

I had not planned on going back to West Africa for quite some time. Grad school is intense. Barely any vacation time. And let’s not forget flights to West Africa (from the US) are never cheap.

But I’m happy to say I’ll be a travel blogger and liaison for Social Media Week Lagos happening from February 17-21 2014. On this project I get to combine my three loves of travel, tech and Africa into one big ball of awesomeness.

Read more »

Odd Jobs: Boat Building in The Bronx

Sekou Builds Boats

All smiles on the Bronx river.

It’s not everyday you run into a boat maker in the Bronx. I took a row on the surprisingly serene Bronx River with West African immigrant Sekou Kroamh. Sekou left his country of Guinea four years ago, where he enjoyed working with his hands to build houses. Now he’s in New York working with his hands doing something else he loves. Listen to Sekou below.

 


Foto Friday: Puerto Rican Roots Music

Bomba Y Plena

A random Friday night in East Harlem, the band Yerbabuena plays Puerto Rican roots music, Bomba y Plena. Bomba is percussion-based and comes from enslaved Africans on the island in the 17th century. Plena was created from Bomba in the 20th century. Together the sounds make up the soundtrack of the Afro-Puerto Rican experience.


Flags Up at the West Indian Day Parade

Foto Friday: The West Indian Day Parade

With roasted corn, over-the-top carnival threads, and every flag from the Caribbean imaginable, this past Monday New York celebrated the 46th West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn. Here is a glimpse of the scene as flags waved high to show Caribbean pride. Even a short stint of rain couldn’t stop these parade-goers. Read more »

Cake Divas in Harlem

Women Who Work: Cake Divas in East Harlem

Strolling in East Harlem on a Sunday, I was drawn by a small bakery which claimed to have “the best Pumpkin Cake in the World.” You know I had to go in! I was surprised to find it was Aroma’s Boutique and Bakery on 116th and 1st Avenue. It holds a story of a woman determined to start her own business. Read more »