Get Out and Vote!

Harlem and East Harlem have the chance to choose who is going to represent them in Albany and here (locally) – right now.  Early voting is currently underway and ongoing until Sunday, June 26th.  Primary election day is Tuesday, June 28th.

Your voice counts and choices matter.  Over the last 6 months, we’ve had a number of candidates drop by our monthly meetings to advocate for votes.  The Harlem Neighborhood Block Association appreciates every one of these neighbors who has taken the time to make the case for their chance to represent our great community – whether it’s in Central Harlem or East Harlem.

Of all the candidates, however, we want to highlight the extraordinary persistent and thoughtful engagement shown by Wilfredo Lopez, a Democrat running in the June 28th Primary to represent East Harlem, El Barrio, and Yorkville in the New York’s State Assembly.  Wilfredo has been with HNBA throughout 2022, attending numerous meetings – answering our questions – and showing the responsiveness that we expect in our elected officials.  This evident tenacity and focus on service have led us to recommend that you consider voting for Wilfredo Lopez.

Zora, The Queen

As seen on West 117th Street

Neptune Frost – Catch the Harlem Premiere

Dedza Films and Kino Lorber have just released our latest title NEPTUNE FROST, which tells the story of a cosmic romance between an intersex hacker and a coltan miner that seeds revolution. Written and directed by multidisciplinary artists Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, the sci-fi musical features original music by Williams tackling war, identity, and independence.

“The future of Black film… Utilizes everything the medium of film has to offer — visually, sonically, and emotionally.”  

— Jourdain Searles, The Hollywood Reporter

Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a sci-fi punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. Co-directed with the Rwandan-born artist and cinematographer Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry. Set between states of being – past and present, dream and waking life, colonized and free, male and female, memory and prescience – NEPTUNE FROST is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.

In Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili, French, and English with English Subtitles

Download the trailer and other materials here.

For more info and tickets, visit: bit.ly/neptune

Boundless

Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, is an exhibit at the Schomburg Library that celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s Black Comic Book Festival.

Make sure to check out the trove of photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs- all drawn from the Schomburg Center’s archival collections. The exhibition illuminates the long history of Black comics and sequential art creators and their motivations to render humor, justice, irony, and futurism in Black aesthetic and liberatory practices from the Golden Age of comic books (1938-1956) to the present.  

The annual comic book festival attracts over 50,000 visitors and has created a huge platform for the diverse range of visual and written content produced by independent creators. In addition to exhibitors, the festival’s annual slate of talks contextualizes Black comics with the ideas moving through the currents of popular culture, mainstream politics, and the comic book industry.

How to Register to Vote

You can register in person, online or by mail.

  • By mail: visit the city’s Board of Elections voter registration page to download applications in five languages and send it to: Board of Elections, 32 Broadway, 7 Fl., New York, NY 10004.
  • Online: You can register on the internet if you have a valid driver’s license, Social Security number and your Zip code that’s currently on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. For instructions, visit the state’s Board of Elections voter registration page.
  • In person: You can show up and register to vote at one of the city BOE’s offices, located in each of the five boroughs. The BOE recommends contacting the office before coming in to register.

Not sure if you’re registered? Search voter records from the city BOE to see your status.

Kettleball Club Opening on Madison Avenue at 117

Shakespeare Coming to Marcus Garvey Park


The Classical Theatre of Harlem
announced casting for its upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Marcus Garvey Park – July 5-29. The play will be free to the public and reservations can be made starting today.

Continuing CTH’s mission to place diversity at the forefront of their performances, this interpretation of Twelfth Night will engage with the global conversation around equity and inclusion. It features a majority-Black team of artists lead by director Carl Cofield, CTH’s Associate Artistic Director.

“With its Afrofuturistic aesthetic and diverse team of artists, our production of Twelfth Night will tackle the global conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Cofield. “I look forward to showing audiences what the magical world of Illyria can teach us here and now.”

Kara Young, who will be playing Viola in the production, adds, “This is for Harlem, this is for my place of birth, this is for the community, especially for the people who are still here.”

Harlem Blue – Now in Cans

The story goes that during Prohibition, there was a speakeasy in Harlem that made its own house beer in the basement. Whenever a new keg was tapped, they’d put on the blue light out front to let everyone know. This story inspired Julian Riley to start his beer company, Harlem Blue. “The pride and energy of beaming a blue light is what anchors everything we do,” says Riley.

Brewing for several years now, Harlem Blue has finally released its top-selling craft beers in cans for the first time ever.

Founder Julian Riley with new 6-pack

“There’s before COVID and after COVID,” says Riley, also CEO of Harlem Blue. “Before COVID, we were only available on draft and largely serving bars and restaurants uptown,” as Harlem’s top-selling local craft on draft. Hot spots like Harlem Tavern, Red Rooster, Harlem Hops and Corner Social, couldn’t pour the pints fast enough.

Like many other small breweries, the hospitality shutdown was very challenging. “We couldn’t sell kegs and that was 100% of our business,” says Riley. “So, I chose to overhaul our model, fix things that needed fixing, and re-startup Harlem Blue with the launch of our cans.” Riley is raising his young family in Harlem and started Harlem Blue to appeal to a wider demographic beyond the niche hipster stereotype. “We want to make a bigger tent. More of a casual craft beer, yet known for our flavor.”

Riley started his entrepreneurial road the old-fashioned way. “I depleted all my personal savings, maxed out credit cards, and raised every penny I could from friends and family, to bootstrap this effort. We’re just getting started and I love every sip of it.”

Harlem Blue Beer

The new 12oz cans are eye-catching and fastly finding placement throughout New York City. From bars, restaurants and bodegas all across uptown Manhattan, to retailers like Westside Markets, Key Foods, Pioneers, Foodtowns, and soon Wholefoods and Trader Joes. (There’s a retailer locator on the website.) This summer you can also find Harlem Blue at all five NYC locations of Luke’s Lobster. Plus, the brewery now offers direct-to-home delivery throughout New York and to select other states. The company is working on a Harlem based taproom -with promised updates soon.

About Harlem Blue

Launched in 2016, Harlem Blue is a Harlem-based, locally brewed, Black-owned, premium beer company that seeks to reimagine craft beer to reflect the hustle of living in New York City.
www.HARLEMBLUE.COM

Community Clean-Up – MXBB

Metropolitan Hospital’s Flood Wall Resiliency Project

On May 25, 2022, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), NYC Health + Hospitals, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray, and community members broke ground for a new flood protection system project at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in East Harlem. 

The project includes a perimeter flood wall and an upgraded storm water pumping system. The wall will vary in height from eight to twelve feet, and includes resilient floodgates of up to 35 feet wide. The system is designed to keep out water from the hospital campus, which will allow for minimized damage and continued operations in the event of a major storm. Additional improvements will be made to protect loading docks, and to lighting, erosion control, fire protection and security. The basement walls will be hardened and areas of the hospital campus will be reconfigured to support these new features. 

Local artist Miguel Luciano was selected by a committee from NYCEDC, Health + Hospitals, the Department of Cultural Affairs and community members to create artwork for the design of the flood wall. The artwork will integrate infrastructure improvements into the community. 

The project is expected to cost $120 million and will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Construction is expected to go until summer 2024. For updates on the project, click here

Mayor Eric Adams stated, “The climate crisis is here, and we must ensure that New York City is ready for more frequent and more extreme weather events, especially at critical infrastructure sites, like our hospitals. This flood resiliency project shows federal, state, and city government partnership at its best — getting stuff done to protect New Yorkers. This flood wall will ensure the health care heroes at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan can continue fully serving their patients and helping them get better for generations to come.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Chief Executive Office Cristina Contreras stated, “We are grateful for the partnership with both the federal and local government to build a stronger and more resilient protection for our hospital. This comprehensive and innovative infrastructure project will mitigate the weaknesses exposed by Superstorm Sandy and provide our staff with the peace of mind of knowing that if we should experience any future natural weather disasters, the hospital and the community will be protected, and they can focus on what they do best – providing high-quality care for our patients and their families.”

Fathers’ Day is Harlem’s Skyscraper Classic Day

On June 19th, come out to Marcus Garvey Park to watch top talent in cycling do fast-paced loops in Harlem’s Skyscraper Classic Race.

This will be the 47th running of this cycling race.

The excitement starts at 9 and goes to 4pm

Say Their Names 2022

KICK-OFF THE JUNETEETH WEEKEND AT MARCUS GARVEY PARK!

Friday, June 17th
12-3 PM on NW lawn
New York Public Library, Harlem Branch and Studio Museum in Harlem,
with children’s storytime, giveaways and tour/talk about the Thomas J. Price
sculpture curated by the Studio Museum. 

3:15 – 7:30 PM“Say Their Names” by Poet Gold, Suprina & Sounds of Heritage
In recognition of the lives taken by racism including those recently lost in Buffalo, NY and
Uvalde, Texas. Interactive workshops, Silent Processional through the park, and on-stage
performance preceding film screening. Co-sponsors Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and NYC Parks

SPECIFIC DETAILS FOR JUNE 17

3:15 – 4:00 & 4:15 – 5 PM Walkway outside NW Lawn – Look for Themis the 9 foot Puppet. 
Poet Gold’s Dream Out Loud poetry workshop designed to explore how one can be a “Beacon of Change” in the face of oppression and to create poetry that fosters empowerment and raises the voice for social equity. Participants are encouraged to address loss by adding the names of those lost due to racist acts to the cape of Themis, a giant 9 ft. living sculpture created by artist, Suprina.

6 – 7 PM DJ Boogie Blind

7:00 PM Procession line-up Walkway outside NW lawn

Community members line-up for silent procession through the park with Themis wearing the cape on which names from the workshops were added led by Poet Gold, Suprina, and Sounds of Heritage.

7:25 PM PROCESSIONAL arrives in orchestra pit of the Amphitheater

7:30 PM Pre Performance on stage by Poet Gold and Sounds Of Heritage

8 PM at Amphitheater Outdoor screening of Questlove’s Oscar®-winning documentary, “Summer of Soul,” presented by Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage.

Saturday, June 18th

12-3 PM at NW lawn   NYPL Harlem and Studio Museum with children’s storytime,
giveaways and tour/talk about the Thomas J. Price sculpture. 

5:30 – 6:30 PM at Richard Rodgers Amphitheater   
Pre-show conversation with the Federation of Black Cowboys and come meet their horses 

7 PM at Amphitheater  CROSS THAT RIVER
Join the Federation of Black Cowboys and the Federation of Black Cowboys and then Harlem’s own star Allan Harris – globally- renowned for his jazz vocals, guitar and songwriting
in the music & theatrical storytelling of Blu, who runs away from slavery to become a cowboy out west.
Did you know that 1 in 4 cowboys were Black men? Presented by NYC ParksCity College Center for the ArtsJazzmobile and Love Productions.

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00 PM

We hope you’ll come out for our final HNBA meeting of the season (before our summer break) on Tuesday, June 14th at 7:00 PM.

To get the Zoom link:

We’ll hear from the Citizens Union about what is on the horizon for redistricting City Council that could change whether or not you are considered part of (central) Harlem or part of East Harlem.  Dan (from Citizen’s Union) will talk about what’s on the horizon and how you can add your voice to the mapping changes that are coming.

We’ll also get a follow-up from Wilfredo Lopez on the DSNY’s budget – one that gives significantly more money to the UES compared to East Harlem.

Lastly, we’ll hear from Shawanna Vaughn who is challenging Inez Dickens for State Assembly from her base in Lincoln Houses.

Summer of Soul in MGP

On Friday, June 17, 7:30 PM, head to Marcus Garvey Park to see a screening of “Summer of Soul (….or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

Head to The Schomburg

Alison Saar, the artist behind the Harriet Tubman sculpture at St. Nicholas and Frederick Douglass Blvds. has created a work based on the playwright, journalist, activist, and lesbian, Lorraine Hansberry.

Saar, who also did the jazz era sculptures of Harlem residents that are on the Metro-North platforms at the 125th Street Station, will unveil the work in its final home in Chicago. Before then, however, the sculpture will be on view in the Schomburg from today until June 18th.

From The Schomburg, the sculpture “To Sit Awhile” will head to Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, and then head on a national tour. The permanent installation site (Chicago) is Hansberry’s birthplace, and the setting of her most famous work: ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’

Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in 21st Century America

Residential segregation manages to color just about every facet of US life. It fuels the country’s sprawling suburban development and the massive carbon footprint that lifestyle demands. It underpins struggling public schools and the increasingly toxic politics around them. It turns would-be neighbors into feared strangers by politicians like Kristin Jordan who oppose the vision of a multiracial community.  

Sheryll Cashin, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and former White House urban policy advisor, has devoted much of her career to documenting how segregation poisons America. Her new book, White Space, Black Hood, examines how radicals work to maintain racial enclaves.

Profesor Cashin, writes that she believes that integration “is the best route to equal opportunity for everyone.” She continues that in a moment when the topic had largely fallen from the national political discourse, she has “…become convinced of this — even as I recognize the nurturing benefits of a racial enclave — because of the virulent inequality that our separation is begetting.”

White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality explores how the Great Recession and the orgy of predatory lending that preceded it wreaked enduring havoc on household wealth in Black and Latino communities, while a national shortage of affordable housing and stubborn patterns of inequality have locked non-white renters into low-opportunity neighborhoods and America’s Public schools have largely resegregated.

To read a Bloomberg interview with Professor Cashin on the collapse of racial integration, see:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-11/tracking-the-disastrous-collapse-of-u-s-racial-integration

Juneteenth Events Next Weekend in Harlem’s Historic Parks

JUNE 17 2nd ANNUAL HISTORIC HARLEM PARKS JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL KICKOFF @ MARCUS GARVEY PARK – FREE! 

12-3PM on NW lawn –  NYPL Harlem and Studio Museum with children’s storytime, giveaways and tour/talk about the Thomas J. Price sculpture. 

3-6PM on NW lawn – Say Their Namesarts performance project gives (2) dream workshops and recognizes the lives of Americans taken by racism. Presented by NYC Parks and Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. 

730PM at Richard Rodgers Amphitheater – NYC Parks and Marcus Garvey Park Alliance present Say Their Names in an opening song and short film prior to the screening of Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” documentary presented by City Parks Foundation.  

JUNE 18 2nd Annual Historic Harlem Parks Juneteenth Festival – FREE! 

MARCUS GARVEY PARK

12-3pm at NW lawn:  NYPL Harlem and Studio Museum with children’s storytime, giveaways and tour/talk about the Thomas J. Price sculpture. 

630PM at Richard Rodgers amphitheater:  pre-show conversation with the Federation of Black Cowboys 

7PM at Richard Rodgers amphitheater: CROSS THAT RIVER – Join the Federation of Black Cowboys and then Harlem’s own star Allan Harris – globally-renowned for his jazz vocals, guitar and songwriting – in the music & theatrical storytelling of Blu, who runs away from slavery to become a cowboy out west. Did you know that 1 in 4 cowboys were Black men? Presented by NYC Parks, City College Center for the Arts, Jazzmobile and Love Productions.

JACKIE ROBINSON PARK 

2-5:30pm at bandshell:  National Jazz Museum in Harlem brings world music and dance – including dance classes! – and the global star Wunmi to Jackie Robinson Park’s bandshell in partnership with NYC Parks for the 2nd annual Historic Harlem Parks Juneteenth Festival. 

ST NICHOLAS PARK

1-8PM at 135th Street Plaza – Ayo and Friends of St Nicholas Park bring back last year’s favorite Black health and wellness and arts event GoodVibesInThePark on the James Baldwin lawn and at the 135th Street plaza in partnership with NYC Parks as part of the 2nd annual Historic Harlem Parks Juneteenth Festival. 

MORNINGSIDE PARK

12-3PM at 114th Street lawn across from the pond – Harlem Wellness brings yoga, African dance classes and drumming to Morningside Park’s lawn across from the pond in partnership with NYC Parks and Friends of Morningside Park as part of the 2nd annual Historic Harlem Parks Juneteenth Festival.

Juneteenth Block Party

Saturday, June 18th, Noon to 6pm, join a free block party at 131st Street and FDB.

All Welcome!

HBCU College Fair Tomorrow!

Join the 28th Precinct at an HBCU college fair.

2271 8th Avenue (St. Nicholas between 122/123), Noon to 4PM.

All welcome. Free.

Loans, Mortgages, and Insurance

Learn more about loans, mortgages, and insurance on Monday June 13th, 6:30 PM at El Barrio’s Artspace 109:

Another (East Harlem) Juneteenth Block Party

Sunday, June 19th. 11:00 – 7:00 PM

111 Between 3rd and Lexington.

Decriminalize Nature New York will have a table at this 2nd Annual East Harlem Juneteenth Block Party and coordinators with the group will be there to discuss their campaign to decriminalize naturally occurring entheogenic plants and fungi on a Grow, Gather, Gift model that prioritizes community based cultivation, access, research, and treatment.

DN resolutions have passed in over 10 municipalities including Oakland, CA, Washington DC, and Ann Arbor, MI.

DN members will also be seeking support for a Land Back & Reparations platform which specifically applies to Harlem and New York’s cannabis legalization and Social Equity funding.

Who’s Going To Represent You/Harlem In Albany?

The New York State 68th Assembly District primary is coming up.

Whoever wins the primary will likely be your representative in Albany. If you live in the area shown on the map below, make sure to register for the candidates’ forum tomorrow (Thursday, June 9th, at 7:00 PM) using this link:

https://fordham.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocuGtqD0oEtXpPxQTWfT54jA20YivmtWL

Click to see a larger view

Junteenth!

GothamToGo has a great compilation of Junteenth events:

Make sure to check out the listings for scores of events near you (and sign-up for her amazing blog).