Artist Addresses the Hidden Horror of Dr. Sims

The statue of Dr. Sims in East Harlem being removed from 5th Avenue/Central Park

Bloomberg has an article on a new artwork in Montgomery: The Mothers of Gynecology, and the artist and activist Michelle Browder who created this sculpture to challenge and refute the legacy of Dr. Sims.

The Mothers of Gynecology

Browder’s monument honoring the “Mothers of Gynecology” — Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, enslaved girls who underwent dozens of vaginal procedures by Sims – not only addresses the racist and torturous legacy of Dr. Sims, but also a painting from 1952 that portrayed Dr. Sims.

The painting by Robert Thom made Browder want to understand the women forced to endure Sims’s experiments. While in the painting, the physician is depicted with a benevolent bearing as he inspects his patient; in the background, two Black women cower behind a curtain. The painter inflates the likely age of the ladies: Anarcha was thought to be 17 when she was treated by Sims. And there’s no sign of the restraints that would be used in place of anesthesia or other numbing techniques.

The artist, Michelle Browder

To see the full Bloomberg story:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-10/forging-a-memorial-to-the-forgotten-mothers-of-gynecology

Scholarship From MMPCIA For College-Bound Seniors

The Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association is proud to announce the enrollment period for the 2022 MMPCIA Scholarship Program 
All college-bound Harlem high school seniors who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply. Please visit the following link: 
Scholarship Application  
Deadline for completed applications is June 30th.
Please spread the word to the Harlem high school seniors you know! 
MMPCIA Education CommitteeDetails:The Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association (MMPCIA) $4,000 Scholarship Award began as a way of honoring college-bound Harlem high school seniors who live in Greater Mount Morris Park/Central Harlem Community from 110th to 135th Streets between Morningside and Third Avenues.
The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000 annually for four consecutive years as long as students remain in school full time.
For additional information go to MMPCIA.ORG
or send inquiries to [email protected]

Puerto Rican Pride Parade on June 12th

Show your Puerto Rican pride and march on June 12 in the 65th annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

NEW YORK – JUNE 13: Spectators watch the ninth annual Puerto Rican Day Parade pass by June 13, 2004 in New York City. Tens of thousands of people lined Fifth Avenue for the parade. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

Stoop Sale Tomorrow at 10:00

Tomorrow, May 1st is Stoop Sale Day

Come bargain hunting for antiques, toys, clothes, furniture, household items, and wonderful things that residents in the Mount Morris Historic District Community are selling or giving away. Spread the word in your community.

Where: Mount Morris Park Historic District (116th – 125th Street from Madison to Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.)

Time: 10 am – 3 pm
Link to updated map of houses/buildings hosting a sale: https://rebrand.ly/6re

Juneteenth Celebration

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk/Roll this year in Central Park. The event will end with tours of Seneca Village.

Register: https://events.elitefeats.com/22juneteenth

Can’t join us in person? Sign up to participate VIRTUALLY!

This event is a joyful reclaiming of space and history. We hope you will join us!

All proceeds from the Juneteenth March go towards the building fund of the Harlem Center. The center is a 10-year effort started by a coalition of New York-centered community-based organizations (CBOs).

Let’s continue to evolve the 21st Century towards #Inclusionism.

WeOweUS

Stoop Sale on Sunday

The weekend weather looks amazing. Hope you can come out to the neighborhood-wide stoop sale:

Demolished Church Lot and Trash

Before the pandemic, the brownstone Metropolitan Church at the corner of 126 and Madison was demolished and a fenced-off rubble lot was left. A number of neighbors have complained about dumping and trash build-up on East 126th Street.

If you see trash building up, please contact 311 immediately:

https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-02097

You can also contact the company who should be regularly cleaning the sidewalk:

1975 Management: Matt Frank – 516-369-3095

Dog Run Volunteers Needed

JOIN US ON
SUNDAY, MAY 1 @ 9 AM – 1 PM

for our Spring Cleaning event.  Tasks will include spreading mulch, raking, weeding, and painting.  These cleanup events are not just an opportunity to tidy up and beautify our park, it’s an opportunity to get to know your neighbors.  As usual, we will provide hand, sanitizer, face masks and gloves, and there will be coffee and breakfast treats.

The dog park is maintained solely by volunteers, and is funded by charitable donations.  If you are unable to participate in this event, please consider supporting our efforts by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.  When donating, please make sure to indicate that your donation is to support the Dog Park.  

  For more information, or to get more involved, 
email [email protected]

See you there!

MMPCIA Stoop Sale

May 1st is MMPCIA’s Stoop Sale Day!

Join MMPCIA

Join MMPCIA for a conversation with the commander of the 28th Precinct (the southern half of central Harlem) to learn more about what the NYPD intends to do to address the increase in crime in our community.

General Membership Meeting: Tuesday, February 15th, 6:30PM
ZOOM LINK
Meeting ID: 868 4723 49171 646 558 8656 (New York)
ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86847234917Meeting ID: 868 4723 4917
Join MMPCIA in a discussion with our 28th Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Andre Brown

Scenes from the Upper Manhattan Asian American Association’s Celebration of the Lunar New Year

Marcus Meets Malcolm and the Upper Manhattan Asian American Association celebrated the lunar new year on West 120th Street yesterday.

There was an upper Manhattan dance troupe, martial arts demonstrations, food, games, and more.

Large crowds, perfect weather, and the shared goal of a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural, and thriving Harlem was in abundant evidence.

The Victoria Tower Residences

The Victoria Tower Residences on 125th street is starting to show apartments. The building is behind, yet incorporates the facade of the old Victoria Theater.

The 27-story high rise shares its space with the Renaissance Marriot Hotel and is being marketed as a luxury building with a two-story lounge, multiple meeting rooms, a fitness center, and adjacent restaurants that will offer residential tenants hotel services.

To schedule a tour, see:

http://www.victoriatowerresidences.com/index.cfm?e=inner4&itemcategory=93076

35 West 110th Street

This may be the only externally mounted clock in Harlem. 35 West 110th Street.

Note the address is on the clock itself and yes, the time is correct.

November 2, looms

Nov. 2 is when we’ll lock in our choices for a ton of open seats in city government. Not only are we choosing a new mayor, comptroller and five new borough presidents, term limits mean the bulk of the City Council is turning over, too. 

New York’s crowded primary this past June had relatively high turnout, as nearly three in 10 registered voters cast ballots. (It’s a low bar.) 

Now, the city returns to the polls to finalize our picks in the General Election on Nov. 2.

But Election Day is merely the last day you can cast your ballot: Keep these key earlier dates in mind:

  • Oct. 18 — Last day you can request an absentee ballot online or by mail to vote at home or outside of the city. Request your absentee ballot from the city Board of Elections (BOE) here. You can mail your ballot in any time before Election Day.
  • Oct. — The early voting period begins, running through Halloween. 
  • Nov. 1 — Last day to request an absentee ballot in person.
  • Nov. 2 — Election Day and the last day to postmark your absentee ballot.

Halloween Events from MMPCIA

Children Tested With Elevated Lead

How Calculated: Number of children less than 6 years old tested in a given year with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater, divided by the number of children less than 6 years old who were tested for lead poisoning in a given year; expressed as cases per 1,000 tested. The numbers in this table include all children tested within a given calendar year, regardless of whether they were tested in previous years with the same or different blood lead levels. While children can receive more than one test during the calendar year, children are only counted once using the highest confirmed blood lead level during the calendar year. If the child does not have a confirmed test in a given year, the child’s blood lead level is based on the highest capillary or unknown test type. This measure differs from the rate of children newly identified with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater reported by the Health Department in other publications. 

Read more about different measures used by the Health Department for surveillance of childhood lead poisoning.

Source: New York City Healthy Homes Program

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is Open

After a long pause during COVID, the National Jazz Museum is open. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Head to their website to grab a timed ticket:

Harlem Rose Garden Concert

A People’s History of Strings

Created by Puerto Rican-American violinist and educator Skye Steele, A People’s History of Strings is an interactive musical and multi-media journey that traces the evolution of fiddles around the world. Starting from the first bowed instruments in Central Asia two thousand years ago, audiences travel through the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and back to the USA.

Woven into the narrative is Skye’s own family history of immigration, acculturation, and re-discovery, as reflected in the musical lineage of his grandfather, his mother, and himself.   

A People’s History of Strings explores relationships between cultures by exposing the connections between musical traditions that range from jazz and salsa to the classical music of Europe and the Middle East, all while offering a deeper and de-colonized understanding of an instrument we thought we knew so well.

Featuring:

Skye Steele – Narration; European, Turkish, Ghanaian, and Brazilian fiddles, vocals.

Gilbert Mansour – Middle Eastern and Latin percussion, drum set, vocals.

Mayteana Morales – Latin percussion, vocals.

Michael LaValle – Brazilian percussion, bass, cavaquinho, vocals.

Willerm Delisfort – piano, percussion

Refinancing Workshop from MMPCIA and Chase

Chase/MMPCIAMortgage Refinancing Workshop
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30 pm
an interactive workshop hosted by the Chase Community Branch Team to learn more about opportunities to refinance your home mortgage. 
In person (limited space) or via Zoom.

Registration link:

https://chase.surveymonkey.com/r/KHMBXCB

Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Some great stonework on the outside of Ephesus Church – Lenox and West 124th Street.

And Underground…

A short distance north, and under the street, are these great mosaics:

Faith Ringgold is the artist behind these amazing works.

Ms. Ringgold took inspiration for the title of her mosaic from a Lionel Hampton song, Flying Home. First recorded by the Benny Goodman Sextet in 1939, the tune is based on one that Mr. Hampton hummed earlier. As a member of Mr. Goodman’s band, Mr. Hampton, along with the other band members, was waiting to board a flight from Los Angeles to Atlantic City to play an engagement. To calm his nerves, because he had never flew in an airplane, Mr. Hampton hummed a tune. When asked what it was by Mr. Goodman, Mr. Hampton said he did not know. The song was developed from those innocent beginnings. It would go on to become Mr. Hampton’s theme song.

Becoming Othello at The Harlem Rose Garden

Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 2PM

The Harlem Rose Garden is delighted to host a special event by the acclaimed Harlem actor/producer/director Debra Ann Byrd.  We will present a free special sneak peek preview of her solo show based on her life.  Attendees will also have the chance to purchase a limited amount of discount tickets to her upcoming performance in November at the United Solo Theater Festival at 42nd St. in November. 
“Becoming Othello:  A Black Girl’s Journey” was presented this summer at a sold-out show at Lincoln Center and received a standing ovation. Debra Ann is the founder and director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Take Wing and Soar Productions a theater company presenting award-winning classical theater for actors of color.

Please see more details below along with some video links:

OFFICIAL SELECTION OF THE UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL – NYC 2021Award-winning classical actress Debra Ann Byrd performed her one-woman show, BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey, in Lenox, Massachusetts, this July and Lincoln Center Restart Stages in August. The autobiographical show is about the period in Byrd’s life from her tumultuous childhood in Harlem to her founding of a classical theater troupe after discovering a love for Shakespeare. Byrd incorporated hundreds of lines from the Bard’s own writing into the story. In the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout praises Byrd’s “limitless charisma” and compares the “riveting” show to Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight.

In addition to her current show, Byrd has played the lead in three all-female productions of OthelloShe will be performing

Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey at the United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC on November 4 at Theatre Row, produced by Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group for the Harlem Shakespeare Festival.

Protest the Treatment of Harlem

STOP GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CHILD ABUSE       Tell the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS) that is NOT OKAY to put over 20% of NYC’s drug treatment facilities in our community. 
OUR STREETS BELONG TO OUR CHILDREN.       Not drug dealers who prey on vulnerable substance abuse patients, shelter residents, and the street homeless.
JOIN OUR MARCH AND RALLY ON OCTOBER 8, 2021 FROM 3:30PM-5:30PM TO CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DAY
Ways to participate:    3:30pm – meet on the corner of 126th Street and Lenox to start the March.
Or
4pm –meet in front of 290 Lenox ave in recognition of substance abuse disorder victims. 
Or
4:30pm- rally in Marcus Garvey Park surrounding the baby playground to show solidarity with city, state, and law enforcement representatives who support our demand for equitable distribution of treatment facilities throughout NYC.
Sponsored by The Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association (MMPCIA) in collaboration with the Greater Harlem Coalition, the 125th street Business Improvement District,  and The Nation of Islam. 

Minerals

You may have heard that the American Museum of Natural History has reopened its minerals and gems hall to universal acclaim.

On a recent visit to The Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, the exhibits tell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral species arose on our planet, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology. 

The galleries feature more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries, and, of course, specimens from New York broken down by borough and location where found.

A number of the items on display are either from Harlem or were found at the edge of Harlem and speak to the fascinating geology beneath us all.

From MMPCIA

At this moment in time the Mt. Morris Park Historic District is facing a safety crisis!

Today, as we step outside our doors, walk down our streets or through our wonderful Marcus Garvey Park, we witness individuals in great distress, people who are unhoused, and others selling and using street drugs, and the overwhelming consequences of these collective crises. Under similar situations, MMPCIA was formed more than 40 years ago. So, again we take up the mantel to hold those accountable and bring back a sense of safety and well-being. With strong and active members, we will once again prevail.

Ways we are addressing this crisis include:

 1.  Working with local law enforcement, government agencies, elected officials and partnering with other local community-based organizations.  

2.  Updates to the community during our monthly meetings from relevant stakeholders and weekly updates on our new website (currently under construction).

3.  Developing a robust social media campaign.

4.  Gathering and sharing the personal stories of members of the community who are impacted by this crisis.

Madlyn Stokely

 President, MMPCIA