A Librarian From Puerto Rico

Chalkbeat is reporting on the Puerto Rican Librarian who broke the NYPL color barrier in 1921 to be the first Latina librarian in the country’s largest library system.

Pura Belpré was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In 1920, she came to New York City for her sister’s wedding and never went back. In 1921, Belpré was hired by the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library as an “Hispanic Assistant,” a position created to serve the increasing Spanish-speaking population of Harlem. In 1929, she was assigned as a librarian to the 115th Street branch. Later, Belpré was transferred out to the 110th Street Aguilar branch in 1939. 

In 1982, the year she died, Belpré received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Public Library. And every year since 1996, the American Librarian Association has given out the Pura Belpré Award to outstanding works of literature by Latino authors.

Literacy Across Harlem March (10th Annual)

Book Drive & Community Celebration 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Free! 

www.bit.ly/rockthosereads10

EVENT DESCRIPTION

Capping a decade of reading-related activism, service, and community building, this year’s Literacy Across Harlem March is a fun and meaningful opportunity for Harlemites of all ages to lead for literacy, deepen your knowledge of our community’s rich literary history and landscape, and celebrate Harlem’s identity as a world-renowned hub of literature by and about Black and Brown people.

EVENT SCHEDULE

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. RALLY FOR READING! Join your neighbors at 12:00 p.m. sharp at your choice of these legendary institutions: El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets) or Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Avenue at 156th Street). Then get to know your community from a new perspective on an inspiring tour of Harlem’s reading-related landmarks en route to Marcus Garvey Park. Bring two books to march with: a personal favorite (or current “read”) and a gift-quality children’s book (perhaps one of these) to donate to a local homeless shelter.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – CELEBRATE with your neighbors at the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, in the heart of Harlem, with hands-on activities for all ages, raffle prizes, and more!

Candlelight Vigil

Dr. Keith Taylor, a neighbor and friend writes:

Neighbors,
If you are able, I ask you to attend a community candlelight vigil at the 32nd Precinct tonight at 6:30 pm to show support for our officers at a time of great loss to the NYPD and to the Harlem community. Your presence will mean a tremendous amount to the officers and to me. As a volunteer NYPD community liaison, I regularly speak to rookie officers as they get assigned to the 32 Precinct about the Harlem community as well as lessons learned from my 23 years in the NYPD. We have lost one of our best, Officer Jason Rivera, and another officer, Wilbert Mora, is fighting for his life as I write this to you. Thank you for sharing this with our community.
Sincerely,
Keith

Art In The Park

Earlier, in the fall, we attended a reception for the sculpture Renaissance Women that was located in Marcus Garvey Park, in front of the pool entrance. The artist, Alice Mizrachi (pictured above) was on hand to answer questions, pose in front of her work, and help with a fun participatory art project.

If you’re in the park, make sure to stroll past and check out her hand-forged steel piece.

We Still Here

The Silent Procession (NYC4PR) is co-sponsoring a documentary film (fundraiser) on February 24th.

The documentary examines how in the absence of federal support from the previous administration, Puerto Rican communities were forced to rescue themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

https://WeStillHereScreening.eventcombo.com

Silent Procession for Puerto Rico, Tomorrow

Super Nice Cafe

The best, absolutely the best donuts in New York City are here in East Harlem at Super Nice Bakery and Cafe. Super Nice is on East 117th, just east of Lexington.

They’re open at 8am on weekdays, and 10 on weekends.

This past weekend the queue at 10:15 was 10-12 people (and dogs) long, but boy the product is worth it:

When you want a warm donut that goes beyond, try Super Nice.

In Memory: The 2020 Silent Procession

A video of the 4th Annual (Virtual) Silent Procession for Puerto Rico

Save The Date: September 19th

The White Wall

The novel, the film, and the soundtrack Across 110th Street, reflected a fascinating cultural moment in New York City and Harlem. In the film you see a car driving up through Central Park, a heist across from the Morris-Jumel Mansion, and the unfinished Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Building being used in a horrific scene of violence.

The 2020 Census shows that New York’s borders between the UWS, and the UES in particular, are still firmly entrenched and, as they say, ‘visible from space’.

And while there is some movement in the diversity in the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights, the UES remains a steadfastly predominantly white community.