NYC BLACK RADICAL HISTORY: HARLEM & BED-STUY RIOTS OF 1964 & THE CITY COLLEGE LOCK DOWN, 1969

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The Harlem & Bed Stuy “Race Riot” of 1964 –
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act which banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and ended segregation of public places. Two weeks after on July 15, 1964, 15-year old African American James Powell, was murdered by white off-duty police Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan. Powell’s murder enraged the Harlem community as another instance of a black person lost to police brutality. The first two days of protest regarding Powell’s death were peaceful in Harlem and other communities of New York City. On July 18th, protesters were at the police station in Harlem to call for the resignation or termination of Thomas Gilligan. The station was being guarded by police officers leading to some protestors throwing bricks, rock and bottles at the officers who walked through the crowd with nightsticks.

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After word about the confrontation outside of the police station got back to different communities, riots began in then – black and Puerto Rican neighborhood, Bedford Stuyvesant. The riots lasted in Harlem and Bed Stuy for six days with businesses being vandalized and set on fire. It all came to a cease on July 22 with roughly 450 arrests, 100 people injured and 1 million dollars worth of property damage. The riots in both boroughs spurred off into a series of summer riots in different parts of the country, such as Rochester and Philadelphia. President Lyndon B. Johnson feared these riots would cause a rise in white backlash, putting a dent in his election hopes.

“One of my political analysts tells me that every time one occurs, it costs me 90,000 votes.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson

Harlem’s City College lockdown, 1969 –
On a rainy Spring morning in 1969, 200 Black and Puerto Rican students locked down the doors to City College in a victorious attempt for the City University of New York to allow open admissions for oppressed nationalities. A take over that only took 45 seconds lasted in a two-week lockdown of 17 buildings in the south Campus. Reactionary white students antagonized the students holding the lockdown.

“Whites were generally quite upset. Some yelled “Black bastards, go back to Africa,” but the answers they received were similar to “Charlie, your momma swings to “Charlie, your momma swings through trees and she’s as Black as me,” and “Why don’t you come into the gate and get your trashy sister off South Campus.” Obviously tempers snapped. As the poor whites rushed towards the gates, they were dismissed summarily by both the Black students’ security force and the College Security, which was powerless to remove the BPRSC but which did prevent some white students from getting hurt.” – The Harvard Crimson

Fearful of extreme violence happening on the campus due to prior racial violence, Mayor John V. Lindsay and other New York City political leaders gave in to opening the doors to Black and Latinx students. White students who were also unable to attend benefitted from open admissions. The students renamed it The University of Harlem.

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“WHITE FLIGHT” & FEAR OF BLACK NEIGHBORS IN CANARSIE, 1990s

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In the summer of 1991, a white Canarsie TERRORIST by the name of Brian Fining was seized as the suspect of fire bombing of a real estate agency, which took place on July 27. The motive behind it: the real estate agency was showing and selling homes to black and latino buyers in south Brooklyn. Then 20-year old Fining grew up at 9312 Avenue M – an all-white block where residents said no home had been sold in 28 years. Fining lived four blocks away from the Fillmore Real Estate office at 9301 Flatlands Avenue he terrorized. The Fillmore Real Estate office was targeted several times by Brooklyn white supremacists for selling to black and Latino home buyers, as well as other non-white owned businesses in the area that was increasingly becoming less white. At least 13 incidents of racial violence was reported by police in the area that July.

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In response to the CLEARLY racial motives behind the terror act and other incidents, 300 black demonstrators protested the incident to be met with racist hecklers who shook watermelons at them; Brian Fining was amongst them and participated in the racist counter-response. Marches and demonstrations were met with counter-responses led mostly by young white men holding signs saying “End Racism — Kill Al Sharpton”,” chanting “Go Home” at protestors.

1991 Brooklyn Anti-Racism March

Officials said other arrests could be made in connection with the firebombing. “We do not believe that there are a lot more people involved,” Mr. Brown said. “Our investigation is proceeding with the assumption that there’s at least one more suspect.”

He said Mr. Fining was being questioned about the earlier firebombing, which was preceded by a call warning that the company would be punished for selling and renting homes to minority families. Other Canarsie realty companies have received similar calls. (NY Times)

Indeed, another person was involved: Frank Scire, also from Canarsie. Fining ratted Scire out!

Mr. Fining identified Mr. Scire as a longtime friend living in the same neighborhood. On the night of the firebombing, he said, the defendant took him for a ride in a car, stopped at a gas station to fill a small bottle with gasoline and drove to the real-estate agency. Mr. Fining added that the defendant put a rag in the gas-filled bottle and told him to “throw this in the window.”

“I went over to the driver’s side,” Mr. Fining went on. “He lit it,” he said, testifying that the defendant lighted the firebomb. “I walked over there and put it inside the window.”

They drove away, he said, leaving the smoking bomb inside the office. – (NY Times)

Between 1990 to 2000, Canarsie saw its shift in racial demographics. Whites fled as an incoming number of West Indians moved in from East Flatbush and Brownsville. This “white flight” landed white Canarsie residents in Long Island, Staten Island and neighboring borough, Queens.

Mr. Palmer found his house in Brooklyn near the border of Flatlands and Canarsie. It is a two-family house that he jumped at so fast he says the real estate broker thought he was crazy. There were just a handful of black families on the block back then. But within a few years, he recalled, most of the white people up and left.

”I guess they see black people coming,” Mr. Palmer said, chuckling. ”And they run away from black people.”

In the decade between the 1990 and the 2000 censuses, the racial makeup of Canarsie changed more dramatically than that of any neighborhood in the city. The black population grew to nearly 60 percent from 10 percent. What many new residents, Caribbean immigrants, say they wanted was an integrated neighborhood; what they have ended up with is increasingly black. (NY Times)

The former white residents of Canarsie didn’t want to be amongst black people clearly. They fought until they could to keep their “white paradise” in a borough that is filled with black people. When they couldn’t fight any longer they decided to up and leave. The lengths that white supremacists go to…

 

 

 

“EARLY MORNING HUES” EP BY JAH HUEY (@JAH_HUEY)

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Jah Huey is a 20-year old lyricist from Brooklyn, NY out of the ORGornothing collective. Born in Crown Heights and raised in DC, Jah Huey was always submerged in music with a Hip Hop journalist for a father; blasting classic New York rap such as Nas, Biggie, Boot Camp Clik, Slick Rick, A Tribe Called Quest, and even the likes of Outkast and Ice Cube. The conditions of his environment led him astray although getting his mind right, moving back to NYC in 2012 and rediscovering the music of his childhood. This was enough for him to gain motivation to pursue music, join ORG and intern at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. “Early Morning Hues” is an 8-track lyrical and soulful, yet exciting listen. All tracks are performed solely by Jah Huey, except “Pray” featuring ORG Prophecy & Cliche of Sacred Gzz, which is now available on iTunes and Google Play.

“The EP “Early Morning Hues,” by Jah Huey, is a lyrical, energy-driven mix of the flow of classic New York hip-hop and elements of D.C style and lyricism. I have been putting together this EP song by song for the past 3 years. Some songs were written this year and some were written when I was still in high school, revising verses and instrumentals and cutting out songs thats didn’t make the cut. I am speaking from the perspective from what I’ve experienced growing up in Brooklyn and Southeast D.C as a young man. The concept behind it is being and loving your truest self in order to become who you want to be, understanding that life is about the ascension of energy, just like the sun in the morning. I want to inspire listeners to realize their aspirations are achievable no matter what they might be, as long as passion and love are put into it and they trust their paths. I want people to wake up in the morning, play this album and feel fired up, ascending with the sun, ready to own the day and create their own reality. And most of all I made this album to express myself. To really tell the world who Jah Huey is, and what I think and feel on a daily basis. Coming from a kid that used to censor himself and had no confidence in the path he wanted to pursue in life. I made this EP primarily to free myself, and hopefully I can free many other people in the process.” – Jah Huey

STREAM “EARLY MORNING HUES” EP BELOW:

Contact Jah Huey:

IG: Jah_Huey
FB: @JahHuey
SoundCloud: Jah Huey

Bill Clinton in Harlem: “The Second Renaissance?!”

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When Bill Clinton moved to Harlem after his presidency, he opened his office at 55 West 125th Street. He received a huge welcome from loyal Harlem Democrats but was also met with discontent from Harlem residents who definitely weren’t fond of his presence in the historic neighborhood known as a “Black Mecca.” Publications such as Vanity Fair and The Wall Street Journal were calling his arrival to Harlem a “resurrection” of the neighborhood and even the “Second Renaissance.”

Some are even calling it Harlem’s “second renaissance,” after the vibrant black cultural and civil-rights movement of the 1920s and ’30s. But detractors say the term “renaissance” is a misnomer: this time around it’s not about culture or ideology–it’s all about money. “I don’t know where people are coming from with this ‘second renaissance’,” says Murphy Heyliger, a Harlem native and owner of the boutique shop Harlemade. – (Newsweek, 2001)-

Gentrification was a huge thought for people who opposed the former President:

 At Clinton’s rally, a militant group of New Black Panthers carried signs that read CLINTON = GENTRIFICATION (the white takeover of black Harlem). Nearby, a man stood at a folding table with taped-up fliers that said rent is too damn high. (Newsweek, 2001)

In the 1920’s, Harlem became the home of the Harlem Renaissance, known as the New Negro Movement during that time.  The Harlem Renaissance, or New Negro Movement, was a political, artistic and cultural movement emerging out of emancipation and frustration with living under racist conditions. Approximately 6 million African Americans migrated out of the Southern part of the United States to other urban parts of the country. This migration gave fuel to the Harlem Renaissance leading to African American men and women alike, asserting themselves intellectually. Figureheads such as Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B DuBois, Jessie Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Robeson and countless others made great contributions to the Harlem Renaissance with many of them having streets, schools, and other institutions named after them in their honor. Harlem was a new cultural, sociopolitical landscape; it was militant. Literature, music, stage productions, and visual art flourished as African Americans used creative expression to create a golden era that also developed the neighborhood of Harlem.

How can we compare this to Bill Clinton? The man once dubbed “the first Black president” because of his sax-playing appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show?” The same man responsible for this:

When Clinton left office in 2001, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.” (The Nation, 2016)

Exactly what renaissance was it? I’m inclined to believe that this “renaissance” was synonymous to exactly what Harlem’s Clinton opposers were shouting: GENTRIFICATION. Ain’t no way in hell, can a white man resurrect a neighborhood built on Black excellence. To even use the word renaissance in reference to the Harlem Renaissance is a complete slap in the face to our ancestors. This renaissance led to affluent motherfuckers moving to Harlem because of property value spikes. A white ruling class man could never recreate or “continue” A BLACK MOVEMENT in a historically BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD.

The same 125th Street strip is now reminiscent of downtown Manhattan with even a Whole Foods that’s been opened since July. Harlem has been subjected to gentrifications with gentrifiers trying to rename a section of the neighborhood (Central Harlem), “SoHa”.

Danni Tyson, a real estate broker and a member of Manhattan Community Board 10, which covers Central Harlem, says the move is “pretty arrogant.”

“I totally disagree with it,” said Tyson.

“To me, personally, it’s like trying to take the black out of Harlem.

“Harlem is Harlem.”

Tyson said when she says she’s from Harlem people “know it exactly what it stands for.”

But, SoHa?

“It’s not something longtime residents use,” she said.

(DNAInfo, 2017)

The Clinton Foundation moved out of Harlem in 2011, ten years after Clinton’s move but what’s done has been done.

 

 

“LEFT HAND EP” BE.GENIUS & MANNY BLANCO (@beatgeniuss x @mannyblanco)

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“Born left hand, I’m already different.”
The LeftHand EP is a collaborative effort by Fatally Cool’s Manny Blanco and Be.Geniu$. The standout tracks on Be.Geniu$ & Manny Blanco’s LeftHand EP are “Bag Talk,” the title track “LeftHand” and “Forth & Back.” “Bag Talk” is Brooklyn braggadocio rap and is emergence of what could be an updated authentic NYC Hip Hop sound. “Left Hand” sends shots to mumble rappers and unoriginal artist. “Forth & Back” showcases Blanco & Geniu$ going back and forth with bars similar to Jadakiss and Styles P. Left Hand EP is a 7-track enjoyable listen laced with immaculate production, bars with a fresh Brooklyn sound.

BE.GENIUS: @beatgeniuss

MANNY BLANCO: @mannyblanco

 

“Wukong (You Can’t Tell Me Shit)” – Joeestarr.Supreme @stylojoee

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They callin us monkeys, so I’m running through the city with my nigga smearing shit up on the walls

“Wukong (You Can’t Tell Me Shit)” is the first single to be released from Joeestar.Supreme’s “BiiiFocals” EP. “Wukong” showcases Joeestar’s rapid flow paired with gritty lyrical content that is worth listening to on repeat. Stream “Wukong (You Can’t Tell Me Shit) below:

 

 

FUCK NEPTUNE HOTEL: PRO-TRUMP IN BUSHWICK

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Standing at the address of 1461 Broadway is this shabby, spooky looking establishment by the name of Neptune Hotel. About a month ago, my mami and I walked from the Myrtle Ave-Broadway train station to the Chauncey Street station and passed the hotel. This hotel was built in 1920 and if you’re from Bed Stuy or Bushwick, you’ve passed it plenty of times. The thing that made the hotel stand out this time was a “Long Live the 45th President, Donald Trump” banner hanging from the building. I stopped in my tracks to make sure I was seeing correctly. I had to tap my moms on the shoulder and ask her “do you see this shit?” She responds with “Yeah princess, I walk by this all the time.” Now let’s cue to how this wack ass hotel describes themselves online on their website:

Located east of Williamsburg and a short ride from NYC, Bushwick is home to all kinds of creative types and is quickly developing into an ultra-hip neighborhood with a grungy, artsy appeal.  New dive bars, bodegas, and gallery spaces continue to flourish and are enjoyed by the multi-ethnic population and the many visitors that pour into Bushwick’s converted loft spaces and down-to-earth hotels.

Okay, so Neptune Hotel is CLEARLY aiming for those ghetto-gawking, future gentrifiers to sleep in their dusty ass rooms. Let’s list the gentrification buzz words:

  • “Creative types” – GENTRIFIERS, HIPSTERS
  • “Quickly developing” – GENTRIFICATION.
  • Ultra-hip neighborhood, grungy, artsy appeal – Nobody out here uses the word hip. This is corny ass lingo. “Grungy.” Nobody here calls the hood grungy. The hood is GRIMEY and GRITTY. “Artsy.” Bushwick been had artsy appeal from the mix of black and latinx struggle. Hip Hop and salsa 4eva.
  • “Bars” – there’s a bunch of these shits everywhere on Broadway now that NO ONE needs.
  • “Bodegas” – HOLD UP. STOP. STOP NOW. A pro-Trump establishment needs not to be using this term or boasting of being located to these. Bodegas are LATINX-OWNED establishments. These are the cornerstones of the hood. Butter rolls and the best coffee. Keep your corny ass at those coffee shops. Leave papi alone. K, thx.
  • “Gallery spaces” – These gallery spaces are filled with soulless bourgeois art that yall pretend has some kind of meaning or value. YOUR ART IS BASURA. Cut it out.

Not to mention, their website has this white gentrifier walking past some street art looking like walking settler-colonialism. Neptune Hotel is CLEARLY a WHITE SUPREMACIST establishment boasting about the MULTI-ETHNIC population of a neighborhood to have WHITE NON-NEW YORKERS patron their shabby shack of a hotel. This is Bushwick now. This is a smack in the face to all the oppressed nationalities living in this neighborhood. Imagine just going about your day and seeing a hotel in your hood showing utter support for a white supremacist boldly, while boasting that people like YOU live in the neighborhood.

 

2017 different for real.

“MOONLIGHT” EP BY SPAZZMODIUS

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Coming straight out the Bronx is a budding lyricist by the name of Spazzmodius spitting relatable verses with conviction. Spazzmodius has spent years mastering the art of words, gaining inspiration from other artists and the adversities of everyday life as an oppressed nationality in the hood. The “Moonlight” EP is an audio experience; a representation of Spazzmodius finding a light in the darkest of times. “Goku” is a braggadocious track that showcases superb flow, wordplay with anime references done right and vocals that show he can sing with the best of them. “Traitor” features Akinyemi on the hook while Spazz addresses a one-sided relationship with an ex-girlfriend, her failed attempts at rekindling their romance and finding a guy to fill his spot. Spazzmodius airs his grievances about white supremacy and setbacks due to institutional racism on “Freedom,” while Mister JT delivers powerful vocals in the name of liberation. “Goddess” celebrates black and brown women for their beauty, strength and resilience while ShaSha’s feminine energy laces the track. “Gold” is an affirmation of the power of his talent and keeping his morals within his artistry. “Moonlight” EP is a complete listen and exhibits Spazzmodius as the well-rounded artist he is.

STREAM “Moonlight” by Spazzmodius

IG: @spazzmodius

FB: Spazzmodius

 

“OFF TOP” BY DEUX INFINITY

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“Put that shit on my tombstone, I’m bouta record.”

Hailing from Brooklyn, Deux Infinity is a charismatic, skilled lyricist equipped with a distinctive voice and impeccable flow. Produced by Kaytranada, “Off Top” is a compelling execution of a song that is completely freestyled. Watch the visual for “Off Top” shot by Owl Man below:

Instagram: @deuxinfinity, @i_owlman