Brooklyn Deep Third Rail

Third Rail Eps 46: Weeksville: The Past as Destiny

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Gentrification has many of us thinking, just how long does one of America’s largest Black Community have before it is disappeared? We discuss Weeksville, Brooklyn's first free Black Community with guests, Vivian Warfield whose family has a long Brooklyn lineage- and historian, Aimee VonBokel.

Segment One: Mark and Veralyn talk to Vivian about her commitment and descendancy to Weeksville, while Aimee provides historical context and geographical orientaion.  

Segment Two: The Brooklyn Deep team wonders: Did Weeksville leave us any clues on how to contend with the displacement of the very Black community it helped bring into existence?

Segment Three: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad"

LINKS: 

Aimee VonBokel provides us with a walk thru another family's economic timeline in Weeksville via the Carter-Mayo Properties

Music heard in this episode was found via The Lost Jazz Shrines of Weeksville project and include clips from: 

  • Horace Silver Quintet: "Cookin at The Continental"
  • Jim Europe's 369th Infantry "Hellfighters" Band "On Patrol In No Man's Land"
  • EUBIE BLAKE & THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS. Pie, Pie Blackbird. 1932 All-Black Musical Film.

Intro and Outro theme Music:

“City Survival” by MC K-Swift featuring TreZure Empire.

Third Rail Eps 34: Culture and Community in Central Brooklyn

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This month DeeArah Wright (co-director, JACK) and Kendra Ross (Founder/Director, STooPS Bed-Stuy) we’re looking at the intersection between culture and community in Central Brooklyn. First, we ask, Is there a Black Arts Movement in Brooklyn? And then in a related question, we ask, what does it take to sustain cultural institutions in Central Brooklyn?

Segment one: Is there a Black Arts Movement in Brooklyn?
“Black Arts Movement.” That’s a tricky term isn’t it? We supposedly had one in the nineteen twenties and thirties, otherwise known as the Harlem Renaissance, which many people argue was neither based in Harlem or a Renaissance. Some even say there was one based in Fort Greene in the eighties and nineties. But is there a Black Arts Movement in Brooklyn right now?

Segment two: What does it take to sustain a cultural institution in Central Brooklyn?
We spend a lot of time on this show looking at what organization and institution building looks like in Central Brooklyn. And we know grassroots cultural organizations have similar challenges, as well as advantages. We discuss what it takes to sustain a cultural institution in this neighborhood.

Segment 3: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad" Roundup

TR Express: In moments like these

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We've been here before. Trying to process how easily black people die at the hands of police; how easily hashtags pile up: #DelrawnSmall #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile; and needing to find a way forward through it all.

Third Rail pauses to check-in with Anthonine Pierre (Brooklyn Movement Center's Lead Community Organizer) and Ryann Holmes (Bklyn Boihood Co-founder) about the impact of this moment (which includes five Dallas officers being killed) and how Central Brooklyn moves forward.

If you need a community base or resource for an initiative you are taking on, contact the Brooklyn Movement Center at bmc@brooklynmovementcenter.org or Bklyn Boihood here.

TR 33: Relevance of Race in Central Brooklyn

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This month two oral historians, Amaka Okechukwu (Weeksville Heritage Center) and Zaheer Ali (Brooklyn Historical Society), come on to tackle the relevance of race in Central Brooklyn. First by examining the impact of the Crown Heights "Riots." Then we ask, are there dimensions that get missed by identifying Central Brooklyn neighborhoods, as black?

Segment one: Crown Heights 1991: Does the past matter?
As we gear up to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Crown Heights “riots," we discuss the neighborhood conditions that lead to what happened in 1991, and the impact those events still have on Central Brooklyn residents today.

Segment two: Do we miss something by calling Central Brooklyn, Black Brooklyn?
We use "black" to describe Central Brooklyn, but is there something overly reductive happening when we do this? Are we missing the rich dimensions of the way people really truly identify themselves, interact with each other, and identify their neighborhood?

Segment 3: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad" Roundup

EP 32: Centering the Margins: Black Women, Black Girls, Black Youth

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This month, Third Rail evaluates the state of black leadership in Central Brooklyn with Joanne Smith (Girls for Gender Equity) and Nakisha Lewis (The Ms. Foundation for Women). We discuss the different ways Black women and girls are claiming space in our current movement moment and then we ask, what's being done to build youth leadership?

Sound off! Tell us how we're doing:
For over two years, Brooklyn Deep has been chronicling neighborhood change and telling Central Brooklyn stories through our monthly Third Rail podcast. Now we're taking a moment to evaluate what we’ve done, and we need your help! Take our 5-question survey here, to help us see Brooklyn Deep’s longest running project through your eyes. 
Please & thank you!

Third Rail Eps 31: The Case for Hyper Local News

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On this episode, we unpack the role local news plays in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights and how outlets reporting in Central Brooklyn are cover gentrification.

Guest: Jarrett Murphy, Executive Editor & Publisher, City Limits

Segment 1: What role does hyperlocal news play in communities like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy?
As much of what we knew of as metro reporting by legacy news outlets has faded in prominence over the last 10 years-- we want to know what role does hyperlocal news play in communities like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy?

Segment 2: Reporting on the G word
It’s almost impossible to discuss hyper-local happenings without mentioning gentrification. But how is it currently being framed in mainstream media?


Segment 3: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad" 
Roundup

Third Rail Eps 30: What is the legacy of resilience in Central Brooklyn?

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On this episode we examine the legacy of resilience in Central Brooklyn by reflecting on the history of organizing and movement building here and then by asking what is the present state of the Movement for Black Lives here in Central Brooklyn, New York and nationwide.

Joining us for this discussion are two organizers who have played an important role in shaping the legacy of social and political self-determination that Black Brooklyn is known for today:

Lumumba Bandele, Senior Community Organizer, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Ejeris Dixon, Founding Director, Vision Change Win


Segment 1: Histories Resilience in Central Brooklyn

While the fight for social change in Central Brooklyn has been city-wide and even national, it has often been anchored by what’s happening locally. We sit down with two organizers who have played a special role in shaping the legacy of social and political self-determination that Black Brooklyn is known for today.

Segment 2: How does Central Brooklyn connect to this movement moment?

In this present “movement moment” we ask: How has the legacy of Central Brooklyn organizing laid the groundwork for #BlackLivesMatter movements in Central Brooklyn, New York and nationwide?

Segment 3: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad" Roundup

Third Rail Local: Uncertin Fate of Bed-Stuy Community Gardens

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Brooklyn Deep reporter Cole Rosengren, join us to discuss his reporting on the fate of Central Brooklyn's community gardens under the city's current plan for "affordable" housing. 

Head to Brooklyn Deep to read his report in its entirety. 

Third Rail Eps 24: Summer Remix

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This is the remix! To mark the end of Brooklyn Summer, Third Rail is shaking up things with an extra segment this month. Familiar voices join us to share summers that changed us politically. Then we switch gears and discuss how we manage love in the movement. And finally we collectively put together our Top 5 signs we're living in "new Brooklyn." 

Guests:

Mark Winston Griffith, Brooklyn Movement Center

Rae Gomes, Central Brooklyn Food Coop

Segments:

1. Summers that move you

Some seasons are meant to be forgotten and others, simply put, are life-changing. We share summers that changed us politically.

2. Love in the Movement

When you're a politically conscious and activist Brooklynite, the lines between the personal and the professional can blur and make for lots of sticky dating situations. How do you manage time, political views, break-ups and even meeting people while trying to change the world?

3. Top 5 signs we're living in “new Brooklyn”

Between the changing demographics, rising housing costs, and everyday cultural shifts, there are many signs that Central Brooklyn is rapidly gentrifying all around us. As Central Brooklynites, we share our top five.

4. "Tell em why you mad" Roundup

Third Rail Eps 22: The Politics of Parenting

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On this month's Third Rail, we are tackling the politics of parenting. First by breaking down the differences between traditional public, charter, and private schools, and then by discussing the state of education organizing in Central Brooklyn.

Guests:

Natasha Capers, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice
Mark Winston Griffith, Brooklyn Movement Center

Segments: 

1. Public vs. Charter vs. Private
One of the most important decisions parents have to make for their children is where to send them to school, and in today's educational landscape that means choosing between traditional public, charter, and private schools. We break down these differences and the implications of these choices for Central Brooklyn families.

2. The state of education organizing in Central Brooklyn
Organizing parents in Central Brooklyn's Community school district 16 was the first campaign the Brooklyn Movement Center tackled when it started in 2011, but the road to affecting change has not been easy. We discuss the needs and the challenges of organizing parents to take control of their children's schools in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights and other low-income and working-class neighborhoods of color.

3. "Tell em why you mad" Roundup