Brooklyn Deep Third Rail

Third Rail Eps 50: What’s The 911?

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The shooting of Saheed Vassell by the NYPD on April 4th in Crown Heights re-ignited a chronic community safety debate: What kind of discretion should we use in calling the police when we know that it can result in a death sentence for an unsuspecting Black person?  

Today, we investigate what runs through people’s mind when neighbors call cops on neighbors. Third Rail’s Mark Winston Griffith and guest co-host Shantae J. Edwards sit down with Malika Aaron-Bishop, the Membership Chair for GetOrganized BK and co-facilitator for one of its working groups, Racial Justice BK; and Tom Weinreich, who helps organize the deep canvassing team within the NYC chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) . We also include excerpts from a telephone interview Mark conducted with Soraya Palmer, a member of Equality for Flatbush.

Together, these three organizers offer an alternative framework for how to assess the necessity of calling the police and, in doing so, point towards a new community safety protocol in the midst of rapid gentrification.

Segment One: We learn more about the boot on the ground work from our guests, Soraya, Malika, and Tom do and how vital it is to our neighborhoods. 

Segment Two: What is the role of gentrification and how are white people are socialized to call the police? We go through some scenarios that take us thru the critical thought process of calling the police. 

Segment Three: We talk about models and alternatives to calling the police we can point to and get to the root of offensive community listservs.

Segment Four: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad"

Intro and Outro theme Music:

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

Episode Music: "Clear Sky" by Jimmy Square.

With additional editing by Siad "Gypsy" Reid.

Third Rail Eps 46.5: Weeksville Heritage Center: One on One

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In the second part of Brooklyn Deep’s exploration of historic Weeksville, Mark Winston Griffith sits down one-on-one with Rob Fields, the new President and Executive Director of the Weeksville Heritage Center. As a caretaker of Central Brooklyn’s past and a cultivator of its cultural present and future, Rob discusses the role of Weeksville Heritage Center in keeping Black Brooklyn resilient in the face of relentless gentrification.

Followed by a "Tell 'Em Why You Mad" moment from our very own, Veralyn Williams.

LINKS:

http://weeksvillesociety.org/

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"

Intro and Outro theme Music:

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

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 43: Blewish: The easy myths and hard truths of Black-Jewish relations.

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Crown Heights is America’s most infamous Black-Orthodox Jewish conflict zone. Mark and Veralyn explore the intersections of these identities with Chava Shervington, a Black orthodox woman who spent 5 years in Crown Heights, but now lives in California. Joining us remotely, Chava reflects on dueling narratives of Black anti-semitism and Jewish racism.

Segment One: We ride along Chava’s personal journey and public life while gaining insight into Jewish participation in whiteness.

Segment Two: We discuss the “othering” of each other’s communities by Blacks and Jews and consider their common interests.

Segment Three: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad"

Intro and Outro theme Music:

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

Episode Music: Holy Roller (instrumental) by YACHT.

 

Third Rail Eps 37: Trump’s America: Immigrants as enemies

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Veralyn and Mark discuss the local and international implications of Trump’s immigrant scapegoating and his campaign pledge to wage war on “foreign” elements within U.S borders. Guests voices include Ben Ndugga-Kabuye of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and Mary Tal of the South African-based Whole World Women Association.

Segment one: Post - Election Reactions
We discuss our post election feelings and reactions from South Africa to Brooklyn.
 
 
Segment two: Ben Nudgga-Kaye of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Ben discusses immigration during the Obama Administration and what may change for locally, under the Trump Administration. Mark and Veralyn unpack what this may mean for Central Brooklynites.

 

Segment three: Mary Tal of the Whole World Women Association
Mary talks about the international dangers of a Trump Presidency. Mark and Veralyn react to these very serious concerns.
 
 
Segment four: "Tell 'Em Why You Mad"
Mark and Veralyn hope to inspire you with a new twist to the segment!

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

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 Eps 28: The Black Church, Circa 2016

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Walk down any street in Central Brooklyn and you're bound to find a church close by. Brooklyn is, after all, the “borough of churches.” But how relevant is the church in 2016? On the first Third Rail of the year, Onleilove Alston, Faith in New York's Executive Director, join us to break down the black church, circa 2016.

Segments:

1. What’s the connection between what’s going on inside Black churches and outside of them?

Historically, the Black church has been an institution at the forefront of social justice movements in our community. Is that still true today? How are Black churches responding to and interacting with organizing work taking place in 2015?

2. Borough of Churches: What's the plan?
In many traditional big churches in Central Brooklyn, you see aging populations and ministers struggling to fill the pews. In this segment, we ask what is the strategic plan to keep these churches self-sustained, relevant, and surviving?

3. "Tell em why you mad" Roundup