anarcho-queer:

Series of Brooklyn Billboards Put Racial Inequity on Display

Billboards are everywhere in New York City. They’re on subway trains and in stations, and on top of and inside taxis. But few, if any, have been anything like a series of anonymous billboards that have popped up on bus shelters in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. They’re not selling anything but a delcaration: that racism still exists.

That’s also the name of the appropriately titled campaign. At least half a dozen billboard sites have sprung up around the neighborhood since August, with each month dedicated to highlighting racial disparities that impact black people in America. So far, the billboards have touched on topics ranging from the entertainment industry, education, fast food, smoking, policing, and black wealth. Each month’s billboard is also accompanied by an detailed post on Tumblr that provides background information, news articles, studies, charts, and statistics to back up each claim. 

A brief statement on the Tumblr page says, in part, that “RISE is a proejct designed to illuminate some of the ways in which racism operates in this country.” But who’s behind the project remains a mystery.

For the time being, the project seems dedicated to its anonymity. Both the Tumblr page and the billboards themselves are devoid of any contact information. Similarly, the private advertising company that’s contracted by New York City’s transit agency to host advertisments and billboards said that it does not give out information about who paid for the advertisements. 

Even local activists who spend their time dedicated to working on racial justice issues can’t figure out who’s behind the billboards. Nonetheless, they’re intrigued by the campaign. This month’s billboard is dedicated to Stop-and-Frisk, the controversial NYPD tactic that’s drawn national criticism for its disproportionate impact on black and Latino men. The billboard’s provactive text reads, “Don’t want to get stopped by the NYPD? Stop being black.” On the heels of New York City’s 2013 mayoral race and the prominent role that critics of Stop-and-Frisk have taken in city politics, the billboards have become a meaningful part of local discussion.

It’s no accident that of all of New York City’s neighborhoods, the billboards have targeted this one. A historically black neighborhood, Bed-Stuy has become one of the most contested spaces in New York City. A 2012 study from the Fordham Institute found that Brooklyn is home to 25 of the country’s most rapidly gentrifying zip codes. That’s created a stark contrast between those in the neighborhood who have more upward social and economic mobility than others. Several high profile media accounts have recently noted Bed Stuy’s so-called “hip” transformation and “resurgence”, but the borough’s medium per capita income in 2009 was just $23,000, which was $10,000 below the national average.

The content of the billboard’s messaging may not exactly be news for most residents, but the presentation has nonetheless been powerful.

undr:

Andreas Feininger
Men unload coffee at a Brooklyn dock with Lower Manhattan visible in the background, 1949

undr:

Andreas Feininger

Men unload coffee at a Brooklyn dock with Lower Manhattan visible in the background, 1949

(via dendroica)

thepeoplesrecord:

NYPD brutality during arrest in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on December 19:

This is a video taken from an apartment window that shows the tail end of some serious police brutality. At 00:17, an officer beats the person being arrested on the back of the head while the person is on their stomach on the floor. Eleven officers were on the scene.

The beating takes place in an alleyway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, between Union St. and President St, near Albany Ave. The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. on December 19.

If you have any information about this video, contact info@allthingsharlem. 

(Source: allthingsharlem.com, via thepeoplesrecord)

dendroica:

Men dispose of shopping carts full of food damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the Fairway supermarket in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn in New York, on October 31, 2012. The food was contaminated by flood waters that rose to approximately four feet in the store during the storm. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (via Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath - In Focus - The Atlantic)

dendroica:

Men dispose of shopping carts full of food damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the Fairway supermarket in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn in New York, on October 31, 2012. The food was contaminated by flood waters that rose to approximately four feet in the store during the storm. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (via Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath - In Focus - The Atlantic)

mothernaturenetwork:

Photos: Returning home after SandyAs evacuated homeowners and renters across the East Coast return home to assess the damage left in superstorm Sandy’s wake, our blogger returns to his waterlogged Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Check out his photos.

mothernaturenetwork:

Photos: Returning home after Sandy
As evacuated homeowners and renters across the East Coast return home to assess the damage left in superstorm Sandy’s wake, our blogger returns to his waterlogged Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Check out his photos.

"I just don’t care about my local government."

Overheard from an influential fellow tumblrer-hipster from Brooklyn, demonstrating the deep apathy problem scorching the US. Meanwhile, Joseph Hayon, head of the Brooklyn Tea Party, hopes this decades long trend continues. (via climateadaptation)

Back in the 90s, I remember seeing more than a few Bible-thumping right-wing zealots running for seemingly-nothing-type elections like school boards and garbage commissioner slots in the local city governments.  I remember thinking, “Who the hell would want those jobs?”  Later, I realized that the answer to that question was “crazy Bible-thumping wackadoos who want evolution, sex education and civil rights lessons removed from school curriculums and replaced with whatever they think Jesus told them about gays, minorities and women”.  

In that sense, they were wildly successful; most local government bodies- from the local school board to county commissioners to state capitols - are filled with right-wing pod-people who built their machine from the ground up and are now now dug into local governments like an Alabama tick.  And they’re such a fixture that most people can’t even begin to figure out how to replace them.

thepeoplesrecord:

Rumor has it NY will see its first direct action against the fracking industry on Saturday (August 11th). Spread the word.  RSVP on Facebook in solidarity -> http://on.fb.me/Qg5T3J
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Rumor has it NY will see its first direct action against the fracking industry on Saturday (August 11th). Spread the word.

RSVP on Facebook in solidarity -> http://on.fb.me/Qg5T3J

Source

(via thepeoplesrecord)

"An example of what a citizen should be" Remembering Elsie Richardson

thenationmagazine:

Elsie Richardson, left, with Shirley Chisholm. Courtesy: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration

If you’re not familiar with Elsie Richardson, do yourself a favor.

Elsie Richardson, who died in Brooklyn on March 15 at the age of 90, was a school secretary and community organizer whose activism in the realms of civil-rights, housing, and community development spanned six decades. Her signature moment occurred on a frigid February day in 1966, when she led Sen. Robert F. Kennedy on a lengthy tour of the impoverished, majority-black Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Kennedy at the time was plotting a new front in the War on Poverty, which had been declared two years earlier by President Lyndon Johnson but had yet to score significant victories. Richardson, meanwhile, hoped to rally political support for a set of ideas she and her fellow Brooklyn activists had been developing—ideas about how to stem capital flight, create jobs, and revitalize crumbling housing stock. Their meeting resulted in the founding of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the first federally-funded Community Development Corporation and a model for the grassroots rebuilding efforts that would unfold in cities around the country in decades to come.

Read the rest here.

sunfoundation:

Then as Now — New York’s Shifting Ethnic Mosaic

A century ago, Israel Zangwill popularized the term in his play, “The Melting Pot.” New York has evolved into a greater crucible of race and ethnicity today than it was back then, but the city also remains very much a mosaic — a variegated montage of neighborhoods in which certain groups predominate.

sunfoundation:

Then as Now — New York’s Shifting Ethnic Mosaic

A century ago, Israel Zangwill popularized the term in his play, “The Melting Pot.” New York has evolved into a greater crucible of race and ethnicity today than it was back then, but the city also remains very much a mosaic — a variegated montage of neighborhoods in which certain groups predominate.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

New York City: Rush hour mass rally at Foley Square and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, November 17, 2011. At least 80 people were arrested near the bridge and placed in buses.