Spread Love: 7th Annual Black Comic Book Festival @ The Schomburg Center

Black Comic Book Festival


Nerds of color rejoice! The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture invites comic book fans of all ages to participate in its 7th Annual Black Comic Book Festival. The festival will be held on Friday, January 18 from 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Registration for both days is free and is open to the public. Each year, the Schomburg’s Black Comic Book Festival brings creators, illustrators, writers, and independent publishers together with thousands of collectors, blerds and nerds for two days of programming and activities. The highly anticipated community event includes interactive panel discussions, a vendor marketplace featuring exclusive titles by Black creators, a cosplay show, and more. Black Comic Book Festival participants are encouraged to wear their favorite cosplay costumes and to register on-site for the annual cosplay show. Participants are also invited to contribute to the Schomburg Center’s growing collection of Black independent comic books by bringing single copies of old or new titles from their home collection. All donations will become a part of the Schomburg’s unique and growing archive documenting Black comix and the Black speculative arts movement. The Schomburg Center’s 7th Annual Black Comic Book Festival art was created by Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, writer and creator of La Borinqueña. For festival updates, follow the Schomburg Center on Twitter and Instagram @SchomburgCenter. Use the hashtag #BlackComicBookFest to track the festivities.

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Video: Wild Scuffle Between Cops & Suspects In Washington Heights

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — An old school brawl broke out on Tuesday, January 8 between cops and two suspects on 169th Street and Broadway. Transit police confronted Aaron Grissom, 36, and Sidney Williams, 37, in response to complaints from subway passengers that the two men were bothering people.

That is when mayhem ensued. The video illustrates that the verbal conflict quickly escalated to an all out scuffle as the police responded with force to the provocation of the two suspects. The cops on the scene were quickly joined by other police officers that proceeded to repeatedly beat one of the suspects with batons. An undercover cop also kicked one of the suspects.

The NYPD released the following statement: “The males refused to comply and when officers moved to initiate arrest, they resisted and one of the males attempted to punch the officers. During the attempt to subdue and take the offenders into custody, two detectives and an off-duty police officer came to the assistance of the uniformed officers.”

According to the police the two suspects were involved in a similar situation at the same train station recently.

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Re-examining the Rezoning | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

After “exhaustive and ultimately futile” requests for the city to thoroughly examine the impacts of rezoning Inwood, Northern Manhattan residents filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this month alleging, among other things, that the city’s review process was “profoundly negligent.”

Residents also claim that the city’s past rezoning predictions are demonstrably inaccurate – with wide-ranging implications on safety, schools and demographics.

“From the research that I’ve done, this is the first lawsuit of its kind,” said Philip Simpson, an Inwood resident who is one of the petitioners in the suit.

The rezoning affects a 59-block area. The city projects that by 2032, the rezoning will add 4,348 new residential units, and estimates that between 1,325 to 1,563 units of those will be affordable units. This is expected to add 12,088 new residents, increasing the population by 28 percent. The rezoning is also supposed to add 1.1 million square feet of commercial space and 500,000 square feet of community space.

Many residents, including Simpson, as well as community organizations and local businesses, have demanded that the city conduct a wide-ranging socio-economic analysis considering the displacement of low-income tenants; the impact on preferential rents; the displacement on women and minority-owned businesses; and the resulting traffic congestion that could detain emergency vehicles.

Read more: Re-examining the Rezoning | Manhattan Times

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MTA To Cause Long Term Commuter Hell For Uptowners

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

Okay, what you are about to read might make you really mad. But the MTA has decided to upset the apple-cart in a big way. Please do not read any further if you easily fly off the handle. This is not for the faint of heart. But this little bit of news is a recipe for a few years of utter and complete commuting hell for Uptowners. So without further ado, here it is ladies and gentlemen. Beginning 12:01 am on Saturday, January 5, 2019 the 1 Train will not stop in either direction at the 168 Street Station for replacement of the elevators. The disruption is scheduled to last until early 2020 but knowing the MTA we may never see that station ever again. It gets worse, the 181 Street on the A line will also shutdown for a “year” starting in October of 2019. Then it’s the 191 Street 1 station in February 2021 followed by the 190 Street A station in November 2020. Lastly, the 181 Street 1 station starting in March 2021. While we fully understand these stations are over due for repairs but this will cause untold headaches for the people of Uptown.

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Family of Rhony Ramos seeks answers | Manhattan Times

Community members gathered for a vigil for Rhony Ramos.

As parents picked up their children from the Mama Tingo Childcare Learning Center another family stood outside in the cold, waiting for their son to come home.

Rhony Ramos, 30, was wearing a black coat when left home at approximately 6:20 a.m. on Nov. 28.

He never made it to his job on the Lower East Side. Calls to his phone go unanswered.

Since then his family has mounted an all-out campaign to search for Ramos, who turned 30 just days after he went missing. They have covered the city with posters alerting everyone to Ramos’s disappearance and contact information. Now they are inviting the community to help in a search for Rhony.

At a vigil for her son outside of the childcare center, Ramona Ramos stood silently as others spoke. Rosita Romero, Executive Director of the Dominican Women’s Development Center (DWDC) and Mama Tingo where Ms. Ramos is employed, said she stood by the Ramos family.

“We want to be sure that all of us show our support,” she said. “One thing that we make clear is that we have hope. We have hope that Rhony is well and that he is alive and we expect him home. We don’t know what happened. We want him to come home.”

Rhony’s sister, Elsa Franco, said her mother hasn’t slept or eaten very much since her son’s disappearance. “She’s devastated,” she said. Her brother’s two small children are also worried. “They are asking why they haven’t gotten a call from daddy,” she said.

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

White Racist Columbia Student Harasses A Group of Students of Color

File this under NYC is not as progressive as you would think. In Uptown Manhattan of all places, in liberal bastion Columbia University no less – a young, drunk, white racist unleashed a torrent of racist invective at a group of students of color this past Sunday around 4 a.m. Get this, the racist student who has been identified as Columbia sophomore Julian Van Abele, followed the group from Butler Library to a local spot all the while yelling racist nonsense like “white people are the best thing that happened to the world.” While Columbia has denounced the racist tirade, no disciplinary actions have been taken or announced.

Check out The Columbia Spectator for more.

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Mile after mile, day by day | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

“I just want to be happy,” said Heidy Pabón, shown here crossing the marathon finish line. Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club

(Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club)

When Heidy Pabón crossed the finish line of the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4, she immediately went to the medical tent.

Her chest felt like it was full of fluid.

The Inwood resident had trouble breathing. Her vision was cloudy and she was spitting up blood. The doctors said that would happen.

Pabón said, “I thought I was going to die.”

4:23:57 is a very respectable time for most runners. But it’s even more meaningful when, like Pabón, you are battling breast and throat cancer at age 45 and are just finishing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

One day after the race, Pabón sat at Mr. McGoo’s Pub in the Bronx, celebrating with other members of the Van Cortlandt Track Club.

Pabón’s doctors advised against running the marathon. Her platelet levels and red blood cell counts are low. They asked why she would even consider it.

“I’m doing it for all of the people who are suffering from cancer,” Pabón said. “With the grace of God, I’m going to run. And I’m doing it for all of the other kind people here today.”

Pabón probably couldn’t conceive of not doing it. This was her fifth marathon. She’s been training with the Van Cortlandt Track Club for the past two years, even while in treatment. On the weekends, she ran races, a 5K, a 10K, even a half marathon.

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Spread Love: The Sentence

Make sure you watch the searing and riveting documentary, The Sentence on HBO. This film will move you to tears; it is an agonizing look at the consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing. The Sentence is the first film from Rudy Valdez, who tells the story of his sister Cindy Shank. A mother of three, Shank received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to her deceased ex-boyfriend’s crimes. The documentary chronicles Cindy’s three daughters as they get older and try to navigate life without their mother. This heartbreaking film underscores the fact that it is not just the person that is convicted that is serving time.

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