Get Tested: Do It For The Fam

The coronavirus is not going to go away without all of us doing our part. Don’t let the outdoor dining fool you. NYC is no longer the epicenter of this pandemic, but the COVID-19 has simply relocated to more vulnerable locales. What NY and the region did to stave off the initial wave of the coronavirus was admirable and the result of really hard work. Social distancing, wearing masks and three months of quarantine flattened the curve. We did that. Now let’s take the next step in avoiding the resurgence of the novel coronavirus by getting tested. The COVID-19 diagnostic test is safe, free, and easy. You do NOT need insurance to get a diagnostic test. Most results are returned in about 3-5 days. There are hundreds of convenient testing sites across the city, as well as mobile testing units visiting different locations throughout the five boroughs. So there you have it familia, do your part and get tested.

For more info: http://nyc.gov/CovidTest

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Uptown Video: The Harlem Hellfighters’ Great War

Please do yourself a favor and press play above for a superb documentary on the 369th Infantry Regiment, which was famously known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The Harlem Hellfighters served valiantly in both World Wars but since they were Black soldiers, their valor and example was little known outside of the Black community. Check out the documentary ASAP as it has just been uploaded and may not remain free or available for long.

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Op-Led: Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus – John Lewis Lives

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

4thofjuly - American Flag - Bridge

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

The year was 1965. Segregation was the established law of the land in the south. Good old American Apartheid was in full and brutal effect in Dixie. Jim Crow, the Southern system of terror designed to subjugate Black people after Reconstruction, was rock solid and seemed like it would last forever. Codified into law, Black disenfranchisement was total and the order of the day.

Born to sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, in rural Troy, Alabama, John Lewis was born into a world where White supremacy and domination was absolute. Morally bankrupt but held in place by the participation and silence of the majority of whites in the south, the status quo relegated Black folks to permanent second-class status.

John Lewis was determined to change that. Beginning his activism as a teenager, John Lewis devoted his entire life to the cause of justice, freedom and equality for all. John Lewis put his life and his principles on the line repeatedly for the noble goal of registering Black people to vote. His dedication to the cause led to him becoming the youngest person to speak at the March on Washington in 1963, where Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech.

On March 7, 1965 John Lewis and Hosea Williams attempted to shepherd a righteous contingent of 600 Black folks from the Brown Chapel AME Church across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches. The march was called in response to the coldblooded murder of Black veteran and civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama state trooper on February 26, 1965.

John Lewis, who died this past Friday, was just 25 years old at the time. As he approached the end of the bridge on that fateful day that would become known as Bloody Sunday, he could see the armies of animosity and oppression arrayed against him right before his eyes. Unarmed except for his faith in his cause, John Lewis stood in defiance as mounted Alabama State Troopers charged the praying demonstrators, using tear gas and beating the peaceful protesters with nightsticks. John Lewis himself was brutally beaten and his skull bore a scar from the attack for the rest of his life. His actions that day led directly to the passage of the federal Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965.

We as a society finds ourselves back on the proverbial bridge once again confronting the forces of hatred, racism and xenophobia. Let the example, spirit and legacy of John Lewis lead us forward.

Pa’lante, Siempre Pa’lante!

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UC Must-Reads: A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World.

Inwood Hill Park - Inwood - Paul Lomax

Man, oh man, what a thought-provoking read. Please click below for a simply outstanding long read on the perils and possible positive outcomes that can come from a plague by the always erudite Andrew Sullivan. The essay takes a long view of history and posits plagues as an inevitable by-product of civilization. The central argument is that plagues can upend society in ways that either destroy civilization or reimagine it. Here is just a little bit of the stellar missive: “Plagues, in this way, always present the survivors with a choice. Do we go back to where we were, if that is even possible, or do we somehow reinvent ourselves for a new future? The conflicting desires compete in our minds: to go back to normal or to seize the opportunity to change a society temporarily in flux. We can choose to make a different world, reordering our social compact and our political institutions and our relationship to the natural environment in ways that will protect us against, or at least mitigate the damage from, future plagues. Or we can recognize what was precious in what the plague took from us and seek to restore the status quo ante.”

Read more: UC Must-Reads: A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World.

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Uptown Video: The Dyckman Oval – Uptown’s Forgotten Ballpark

Shout out once again to local historian and photographer Cole Thompson for taking us on a trip on the Uptown Time Machine back to The Dyckman Oval. Once located in Inwood, the stadium hosted Negro League baseball games, boxing exhibitions and more. This location is currently the site of the Dyckman Houses.

Related:

UPTOWN VIDEO: MIRAMAR SALTWATER POOL – INWOOD, NYC

UPTOWN VIDEO: UPTOWN’S FORGOTTEN SLAVE CEMETERY

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.

Court reverses annulment of Inwood rezoning | Manhattan Times

An appeals court has reinstated the city’s plan to rezone Inwood.

In a unanimous 5-0 ruling issued on Thursday, a panel of New York State Appellate Court judges reversed an earlier decision by a lower court to nullify the rezoning.

“The City Council acted properly, and consistently with…procedures in approving the rezoning and issuing its own written statement finding that the rezoning avoided or minimized adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable,” the judges wrote in their decision.

In December 2019, a New York State Supreme Court annulled the Inwood rezoning, as Justice Verna Saunders ruled that the city had failed to properly study the rezoning’s impact on minority-owned businesses and residents of color, as well as other consequences.

Saunders ruled in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of Inwood community groups, residents and small business owners, led by Northern Manhattan is Not for Sale, to block the rezoning.

Saunders remanded the matter back to the city to complete a study of the issues raised in the suit, urging the de Blasio administration to “take a hard look at the socio-economic consequences” of its plan.

After the city filed an appeal of the decision in February, the appellate court heard oral arguments in the case on June 11.

Read more: Court reverses annulment of Inwood rezoning | Manhattan Times

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Landlord-tenant mediation program launched | Bronx Free Press

Inwood NYC Sunrise

A new program aims to provide housing security to tenants across the city facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting immediately, the Citywide Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will serve hundreds of New Yorkers each month by addressing rent-related issues in a mediation setting, outside of the housing court system, with a focus on hardest-hit communities.

The non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to resolve cases before they reach litigation and avoid the long-term effects of an eviction proceeding which can lead to displacement for vulnerable tenants and limit future housing options, said de Blasio, who announced the program during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Read more: Landlord-tenant mediation program launched | Bronx Free Press

For more, please visit nyc.gov/hpd

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