By Jeffrey D. Broxmeyer
King Cotton sustained a powerful connection between the antebellum South and New York City, one that expanded and intensified the demand for slavery. Gotham’s well-known cotton ties, however, have long overshadowed another cross-regional bond sealed by the city's appetite for lucrative commodities: Dixie's state lotteries.
By James Davis
Eric Walrond was far from alone in feeling the pull of poetry in 1922, arguably the most pivotal year in the history of African American verse. Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows was published to acclaim; Jean Toomer put the final touches on Cane; Georgia Douglas Johnson published Bronze; and James Weldon Johnson published The Book of American Negro Poetry, the preface to which linked race progress to the arts. The tide was shifting as The Crisis began emphasizing the arts and the Urban League founded Opportunity in 1922. The transformation prompted one budding poet, a Columbia dropout, to begin thinking in terms of a movement. Writing Alain Locke, Langston Hughes said, “You are right that we have enough talent now to begin a movement. I wish we had some gathering place for our artists -- some little Greenwich Village of our own.” In Greenwich Village at that moment was another poet who would help realize their vision, the New York University student Countée Cullen, a Harlem product with several publications already to his name.
By Ginger Adams Otis
(An excerpt from Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest. In the early 1900’s, NYC's firefighting force was 100 percent white and predominantly Irish. Almost 100 years later, the FDNY still lacks the diversity one would expect in a city known for its multiculturalism. Although there are two million African Americans in NYC, there are only about 300 black firefighters. Ginger Adams Otis explores this history, up to the recent 2014 settlement, with thorough research and determination to shed light on a group of people and a period of NYC history that has been kept in the dark. Firefight not only tells stories of courage on the job, but also the bravery of the men and women who had to fight an unjust system.)
By Patricia M. Salmon
During the past several years I have researched and documented more than two dozen murders involving Staten Island and/or Staten Islanders. Many have been quite unique. The following is a killing that occurred in Manhattan with the killer attempting to utilize a series of Staten Island transports in an effort to permanently discard of the body. While his explanations for committing the crime and his actions were certainly exceptional, it is here once again proven that unreciprocated love will lead many individuals to behavior that is neither rational nor amusing.