By Christiana Remarck
Growing up as a Guyanese-American, born from two Guyanese immigrants living in New York, at least once a month my family and I would make a trip to a place now called Little Guyana. It’s a small enclave in Richmond Hill, Queens from 104th to 130th street on Liberty Ave. Whether we were going for some produce for a traditional, Guyanese recipe or a new saree for a Hindu wedding, I believe it would have been impossible to preserve our culture in New York City without the establishments that were set up in this community. Guyanese people themselves are highly diversified from ethnicity to religion making some needs specific, while other needs are universal to Guyanese as a whole. This essay will highlight some staples of Guyanese culture that enable every Guyanese person to set up a home away from home within the confines of New York City. It will explore some of the most sought out spots on Liberty Avenue that a Guyanese living anywhere in New York City would visit when making a trip to Richmond Hill, whether for food, clothing, or religious goods.
Amy Werbel's Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock
By Katie Uva
It’s the first Thursday in June! To most people, that means little more than that it is almost the first Friday in June, and that it was just the first Wednesday in June. But to New York City school children, it means Brooklyn-Queens Day, a gratuitous day off to go to amusement parks, run through sprinklers, and monitor the steady progress of ice cream melting down one’s face and arms. Nowadays, this holiday is a citywide phenomenon and has been renamed Chancellor's Day, but those of us old-timers who went to school before 2006 remember when Brooklyn-Queens Day used to be only for kids in Brooklyn and Queens, the one day of the year when kids in Manhattan actually envied us. But what is Brooklyn-Queens Day anyway?
This is an exclusive excerpt, adapted from the author's new book (released today!),
Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America, courtesy of Cornell University Press.
This post, drawn from the book's fourth chapter, discusses how concepts of home crystallized a counterculture of diasporic pan-Africanism within AME missionary circles. A key part of defining “home” for these missionaries was moving to a new headquarters in Harlem.
This is the latest in a series of posts based on the letters of the New York socialite, Julia Gardiner Gayley (1864-1937), to her eldest daughter, Mary Gayley Senni (1884-1971), a countess who lived on the outskirts of Rome. In 2010, the author purchased a trove of the letters in a Roman flea market. This mother-daughter correspondence spanned the years 1902-1936 and provides an intimate and unfiltered view of life in New York during the early twentieth century. You can find the earlier posts on our homepage.
Editors' Note: This is part of a roundtable series,“New Histories of Education in New York City.” For an introduction and overview, click here.
In our fifth post, Dominique Jean-Louis explores another successful independent school created by activist New Yorkers, the Dwayne Brathwaite School in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Jean-Louis situates this school amid the changing landscape of parochial schooling and Caribbean immigration in Brooklyn, revealing both unlikely alliances and unexpected successes at a moment typified by failure and fracture.
By Dominique Jean-Louis
On a chilly evening on May 16th, 1973 a group of black parents and three Catholic nuns gathered in the People's Institutional A.M.E. church on 244 Stuyvesant Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The recent decision of the Brooklyn Diocese to close several schools in the neighborhood had prompted the parents to brainstorm new options to secure the educational future of their children. The Diocese's decision was upsetting to these Bed-Stuy parents, who felt that the best place for their children were the pre-existing schools, not in new schools, and not in the public schools. After complaints to the principals, priests, and Bishop Francis Mugavero yielded no results, this group of intrepid parents decided to take matters into their own hands and open their own school. While they must have had high hopes that their gathering this night could have a huge impact for the future of their children, this sadly this became true in more ways than one. While his mother, Virginia Brathwaite discussed ideas for the new school, 9-year-old Dwayne Brathwaite was struck by a car on Bainbridge Road and killed.
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