Brooklyn PHOENIX

Volume 43, No. 39OUR WORLD IN PHOTOSB’klyn Religious Leaders Host Anti-Racism Training By Liliana BernalSpecial to the Brooklyn PHOENIXMore than 20 religious…
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Volume 43, No. 39OUR WORLD IN PHOTOSB’klyn Religious Leaders Host Anti-Racism Training By Liliana BernalSpecial to the Brooklyn PHOENIXMore than 20 religious leaders from different races and backgrounds came together at Redeemer St. John’s Lutheran Church to host its first antiracism training of 2017 last Saturday. “We believe that our society is more and more divided and we need to talk about tough issues like racism. Racism exists, we cannot deny that … and we need also to talk about institutional racism, yes there is racism in the church,” said Pastor Khader Khalilia of the Dyker Heights-based church. “It’s time for the church to stand up and speak against racism because we cannot be silent any more...” Continued on page 3Friday, October 27, 2017Two SectionsFORMULA ONE U.S. GRAND PRIX AUTO RACE — Sprinter Usain Bolt, left, and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, pose after Hamilton won the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Oct. 22, in Austin, Texas. Visit for more Our World in Photos. AP Photo/Darron CummingsRare Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers Jersey Up for AuctionFrom the Desk of the PUBLISHER Too Many Trees on NYC Streets Can Be Dangerous — See page 2 —A rare jersey from Jackie Robinson’s historic rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago could be available for someone with a few spare millions. The jersey, part of a Heroes of Sports offering by Heritage Auctions, has been certified by Mears, one of the top memorabilia authentica‐ tion companies. It is accompanied by a letter from Robinson's widow, Rachel, saying it is the one brought home by the Hall of Famer at the end of the 1947 season, when he became the first black player in the majors and earned Rookie of the Year honors. Shown: Rachel Robinson, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Jackie Robinson in 1947.Visit AP Photo/Harry Harris, File Many Trees on NYC Streets Can Be Dangerous Let me begin by saying that I’m all in favor when it comes to beautification and clean air initiatives, but in some Brooklyn neighborhoods, the Parks Department and other departments have to reconsider how and where to plant trees.•Reducing storm water runoff•Providing shelter and food for birds and other wildlife•Offsetting climate change by reducing energy used by buildings, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions that pollute our air•Keeping the city cooler in the summerBloomberg and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) founder Bette Midler originally launched the Million Trees NYC initiative to plant and care for one million trees throughout the five boroughs in the next decade. The former mayor and Midler planted a street tree in the Morrisania section of the Bronx — a neighborhood with too few trees and high rates of asthma — and declared the Carolina Silverbell to be the first of one million trees. Through a mix of public and private plantings, Million Trees NYC was designed to increase New York City’s urban forest by 20 percent. There are indeed benefits in planting trees, but at the same time, the amount of trees being planted in one block in some neighborhoods gives criminals an advantage to stay hidden while they’re planning to commit crimes. Trees also can cause accidents when they block views for people who are walking on the sidewalks or streets.PHOENIX photo by Paula KatinasMost of us know that the following reasons that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg initiated the planting of a million trees: • Removing air pollutants that can trigger respiratory illnessesFrom the Desk Of the PUBLISHERMany people look out their windows when they see or hear something unusual outside the buildings or homes, but trees can block their views. Even vehicular accidents are caused by trees that are planted but not pruned. Their overgrowth can sometimes block traffic lights.In storms and high winds, trees can fall, causing more accidents. All in all, the only time that there will be complete visibility on streets with trees will be the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees and thieves cannot lurk in their shadows. —Terrence Lyght, Publisher, Brooklyn PHOENIX.GUEST EDITORIAL Brooklyn College Students Largely Low Income, Feel Cheated by State Programs By Dylan Campbell According to statistics from the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and provided to Brooklyn College, only 2 percent of Brooklyn College students can expect tuition assistance from the Excelsior Scholarship, disappointing students and leaving many feeling “cheated.” The governor’s office released documents in early October that said nearly 210,000, or 53 percent of all eligible students, are attending SUNY/CUNY schools, tuition-free through financial assistance from the Excelsior Scholarship and other federal and state aid. But at Brooklyn College, out of more than 17,000 students, only 773 students are eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship because of strict qualifications. Out of the students who meet the guidelines, only 375 Brooklyn College students should expect to get an Excelsior scholarship because of the “last dollar” structure of the program that only covers funding to those who don’t receive financial aid.Founded in 1972, the Brooklyn Phoenix is an award-winning weekly that covered Brownstone Brooklyn and reform politics for two decades. Full archives of the Phoenix are being catalogued as a special project of the Department of Library Science at Brooklyn College. Today the Phoenix has a new mission to become the voice of the immigrant community in Brooklyn in the new century. Publisher: TERRENCE LYGHT Managing Editor: JEAN DAVID HUBERT (646) 683‐18642 • Brooklyn PHOENIX • Friday, October 27, 2017Students are feeling cheated by a “free tuition” narrative and limited by the scholarship qualifications. The Excelsior Scholarship covers tuition for full-time students who live in New York, complete 30 credit hours a year, maintain a passing GPA of 2.0, and come from households making less than the income cap of $100,000. That income cap will rise to $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. Recipients are also required to live in New York state for the number of years they received the scholarship. Approximately $163 million was appropriated for the program in this year’s budget. But the Excelsior Scholarship only pays tuition. The scholarship is “last dollar” meaning that the scholarship only provides funds for what is not covered by TAP or Pell grants. Of the 773 eligible students at Brooklyn College, 398 students will not get an award because of this provision — a little more than half of those eligible at the college. Aida Nesimi, a sophomore, said she was frustrated when she found out she wasn’t eligible. “Despite the fact that my parents seemingly are financially sound, we have a lot of expenses on our plate,” said Nesimi whose father pays for her and her sister’s tuition on top of the family’s home in Albania. “So after everything, we’re barely making ends meet […] I’m lucky my dad is good at managing his finances or else I don’t know how we’d be afloat after all that we have to take care of.” “I started working more to ease the financial strain on my dad because it is not easy,” she said. Other students felt that the program was falsely marketed. “I felt cheated. Not cheated by whoever offers the scholarship, but by the media who lauded it as ‘free tuition for everyone,” said Krista Cohen, senior. “It’s a regular scholarship like any other, only offered to people who really truly wouldn’t be able to go to college otherwise. I don’t fault them at all, it’s very important for education to be available to everyone, and scholarships like this definitely help, I just wish the requirements for succeeding as a scholarship student weren’t so narrow.” Free tuition advocate groups such as CUNY Struggle and Free CUNY have criticized the program. CUNY Struggle said the eligibility requirements are too stringent, closing the door to free tuition on many students. “CUNY students, who are overwhelmingly low-income, but must somehow survive in the most expensive city in North America, need a lot more than this half-mea-sure to ensure that they have the resources they need to pursue their college education with the dedication that so many of them show even under extraordinarily difficult circumstances,” said a spokesperson for CUNY Struggle. “The fact that CUNY tuition is already lower than most state schools, and still students have a very tough time finding the resources to sustain themselves to graduation, is an indicator of the obstacles that this plan doesn’t begin to address.” Free CUNY, a group that received more than 4,000 signatures on a petition for fully free tuition, agreed the program was failing students.“Cuomo’s program is a total sham with tall promises that in reality amount to very little improvements for CUNY students,” said Conor Tomas Reed, an activist at Free CUNY. “We believe that CUNY should become completely tuition-free again, and that enough annual city and state budget surpluses exist to make this happen.” For the few students who received the scholarship, the program delivered the benefits of free tuition, but at a different price. Ghennah Forde, a sophomore, was relieved when she received the scholarship. But from the application to disbursement, getting the scholarship came with obstacles. After appealing the claims of ineligibility because of an error with her transfer credits, she was awarded the tuition coverage. But the assistance didn’t come in time. “It somewhat helped me out, but in a sense, not really, since I was accepted and expected immediate financial aid, it remained pending right near the tuition deadline forcing me to pay out of fear,” Forde said. Though she laid the money out, she was reimbursed for these expenses. She said the financial assistance with tuition is valuable to her, but she wishes the program were different. “It somewhat takes off the burden but now I have to work even harder in classes,” she said. Forde also wishes she were able to keep her aid. Though covering the remains of her tuition is helpful, she said she expected and needed more. “I thought it’d cover tuition and I’d keep my TAP but it deducts any other financial aid,” she said. “It’s like they’re making sure to pay the bare minimum or pick up their crumbs.” —Dylan Campbell is a Brooklyn College studentMetropolitan Black Bar Association Installs New Officers and DirectorsThe Metropolitan Black Bar Association held its annual officers and directors swearing-in ceremony last week where President Paula Edgar (center in red) was sworn in along with the other officers and board of directors. Pictured from left: Zalika Pierre, Shantal Sparks, Darryl Gibbs, Nadine Etienne-Bazile, Patrick Michel, Tyear Middleton, Carl Forbes Jr., Jason Clark, Edgar, Jenesha Tai, Turquoise Haskin, Alison Moore, Dionne Gill, Areal Allen-Stewart, Luwick Francois, Wayne McKenzie, Dawn Reid-Green and Karume James. Photos courtesy of MBBA By Rob AbruzzeseBrooklyn Religious Leaders Host Anti-Racism TrainingBrooklyn 3+2(1,;The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) held its annual induction ceremony on Tuesday at Proskauer Rose LLP in Manhattan, where they reinstalled President Paula Edgar and the rest of the officers and board of directors. Edgar is back for the second year of a twoyear term. She was sworn in alongside new board members, including Jason M. Clark as the president-elect; Anta Cisse-Green, vice president of programming; Nadine Etienne-Basile, vice president of membership; Tyear Middleton, vice president of finance; Luwick Francois, treasurer; Areal Allen-Stewart, secretary; and Roy Locke, general counsel. Judge William Kuntz, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, was on hand to swear in the new officers and directors. During her speech, Edgar took a look back at her “Four Ps” initiative and introduced one for the new year: IMPACT, which stands for innovation, mentoring, partnerships, advocacy, community and training. “For the second year of my presidency, IMPACT is our theme,” Edgar said. “We will focus on how the MBBA will have a greater influence on the legal community as well as the broader communities we serve.” The difference in the two plans is subtle (the four Ps stand for professional development, pipeline, partnership and presence). The difference is an emphasis on innovation and advocacy. It is no coincidence that these have been added, as a large portion of MBBA’s members are immigrants or come from immigrant families, and with President Donald Trump trying to enact three different versions of a travel ban, Edgar said she feels that more needs to be done to protect members and the community.Continued from page 1From left: Turquoise Haskin, Dionne Gill, Carl Forbes Jr. and Darryl Gibbs.From left: Dawn Reid-Green, Zalika Pierre and Alison Moore.This Oct. 31 marks 500 years since Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation, considered by Christians as one of the most significant events in human history as it marked the theological, historical, intellectual, economic and political identity of the Western World. After five centuries, Protestant leaders continue to talk about the evolution of the church, including talks of diversity and openness of cultures. Participants at the training shared their experiences with racism within their religious communities and how those incidents affected the faith of members of their congregations. A majority of people in many ethnic, identity and racial groups in America believe that discrimination against them exists in many areas of daily life, according to a poll from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. White Americans are among those who feel their group is discriminated against, with 55 percent saying discrimination exists against whites in the U.S. today. “An African-American lady came into my office … and she was in tears, she was crying. She said, ‘I went to a Catholic Church in the neighborhood three times and every time … people would not share the peace with me,’” said Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge. “She said, ‘How can we be the church when we cannot accept each other because of our skin color?’” The training on Saturday was led by Crossroad, an organization based in Chicago that offers anti-racism training for institutions. “We are fundamentally led by people of color who are dedicated to working in partnership with people of white, our other contingency, in order to really focus on the business of the restoration of humanity,” said Rev. Michael Russell of Crossroad. “We are going to get people to really take a look around the context today and recognize that racism is alive and well, not too hard these days … but what we do propose is that there is a way to deal with that and then we talk about organizing at a local level and organizing within institutions to change that construct.” In 2015, the Synod Assembly adopted a resolution to train as many people as possible in anti-racism. Metropolitan New York Synod is the representation of the Protestant Church in New York. There are nearly 200 congregations across the five boroughs, Long Island and seven upstate counties. El-Yateem said that as a person of color, often times he has experienced racism and discrimination, even within the church itself. “I think that this kind of training, the antiracism training will help us to break from these prejudices that we come with and to be able to recognize each other, celebrate each other’s identities and to welcome each other as equals in our faith community.”Public Legal NoticeFriday, October 27, 2017 • Brooklyn PHOENIX • 3Brooklyn Shows Helped Fats Domino’s Rise to Fame By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn JOURNALThe music world this past week mourned the recent death of Antoine “Fats” Domino, 1950s rock and roll and rhythm and blues pioneer who brought the sound of New Orleans to the nation. With his boogie-woogie piano riffs and his laidback delivery, Domino had hit after hit and was one of the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Younger people might not know, however, that his fame in the New York area was spread by a series of shows right here in Brooklyn, courtesy of pioneer rock DJ Alan Freed. The first show Freed produced in Brooklyn, the Jubilee Under the Stars, was held in August 1954 at Ebbets Field, which was still the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Freed was still on the air in Cleveland at that point, but negotiations were already under way to bring him to WINS here in New York. At that point, Domino’s records were almost exclusively played on Black-oriented radio, but Freed had visions of taking R&B to a wider audience. On the bill with Domino were Chicago bluesmen Little Walter and Muddy Waters as well as harmony groups such as the Dominoes, the Clovers and the Orioles. By the following year, Freed’s show on WINS was listened to by teenagers across the metropolitan area. He began to produce shows at both the New York Paramount in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Paramount, whose building is now part of the LIU Brooklyn campus in Downtown Brooklyn. has reproduced some of the show booklets from those years. The first Brooklyn Paramount show starring Domino took place in September 1956. By this point, he had placed a string of hits on both the R&B and pop charts (“Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m in Love Again”). On the bill with Domino were Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love”), Joe Turner (“Shake, Rattle and Roll”), and New York doo-wop groups the Harptones and the Cleftones.Domino also appeared with Freed at the 1957 Christmas show at the Brooklyn Paramount. He’d had a major hit that year with “I’m Walking.” Along with Domino on the bill were flamboyant singer and pianist Jerry Lee Lewis (“Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On”), the Everly Brothers (“Bye Bye Love”) and Paul Anka (“Diana,” the songwriter of “My Way”). The presence of country rockers like Lewis and the Everlys shows that Freed was trying to diversify his music and reach out to a broader audience. In 1959, Freed switched his shows to the nearby Brooklyn Fox Theater, which was later demolished. Domino appeared in April 1959 with soul singer Jackie Wilson FILE ‐ In this May 30, 2009 file photo, Fats Domino visits with (“Lonely Teardrops”), pop crooner Bobby Darin Little Richard in a dressing room after Richards' performance (“Mack the Knife,” “Beyond the Sea”), the doo-wop at The Domino Effect, a tribute concert for Domino, at the comedy and singing group the Cadillacs (“Peek-aNew Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Domino, the amiable Boo,” “Jay Walker”) and wild Little Richard-type rocker Larry Williams (“Short Fat Fannie”). That very rock 'n' roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy month, Domino’s last big hit of the 1950s, “I Want to baritone helped change popular music even as it honored Walk You Home,” was released. the grand, good‐humored tradition of the Crescent City, has Freed didn’t last long at the Brooklyn Fox. He died. He was 89. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File got caught up in the payola “pay to play” scandal, was fired by WINS and soon left the city for a station in Los Angeles. Disc jockey Murray “the K” Kaufman inherited Freed’s slot at WINS as well as his shows at the Brooklyn Fox. By that point, however, Domino was gradually becoming an “oldies” singer, and his place on the charts was being taken by younger artists. In an age when virtually the only information about rock and roll singers came from their publicists, the material on Domino in Freed’s show booklets was informative and free of hype. It describes his beginnings in New Orleans, local musicians there who influenced hi
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