Story by Mónica Barnkow
When her daughter was born in 2013, Mino Lora knew her world had changed.
Beyond the wonders – and surprises – embedded within her newly minted status as a mother, Lora knew the time had come to make it official.
“I want to share citizenship with my daughter,” explained Lora on a recent Thursday morning.
After years of hesitation, Lora, artist, activist, and mother was ready to add another title to the list: U.S. citizen.
It was fifteen years ago that she moved to Washington Heights from the Dominican Republic, and she acquired her green card in 2008.
Lora is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive and Artistic Director of the People’s Theatre Project, which she runs with her husband Bob Braswell. In their work together, the two delve deeply and regularly delve into issues of identity and displacement as experienced by local residents, many of whom are immigrants.
“I would have done it eventually,” said Lora of filing for citizenship.
But the arrival of Emma Lucia lent a new urgency.
“It was a great push having a North American daughter,” she explained.
In seeking out citizenship, Lora turned to a local resource: the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), which recently launched “Citizenship Thursdays,” during which assistance with naturalization applications is provided to residents – at no cost.
Read more: Mino’s Motivation | Manhattan Times
Documenting Hip Hop from Three Angles
Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30pm
The Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10029)
Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper are three pioneering New York-based photographers who documented hip hop – DJ-ing, rapping, and breaking – from its early days on the streets of New York City to its emergence as a global pop cultural phenomenon. They will sit down with Sean Corcoran, curator of the new exhibition Hip Hop Revolution, to talk about their experiences capturing this innovative convergence of music, dance, art and fashion in the 1970s and ‘80s, when Uptown met Downtown and cultural boundaries collided.
Tickets: Free for Museum members; $12 for students/seniors; $16 for general public.
The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X will be commemorated at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Education Center with the live performance art exhibit The Day After MLK. The Day After MLK is a fictional story based on true events, beginning with the assassination of Malcolm X and continuing through the Civil Rights movement until the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The story centers around three newly converted orthodox Muslims who work closely with Malcolm X and his recently formed Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU).
Along with the theatrical production, the interactive art exhibition will live in the lobby of the Betty Shabazz Center and serve as a visual contribution to the stage play. The exhibition will force spectators to walk the path of their chosen leader (Malcolm or Martin) and experience their life decisions in a stimulating capacity, leading them to a common meeting point and raising the question “What if Malcolm and Martin’s movement merged into one?”
For more info: http://uartistry.org/
The section of Upper Manhattan known as Sugar Hill, poised on a bluff overlooking the Harlem Plain and distinguished by graceful rowhouses and elegant apartment buildings, achieved renown in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was home to prominent African-American professionals, political leaders, artists, musicians and writers. The song “Take the ‘A’ Train,” written by Billy Strayhorn and popularized by Duke Ellington, commemorated the neighborhood, where both lived. Nowadays, though, some newcomers say they had not heard the name Sugar Hill before they arrived.
“I just thought of the area as Harlem,” said Heva Loriston, a Haitian-American resident who does administrative work at Columbia University and who recently moved to the neighborhood with her family. “We were looking for something reasonably priced, and we found it in the area — but now we plan on staying there.”
Ms. Loriston and her husband bought the three-bedroom apartment where they live with their three daughters last June for $130,000. The apartment is a Housing Development Fund Corporation co-op, which carries income restrictions, and also needed work, she said.
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