New York City

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Documentary highlights NYC street basketball

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer


The best basketball players often aren’t found in college or in the NBA, but on the nation’s blacktops. Using a late 1970s tune by the Blackbyrds as its overall theme, Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, New York City accurately gives viewers a well-deserved look into pick-up basketball. Although they focused on the Big Apple, in many urban corridors, if you are a hoopster of any note, you will make or break your hoopin’ reputation on the blacktop. Many go on to star on high school and college teams; some even make it to the pros. Many others don’t — but that doesn’t make them any less significant in basketball circles — their streetball exploits will sometimes precede them. Continue Reading →

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Keith can’t pull the trigger

Sandwiches finished, Keith and Kisa took their sodas and started walking toward the IRT. They got to the nearby entrance and then stood to the side, letting the mad foot-traffic come and go past them while she continued filling him in on her ex-husband’s sexual problems.

“Turns out the damn fool meant he was sex addict,” she said. “Like that guy from X-Files, you know?” Hubby swore he would get help with his problem. She’d informed him that was all well and good, but he now had two problems: couldn’t keep his fly zipped and was about to lose his shirt in divorce court. That was how she bought her partnership in the recording studio. Continue Reading →

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Amiri Baraka dies at age 79

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


In 1964, Amiri Baraka (then going by his given name LeRoi Jones) stood the American Theatre on its ear with the wildly controversial, Obie Award-winning drama Dutchman. He never equaled that success again, but his name and lasting fame had been solidly established, enhanced by the 1967 film version starring Al Freeman, Jr. (Malcolm X, Once Upon A Time…When We Were Colored) and directed by Anthony Harvey (The Lion In Winter, The Glass Menagerie). The story, a rite-of-passage saga for African American males, depicted the explosive self-realization of a young, middle-class man shattering the veneer of social convention to assert his Blackness. Baraka’s career began in the early ’60s among New York City’s bohemian elite most notably with his book Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note and his founding of Totem Press, which published the works of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. One of the most highly-regarded writers and controversial figures of his generation, he is hailed as a primary architect of the historic Black Arts Movement, which — also in the ’60s — saw the emergence of playwright Ed Bullins, poets Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez, and novelists Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed. Continue Reading →

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How does the State of MN pay its $50 million?

Has there been a breach of contract?  
“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings? As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. Continue Reading →

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Recent rulings an attempt to restore confidence in the system




The recent decision by a judge to limit New York City’s Stop and Frisk program, which targeted Black and Brown New Yorkers, and the decision to reduce crack sentences were neither coincidental nor accidental. The folks that are in charge, the real folks, the monied class, the ruling class, the real bosses recognize that the whole Trayvon Martin tragedy took some of the wind out of the sails of the system. Anyone paying attention had to recognize that the system just doesn’t work. Or that it does work, but only for the wealthy and sometimes White upper-class folks. In the case of Trayvon Martin the system worked. Continue Reading →

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