Will It Close?

Mary Mitchell

Will the Mary Mitchell Close?

I received this following email from the director of the center:

Hello everyone:
Thanks to the phone calls, rally and press (thanks to you!) the Mary Mitchell Center has a meeting with Deputy Mayor Walcott and our elected officials tomorrow from 10am to 11:30.  At this point it looks like they still want us to pay the DOE for use of the space.  We are going to make a compelling presentation and remind them that it is both the right thing to do and the best financial decision for the City to return the building to us.
If you pray, pray for us tomorrow between 10 and 11:30.  If you don’t pray, think of us!
I will let you know what happens.
Thank you again for your support.

Give It Back

Mary Mitchell

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I am writing on behalf of the Mary Mitchell Center which is located in the Crotona section of the Bronx at 2007 Mapes Avenue.

Please find it in your heart to make sure the center is given back to the community. About 400 or more young people and 28 community groups participate
in the Center. It is the only Center in the neighborhood that many of the young children can attend after school. Most of the after school programs are cut from the schools
that they attend and to take away their Center, sends a daunting message to them about what you think of them and what you think of their future.

In November 2009, there was a shoot-out next door to the Center and had it not been for the shelter of the center from the flying bullets, there could have been innocent blood shed. In addition, it is highly important for the community to provide family support for one another. Most of the parents work far away from home and are not there to receive their children as they come out of school. Thus, the center opens just in time for the children to go to after school and to do their homework and other activities such as piano and creative arts until their parents can pick them up.

Giving the Center back to the community board will not only help the city keep the promise that it made with the community but show the youth that not only does their community care for them but the Mayor of the City of New York also cares a great deal.

Calls to Help the Mary Mitchell Center

Call the Mayor’s Office at 212-788-3000!!

Call Speaker of the City Council Christine Quinn’s Office at 212-788-7210

Call Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s Office at 718-590-3557

Call City Council Majority Leader Joel River at 718-842-8100

I called the Mayor’s office and asked them to give the Mary Mitchell Center back to the board of Directors. When I was done, the person on the other side told me to call 311. And 311 is not a number to call to talk about the Mary Mitchell Center being taken away.  It is the Mayor’s office. I hope someone read my email.

Mary Mitchell

College Preperation

College Preperation

If your parents never been to college and they know very little about college how will they know to sat aside money for you to go to college? So, now you are 18 and applying for school. You’ve been accepted with a scholarship and grants but that is not all you need.  You need a co-signer.You need a loan. But you first need a family member or a close friend to be willing to sign for you. But what if you do not have any family. Your parents long time ago split, your Mom passed, your Dad is reluctant to doing anything for you, and with the economy state in America, you do not know much people who even have a job to be willing to co-sign anything for you.

So now what is your option if you want to stay in school?

The Army?

You continue to look for a co-signer?


But what if you are not good in any sports?

So, all this talk from the government about going to college to make America’s children better and make America better who is this talk for? Only people with money or with parents who went to college themselves? Why should you want to better a county that doesn’t even give soldiers who fought for this country, proper army benefits and better yet, can’t even send you to school without forcing you into debt?

Girls Getting Ready

Girls Getting Ready

You see, I never go anywhere without my make-up. That is what she said to me when I came to pick her up. No, Dude see, I always have to wait for her. She is never ready. She should start getting ready as soon as she comes from work but she lolly-gags and takes her sweet time.

So what really happen? Tell me the full story.

Okay, so you know we’ve been dating for 5 months now and every month on the 15 we would go out. That is when we officially meet. You know, another girl thing.

Yeah, my girl does the same thing man! It’s like they are trying to make you remember when you first asked them out.

Yeah! So anyways, you know the first time we went out I didn’t have to wait that long. She was ready and we had a wonderful time. But that was the only time she was ready. She is making it a habit. This not being ready stuff. And it takes away from the time we have to spend together.

You talk to her about it?

Yeah, all the time. And she doesn’t get the point!  She’s like, well, I have to take a bath and yaadaa yaadaa…and I’m like it takes you two hours to do all of that?! Oh and lets not forget the makeup! I always need my eye shadow! She must go everywhere with that on.

Man, my girl is the same. I spend a lot of time waiting for her. I think she does hers on purpose.

Me too! It’s like they believe in the word Wait. Like they live their lives according to the word!

I am not going to get into that. She got me waiting for much more.

Dude, same here.

So, what you gonna do then, about this waiting thing?

Just continue waiting. For real. I may seem upset but in the long run, after it’s all said and done, I am really happy. I wait a while for her to get ready and then she comes downstairs and looks so beautiful. And when we argue about how much I have to wait, she says, what, you don’t appreciate what I took the time out to do for you? And I love her even more.

I feel you bro.

So, the more she have me waiting, the more I love her.

Just don’t tell her that!

Of course not. Not good for us dudes!

Really? A Rally to SAVE the Mary Mitchell Center?

I am greatly disappointed in the city of New York. I am disappointed in the mayor and all of those at the top who seem to be doing everything in their power to tear down the Bronx.

Friday, September 24th at 4pm is a rally to save Mary Mitchell family and Youth Center.

The Bronx is filled with homes in every place to suit to the needs of others who live throughout the city and there is barely any green space for the children to enjoy proper play grounds thus they are on top of school roofs and left on the street. There are programs for children in the Bronx but not enough for the city to decide to close down Mary Mitchell for money.

Mary Mitchell herself had a lease on a City owned property at 2007 Mapes in the mid-1970s. The building, however, was destroyed in a fire and Mary Mitchell  ran a PLAY Street on Mapes and youth activities out of her house until her death in 1993.  Since then community members like Astin Jacobo took up the cause of creating a community center in her honor. In 1997, the center opened and $180,000 that had been allocated for operations was kept by the City. For three years the Mary Mitchell Center (MMC) board of neighborhood residents ran the facility and expanded programs.

In 2000, the City transferred the lease to the Department of Education against the will of the community and said it was ‘in our best interest’. They promised that the MMC would be able to use the Center after school and on weekends.

In July 2010, claiming the City is poor and unable to afford to keep it open, the Department of Education made it clear that they would not honor their agreement and after 10 years, without giving the Center time to renegotiate with the City, they have LOCKED us out of our own building.

You would think kicking people out of Manhattan and forcing them to live in the Bronx was enough but now the city wants to come into the Bronx and tear down those things that are helping the future leaders of the Bronx by closing the center. In 2009 there was a shooting next door to the center and one of the stray bullets could have hit any of our students had not if been for the sheltering of the center. Not to mention their daily problems that they have to face at home and school. We all know the DOE could be focusing on the schools to improve them rather than trying to close down the MMC. Why wear and tear the community down instead of lifting it up?

The children at MM receive constant mentoring and aspiring direction from the staff and know that they are loved.

We must save  Mary Mitchell. You. Me. Must SAVE MARY MITCHELL

Mary Mitchell

words in italics by Heidi Hynes, contact her at 917-402-4129

Where is Black Leadership?

Martin, Malcolm, Medgar

Chisholm, Davis, Height

Parks, Bethune, Wright

Parks, Sleet, Allen

Four little Girls, Merchandise in the bellies of  boats, Hospitalized patients not treated properly

Owens, Jordan,  Ali,

Montgomery, Harlem, Washington

Anderson, Jackson,Redding

Belafonte, Bea, Baker

Lee, Perry, Poitier

Marshall, Powell, Obama

I wonder if all of them asked themselves where is Black leadership at their crucial hour

Did Martin Luther King look for Black Leadership when it was time for the March on Washington?

Or Malcolm X  when he preached radically in Harlem?

Did Medgar Evers look for Black Leadership when he walked 12 miles to and fro to earn his high school diploma?

Perhaps Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davids and Dorothy Height looked for Black Leadership when they tried to help their struggling sisters find jobs?

Did Rosa Parks look for Black Leadership when she was fired from her job for not giving up her seat?

Did Mary McLeod Bethune  pray for Black Leadership when she prayed with her staff, (mostly women who she believed were the key to change for no one knew the problems, the pain and the cost better than they)? *

Did Marian Wright look for Black Leadership when she became the first African-American women lawyer in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement?

Or Gordon Parks, Moneta Sleet, Jr. and Jules Allen look for Black leadership when their cameras snapped to the turmoil in black cities across America?

Oh I know, maybe the Four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama, the human begins who were sold as merchandise straight from the belly of a  boat and all the hospitalized war patients who were not treated properly all because they were shades of brown with kinky hair asked  their dying souls Where the heck is Black Leadership!

Did Jesse Owens look for Black leadership when he was allowed to sleep in any hotel of his choice in Germany but not in his home country?

Did Michael Jordan look in the stands for black leadership when making a jump shot or proving to the world that not all African-American children come from broken homes?

Did Mohammad Ali look for black leadership in the boxing ring?

I wonder what goes through the minds of such great athletes when they are playing their sport. Perhaps the question, Where is Black Leadership?

From slavery to current times do the residents in Montgomery, Harlem, and Washington look for Black Leadership?

Did Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson and Otis Redding look for Black Leadership when they closed their eyes and made the audience cry from the words and meanings of their songs?

Maybe Harry Belafonte, Bea Richards and Josephine Baker would have done a little better with their acting careers had they sat around all day looking for Black Leadership.

Humm…I wonder, Is Spike Lee, Tyler Perry and Sidney Poitier regretting their wise decisions in film directing, wishing they would have looked for Black Leadership instead?

Surly, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell and President Barack Obama do not regret their decisions in becoming leaders.

Now Ebony Magazine wants us to ask ourselves if Black Leadership is Dead.

Black People will never die. Black Leadership will never die. You will never die, if you be a leader.

* Height, Dorothy. Open Wide the Freedom Gates: A Memoir. Public Affairs.  New York. 2003. Pp. 84-85