Sharpton Back from Jail

photography by Danya Steele

Rested and recharged, an energetic Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton was back home at the House of Justice, the headquarters and home of his National Action Network, after spending 86 days of a 90 day sentence in a federal prison for protesting the Navy’s bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. 

In his hour-long address, Sharpton all but declared his intentions to run for President in 2004, hinting campaign reforms and attacking the military industry complex as major issues in need of public and political attention. He also seemed to be on the verge of endorsing Fernando Ferrer for NYC mayor in Ferrer’s race for the Democratic nomination in September. However, he said he would not decide definitely on his political endorsement for another week. 

“I stand by those who stand by me,” said Sharpton to a packed house that included Cornell West, Fernando Ferrer, Adam Clayton Powell III and the parents of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond, both of whose sons were shot down by New York City Police officers. Stephanie Mills introduced Sharpton’s address with a rousing rendition of her signature hit, “Home.” 

Sharpton’s 90 day sentence was reduced slightly, three days off for good behavior and an additional day off for the day that Sharpton was arrested. 

Sharpton was finally released on Friday, August 17, 2001. He spent his first two days stretching his legs, immediately getting back into the swing of things. He began Friday morning by marching from the exit doors of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to 45th Street and Third Avenue, where a pregnant woman, her sister, and 4-year-old son were murdered on August 4th by an off-duty police officer, Joseph Gray, who police say was driving while intoxicated. 

On Saturday he walked through the streets of Harlem after addressing a warm and adoring crowd at the N.A.N., before a day-long agenda, which concluding in an informal appearance at the renowned Cotton Club in Harlem, NYC. Reverend Al Sharpton’s passion is far from extinguished–if anything, it’s replenished while he roars, “You can lock me up, but you’ll NEVER lock me down!!!”.

The Older the Better

by Kelly Koblacki

Oct 2000-

On Tuesday, October 3, at Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, in Harlem on West 116th Street, hundreds of people of all ethnicites gathered together to celebrate the birthday of a man; who brought these people hope for a brighter future, Reverend Al Sharpton.

Before the ceremony had started, the camera crew from Harlem Live and I spoke to some of the general public, looking to find out how they were feeling about this joyful event. A 26 year old accountant named Melba Hurly from 105 St Manhattan was glad to say AlSharpton is one of the greatest politicians because he’s more than proud to stand up for what he believes in. 

Once Reverend Sharpton walked in the room with his wife and two daughters, the crowd immediately stood up and cheered with excitement! The moment was so ecstatic. It was easy to feel the vibes, they were nothing but good! 

There were many dignitaries there to speak highly of Reverend Sharpton, such as Denise Richardson from WLIB, Brenda Blackman from UPN 9 news, Isaac Hayes from 98.7 Kiss FM, Mr. Johnny Cochran, Reverend Martin Luther King III, and many many more! People were laughing , smiling, having a great time and cracking jokes, especially comedian Dick Gregory. “If you dream it, you can be it! A perfect example of that is Al Sharpton” said Denise Richardson. Al Sharpton’s got your back. We’re all safer and better human beings thanks to Reverend Sharpton,” says Johnny Cochran.

It was plain to see that everyone was more than happy to be a part of the Reverend’s birthday celebration. Everyone held hands as a female deacon thanked the lord for Reverend Al Sharpton. We are all grateful for his beliefs in stopping police brutality, standing up for human rights, good deeds, courageous acts and social and economic justice. “If there was no Al Sharpton, we’d have to invent one!” said Denise Richardson.

Taking Wax to the Max

by Tiffany Santiago Photos by Johnny Holmes

On December 7, 1996, Angel Colon, Johnny Holmes and I visited the first and only African American Wax Museum of Harlem. The founder and owner is Mr. Raven Chanticleer. Mr. Chanticleer lives next door to the museum with his wife. 

Raven Chanticleer was born to a prominent family. His mother was born in Barbados, and his father in Haiti. He has one sister and one brother, his brother was born in Haiti. His father was a principal. 

Some of the wax figures he has made includes David Dinkins and Martin Luther King. It takes Mr. Chanticleer about one month to finish a figure. He uses paper mache and plaster from the feet up. 

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and Honorable David Dinkins, former NYC mayor

Raven Chanticleer made a lamp out of popsicle sticks and it took him about a month to make it. Besides running the museum, he writes for a newspaper. He used to teach at a college but found it more interesting to teach younger kids. He is now writing a book called “Taking Wax To The Max”. 

Raven Chanticleer

Mr. Chanticleer’s dream is to make his museum bigger and to install a computer room. Right now he is working on a figure of Bob Marley. He says that making wax figures and art objects is what he always wanted to do, that this was his calling.

Backstage Pass at the Apollo as B.E.T. Arrives in Harlem

By Jianna Caines Photos by Oscar Peralta

BET Studios has arrived in Harlem. To celebrate the occasion, they decided to throw a slammin’ concert and a block party. The new studios are located right in the Mecca of the Hip-Hop empire of the world, New York City. Many of the world’s most dynamic entertainers have originated from the streets of this exciting and flavorful city. (For those in the Harlem community, the new studios are in our neighborhod at 106 Street and Park Avenue).

In order to make a spectacular entrance, BET choose their debut to be at the world famous Apollo theater located on 125th Street. Considering the phenomenal stage setting, the large Harlem crowd and the all-star talent line up, the Harlem Block Party was definitely a night to remember. MusicÕs hottest Kings and Queens splashed on the scene with the energy and skill that blew the crowd away. This Royal line-up included artist such as Lil Kim, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, L.L Cool J, and many more. 

BETÕs presence is greatly appreciated by the people in the Harlem comunnity, mainly because there is so much talent that exists here. Also, because this will definetly mean more jobs and opportunies that will allow more cultural growth that we can share with America. 

On the night of the Block Party, the streets were filled and many people from all over the New York area came out to support BETin their efforts to spread more love and talent. It was a true family event. 

The people of the community are not the only ones who have an opinion about BET’s presence in Harlem. Coming in our following reports we will have the reactions of the previously listed Royal line up. Stay tuned to see what Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Eryka Badu and others have to say about New YorkÕs future now that Black Entertainment Television is in the mix. 

Peace out!!

Samantha Gonzales: Reporter / Writer

My name is Samantha Gonzalez. I was born June 25th, 1982. The reason I want to work with HarlemLive is because I want to get to know about Harlem and the past and present and to affect its future. Maybe my experience with HarlemLive will get me somewhere in the future. I hope I have a good experience working on this publication and meeting new people.

I like to write poems about me and how Ifeel about things. I like to have fun and to do and learn new things. I am a person who always is doing something to keep myself busy. I am a nice person to get to know.

My Querencia: Randall’s Island

by Samantha Gonzales

My Querencia is at Randall’s Island by the water under an apple tree, by myself. It’s a place where I can think and write my thoughts and poems. I sit near the water by the walls of grass that are all around. I sit under a green apple tree. I look at the waves go by. It makes me think and wonder about things and the future.

Randall’s Island, between N. Manhattan and Astoria, Queens

I remember when I was mad at my friend because we had an argument. I had no one to talk to, so I put my notebook in my bookbag, got on my bike and left my house. Off I went to Randall’s Island to my little spot by the water under the apple tree. I just thought about things to do to make up with my friend. I took out my journal and wrote things I could do to make up with my friend. I wrote down to call her on the phone and talk it out. I really didn’t know what to do. I lay down under the apple tree and fell asleep. When I woke up I decided to just talk to her about it. Then, I rode my bike home.

I wish I could go to my special place everyday but I can’t, so what I do instead is listen to music in my room and write poems. That is my querencia.