Ranale Todman – Video Producer


My name is Ranale Todman  and I have been apart of HarlemLIVE for  four days. My first few days have been good.  I’ve met a lot of new people like Richard, Kevin, Mera. Brad, Jonathan, Chris, Torin, Curtis, Tara, Shem, Melvin, Justin, Danya, and more. I first herd about HarlemLIVE from a couple of friends Solomon, Tyrell ,and Frisco, I got in to HarlemLIVE through summer youth from Minisink on 142st. So far I like HarlemLIVE. It  feels like a very comfortable place to be in where you can met and make friends and have a little fun. Since I have been here, I have been learning mostly in the photo and video section about how to use the camera’s the computer’s the Lowell LT Light’s, and how to edit video’s. When I came to HarlemLIVE I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t expecting this.. 


I was clueless to what I thought HarlemLIVE was going to be about. Now since I know what this organization is about I am happy to be apart of it. I think Im going to be apart of HarlemLIVE for a while because It is going to help me learn a lot about technology that I have not used before. The reason that HarlemLIVE is such a good organization is because not only do you get to have fun with all the new equipment but you get to learn about it too. For example, whatever topic you choose once you join the program like video or photography, journalism exc. you take a class about it first before you start your project with your group. The reason that this is good is because wha ever you learn here you can take it with you on to school your job or where ever you go.

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.

My Querencia: In My Room with My Music

by Angel Colon

A few years ago my bedroom was filled with stress and depression. A few years ago my room was almost filled with tears. A few years ago I was sitting down listening to music, hard-core rap music. I know it may sound corny, but that’s where my power is.

Hard core rap music may not be your querencia, but it sure is mine and I’m proud of it, too. Whenever I have problems or I feel down that’s where pride waits for me.

Those few years ago was when my mother was robbed and me, and my brother and my oldest little sister witnessed the horror. We were in the elevator returning home with our bikes after riding around the projects. It was about 8 at night. A man who seemed nice helped us put our bikes in the elevator. I wondered what he was doing because he pushed the buttons to both the third and fourth floor. Once the elevator stopped on the third floor, he asked for jewelry, while he held his hand behind his back. My mom gave him her wedding band and necklace name chain. Then he made sure the door was closed and the elevator went up. I didn’t cry but crying did cross my mind.

Once we saw my father, my mother told him what happen. I went to my room, closed the door and sat down and listened to music and thought about nothing in particular. Music, that is my querencia.

Angel Colon – writer / photographer

My name is Angel Colon. I was born September 17, 1983. I live in East Harlem.

I want to work for HarlemLive because there is a lot of good things that happen around Harlem that people should know about. I want to work hard putting out HarlemLive and in the future become one of its chief editors.

I live with my mother and my father, one brother and two sisters, so the house does get packed. I love computers and I like almost every sport.

When I grow up I want to be many things so I have to make up my mind pretty soon. My brother Daniel is the second oldest so that will make me the oldest and the cutest. My brother is following my footsteps into computers (I think). My sister Marta is older than my younger sister, Tamara. They both are very smart. Marta is going on 10 and Tamara just turned 2, two weeks ago.

Evelyn Colon is my mother. She is also with HarlemLive. My mother is who I want to be like even though there is nothing wrong with my father. My mother is a teacher and is going to NYU in the fall. My father works for a record company.

Capoeira at Its Best

story by Angel Colon / photos by Shem Rajoon

Capoeira was born out of the struggle for Freedom. 

Capoeira is an art form from Brazil that evolved from African culture. In Copier opponents must always pay respect to the ground because it’s an African tradition of saying thanks. The game of Capoeira is played in a circle called the “roda”(ho-da), in which opponents must play in, however, they must stay in sync with the motherland rhythm, too.

Omi Hill w his mom

The Capoeira music centers around the musical bow called the “Berimbau.” The Berimbau sets the rhythm and the style for the game. Helping out the Berimbau are the “Pandeiros”(tambourines), “Atabaques”(Drums), and many other instruments, which are also accompanied by the clapping of the watchers and participants.

The Capoeira Batizado, which reporters from HarlemLive attended, began with drums and bells and then words from the masters and parents.

The Capoeira Batizado’s (Baptism) warriors, amazed me with their outstanding physical ability. The heart and courage of the little children who defended themselves against the learned masters was outstanding as well.

The Batizado was available to the students who were just learning how Capoeira is done. One girl was scared to go up against one of the masters, but she still rose to the occasion and managed to receive her green belt. A lot of the children had some really great moves that stunned the audience. A little boy was standing on his head for a good ten seconds. Once the dancing portion was over, although the kids were very tired, they were still eager to do some more dancing around, but it was time for the baptism to begin.

After the baptism, the masters gave every student a nickname. These names were made for a specific reason or cause. One boy was named Cabra because he wore a Chupa-Cabra (a Puerto Rico myth) shirt to practice one day. One was named Bruce Lee because of his speed. Another kid was named Rabbit. Can you guess why a boy is named Rabbit? If you thought it was because of his teeth, you’re right-that kid’s teeth were tooooo big.

If you are thinking about taking classes don’t think twice. If I had the time I would take some classes but I can’t. If you’re saying forget it, give it a try!

Reuben D. Quansah – Reporter / Writer

Waddup People! My name is Reuben Daniel Quansah. I reside in theBronx and I just graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School. In the fall, I will be going to Bucknell University in PA. I donÕt really know what to say but umm… I am willin to try new stuff whenever I get the chance. I am interested in stuff ranging from computer networking to music. I consider myself to be an underground music guru (IÕll name you mad artist if you give me da chance lol). Hit me up if you may ever be interested in conversing. Peace

Remembering Hue Man Book Store in Harlem

photos and story by Reuben D. Quansah

Harlem is going through a major commercial transition as outside big business companies enter and take control of this highly black populated community’s business market. In the process, the Harlem-ites chance to develop an economic pie that is for the people by the people, is alas curtailed. In such a delicate time, businesses that are akin the Hue-Man Bookstore have come to the rescue of the Harlemlites. By no means is this an ordinary bookstore. This landmark stands emblematic as the largest African American book store in the United States of America. Many African American evinced their gratitude merely by coming and showing their satisfaction with the newfound establishment. 

Oh was it a sight to see on Friday, August 2nd as the Hue-Book store commenced its grand opening at five o’clock. At this time, there were few guests and the staff went through their extra rounds of keeping the atmosphere looking spiffy. A few reporters and guest took the time to skim through the multitude of books around the store. The staff members, who took part in the building of the store, were pleased to see the people there in the beginning. As Sales Associate, Marc Edwards put it, “Today is the day to get the message out.” Trinee, another Sales Associate, who considers herself a pro-black worker, stated that “from the 1st nail, to the first sale, [Clara Villarosa] has made things happen.” Clara Villarosa, the owner of the store returned from her retirement to run the store. Earlier in her life, she owned an African American bookstore in Denver that provided service to many, including actor, Ozzie Davis and actress Ruby Dee. 

While, the people awaited the arrival of Mrs. Villarosa, they enjoyed the company of the plethora of black artists. Jay-Z, one of the early birds at the event, said that he was there to show his support to one of the fellow contributors to the stores development. For Harlem Live, he had a few words to say about the significance of the bookstore and its possible influence on the teenagers of today. He placed emphasis on the idea that it is “a question of knowledge” hat those who know about this resource can take advantage of this resource. When asked what role he will play in helping the develop of the bookstore, he said stated, “I’ll do what I do…I’ll give the information.” Romero Chamber who accompanied him mentioned that “[the bookstore] is long over do.” He said that he plans to bring his children there. 

As the evening progressed, more reporters, celebrities, community members and politicians made their presence known by forming small hubs at just about all corners of the store. There, holding worthwhile discussions, signing autographs or making connections were so

me of the many things that went on. By this time Mrs. Clara Villarosa was meeting and greeting the guest before a large presentation of which she was going to take part in with a special guest. Meanwhile sponsors such as Dawn Nile of the Empowerment Zone remained low profile and enjoyed the atmosphere. She pointed out the importance of this bookstore and its need to stay in existence. Many shared the same views as Dawn Nile, such as actor Ozzie Davis, who mad it clear that the Harlem community must attain an economic balance in order to abet it development. He said that “reading should be pleasure,” thus doing what we please we can develop ourselves economically. 

As the presentation takes place the glowing Clara Villarosa tells her story of she gets involved bookstore’s completion. Satisfied with the turnout of people, she tells the audience how she is happy to see “the wall to wall people.”

Damali Slowe – Writer / Reporter

My name is Damali Slowe. I went to Westminster school in Simsbury, CT. I love to swim, play soccer, and Lacrosse. I have always loved creative writing, and poetry. I have always been open to try new things and I am the weirdest, happiest and most random person you’ll ever meet. I absolutely hate wearing high-healed shoes, short skirts, tight jeans, pocketbooks, and most country music. Most importantly, I can be energetic, passionate, and determined about sports writing, reading, and Geometry. My favorite color is red.