Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Worker/Artists at The 32BJ Art Show

This weekend, the 9th annual 32BJ Art show displayed a variety of artwork from its 32BJ and 1199 members, including city and office building workers alike. The work featured paintings, sketches and a live show, which included singing, poetry and performance art.

Read more about this amazing event, which connected worker/artists with a supportive platform. This display of art in various mediums emphasizes the importance of labor/arts events such as this one: they open up possibilities and lift up cultural production in the lives of city and office workers.

New Labor Forum Highlights: June 12th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

With this installment of Highlights from New Labor Forum, we draw your attention to a roundup of notable books and films you might have missed. We’re grateful to NLF contributor Matt Witt for his excellent curatorial skills, which are a regular feature of his “Out of the Mainstream” for the print journal! Among the books Witt points to in his forthcoming inventory is Look, an arresting book of poetry by Solmaz Sharif. Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Sharif is a former participant in Poetry for the People, and arts/activism program founded at UC Berkeley by the late, great poet June Jordan. The sampling of her work included here, offers precise and unforgettable depictions of the dread brought about by our wars on terror.

Table of Contents

  1. Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed by Matt Witt / New Labor Forum, September 2017 issue
  2. Poems by Solmaz Sharif

Birth of a Nation and Culturally Responsive Education

Last week at the Murphy Institute, I had the pleasure of meeting Erika Ewing, an Educational Engagement Strategist who works with the CUNY Creative Arts Team. She had just finished running a workshop which engaged high school students in rigorous conversation about the film “Birth of a Nation” following an arranged screening of the film for them at an AMC theater. 

In the piece below, Ewing discusses the responsibility of educators to be open and honest with youth about American history, the ways in which non-traditional approaches to education challenges young people to think constructively and critically and how promoting more open discussion of films like Parker’s “Birth of Nation” plays a seminal role.

— Zenzile Greene, Arts and Culture Editor


“Don’t let your past define your future.” It’s a quote we’ve all heard some version of before. But when we’re confronted with our own dark pasts, how easy is it to take this advice? Continue reading Birth of a Nation and Culturally Responsive Education

Orlando Vigil at Stonewall Inn: Photos

This post was originally featured at Philadelphia Printworks.

By Zenzile Greene-Daniel

I arrived at the Stonewall Inn candlelight vigil in honor of those slain in Orlando just a few minutes before it began. The photos I have taken capture the silent reverence of those attending, the solemn yet hopeful messages that decorated the shrine and those bringing offerings and tending to the candle lighting which surrounded the perimeter of the shrine in front of Stonewall Inn as well as inside Christopher Street Park.

Continue reading Orlando Vigil at Stonewall Inn: Photos

Artists-in-Residence: SPS Workers Share Their Photography, Inspiration

By Zenzile Greene-Daniel

In December of last year, I was honored to be invited to participate in a special Brown Bag lunch at SPS in which I and three of my colleagues gave individual presentations on our use of the medium of photography. I was very excited to take part — and especially to learn more about the creative projects of my fellow workers.

Continue reading Artists-in-Residence: SPS Workers Share Their Photography, Inspiration

Michael J. Fortner on Criminal Justice – Roots & Reform

By Cher Mullings
Recording by Zenzile Greene

Why would members of the Harlem community consciously support policies that endorse incarceration of their brothers and sisters?

Dr. Michael J. Fortner’s latest book Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and The Politics of Punishment examines how black-on-black crime influenced a chasmic class division within Harlem from the 1940s – 1960s.

Continue reading Michael J. Fortner on Criminal Justice – Roots & Reform