HBO’s The Apollo: ‘The story of how black America lifted itself through music’

The director Roger Ross Williams on the Harlem temple that has hosted legendary performers from James Brown to Lauryn Hill The Apollo Theater is a living piece of black history. Located in the heart of Harlem on West 125th Street, the theater has operated as a refuge for black audiences and performers from its opening in 1934. Artists from James Brown and Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill have graced the Apollos stage. In 2002, Michael Jackson gave his final onstage performance at the Apollo. The theatres story is really the story of how black America lifted itself out of oppression through music and art, said Roger Ross Williams, the director of HBOs new documentary The Apollo. The …

Fear, Misinformation, and Measles Spread in Brooklyn

By then, however, “the bomb had gone off,” Arroyo says. Measles is considered one of the most contagious diseases in existence. If a person with measles walks through a room with a hundred people who are not immunized, up to 90 of them will get the disease. The virus is spread through coughs and sneezes and lingers in the air for up to two hours. Some 122,000 ­people come through the Maimonides emergency room every year. The hospital, located in Borough Park, serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the country, from ultra-Orthodox Jews to immigrants whose first language might be Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, or Uzbek. Many are working-class cab drivers, manual laborers, and restaurant workers …

‘They are amazed’: New York City sees extraordinary leap in whale sightings

A total of 272 whales were spotted last year, compared with five in 2011, thanks to legislation mopping up pollution, experts say For most New Yorkers, wildlife spotting is confined to squirrels, the odd raccoon and anguished encounters with rats. But in the waters surrounding the city a very different animal experience is quietly booming: sightings of whales. A total of 272 whales were spotted in New York City waters last year, according to the citizen science group Gotham, a whale that entered New York harbour in 2016 and carried on up the Hudson, startling people looking down from apartments on the Upper West Side. A separate whale was environmental disruption. Scientists are yet to see a full picture of …

’48 years is enough’: activists and celebrities call for release of ex-Black Panther

Seventy-five public figures sign letter to New York governor asking for release of Jalil Muntaqim after nearly five decades in prison Leading civil rights activists, academics, actors and writers are calling on Andrew Cuomo to release Jalil Muntaqim, a former Black Panther who has been in prison for 48 years for one of the most high-profile killings of the 1970s black liberation struggle. Seventy-five prominent public figures have 11 times since he first became eligible in 2002 on a sentence of 25 years to life. He will be 68 at his next hearing. He was arrested in 1971 at age 19 for the ambush and murder in Harlem of two police officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. Days after the …

Corey Johnson NY (and even the city’s subway). Will he run for mayor?

The speaker of the city council, 37, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2004, has overcome addiction and is mulling a mayoral run Corey Johnson got his first brush with fame when, as the captain of his high school football team in a small town in Massachusetts, he came out as gay. These days, he likes to say hes in a long-term relationship with New York City. Its a way of confessing his love for his adopted city where he was diagnosed with HIV, and where he overcame alcohol and drug addiction to become a high-profile speaker of the city council but not just that. I mean that I cant find a boyfriend! Johnson told the Guardian. Besides considering a …

Harvey Weinstein trial should be public, news organizations argue

Defense and prosecution seek to hearing behind closed doors but media to tell judge there is no rational basis for secrecy News organizations are fighting to open Harvey Weinsteins next court appearance to the public, after both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked for it to be held behind closed doors. At a hearing set for Friday, ahead of the disgraced movie moguls trial in New York on rape and sexual assault charges, the sides will argue over whether some of the many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault besides the ones involved in the criminal charges will be allowed to testify at his June trial. But prosecutors and defense attorneys have both asked the judge to shut out …

Coyote fur is a booming fashion trend.But is it ethical?

The pelt trade is thriving thanks to a fad for Canada Goose parkas, but animal advocates are calling for a boycott Colton Morris, 28, knelt on the concrete floor of a warehouse in rural Ohio, carefully combing the fur on a pile of coyote pelts with a wire brush before putting them up for auction. A sunny but chilly morning greeted him and around 150 other buyers and sellers at the event in the small settlement of Kidron, about 60 miles south-west of Cleveland. There was mink, raccoon, fox and beaver fur on sale. But the biggest draw was coyotes. The coyote fur trade is booming, largely driven in the US by the fad for wore a white coat on …

Poetic justice: how Jay-Z became a civil rights champion

The rapper has involved himself, and his legal team, in a string of legal cases involving black men mistreated by law enforcement On an early Monday morning in February, 11-year-old Jabari Talbot, who is African American, decided not to stand for the pledge of allegiance in his classroom at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy. Another classmate, who is not African American, joined him, a civil rights complaint obtained by the Guardian claims, but the child was not questioned by the substitute teacher. Equality in this country is not fair … black people are not treated fairly, he answered the teacher when asked why he would not stand, adding, [and] police dont treat black people fairly. Within minutes, as if to prove …