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The Usable Past with Marie Nahikian
47 minutes | a month ago
Episode 12: Brooklyn Underhill Stories: All Global Soul
Our windows framed Underhill Avenue. We saw everything. Cars lost tires & hubcaps, shots fired, Labor Day eating roti, goat & jerk, Primrose's rum punch, our son dancing in W. Indian Children's parade. Daily commerce centered on a bodega, opened by Mohammed, an immigrant from Yemen; we fondly named it “The Yuck Store.” The other main traders moved product on the sidewalks from Washington Avenue to Underhill. In 2006, we welcomed “Cheryl’s Global Soul” - a sit-down restaurant. In 2020, it changed again.
46 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 11: Daughter of Brooklyn Finds the Circus
Susan is an aerial artist, dancer and choreographer, an international circus star, a black woman who went to Brooklyn public schools, graduated from Stanford University and worked on the human genome project. Then she went to Paris.
7 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 10: Special Edition-MY U.S. Capitol 1-06-2021
Over 20 years, Marie Nahikian had distinct and personal experiences within the U.S. Capitol building. This special edition describes how the U.S. Capitol Police were always in control and that it is inconceivable that terrorists were able to breach the building. This edition documents visits for haircuts, gift shop sales and escorting John & Yoko Lennon as well as neighborhood youth to lobby Members of Congress.
42 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 9: Brooklyn Moves Water
This is an only in Brooklyn story about building community in the most unexpected places. Ellen Dede, the organizer, has followed Torello Cabrol's water aerobics class for over 20 years; she is joined on the podcast by Bill Kahn, a newcomer and Marie Nahikian, The Usable Past host who joined the class only 3 years ago. Torello Cabrol talks abut the rules of his class - "move water" and "don't ask questions" - this is your workout. P.J. Ryan, co-host and producer makes the crucial observation - "Why do you do this?" The podcast is about a water aerobics class that includes family, respect and taking care of the only body you have.
51 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: The Usable Past: Shirley Chisholm: Founding Mother of Contemporary Black Politics
Shirley Chisholm, Brooklyn's own, the first African American woman elected to Congress & in 1972, she was the first woman nominated to be President. Conversation with Barbara Bullard, a Brooklyn Bed-Sty resident at the forefront of working to protect Chisholm's legacy and a producer of a planned feature film starring Anika Noni Rose. Joined by cultural writer Gene Seymour, hosts Marie Nahikian & PJ Ryan explore connections to the historic nomination of VP Kamala Harris, highlighting why "Miss Shirley" always said "being first is not enough."
51 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: Shirley Chisholm-"Founding Mother of Contemporary Black Politics"
Called "the founding mother of contemporary black politics" by Congressman John Lewis, this Episode provides a unique perspective on protecting the legacy of an historic leader during this time of Black Lives Matter. Host Marie Nahikian explores what motivates Barbara Bullard to take on a life commitment and how "only in Brooklyn" neighborhoods does "Ms Shirley's" story find her. Includes how the portrait in Brooklyn Borough Hall was created, work on film-in-development starring Anika Noni Rose and the recent public attention comes after years of neglect and records and documents being lost.
77 minutes | a year ago
Episode 7: Feet to the Fire-Yale Union Organizers Know How
At Yale University, clerical & technical workers organized Local 34 with help from the blue-collar workers in UNITE-Local 35. With strikes in 1984 and 2003, the Yale "non-academic" work force in 2020 is guaranteed working wages, health care and strong retirement benefits. While labor movement lost strength all over the U.S. since the 1980's, after over 40 years, the UNITE Local 34 and Local 35 members have organized an economic justice movement in New Haven, demanding jobs for neighborhood residents and electing Alderman to the City Government and 30+ year long marriages forged during the early organizing years had children who are now union organizers at Yale.
24 minutes | a year ago
PRELUDE: Earth Day 1970-2020
The 1970 event is viewed as a Prelude to Earth Day, one of the very earliest national environmental protests in February 1970 before Earth Day in April. Marie Nahikian hosts this podcast and was the organizer/conference coordinator. The conference participants were college newspaper editors and was, it turns out a significant organizing strategy as college newspaper across the nation wrote about the environmental crisis and encouraged the participation in Earth Day. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day and Dennis Hayes, Director of Earth Day in 1970 both attended the What's the Difference if We Don't Wake Up conference in Washington, DC in 1970. Additional information, notes and conference publications can be found at www.theusablepast.com.
5 minutes | a year ago
What's the Difference if We don't Wake Up
This episode begins with 1970 national conference/protest about looming environmental crisis, a prelude to the first Earth Day and is contrasted with 50 years later witnessing the October 2019 Climate Strike. Includes incidents with Robert O. Anderson, CEO of Atlantic Richfield Oil, Extinction Rebellion, Secretary of Interior Walter Hickel, NY Times columnist Floyd Norris and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist & scientist Laurie Garrett, the Chicago 7/8, Liberation News Service and the Hog Farmers.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
3 Southern White Sisters
“With all deliberate speed” 3 Southern white sisters experience 1960 Woolworth Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, 1967 Kathleen Cleaver encounter & Coretta Scott King interview, high school desegregation violence, Asheville, NC 1972. Music from Sweet Honey & the Rock
22 minutes | 2 years ago
The Atlanta Invitation
An invitation and plane ticket to the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro to attend a "higher education" conference that was actually a SNCC organizing conference in 1967 produced was accepted by the author and resulted an one of the few interviews ever done with Coretta Scott King and meeting Dr. Martin Luther King. More at www.theusablepast.com
35 minutes | 2 years ago
Community Organizers: 1968-2018 Crossovers
How community organizers make life commitments to social change and benefit from inter-generational leadership.Strong people do not need strong leaders, but change needs strong community organizers.
9 minutes | 2 years ago
Community Organizing 101: How Not to Organize a Community Garden
Marie Nahikian, long time community organizer, tells story of one of her earliest organizing strategies that did not work and the lesson she learned from community residents.
2 minutes | 2 years ago
Invitation to listen and to know how you are listening.
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