Ida B. Wells in Brooklyn

I designed this plaque.

NEW YORK (amsterdamnews) —A new street sign in Downtown Brooklyn commemorates the life of Ida B. Wells, one of this nation’s most revered investigative journalists.

The official co-naming of Gold Street and Myrtle Avenue as “Ida B. Wells Place” took place on Saturday, March 7, 2020.

The Harlem Historical Society led the push for the newly minted street signs and the informational plaque detailing Wells’ life in Brooklyn.

Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Miss. and moved to Memphis, Tenn. in Memphis, Wells was a teacher and began writing for local Black newspapers. She was particularly known for writing about how whites used the threat of lynching to terrorize African Americans. A mob of whites burned down her newspaper office and Wells was forced to flee for her life.

Before moving to Chicago, Illinois where she married and became a nationally known figure, Wells had moved to Brooklyn  at Gold Street and Myrtle Avenue—an area now dominated by the office campus known as MetroTech.

At the induction of my portrait painting with the framer, my historian collaborator, the mayor, and relatives of the inductee.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new portrait honoring Civil Rights icon Ida B. Wells was unveiled Friday at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Democratic mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the Wells family to reveal the portrait, which will be hung permanently in the hall. Wells was a pioneering journalist and abolitionist in the late 1800s who documented the horrors of lynching and co-founded the NAACP.

She lived in Brooklyn for a time after leaving Tennessee under the threat of death.

“No one will enter this building without recognizing that there was an amazing woman who lived and who fought by the name Ida B. Wells,” Adams said.

A street in Downtown Brooklyn was also co-named for Wells last year.

Hip Hop in the Bronx 

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The Library at Medgar Evars College

Speaking at Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library to a pretty descent turn out was fun. I spoke about having integrity with ones creative efforts. Choosing to use your art to elevate the conversation, not just to sell things or to push ideas that you don’t believe in…

Volunteering with the Harlem Historical Society, a historian and I did a talk about the Golden Legacy Comic Book series, and the importance of telling history in contemporary formats so it stays relevant. 

Covid 19 Response

There are some gut check moments in life… In retrospect it doesn’t seem as daunting but in the moment it felt like making a choice. I stood up and chose to help when self preservation, and caution might have suggested doing the opposite. 

After the MTA decided to end that program I joined up with Operation Gotham Shield at the Jacob Javitz Center. I worked the vaccine floor guiding New Yorkers through the administrative steps toward getting our lives back.

No cameras were permitted so I brought in a small sketch book to document some of the operation.

I know how I respond in a crisis. When history calls we can each do our part, how ever seemingly small. I made sure every day for six months rain or shine, protest or heat wave that my 30 mile stretch of MTA public touch points along the M15 bus route was disinfected. 

As part of the vaccination process people were handed sheets along the way, I made illustrations on the ones I handled to help put people at ease...

James Brown Way

Without the image it’s just words. Where was James on this day, in spirit? In our hearts and minds, in our imaginations perhaps? People need a place for that energy to become manifest, a tuning rod as it were, an image a painting, a likeness.

James Brown Portrait at Classical Theater of Harlem...

Content included in many instances is collaborative, thanks to teams and partners for working with me, let’s keep going!

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