UC Recap – September 14th – September 19th

September 14 – September 19


Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus: It didn’t have to be this way 

This week, we passed the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths due to coronavirus in the United States. That is way too many dead that did not have to be. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and grandparents taken from their loved ones prematurely. The richest empire the world has ever known should have been better prepared. We have more coronavirus deaths than any other nation in the world. The virus is still ravaging this country with a possible second wave just around the corner.

Nationally, we have millions of unemployed folks struggling to put food on the table. Locally, we have blocks-long lines of people waiting for a meal. While Uptown remains a vibrant but besieged community, parts of downtown Manhattan resemble a proverbial ghost town. The misery is very, very real.

The White Supremacist in the White House is empowering and inspiring the White Supremacists all over the country. Hate crimes are on the rise with the tone being set from the highest office in the land.

Far too many children who should be starting school are instead trying to cope with the new normal of remote learning. My own children who were disciplined students prior to this are having a hard time learning from home. The wife and I are doing our best to keep them focused, but it isn’t easy. Some kids will fall behind and never truly recover.

Our lives have contracted drastically. So much so that to think of what was is truly torturous. Here’s a thought experiment. Pull out your phone and look back to September of 2019. What were you doing? Last September, I went to the Medieval Festival, which is now cancelled for the first time in decades. I also went to the Schomburg Center to see the greatest emcee of all time Rakim chop it up with the one and only Ralph McDaniel. I also took in a super awesome Nas and Mary J. Blige concert in Newark. I patronized a bunch of restaurants that are now struggling to remain open. We could not have known that within months are lives would change so dramatically.

It didn’t have to be this way. If we don’t right this ship this coming November, the good old days will be gone for good. God help us all.

Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante!


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Led Black


The Uptown Collective

The UC’s mission is to become “the” definitive, transformative and community-based force impacting the arts, culture, business and New York City’s overall perception of Upper Manhattan. Its objective is to reset, reboot and positively redefine Uptown’s artistic, political, cultural and business spheres via the online space as well the collective’s initiatives and functions.

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