2020-05-02The photo highlights a peaceful protest that involved the participation of medical faculty. The health care workers included in this photograph included doctors, nurses, admin, security guards and handful of maintenance. This was demonstration to support the Black Lives Matter Movement after the killing of a George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. The individuals in this photo can all be seen taking a knee similar to the protest method used by Colin Kaepernick. National Football League, player Colin Kaepernick took his first knee on September 1, 2016. The taking of the knee went against the tradition of standing during the signing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick said at the time: “I am not going up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. The people in this picture felt the same exact sentiments as Kaepernick. I chose this source because I wanted historians to understand the impact of the pandemic and the unity it created amongst individuals of different races. As a health care worker, I faced the challenges of Covid-19 directly. The fear of transmitting COVID-19 led to months of isolation from my loved ones. This feeling of loneliness contributed to the decline of mental health for me and many of my co-workers. On May 25, 2021, when George was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer over a suspicion of a counterfeit $20 bill my feeling of loneliness grew tremendously. Being an African American man in the united states was now just as dangerous as the virus killing thousands in New York. When the members of my staff came up the idea of protesting for the rights of African Americans, my feeling of loneliness begin to fade. Kneeling on the ground next to coworkers of all different races reminded of the inclusiveness and unity that we all needed in life. This was a moment in a history that will never be forgotten.
2020-07-15For my primary source, I selected a photograph that my cousin from coney island sent me to join her to protest. The protest was on July 15, 2021, from 1 pm to 5 pm. The march’s purpose was in the memory of the African Americans that were murder by police brutality. The protest was a peaceful demonstration where the community complained that the problem is getting bigger every day. Therefore, the government needed to corporate to diminish the violence and racism toward black people. The march has two purposes the first one to protest that black lives matter and that it was not okay to kill somebody because of their skin color, and it was also to complain about police use of force towards minorities. 2020 was a year where many innocent people were killed, for example, Rashard brooks, Daniel Prude, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. Those victims were not just killed by the police but were killed being innocent and doing ordinary people stuff which makes us think that the problem comes from police racism. I wanted to assist in the protest, but my father said straight up no because of covid 19 pandemic was at its worse moment, and the crowding is was going to be an easy way to catch the virus. I kept insisting until I got permission to go. I took three trains to get to my cousin’s house. First, I took train A to Columbus circle, then train D to the new york aquarium, and last train Q to ocean parkway where my cousin was waiting for me, and we went to the protest. It was not a big protest because most people who assist were people from the area, but it was peaceful. They were all screaming, “not justice, no peace.” the environment did no felt uncomfortable because they were energetic and getting the anger out by marching for the victims. The police of coney island and Brighton beach were present, ensuring that people maintain order and supporting the march. The social distancing was followed, and all the participants were wearing a mask. I felt good because I did not participate in the protest in my area, but I was present in other parts of the state. I selected this source because I want historians of the future to analyze that the country was active and acting against the problem. Racism is a global problem. It can be controlled if we unify and try to make others conscious that it is not okay to judge somebody else because of the way they look or their nationality. The communities were getting together to announce that they needed our support to solve the problem and eliminate conflicts with people equal like us but with a tiny skin color difference. Racism is so intense that people need to go outside in the middle of a pandemic to protest and moderate the issue. We were exposed to the virus because the violence toward minorities is increasing in the country. It looks like the only way it can be moderate is by going outside to show the dominant group that we have a voice.
2020-06-02A video of the riots that took place in Fordham Road during summer of 2020.
2020-07-15For my primary source, I selected a photograph I took at a protest held in front of the Bronx Community College campus on July 15, 2021. The Professional Staff Union of CUNY (PSC-CUNY), the union for the faculty and much of the staff throughout CUNY, organized the event to protest the BCC administration June 26 decision to lay off 36 experienced adjunct professors at the end of their 3-year contracts, even though that their departments recommended that they be rehired. People in the picture include BCC Faculty, staff, and students, as well as those from as well as people from Hostos Community College, who came to support the BCC community and were facing similar cuts. The day was very hot, but I was nervous to the subway because of COVID, so I rode my bike from my home (about 24 miles roundtrip). I was pretty sweaty and probably stinky when I arrived. It was the first time I had been to campus since March 10, when, on my way home from school on the subway, I learned CUNY was moving online. (The campus itself was locked, but we stood in front of the gate on University.) It was also the first time I people from school in person since March; I was so happy to talk to them. It was weird to be with a group people, after months of isolation, but we all wore masks and stood six feet apart. Cars honked their support as they drove by. I selected this source because I want historians of the future to understand how the pandemic hit higher education and the connections among the COVID crisis, social justice movements, and education. Although I went to larger marches after the murder of George Floyd, I believe funding for CUNY is a form of social justice. I was angry that politicians and school administrators were giving lip-service to the phrase Black Live Manners, while cutting funding and jobs from CUNY. BCC’s students are overwhelmingly Black and Latinx, and many studies show that a CUNY education is one of the best schools for supporting social mobility, helping people support themselves and their families. Firing the adjuncts not only meant the teachers lost their income, and, sometimes, their health insurance, but that BCC students would be in larger classes; larger classes mean faculty have less time to devote to each student, which can make it harder to for students to succeed. While I understood enrollment was down and the budget from the city and state would likely be smaller because of the economic toll of the pandemic, I thought there were other places the administration could cut costs. (Such as their own salaries). I want historians to see that the faculty and staff of CUNY fought for what their students deserved and the connections among CUNY, social justice, and New York’s economic recovery. I also want them to see how people approached protests, which require gathering together with other people and often chanting or shouting, while in the middle of a pandemic that required people to stay apart and cover their mouths.