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Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker Reading & Conversation with graphic novelist Julian Voloj
May 7, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Join graphic novelist Julian Voloj as he discusses his engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history. Ghetto Brother tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop.
Presented in partnership with the Miles Nadal JCC, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, and Be’chol Lashon.