Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Vito Marcantonio and the Puerto Rican People"


On November 28th, the Vito Marcantonio Forum held an event at Hunter College in New York City. Done in conjunction with Hunter’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the colloquium was entitled “Vito Marcantonio and the Puerto Rican People.”

The program included: the best source for all things Marcantonio, Gerald Meyer, author of the indispensable, “Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician"; consultant and community activist Robert Ragone; playwright and performance artist LuLu LoLo Pascale; Professor Edgardo Melendez of Hunter College, and poet Gil Fagiani of the Italian American Writers Association.

The conference was very informative, even entertaining. It can be viewed in its entirety right here.

Meyer dedicated his discussion to Marc’s political thought. Melendez discussed the congressman’s relationship to important leaders of recent Puerto Rican history, especially those who sought independence for the island.

Ragone did a creative “Staged Live Reenactment Conveyed as Radio Transmittal” of excerpted Marcantonio speeches while Pascale rendered beautiful interpretations of letters to the congressman mined from the 80-plus boxes making up the “Marcantonio Papers” harbored at the New York Public Library. Gil Fagiani read a poem for “San Vito” and served as the evening’s moderator.

The Vito Marcantonio Forum was formed last September at Gerald Meyer’s apartment in Brooklyn. The group’s mission is to “bring together people, from a wide variety of backgrounds, interested in disseminating and sharing knowledge of the life and work of Vito Marcantonio (1902 to 1954), who served as Congressman from East Harlem for fourteen years (1932 to 1954).”

highwayscribery was at the founding meeting although geography makes it difficult to participate in the group’s activities. As some of you may know, the highway scribe is some three years along with a novel incorporating Marcantonio’s career into its fictional account of an Italian-American family living in his neighborhood.

For those interested in learning more about this fascinating, fighting congressman, we recommend visiting The Forum’s Web page at http://vitomarcantonioforum.org. The group’s e-mail is vitomarcantonioforum@gmail.com 

Vito Marcantonio, presente!

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