When I first moved to Brooklyn, I lived in Flatbush and often found myself in conversation with older Black women, many of whom moved to Brooklyn from various countries in the Caribbean, about finding home in a new city. I spent many a night enraptured in conversation with my dear friend, poet, and Bed-Stuy resident, Najee Omar
, about Brooklyn's rich artistic legacy and the ways in which we might contribute to that. I got my professional starts at organizations like The Brooklyn Bodega
and at 651 ARTS
. Brooklyn has sharpened me, always invited challenge and introspection. It really is a city unlike any other—they don't call it the planet of Brooklyn for nothing! And I think as we've watched the borough change under waves of development and displacement, certain artists and certain institutions have suffered as a result. It's disheartening, but I also want to acknowledge that I see real commitments on the part of many different people and organizations to ensure that Brooklyn's radical history is not buried and that it remains possible to build a life here. Cultural work can and should live alongside other modes of political work/resistance.