School Colors Ep. 1: Old School

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. But Bed-Stuy is changing. Fifty years ago, schools in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 were so overcrowded that students went to school in shifts. Today, they’re half-empty. Why? In trying to answer that question, we discovered that the biggest, oldest questions we […]

Third Rail Eps 56: Tenant Matters

In this episode of Third Rail we focus on those in Central Brooklyn who are on the front line of gentrification: tenants and renters. This past June, Governor Cuomo signed into law a sweeping new collection of rent regulations which re-set the bar for tenant protections and curtailed the power of landlords to dictate rates […]

Third Rail Eps 55: A Plant Grows in Brooklyn

Cannabis or Marijuana use in a Black area like Central Brooklyn has always been a complex issue. While many people call marijuana use a “gateway” to heavier drug addiction, the reality is, getting picked up by the police for distributing or using weed has been a gateway to the criminal justice system. In this episode […]

Third Rail Eps 54: Black Brooklyn Oscars

In a special post Academy Award edition of Third Rail, we indulge our twin loves, BK and movies, by paying homage  — and occasional shade — to Black Brooklyn through the lens of cinema. Specifically, we pose the question, what are the best Black Brooklyn movies ever made? Joining Third Rail host Mark Winston Griffith […]

Third Rail Eps. 53 Central Brooklyn Food: Unifier or Gentrifier?

Food, one of the most potent cultural forces in American life, represents our ability to come together across tribal lines, especially during the holidays. At the same time, in Central Brooklyn and other gentrifying cities, where restaurants and groceries stores are not just markers of distinct tastes and cuisines, but of race and class privilege, […]

Third Rail Eps 52: Is there a Black-Asian Future?

As the cultural and economic displacement of low-income people of color intensifies in New York and throughout urban America, the parallel strivings of Asian- and African-Americans force activists to deeply consider their alliances and how to navigate battle lines.  This week on Third Rail we examine the state of Black-Asian relations in gentrifying New York […]

Third Rail Episode 51: Racing Stripes

As historically “Black” districts in Central Brooklyn evolve, encompass various neighborhoods, and/or gentrify, Black candidates for elected office use tactics, voter targeting and coded messaging to appeal to different sub constituencies that cut across race, class and a variety of identity lines.  This week in Third Rail we examine electoral politics in a gentrifying Central […]

Third Rail Eps 49: Brooklyn’s Own: Youth Activism & Anti- Gun Violence

The recent youth-led demonstrations that were prompted in response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida have jump-started a conversation around the role that youth play in combating American-style gun violence. The site of the Parkland massacre was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a majority white school in Broward County, Florida. However, Black and Brown […]

Learning Curves: A New Generation of Parents and Educators Take on Change in Bed-Stuy’s District 16

Shaila Dewan, a reporter for the New York Times who covers the criminal justice system, moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant with her husband in 2012, when she was “very pregnant” with their first child. “I didn’t really know that much about the schools,” she said, “except that nobody I knew went to any of them. I asked […]