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Public Access Essentials

There’s more to Public Access Television than rabbit puppets, strange psychics and softcore porn. Public Access TV plays a vital role in local governance, democratic participation and providing resources to underserved communities. But a new FCC proposal could put all of that at risk. BRIC’s Tony Riddle tells us what’s at stake for the medium and for BRIC. And then, 20 years after being a Public Access star as a teen, Rainbow Ruthie tries to recapture the magic.


An Asylum-Seeker’s Harrowing Story

Kenia, like thousands of other migrant mothers seeking asylum in the U.S., was held in a border detention center before she was called before a judge. After being sentenced to time served for illegally crossing the border, she returned to the detention center to learn that her 9-year-old son had been taken in her absence and sent to a home in Houston. She was told that if she asked any more questions, she would never see him again. Eventually, Kenia and her son were reunited with the help of...


An Asylum-Seeker’s Harrowing Story

If you’d like to help Kenia and her son Michael, you can contribute to their basic necessities here: https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-k-amp-m-asylumseekers-in-brooklyn Kenia, like thousands of other migrant mothers seeking asylum in the U.S., was held in a border detention center before she was called before a judge. After being sentenced to time served for illegally crossing the border, she returned to the detention center to learn that her 9-year-old son had been taken in her absence...


Reproductive Rights for Asian Women

We shouldn't abort female fetuses with any more frequency than male fetuses. Seems like a no brainer, right? And that seemingly simple—even seemingly feminist—logic is what anti-abortion lawmakers are relying on when they introduce PRENDA bills. PRENDA stands for Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, and several states have passed these laws, which criminalize the practice of seeking an abortion based on the sex of the fetus. What could be so bad about that? Lots. To tell us more about why PRENDA...


Inclusivity in the Arts

In 1968, Barbara Ann Teer founded the National Black Theatre Company in Harlem. It was the first revenue-generating black arts institution in the city, and this year, it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Teer's daughter and the company's CEO, Sade Lythcott, join us to talk about the role the National Black Theatre played in the fight for civil rights and its legacy today. Then, female musicians like trombonist Melba Liston, saxophonist Vi Redd, and guitarist Emily Remler didn't get the...


Post-Punk Child-Prodigy Chandra Oppenheim

At 12 years old, Chandra Oppenheim was cooler than most adults will ever be. In the 80's, Chandra fronted a post-punk band in downtown New York, gaining rave reviews from the New York Times. Chandra and her daughter Issa join us to talk about music, New York in the 80's, and their upcoming tour, dates of which can be found on Chandra's Instagram, @getitoutofyoursystem. Then, another generation of Brooklyn youth are putting on a film festival for their peers. Hear from BRIC Youth Media...


The Legacy of America's First Black Millionaires

Shomari Wills discusses his new book, "Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires," and the legacy of these pioneers. Then, the knitting community is experiencing a moment of reckoning around racism. Felicia Eve, owner of the String Thing Studio Park Slope, joins us to talk about creating more inclusive knitting spaces.


Downtown Brooklyn Cultural Institutions: New & Old Guards

After 14 years in Midtown Manhattan, the Center for Fiction has recently moved to the cultural hub of Downtown Brooklyn. To talk about the relocation and the goals of the Center, we’re joined by executive director Noreen Tomassi and Mitchell Jackson, author and former Center fellow. Then, BAM is hosting their fifth annual Caribbean Film Series March 14-17. Co-director Curtis Caesar John and filmmaker Sonteneesh Myers tell us what we can expect this year.


Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, Inc

The commercial stretch of Myrtle Avenue near Ft. Greene Park is populated by businesses that seem to be trying to one-up each other with exuberant, punny names. There's the Farmer in the Deli and Gnarly Vines. Buff Patty is not a Crossfit gym for women, but a Jamaican restaurant and bakery. And now, there's a storefront with glittering gold tinsel in the windows and an awning that's hard to miss. It says "Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes Inc."—or GMACC. Hear from its founder,...


Bottlenecks and Bernie Bros

Our favorite political expert, Jarrett Murphy, joins MacKenzie in the studio to help us make sense of why congestion pricing has got commuters blowing their lids. Also, 112BK pundit Nick Rizzo, stops by to talk about America’s favorite socialist grandpa, Bernie Sanders.


Critical Drinking

In our current moment of turmeric tonics and açai everything, can "healthy" cocktails cure what ails you? Amanda Schuster, the senior editor in chief of The Alcohol Professor, joins us to discuss her new book, "New York Cocktails.” And while we’re on the subject, psychic and medium Heather Carlucci drops by to talk about healthy spirits of a different sort.


New Play Pays Homage to “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons”

In 1965, Elektra Records released an LP called Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons. The album featured work songs, blues, spirituals, preachings, and toasts all recorded by the American folklorist and ethnographer Bruce Jackson. The African-American men whose voices appear on the record were serving time, doing hard labor on prison farms, many of which, in a former life, were family-owned plantations worked by slaves. This album is the foundation of a play being mounted by The Wooster...


Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

Nearly half of the 40 NYC breweries participating in this year’s Beer Week are based in Brooklyn. We've assembled a few of those Brooklyn brewers today to talk about some of the most pressing issues facing the craft beer industry. Does beer have a race problem? A woman problem? Are breweries still feeling the effects of the government shutdown? How hazy is too hazy? Anne from 5 Boroughs, Kyle from Big Alice, and Katarina from Lineup join us in the studio to weigh in. Then, Joanna Briley and...


SAMO’s Al Diaz on Art, Hip Hop, & Murals

In the late 70s, two teenage graffiti writers started tagging walls in SoHo and the East Village with SAMO, a shorthand for "same old shit." One of those artists was Al Diaz, and the other was Jean Michel Basquiat. Diaz joins us in the studio to talk about his ongoing contributions to New York's street art scene and the upcoming symposium at BKLYN COMMONS on art, murals and hip hop called Destination Bed-Stuy.


Making the World a Better Place for Trans People

Author Jodie Patterson talks about how raising a transgender child led to her own transformation and her book "The Bold World," where she talks about the transitions made by her whole family, the 60's civil rights movement, intersectional feminism, and the struggle for transgender and gender non-conforming rights. Then, a former Rabbi who left her cloistered community after coming out as trans joins us to talk about the current policies and political rhetoric around trans rights.


The Strand: 18 Miles of Red Tape?

What happens when the owner of an establish doesn’t want their building to be landmarked? The owner of the Stand Bookstore, Nancy Wyden, is worried that if the building that houses the bookstore is granted landmark status, the Stand could get tied up in red tape. Landmarking is seen as a way of protecting important buildings, but who gets to decide what’s worth preserving and what’s not? To tell us more, we’re joined by Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council,...


Gender-Bending Celebration of Van Halen

A new play called “Eddie and Dave” delves into the legendary breakup of Van Halen, but does so with a twist: each member of the group is played by a woman. Playwright and actor Amy Staats (who plays Eddie Van Halen) and actor Megan Hill (who plays David Lee Roth), join us in the studio to tell us more. Then, David Lee Roth famously insured his penis. Wondering how that works? Attorney Alan Levin explains how, exactly, one goes about insuring an appendage.


Dating App Puts Muslim Women in Charge

The challenges of modern dating are often amplified for women and people of color. In a country where Islamophobia is on the rise, Mariam Bahawdory wanted to create an app that not only catered to Muslims looking for love, but specifically put Muslim women in the driver’s seat. Hear from Bahawdory talk about her app, Eshq. Then, learn about a new oral history project that seeks to record and amplify the stories of Brooklyn’s Muslim communities from Brooklyn Historical Society’s Zaheer Ali.


A Hasidic Rabbi's Transition

We've come a long way in recognizing that transgender people exist, with trans rights openly discussed on TV, in the news and in the halls of government. But imagine if you didn't have access to mainstream television, movies, or even news. Imagine growing up trans in that environment, and thinking that maybe no one had ever felt what you were feeling. Abby Stein was raised as a boy in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, and became a rabbi before eventually deciding to leave her closed community...


Forget the Bachelor, Who Will be NY’s Public Advocate?

There are more people running for Public Advocate than there are women name Lauren on the Bachelor. It’s become the hottest race in New York—despite the fact that most new Yorkers don’t know what the job entails. So, who are these candidates, what are their platforms, and why should we care? City Limits reporter Jarrett Murphy and co-moderator of the most recent Public Advocate debate, BRIC TV Managing Editor Brian Vines join us in the studio to break down this special election. And then,...