June 7, 2021
As the Mayor of the City of Newburgh, NY; a city facing its own challenges, but with a vibrancy, willingness to survive, and life of its own, in a sense we are all in this challenging city destined for great change together and many of us are still able to see the stars. However, we as humans, see what we want to see.
All that we see or seem, is too many dreams within a dream. The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper, IF we only dare to dream!
In March, the young people of Newburgh, similar to their heroes, legendary artists and entrepreneurs such as Spike Lee, Jay-Z, NAS, Eric B and Rakim Allah, KRS-1, the architects of hip hop, put their dreams of creating a Rap video into reality. They had no mentors to guide them, no classes that they could take, and no guidelines to follow. And, so they pursued their dream the only way they knew how. The music production, lyrical acrobatics, and cinematography were all very impressive. These kids have a lot of talent. So, let’s support THAT talent!!!
So, let us be crystal clear, there were no arrests, no violence, no one was injured, no property was destroyed, no police were involved, there were no incidents.
These were NOT adults, these were NOT long gun--toting insurrectionists storming our Capitol Buildings; they were NOT dressed in military uniforms, they were NOT violent, NO ONE was killed, NO property was destroyed!
We all have been young, have exhibited behavior, listened to music, spoken in ways, dressed differently, all which met with disapproval from our elders. We ALL conform to the cultural norms of our culture and/or subculture! They were dressed like youth everywhere; the guns seen in the video were not real - they were digitally imported; it was artistic license; We all have our youthful follies, indiscretions, and youthful behavior, embarrassing to recall, but some people, somehow, find it hard to dismiss as youthful folly anything that inner-city youth do, even if it was a non-violent and artistic success!!
These were kids! Tomorrow’s talented artists in development! Newburgh’s own!
As Mayor of the City of Newburgh, at the next scheduled press conference, I am prepared to announce what I, the City, professional musicians, producers, actors, artists, and artistic organizations have created, put together, and developed to discover, prepare, assist, and guide the obvious talent that exists in the City of Newburgh. I’ve called upon some very talented professionals to join me to announce opportunities for these very talented artists. We shall always control the narrative for our youth especially if we are residents in the community. Let's make lemonade out of the lemons! Let’s collectively provide more opportunities in film, television and sound recordings for these guys. Empower them with meaningful employment in their chosen art form!!! Art mirrors the images and ways of society.
(Press Conference June 14, 2021 3:30 p.m.) Black Vanilla Coffee Shop.