Amsterdam New’s Article
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012 12:00 am
The Black Panther People’s Survival Program
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012 12:00 am
By YACINE SIMPORÉ Special to the AmNews | 0 comments
Launched four years ago, the People’s Survival Program (PSP) has the mission to advance the vision and legacy of the Black Panther Movement.
“The Black Panther Party still exists and has different programs, and PSP is one of them,” explained Brother Shep, one of the organizers of their monthly food and clothing giveaway in the Harlem community. According to co-organizer Yoda, such events were established by the Black Panther Party in the ’70s.
“When I was a kid, I was fed by this food service,” Yoda said. “This movement and its programs are all about giving, and this is how we contribute to the legacy of the Black Panthers.”
With the support of community businesses and restaurants like Jacob Restaurant, hundreds of meals are distributed to the community each month.
But the PSP is not limited to the food program. Since its beginning, Brother Shep said that it is constantly evolving to better answer the needs of the community. The PSP is now hosting an educational project at CUNY to teach the community how to deal with several social or political issues.
“For example, we teach people how to deal with police terrorism or even how to react in case of an emergency,” said Yoda. “We have the impression that our communities are forgotten, so we have to get organized by ourselves and improve our living conditions by helping each other.”
PSP also pushes for greater communication within the community. Shaheed Shakur has made mediation his specialty in the group.
“We set up discussion meetings to help people solve their conflicts without using arms, to stop violence. We want our people to stop killing each other for some misunderstandings that could be solved through discussion,” he said.
Other programs include health, healing and wellness; the women’s circle; housing assistance; and organizing support for political prisoners. Yoda said they are set up to fully serve the community in all of New York City.
“PSP is definitely growing,” said Brother Shep, “but one of our main goals is to get the youth involved, because they are our future and they have to know the issues that their community is facing.”
It’s the Sandy Generation – City kids living in neighborhoods with no power are rocked by fear
Fear and depression common among Brooklyn kids living without power after storm
By Simone Weichselbaum / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, November 12, 2012, 6:23 PM
Joseph Tepper for New York Daily News
Khymorrah Morris, 4, lives in Gravesend Houses in Coney Island – where all she knows is that she is often cold ever since the storm knocked out heat and hot water to her family’s apartment.
A 12-year-old girl in Coney Island is scared of snow. A 9-year-old boy in Red Hook believes the world is coming to an end.
Thousands of Brooklyn kids are part of the Sandy Generation – children who survived the superstorm but are now stuck living in an ongoing blackout laced with fear that it will never end.
“My friend just told me that we won’t have power till next month. We already had a week without power. We can’t wait a whole month. We can’t live using flashlights,” said a sobbing Tyril David, 9, walking home to his six-floor apartment in Red Hook Houses.
Across Brooklyn, children living in Red Hook, Brighton Beach Coney Island and other areas without power told the News they are anxious and depressed – fearful that life will never return to normal.
“I don’t want to live in my house anymore. I am scared. I don’t want to come back. We are literally right by the water,” said Janasia Chambers, 12, whose family’s Coney Island home was flooded, forcing them to live out of a top-floor bedroom.
“When it was snowing, it was scary.”
Tyril David, 9, lives in the Red Hook. The storm has made him fearful the world is coming to an end.
Parents have noticed their children have become erratic and emotional since the storm.
“It’s really hard…he’s crying,” said Iris Ibarrondo, 27, a Red Hook Houses mom about her son Danny, 7. “I thought I would lose all my things,” the boy explained.
The borough’s largest city public housing development have had no lights, heat, or hot water since the Category 1 hurricane hit New York on Oct. 29.
“I am very angry. We were supposed to get power before Manhattan. But they got power first,” said Tyril whose other worries include being diabetic and not being able to test his blood sugar without proper light.
His mother is blind adding to Tyril’s fears of being in the constant dark with a parent who can’t fend for him or herself.
“The world is coming to an end. We didn’t do nothing to God,” Tyril said. “Mother Nature, God, everything – they treat us like we are nothing.”
Child psychology experts said kids in powerless neighborhoods yearn for small luxuries – hot showers, clean clothes, access to Facebook, and playing video games.
Alan Hilfer, head psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center, said living without power is like a “prison sentence.
“The longer this persists, the more of a lasting impact it will have on kids. It will make them more fearful and more anxious,” Hilfer said.
Khymorrah Morris, 4, is too young to understand why her family’s four-bedroom ground-floor apartment in Gravesend Houses on Neptune Avenue was destroyed by the water surge.
The apartment reeks of mildew, has no heat, dry furniture, working refrigerator or stove. She and her seven brothers and sisters eat canned food wearing winter coats.
“The flood ruined my room and my mother’s room too. I sleep with my mommy,” said Khymorrah. “I’m wearing my jacket because it’s cold – a lot.”