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Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street naming ceremony 2017

Left to right: Frank Marcantonio Jr, Esq.; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito; Actor/Activist, LuLu LoLo Pascale; Gloria Quiñones, Esq.; VMF Co-chair, Roberto Ragone; Back row: East Harlem Historian, Christopher Bell;  VMF Co-chair Gerald Meyer.

December 17, 2017
The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) is especially grateful to LuLu LoLo Pascale, a native East Harlem resident and founding member of the VMF, for her dedicated hard work with Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, in accomplishing the goal of naming the northeast corner of East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City, the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner.

The event featured keynote speech from Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito who explained to the large crowd on hand that she is proud to serve the same district that Marcantonio once did.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer explained how Marcantonio’s legacy should serve as an inspiration for all.

Lucky Corner photo with bird 2017 by Gloria Quiñones

Photo by Gloria Quiñones.

Vito Marcantonio’s first cousin, once removed, Frank L. Marcantonio Jr., Esq., shared his family’s pride in connection to the late, great congressman.

Actor/Activist, LuLu LoLo Pascale, performed her “Personal Memory of Vito Marcantonio” that took place when she was a young girl growing up in East Harlem near his headquarters that was just three blocks from the Lucky Corner.

Melissa Mark-Viverito’s mentor Gloria Quiñones, Esq. discussed the importance of Marcantonio’s place in the history of Puerto Rico and how Marc’s legacy can provide a source of guidance for today’s leaders.

The Lucky Corner in East Harlem New York City

Lucky Corner during Marcantonio’s re-election campaign.

VMF Co-Chairman, Roberto Ragone, performed “Marc for Mayor,” which re-enacted a speech Marcantonio gave at a political rally at the Lucky Corner in 1949.

The ceremony was rounded-out by a poetry reading of The Litany of San Vito, a poem dedicated to Marcantonio that was written by founding VMF member and author of seven books, Gil Fagiani.

The Litany of San Vito was read in three languages: Gloria Quiñones, read the Spanish version, and VMF Vice President Maria Lisella read it in Italian and local Historian Christopher Bell. See the video below for an earlier reading by LuLu LoLo Pascale at Woodlawn Cemetery in 2014:

VMF Co-Chairman, Dr. Gerald Meyer, discussed the history of the Vito Marcantonio Forum that he co-founded in 2011, stating that “the Vito Marcantonio Forum looks forward to memorializing other sites associated with the life and work of this great spokesperson of all those who had been left out of the American Dream and advocate for a program of social justice and peace.”

The ceremony commenced with Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with members of the VMF and residents of East Harlem, pulling a rope that unveiled the street sign that was mounted on the corner lamppost.

We have additional pictures of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner Streetcorner Co-Naming Ceremony posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts that we encourage you to Like, Share, Comment, and Re-Tweet. We also have pictures in our photo gallery that you can find here.

We also want to thank all the press who covered the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner Co-Naming Ceremony, especially AM New York, who ran a great story: https://www.amny.com/news/harlem-vito-marcantonio-1.15498344

The People’s World will be printing an article written by Gabe Falsetta and Gary Bono that we will soon post a link to.

The City Council of New York City’s official press release on the event can be found here: https://council.nyc.gov/press/2017/12/17/1554/

Below is a video of the unveiling of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street sign that we thank Dorothy He for providing:

Nelson A. Denis Book Presentation at the Mulberry St Library

April 6th, 2016
Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library

War Against all Puerto Ricans: Revolution & Terror in America’s Colony
– Nelson A. Denis, Nation Books, NY 2015

Nelson A. Denis book presentation poster 2016 Vito Marcantonio ForumGil Fagiani brought the night’s event to order. Over 40 attendees heard a brief summary of the Many events the Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) has organized through the year and the VMF members who contributed their time and talents to these events. He officially opened the night’s event by reciting the Litany of San Vito, a poem he wrote and dedicated to the late, great congressman from East Harlem, New York City, who the VMF models their nonprofit after.

Nelson A. Denis began by giving some background of U.S. involvement in Puerto Rico; for example, by introducing U.S. dollars and eliminating the Puerto Rican peso (the Spanish peso)—in this exchange—the latter currency lost 40% of its value, thereby causing widespread poverty, loss of many businesses, collapse of banks and numerous financial institutions. Four corporations ended up owning almost half of all the sugar fields of the entire island.

Gil Fagiani, Nelson Denis, Roberto Ragone

Gil Fagiani, Nelson Denis, Roberto Ragone

“Vito Marcantonio was the most able, courageous, and principled defenders and friend of the Puerto Rican people. Much more principled than most Puerto Rican politicians of the times,” said Mr. Denis.

Denis’ presentation was energetic and impassioned. The audience felt his beliefs and outrage as he described the violent repression unleashed on the opponents of American intervention.

After the book presentation, Roberto Ragone, co-chairman of the VMF, ably dramatized two Vito Marcantonio speeches. At the end of the performance he received an enthusiastic applause and praise from Mr. Denis and the audience. Denis’ talk and Ragone’s performance blended together seamlessly to give flesh and form to Denis’ words.

Nelson A. Denis with Vito Marcantonio Forum Treasurer, Adam Milat-Meyer

Nelson A. Denis with Vito Marcantonio Forum Treasurer, Adam Milat-Meyer

The efforts by Gil Fagiani in organizing this event must not go unnoticed. His labors of putting on this event manifested themselves in the excellent presentations of Mr. Ragone, the impassioned and sometimes humorous words of Mr. Denis, and the support and intelligent curiosity displayed by the audience which filled the room at the Mulberry Street Public Library.

The group thanks David Giglio for filming the event, which soon will be released on this site (please check back frequently). The Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library for providing the event space deserves much thanks as well. Last but not least, Nelson A. Denis for his inspirational and fascinating presentation and Q&A discussion.

Click on the following link to purchase the book:
War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A. Denis.  

Luis Romero
Cofounder/blogger of the VMF

vito marcantonio forum | gerald meyer lulu lolo pascale melissa mark-viverito adam milat-meyer roberto ragone

Thanks to everyone who attended the VMF Memorial Service August 9th

On behalf of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, we would like to thank everyone who contributed. We could not have done it alone and we appreciate the help.

Melissa Mark Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council, delivered an inspiring speech for everyone in attendance. We will post video soon. BronxNet TV covered the event as well as American Oggi