Tag Archives: gerald meyer

VMF Screening Event — SAT, NOV. 2nd, 2PM

You are invited to join The Vito Marcantonio Forum’s screening of Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread): A People’s History of the Italian-American Experience.

Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread)

WHAT: Screening of Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread) The Italian American Journey from despised immigrants to honored citizens. An open discussion will follow the screening of the documentary.
WHEN: Sat., November 2nd, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WHERE: Community Room at the Mulberry Street Public Library:
10 Jersey St. (between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets) New York, NY 10012
Free Admission / Light Refreshments served

About the film:
Pane Amaro has been called the first comprehensive depiction of the early Italian immigrant experience on the East Coast of the United States. This feature-length documentary tracks the social, economic, and political transformation of Italians from immigrant victims of violence and prejudice to prominent members of American society.

About the filmmakers:
Gianfranco Norelli has produced & directed a wide range of award-winning documentaries focused on social and cultural issues. Pane Amaro is the product of a partnership with Suma Kurien, who co-wrote and co-produced the film.

Upcoming Vito Marcantonio Forum Event

On Saturday, December 7th 2019 at 5:30pm, the VMF is proud to host a multimedia presentation co-sponsored by LEAPS/Chelsea Rising (Limited Equity and Affordability at Penn South:

Paul Robeson and Vito Marcantonio: Martyrs of McCarthyism

Penn South
343 8th Avenue (Building 8A Community Room)
New York, NY 10001

Free Admission

Vito Marcantonio at right with W.E.B Du Bois at center and Paul Robeson on the left
Vito Marcantonio at right with W. E. B. Du Bois at center and Paul Robeson on the left

The Purgatory Trial of Vito Marcantonio

On January 27, 2019 The Vito Marcantonio Forum & Word Of Art Productions presented The Purgatory Trial of Vito Marcantonio, which was written and performed by Roberto Ragone, Directed by Art Bernal with an introduction by Gerald Meyer.

Roberto Ragone during the open discussion following the performance of The Purgatory Trial of Vito Marcantonio

The following review written by Gabe Falsetta and Gary Bono, originally appeared in The People’s World and later in The Indypendent:

On a recent Sunday afternoon in New York City an audience of more than 50 people was treated to a unique one-man show, The Purgatory Trail of Vito Marcantonio, written and performed by Roberto Ragone and directed by Art Bernal with introductory remarks by Professor Gerald Meyer. Professor Meyer is the author of the definitive biography of the progressive congressman and the co-chair, along with co-chair Ragone, of the Vito Marcantonio Forum.

The play opens on Aug. 9th, 1954, the day of Marcantonio’s death. Though a Catholic, Marcantonio was denied a Catholic burial by New York’s extreme right-wing cardinal, and thus the action of the play centers around an imagined plea by Marcantonio to be released from purgatory — the repository of souls that God assigned neither to Heaven nor Hell  — and be allowed to ascend into heaven.

By way of a defense, Ragone, as Marcantonio, presents excerpts from his speeches in Congress and dramatized reenactments of incidents from his life. Ragone carries these texts (explaining each of these key moments in his life) in a portfolio each of which illustrate his record of selfless service to his constituents and his loyalty to his East Harlem community.

Reenacted are such things as Marcantonio’s impassioned pleas for the establishment of a “second front” in Europe during WWII to assist the beleaguered Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, his defense of jailed Puerto Rican Nationalist, Pedro Albizu Campos, and his lonely stance in opposition to the Korean War.

The play illustrates how Marcantonio never compromised his progressive principals; always serving as a champion of equality, a fighter against injustice and a defender of the common folk.

Also documented: the relentless hostility of the powers-that-be toward Marcantonio. They continually plotted and schemed against him, changing the boundaries of his district until it extended as far south as Sutton Place. They even changed the election laws to his detriment.

Initially, these attempts at sabotage were in vain, he was reelected six times. Contributing greatly to Marcantonio’s success was the fact that during his time in Congress he had an unparalleled record of direct service to his constituents.

In his introductory remarks, Professor Meyer read extracts from letters sent to Marcantonio from people in his district thanking him or asking for help. With that kind of grassroots support, he proved hard to beat and the only way his opponents could succeed removing him from office was through the immense effort of getting all the other political parties to unite against him.

There are many memorable highlights’, e.g., the eulogy given at Marcantonio’s wake by the great Paul Robeson; a back and forth with a friend of questionable reputation, the gangster Tommy Lucchese, who Marcantonio showed respect while rejecting his offer of a personal bodyguard; and Marcantonio’s successful defense of black leader and communist W.E.B. DuBois, who aptly said the main hurdle of the 21st century would be overcoming racism.

Although this New York performance was a limited engagement Ragone and Bernal have already been approached about possible performances in other cities and it may, in part, even be available for viewing on YouTube, so many others may get a chance to see this play in the future.

TodayMarcantonio, perhaps the most progressive representative to ever hold a congressional seat, has largely been written out of history. The Vito Marcantonio Forum’s goal is to reverse this wrong.


Photo (from left to right): Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Dubois, Vito Marcantonio. Photographer unknown.

Note: This article has appeared in the following fine publications:
People’s World, La Voce, WetheItalians.com, Primo, Indypendent, L’Idea, Portside, ItaliansRUs.com

VMF events December 1st

You are invited to join The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) continues with the latest installment of Oliver Stone’s multi-part documentary:

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 5: The 50s – Eisenhower, the Bomb & The Third World

WHAT: Screening of The Untold History of  the United States. Chaired by Gerald Meyer, VMF co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, the film will be followed by an open discussion.
WHEN: Saturday, December 1st, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WHERE: Community Room at the Mulberry Street Public Library:
10 Jersey St. (btw. Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.) New York, NY 10012
PLEASE NOTE: Chapter 6 screening will be on January 5, 2019
Light Refreshments / Free Admission 

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 5: The 50s - Eisenhower, the Bomb & The Third World

Martyrs of McCarthyism: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, 1953.

From 2018 to 2019, the Vito Marcantonio Forum showed the first three of Stone’s ten, one-hour long, episodes that comprise his masterful documentary, “The Untold History of the United States,” each of which was followed by an Open Discussion. These events attracted large, engaged audiences. This series will resume with the screening of “The 50’s – Eisenhower, the Bomb & The Third World.”

Almost eerily, Stone’s interpretation of this period of U. S. history mirrors the positions Vito Marcantonio presented from the floor of the House of Representatives, on radio, in Madison Square Garden/Yankee Stadium, and at countless street-corner rallies throughout New York City.

The screening on Dec. 1st 2018, will be followed by “JFK to the Brink,” on Jan, 5th 2019. All parts of this series take place on the first Saturdays of the month in the Community Room of the MSPL, 2:00PM-4:00PM; all are free and serve light refreshments.

We encourage you to go on-line and purchase “The Untold History of the U.S.,” an extraordinary volume, authored by Stone and Peter Kusnick, that accompanies the documentary.

PS: There is interest in forming a four-session reading circle for Leonard Covello’s, The Heart Is the Teacher. If you are interested, please send an email to GeraldJMeyer@aol.com, who will facilitate this endeavor. Please include which evening(s), from Monday to Thursday, you are available.

untold history of the united statesAbout the film: Documentary by Oliver Stone. E.5: Eisenhower and the CIA played a great part in the shaping of the world in the 1950’s; the development of the Cold war and the nerve-wrecking battle against communism, driven on by the U.S. Government hysteria’s reaction to the Red Scare spearheaded by McCarthyism leads to the incarceration, black listing, and execution of those who are a perceived threat.
About Oliver Stone: This prolific and ingenious screenwriter and director has authored numerous award-winning feature  films, including SalvadorThe Fourth of JulyJFK — that have reached millions of viewers with dramatic depictions of historic events that challenge conventional interpretations of critical events of our time. Stone’s official website is oliverstone.com and his official Twitter handle is: @TheOliverStone

 

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 3: The Bomb.

You are invited to join The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) continues with the last installment  of Oliver Stone’s multi-part documentary,

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 3: The Bomb.

WHAT: Screening of The Untold History of  the United States. Chaired by Gerald Meyer, VMF co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, the film will be followed by an open discussion.
VMF Co-Chairman, Roberto Ragone will perform a reenactment of the Vito Marcantonio speech “How the Marshall Plan Betrayed Democracy: The Case of Italy.”
Emcee: VMF Treasurer, Adam Meyer
WHEN: Saturday, May 12th, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
WHERE: Community Room at the Mulberry Street PL, 10 Jersey St.
(btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.)
PLEASE NOTE: This it the final session
Light Refreshments / Free Admission 
nucleur explosionAbout the film: This series will focus on the first four chapters of The Untold History, which spans the events leading up to United States entry into World War II until the outbreak of the Korean War. This period coincides with Marcantonio’s seven-term tenure in Congress, where he advocated for policies aligned with those presented in The Untold History.
About Oliver Stone: This prolific and ingenious screenwriter and director has authored numerous award-winning feature  films, including SalvadorThe Fourth of JulyJFK — that have reached millions of viewers with dramatic depictions of historic events that challenge conventional interpretations of critical events of our time. Stone’s official website is oliverstone.com and his official Twitter handle is: @TheOliverStone

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 3: The Bomb.

You are invited to join The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) continues with the last installment  of Oliver Stone’s multi-part documentary,

The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 3: The Bomb.

WHAT: Screening of The Untold History of  the United States. Chaired by Gerald Meyer, VMF co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, the film will be followed by an open discussion
WHEN: Saturday, May 12th, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
WHERE: Community Room at the Mulberry Street PL, 10 Jersey St.
(btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.)
PLEASE NOTE: This it the final session
Light Refreshments / Free Admission 
nucleur explosionAbout the film: This series will focus on the first four chapters of The Untold History, which spans the events leading up to United States entry into World War II until the outbreak of the Korean War. This period coincides with Marcantonio’s seven-term tenure in Congress, where he advocated for policies aligned with those presented in The Untold History.
About Oliver Stone: This prolific and ingenious screenwriter and director has authored numerous award-winning feature  films, including SalvadorThe Fourth of JulyJFK — that have reached millions of viewers with dramatic depictions of historic events that challenge conventional interpretations of critical events of our time. Stone’s official website is oliverstone.com and his official Twitter handle is: @TheOliverStone

The Untold History of the United States: A Documentary by Oliver Stone Screening and Open Discussion | Part 3

untold history of the united statesThe Untold History of the United States: A Documentary by Oliver Stone
Chapter 3: The Bomb

You are invited to join The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) continues a four-session series of Oliver Stone’s multi-part documentary, The Untold History of the United States: Chapter 3: The Bomb.
WHAT: Screening of The Untold History of  the United States. Chaired by Gerald Meyer, VMF co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, the film will be followed by an open discussion
WHEN: Saturday, April 14th, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
WHERE: Community Room at the Mulberry Street PL, 10 Jersey St. (btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.)
The final session will take place on May 12th at the same place and time.
Light Refreshments / Free Admission
About the film: This series will focus on the first four chapters of The Untold History, which spans the events leading up to United States entry into World War II until the outbreak of the Korean War. This period coincides with Marcantonio’s seven-term tenure in Congress, where he advocated for policies aligned with those presented in The Untold History.
About Oliver Stone: This prolific and ingenious screenwriter and director has authored numerous award-winning feature  films, including SalvadorThe Fourth of JulyJFK — that have reached millions of viewers with dramatic depictions of historic events that challenge conventional interpretations of critical events of our time. Stone’s official website is oliverstone.com and his official Twitter handle is: @TheOliverStone

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:

DEDICATION OF THE VITO MARCANTONIO LUCKY CORNER

The VMF is proud to announce: Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, invites you to the dedication of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner, E116th St. and Lexington Ave. this Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner

There will be a reading of the poem, “Litany of San Vito,” by Gil Fagiani that will be performed by: Christopher Bell, (English), Maria Lisella, (Italian), and Gloria E. Quiñones (Spanish). Other talks include:

  • Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street namingLuLu LoLo Pascale “Personal Memory of Marc.”
  • Dr. Gerald Meyer: “The Lucky Corner: Its History, Its Future.”
  • Roberto Ragone: “Marc for Mayor, at the Lucky Corner.”
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council: Dedication.
If you would like more information on the history of Lucky Corner, see Gerald Meyer’s article:  http://www.vitomarcantonio.com/vm_lucky_corner.html 
Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner
Street Naming
Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 1PM-2PM
E116th Street & Lexington Ave (Northeast Corner)
New York, NY 10029
We cannot thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. See you on Sunday at 1PM!
Sponsored by:
The Speaker of the New York City Council & The Vito Marcantonio Forum
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Join us for a stage reading of “Waiting for Lefty” on Dec 10th, 2017.
You can contact us for details on any of these events, however, we really would appreciate you reading everything here first:
WAITING FOR LEFTY
Sunday, December 10th at 3pm at
The Roy Arias Stages (2nd floor)
777 8th Ave between 47th and 48th Streets
Tickets will be $10 at the door.
or a reservation can be made by emailing
Directed by Art Bernal with an introduction by Gerald Meyer and an epilogue by Roberto Ragone as Vito Marcantonio, this stage reading will be dedicated to Marcantonio, who was born on December 10, 1902.

 

i-vote-my-conscience by annette t rubinsteinChelsea Rising Reading Circle | Dec 20th, 6PM-8PM
On the third Wednesday of every month, The VMF has been sponsoring a reading circle run by Co-chair Gerald Meyer, on I Vote My Conscience by Annette T. Rubinstein.
There is no admission charge and being that this is the final installment in the series–this event will end with a celebration with food and beverage provided–so don’t miss it!
Penn South Reading Room
339 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011

Video of Vito Marcantonio Memorial at City Hall Park 2016

We are proud to announce the release of the latest Vito Marcantonio Forum video!

Thanks to VMF co-founder David Giglio, who films and edits our events, we have a brand new video! Please share it with everyone you know via email, social media, etc.

In addition to everyone in attendance, we also like to specially thank the following speakers:

  • Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the NYC Council
  • Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Gloria Quinones, East Harlem Community Activist, Attorney, Advocate

Click below for the latest Vito Marcantonio Forum video:

The 4th Annual Commemoration of Vito Marcantonio at City Hall Park in New York 2016

We want to thank everyone who attended the fourth annual commemoration of Vito Marcantonio. More than fifty persons of every imaginable background attended the event held at the exact location where Marc fell dead of a heart attach in 1954.

Vito Marcantonio Forum commemoration 2016 Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Bronx Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, as well as U.S. Attorney and Easy Harlem Community Activist Gloria Quinones, Gloria spoke about Marc’s tremendous contributions to Puerto Rico right to benefit from its association with the United States while fighting for its independence, and the need to day for pubic officials to follow in his example.

Leading up to the event, we had a banner ad posted on the Indypendent Newspaper’s website. Their online and printed publications represent the best in journalism.

We will soon post a video of today’s event on our YouTube channel. Roberto Ragone did an excellent job writing content, organizing, and emceeing. Below is the run of show so you get an idea of what transpired:

Melissa Mark-Viverito at the Vito Marcantonio Forum commemoration event 2016

Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito

Vito Marcantonio:  Fourth Annual Commemoration

3:00-3:10pm – Roberto Ragone as emcee makes welcoming remarks and introduces Gil Fagiani, who along with Simone Cinotto, will recite his poem, The Litany of San Vito

3:10-3:30pm – Public Officials speak:
  • Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the NYC Council
  • Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Gloria Quinones, East Harlem Community Activist, Attorney, Advocate

3:30-3:45pm – Reading of “The People’s Proclamation for Vito Marcantonio”

  1. LuLu LoLo Pascale

    LuLu LoLo Pascale 2016 commemoration of Vito Marcantonio

    LuLu LoLo Pascale

  2. Simone Cinotto
  3. Gary Bono
  4. Chris Bell
  5. Rita Barakos
  6. Luis Romero
  7. Nicholas Arture
  8. Lionel Francois
  9. Gloria Quinones
  10. Adam Meyer

3:45-3:55pm – Dr. Gerald Meyer on the significance of site of the event|
3:55-4:00pm – LuLu LoLo Pascale performs a dramatization
4:00-4:09 pm – Intro. to dramatization and dramatization of Vito Marcantonio by Roberto Ragone
4:09-4:15 pm Closing Remarks – Dr. Gerald Meyer (on the importance of volunteers and supporting our future events given Marcantonio’s relevance)

Vito Marcantonio Forum pic at commemoration 2016 of Gloria Quinones with Gale Brewer and Gerald Meyer speaking

Professor Gerald Meyer discusses the late, great Vito Marcantonio while community activist Gloria Quinones and Gale Brewer look on.