Tag Archives: vmf

VMF events in September & October 2015

Vito Marcantonio Forum Celebrates Pope Francis’ Visit and Italian American Culture Month with a People’s Pilgrimage to East Harlem

Vito Marcantonio Forum 2015

Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 @ 12:00PM

Walking in the Footsteps of Vito Marcantonio.

Starting at Lucky Corner at the northeast corner of 116th St. & Lexington Ave at 12pm. Highlights include a visit to Vito Marcantonio’s home, Our Lady Queen of Angels Elementary School that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit (the church was shut down to parishioners’ protests in 2007). VMF will appeal to the Vatican to bless Marcantonio who was refused a Catholic burial by Cardinal Spellman in 1954. Route details will soon be posted to VitoMarcantonioForum.org  Weather will be great!

See below for a map of the tour. For questions or if you get lost, call or text Adam Meyer at 347.813.1396

Vito Marcantonio Forum - Program for Walking Tour of East Harlem_09-19-15

Map of Procession



Marcantonio and Immigration

VMF dramitization of Leonard Covello by LuLu LoLo PascaleThursday, October 15, from 2:00 to 3:30, @ CUNY’s Hostos Community College, Bronx, NY. This will be VMF’s 3rd program at Hostos. The focus for this program will be:

Marcantonio and Immigration.

Presenting: Professor Gerald Meyer with life-long East Harlem resident performance artist, LuLu LoLo Pascale and activist, actor and marketing expert, Roberto Ragone. The format encourages audience participation.

Light refreshments will be served | Admission is FREE!


I’m Dying Now and I Did Not Kill Emmet Till

VMF - emmet till play flyer

358 West 44th Street
New York, NY off 9th Ave
Admission is $10.00 

Friday, September 25, 2015 at 8PM
Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 8PM
Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 6PM

A play directed by VMF member Art Bernal with an acting appearance by VMF co-chairman Roberto Ragone.

The murder, the trial, the injustice for all is covered in this play. DON’T MISS IT. For more info, email dramaworkshopproject@gmail.com or call 201-416-9516


Michael Parenti Book Presentation

waiting for yesterday by Michael Parenti

Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 @ NYPL’s Mulberry Branch Library, VMF will present a symposium on Waiting for Yesterday (Bordighera Press), Michael Parenti’s memoir of growing up in Italian Harlem. The event will be moderated by Gil Fagiani. Speakers will include author Stephen Siciliano and dramatizations by life-long East Harlem resident performance artist, LuLu LoLo Pascale and activist, actor and marketing expert, Roberto Ragone.

Parenti received his PhD in political science from Yale University and for many years, he taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.

Parenti is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His highly acclaimed writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economy, imperialism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, free-marketorthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religion, ancient history, modern history, historiography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalism, sexism, racism, homophobia, Venezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.

Michael Parenti blog banner

Don’t miss these VMF events in September & October 2015!

VMF and IAWA events for April and May 2015

The Vito Marcantonio Forum and friends have a number of events coming up in late April and early May 2015. Make sure and read everything carefully!

Four Voices

Thieves in the Family by maria lisellaThe Italian American Writer’s Association (IAWA), along with VMF forum founding member Gil Fagiani and Vice President Maria Lisella, PRESENTS: 

Four Voices

Who: Gil Fagiani, Maria Lisella, Katrinka More, and Elizabeth Poreba will read from new books and new work.

When: April 29th, 2015 at 6PM

Where: Jefferson Market Library, 425 6th Ave, on the southwest corner of W10th St, in Greenwich Village in NYC: 212-243-4334 Free Event


Here is a list of the rest of our upcoming events:

VMF Celebrates Labor History and Literary Events in May

Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library | Vito Marcantonio Forum event with Professor Gerald MeyerWHAT: The NYC Labor Council and New York Labor Historians Association are marking NY Labor History Month with a roster of special presentations including this one focused on the American Labor Party.

WHO: Gerald Meyer, leading authority on Vito Marcantonio will present a lecture on the famous Congressman who represented East Harlem by closely examining his role as the sole spokesperson for the American Labor Party.

DATE: Monday, May 4, 2015

TIME: 5-7 PM

LOCATION: New York Public Library Mulberry St. branch @10 Jersey St. bet. Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, one block south of E. Houston Street.

DIRECTIONS: B/D/F/M to Broadway/Lafayette; #6 to Bleecker St.; R/N/ to Prince Street. The library is handicapped accessible. http://www.nypl.org/locations/mulberry-street


Politics, Poetry and Unsung Heroes

vito marcantonioWhat: Event features VMF co-founders at the Italian American Writers Association (IAWA) Reading.

WHO: Stephen Siciliano will read from his latest novel-manuscript The Goodfather that tells the life story of the radical congressman Vito Marcantonio from the perspective of la famiglia Fortunato who lived down the street from him in East Harlem. Gil Fagiani, subject of a recent New York Times article and IAWA Board member will read from his new work, Stone Walls published by Bordighera Press.

DATE: Saturday, May 9, 2015

Gil Fagiani founding member of the Vito Marcantonio ForumTIME: 5:45-7:45 PM

LOCATION: Cornelia St. Café, 29 Cornelia St.; 212-989-9319.

DIRECTIONS: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St.; #1 to Christopher St.-Sheridan Square




WHO: Vito Marcantonio Forum members Gerald Meyer, Roberto Ragone and Gil Fagiani will lead a panel discussion on Congressman Vito Marcantonio’s unheralded leadership focused on civil rights both in Congress and in his political work.

Vito Marcantonio Forum author, professor, and chairmanWHEN: May 29-May 31, consult online calendar for specific time, location

WHERE: John Jay College, 524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019

CONTACT: leftforum@leftforum.org | 212-817-2003

Morgan Powell — Community Activist, Environmentalist, and Historian

Morgan Powell (1973-2014)

Morgan Powell on Bronx News Net TV

We are saddened to announce the loss of our friend and founding member, Morgan Powell. Morgan was an impressive activist and had such love for the history of the Bronx. It was this passion that brought him to the Vito Marcantonio Forum. Morgan shared his knowledge of the neighborhoods that Marcantonio touched. His community involvement and connections to local press outlets, led to the first televised interview with VMF member Roberto Ragone and Morgan on BronxNet.org. Click here to see the interview. 

Morgan was an active member of the Vito Marcantonio Forum and wrote an impressive article listing the major political and civic landmarks in Vito Marcantonio’s New York. Click here to read the article.

We found out about Morgan’s tragic death from www.welcome2thebronx.com and we wanted to share the touching slideshow they posted on their site (see below).

Here is an audio version of Morgan Powell’s walking tour:

Here is an update from Bronx News 12 about Morgan’s passing:

If you have any information about Morgan’s death or if you know how we can contact any of his close friends or family please contact VMF Treasurer Adam Milat-Meyer at 347.813.1396

We will be honoring Morgan Powell at our next event on Sunday, Oct 19th 2014, from 12pm to 4pm, at Gaetana’s Cucina Italiana (143 Christopher St, NYC). Please join us.

Vito Marcantonio Phenomenon at Gaetana's in NYC October 19th 2014

Get there early!

The Drama of the Vito Marcantonio Phenomenon (1902-1954)

Vito Marcantonio Forum & The Drama Workshop Project Present a FREE Performance:

A Theatrical Reconstruction of Congressman Vito Marcantonio’s Effective Radical Legacy

Gaetana’s Restaurant — 143 Christopher Street (on the NW corner of Greenwich St) in New York City | Sunday, Oct 19th 2014 | 12pm to 4pm


Video: Vito Marcantonio: Synopsis of A Great Life (Being Updated)

Theatrical Resurrection of Congressman Vito Marcantonio’s Radical Legacy

WHAT: The Vito Marcantonio Forum will present a theatrical presentation through dramatizations of his speeches as well as remarks from his contemporaries and supporters, Paul Robeson and Leonard Covello. The audience will move through creative monologues, and scenes between Marcantonio and his mentor, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Audience participants will be pre-selected to read segments from a script entitled: A People’s Proclamation for the People’s Politician.

WHO: The Vito Marcantonio Forum or the VMF is an educational organization that studies and highlights the career of the seven-term Congressman from East Harlem and promotes public awareness of Vito Marcantonio’s historical and cultural contributions that addressed the familiar issues of immigration, civil rights, civil liberties, foreign aid, taxation and affordable housing, making him a model for contemporary politicians. This special event is co-sponsored by the Vito Marcantonio Forum & The Drama Workshop Project.

The VMF sponsors scholarly presentations within the framework of artistic events such as poetry, film, and theater and is available to perform in other venues. For inquiries contact,www.vitomarcantonioforum.org

WHEN: Sunday, Oct 19th 2014 | 12pm to 4pm

WHERE: Gaetana’s Restaurant: 143 Christopher Street (on the NW corner of Greenwich St) in New York City

COST: Gratis – Gaetana’s will donate appetizers and discounted house wine, but we encourage guests to purchase lunch. Limited the first 50 people so RSVP today at: vitomarcantonoforum@gmail.com or by phone: Roberto Ragone (917-923-4765)

Roberto Ragone, Actor/Business Consultant, as Congressman Vito Marcantonio

Art Bernal, Actor/Director, as Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia

Bernard Johnson, Actor/Director, as Paul Robeson

Eduardro Sanchez, Actor, as Dr. Leonard Covello

Marilyn Ocasio, Actress, Scene Narrator

Concluding Remarks: Dr. Gerald Meyer, author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician (1902-1954)


May 10th 2014 Book Lecture with Slides by Simone Cinotto was a success!

Special thanks to everyone who attended the VMF and IAWA sponsored presentation of

Vito Marcantonio Forum book party for The Italian American Table May 10th 2014 (1)The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City

Gil Fagiani of the Vito Marcantonio Forum and the Italian American Writer’s Association, delivered an informative introduction for Simone Cinotto, author of his latest soon-to-be-a-classic book, The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City. The event took place at the Mulberry St branch of the New York Public Library on May 10th, 2014 at 2pm. The Community Room, so graciously offered for the event, was filled to capacity with people from all walks of life as well as prominent individuals including: a distant relative of Vito Marcantonio, a psychoanalyst who specializes in the psycho-dynamics of the Italian American experience, five members of the faculty/staff of Hostos Community College, interested in the cultural history of Italian Americans in New York City from the 1880-1940.

Cinotto discussing "The Italian American Table"

Simone Cinotto

The Vito Marcantonio Forum’s next event will be August 9th 2014 at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx at the site of Marcantonio’s grave. It will mark the sixtieth anniversary of his demise. A review of the book, along with ordering information is provided below:

The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City


“Full of rich analysis and insights, this first book-length scholarly study of Italian immigrant foodways in the United States offers an explanation for why and how food became so closely attached to the creation of Italian American ethnic identities. A convincing and significant contribution.” —Donna Gabaccia, author of We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans

Looking at the historic Italian American community of East Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, Simone Cinotto recreates the bustling world of Italian life in New York City and demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children. From generational conflicts resolved around the family table to a vibrant food-based economy of ethnic producers, importers, and restaurateurs, food was essential to the creation of an Italian American identity. Italian American foods offered not only sustenance but also powerful narratives of community and differ- ence, tradition and innovation as immigrants made their way through a city divided by class conflict, ethnic hostility, and racialized inequalities.

Drawing on a vast array of resources including fascinating, rarely explored primary documents and fresh approaches in the study of consumer culture, Cinotto argues that Italian immigrants created a distinctive culture of food as a symbolic response to the needs of immigrant life, from the struggle for personal and group identity to the pursuit of social and economic power. For generations of Neapolitan, Sicilian, and Calabrese immigrants in New York, Italian American cuisine was much more than a remnant of the home country; Cinotto shows, in vibrant detail, how the Italian American table we now celebrate emerged as the outcome of years of selective incorporations of cultural fragments, resources, and meanings available to the immigrant community. Adding a transnational dimension to the study of Italian American foodways, Cinotto recasts Italian American food culture as an American “invention” resonant with traces of tradition and shows how generations of creative, ambitious improvisers in tenement kitchens and behind restaurant stoves cooked, ate, and shared the foods that helped them make their way into American culture.

ORDERING INFORMATION Phone orders: (800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada); (773) 702-7000 (International) Fax orders: (800) 621-8476 (USA/Canada); (773) 702-7212 (International) Online orders: www.press.uillinois.edu U.S. Mail orders: Customer Service, Chicago Distribution Center, 11030 South Langley Avenue, Chicago IL 60628 Exam copies: Visit www.press.uillinois.edu/books/exam_copies.html Ebooks: Check with your preferred ebook store for ebook availability and ordering.
University of Illinois Press 1325 South Oak Street Champaign, IL 61820-6903

Here is a video of the previous lecture and slideshow Cinotto performed at NYU:

Simone Cinotto’s, The Italian American Table book party and discussion

The Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library is hosting the Vito Marcantonio Forum and the Italian American Writers Association’s book party and discussion of Simone Cinotto’s

The Italian American Table

2pm on Saturday, May 10, 2014

italian american table

WHAT: Book party, dramatic reading and discussion of Simone Cinotto’s, The Italian American Table: Food, Family and Community in New York City.
Looking at the Italian-American community of East Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, Cinotto demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children.
From generational conflicts resolved around the family table to a vibrant food-based economy of ethnic producers, importers, and restaurateurs, food was essential to the creation of an Italian-American identity. Italian-American foods offered not only sustenance but also powerful narratives of community and difference, tradition and innovation as immigrants made their way through a city divided by class conflict, ethnic hostility, and racialized inequalities.

WHO: Simone Cinotto is currently Visiting Scholar at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at New York University, 2013-2014. He teaches U.S., European, and Italian History at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy, where he is the Director of the Master’s Program in “Food Culture and Communications: Food, Place, and Identities.” He is also a co-director of the upcoming NYU-UNIGS Joint International Conference, “What Did the Jews Eat: A Global History of Jewish Food,” taking place in June 2014.

WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014; from 2-4PM. Free admission.

LOCATION: 10 Jersey St., corner of Mulberry and Prince Sts. between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, one block south of E. Houston Street.

Check out the event listing and description on the New York Public Library’s site.

Directions: B/D/F/M trains to Broadway/Lafayette, the 6 train to Bleecker Street, or the R train to Prince Street. The library is handicapped accessible. www.nypl.org