The Vito Marcantonio Forum Presents:
The Untold History of the United States: A Documentary by Oliver Stone
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.
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.
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:
.@MMViverito joins the Vito Marcantonio Forum, relatives of Vito Marcantonio, and members of the East Harlem community for the official unveiling of the "Lucky Corner" street sign at East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue pic.twitter.com/d0ed2OfDiI
— Dorothy He (@dorothyhe93) December 17, 2017
This is the last session of eight reading circles… there will be a holiday party attached to the end of the event!
Vito Marcantonio Forum / Chelsea Rising Reading Circle
On every third Wednesday of the month, since April, the VMF / Chelsea Rising Reading Circle has met, from 6:00 to 8:00, to study I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches, and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, edited by Annette T. Rubinstein.
Dec. 25th’s session will focus on Marc’s monumental service to the cause of Puerto Rico and the defense of the rights of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora. “Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican People, 1935 to 1950,” pp. 374-439.
When: Wed. Dec. 20, 2017
Time: 6:00 to 8:00
Where: Penn South’s Community Room 339 W24th St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves.)
Being that this is the last session of the reading circle, Pizza/Beverages/Dessert will be served… PLEASE JOIN US!!!
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:
The Speaker of the New York City Council & The Vito Marcantonio Forum
339 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011
The last event we hosted was a great success and we want to thank everyone who made it out to the screening of If Only I Were That Warrior, the first full-length feature film from award winning independent filmmaker, Valerio Ciriaci, who was on hand at the event and participated in a panel discussion and Q&A session about the film.
Our good friend and longtime VMF member, Gary Bono, wrote an excellent review of the event for the People’s World that you can read here. Please share it on your interwebs!
Aside from that, our three-weekly occurring Chelsea Rising Reading Circle continue with VMF Co-Chairman, Gerald Meyer discussing Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician by Annette T. Rubinstein. If you are interested in being a part of the reading circle, or if you are looking for more information, please see below…
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Vito Marcantonio Forum proudly presents a free screening of: If Only I Were That Warrior, with a Q & A with its director, Valerio Ciriaci
Sat. Oct. 7th, 2017 | From 1:00PM to 4:00PM
Mulberry Street Public Library
10 Jersey St. (btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.)
If Only I Were That Warrior explores Italy’s Fascist government’s near-forgotten invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, which was spurred on by Mussolini’s lust to avenge the Ethiopian people’s successful defense of their independence by defeating, in 1896, the Italian Army at Adwa. The second invasion smashed Ethiopia’s resistance through overwhelming force aided by the use of poison gas and other atrocious methods.
The documentary deftly illuminates this event through an exploration of the reaction—in Italy, Ethiopia, and the United States—to the erection of a monument to the leader of the Fascist invasion, General Rodolfo Graziani, in his hometown outside of Rome. Valerio Ciriaci’s daring direction advances this complex story by moving from Italy to Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian community in the United States. Isaak Lipzin’s photography presents stunning tableaux of these contrasting backgrounds. Along the way, we meet unforgettable Italians and Ethiopians determined that fascist victories not be celebrated.
In a very real sense, If Only I Were That Warrior is the Italian-Ethiopian analog to Ken Burnes and Lynn Novic’s Viet Nam War, and like that masterpiece, it alludes to a chance for reconciliation. In this way, Ciriaci and his colleagues have created a transcendent and important work.
Free Admission; Light Refreshments
Upcoming Event: The VMF / Chelsea Rising Reading Circle, on Wed. 10/18, 6:00 to 8:00, in Penn South’s Community Room 339, W 24thSt., will continue its study of Annette T. Rubinstein’s, I Vote My Conscience: Vito Marcantonio’s Debates, Speeches, and Writings.
The Vito Marcantonio Forum is proud to present a screening for Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread). The movie is “… without doubt the best documentary film ever produced about the Italian American experience.”
Join the original producers and directors for an exclusive screening of this breakthrough feature. This free event will feature a Q&A at the end of the screening. For more information on the event, please click here.
The Vito Marcantonio Forum and Chelsea Rising are sponsoring a joint Reading Circle that meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM in Penn South’s Community Room at 339 West 24th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves., closer to 9th Ave.). The Community Room has its own entrance which is under an awning proudly announcing “Community Room.” We will convene our fourth session on Wed. July 19TH 2017 at 6:00 PM.
Our text, I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches, and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, edited by Annette T. Rubinstein, is an invaluable source for all those interested in studying the life and work of seven-term, American Labor Party (ALP) Congressman, Vito Marcantonio, who courageously represented East Harlem and the entire American Left.
I Vote My Conscience presents: useful Introductory matter; excerpts from Marcantonio’s debates and speeches from each of his seven terms in office; a special section on his work on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people; and lastly excerpts from his legal briefs for W. E. B. DuBois and other victims of McCarthyism. In addition to his Congressional work, Marc served as Chairperson of the ALP, and ran for Mayor in 1949, under its banner.
The June 21st session will focus on Marcantonio’s Congressional speeches and debates from his third term in office, pp. 137 to 168. Copies of I Vote My Conscience will be on sale for $10, or can be purchased in advance by sending a $13 check to Gerald Meyer 381-2nd St. Brooklyn. 11215.
Upcoming VMF Event:
Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread), the best full-length documentary film ever produced about the Italian-American experience, will be screened on Sat. August 12, from 1:00 to 4:30, with a Q&A with its director Gianfranco Norelli and co-producer Suma Kurian, at the Community Room of the Mulberry Street Public Library located at 10 Jersey Street (between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets). Free admission/light refreshments served.