Education

Indigenous wisdom, poetry and history guide community event at Malden River

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I know that our ancestors are really happy for the work that we’re doing. It’s been a 400-year fracture – with colonization and assimilation – and it’s really going to take all of us to come together, in ways like this, to bring balance back to the land and to the water. Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr. – Malden, MA, 9-24-22 As the country recognizes indigenous Peoples Month this November, Neighborhood View reflects on a recent community event that embodied the spirit of remembering, understanding and connecting with Native people, history and culture. “Words on the Water” (morning) and “Project Misik” (afternoon) was a combined day-long event on Sept. 24 in a spot along the banks of the Malden River that is generally hidden from public view. In that space, more than 200 residents, a sampling of Malden’s diverse community, gathered over the course of the day to take part in an Indigenous blessing ceremony, paddle canoes on the waterway, share a meal of Haitian food from “The Island” restaurant, and learn how […]

Events

Malden hosts Brazilian election site: Ex-pat voters weigh in on candidates

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I heard several warnings not to drive on Salem Street on Sunday, Oct. 2, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Malden was hosting a polling site – one of only two sites in Massachusetts – for Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election for the country’s expats in the area. According to WBUR, many of the more than 37,000 Brazilian citizens who live in New England were preparing to cast their ballots in the presidential election at these two Massachusetts voting locations. On a whim, I rode my bike down to do a story for Neighborhood View. The outside of the Salemwood School was abuzz with energy.  Lots of bright yellow and Brazilian flags waved in the breeze. Voters were checking the polling information outdoors before heading inside to cast their ballots.  A woman stood atop a safety block in front of the school, using it as a podium, holding the head of a Trump doll and shouting excitedly in support of Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, the current rightist Brazilian president, is being challenged by […]

Arts

Cartoonist Keith Knight reflects on growing up in Malden, education, race and the value of art

Keith Knight, a Malden native, infuses his work with humor, creativity and social activism. His nationally syndicated cartoon series (K Chronicles, DAILY, and (th)ink) have won awards and inspired the live-action comedy series “Woke” on Hulu. Loosely based on some of his real life events, Knight co-created the show with Marshall Todd and drew the animation that opens the show. Knight went to high school in Malden, lived for a while in California’s Bay area (where the “Woke” series is based), later moved to Los Angeles and now lives with his wife and two children in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Knight returned to the Boston area last May to give the commencement address at Salem State University, his alma mater. On May 22, he attended the unveiling of the mural he created for the Malden Arts mural series along the Northern Strand Bike Trail near the Breakfast Club (formerly Doo Wop) Diner. The mural is a Malden-centric take on his popular comic series “Life’s Little Victories.” Neighborhood View caught up with Knight by Zoom to […]

Featured

For local Haitians, the pain of tragic events in Haiti continues

By Anne D’Urso-RoseMartha Bezzat and Ose Schwab contributed to this article Right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Aug. 14, Nekita Lamour of Malden received a message from her cousin from Jérémie, in the south of Haiti. Her family’s home was completely destroyed and her cousin went into labor when the earthquake started. Her baby son was born the day after the earthquake and she is now living in makeshift housing under tarps with her husband, the new baby and her two other children. “I thought of my half brother and his wife who had a baby right after the 2010 earthquake and were living in the same kind of situation,” Lamour said. “The baby died because of the breezes and the germs that are not conducive to a baby’s health. But I didn’t tell [my cousin] that.” The enormity of Haiti’s suffering can overwhelm any sense of actionable empathy; the island nation has suffered from two massive earthquakes in the last decade and a recent presidential assassination. For non-Haitians, it can be easy […]

Featured

Part two: A defining moment for a generation

Generations are often defined by key moments in history. How will the global pandemic we are now experiencing shape this young generation? Will teens and twenty-somethings see this as the moment when everything changed? What will they – and the rest of us – remember in the decades to come? With the help of an energetic group of interns, Neighborhood View embarked on a project to interview young Malden residents about their life during the pandemic. These citizen journalists interviewed their generational peers and collected stories that crystalize this moment in time, from the mundane to the momentous. Here is part two of an ongoing series. Read part one here. David Kennedy: The more you read, the more fearful you get By Masio  Dotson Twenty-seven year old David Kennedy, who grew up in Malden and has been a resident for over a decade, is an Audi car salesman, a father and now a teacher. Kennedy has transitioned to homeschooling his 5-year-old son, due to the closing of Salemwood School, using a homeschooling app called “IXL.” […]

Arts

Participatory art project lets us touch hands in a time of COVID-19

By Anne D’Urso-Rose Hands are designed for touching. You reach out a hand. You lend a helping hand. You create. You greet. You comfort others with your hands. But these days, our hands are viewed more as dangerous carriers of disease. “Our hands used to be these things that we did everything with and now they’ve become these things that we’re not supposed to do stuff with,” said Karyn Alzayer, an artist currently based in Malden, MA, in an interview with Neighborhood View. Her new participatory art project “Healing Hands” sets out to change that view, safely, in this era of COVID-19. Anyone from this community or around the globe is invited to trace their hand on a piece of paper, decorate and write words of encouragement on it, scan, and send it electronically to Alzayer. “I’ll print every hand and message I receive, cut them out, and make a giant interlocking paper chain of all of our hands and all our encouragements,” writes Alzayer in her blog describing the Healing Hands Participatory Art Project. […]

Featured

Bread of Life perseveres with its mission in spite of challenges

By Anne D’Urso-Rose The line snaked in fits and starts along a path outside the First Baptist Church of Malden. Those waiting for their free meals from Bread of Life were practicing social distancing with unequal measurements of separation. “I’ve been coming for many years,” said Govan, a Bread of Life meal patron, as he waited in good spirits. “These people are wonderful. We’d all be lost without them.” Life is challenging for Malden residents these days but for those with the least amount of resources, the situation has hit harder. To address the need, dedicated staff and volunteers on the front lines continue to serve the city’s most vulnerable residents with commitment and resourcefulness. “Since last week, the numbers seemed to be going up,” said John Robillard, the Meals Program Assistant for Bread of Life. “Today (Tuesday) we have 75 meals, where normally we make about 50.” “People have to eat,” said Gabriella Snyder Stelmack, Executive Director of the Bread of Life, in a recent interview with Neighborhood View. “We’ve had to make changes […]

Education

Who was Elisha Converse?

2020 marks the 200th anniversary year of the birth of Elisha Slade Converse, the first mayor of Malden and a major benefactor to the city. The video, “Who Was Elisha Converse?” (posted below) was produced by youth this past summer as part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). Fengying Guo, Bridget Gately, and Joshua Dube worked at MATV, Malden’s Media Center (soon to be UMA) to co-produce this six-minute video. “The most interesting thing to me about Elisha Converse was researching and learning about his incredible impact on Malden,” said Gately. “But what stuck out to me was his project on the creation of Fellsmere Pond after the burning of the Boston Rubber Shoe Company and how he paid all of his workers when they were out of work following the fire.” “Before we started the Converse project, I knew nothing about our first mayor, but I learned a lot about him as we worked on this project,” said Guo. “We all worked together to do research and we attended two of the […]

Arts

Malden marks Juneteenth with meaningful celebration

Over 250 Malden community members packed the John and Christina Markey Senior Community Center on Wednesday, June 19, for the second annual Juneteenth celebration, The event was organized by MaldenCORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity) in collaboration with a host of other community groups: American Association for Arab Women, Chinese Culture Connection, Friends of Oak Grove, Inc., Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, Malden LGBTQ+, Malden Public Library, Malden Reads, MATV (Malden’s Media Center), North Shore Hispanic Association, and YMCA Malden. Juneteenth recognizes the significant day of June 19, 1865, when the last of group of enslaved African Americans were emancipated in Galveston, Texas, following the surrender of the Confederate Army. The day has been celebrated in Texas since that time and, for past decades, in African-American communities throughout the South. It is now a partial or full state holiday or an official observance in at least 42 U.S. states and has become a more universal celebration of freedom among all people in this country. Juneteenth is a relative newcomer to the list of public […]

Events

Malden hosts 8th Annual New Citizens Ceremony

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom, or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen … “ So begins the Oath of Allegiance that is recited at every Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens of the United States. These ceremonies can take place in nondescript federal office buildings, large convention centers or symbolic places like Ellis Island, a national park, or a national historic site. But here in Malden, there is an annual tradition of naturalization, begun in 2011, and spearheaded by The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC). The annual ceremony was first held at the Malden Senior Community Center, but has since moved to Malden High School. On Nov. 19, 2018, the annual ceremony naturalized 171 new citizens, who filled the center section of rows in the Jenkins Auditorium. “This ceremony allows us to make an important contribution to our community,” said Diane Portnoy, ILC Executive Director. “Even though more than one-third of Malden […]