Arts

Alexandria Onuoha blends dance, psychology, and activism in her quest for equity

Malden resident Alexandria Onuoha has a multifaceted approach toward her social justice work.  From psychology to dance to advocacy, Onuoha channels her passions into working for equity and equality in diverse ways for the local BIPOC community. A PhD student in Applied Developmental Psychology at Suffolk University, Onuoha is the Director of Political Advocacy at Black Boston, a nonprofit community organization that fights to end racial inequities while uplifting the creativity and solidarity of the Black community of Greater Boston. She is the founder of ACO Styles,  a business that aims to give advanced meaning to the complexities and excellence that comes with being Black, by centering Black women and girls through developmental science, dance, and fashion She is also a dancer; she performed at the Urban Media Arts studio for the virtual Juneteenth celebration last month. “I’m really interested in how fashion and dancing come together to make sure that women and youth of color feel their best, as well as how these different art forms and counseling come together. How do [youth and […]

Education

Malden River clean-up raises awareness of local environmental issues

By Kamila Rodrigues As global citizens push back against climate change and North America experiences its hottest June ever, members of the Malden community are finding ways to clean up and care for the Malden River. During the school vacation week in April, Urban Media Arts (UMA) partnered with Friends of the Malden River, a citizens group committed to drawing the Malden River back to vibrant, civic life, and Malden Catholic High School students for a river clean-up at River’s Edge in Medford.  This hybrid (in-person and virtual) program, which will continue in a similar way for one later the summer, was run by UMA’s Amanda Hurley and Masio in collaboration with Karen Buck of the Friends of the Malden River, who is also a Malden River Works representative. The participants included Malden Catholic 3rd year students Sharieff Andrews, Amy Nguyen, and Frederika Noel. The students met with Masio and Amanda on April 20 for an orientation. They discussed the virtual component of the student media program, which would include virtually editing a public service announcement together. They also discussed the in-person component […]

Malden CORE member Ted Louis Jacques raising the Juneteenth Flag at City Hall Plaza
Arts

Juneteenth marked in Malden with joy and reflection

By Christina Appignani  The 4th annual Juneteenth Celebration, hosted June 19 by Malden CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity), was extra special this year. African Americans have marked Juneteeth annually since the late 19th Century, but this year Juneteenth became a federal holiday after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth commemorates when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news of emancipation to the last remaining African American slaves on June 19, 1865. The day began with the in-person 3rd annual Juneteenth Flag Raising at the new City Hall Plaza. Later in the evening, Malden CORE held a virtual celebration on Zoom.  Erga Pierrette, a co-convener for Malden CORE, noted that Malden CORE made history this year by raising a Juneteenth flag at every school in the Malden district. The Juneteenth flag has also been raised at the Malden Police station and Fire Department.  Karen Colón Hayes, a Malden CORE member, opened up the flag-raising event with a land acknowledgement. “In Malden, we acknowledge that the […]

Education

Researching Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden

By Amanda DeRosa  On the Brooks Estate in Medford, once a part of Malden, there is a brick wall about three feet high, built by an enslaved man named Pomp. Pomp’s Wall serves as a reminder that there were enslavers in New England, just as there were enslavers in the South. “It is important that people understand that Northern slavery was significant and involved tens of thousands of enslaved people,” said Dora St. Martin, director of Malden Public Library, who is leading a long-term research project, titled “Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden.”   “This project hopes to provide a view into the lives (of) free and enslaved Blacks in Malden from 1760 to 1800.  The project will allow us to understand the centrality and importance of African Americans in the history of the founding era of Malden,” St. Martin said. St. Martin recently hosted a public Zoom lecture event, detailing updates on the research team’s findings. The lecture was funded in part by Revisiting the Founding Era, a four-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented […]

Arts

Green Man mosaic now on display at Cedar Park in Melrose

Nearly three years after the project began, the Green Man mosaic is on display at Cedar Park in Melrose. A community art project curated by Melrose artist Lisa Tiemann, the Green Man is a 5-foot by 5-foot mosaic based on the mythical green man. Originally conceived as a 70th birthday present to herself, Tiemann and 35 artists (amateur and professional) from the Malden-Melrose area worked to put this collaborative project on display, which depicts humans’ intertwined relationship with nature. The installation of the artwork was financially supported through grants and private donors, while the mosaic itself is a donation from Tiemann and the participating artists. For the full story behind the project’s origins, see this previous article in Neighborhood View. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and New England weather, getting the Green Man installed at Cedar Park has been a long process. Tiemann says that “it’s kind of fitting that mother nature had the final word on the installation.” The installation of the Green Man was supposed to take place in fall of 2020, and […]

Featured

Community Spotlight: Asian American businesses and organizations make an impact in Malden

A look at Wah Lum Academy, District Kitchen, and the Chinese Culture Connection. By Saliha Bayrak and Kyla Denisevich. Photos by Keren He. What started off as martial arts lessons in the driveway of Mai Du 15 years ago is now the nationally renowned Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden and Quincy. Lined with a diverse array of businesses and organizations, Malden is a microcosm of a culturally rich world. Many of these locations are owned and operated by Asian Americans — entrepreneurs and community leaders like Du who are shaping the city to reflect their culture. Asians are the second-largest ethnic group in the city, comprising 22.5 percent of the population. Asian Americans have made unmeasurable contributions to the city and played a significant role in the community, which sometimes goes under appreciated. Denzil Mohammed directs the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute, which works to educate Americans about the contributions of immigrants. “More than 11% of immigrant Asians in the U.S. are self-employed, meaning they’re entrepreneurs, they have some […]

Featured

Malden Muslims experience their second Ramadan during a pandemic

By Martha Bezzat During last year’s Ramadan, mosques were closed due to pandemic, but Malden resident Fatima Chibane said that difficult period was a reminder that we should not take all that we have for granted.  “Last year was the first time we were all forced to observe Ramadan in solitude,” she said. “It gave us the opportunity to only focus on the worship of Allah and our connection with Him without any distraction.”  Still, she is pleased that mosques are open for this year’s Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting which began this year on April 13 and goes to May 12.  “We are trying to stay connected and be there for each other especially during Ramadan, which is really heartwarming to see,” she said.   “Tarawih [evening community prayers] is one of my, and many Muslims, favorite parts of Ramadan,” she said. “It helps us feel spiritually uplifted. At least we can join others. at the mosque respecting social distancing.” One local mosque for Malden Muslims of diverse backgrounds, including Moroccans, Algerians, Syrians, Palestinians, […]

Arts

Malden aims to purchase District Court Building to transform into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture.

By Saliha Bayrak  An imposing but empty brick building stands on the western side of Malden — abandoned after being deemed unfit to serve its original purpose as a courthouse. Now, city officials hope to turn the nearly 100-year-old building into a center that would house Malden’s lively arts and culture scene. The city of Malden is aiming to purchase the former Malden District Court building and transform it into what would be known as the Malden Center for Arts & Culture. Members of local government and Malden artists say that a center dedicated to arts and culture would be a much-needed benefit to the city. “We knew that there was this kind of nebulous cluster of artists that just needed a point to coalesce around. And that’s why we’ve been looking for an art center,” said Kevin Duffy, Malden strategy and business development officer. The idea was initiated by Mayor Gary Christenson; Duffy is playing a critical role in the first stages of this initiative — acquiring the building. Duffy worked with Christenson to […]

Events

March 26 candlelight vigil in Malden honors Atlanta shooting victims, calls for anti-racist policies

By Kamila Rodrigues Last week’s vigil in Malden decrying violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) began with a simple Facebook post and blossomed into a multi-faceted community gathering.  On the afternoon of March 21, Malden resident Maddie Lam made a post to the Facebook group “Malden Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” after the targeted attacks on Asian American women in Atlanta in which eight people were killed. Lam, a musician, poet, and painter, described the fear she felt and expressed concern for the Asian community and their safety. Her statement resonated with many; dozens of Malden community members responded and hundreds liked the post. Karen Colón Hayes, a community member and organizer, saw the post and sprang to action. “I immediately reached out to her and we began planning. We had a Zoom call with members of both MaldenCORE and GMAACC and we centered Maddie as the lead,” said Colón Hayes.  Lam joined Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC) and began planning for the community vigil alongside Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity (MaldenCORE). […]

Featured

The Show is Over for Showcase in Revere

By Nicholas Forgione If 2020 were a disaster movie, an obvious cliche would be the end of a long-standing movie-house in America’s Beach City. In fall of 2020, Revere’s Showcase Cinema de Lux —  closed due to pandemic restrictions — announced that its doors would  not reopen and that the property would change hands. While the area has other  movie-houses, (including some owned by Showcase), the end of Revere’s Showcase is the end of an era.  From its location near Revere’s Northgate Shopping Center, on the border of Malden’s Ward 8 along Route 1, Showcase Cinema was the backdrop for, and part of, the stories of area residents for more than five decades.   The  end of the Revere’s Showcase Cinema reflects the conflict between  sentiment and practicality.  Earlier this year, National Amusements Inc., the owner of Showcase Cinemas, reached an agreement with real estate firm NorthBridge Partners for the sale of the theater;  the property will be leased to  Amazon.  Jonathan, a former resident of Malden who worked at Showcase in the 1990s, recalls “lots of fun memories.”  Jonathan concedes to being “saddened” at an emotional level. And, he […]