Education

Why do Haitians eat squash soup on New Year’s Day?

By Jack Drees The New Year is celebrated by a series of traditions in the United States and around the world. For some, it’s a lively party on New Year’s Eve. For others, it’s the Times Square Ball Drop. For Massachusetts, it’s fireworks over the Boston Harbor. Haitians celebrate the New Year by enjoying a special soup. It is one of the first dishes they eat in the calendar year, and a tradition that reminds them of the liberation they have achieved. Haitians gained independence on January 1, 1804 after a 13-year revolution against France. Their independence arrived after the only successful slave revolt in history. Haiti became the second independent nation in the Americas and the first in Latin America. Yearly, in honor of the country’s freedom, the nation’s people and those with Haitian roots enjoy Soup Joumou, or squash soup. During France’s colonization of Haiti, Soup Joumou was often eaten by colonial masters and plantation owners. In many cases, this dish was prepared for these higher-class individuals by the slaves. While the masters […]

Arts

Malden residents enjoy the city’s first Winter Festival

By Martha Bezzat, Fern Remedi-Brown, Laura Cummingham, Susan Margot Ecker, Nikita Sampath On Saturday, Dec. 4, the sidewalks of Pleasant Street were lined with about 55 local artists and craftspeople, eager to share their wares with Malden residents as part of the first Winter Festival, sponsored by the City of Malden.  Malden Reads held its 2022 season “kick-off” event during the festival in the J Malden Center lobby. The group hosted poetry readings from local poets, children’s activities, dance videos from local dance group Monkeyhouse, and a raffle. J Malden Center also hosted the Chamber of Commerce’s 130th Anniversary closing event, which provided history and hot chocolate for crowds seeking warmth and nourishment from the cold weather.   The event had the dual goal of “bringing customers back to our downtown to support our businesses and [giving] our residents an outdoor activity to enjoy themselves safely,” said Kevin Duffy, the Strategy and Business Development Officer for the City of Malden. However, a runaway car parked on Pleasant Street momentarily shook up the festive atmosphere when it began to roll, went […]

Uncategorized

A conversation with Michael Cloherty: his new book and the Malden murder that shocked the nation

By Stephanie Schorow Like so many kids who grow up in Malden, Michael Cloherty spent long hours hanging out at the Malden Public Library. There, looking up from a book, he would see a portrait of Frank Converse and his family. Converse was the son of the library’s benefactor, Elisha Slade Converse (1820–1904), a rubber-soled shoe tycoon, bank president, and Malden’s first mayor.  When he was older, Cloherty learned how Frank Converse, as a 17-year-old bank teller, was shot to death during a brazen bank robbery on Dec. 15, 1863, just a short distance from the library. On that day between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., someone walked into Malden’s First National Bank, when the teller was alone, shot the teenager, and made off with $5,000. The crime is considered America’s first armed bank robbery. Accused of the crime was Edward Green, a 26-year-old postmaster with a drinking habit and heavy debts.  Later, as an aspiring novelist, Cloherty realized no book had been written about the crime and he should be the one to do so. An award-winning video editor who has worked in […]

Arts

Malden Reads never stopped reading: 12th year kickoff will happen on Dec. 4

By Martha Bezzat Malden Reads, a community organization with the mission of literature for all, will launch its 2022 season with a kick-off event at the Winter Festival on Dec. 4 that showcases this year’s selection: An American Sunrise: Poems by Joy Harjo, the first Indigenous Poet Laureate of the United States. Malden Reads members are excited about the opportunity to showcase a book by an Indigenous author. “This is going to be a very unique reading experience,” said Meredith, a self-described “recent recruit” to Malden Reads. Meredith is an alum from NYC’s New School with a background in the poetry performance arts scene, which includes poetry readings and slams. “It’s a very different experience than reading a core curriculum by mostly white people. It will highlight the differences between Indigenous and colonial writing. It’s a great shift in perspective,” she continued. Felicia Ryan, another first-year steering committee member, said, “It’s a brave choice because poetry can be off-putting for people but this book of poems is extremely accessible for people.” Highlighting Malden Reads’ role […]

Events

Campaign season over: A look at the 2021 municipal election in Malden

By Saliha Bayrak. Photos by Keren He. On Nov 2, residents of Malden headed to the polls to vote for councilors-at-large, city councilors, and school committee members. Excitement was high as candidates and Malden residents stood outside voting locations with signs in support. Incumbent Craig Spadafora and two newcomers, Karen Colón Hayes and Carey McDonald, won seats for councilor-at-large.  “We ran a very serious, competitive campaign from the beginning, and that was a campaign built on reaching out to all parts of the community,” said McDonald on an Urban Media Arts livestream during election night. His campaign focused on knocking on doors, working across neighborhoods, and ensuring that citizens had access to information in their own language, McDonald said.  Peg Crowe (Ward 1), Amanda Linehan (Ward 3), Ryan O’Malley (Ward 4), Barbara Murphy (Ward 5), and Jadeane Sica (Ward 8) were re-elected for city council in their respective wards. Chris Simonelli joined Ward 7’s city council after a hiatus from city government, while Stephen Winslow, formerly councilor-at-large, was elected to the Ward 6 seat. The […]

Education

BIPOC Alumni Detail Difficult Racial Experiences in Malden Public Schools

Six BIPOC graduates tell stories of racial microaggressions from teachers and administration during their years attending Malden Public Schools and offer ideas for improvement. By Fern Remedi-Brown and Kyla Denisevich Students in the Malden Public Schools – a district with one of the state’s largest percentage of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) enrollments –  say they have experienced forms of racism that range from incidents of micro-aggression to unsupportive environments to acts of outright prejudice. The reporters who initiated this Neighborhood View article interviewed six BIPOC alumni of Malden Public Schools. In this article, the alumni recount their experiences and offer ideas for an improved environment. The student body in Malden is diverse: 20% African American, 23% Asian, 28% Hispanic, and 24% white. The teachers in the Malden Public Schools are predominately white. There have been as few as six Black educators in the school system at the same time. Representation of the demographics of the students in the staff is important, said the former students. They say that the lack of diversity in the […]

Events

A motorcycle parade of 3,000 rode for the 10th Boston‘s Wounded Vet Run

By Saliha Bayrak and Keren He. All photos by Keren He. More than 3,000 motorcyclists drove through the North Shore in a massive motorcycle parade on Sept. 19 for the 10th Boston Veteran Run, which raises money for wounded veterans. Led by motor officers, the parade started at the Boston Harley-Davidson store in Revere and rode through the cities of Saugus, Wakefield, Melrose, and Stoneham, and finally arrived at Anthony’s restaurant in Malden for a final ceremony. With participants chipping in $20, the event raised nearly $130,000 for four severely injured veterans, who were honored at the ceremony.  The four honorees were Cpl. Vincent Mannion-Brodeur, who was injured by an improvised explosive device in Iraq and inspired the first run in 2011; U.S. Army Veteran Christy Gardner from Maine who lost both legs during her service overseas; Army Veteran Mike Liscomb from Maine who lost his left leg in Iraq; and Navy SEAL Dan Cnossen from Kansas who lost both legs during his service in Afghanistan. During the ceremony, Maj. Tom Schueman described his experiences […]

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 […]

Arts

Cultivating healing, softness, and self-love: Q&A with artist Maddie Lam

By Christina Appignani. Photos by Keren He. Maddie Lam, an up-and-coming musician, was born and raised in Malden, Massachusetts. For Lam, music is a means to express her pain and a dream that does not let itself be abandoned. Lam’s interest in music started young and continued throughout high school — as a child, she learned how to play various instruments before gaining an interest in writing her own songs. Lam graduated from Malden High School in 2016 and participated in the Malden High School Choral Arts Program. Lam has released her own music on online platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud, her most recent single being “Sunflower Song.” Her musical style, which often includes melancholic but sweet lyrics accompanied by slow piano and ukulele melodies, is showcased in her latest release. She also helped arrange the performing arts festival “Our Voice, Our Stories: The Beauty & Resilience of Immigrants” as part of the larger Malden Summer 2021 Festival on August 7. This festival celebrated immigrants, children of immigrants and multicultural communities through music, art, […]

Education

Ligia Noriega-Murphy begins her first school year as superintendent of Malden Public Schools

By Saliha Bayrak Equipped with 26 years of experience working in urban schools and a life-long pursuit of immersing herself in different cultures, Ligia Noriega-Murphy is starting her first year as the superintendent of Malden Public Schools.  Malden is a new environment for Ligia Noriega-Murphy. Malden has a much smaller student population than Boston, where she previously worked in public education. Originally from Guatemala, Noriega-Murphy also graduated high school from Boston public schools. Yet, Malden is “so diverse with small communities that are so rich in different languages, different cultures,” she said.  “There’s a lot of people that are so invested in making this district powerful and so unique and different. And that’s my job now, to make sure that we are going to be the best district in the nation,” Noriega-Murphy said. “I am already embracing how people just love the city.” Throughout her job interview process, Noriega-Murphy had a few opportunities to interact with the community that she would soon become a part of. A few of the things that struck Noriega-Murphy during […]