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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Show you care, just by being there - Street Co-naming in Crown Heights

GroundSwell Anti-Gun Violence Mural in Crown Heights
The Anti-Gun Violence Mural "Piece Out, Peace In" created by Groundswell Mural Project,
from a photo in July while it was in progress

This past summer I had the opportunity to witness a beautiful combination of artistic effort, civic pride and youth-energized dedication. The effort provided by community leaders and groups and acted on by the Groundswell Mural Project, went into creating an Anti-Gun Violence mural on Brooklyn Avenue between Prospect and Park Places in Crown Heights. I won't go into a lot of stats about crime and gun violence, but I was struck by a comment from a community organizer who works against gun violence at the mural dedication, she remarked it's a wider problem than people think, that despite the efforts of many there are "illegal guns on every block and almost every apartment building in this neighborhood". I can't prove that but imagine if it's true... What is true is that the mural began design and was completed in about seven weeks and during that time there were approximately 2 shootings per week in Crown Heights.

GroundSwell Anti-Gun Violence Mural in Crown Heights
The finished mural designed was dedicated last month in Crown Heights on Brooklyn Ave across from the Children's Museum

Another person who contributed to the mural and works in the community against the tragedy of gun violence is Robin Lyed, who came to this cause after losing her son, Benny who was needlessly murdered in front of his home by an unknown gunman. Benny by all accounts was a self motivated community active 19 year who mentored others, was a proven leader and looked forward to an ambitious future.

Benny A. Lyde victim of an unknown gunman will be honored on Saturday 9/19
when his name is added to Lincoln Place btwn Brooklyn and New York Avenues

Tomorrow, Saturday on Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues at 1:00 PM, the street where Benny lived and was killed will have his name added to it in his honor, and to demonstrate that good remains despite those who try to disrupt and destroy.

There will be a public ceremony and if you're able and you're interested in improving the community, come out and lend your strength and support.

details below (provided by Tish James' office)

Co-Naming of Lincoln Place for Benny A. Lyde, and celebration in his honor this Saturday September 19th at 1 pm

The community will remember and celebrate the life of Benny A. Lyde (known as Mr. Benny to many), by unveiling a new street sign at Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The street will be co-named Benny A. Lyde Place. The co-naming ceremony is set to begin at 1:00 PM.

Numerous residents and public officials are expected to attend the co-naming event including: Robin Lyde; District Attorney Charles Hynes; Borough President Marty Markowitz; Council Member Letitia James; Council Member Al Vann; Council Member David Yassky; State Senator Eric Adams; Assemblyman Karim Camara; 43rd District Leader Jesse Hamilton; James Caldwell, 77 Precinct Community Council; Fred Monderson, CB 8; and Shalawn Langhorne, Community Counseling and Mediation (CCM).

“Benny Lyde is remembered as a young, bright jewel within the community. During his life, he set an excellent example of discipline and hard work for his contemporaries, as well as was extremely committed to his community and family. Benny touched many lives during his 21 years and is greatly missed,” said Council Member James.

The life of Benny A. Lyde was cut short September 2, 2006 by the hands of gun violence, but his contributions will last forever. Please read the articles at the links below to learn more about this incredible young man.

What: Co-naming of Lincoln Place to Benny A. Lyde Place, in honor of the late Benny Lyde

When: September 19, 2009
Where: Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Time: 1:00 PM
Please contact Alfred Chiodo at (718) 260-9191 if you would like more information.