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Demetria Irwin

Stories by Demetria

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Harlem welcomes Vivrant Beauty to the neighborhood

Elegant. Fresh. Open. Welcoming. Those are words to describe the space where Vivrant Beauty in Harlem resides.

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‘Lemonade’ is the Black woman power anthem

If Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” is the new Black power anthem, then Beyoncé’s entire “Lemonade” album is the new Black women power anthem.

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Tanya Wright: A butterfly rising

Former child star Tanya Wright reflects on finding her way back to work after the loss of her brother.

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Brooke Obie: A pen, faith and lots of love

“I know that God loves me.” That statement is what has kept writer and editor Brooke Obie afloat.

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Jennifer Jones Austin: A survivor with a purpose

Jennifer Jones Austin may not speak from a pulpit every Sunday, but she views her role as executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies as her “calling.”

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Daniel Jose Older’s ‘Shadowshaper’ is a magical must-read

If books were rated like video games, I would give “Shadowshaper” by Daniel Jose Older an “E” for everyone.

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Harlem Arts Fest brings free family fun uptown

The fourth annual Harlem Arts Festival wrapped up over the weekend, and the event was a major success. The free, multi-day festivities held in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park drew more than 1,000 attendees.

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Dr. Stephanie Desgrottes: Helping children in Haiti and Harlem

Dr. Stephanie Desgrottes is a pediatrician at Columbia Doctors, but her work with children and the community at large does not stop once she leaves her tiny patients for the day.

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Max Tapper is ‘The Fit New Yorker’

At 6-foot-5 and a chiseled 230 pounds, Max Tapper’s own body is perhaps the best advertisement for his personal training business.

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Ebony LaDelle uses coloring books to highlight authors of color

In terms of diversity, book publishing in the United States lags well behind other industries.

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Black women’s lives matter, too

Alexia Christian. Rekia Boyd. Yvette Smith. Shereese Francis. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Most of those names are probably unfamiliar to you

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Black art and the white gaze at the Brooklyn Museum

Patrons who appreciate art by and about Black people should make a bee-line to the top three floors of the Brooklyn Museum. Artwork from right now, the recent past and ancient history are on display via three sizable exhibitions.

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Brook Stephenson helps writers of color fill their pages

This week's Black New York is writer Brook Stephenson.

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Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy merges academics and activism

This week's Black New Yorker is activist and educator Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy.

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Marishka Phillips brings soul to the stage

The term “triple threat” does not fully encompass all of the talents Marishka Phillips possesses.

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Jabari Davis brings laughs, life lessons

Growing up in a Black, vegan family in a gang-controlled neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Jabari Davis got a head start on material for his stand-up comedy routines.

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Dominique Morisseau

When Dominque Morisseau was in the second grade, she thought to herself, “I’m going to be a writer and an actor.” By the third grade, the native Detroiter was writing “Cabbage Patch Kid Mysteries” and handing out her original stories to her classmates.

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Lessons from the last colony in Africa

Last December, I was among a group of African-American journalists, scholars and filmmakers selected to travel to Western Sahara and Algeria. The excursion was financed and organized by Polisario, a Western Saharan movement whose mission is to secure independence for Western Sahara.

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Joe Rogers Jr. makes quality education uptown a priority

Joe Rogers Jr., a Harlem resident for the past decade, is on a mission to improve the educational opportunities available to uptown students.

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‘Love and Basketball’ creator to be honored at Athena Film Festival

Noted director, writer and producer Gina Prince-Bythewood will be an honoree at the fifth annual Athena Film Festival, which will be in New York City at Barnard College.

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Former Baltimore drug dealer now an anti-drug crusader

Kevin Shird knows a thing or two about the Baltimore streets, and his knowledge is from firsthand experience.

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Mayor Dinkins delivers keynote at MLK luncheon

The Black Agency Executives organization recently held its 38th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon.The Honorable David Dinkins, New York’s first and so far only Black mayor, was the keynote speaker.

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Ralph Gilmore: Father, artist and ‘Mayor of Harlem’

When 40-year-old graphic designer Ralph Gilmore was growing up in Harlem, he was exposed to limited career options.

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Nas play brings sold-out audience to the Schomburg

Nas is having a big year in media, and he got even more shine this past November with a play inspired by his classic debut album, “Illmatic.”

Determined to Educate gala honors community leaders

The sixth annual Determined to Educate Gala kicked off early November with a room full of spirited, well-dressed revelers in Manhattan.

MoMA releases footage of newly discovered 101-year-old Black film

The Museum of Modern Art has unearthed a 101-year-old treasure in the form of a previously unknown Bert Williams film.

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Jewish Museum showcases Black abstract expressionist painter Norman Lewis

The Jewish Museum, located at 1109 Fifth Ave. on Manhattan’s Museum Mile, has a couple of surprises for visitors.

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Three Harlem art galleries commemorate the 40th anniversary of ‘For Colored Girls’

Curated by art aficionado Souleo, “i found god in myself” commemorates the 40th anniversary of the first performance of “For Colored Girls.”

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Celebrating grandparents at the Apollo

The Apollo Theater celebrates the love of grandparents.

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New television series ‘Black-ish’ promises big laughs

Tracee Ellis Ross just might have another hit show on her hands. The “Girlfriends” alum is set to co-star in the new ABC series “Black-ish,” which also stars Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne.

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AfroPunk Fest: Seen and heard

The 10th annual AfroPunk Festival at Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park brings sights and sound.

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Apollo hosts ‘Get On Up’ world premiere

The world premiere of the James Brown biopic “Get On Up” and the after-party were star-studded affairs. Celebrities filled the seats for the film’s screening at the Apollo Theater and the dance floor at the after-party.

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New exhibit highlights Black theater’s Harlem roots

Imagine a version of “Macbeth” set in Haiti with an all-Black, 137-member cast of actors, dancers and drummers. It sounds like a modern Broadway hit, but it’s actually a production that took place at Harlem’s famed Lafayette Theatre in 1936.

Rosie Perez’s new memoir tackles mental illness

Sitting atop an $85,000 mattress at Savoir Beds’ chic Soho showroom, actress and activist Rosie Perez was a long way from her hardscrabble upbringing in Brooklyn.

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Terrie Williams gets ‘Happy’ at the Schomburg

Public relations pro and mental health activist Terrie Williams launched her New Legacy Leaders Project (NLLP) at the Schomburg

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DTH celebrates 45 years with a star-studded evening

The Dance Theatre of Harlem held its star-studded Vision Gala at the elegant Cipriani.

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Harlem Arts Fest holds third annual gala

The Harlem Arts Festival will present the Lynette Velasco Community Impact Award to two recipients at its upcoming third annual gala.

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Bilal rocks Harlem Stage Gatehouse

The intimate performance space tucked away on the second floor of the Harlem Stage Gatehouse hummed with the murmurs of a crowd eagerly awaiting the arrival of soul singer Bilal accompanied by the Revive Big Band.

Singer Res readies her comeback album

“People try to promote s—t that’s not true. I’m supposed to be flashy all the time, but I like people who keep it real. It’s great to have a moment of fantasy. I dance to those songs like everybody else, but somebody’s got to sing a song about what’s really going on.”

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Melissa Harris-Perry and bell hooks drop knowledge at the New School

Melissa Harris-Perry and bell hooks hold talk, “Black Female Voices: Who is Listening.”

Curate NYC: New York artists, worldwide stage

Curate NYC, a dynamic multimedia artist showcase, began as the winning idea to a request for proposals from the city that had the modest goal of exhibiting art in city-owned buildings.

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Roland Martin makes history with new TVOne show

Award-winning journalist Roland Martin is about to make history