The Manny Cantor Center presents Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker, a book discussion by Julian Voloj.
Wednesday, December 9th @ 7:00PM
Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, NYC, at Jefferson Street
The LES Live Jewish Book Club is a collaboration between Tamid: The Downtown Synagogue and the Manny Cantor Center. tamidnyc.org mannycantor.org
RSVP or QUESTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT Ghetto Brother
An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
German-born photographer and writer Julian Voloj explores identity and heritage in his work. He has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Jerusalem Post. His award-winning work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the globe including the Deutsch- Historisches Museum (Berlin), the Bronfman Center at NYU, and the Queens Museum of Arts (New York). In 2012, the German Consulate, New York, showed a ten-year retrospective of his photography titled “Only in New York.” In 2010, he photographed the former gang leader and Crypto-Jew Benjamin Melendez. The two became friends and Julian decided to turn his life into a graphic novel, Ghetto Brother. The book, illustrated by Claudia Ahlering, has been published in English, Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese.