All Articles Tagged "brooklyn"

Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Coming To Netflix As A TV Series

September 15th, 2016 - By Quindara Lazenbury
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She'S Gotta Have It - Trailer

As a fangirl of Spike Lee and most of his work (I have to press delete on Red Hook Summer and skip over whatever that crowd-sourced-not-called-a-remake-ish he made a few years ago, i.e. Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus), I was elated to hear about one of my favorite films heading to Netflix.

She’s Gotta Have It, Spike Lee’s first feature-length film, will premier on Netflix as a 10-episode series. This news comes just one month after the 30th anniversary of the film’s release. Surprisingly, Spike’s wife suggested the idea of turning the movie into a series and the couple ran with the idea, ending in a deal with Netflix.

The film is a significant and iconic contribution to American film with its simplistic yet intriguing cinematography, mapped with the intricacies of a woman’s sexuality that are not masked in stereotype. She’s Gotta Have It piloted Spike Lee’s career, and he later went on to create more stories depicting narratives of Black girls and women in Crooklyn, 4 Little Girls and Jungle Fever.

The audience can expect the series to take place in Brooklyn, but one might wonder how the show will depict the current changes of Brooklyn’s once culturally diverse landscape? In the film, Nola has a huge studio apartment and even notes to one of her male suitors its affordability as she works as a magazine designer. With the recent rising costs of housing in Brooklyn and changing class demographic, Spike will have to illustrate these historical changes somehow. Let’s hope this series is as great as the movie.

Destination BK: Chef Roblé Takes Us to The Best Food Spots in Brooklyn

April 14th, 2016 - By jade
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MadameNoire knows you love to visit the most fascinating cities in the world and no trip is complete without enjoying some of the best food they have to offer. Our Destination Series is headed to Brooklyn and Chef Roblé is going to take one lucky MadameNoire Reader around to his favorite restaurants in the borough.

In this episode, Chef Roblé takes a lucky MadameNoire reader to Mike’s Coffee Shop in Clinton Hill and the Smoke Joint in Fort Greene which has some of the best Barbecue in NY!

Check out Part 2 where they went to The Crabby Shack & Streets BK.

Places visited in the segment:

Mike’s Coffee Shop

328 Dekalb Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11205

The Smoke Joint

87 S Elliott Pl.

Brooklyn, NY 11217

13-Year-Old Reports Her Rape, The School Sends Her Home Indefinitely

March 23rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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13-Year-Old Reports Her Rape, The School Sends Her Home feat

Source: Corbis

So often when we hear about rape and sexual assault cases in schools, we think about students on college campuses. But these issues aren’t limited to dorm rooms and frat parties. Rape and sexual assaults are happening in middle schools as well. Sadly, just like college campuses, the instances aren’t always handled properly. And it’s usually the woman or young girl who suffers more than she did initially.

That was the case with a 13-year-old, Haitian-American girl in Brooklyn.

BuzzFeed detailed the story and interviewed the girl who they identified as G. (She was identified only by her middle initial to protect her privacy.)

Last year, during her spring break, G.’s mother and friends noticed that she had stopped eating and sleeping. She was having panic attacks and complaining of excruciating pain. When they asked her what was wrong, she refused to say. Later, that same month, April, a video surfaced that would explain everything.

A boy in G.’s eighth grade class at Spring Creek Community School, a middle school, filmed himself penetrating G.’s mouth and anus. G. claimed that she was raped, while the boy said he sex was consensual. The video was shared throughout Brooklyn.

G. said, “It was the most awful thing. It was bad enough that everyone knew what happened. But knowing that they had seen the video was that much worse.”

Her classmates didn’t just watch the video, they taunted G. with their opinions about it. “They said I allowed it to happen to me. But I had no ideas what I was supposed to do.”

When G. reported her rape to the Spring Creek’s principal, things went from bad to worse. While Title IX regulations require that schools that receive federal funding have to thoroughly investigate claims of sexual harassment and assault; and  that students can’t be denied education based on their gender, that’s exactly what happened to G.

According to a complaint filed by G.’s attorney in November, the first administrator she told did not report the incident. Another one asked her why she hadn’t fought the boy off. Finally, the principal sent G. home indefinitely while the school tried to handle the situation.

While G. was missing school, no one ever referred her to counseling or legal services. In fact, they didn’t even send her homework home. After four days, the principal told G.’s mother that she had arranged a “safety transfer” to another school. She also said there was nothing more Spring Creek could do.

In reality, the principal didn’t even do what she said she would. There was no safety transfer put in place. G.’s mother had to take matters into her own hands. After about a month, with the help of sexual consent litigation attorney Carrie Goldberg, G. was transferred to another school.

The Title IX complaint is currently being investigated by the federal government’s Office for Civil Rights.

During her interview with BuzzFeed, G. said she can’t understand why she was being punished for telling the truth.

“Everyone was blaming things on me. It was so much pressure. I couldn’t take it. At times I felt like giving up on my life.”

G. said that before she was raped, she’d never had sex. She’d never even had a comprehensive sex education class and she wasn’t comfortable talking to her mother about sex, which is why she waited so long to tell her.

But her mother sensed that something was not right.

“I knew something was wrong with my daughter. I could feel her pain in my body. I hurt too.”

According to her Title IX complaint, G. said that the incident took place near campus while she was waiting for the school bus. The complaint also describes how the boy videotaped himself penetrating her before sharing the video online.

The principal’s decision to send G. home was so that her presence wouldn’t “make things worse.”

When police and administrators looked at the video they concluded that it was consensual sex and then dropped the investigation.

The police convinced G.’s mother not to press charges and then asked G. why she didn’t fight him off of her.

According to BuzzFeed, the school was more interested in accusing G. of dishonesty. The complaint alleges that even if the sex were consensual the fact that it was recorded and circulated, it’s still a crime, child pornography to be specific.

While there is a lawsuit in motion, G. is happy at her new school but she still doesn’t feel comfortable around boys. She says she still has flashbacks of what happened to her last April and worries that everyone believes it was her fault.

She said, “Things have gotten better but what happened is still such an impact on my life. Sometimes I still feel like giving up.”

You can read the full story here.

NYC: Looking for MadameNoire’s #1 Reader & Ultimate Foodie

February 17th, 2016 - By jade
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Destination BK Thumbnail

Ladies, If you love MadameNoire and you love food, then this post is for you! We’re looking for MadameNoire’s #1 fan who would like to be featured in our next two-part video series with the hottest celebrity chef in NYC. We’re looking for the ultimate foodie to take on a food adventure to some of the best eateries in Brooklyn.

Here are the Rules:

  • Must live in the NYC Tri-State Area
  • Must be available on Wednesday 2/24 to film ALL DAY!
  • Between the ages of 21-35
  • Great personality and is willing to be on camera.

If you meet the above criteria and you’re interested, please e-mail the following to with the subject line: Destination BK MadameNoire’s #1 Fan (Insert Name Here)

  • Name, Age, Location
  • Photo
  • Contact Number & E-mail
  • Why do you love MadameNoire?
  • Why would you consider yourself a foodie?

We will select the winner no later than Monday, February 22nd.

18-Year-Old Raped By 5 Teen Boys In Brooklyn Park, Walking With Her Father

January 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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18-Year-Old Raped By 5 Teen Boys In Brooklyn Park, Walking With Her Father

Source: NY 1

A traumatizing sexual assault happened at Osborn Park, in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn this past Thursday.

According to New York 1, investigators say five teenage boys brutally gang raped an 18-year-old girl. The teenagers, approached the girl and her father as they were walking through the park at around 11:15 p.m. One of the assailants pulled a gun out and demanded that the father leave.

The father didn’t have a cell phone, ran to a local Bodega for assistance. Store workers refused to call the police.

Eventually, the father did return with two police officers. But by that time, the five boys had raped his daughter.

The boys fled the scene of the crime.

Thankfully, four of the five boys have been apprehended.

Two of the boys, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old, were turned over to the police by their parents on Sunday. The other two, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old were located by police later.

There is still one assailant on the loose.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement on Sunday:

“I am disgusted and deeply saddened by the horrific attack that took place in Brownsville yesterday evening. We will take every step possible to find and swiftly prosecute the assailants of this vicious crime. Every New Yorker in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe and protected, and we will not stop until the perpetrators of this disturbing attack are held accountable for their actions. This administration has zero tolerance for sexual attacks, and we will work to ensure a crime of this nature never happens again.”

People in the neighborhood said that while the park can be dangerous, they were surprised to hear that it happened.

“It shouldn’t happen out here. Too many police officers are out here so I don’t know what it happened out here.” 

Another person said,

“It needs to be police lighting in this park when it gets dark so if anything happens in here, the people walking by can see. Because right now, it’s pitch black and you can’t see anything that’s going on.” 

The young woman was treated at King’s County Hospital and was released.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

NYPD Captain Pleads Guilty To Pulling Gun On Two Innocent Kids

October 10th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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Leonard Zhukovsky /

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Back in September 2013, New York Police Department Captain Brian McCaughey pulled a gun out and screamed at a 13-year-old and 12-year-old who were harmlessly playing tag on a street in Brooklyn’s Beford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

“Motherf*****,” get on the ground!” McCaughey shouted with his gun drawn, according to kids relatives and sources. After hancuffing and attempting to arrest the teenagers, the mother of the 12-year-old boy intervened on the cop’s wrongful actions. McCaughey then realized that he and his partner were at the wrong address – they were on Quincy Street instead of Clifton Street, which was four blocks away.

“I was just hoping that the (cops) didn’t pull the trigger,” said Yvonne Smalls, the grandmother of 13-year-old Kesean Smalls. “I didn’t even ask ‘What did he do?’ because Kesean has always been a non-confrontatinal kid. It was more a matter of ‘Why are you doing this?'”

After a two-year fight for justice for Smalls and his friend Jahniel Hinds, Captain McCaughey plead guilty on charges of improper force and abuse of authority, New York Daily News reports.

“Pointing a gun at two young boys, who had done nothing other than play tag on their own street, was a reckless use of force that traumatized them and created an extremely dangerous situation,” said CCRB executive director Mina Malik.

As a result of McCaughey’s poor actions and guilty plea, he has been docked 30 vacation days after trying to get the court to lessen it to only 18 days.

Corinia Silver, Hinds mother, said two simple words from the NYPD could have ended the drawn out case: We’re sorry. “I asked for an apology because I know that mistakes happen, but they never did,” she told New York Daily News.



Brooklyn’s Shaakir and Naazir Muhammad And Their Ballet Dreams

May 12th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Brooklyn Ballet’s wonder kids, 16-year-old twin brothers Shaakir and Naazir Muhammad, star in this beautiful montage about being in ballet and following their passion. Dubbed “the Billy Elliots of Brooklyn,” back in 2011, they won full scholarships to the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in Manhattan. Like the Broadway character, the boys had to overcome some major hurdles to fulfill their dreams. Read more about their journey here.

“The second I tell someone I’m a classically trained ballet dancer, they just look at me like, what? You? You’re a dancer? Look at the way you dress. And I’m like, you’re not seeing only the way I dress, you’re looking at my skin. That’s what you’re telling me,” says Shaakir.

“I remember when I first walking into xix Studios, me and Naazir walked in…the room got quiet. Like drop dead quiet. You could feel the people stare at you and I just felt like everyone here is scared of me. My hair is not flowy and stringy like a white boys hair. I don’t have the delicate features, you know, the soft colored eyes…I don’t have that. This is me, this is how I look and I’m not going to change it for you go so I can get some part.”

“The internalized racism was crazy…you shouldn’t be wearing tights with them white boys, you might turn gay…if you stand next to Naazir for more than 30 seconds you can turn gay…all of a sudden I look up and there are no kids around me. That didn’t bother me, honestly, because they can’t give me anything to make me prosper. I want to be the first African American principal dancer. Just to get written down in Black history and kids int he future are gonna do reports on me when I’m dead, well, me and my brother, not just me. We’ll see who gets there first.”


New York City Creates Publicity Videos For Democratic National Convention Bid

January 13th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The City of New York is busy promoting itself as a candidate host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC). The goal of the DNC is to nominate and confirm who will be the Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2016 November elections. Aiming for a win for Brooklyn, New York City’s government has released a series of videos of native New Yorkers and celebrities who grew up within in the five boroughs.

The Daily News reports, die-hard New Yorker Rosie Perez said in her video, “If the DNC comes to Brooklyn, you are going to understand why we are so proud and loud about it. Can we tawk?” The lead of the Motown Broadway show, Josh Tower who acts as Berry Gordy hailed New Yorkers. “We have the biggest stars, the brightest lights, and nowhere else in the world can you have this much fun and see this great of a show,” he says.

The DNC committee will choose between Philadelphia, New York and Columbus, OH. New York Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman Marti Adams says New York out-fundraised the competing cities. Despite the Big Apple financial advantage, sources exclusively told the Daily News that donors to the DNC are not sure if the convention should be held in Brooklyn due to the shooting that left two police officers dead in December.

Do you think New York City should host the DNC?

Brooklyn Using $1 Million To Investigate Wrongful Conviction Claims

July 29th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Brooklyn has dedicated $1.1 million annually to look into cases of potential wrongful convictions. It is under the tutelage of Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, who has expanded his office’s Conviction Review Unit. And the unit is grabbing national attention.

It has had seven people in six months exonerated. It may not sound like much, but with a country’s judicial system bogged down with paperwork, these numbers are outstanding.

“Since 2007, prosecutors have started conviction integrity units dedicated to making sure the right people were found guilty of crimes. In many cases, exonerations have involved misidentifications and new DNA testing,” reports USA Today. But it has been found that most of the wrongful conviction claims in Brooklyn may involve police misconduct.

“Brooklyn is ground central,” Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, told the newspaper. “They are systematically examining a large set of cases in which there may have been serious misconduct by police officers and possibly by prosecutors themselves over a period of years involving dozens and possibly hundreds of homicide cases…That is an operation on a scale that nobody else has done.”

Compared to other parts of the city, Brooklyn’s cases are more complicated (and potentially more scandalous) as well as costly.

Of the 90 cases the unit is investigating, a whopping 57 of them involve former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. Scarcella’s policing tactics have been a sore spot for the NYPD, especially after evidence proved Scarcella coached a witness to pick a suspect out of a lineup. In that case, the suspect, David Ranta, spent 23 years in prison before being exonerated. “Scarcella is also accused of using one crack addicted witness to testify at a number of trials as well fabricating confessions and intimidating suspects,” reports USA Today.

Outrageous wrongful convictions such as Ranta’s have wound up costing the borough and the entire city. In an attempt to compensate Ranta for all the years he spent unjustly behind bars, the City of New York made a settlement for $6.4 million before a $150 million civil rights lawsuit went to trial.

Brooklyn Trio Launch Kickstar Campaign For BCake Shop

July 16th, 2014 - By Kay Hudson
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Want to help three fabulous mamas from Brooklyn, New York get their latest venture off the ground? If so, join in on the official BCake Shop Kickstarter campaign brought to you by mompreneurs – Akim Vann, Miriam Osei Milord and Martine Dallemand.

Just so you know: BCakeShop, a retail offshoot of BCakeNY, is a Brooklyn based bakery producing traditionally American classics with global influences.

Madamenoire is a proud supporter of these amazing entrepreneurs and we encourage our fans to support their vision. Last week, we were able to chop it up with Akim Vann, one of BCake Shop’s partners about the mission of bakery and why supporting its Kickstarter campaign is so important. Take a peek at our exclusive conversation – and donate to the campaign if you can! Time is running out!

Konnect: What is BCake Shop?

Akim Vann: BCakeShop, is a Brooklyn based bakery, retail space, and “classroom”. BCakeShop  produces traditionally American classics with global influences featuring take home items for baking and gifts as well as classes and birthday parties for children and adults..

Konnect: What inspired the name and who is involved?

Akim Vann: One of the partners, Miriam is the owner of our sister store,  BCakeNY (from BKNY for Brooklyn New York -“Anything can be cake” ) a designer cake studio. Miriam is a master at creating works of art out of cake.

We are three partners including myself, Akim Vann, Miriam Osei Milord and Martine Dallemand. I am a private tutor/teacher and life coach. My expertise is in all levels of Mathematics to Calculus. In Brooklyn, I am known as THE tutor to go to for math and test prep. One might think what does a private tutor and student life coach have to do with baking? Well, just about everything, for example, math and baking are about precision. The baker (mathematician) may need to double the recipe, convert quarts to cups, add or subtract an ingredient/s.  After all, baking deals with so much math namely, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, fractions, percents, conversions etc. However, precision is not merely about mathematical measurements, it is about knowing who your customer is and what they want. My partners, Miriam and Martine are also sticklers for such precision.

Miriam, who is originally from Germany (born to Ghanaian and German parents) was an avid baker for her family and friends. Miriam holds a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design and had worked as a Designer for a prominent Art Gallery for the over a decade. With her designer eye and love of baking, in 2010 she opened BCakeNY to create custom cakes. The cakes do not just look amazing, the cakes taste incredible as well.

Martine, a native New Yorker, and pastry chef, completes this trio of partners. Martine was educated at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and has worked in various kitchens, most recently for the past 4 years under James Beard, awarded chef, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, where she was Director of Weddings and Special Events. She brings along a wealth of knowledge in food, product development and retail.

Konnect: How did you collaborate on the idea and tell us about the roles of each partner?

Akim Vann: I met Miriam (cake designer, owner of BCakeNY) five  years ago at at a mutual friend’s son’s birthday party. She made a beautiful custom cake for our friend’s son which immediately got my attention. We live in the same neighborhood and soon after became fast friends. We bonded over our love of working out and eating sweets. Martine and I met over ten years ago; our sons were in a  three-year-olds playgroup together. We also had a lot in common and talked about opening up a shop to do cooking classes for children. Last summer I organized a meeting with six of my girlfriends who were in related industries – namely food, weddings, and teaching. Only three of us showed up at the meeting. We talked and the rest is history.

Konnect: What kind of clients have you worked with in the past and how will BCakeShop transform Brooklyn?

Akim Vann: Miriam has created custom cake for many celebrities including Rihanna, Lala and Carmelo Anthony, P Diddy, Jay Z, Barbara Streisand, and Heidi Klum. While BCakeShop is reflective of the many changes that are occurring in Brooklyn in terms of the food and social scene, BCakeShop serves everyone. As a second generation Brooklynite, I know first hand that Brooklyn has been the home to people from all places and all walks of life. I grew up in Prospect Lefferts by way of a Yiddish-speaking African-American father from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and a Chinese- American mother from Marine Park, Brooklyn. BCakeShop is reflective of  these Brooklyn and diverse roots.

BCakeShop will feel like home from the sweet smell of baked goods, to the decor of refurbished wood, to the welcoming atmosphere created by the owners and carried out by the staff. While the quality of our products are exclusive, who we serve does not discriminate.

Konnect: What makes BCakeShop so unique? Other than delicious cakes, what other services will you offer?

Akim Vann: BCakeShop is unique because we will be offering not only fresh baked goods, but we will also host birthday parties, classes, and workshops.

Konnect: There is a Kickstarter campaign in place. Tell us about what you hope to get out of the funds!

Akim Vann: We need a larger budget to maintain the historical and modern charm, including, but not limited to exterior paint, windows, planters, signage and a new door and gate while focusing on utilizing refurbished and recycled materials.Your partnership through financial contributions will allow us to purchase the  remaining “big-ticket” essentials like a stroller/wheelchair ramp in order to accommodate everyone.

Konnect: Who are some key industry players supporting the initiative?

Akim Vann: Some key players thus far who have supported our initiative are super producer Just Blaze, The Combat Jack Show, and Toukie Smith actress, model and restaurateur.