The act of making rent and the two syllable “Bed-Stuy” together convey, in many ways, the crux and complexity of American cities’ current class and race related struggles. While to many, paying housing costs and a neighborhood in Brooklyn have little meaning beyond the obvious, to those familiar, the title alone of author and professor Brandon Harris’ Making Rent in Bed-Stuy: A Memoir of Trying to Make it in New York City speaks volumes to the state of Brooklyn, American housing, and our historically black communities. The book is, “a rebuke, in a form newly discovered, to the people James Baldwin once called ‘our morally dishonest and desperately dishonest countrymen'” in the words of N+1 founder Keith Gessen.
In honor of the memoir’s release, Lower East Side venue Metrograph (7 Ludlow St.) will be hosting a four-day screening of Bed-Stuy’s most iconic flicks, from Spike Lee’s Crooklyn and Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop to Daniel Bishop’s 2011 Bed Stuy: Do or Die and a 2004 documentary on Bed-Stuy born and bred Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The series will span next Friday, June 9 to Monday, June 12 with individual tickets available for each day’s screening. Harris will introduce Crooklyn on June 9 and will be signing copies of his book.
The full lineup is available on Metrograph’s website. To buy tickets – which cost $12 to $15 depending on the screening – click on the red showtime under the date of each listed film.