Volunteering at the Langston Hughes Home

 

A week ago during the snow storm, I left my warm apartment and went to Harlem and volunteered with i, Too, Arts Collective which is a  non-profit organization committed to nurturing voices from underrepresented communities in the creative arts. They are responsible for renovating  the Harlem renaissance poet, Langston Hughes, home.

When I was in college, I went on a date with a young man who grew up in New Orleans. He was crazy about the Harlem renaissance because of his high school teachers. I, who grew up in New York, was crazy about Harlem because of the books I read alone (my high school  curriculum skipped majority of my history…really America’s true history). In any case, he took me to Harlem for a date and I remember us standing outside of Langston Hughes home taking about his poems. Then we spoke about what it would take for his home to become a museum. Then, we stopped talking so the conversation pretty much died like a raisin in the sun. However, the dream didn’t because I am now apart of a team of people who are preserving Mr. Hughes legacy by opening up his space and reserving it for writers and other artist to gather.

Rob Bennaton

Rob Bennaton

When I was in College, I got an internship at the New York City Housing Authority. I was working in the Garden and Greening Program and hired by Rob Bennaton, the happy man in the picture….also the only man in the picture.

When I left, I told my sister, Yunis, about the internship. Yunis applied and was the next person Rob hired. Before she left, she passed on the position to my brother who then passed it on to our youngest sister, April, who now works there. Can you believe, all my younger siblings were also hired by Rob?

That’s why it is important to have a good record where ever you go.

Each summer since 2008, someone in my house was working for Rob or because of Rob. Each summer he shared with us different words of wisdom.

Rob is now leaving the New York City Housing Authority for a bigger and better position in California.

I am very happy for him and wish him and his beautiful family all the best.

Thank you Rob for your constant words of wisdom and for looking out for my family your help towards us will never be forgotten.