Carib A&E

Spectrum Joins the Festivities at New York City’s 2017 West Indian American Day Carnival

The West Indian American Day Carnival is as festive as it gets in New York City. And Spectrum joined in the festivities this year as the event’s primary corporate sponsor.

The West Indian American Day Carnival promotes, develops and celebrates Caribbean arts, culture and traditions. The five-day event, held in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, features music, crafts, foods, and more from several cultures. It culminates with the Carnival Parade, which attracts a million-plus people from New York City and around the world. The 2017 Carnival was the event’s 50th anniversary.

As part of its involvement as the primary sponsor, Spectrum aired Public Service Announcements and segments on New York 1’s In Focus program about the carnival and its economic significance to New York City. It also hosted a breakfast on the morning of the Carnival Parade, held Sept. 4. In addition, the company’s vice president for Government Affairs, Camille Joseph – who has both Jamaican and Haitian heritage -- was also a grand marshal of the parade.

“What an honor to be a part of this wonderful New York City tradition we call the West Indian Day Parade,” Joseph said at the celebratory breakfast. “It’s made even more special because this year is the event’s 50th anniversary. Spectrum is particularly proud to be a sponsor of the festival and parade because they are shining examples of the diversity, inclusion and unity that is abundant throughout the city, values that we live by in our company.”

The company also was the host of the Spectrum Lounge, a hospitality tent along Eastern Parkway, the parade route, in which Spectrum officials greeted local officials and other guests.

Spectrum has implemented a number of initiatives to assist New Yorkers including, partnering with local nonprofits to establish computer Spectrum Learning Labs; establishing a Digital Education Grant program to support non-profit organizations that educate community members on the benefits of broadband and how to use it to improve their lives; and the introduction of a lowcost, high-speed broadband product called Spectrum Internet Assist.

‘THE PECULIAR PATRIOT’ OPENS AT NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE

Historic Harlem theater partners with Hi- ARTS for the world premiere of powerful one-woman, multimedia play exposing the prison-industrial complex.

Liza Jessie Peterson’s hilarious and poignant one woman, multimedia show The Peculiar Patriot opened to standing ovation Sunday at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT), kicking off the historical Harlem theater’s 49th season, “Black to the Future.” NBT and Hi-ARTS have joined forces to present the play, a blistering critique of the American criminal justice system. Peterson, who worked for nearly two decades at Rikers Island in various capacities and was featured in Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, wrote the show, which is directed by Talvin Wilks. The Peculiar Patriot runs through October 1.

The play follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love amid barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates and gossip and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a searing indictment of the criminal justice system in her own authentic and inimitable style, with a heavy dose of humor to boot. “Mass incarceration is slavery remixed. As soon as you see the handcuffs go ka-klink, you’ll hear the cash register go cha-ching. It is unconscionable that there is a profit motive for building prison beds and making sure they’re filled with bodies disproportionately Black and brown,” said Peterson. “This is America’s most urgent human rights crisis happening right before our very eyes, and I am compelled as a concerned citizen artist to bring urgent attention to the issue.”

For show times and tickets visit www. nationalblacktheatre.org, call NBT at (212) 722-3800 or go to NBT’s box office, open from 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. National Black Theatre is located at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th streets in Harlem. (Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 subways to 125th Street.)