Monday, December 12, 2005

Ongoing meetings

On the second and fourth Monday of every month there is a support group for the family members of people in prison, people formerly incarcerated and anyone who is connected to prison.

The meeting is held at The Family Partnership Center, 29 North Hamilton St., Poughkeepsie, NY, from 7 'till 8:30 PM.

Lateef Islam Memorial Show

Yesterday I had a sore throat & stuffed head, so Lady D stepped up to the board and hosted an interesting and moving show, taking phone calls and reading letters and emails about the late Lateef Islam, a pillar of the Poughkeepsie community. Here's what Larry Mamiya, professor of Religion and Africana Studies and Faculty Coordinator of the Vassar Prison Programs said about Lateef:

Lateef Islam was a giant of a man, not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. He literally dominated the area of community activism in Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County. After dropping out of school and being arrested under the Rockefeller Drug Laws, Lateef spent 11 years in prison mostly at Green Haven. While at Green Haven he completed a GED, an Associates from Dutchess Community College, and a B.A. from Marist College. During his imprisonment, he met some of the leading members of the "Think Tank" such as Eddie Ellis and Larry White who helped to pioneer major reform programs in New York State prisons. Lateef took to heart the "Non-Traditional Approach" of the Think Tank that emphasized how oppressed, incarcerated men can help and empower each other. He brought that philosophy to his work with young people in the Poughkeepsie community upon his release. "Each one teach one," he loved to say. Lateef never forgot those who were in prison; he often went back to speak to the men and encouraged them to get an education. I recall meeting Lateef at many community events, including the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March in the city's streets. When his health did not permit him to march, he followed in his car. He was generous with his time and often spoke to the Vassar students workng in prisons. We will all miss his physcial presence but we know that he is with us in spirit.

Monday, December 05, 2005

About the Fancy Broccoli Show

The Fancy Broccoli Show airs on WVKR, 91.3FM, Poughkeepsie NY on somewhat alternate Sundays from 3 - 6 pm, Eastern Time.

The Fancy Broccoli Show is three hours of (loosely defined) jazz from all periods, and discussion of prison issues. In the music part of the show I emphasize vocals and standards. You'll hear plenty of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Etta Jones, Etta James, John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, ... and also new releases, occasional poetry and Dr. Seuss. Around 3:30 I conduct an interview with someone connected to prison. Around 5:00 I read my mail which mostly comes from prisoners in the listening area. I have received mail from Green Haven, Fishkill, Mid-Orange, Wallkill, Shawangunk, Otisville...

You can write to The Fancy Broccoli Show, WVKR, Box 726 Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY 12604-0726 or email me at Let me know whether you would like your correspondence read over the air, whether I can say your first or full name or where you are from, and whether you would like your correspondence posted on this web site. I will respect your wishes to the best of my ability.