Welcome to Fall Semester 2020, a semester unlike any other for all of us. What an important time for us to examine the Bronx as a beautiful space to live and/or go to school. The borough has lost nearly 5,000 due to Covid-19 as I write this message on August 10th, 2020 and tens of thousands of Bronxites experienced the ravages of Covid-19 through their own illness or that of family members. We will look historically at other times of struggle in the Bronx and take a look at the activists and artists and developers that made the Bronx a hub of art, music, and culture as the infrastructure continued to create divisions within the Bronx. As protesters took to the streets of the Bronx and across New York City after George Floyd’s murder on May 25th, 2020 we can examine the movement to keep the doors of Hostos Community College open during the 1970s and the sacrifices students, faculty, and community members made to ensure an institution of higher learning would stay open in the South Bronx. Many Hostos students have served tirelessly as essential workers and will continue to do so this fall term. Thank you for keeping our hospitals running, transportation moving, and food on the shelves of our stores.
We are all reeling–trying to rage, grieve, work, and take care of our families. Will our kids will be in school? Will they be safe? Will they spend another semester doing remote learning?
I hope that CAP 200 Bronx Beautiful can be a reprieve of sorts. Many students taking this capstone are in their final semester and whether it has taken two years, four year, or six years, you have persevered and are on the home stretch. A capstone courses is designed to assist students with pulling together many different disciplines in liberal arts, and as a sociologist and an ethnographer, I will be drawing on that as we move through our units of study.