Lamont Pittman

civil rights, patience and emu farming

Dec 6, 2013 | Leave a comment

blueeldorado.blogI have been waiting for about five years for this Cadillac El Dorado to be parked in a good spot. Patience has finally paid off. I love the huge doors on this car and the cross hatch shadows created by the fire escape.

The car is parked on Marcus Garvey Avenue in Bed-Stuy and is named for civil rights activist, Marcus Garvey of course. Black nationalism and black pride as concepts originated with him and his efforts inspired others like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the recently departed Nelson Mandela.

Bed-Stuy has a rich history and my street in particular has many individuals who have played interesting parts during the civil rights era. My neighbor Abdullah Razzaq once known as James 67X and before that as James Monroe King Warden was an aide and secretary to Malcolm X for many years. Mr. Razzaq was present at the Audubon Ballroom when Malcolm was killed. He’s a wonderful man and peppers his conversations with quotes from the Bible, the Quran, Noel Coward songs and Japanese tongue twisters. I love talking to him because you never know which way he’ll steer things. One minute it’s emu farming or raising mules and then the next it’s about the beauty of having a repetitive task like painting a wall to focus your mind. I’m lucky to know him.

Also a former neighbor Lamont Pittman was the only black Marine in the honor guard and part of the caisson escort team for JFK‘s funeral procession.

Below is a portrait of Abdullah Razzaq and his late brother, John Warden taken with a Polaroid 330 camera.