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Monday, February 23, 2009

History Detectives Come to the Bronx

Tonight, after those of you with cable tune into to BronxTalk, move the digital dial over to 13.1 for History Detectives. The PBS show will, among other things, investigate the birth of hip hop at 1520 Sedgwick Ave.

For those of you not familiar with the show:

History Detectives is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects.

Traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork are the tools the History Detectives team of experts uses to give new - and sometimes shocking - insights into our national history.

The Bronx African American History Project and Dr. Mark Naison of Fordham University will be featured in the segment. Here are the details:
AIRING: Season 6, Episode 11
THE DETECTIVE: Tukufu Zuberi
THE PLACE: New York City

A hip hop enthusiast from New York City has always heard that 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx is the birthplace of hip hop.

The story goes that on August 11, 1973 DJ Kool Herc, a building resident, was entertaining at his sister’s back-to-school party, and tried something new on the turntable: he extended an instrumental beat (breaking or scratching) to let people dance longer (break dancing) and began MC’ing (rapping) during the extended

This, the contributor believes, marked the birth of hip hop. The music led to an entire cultural movement that’s altered generational thinking – from politics and race to art and language.

History Detectives sets out to examine an inner city environment that helped lay the foundation for a cultural revolution.
More on 1520 Sedgwick here.

Also, check out Manny Fernandez's piece in the Sunday Times about illegally partitioned apartments in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. With the affordability crisis and the economic downturn/implosion following the burst of the housing/credit bubble, dividing up apartments and subletting rooms isn't about to go away anytime soon -- often with deadly consequences.


  1. Gregory the "More on 1520 Sedwick here" link seems to be pointing to "History Detectives come to the Bronx" article itself.
    Its always a pleasure reading your articles.

  2. Adi,

    I see how it looks that way. I linked to articles on the blog that are tagged for "1520 Sedgwick Ave.", of which this post is the most recent. I think if you scroll down you'll find more references to the building.

    - Greg

  3. The show last night was very enjoyable but with all the "detective" work done about the Party, he did not interview any residents of 1520 who still lives there and attended that "Hip Hop Party in 1973". I guess that why it is called a TV Show.


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