Episode 54 | Hon. Fernando Ferrer, Iconic New York City Leader and American Politician

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For episode 54 I wanted to bring back the Hostos Oral Collective. Perhaps because I’m searching left and right for people who’ve gone out and made a difference, perhaps because of the symbolism of the weekend celebrations, perhaps because I can’t stop thinking about the South Bronx and everything that’s happened there...by now I’ve heard over 150 stories about Hostos and the Bronx, los puertorriqueños, los afro-americanos, los imigrantes, the fiscal crisis, the place was burning...Somewhere in there is why I wanted to share Fernando Ferrer’s words about Eugenio María de Hostos Community College and the Bronx today.

The image of him waiting for me in Hostos’ A-Building lobby is etched in my mind. There he was, the iconic former Bronx Borough President unfazed by his lone landing on 149th Street and Grand Concourse. He looked around as if thinking to himself...He didn’t need an I.D., the security guards recognized him, as well as many of the passersby.

He sat inside my humble voice recording sound studio made of photo backdrop drapes to cancel out echo. Inside the pseudo-casbah is a little table with a super colorful drape that makes it look like a seance gathering. Only it’s not, but it does make the small hut an intimate space for one-on-ones and the only way out of nervousness is to focus, be present 100% and listen to the words...here a leader and a kind hearted man - Fernando Ferrer.

Soldanela Rivera