This is Uptown Radio. I’m Daniel Rostas. We’re all searching for something. It could be a new job, it could be a little bit of peace and quiet… it could be a new way to connect with other people. On this episode of Uptown Radio, stories about the thing we don’t have, yet, and the lengths we go to get it.
Most people don’t go looking for fights. But for the past six years, Jerome Mickle has been doing just that. Mickle has been trying to become a professional fighter in mixed martial arts, or MMA. If you’ve never seen it, professional MMA is basically a mashup of kickboxing and wrestling, which until last week, was banned for years in New York. When a new law goes into effect in August, rising amateurs, like Mickle, may finally get a chance to turn pro on their home turf. But as Adrian Ma reports, Mickle isn’t waiting around for that day.
Just in case you haven’t been following the latest in black women’s hair – natural is IN. It’s a big shift in an industry that runs about $500 billion dollars a year in products, weaves and wigs. But more than the money – as Shandukani Mulaudzi reports, this journey to natural hair – it’s not the kind of thing you do alone.
At the start of the month, the New York Civil Liberties Union won a class-action lawsuit against the New York State Department of Corrections. It was over reforming the use of solitary confinement in New York State prisons. The 4,000-strong solitary population will now drop by a quarter, and guidelines have been introduced to cap the time a prisoner can stay in solitary to 90 days. But in the eyes of the UN, more than 15 days in solitary is torture. As Oliver Arnoldi reports, many think the lawsuit has not done enough for the thousands remaining in solitary.
Searching for community is what brings one group of senior citizens in Brooklyn to what might be the likeliest of places: a bingo hall. Call them old-fashioned, but that’s where they go, sometimes as often as six nights a week. They meet friends, gossip, eat, and play game after game. As Nina Agrawal reports, having a place to do that is still important in our technology-driven world.