Letter from the Editor
(Spring 2014 issue)
L E T’ S F A C E I T, L O S S I S I N E V I T A B L E, and over the
past year I think it is safe to say we have all witnessed some big
losses. We lost the ever inspirational Nelson Mandela, in the
literary world we recently lost the beloved Maya Angelou, and a
few months prior, we lost another important poet, Amiri Baraka.
Baraka was a poet who never held back what he really thought,
and while at times, those opinions were inflammatory, they always
provoked us to explore our own opinions.
After Baraka’s passing Gabriel Cabrera, a LaGuardia graduate,
wrote a beautiful speech in honor of the poet. That speech is
included in this issue of Literary LaGuardia. But great people are
not the only losses we experienced over the year, we also recently
lost (in our very own neighborhood) the street art mecca, 5 pointz.
After 5 pointz was taken down, many of you submitted artwork in
remembrance of it. Like Baraka, 5 pointz was alternative, something
out of the ordinary, and important. Just as loss is inevitable,
so is change; and this city is changing a lot. It is unfortunate that
the decision to whitewash the walls of that graffiti covered factory
building was made, but 5 pointz will go on to be a staple in the art
history of New York City. Along with Gabriel Cabrera’s speech,
there is a photo tribute to the colorful walls and windows of the
former 5 pointz building.
With all this talk of loss and change, you might fear that this
issue will be a bummer, but not at all. What this issue is actually
about is resilience and using your voice to carry on the legacy of
great things. It is also about using your voice to be sure that you
have a say in the change that happens in this world. Every piece
published in this issue represents the diverse ideas and experiences
of the student body here at LaGuardia. And let me tell you, what a
beautiful bunch. Working on this issue was an absolute pleasure for
me. Don’t ever quit making art, fellow LaGuardians, it is your tool
for change. Just as it was (and continues to be) for Amiri Baraka
and all those graffiti artists who painted their visions on the side
of stark, blank buildings. The loss of Baraka and 5 pointz does not
equal the loss of those voices. They will continue to be heard and
thought of. Here, you all have added to that discourse. Thank you
all for sharing and remember, to quote the late Amiri Baraka, “Art is
a weapon in the struggle of ideas, the class struggle.” Our voices do
matter. Fight on LaGuardia, fight on.