Updated: Jan 4, 2019
The home and neighborhood sanctuary of Harlem's Community Mayor is in danger of being erased from the community.
I was invited to Harlem by a woman named Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely so that she could tell her story. The purpose of the interview was to address the injustice of Predatory Mortgage lending. Predatory Mortgage lending is financial malpractice because the lender loans money at an exorbitant interest rate that he or she knows the person will be unable to pay back: This places the individual into an endless cycle of debt.This happened to Dr. Delois Blakely an elderly woman who has nothing but give up of herself completely to the community she calls home.
Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely has lived in Harlem for 50 years. In her first 10 years, she lived in convent, Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Convent. After leaving her life as a nun, Queen Mother dedicated 40 years of her life to fighting for the people of Harlem by working with the most vulnerable in her neighborhood. Women, children who are: homeless, handicapped, and are in foster care, new immigrants looking for an opportunity to obtain their education; but lack the funding to purchase an apartment. Queen Mother also has an NGO New Future Foundation where she works at the UN to combat oppression and racism globally.
Queen Mother lives in a very valuable in the Borough of Manhattan in a Brownstone. Her home is on 477 West 142nd street in Harlem right next to the City College Of New York and the 19 bus. These lenders know that if they get her to default on her loans they will be able to make a massive profit. Queen Mother’s property is valued at several million dollars. Despite this, Predatory Mortgage Lenders are attempting to snatch it from her for only $650,000 dollars and they are using balloon loans on this elderly women so that she will continue paying them after they take away her property. Not only is this unjust but Queen Mother has opened up her home as a shelter for people who otherwise would be susceptible to be violence and other abuses. If this injustice is left unchecked and Queen Mother’s home is foreclosed. . . Harlem will lose a piece of its History and many of our city’s most vulnerable will be displaced.
In closing, these corrupt lending practices are not unique to Harlem. Gentrification has displaced millions of Americans and every time we try to sweep poverty under the rug it breeds greater contempt within our citizens. With that being said, I am fully aware of the massive improvements made to Harlem under this new wave of investment in these neighborhoods. Furthermore, diversity is essential to the fabric of New York City. Our city is far too imaginative and wealthy to not be able to conjure up a more humane way to solve the issues of crime and poverty in our inner city communities.
Queen Mother's Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/queenmother