Decade of Fire – Film Screening and Panel

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7pm-9pm

In the 1970s, fires raged throughout the South Bronx. Abandoned by landlords and city officials, nearly a half million people were displaced. Black and Puerto Rican residents were blamed for the devastation, even as they battled daily to save their neighborhoods. In the film documentary Decade of Fire, Bronx-born filmmaker Vivian Vázquez Irizarry pursues the truth: uncovering policies of racism and neglect that still shape our cities and offering hope to communities on the brink today.

Join us on a free public screening of Decade of Fire, followed by an informative panel with our special guests:

  • Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Filmmaker and Historian 
  • Crystal Reyes, Co-Organizing Director at the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition
  • Anthony Perez, Bronx Borough Commissioner, NYC DOT
  • Moderated by Bronx Borough Historian and Library President Angel Hernandez

The panel discussion will focus on the making of the film, including the artistic choices and techniques used to share Bronx history through the documentary format. Other topics will include the impact of policies such as redlining, urban renewal, benign neglect, and also highlight practices of collective resilience, community building and belonging that ultimately led to the rebuilding of the South Bronx. There will be enough time for questions, discussion, and interviews with the media. 

This event is free to the public  and will be held at the historic Huntington Free Library and Reading Room located at 9 Westchester Square in The Bronx. Opened in 1891, the library is the Bronx’s first established to serve the general public, and through various programs, lectures, and research collections, it remains to be an important cultural anchor in the community today.