Human Trafficking – The Real-Life Dilemma

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The darkest subplot in John Reinhard Dizon’s Transplant focuses on Adam Rauch’s diabolical deal with drug lord Django Tamsulosin. Django agrees to supply ‘volunteers’ for Rauch’s experiments with the understanding that they are never to return to the streets of Harlem. At first the victims are brought to the lab on the brink of death, and Adam harvests their organs before they expire. Eventually they are brought while unconscious, and Adam realizes that Django expects them to be euthanized. He begins to keep the survivors in a state of heavy sedation, rationalizing that captivity is a more humane fate than death itself.

Human trafficking in the 21st century has reached epidemic proportions. There are more people being held against their will and used as chattel than during the peak of the Slavery Era of past centuries. The United Nations webpage at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html documents the ongoing struggle against human exploitation. Though the plight of the victims in Transplant may be a fictional representation of such scenarios, it is imperative that reading audiences everywhere become aware of such injustices. From drug addicts to supermodels to NBA superstars, this novel reminds us that when the weakest among us are endangered, ultimately we must all join together to eliminate the threat to one and all.

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One of the more chilling subplots in Transplant is the tragic tale of Geri Lindsay. The supermodel, like fellow victim Jerome Browne, seeks resolution in returning to her childhood neighborhood and falls afoul of the megalomaniacal drug lord, Django Tamsulosin. In real life, Harlem in NYC is not only the place where black Americans have turned their fantasies into reality in generations past, but continues to inspire hope for young people to this day.

Harlem Model Search is but one of many institutions where a real life Geri Lindsay may one day emerge. Their website at http://harlemmodelsearch.tumblr.com/tagged/harlemmodelsearch provides photos and information about their services to hopeful and talented young women in NYC. It is just a sampling of all that the legendary and essential Harlem community continues to offer!

 

Jerome Browne – All About Harlem Basketball!!!

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Transplant‘s Jerome Browne is just one of hundreds of thousands of basketball players who came from East Harlem, though one of a handful who realized his dream of major league success. Yet Harlem basketball has an older tradition than the NBA in their hallowed Globetrotters. Here’s some historical facts from the ‘Trotters site at www.harlemglobetrotters.com

In 1926, in Chicago, a 24-year-old businessman named Abe Saperstein formed a small basketball team called the Savoy Big Five. He was just trying to promote a nightclub called the Savoy Ballroom, but in just a few years the team had played over 1000 games around the country and become the Harlem Globetrotters.

In 1941, the Globetrotters signed Reece “Goose” Tatum, an all-time great who developed amazing comedy moves and changed the direction of the team.

Twenty years after their inception, the Globetrotters had played 3,000 games and were featured on the cover of Life magazine. Those were remarkable achievements at a time when America was deeply segregated by race.

The team toured the world, breaking cultural and social barriers along with basketball records. They were the first team to play basketball in Europe. In 1950, Globetrotter Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton became the first African-American player to sign an NBA contract.

In 1959, during the Cold War, the Globetrotters went on a sold-out tour of the Soviet Union. The also had an audience with Pope John XXIII and posted their first undefeated season, with an astonishing 441 wins.

Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 120 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents.

The line-up has included some of the greatest players ever, including Wilt Chamberlain, Marques Haynes, Curly Neal, and Connie Hawkins, just to name a few, and they have appeared in their own movies and TV shows.

The Harlem Globetrotters continue a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages.

Brooklyn Heights – Where Dreams Are Made?

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In Chapter One we follow the Four Doctors to Adam Rauch’s brownstone on Grace Court at the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights. It provides residents and visitors with a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Rauch and his friends’ parents bought the homes back in the day, when they sold for a million dollars. Now this apartment is listed at $1.8 million dollars. Just the one apartment.

How times change. We remember the  Patty Duke Show of the Sixties which made the Heights famous. In the Seventies, the horror flick The Sentinel was filmed at 10 Montague Terrace (see photo). That’s when they really started upping the ante in this real estate area. To add insult to injury, this is listed as a one-bedroom apartment.

The narrative speaks of how the four friends would hang out under the Brooklyn Bridge at night, admiring the view and dreaming of their future success. It was an autobiographical touch by JRD, who spent his own childhood fantasizing about his own slice of the Big Apple while gazing at the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and dozens of other landmarks.

“You couldn’t ask for a more inspirational sight,” reminisces the author. “You could hang out under the Bridge or on the Promenade all night and come back the next night, and the next and the next. It was something you can never get tired of. Whenever I go back for a reunion with my old buddies, at the end of the evening, we’re right back where it all started.”