Last summer, Shanequa Benitez borrowed her mom’s electric bike and pedaled up and down Yonkers’ notorious hills. Using her grandfather’s Vivitar 35-millimeter camera, the 34-year-old Yonkers native photographed friends on sweltering afternoons in and around Cromwell Towers, the public housing where she grew up in the Locust Hill neighborhood.
In one black-and-white photo, Pauly plays dice. Benitez has baby pictures with him. Three color photos show her friends Pops and Pun on a stoop, both smiling, donning matching white tank-tops.
In her exhibit, “But It’s Ours: The Redline Between Poverty and Wealth,” Benitez aims to highlight how Black and brown communities were confined to sections of Yonkers through the century-old discriminatory practice of redlining. As the first artist-in-residence for the nonprofit Yonkers Arts and the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY), Benitez has chronicled the effects of redlining on communities like hers through art.
Read LoHUD.com's article "Redlining in paint: In new exhibit, artist shows effects of discrimination on her Yonkers neighborhood," featuring the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers.