Name: Ebony Raé
Profession: Educator (Pre-K), Public Speaker,
Event Host, Occasional Performer (Dance)
What are of the BX are you from?: Co-op City
Ebony and I met as dance major 5th graders at M.S.180! She does it all; from teaching youth, to hosting events in our neighborhood, and killing it onstage (I actually saw her perform at AfroPunk last year! Yasssss!). Ebony is a force and I look forward to seeing what more she will do to affect positive change in our community.
Tell us about yourself:
I am an over thinking, shy, highly ambitious, multifaceted melanated Virgo who believes anything is possible as long as you are true to yourself iand living your best life no matter what! My favorite quote is “Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in your own sunshine”. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are your fondest memories of growing up in the Bronx?
Growing up in The Bronx, especially in Co-op, is literally the definition of bad and boujee (lmao). Having the soul of hip-hop and the prestige of Black Excellence. (I can only say this for my generation- no shade).
Do you feel as though being from the Bronx has heavily influenced who you are today?
Being from the Bronx has definitely influenced who I am today. Because the BX is comprised of so many different types of people- you have the South Bronx which is the nitty gritty and where hip hop started, then you have Riverdale where mostly Italians reside, then there’s the west side where mi gente enjoy the bacalao y maduros- anyone from the Bronx has a little bit of everything in them. Each part has its' own set of survival skills that are only unique to a Bronxite. I feel like without such diversity, I would not be able to be aware of, deal with, or overcome many of the things that I’ve seen and experienced.
Who are your biggest Inspirations?
My Parents and Ancestors.
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Traveling to the motherland and being able to perform internationally. I traveled to Tanzania where I performed at the Zanzibar International Film Festival; a play called Juliana. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life thus far I never thought that I would have the opportunity to do such a thing. It all started with an interest in a Congolese Dance Class in the city after about a year away from dancing to performing on a stage with natives in the motherland about 8 months later. Totally off my radar, but that just proves that literally every decision you make, even the slightest, could change your entire world. And in this case, it changed mine in the most amazing way.
If you could, in what ways would you give back to your community?
Although I try my best now to do as much as I can for my community through sponsoring events and hosting them, the one thing that I would want to do to help out even more is, in one way or another, provide traveling opportunities for the students that attend my alma maters. I wish I had started traveling when I was a lot younger, so I think our youth could greatly benefit from that.
If someone were visiting the Bronx, where would you tell them to go?
Thotty Island (lmao) aka City Island, more specifically Seafood City for the Henny Coladas.