In collaboration with SPIA Media Productions, Inc., Vin Buonanno, Liz Mauran, Wendy Marcus, members of The Mile of History Association and Providence City Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1) present “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story(SKFPR), Thursday, July 15, 2021, 8 p.m. at India Point Park, Providence, RI.
Directed by Fox Point native and prominent filmmaker/historian, Dr. Claire Andrade-Watkins, this feature-length documentary tells the untold tragedy and scandal of what happened to a vibrant community of immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands in the Fox Point section of Providence Rhode Island who were forcibly displaced by urban renewal to make way for coffee shops, antique stores, and elegantly restored houses.
Cape Verdeans are the first sub-Saharan African people to voluntarily immigrate to Providence, Rhode Island. The new immigrants sailed and arrived in 1892 on the packet ship Nellie May captained by Antonio Coelho. The first Cape Verdean community in Rhode Island, settled, grew and thrived in the historic Fox Point area of Tockwotton and Sparrow Parks near the waterfront and the Port of Providence from the late 19th through the mid-20th century. This close-knit Cape Verdean neighborhood of tenement homes and businesses stretched contiguously through Tockwotton, then along South Main, Pike, Brook, Traverse, and Wickenden Streets.
SKFPR fills in a significant thread currently absent from 02903 and State historical narratives about people of African descent, that can now be told and recognized as part of Rhode Island’s rich shared migratory tradition.
Dr. Claire Andrade-Watkins is the President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc. founded in 1998, and the Director of The Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Project (FPCVHP), an independent community-based research initiative comprised primarily of former residents and/or descendants of the founding Cape Verdean families who settled in the Fox Point section of Providence, RI at the beginning of the 20th century. Launched in 2007 and incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit in 2014, the goal is to document and preserve the legacy of the Cape Verdean community in Fox Point.