Fort Greene

Preston Riddick

Preston Riddick landed in Fort Greene nearly 5 decades ago and has shared his insights as a teacher of all ages ever since. Working at the intersection of African dance and history, theater and martial arts, Riddick has cultivated a unique form of pedagogy designed to nurture self-awareness and self-empowerment. To this day, Riddick can be spotted at the top of Fort Greene park training individual seekers in the ways of kung fu and knowledge of self.

In the early 70s Riddick started the Indoda Entsha Cultural Program on Washington Avenue inside St. Luke’s Church. With a focus on the call and response of power and grace within martial arts and African dance and drumming, by the late 80s, the program was hosting major African Dance leaders and providing a platform for international cultural exchange in the community. The program eventually moved to other locations in the area, St Mary’s Church on Willoughby Avenue and Cadman Memorial Church on Lafayette Avenue, and ended circa 2012. For many years, Riddick was also a member of the Alonzo Players, purportedly the longest running repertoire in Brooklyn, based out of the Masonic Temple on Lafayette Avenue. 

All of Riddick’s interests have morphed into his current project the Resura Arkestra, a 10 piece orchestra that infuses traditional West African and Latin rhythms, Jazz, and a touch of spoken word. In fact, some of Riddick’s students from Indoda Entsha now perform side by side with their mentor, making sure his legacy is alive and well. 

Text by

Diana McClure

Diana McClure is a writer, photographer and cultural producer. She has lived in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn for nearly 25 years.

Portrait by

Anders Jones

Anders Jones has lived in the Ft Greene / Clinton Hill neighborhood for over 20 years. His present multidisciplinary practice uses photography, video and other media to encourage viewers to think critically, question and dialogue about the importance of community, urban renewal and the ways neighborhoods might be transformed for the benefit of all without totally obliterating its roots.

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