My South SideJul 30, 2022
Spades is More Than a Game
“I would say it's embedded within our community and even I'll take a step further and just Black culture in general. People love playing Spades,” Tyrone Dixon said. “It brings out emotions, but it also brings out a kind of happiness and cares in good times.”
Dixon was born and raised in Syracuse where he first learned to play the popular card game Spades. But his connection goes beyond just a game — there's a personal history there tied to family, community, collective knowledge and Black culture at large.
Tune in to The Stand’s podcast “My South Side” to hear more from Dixon and others about their relationship to the card game Spades. Throughout the episode host Abby Fritz takes a deep dive into the culture of the game, everything from trash-talking to its historical origins in Southern Black communities.
Reporter Debrief: Jeff Kramer on Syracuse’s Humanitarian Parolees
“I remember at one point, the most dramatic, it felt like being in a movie,” said Jeff Kramer, in recalling assisting Saboor Sakhizada to evacuate his family from Afghanistan after the fall. “We were sitting in my truck, in the rain, with him in the front seat, and I was helping him write an exchange advocating for his brother, Habib, to some American military person, well placed that I don't know, never met.”
Kramer, a contributing reporter for The Stand, details his experience as both a reporter covering the humanitarian parolees of Syracuse and as a friend to some directly affected by the issue. His personal connection informed his reporting throughout the piece and lead him to cover a topic broadly neglected by major media.
In this episode of "My South Side" podcast, host Abby Fritz speaks with Kramer about his story “Humanitarian Parole,” which inspired the past two audio episodes. This reporter debrief covers what it was like for Kramer to report on this issue and what the next challenges for the humanitarian parolees of Syracuse may be.
A Polarizing Promise: The Potential of the Afghan Adjustment Act
“I think one of the first things I learned when I immigrated to America is about the polarization of politics,” said Saboor Sakhizada who’s lived in the United States for the past decade. “There’s these two dominant political parties that seems like they couldn't get along on any matter. There's always this black and white matter, right?
But now, he thinks he’s discovered a gray area: The Afghan Adjustment Act. After family arrived in the wake of Afghanistan’s fall, qualifying them as “Humanitarian parolees,’ uncertainty remains on the length of their welcome.
In this episode of “My South Side” podcast, host Abby Fritz speaks with lawyers, advocates, and humanitarian parolees about the legal and political sides of this issue. This podcast takes a closer look at the options humanitarian parolees currently have to seek permanent residence.
Path to Permanency
“When we came from Afghanistan, my wife was pregnant and she was in such a bad situation inside of the airplane,” said Arsalan Sultani, who arrived to the United States by cargo plane last year. “I started to make a better life for my family. I want to do everything for them.”
Sultani, 25, served in the Afghan Armed Forces against the Taliban until the fall of the county, when he and his wife escaped by shredding personal documents to evade detection.
Now, with a 6-month-old daughter and the chance to call Syracuse home, he faces complex legal challenges to remain.