Here and Now with Sandra Bookman: United Order of Tents, the secret society continues its fight for the community

NEW YORK (WABC) – In this edition of Here and Now, we talk to a few changemakers who continue the work of a secret society that dates back to the days of the Underground Railroad.

The United Order of Tents, the oldest black women’s fraternity in the country, dates back to 1847.

It was created to help enslaved people use the subway.

One of the oldest chapters of this secret society is based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and is still dedicated to its mission of serving the community.

Along with Sandra Bookman in the studio, she is president of Unted Order of Tents Eastern District No. 3 Essie Gregory and Vice President Erica Buddington.

Also on the show is Christian Cooper, the bird watcher who recorded a disturbing confrontation with a white woman in New York’s Central Park in 2020, now hosting a New series on National Geographic: “Extraordinary Bird Watcher with Christian Cooper.”

Cooper joins Bookman to talk about the journey and excitement for the new series.

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We are also publishing resources in a number of areas that will grow and can be found below:

Ways to help

Black lives matter

Black Voters Matter Fund


National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

No new prisons in New York

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project

Teaching the next generation

Black Lives Matter at school

Create space to talk about racism at your school

Teaching for Black Lives – Reimagining Schools

Black-owned bookstores in New York and New Jersey

Café con Libros (Brooklyn)

Grandma’s Place (Harlem)

Sister’s Uptown (Manhattan)

Source of Knowledge (Newark)

The Lit. Bar (Bronx)

The Little Boho Bookstore (Bayonne)


Born to Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Raising White Children: Raising Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey

So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism



Black Wall Street 1921

Jemele Hill is undisturbed

Still being processed:


American Son: Available on Netflix

If Beale Street Could Talk: Available on Hulu

Just Mercy: Available on Amazon Prime

Selma: Available on Amazon Prime

The Hate U Give: Available on Amazon Prime

When They See Us: Available on Netflix


13th: Available on Netflix

America Inside Out with Katie Couric: Available on National Geographic

Becoming: Available on Netflix

I’m Not Your Negro: Available on YouTube

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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