Benjy Melendez's widow reflects on his legacy after returning to the Bronx
The widow of a Bronx legend is remembering her late-husband with a move back to the Bronx.
Benjy Melendez was an activist, peacemaker, musician and a Bronx legend.
Wanda Melendez recently moved back to the Bronx, where her late husband of 37 years “Yellow Benjy” became famous on the streets and remembered years later.
Benjy died in 2017, but in January Tats Cru finished a mural on Jackson Avenue near 145th Street honoring him.
“I feel honored because he needs to be recognized for what he has done,” says Melendez.
Benjy was the founder of a South Bronx gang called the “Ghetto Brothers,” which was also the name of his band.
Then in the late 60s, Benjy led his gang as a peacemaker during a troubled time for the Bronx, eventually brokering a truce between gangs setting the stage for a better Bronx.
“Right now I can't think of anyone who's done what he did,” says Melendez.
Even though Benjy isn't around anymore, Wanda says she knows his legacy will live on.
“My kids have seen it, my grandkids and they're like, ‘wow this is, this is great,’” says Melendez. “So I think this was good, especially in the Bronx.”