History of Harlem
Number 1: "The New Negro"
Alain Locke edited a volume of critical essays and literature entitled the New Negro. In it, Locke heralded a spiritual awakening within the Afro-American community. It was manifested by a creative outburst of art, music and literature as well as by a new mood of self-confidence and self-consciousness within that community. The center of this explosion was located in Harlem. Famous personalities such as Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson James Weldon Johnson, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong either moved to Harlem or visited it frequently in order to participate in the vigorous cultural exchange, which took ...view middle of the document...
He wrote of their daily lives in America's cities, of their anger and their loves. Black people loved reading his works and hearing him read his poems at public presentations all over the country. To them he was "Harlem's Poet". The Harlem that Langston Hughes loved and where he lived most of his life was an exciting place. This newly developed suburb of New York City was planned, laid out, and built almost too fast. Harlem had broad boulevards, beautiful town houses, and exclusive apartment buildings. After the war the combination of the Great Migration, the mix of cultures in Harlem, and a newfound sense of black unity and confidence produced a great burst of creativity. During the Harlem Renaissance, intellectual dialogue, literacy and artistic creation, blues and jazz, dance and musical theater came together and flowered as never before.
Number 4" Jim Europe
Europe studied piano and violin in his youth and about 1904 settled in New York City, where he directed musical comedies and, in 1910, he helped organize the Clef Club, a union of African-American musicians. The 125-member Clef Club orchestra that he conducted at Carnegie Hall featured an extraordinary instrumentation, including 47 mandolins and bandores and 27 harp-guitars. Europe's Society Orchestra was probably the first African-American band to record, as early as 1913, when it offered fast versions of ragtime works, typically in 2/4 metre, with urgent rhythmic momentum. His band also regularly accompanied the popular white dance team of Irene and Vernon Castle, who popularized the fox-trot and a dance in 5/4 metre, to scores by Europe and his collaborator, Ford Dabney. During World War I Europe led the all-black 369th Infantry band, which toured France; it was noted for its syncopations and expressive colors. The band was nicknamed the "Hell Fighters" and was making a triumphal postwar tour of the United States when Europe was killed by one of his musicians.
Number 6: Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 29, 1908. At the age of six months he moved with his parents to New York City, where his minister father developed the century-old Abyssinian Baptist Church into one of the largest congregations in the United States. After attending public schools and the City College of New York, Powell graduated with a B.A. degree from Colgate University in 1930, and received a M.A. degree in religious education from Columbia University in 1931.
While the assistant minister and business manager of the Abyssinian Church in 1930, Powell used picket lines and mass meetings to demand reforms at Harlem Hospital, which had dismissed five black doctors from its staff because of their race. Beginning in 1932, he administered an extensive church-sponsored relief program providing food, clothing and temporary jobs for thousands of Harlem's homeless and unemployed.
It was during these Depression years that Powell established...