James E. Hinton – Recording Black Activism

The New Yorker has an amazing video of work by the photographer James E. Hinton who made his name memorializing some of the most prominent figures of the civil-rights era. Hinton photographed not only Black leaders of the time (athletes, artists, politicians, thinkers, musicians – including Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Muhammad Ali, Mahalia Jackson, and Miles Davis), but also left a huge body of work at Emory University that celebrates ordinary Black life in mid-century America.

Emory University notes that: James E. Hinton (1936-2006) was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He attended college at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) in the 1950s and served in the United States Army from 1960-1962. He studied photography with Roy De Carava at the Kamoinge Photography Workshop for African Americans in 1963. Hinton worked as a freelance photographer throughout the 1960s, capturing images of the Civil Rights Movement in cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Harlem, New York, and photographing unknown activists and foot soldiers in the movement as well as leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr.; Stokely Carmichael; H. Rap Brown; and Huey Newton. He also photographed artists and athletes including singer Mahalia Jackson and boxer Muhammed Ali. In the 1970s, Hinton began working in film and television as a cinematographer and director. He was the first African American to join a cameraman’s union, Local 600 in New York City, and won an Emmy for his direction of WNEW’s program “Black News.”

The New Yorker has highlighted excerpts from two of Hinton’s films: “The New-Ark” and “May Be the Last Time,” that were digitized by the Harvard Film Archive, which holds a collection of Hinton’s work.

To watch this powerful record see:

https://www.newyorker.com/video/watch/an-unseen-body-of-work-shows-a-different-side-of-black-power

Patch Report on Vacant Storefronts

Nick Garber from Patch.com has a great, albeit depressing map of vacant storefronts along the 125th Street business corridor

Nick Garber notes:

All told, 42 stores sat empty along that stretch — not counting active construction sites or businesses that shut down during the pandemic but have pledged to reopen at a later date. That’s a rate of nearly one vacancy per block.

To see and read more:

https://patch.com/new-york/harlem/harlems-empty-storefronts-42-vacancies-along-125th-street

A Walk Through Harlem, New York’s Most Storied Neighborhood

The New York Times has a wonderful (virtual) walking and talking chat with the architect David Adjaye about Hotel Theresa, Marcus Garvey Park, the home of Langston Hughes, the Y.M.C.A. and other landmarks.

A highly recommended, architectural focused stroll:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/20/arts/design/harlem-virtual-tour.html

The NYPD Wants Your Opinions

The NYPD has come up with a detailed 18 question survey for you to voice your thoughts about the police and how they are doing in our community.

As we always say, the city can’t read your mind. We need to tell them what we want, what we expect, and what is unacceptable to our community:


https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/about/about-nypd/reformcollaborative.page

Vote for Love

Census Data from 1661: Multicultural and Multilinguistic Dutch New Haarlem

The first European colonists to arrive and settle in Harlem were strikingly diverse. The Dutch West Indies company that settled the village that would become New York City, focused on the robust accumulation of wealth as a primary objective and not on a monocultural populace. The earliest record of Harlem residents shows a variety of ethnic origins:

French

  • Daniel Tourneur
  • Jean Le Roy
  • Pierre Cresson
  • Jaques Cresson
  • Philippe Casier
  • David Uzille
  • Jacques Cousseau
  • Philippe Presto
  • Francois Le Sueur
  • Michel Zyperus
  • Jan Sneden

Walloon (Belgian)

  • Simon De Ruine
  • David Du Four
  • Jean Gervoe
  • Jan De Pre

Dutch

  • Dirck Claessen
  • Michiel Janse Muyden
  • Lubbert Gerritsen
  • Meyndert Coerten
  • Aert Pietersen Buys
  • Sigismundus Lucas

Danish

  • Jan Pietersen Slot
  • Nicolaes De Meyer
  • Jan Laurens Duyts
  • Jacob Elderts Brouwer

Swedish

  • Nelis Matthyssen
  • Monis Peterson Staeck
  • Jan Cogu

German

  • Adolph Meyer
  • Adam Dericksen
  • Hendrick Karstens

This list, of course, only itemizes white, European men. Children, women, Indigenous People, and African slaves, were not included in this 1661 census.

Jacob Lawrence Panel Discovered

Our neighbor’s blog: https://gothamtogo.com/the-met-discovered-a-missing-jacob-lawrence/ alerted me to this important mid-century Harlem artist and the stunning discovery of a ‘lost’ painting of his:

The Met announced the discovery of a painting by esteemed American artist Jacob Lawrence that has been missing for decades. The panel is one of 30 that comprise Lawrence’s powerful epic, Struggle: From the History of the American People (1954–56), and it will be reunited immediately with the series, now on view at The Met through November 1 in Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle. Titled by the artist There are combustibles in every State, which a spark might set fire to. —Washington, 26 December 1786, the work depicts Shays’ Rebellion, the consequential uprising of struggling farmers in western Massachusetts led by Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays; it protested the state’s heavy taxation and spurred the writing of the U.S. Constitution and efforts to strengthen federal power. The panel is number 16 in the Struggle series.

The painting has not been seen publicly since 1960, when the current owners purchased it at a local charity art auction. A recent visitor to The Met’s exhibition, who knew of the existence of an artwork by Lawrence that had been in a neighbor’s collection for years, suspected that the painting might belong to the Struggle series and encouraged the owners to contact the Museum.

The work will be specially featured at The Met and will also join the touring exhibition, organized by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), for presentations in Birmingham, Alabama; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C., through next fall.

Vote

Seen on the fence of the Fred Moore School – East 130th Street:

Visit East Harlem

The official guide to dining, culture, and shopping in East Harlem is undoubtedly not quite the list residents would create, but that is the nature of lists for the visitor.

NYC Go highlights a number of places that we’d all likely recognize and recommend. But there are some selections that would likely make a resident roll ones’ eyes.

Note how on the map, the Jazz Museum is shown to be in its former East Harlem home, and on East 126th Street. As anyone who’s headed to the 4/5/6 train knows, that block – between Lexington and Park – is not where you’d go to listen to jazz, it’s where you’d go to hang with your friends who just got off the M35 bus, or who just got their methadone from a program in the Lee Building.

The Jazz Museum migrated to West Harlem, on West 129th Street at Lenox.

The rest of the map is problematic, but interesting to explore, if only to find the errors. Note how “East” Harlem stretches over onto Malcom X Blvd, for example. Or, how The Africa Center is listed, but has not opened yet.

To see the list of places, take a look at the NYC Go webpage: https://www.nycgo.com/boroughs-neighborhoods/manhattan/east-harlem/

Visit 17th Century Dutch NYC

Given the sad state of the NYC Go page, I thought I’d offer a 17th century Manhattan promotional text for potential European settlers:

“This land is excellent and beautiful to the eye, full of noble forest trees and grape-vines ; and wanting nothing but the labor and industry of man to render it one of the finest and most fruitful regions in that part of the world.” He then condenses the accounts given by “our countrymen who first explored this river, and those who afterward made frequent voyages thither.” The trees are “of wonderful size, fit for buildings and vessels of the largest class. Wild grapevines and walnut trees are abundant. Maize or Indian corn, when cultivated, yields a prolific return; and so with several kinds of pulse, as beans of various colors, pumpkins,—the finest possible, melons, and similar fruits. The soil is also found well adapted to wheat and several kinds of grain, as also flax, hemp, and other European seeds. Herbaceous plants grow in great variety, bearing splendid flowers, or valuable for their medicinal properties. The forests abound in wild animals, especially the deer kind; with other quadrupeds indigenous to this part of the country. Quantities of birds, large and small, frequent the rivers, lakes and forests, with plumage of great elegance and variety of colors. Superior turkey-cocks are taken in winter, very fat, and the flesh of fine quality. Salmon, sturgeon, and many other kinds of excellent fish are caught in the rivers. The climate differs little in temperature from our own, though the country lies many degrees nearer the equator than the Netherlands. In winter the cold is intense, and snow falls frequent and deep, covering the ground for a long time. In summer it is subject to much thunder and lightning, with copious and refreshing showers. Scarcely any part of America is better adapted for colonists from this quarter ; nothing is wanting necessary to sustain life, except cattle, which can be easily taken there, and easily kept, 

Wilhelmus Baudartius, of Zutphen; printed at Arnhem, 1624,

Early Voting Hours Extended for NYC

The historic voting numbers have led to changes in voting hours this weekend. But… Don’t wait for an extension. Make a plan. Get on line. Vote. Remember, you’ve been waiting for this for 4 years. Don’t let it slip by.

The New York City Board of Elections’ commissioners on Tuesday voted to extend early voting hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the change may only take effect at polling sites where it is deemed feasible.

Early voting in New York City will likely take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31; and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 at polling places that have the ability to handle the extra hours, BOE Secretary Frederic Umane said at a virtual meeting Tuesday afternoon.

“It is our intention to do it, but we may not have the ability to do it for all sites, but that’s what we’re going to try to do,” he said.

American Legion Post #398 Jazz

One of the casualties of COVID has been in-person musical performances. Two years ago I took my parents to the American Legion Col. Charles Young Post #398 to hear some local jazz and enjoy an evening out. The night was magical, and I can only hope that this venue will survive, and then thrive, after COVID.

The entrance to the bar, the food, and the music is down below, through doors in the courtyard’s cinderblock entryway:

Post #398 is located at 248 West 132nd Street. The Yelp reviews are here:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-legion-post-398-new-york

Vote for Him

Food Helpline

347.455.0107

The Mail

Harlem has had a mail system since 1673. In order for mail to travel, however, the road to Harlem to New York and beyond had to be finished, or at least made usable. Eventually, a monthly mail between New York and Boston was officially announced and the earliest letters set out on the first of January, 1673.

The novelty of the mounted postman reining up at the tavern at Harlem, with his dangling “portmantles,” crammed with “letters and small portable goods,” but tarrying only so long as necessary to deliver his mail and refresh himself and horse, added another to the sights and incidents which dutifully noted by all in town.

By-Mail Absentee Voting (Using the USPS)

After making your votes on the ballot, fold the ballot and put it in a smaller envelope. Sign and date the back of the envelope. Seal the envelope and put it in the larger envelope that is addressed to the Board of Elections. Mail or deliver your ballot to your borough Board of Elections office.

An absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and must reach the Board of Elections no more than 7 days after the election to be counted.

To learn more:

https://vote.nyc/

And, to find your polling place:

https://findmypollsite.vote.nyc/

The NYPD Wants Your Opinions

“Police and Community Working Together”

Your input is invaluable and your perspective is vital in assisting the Police Department in its efforts to reform and reinvent its policies. We have launched a brand new initiative to collect feedback from New Yorkers. We will incorporate what we learn into a plan of action to make the NYPD more transparent and fair for everyone. We want to hear all feedback. What is working? What isn’t working? How can officers better work with the community members they are sworn to serve? What are best practices we can replicate across the city? While in-person attendance is limited due to COVID-19, all meetings are streamed on Zoom and Facebook. The schedule is below along with the links to join and participate.

Wednesday October 28th in Manhattan North – Click here to RSVP

To join through Facebook, please visit : https://m.facebook.com/NYPD/

For more information click here: https://www1.nyc.gov/nypd/reformcollaborative


Thank you in advance for your help.

Phone Banking for the Election 2020

Join volunteers from around New York State as we virtually make calls to swing states for Biden+Harris. Now through Election Day.

New volunteers welcome! Click the link below to see the schedule and sign-up.

https://newyorkforbiden2020.com/#phonebank

Early Voting Sites Are Open!

Vote in person, or simply drop off your absentee ballot.

Early Voting

New Yorkers can vote early for the November 3, 2020 general election.

Early voting starts on October 24, and runs until November 1, 2020.

Early Voting Information

 Saturday, October 24, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
 Sunday, October 25, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
 Monday, October 26, 2020 7 AM to 3 PM
 Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12 PM to 8 PM 
 Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12 PM to 8 PM
 Thursday, October 29, 2020 10 AM to 6 PM 
 Friday, October 30, 2020 7 AM to 3 PM 
 Saturday, October 31, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
 Sunday, November 1, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM

On November 3, 2020, General Election Day, poll sites are open 6 AM to 9 PM.

FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE


A Feminist Walk Through Harlem: Celebrating Remarkable Women
 

ValSaveHarlemNow (5).jpg

How do we honor Black and Latina women? How do we preserve their legacy? 2020 marks the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage, but Black women’s contributions to the movement largely go uncelebrated, and most Black women in America could not vote until 1965. As the city and the nation confront issues of representation and equity in public commemoration, and to build on FRIENDS’ discussion of the Women’s Right Pioneers Monument in Central Park, please join FRIENDS of the Upper East Side and Save Harlem Now! for a virtual walk through Harlem. The tour will focus on sites publicly celebrating pioneering Black and Latina women, and issues surrounding the preservation of such sites. Tour guide Leigh Hallingby, of Harlem Walks, will explore the neighborhood murals, mosaics, plaques, and other forms of public commemoration honoring such pioneers as Vivian Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Madam C.J. Walker, Billie Holiday, Mother Clara Hale, Ruby Dee, Lois Alexander, Mary McLeod Bethune, Julia de Burgos, A’Lelia Walker, Nicholasa Mohr, and Zora Neale Hurston. 

Monday, October 26th

6:00 p.m.

Register HERE!

HNBA November Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 10th at 7pm

The week after election day HNBA will hold its November meeting on Tuesday, November 10th at 7 PM.

We are looking forward to a fantastic lineup of guests, the first of which will be representatives from Chase bank who will talk about helping Harlem residents achieve home ownership, including:

 Applying for a mortgage
 Available Grants to help with the down payment
 2-4 unit properties – using rental income to qualify
 Multiple borrowers on one application
 Is now the time to refi? Pluses and minuses
 Working with a realtor
 Single-family
 Multi-family with rental income
 Market Condo
 Deed restricted condo
 Market co-op
 HDFC co-op

We will then meet Tali Farhadian Weinstein who is running for Manhattan DA. https://www.taliforda.com/ Tali and her staff recently join in on a walking tour of 125th Street from Lenox to Lexington to see first hand some of the major struggles we have with quality of life and small business development.

Tali Farhadian Weinstein is a prosecutor, a professor, and a proven criminal justice reformer.  She is also an immigrant, a daughter, a wife, and the mother of three girls. 

Lastly, Jana La Sorte from the NYC Parks Department will join us. Jana is the new administrator for the four Historic Harlem Parks — Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Morningside and St. Nicholas — that advocates for and supports the unique history and character of each park and their future development to better serve the greater Harlem community.

If you are a member of HNBA (Join Here) and would like to join in this exciting conversation on the 10th, email Shawn for the zoom link.

DWB (Driving While Black)

Join the New York & Virtual Premiere of dwb (driving while black) this evening until October 29th.

dwb (driving while black) isa new chamber opera about racism, erasure, and the fear and love that black parents experience when they send their kids out into a world that too often sees them not as a child, but as a threat. This powerful music-drama documents the all-too-familiar story of an African American parent whose beautiful brown boy approaches driving age. What should be a celebration of independence and maturity turns out to be fraught with the anxiety of “driving while black.”

REGISTER HERE (Registration required)

One of the most singularly devastating theatrical moments of the last year.” –The Pitch


“A composer of vivid imagination and skill” 
—Fanfare

“Singers are storytellers,” says soprano/librettist Roberta Gumbel (“silver voiced…” – The New York Times), “but rarely do we get the opportunity to help create the stories we are telling.” Collaborating with composer Susan Kander and the cutting-edge duo New Morse Code (“Clarity of artistic vision and near-perfect synchronicity.” icareifyoulisten.com), this brief, powerful music-drama documents the all-too-familiar story of an African-American parent whose “beautiful brown boy” approaches driving age as, what should be a celebration of independence and maturity is fraught with the anxiety of driving while black. 

Roberta Gumbel, librettist/soprano
Susan Kander, composer
Chip Miller, director
New Morse Code– Hannah Collins (cello) and Michael Compitello (percussion)

Uptown Grand Central’s Clean Team

It’s the one-year anniversary of UGC’s partnership with Positive Workforce to create our East 125th Clean Team.


Spot a yellow trashbag along East 125? These are the guys who cleaned it up for you.

And after being out there seven days a week, Uptown Grand Central’s 125th Street Clean Team filled 12,000 bags in the past year. 💛

An Address to You from The First Lady

Michelle Obama, First Lady of The United States of America:

An American Street Mural in Harlem

Harlem Park to Park – https://harlemparktopark.org/ – has a great teaser video out on the project to create the Black Lives Matter mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd this past summer.

The plan is to expand the project to produce a 40 minute video for the film festival circuit

As Patch.com notes:

While the film mostly follows the mural as it is created in real-time, Okera said it is informed by Harlem’s creative legacy stemming from the Great Migration, in which thousands of Black people settled here in the early 20th century after fleeing racial terrorism in the South — a process that led to the neighborhood’s flourishing during the Harlem Renaissance.

“We belong to that legacy — those refugees from terror that became Harlem residents,” Okera said. “The legacy they left was to enjoy that rich cultural mecca that has been Harlem for the last 100 years.”

The film’s launch will coincide with a yearlong series of programming that will be announced on the documentary’s website, americanstreetmuralinharlem.com. Those interested in supporting the film can donate online, where they can receive memorabilia including posters and T-Shirts of the mural.

The goal of the film is simple, Evans-Hendricks said: “to show our community matters, Harlem matters, has always mattered.”

https://patch.com/new-york/harlem/documentary-follow-rise-harlems-black-lives-matter-mural

LISC Small Business Relief & Recovery Program – East and Central Harlem

Apply for the New York City-based small, minority-owned businesses seeking direct relief grant funding through the LISC NYC Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund.

Each grant is limited to one grant per individual and business tax ID. Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission.

This business grant application requires that business owners of at least 51% ownership identify as minority owners. Note: Certification as a minority and/or women owned business enterprise (MWBE) is not required to apply.

All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Nonprofit organizations are ineligible for this application.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LISCRELIEFGRANTAPPLICATION

Meet The Candidate

Day: Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020

Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Place: MGP Amphitheater Seats.

Craig Schley is running for 70th Assembly and invites you and any of your neighbors to meet him at a social distanced gathering on Saturday in Marcus Garvey Park.

http://www.schleyforassembly.com

Protest at The Lucern

You likely have heard how some residents of the Upper West Side raised a significant amount of money to fund a legal campaign to force homeless New Yorkers out of the Lucern Hotel which the DHS had contracted to house homeless New Yorkers so they wouldn’t be at risk of COVID in congregant shelters

Today members of HNBA and The Greater Harlem Coalition attended a protest and press conference to note that our community – East Harlem and Harlem – has had more than its fair share of shelters for decades, and that all communities in New York need to take their fair share of shelter residents in this pandemic until permanent residences can be built/found.

As the 2017 NY City Council Report on Fair Share noted:

Residential Beds in East Harlem

Manhattan Community District 11, with 52 beds per 1,000 residents, or 4% of all residential facility beds in the city, embodies the legacy of decades of poor planning by and coordination between City and State governments and the failures of Fair Share. A low-income community of color, it is third in the city’s beds-to-population ration.


Manhattan CD11, composed primarily of East Harlem and Wards/Randall’s Island, is home to 1,082 chemical dependency treatment beds, 1,312 mental health treatment beds, and 2,691 shelter and transitional housing beds. The community hosts 5% of all Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter beds, 19% of all State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)-licensed beds, and 11% of all State Office of Mental Health (OMH)-licensed beds in the city.


Distributional equity does not only mean equity between community districts, though that is a reasonable unit of analysis, but also equity within community districts – as the Fair Share Criteria recognize in their directive to specifically consider facilities within one half-mile of a proposed facility as well as the total number of facilities within the community district. Yet Manhattan 11 fails this test of equity too, with one-third of the DHS, OASAS, and OMH beds in the district located between 116th St. and 126th St. between the East River and Park Avenue. If facilities were perfectly evenly distributed between the City’s 59 community districts, each district would host 1.7% of each facility type.

https://council.nyc.gov/news/2017/02/27/fairshare/

Fair Count

The voices of the Black community must NOT be silenced or lost in this upcoming election

Lift your voice & be heard at the polls! Vote early. Vote safely.

Take a 60 sec animated journey with us on why we must VOTE

#RiseUpAndVote at http://vote.org now!

To learn more about Black Women Animate Studios, the group behind this video, see: Black Women Animate Studios

Harlem’s 11th Restaurant Week

Harlem Restaurant Week returns for the 11th consecutive year, running through October 31.

Dozens of establishments throughout East, West, and Central Harlem are taking part in the event including chef JJ Johnson’s fast casual spot FieldTrip, Indian restaurant Chaiwali, cozy date spot Ruby’s Vintage, Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, the poultry-focused East Harlem spot Mountain Bird, and the Harlem outpost of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Restaurants are running $25 lunch and $35 dinner prix fixe menus along with a host of other specials priced under $10.