This is Harlem

From 1975, a TV report by Geraldo on Harlem.

A place where most everyone has heard of but where most outsiders have never been. Every urban problem that plagues this country is represented here and you can find it all within a few blocks of this rooftop. Broken families, rampant street crime, the worst housing this side of Calcutta, alcoholism, street gangs, and the worst plague of them all drug addiction. Come with us as we take a look at the streets of Harlem.

Good Night America: Season: 2, #13 Episode; Air Date: January 23rd, 1975

Does Your Water Taste Weird?

It’s likely you’re noticing NYC tap water tasting differently this week: As of Monday, the Department of Environmental Protection increased water coming from reservoirs in Westchester and Putnam counties, and different systems mean the potential for different tastes, officials told NBC News. The change in water systems is part of a plan to repair leaks in the Delaware aqueduct, and the system is shut down until March 19, according to the DEP.

25th Precinct Meeting – Wednesday, March 15th, 6:00 PM

Kioka Jackson, the 25th Precinct Community Council president writes:

Good Morning All,

Happy belated International Women’s Day to all the amazing women in our community.  I hope you spent yesterday celebrating your awesomeness. 

It is my hope that everyone is doing well.  I just wanted to remind you all that our next 25th Precinct Council meeting is coming up.  

As promised, I invited a few guests to help discuss our concerns.  We have NYPD Chief Chell and Chief Obe joining us for this meeting.  

As a reminder, please use the link below to send in your concerns.  We will be using the information in the link to prep our guests so that they are aware of what information to be equipped with.  

All questions and concerns will be read and we apologize in advance that everyone may not get to speak publicly but if you send us your concerns we will do our best to address them.  

We ask that – if it is something that you expressed in a previous meeting that we make room for questions on new concerns.  I promise you that notes were taken and we are doing our best to address everything.  For instance we have submitted to CB11 and the Manhattan Borough President’s office Camera requests, Lighting etc…..  We got you!!! Trust me!

Because of the large number of people we are asking elected officials and CBOs to send their flyers to me so that we can include them on the PowerPoint.  You must let us know in advance that you would like to make an announcement so that we can include you on the agenda.  

We are looking forward to having a working conversation and sharing our voices about the needs of our community.

See you guys there.  

HNBA and Harlem East Block Association Meet The New Precinct Commanding Officer

From Kioka Jackson (the 25th Precinct Community Council President):

Good Morning Friends,

I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for making last night’s meeting a success.  There was a ton of things discussed and I am sending affirmation that all of your concerns were heard.  When we said that you wouldn’t hear a resolution last night, it didn’t mean that we wouldn’t be doing our best to find resolution for the things within the control that we have.  I am confident that the 25th Precinct’s Commanding Officer and his team are taking all things into consideration.  

The word of the evening was: ACTIVATE! One of the ways that we find resolve together is strategically creating an action plan and executing it.  Together we can make change!  
When we come together our voices are heard, and work can get done.  Our District Leader agreed to work with community members to help level your concerns up to those who need to hear and see it.  This is a great start! Because I know her well – I know she stands by her word.  

Let me thank Shawn Hill and his team for sharing the word for community members to come out and speak up!  Let’s have the same energy for our ENTIRE area!  The same community issues and grievances effect the whole neighborhood.  TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER! 

I have vowed for the last couple of months that if we could continue to have a vibrant, full group that I will continue to bring requested voices to the table.  Last night a huge request was for more resources, more Officers. Next month, I am inviting the a few Chiefs to the table.  Because of the large group, we will need a bigger space – location to be announced.  

Lastly, let me repeat that we may not all agree but we can respectfully disagree.  My team is empathetic to all concerns and is up for the challenge to foster positive change. We can’t do that without you.  We are also respectful to people’s personal grievances regarding elected officials but in this particular meeting it is not the place to address it.  We are a bi-partisan entity of the NYPD charted by New York City. This not being a part of our meeting doesn’t mean that we agree or disagree – it’s just not the space where we can allow it.  

I am looking forward to all the good work that is about to happen!  

Good Things!

Kioka Jackson

HNBA Members Notice Increased Police Presence

A number of HNBA members, particularly near Madison/126 have reported increased police presence after Wednesday’s meeting at the 25th Precinct:

Thanks for your help [25th Precinct]. Please let everyone know that their efforts are paying off. Let’s hope there is sustainability

Academy of St. Paul & St. Ann to Close

The Academy of St. Paul & St. Ann, located at 117 E 188th St. in Manhattan., is slated to close this school year along with 11 other Catholic schools in NYC.

Lessons from 2022

Join East Harlem’s Ny Whitaker tomorrow for a conversation about lessons learned from the 2022 elections:

Meet The New Commanding Officer

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 15th, at 6 PM the new Commanding Officer (C.O. Maisonet) of the 25th Precinct will host his first community meeting.

Here is your opportunity for him to hear from YOU, rather than just the electeds and their staffers, on what the real issues in our community are.

You know how powerful first impressions are.  Here is your chance to bring your issues/ideas/experiences to the forefront during C.O. Maisonet’s early days.

They can’t read our minds.  You need to voice your concerns in order for them to be addressed.

All are welcome.  The meeting will be at the precinct – East 119th Street, between Lex and Park.

As Seen In Harlem

Oh, and We’re Quoted in

25th Precinct’s Community Council Meeting with Borough President Mark Levine

Kioka Jackson, the president of the 25th Precinct’s Community Council writes:

Good Morning All,

It is my hope that everyone is doing well.  Hope you guys are preparing for the Holiday, to purposely spend quality time with family and friends.  

We are planning our last meeting of 2022.  Yikes!  2022 is coming to an end.  We started this year off with a literal bang – with one of our Officers being shot in the head by a stray bullet.  We are thankful and lucky that he is alive and well sporting his long beard, still protecting and serving the East Harlem Community.  We have so much to be grateful for but yet still so much work to do together to provide a safe community for all.  So don’t bail out on me yet.  One more meeting this year to go.  

Come join us to discuss public safety concerns with not only our Commanding Officer and his team, but also with Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.  Let’s show BP Levine some love and show up in numbers like last month.  Riverbend—- STAND UP! Where yall at?  Don’t fail me now.  LOL!  Love yall. Not just my Riverbend people – My East Harlem community Family come out and join us for our last meeting of the year.  We will also have a few other guests as well.  

Lastly,  We are preparing for our  Annual Toy Giveaway on December 20th.  It will be held at the East River Plaza on 116th and Pleasant.  Bring out a young person to receive some Holiday Cheer from the 25th Precinct Collective Body, East River Plaza associates, and friends.  There will be some surprise pop up guests there too.  Who might it be????? I can’t tell – you have to come out to see.  If you would like to volunteer for the event please email me or call me (646-294-3906) If you know me…… Wherever and whenever there is music – I’m going to dance and sing.  So if nothing less…. Come out and shake a leg, sing a holiday tune and spread happiness to anyone we grace with our presence.


Kioka Jackson

Follow your dreams……… Reports on Plans for Central Park’s ‘Gate of the Exonerated’’s Nick Garber reports on the progress to name a north-east gate into Central Park for the Exonerated 5.

“It was such a long journey to get to where we are,” Karen Horry, a CB10 member who helped lead the effort, told Patch on Monday. “The community’s voice has been heard.”
An unveiling ceremony will be held on Dec. 19, and the Conservancy has already chiseled out the soon-to-be-installed sign, according to the New York Times, which first reported on Monday’s vote.

Inez Dickens Expresses Concern Regarding The 125th Street Cannabis Shop Across From the Apollo

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting on Wednesday

From Kioka Jackson:

Welcome to the month of GIVING THANKS! Well we should be thankful daily, but you know what I mean.  LOL!  It is my hope that everyone is doing amazing!  Just wanted to remind you that our monthly council meeting will be taking place on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:15PM.  We are back at the Precinct this month in the Muster Room.  We will have a presentation by the Manhattan DA’s office to discuss and answer some of the concerns that you guys had in previous meetings.  My folks in Riverbend — I’m trying to keep my word.  LOL! I’m not done yet.  This is just one of the few meetings that we are planning to ensure that your questions are answered by the right parties.  

I hope to see you all there.  I might even be nice and bring some good eats for you all.  At the very least I will bring desserts that you can take home and have with your dinner. 

Pray for me as I have been dealing with an issue with my back – but God Willing I will be there as chipper as always, bouncing around.  

See you all on Wednesday!! 

As Seen In East Harlem

Above the Rim

Note the twin towers, signifying NYC.

Above the Rim is a 1994 film co-written and directed by Jeff Pollack in his directorial debut. The Harlem/basketball movie featured Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon Robinson, and Marlon Wayans. The screenplay was based on a story by Benny Medina and focuses on city basketball and the fraught life choices presented to a young Harlem man.

While a number of (pivotal) scenes were shot at Rucker’s, other locations in Harlem featured prominently. In the image (above) note the “Drugs” sign to the left of Tupac:

This is now Lenox Terrace Drugs, with the same neon sign:

The film’s plot focuses on Kyle Watson (played by Duane Martin) and his opportunity to get a college basketball scholarship and earn a possible future in the NBA. In one pivotal scene, Kyle is shown in Howard Bennett Playground, on 135th Street.

Riverton apartments and the John Russworm school is are the background.

Below is a similar view, today, 28 years later.

The soundtrack to “Above the Rim” included a number of hits and unsurprisingly featured Tupac Shakur.

For more on the film, see the 10 facts link, below:

Pastoral Corruption’s Nick Garber has another great piece of reporting on the $2,000,000 in handouts that were given and accepted by Harlem clergy who sold out their parishioners and community for personal gain.

The clergy members worked with an unscrupulous (and likely criminal) developer to buy vulnerable church properties. A number of Harem houses of worship were (and are) profoundly impacted by the grift and sleaze documented in Nick Garber’s amazing piece.

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting – Wednesday

Kioka Jackson writes:

Good Day Everyone,

Happy October!  In October we are observing so many things:  Domestic Violence, Breast Cancer, Pregnancy and Infant loss, Hispanic and African Heritage.  We honor each entity and ask that in your way that you honor as well.  

Please see the flyers attached for all the upcoming events.  We would really love for you all to come out and join us on Saturday evening for the Wave of Light event which will be held in front of the Precinct.  Also, the 25th Precinct is hosting our first Trunk or Treat


Our October meeting is scheduled for Wednesday the 19th at 6PM.  Please be advised that there is a location change.  We will be meeting at the Rehoboth Christian Church located on 118th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues.  This meeting may go over a little bit so please prepare a 6PM – 7:30PM meeting.  Please see the flyer below.  We have several speakers and presentations.  There are several big topics that need to be covered so we ask that CBOs and Elected Officials with announcements bring flyers to hand out.  

I hope to see you all, matter of fact I look forward to seeing you all.  Together we can do great things!

Have an amazing weekend and we will see you soon! 

HNBA Meeting on Tuesday, June 14th – 7 PM

We hope you’ll come out for our final HNBA meeting of the season (before our summer break) on Tuesday, June 14th at 7:00 PM.

To get the Zoom link:

We’ll hear from the Citizens Union about what is on the horizon for redistricting City Council that could change whether or not you are considered part of (central) Harlem or part of East Harlem.  Dan (from Citizen’s Union) will talk about what’s on the horizon and how you can add your voice to the mapping changes that are coming.

We’ll also get a follow-up from Wilfredo Lopez on the DSNY’s budget – one that gives significantly more money to the UES compared to East Harlem.

Lastly, we’ll hear from Shawanna Vaughn who is challenging Inez Dickens for State Assembly from her base in Lincoln Houses.

Kioka Jackson Writes:

From Kioka Jackson:

Let me start this message by saying thank you to everyone who participated in the National Gun Violence Awareness Event which was in partnership with SAVE/GOSO; East Harlem’s Cure violence program.  It was a day that displayed togetherness, love, and hope.  Now after we take off our orange shirts and we have finished chanting and marching – what’s next?  There is still some work that we have to do on a daily basis.  Each of us has a responsibility to do something and we are all absolutely capable of sharing love with our community.  Love is the first step toward healing and combatting this public health epidemic that we are facing around the country. Please see a few pictures and a news clip of the day.  I am thankful to all of you for your continued support toward making our neighborhood safe.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15th at 5:45 PM and it will be totally in-person.  I will send out a follow-up e-mail letting you know if it will be outdoors or at the Precinct.  It all depends on the weather.  It is our final meeting for the summer so we planned to have a little bit of a light BBQ; Mix and Mingle.  So let’s hope the weather Gods smile on us for that day.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.  Look out for a message before the end of this week with further details. 

Sincerely and best regards,

Kioka Jackson

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting, Tonight

The 25th Precinct’s monthly Community Council Meeting is tonight –  April 20th at 6 PM

There is a location change – instead of meeting at the Precinct, the meeting will be held at Bethel Gospel Assembly – located at 120th Street between Madison and 5th Avenues.  Please be prepared to stop at the security area to sign in. 

This meeting will NOT be a meeting focused on the removal of the workout equipment from Marcus Garvey.  We will allow space to discuss just as we do with other topics.  The park has two separate alliances that are working on this and CB11 has a Parks and Recreation Committee as well who I am sure will tackle the subject.  Our point of having this as a topic is to ensure that we are discussing ways to bridge the gap and work better together. 

There will be special guests there to answer questions and give some feedback about the topic.  But as you all know there are a ton of things happening in our community around public safety and we want to be mindful that we are giving adequate time to get through those topics.

Please remember to fill out the form and I will be sending out the zoom link this evening to all those who have requested it.

Lost Church

Looking at the N/W corner of 125th Street and Madison, you immediately see the Geoffrey Canada Building – the flagship of Harlem Children’s Zone.

For those of you who remember the 80’s, you may also remember that this part of 125th Street was where celebrities wanting the some of Dapper Dan’s mystique, came by to his showroom (often after hours for private fitting/shopping). Think Run DMC, Mike Tyson, Salt and Pepa, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown, and more.

Dapper Dan’s boutique – 43 East 125th Street, was precisely where a former brownstone church anchored the block between Madison and 5th in the 19th century:

Note the round arched windows on the 2nd floor of the apartment building at the N/W corner of Madison/125th Street:

And then look at a photo of Dapper Dan’s Boutique:

and the detail in the top right:

The church that was torn down, was the Harlem Presbyterian Church and was organized in the 1840s. In 1872 the church moved to East 125th Street, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues into a modest two-story structure contained a lecture room on the first floor, and the second story was for the Sunday-school room.

On April 29, 1873, the cornerstone was laid for the church edifice you see in the post card below:

In 1915, the congregation merged and moved to New York Presbyterian Church, located at 15 Mount Morris Park West, and was renamed Harlem–New York Presbyterian Church. The old building on 125th Street was purchased in 1905 by the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, who remained there until “rapidly changing demographics in the area” caused the white church to abandon the location in 1919 and make plans to move to their present location on Park Avenue. In June 1921, the property was sold to “a group of negroes” that planned to open it as a “Colored Baptist Tabernacle” on July 3. 

The New York TImes (June 24, 1921) reported:

“The purchase of the property for $185,000 was of profound interest to Harlem business men when it was announced yesterday. The deal is the largest real estate transaction in which negroes have figured as buyers south of 128th Street and was regarded as marking a decided southern trend in the ownership and activities of negroes in Harlem.”

In 1942, Harlem Presbyterian merged with Rutgers Presbyterian Church, located at 236 West 73rd Street near Broadway. The old church on Mount Morris Park West became Mount Morris–Ascension Presbyterian Church. Reconsiders Scott Joplin’s ‘The Entertainer’

Scott Joplin introduced Ragtime to America and published his most enduring song ‘The Entertainer’ (as featured in the soundtrack to the 1970’s movie, ‘The Sting’) in 1902.

While Joplin’s work was wildly popular at the time, by 1916, Joplin was living in difficult circumstances in Harlem. He was listed as being employed as a “music teacher” at a small apartment house at 133 West 138th Street. A year later, in 1917, he was living in an old row house at 160 West 133rd.

Later in 1917, he moved to a brownstone at 163 West 131st Street where he died later that year at age 49. reconsiders Scott Joplin’s legacy an the impact of ‘The Entertainer’ in particular, in this piece:

City Council Member Diana Ayala Talks to WNYC

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Kioka Jackson, the president of the 25th Precinct’s Community Council writes:

Hopefully, everyone is doing well.  Just want to remind you that our next meeting will take place next Wednesday, March 16th at 6:00PM.

This meeting will be held in person at the Precinct located at 120 East 119th Street.  
Please click the link below to let me know your intentions in attending.
Hope you can make it so we can discuss what’s been going on. 

Sign the Petition!

Precinct Meeting – Focus on The Rise in Crime

Bullet in East Harlem Bus Window Frame

Kioka Jackson, the president of the 25th Precinct’s Community Council writes:

Good Afternoon Neighbors and Friends,
I hope you all are doing great. I wanted to invite you to join us IN PERSON for our February 2022 meeting.  I have been getting a multitude of calls and emails about the current events in and around our neighborhood and want to invite you to discuss what’s going on, what is being done, and how we can help.  
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your public safety concerns with the Commanding Officer, his team of Officers, along with other community stakeholders with the mission to make our neighborhood safe.  Please be advised that the meeting will not be at the Precinct. In order to have the ability to safely socially distance we are using a space that can accommodate a larger number of people.  Details are as follows.

Meeting Details:

Wednesday, February 16, 20226:00 PM (Meeting will begin on time)at Bethel Gospel Assembly 2-26 East 120th Street (Between Madison and Fifth) – right across from Marcus Garvey Park
You will be required to wear a mask.  There will be some available at the front door if you need one.  Upon arrival, your temperature will be taken and you will be asked to sign in before being directed to the meeting room. Please click on the link and fill the questionnaire by Wednesday at 3:00PM.

Hope to see you all next week.

Have an awesome day

Kioka Jackson

The Gay Harlem Renaissance

Scholars of the Harlem Renaissance point out that acknowledging the queer culture and nightlife of the Harlem Renaissance is essential in order to paint a full picture of the time, queer history, and Harlem itself.

Additionally, looking at the thriving LGBTQ+ scene in Uptown New York helps to reveal rich cultural contributions by (frequently) overlooked queer artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

Read more about the gay Harlem Renaissance, see:…