Langston Hughes and Brian Benjamin

I was struck by where former Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin chose to announce he was withdrawing his name from the ballot in the upcoming election. He made the announcement through a video he posted on Twitter near the spot where Arnold Newman photographed Langston Hughes in 1960.

This location (overlooking 5th Avenue) was also featured in the classic Harlem film, The Cool World:

Union Settlement House Presents: East Harlem Nights

A fun evening with food, drink, entertainment, and El Barrio welcoming all.

Friday June 10th, 6-9:00 PM

Manhattan’s Safe Disposal – Saturday, June 5th

Get rid of your dangerous/toxic/electronic stuff

Delilah of Harlem

The earliest novel that takes place in Harlem (that I know of) is from 1893, and was written by Richard Henry Savage.

It’s fairly forgettable Victorian melodrama, but offers a glimpse into posh society in and around Mount Morris Park, in the new and stately brownstones that were purchased by New York City’s upper class.

Ebay has a copy on sale – reading only.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/203551428020?ViewItem=&item=203551428020

CB11 – Your Chance To Speak!

If you’d like to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of East Harlem, here’s your chance.

On Tuesday, CB11 will be hosting a full board meeting. You must register for the Zoom event, and register to speak if you wish:

Full BoardTuesday • September 28th • 6:30pm
In order to attend this meeting, please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
If you wish to speak during the public session at our September Full Board Meeting, please indicate your interest in speaking and fill out the form here.
View the agenda on our meeting calendar here.

HNBA March Meeting, Tomorrow at 7 PM

Join HNBA in order to get the meeting’s Zoom link: https://hnba.nyc/join-hnba/

7:00 – [email protected] – Join to learn how Kristin Jordan – a candidate for City Council district 9 – will address the burden that our part of the district bears with 2 sanitation garages, the M35 Bus, numerous homeless shelters, and the Lee Building’s infamous role as a regional methadone megacenter.)

7:30 – rankthevotenycNicole from Rank The Vote NYC will lead us through the maze of Ranked Choice Voting and how it works. 

8:00 – Mark Levine: Mark will introduce himself and his candidacy for Manhattan Borough President. We will open the 1/2 hour up for HNBA members to talk to Mark and learn more about his thoughts on the burden that our part of the district bears with 2 sanitation garages, the M35 Bus, numerous homeless shelters, and the Lee Building’s infamous role as a regional methadone megacenter.

The Harlem Cultural Festival 1969

Sundance recently hosted the world premier of Summer of Soul by Questlove which won top honors with the 2021 Grand Jury Prize.

This amazing film takes footage shot in Marcus Garvey Park (Mount Morris Park at the time) during a multi-week music festival – The Harlem Cultural Festival – in 1969.

While (whiter) Woodstock etched itself in the minds of a generation, The Harlem Cultural Festival thrilled Black New York but was largely ignored during the summer of 1969 (and afterwards) in mainstream America. Questlove worked to secure access to the incredbly rich audio and video of the festival and has combined this 1969 material with additional footage from the 1960’s and contemporary interviews with people who attended or performed at the festival.

The stage was setup in the north-west corner of the park, and with no swimming pool at the time, the audience filled the park south of the stage, and up onto the rocks of that now bolster the pool.

The line-up was a catholic gathering of a wide range of music of the time – gospel, blues, jazz, salsa, rock, pop, spoken word, and more.

The film is simply amazing. Keep this jewel on your radar and make sure to see it when it is released to the public.

Mount Morris Park

Here are 3 great photos of Marcus Garvey Park (formerly Mount Morris Park) from Columbia University’s collection of images.

Below is a postcard from 1905 on the east side of the park, looking south towards where the basketball courts are today:

Mount Morris Park was renamed in honor of Marcus Garvey in 1973, the park was built largely as a green space for Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall cronies, many of whom lived uptown by the 1860s.

Below is a postcard sent in 1916 after an ocean voyage:

The land for the park had been purchased by the city in 1839, but landscaping was long delayed. Its design was eventually supervised by Ignaz A. Pilat, who would later serve as an able associate of Frederick Law Olmsted during the creation of Central Park.

This final image is of the bandstand, and was sent in 1907:

To see the collection:

https://dlc.library.columbia.edu/durst/cul:jh9w0vt4h9