On September 5th, 1969 Jimi Hendrix performed at the Harlem Street Fair at the corner of 139th Street and Lenox Avenue. Only 26, Hendrix had wanted to reestablish a relationship with Black fans “my people”. He arrived characteristically late only to find that the crowd had dwindled to a few hundred Harlem residents.
Harlem had been Hendrix’s home on the east coast before being whisked off to London by a British promoter who saw Jimi Hendrix as having incredible megastar potential.
This homecoming couldn’t have been more different from what he expected. Residents had given up, and considered the show nearly over and his international star power was not holding the community in thrall.
After taking to the stage, a crowd member threw a bottle at Hendrix, which shattered against one of the speakers. Added to this, barrages of eggs covered the stage, a testament to just how the local community felt they had been let down by Hendrix. Nevertheless, Hendrix and his band played while the angry crowd gradually dispersed.
This was deeply ironic, of course, as race had deeply frustrated Hendrix and he hated that he was caught between being reduced to a stereotype by many white fans while being rejected by many in the Black community.
The YouTube link (below) while not a video recording, gives a sense of just how much the performance might have come off as artful noise to those who remained on Lenox and 139th Street that evening.
Wilfredo Lopez has come to a couple of our HNBA meetings and had mentioned that CB11 (East Harlem) does not get the same amount of funding for DSNY concerns that the community district south of 96th Street does.
Wilfedo brought this up, and subsequently sent over the document that proves his point:
Wilfredo points out that the document (above) shows that East Harlem (Sanitation District 11) receives less than half the budget for sanitation services than nearby wealthier neighborhoods like the Upper East Side (Sanitation District 8) or the Upper West Side (Sanitation District 7).
After our HNBA meeting, DSNY replied to the issue that it spends more DSNY money on the Upper East Side more than it does in East Harlem:
I apologize for the delay in following up from the meeting last week.
There was a question regarding funding allocation within Community Board 11 as compared to other districts (specifically CB 8).
Correct, there is a funding difference because of the amount of service needed.
For example, CB11 has 80.8 total miles of ASP (including metered blocks) compared to CB8 that has 123.9 miles (including metered blocks).
CB11 has 70 total personnel assigned to the garbage, while CB8 has 140.
I hope this information is helpful.
Please let me know if anyone else in the group has questions.