Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr. – Exhibition Opening Reception

January 15, 2019 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Join us for the official opening of Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr. in the Latimer/Edison Gallery.

Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr. is a Schomburg Center Capsule Exhibition of archival photography from the Photographs & Prints Division. The exhibition presents an intimate photo travelogue of King’s pilgrimage to India, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance in Oslo, Norway, and his work as a non-violent crusader for civil rights captured by select photographers of the day. Crusader Without Violence by Dr. L. D. Reddick is the first biography about Martin Luther King, Jr. published in 1959. This exhibition coincides 60th anniversary of its publication.

Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta being greeted by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (left) and labor leader A. Philip Randolph (right) at the Pan American World Airways terminal, in New York City” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1950 – 1959.

Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. We generally overbook to ensure a full house. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early.

More Info: 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street
New York NY 10037 US

Between the Lines: Crusader Without Violence with Dr. Derryn Moten

January 15, 2019 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Lawrence Dunbar Reddick was an African American scholar, historian, and activist, and was named the second curator of the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature after Arturo Schomburg’s death in 1939. In 1959, Reddick wrote Crusader without Violence: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., the first profile of the young leader before his rise to global prominence as a civil rights icon.

Join us as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary Edition of Crusader without Violence as it returns to circulation with new biographical details on Reddick, and a special introduction by Dr. Derryn Moten, professor of history and department chair at Alabama State University.

This program coincides with the official opening of Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr. in the Latimer Edison Gallery.

Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. We generally overbook to ensure a full house. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early.

More Info:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street
New York NY 10037 US

Carlos dos Santos, Jr. – CUNY Dance Initiative

November 2, 2018 | 7:30pm – 9:30pm

A native of Brazil, dancer / choreographer Carlos Dos Santos’ credits include works for Colorado Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, American Dance Festival, and DanceBrazil. As part of the CUNY Dance Initiative, he presents four new works that welcome and celebrate diversity in New York.

Cost: Reserved seating: $10; Students: Free

Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street
Bronx NY 10451

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The Schomburg Center and THIRTEEN Present: American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

February 16, 2017 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

maya_angelouNearly three years after Dr. Maya Angelou’s death sent the entire world into mourning, the Schomburg Center and THIRTEEN are proud to present a special preview of the new PBS documentary that offers an unprecedented look at the iconic singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer’s life and career. American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise sheds light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.

From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career (1957’s Miss Calypso album and Calypso Heat Wave film, Jean Genet’s 1961 play The Blacks) to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack reveal hidden facets of Dr. Angelou’s life during some of America’s most defining moments. American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise also features exclusive interviews with Dr. Angelou, her friends and family, including Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton, Louis Gossett, Jr., John Singleton, Diahann Carroll, Valerie Simpson, Random House editor Bob Loomis and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson. Join us as we celebrate Dr. Angelou, her legacy, and the importance of black archival collections during Black History Month at the Schomburg Center. 

Cost: FREE. Please, Register via SchomburgCenter.Eventbrite.comRSVP

First come, first seated. Note, for free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. ALL registered seats are released 15 to 30 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.

Contact: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Phone: 917-275-6975

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street

2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March

January 16, 2017 | 10:00am – 1:00pm

dr_martin_luther_king-pngManhattan Country School’s eighth graders will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking to the streets of Manhattan to speak out about what they consider to be the most pressing civil rights issues of their time. The theme of this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March is “We Will Not Be Silenced: A Call to Action,” inspired by the recent presidential election and King’s quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Along the march route, students will stop at locations of significance to the fight for civil rights to deliver speeches to raise awareness about issues such as racism, sexism, and environmental justice and advocate for inclusion and equality. The march begins at 10:00 a.m. at Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive) and ends at Manhattan Country School (150 West 85th Street). The general public is invited to join MCS students, families, alumni, staff and supporters for this educational and uplifting annual event. Cost: Free

Phone: 212-348-0952

March Starting Point: Riverside Church

490 Riverside Drive btwn 120th St and 121st Streets

New York NY 10027 United States

Antoine Roney – Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

Antoine Roney Philadelphia-born tenor saxophonist Antoine Roney grew up surrounded by music. After a short period learning the clarinet, he took an interest in the saxophone, after his older brother – renowned saxophonist Wallace – introduced him to John Coltrane’s Live at Birdland album. Inspired by what he heard, Roney pursued studies in both alto and tenor sax. He graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and attended college at the Hartt School of Music, where he studied with alto saxophonist, Jackie McLean. Antoine has released five albums as a leader, in addition to working with Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Clifford Jordan, Ted Curson, John Patton, Rashied Ali, Arthur Taylor, Jesse Davis, Ravi Coltrane, Michael Carvin, Geri Allen, Chick Corea and Elvin Jones, to name a few. Antoine also participated in the Miles Davis tribute project Bitches Brew Revisited, with drummer Cindy Blackman.


  • Antoine Roney – saxophone
  • Wallace Roney, Jr. – trumpet
  • William Spaceman Paterson – guitar
  • Rashaan Carter – bass
  • Kojo Roney – drums

Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church

59 West 137th Street

New York, NY 10037

1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break)

2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45pm

House doors open at 11:30am

Price: $15

The Woman Who Tried To Murder Dr. King

For 50 years, would-be assassin has lived in complete anonymity

AUGUST 4–On the eighth floor of a nursing home in Queens, New York, a 98-year-old woman sits slumped in a wheelchair in the hallway outside her room. She is sleeping, oblivious to the roar coming from the television of her next-door neighbor, who is watching “The Price is Right” at an ear-piercing volume.

Though the corridor is uncomfortably toasty on this July morning, the woman has a knitted shawl over her shoulders. She is wearing green sweatpants, a green t-shirt, and black shoes with Velcro closures. The remaining wisps of her hair are gray and tangled. In her clenched left hand is a wad of tissues that she will use to absent-mindedly dab at her face and rheumy eyes.

As she naps in the hallway, it is hard to imagine that frail Izola Curry was once a would-be assassin, a woman who nearly changed the course of U.S. history with a seven-inch steel letter opener.

For more than half a century, Curry has lived in complete anonymity, despite the fact that she nearly murdered Martin Luther King, Jr. in September 1958, a decade before the civil rights leader was struck down by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

Convinced that King and NAACP leaders were surveilling her and conspiring to deny her employment, the delusional Curry approached the civil rights leader as he sat in a Harlem department store signing copies of his first book. She plunged the letter opener deep into the 29-year-old King’s chest after asking him, “Why do you annoy  me?” According to a transcript of Curry’s post-arrest interrogation, she calmly told investigators that her motive was self-preservation: “Because after all if it wasn’t him it would have been me, he was going to kill me.”

Curry, who pulled the letter opener from her purse, was also carrying a loaded Galesi-Brescia pistol, which was hidden inside her bra. Curry bought the gun a year earlier for $26 in Daytona Beach, but told investigators that she had never taken the weapon outside her home–until September 20, the day she stabbed King. Curry claimed that she had no intention to shoot King, but instead needed the pistol for protection in case the reverend’s followers attacked her.

When asked why she placed the gun in her bust and not her handbag, Curry replied, “Suppose I happened to drop the bag and the safety go off and some innocent person is hurt.” Such concern was not evident hours earlier when Curry stabbed King with such force that her letter opener pierced his sternum. As seen above, a photo published on the front page of the New York Daily News showed King with the letter opener sticking out of his upper chest.

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Beautifying a Harlem avenue, and remembering a political icon

Garbage bags and seedlings in hand, schoolchildren and good Samaritans gathered on Saturday morning along the medians of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard in Central Harlem. Their goal: to make the green spaces in the middle of the street as beautiful as those on Park Avenue.

HISTORY IS BEAUTIFUL  | Harlemite Marie Littlejohn has dedicated herself to beautifying the medians of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

HISTORY IS BEAUTIFUL | Harlemite Marie Littlejohn has dedicated herself to beautifying the medians of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

The event was the work of Marie Littlejohn, the president of the Friends of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard Malls, who led the assembled planters with a bright smile and a passion for the local community.

Littlejohn, who has dedicated herself to the avenue, its history, and the people who live around it, has watched her neighborhood change since she moved here in 1983.

“I moved to Harlem in large part because though it is a large community, it is still a community,” she said. “Even the street people look out for you and make sure you are safe. That is one of the reasons I have become an advocate, because I would like to preserve that sense of community. If you have a community, children are safe, and there is a connectedness.”

When she first arrived in the neighborhood, she started planting with the Friends, getting more involved over the years to attain her current role as president.

[MULTIMEDIA: Watch Littlejohn and other volunteers cleaning up the boulevard.]

The work on Adam Clayton Powell, she said, is not just about making the street look nicer—it’s also a critical part of preserving history.

“Most people don’t even know who Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was,” she said. “That really disturbs me, because he was one of the greatest politicians ever.”

Powell represented Harlem in Congress between 1945 and 1971. The first African-American congressman in the state, Powell was the neighborhood’s best-recognized politician—that is, until he was defeated by a state representative named Charles Rangel.

Littlejohn said Powell’s legacy deserved recognition.

“This is a boulevard in his name that I feel should be maintained and is a way to keep a past about our history in its forefront,” she said.

The Friends have raised money to purchase plants and organize activities—including an annual Christmas tree lighting—with local sororities, fraternities, youth groups, families, and businesses.

Now, the medians along Adam Clayton Powell are among the few in the city maintained solely by community members. So are Park Avenue’s, which are supported by The Fund for Park Avenue, with an annual budget of over $1 million. Littlejohn declined to detail the budget of her group, but stressed that it was built on local fundraising.

Littlejohn also observed that the project has strengthened the community’s bond.

“I remember how, once, a bus driver stopped and yelled ‘Thank you!’ as we were planting,” she said. “At first, people were also concerned that the bulbs would be stolen. That hasn’t happened. I think that people really do appreciate what we’re doing. I hear comments all the time from people who like it and from children who can say, ‘I did that!’”

Littlejohn, though unassuming in appearance, exudes an aura of confidence that reflects her natural disposition for leadership in the community. She’s retired, but she still serves on the Harlem Hospital Advisory Board, regularly attends Community Board 10 meetings, and remains an active member in her service-oriented sorority and church community.

Littlejohn said that as Harlem continues to change, with rising rents and a higher profile in the city, the work the community is doing will become even more important in maintaining the neighborhood’s identity.

“I think the world has, all of a sudden, discovered Harlem, and so everyone is rushing to take stakes,” she said.  “Progress is not going to be stopped, so I think it is important—and I’m not sure that it is being done—that we preserve what we have as we continue to move forwards.”

“We need to know and remember our past so that we can continue to build on it,” she said.

By Emma Cheng and Josephine McGowan Spectator Staff Writers October 20, 8:56pm

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church – Harlem Travel Guide – Sutro Media

This church was designed by two African Americans 

Founded in 1809 as the Free African Church of St. Philip’s, in 1818 St. Philip’s Episcopal Church became the first African American Episcopal parish in New York City. The church was initially located in lower Manhattan and as the African American population shifted further north, St. Phillip’s moved with them until its final move to Harlem in 1910. The church building was designated a landmark in 1993. Vertner Tandy, the first African American architect registered in the State of New York, and George W. Foster, Jr., who was one of two Black architects registered in New Jersey in 1908, designed the church. The neo-Gothic style church stands out on W. 134th Street with its majestic Roman brick and terra-cotta facade. At the same time the land for the church was purchased, the church rector, the Rev. Hutchens Bishop, who appeared to be white, was also able to purchase a block of ten tenement buildings on 135th Street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., during a time when white landlords would not sell to Blacks. Most of the Black families that moved into the building after whites were evicted were parishioners of St. Phillip’s. This marked the first time that Blacks moved west of Lenox Avenue. St. Phillip’s has a tradition of social activism beginning with the Rev. Peter Williams, Jr., a leading abolitionist who was the first African American Episcopalian minister in the United States and the first rector of the church. Under his leadership the church played a major role in the debate about slavery and injustice against Blacks. Over the years St. Philip’s has retained its position as one of the most influential of Harlem’s churches and operates many outreach programs that are a stabilizing force for Harlem.

Nearby is Gadson Gallery that features the artwork of Laura Gadson. She is a Harlem based artist and curator known for her work in quilting. If you are feeling a little hungry stop by Café Veg an organic, all-vegan restaurant known for its juice bar. Homemade soups, salads and tasty southern fare like barbecue chicken and baked mac and cheese make this a neighborhood favorite.

Transportation: Bus—M2, M10, BX33. Subway—B, C to135th St.

Enjoy the show


  • More than 360 entries with over 2000 photographs
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Harlem Here We Come!

Posted by NYC Girl on 9th Jan 2012

This is a great app. Easy to use and very informative. Don’t think there is any other comparable Harlem guide.

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The Human Spirit: Shabbat in Harlem

Jews fled to the Bronx, Brooklyn and the Upper West Side. By 1930, 5,000 Jewish residents remained of the hundreds of thousands who had lived in Harlem.

Simply put, Harlem was the synonym for inner-city crime while I was growing up in America. Every comedian’s repertoire included a joke about getting off the subway at 125th Street.

So when the broker from a short-term apartment rental agency in Manhattan clarified that the listing for “a luxurious and spacious, yet affordable apartment, 15 minutes from Central Park and a quick subway ride to Grand Central” was in East Harlem, I nixed it.
We would be arriving from Jerusalem, meeting up with our Sabra son, who is in the States for a post-doc stint, and his family. How could I tell them we were staying in Harlem?

A young American house-guest assured me that East Harlem – alternatively called Spanish Harlem or Il Barrio – is now hip and popular. I typed “synagogue” and “Harlem” into a search engine and found the Old Broadway Synagogue on 125th Street. After correspondence, my husband, Gerald Schroeder, was invited to give the sermon there about science and Torah.

WE ARRIVE in Harlem. The apartment turns out to be roomy and convenient. The young moms with strollers on the street are smiling and helpful. The only problem is noisy late-night street partying at the 24/7 McDonald’s across the street. By the second night, I sleep through it.

Comes Shabbat, and on a sunny, late autumn morning, we walk toward the Old Broadway Synagogue. Congregation president Paul Radensky has sent walking directions. Red and yellow trees surprise us along the busy city streets. New Yorkers are in the midst of a planting an additional million trees in their city. They reached 500,000 in October, right here in Harlem, with the planting of a pin oak. The greening initiative is supported by Jewish singer and actress Bette Midler, a Harlem resident. Former president Bill Clinton has his offices here. Harlem’s main streets, squares and playgrounds bear the names of famous black Americans: Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.

Ironically the decades of neglect in Harlem meant that some of the finest townhouses were never replaced by high rises. Ubiquitous for-sale signs announce luxury condos. City demographers say the black population in Harlem has been shrinking for half a century; in the last decade, white, Asian and Puerto Rican residents have been moving in. Chain stores like Marshall’s, Starbucks, and Cohen’s Optical line the main streets, along with pushcart vendors selling incense, “I Love Harlem” T-shirts and CDs of reggae music.

Amid the festivity, a middle-aged man is hawking tickets to a new show at the Apollo Theater. This is where famed black singers and musicians performed when white stages were not welcoming. Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and dozens of other megastars got their break at the Apollo, a club owned by Jews.

TWO DECADES before Lady Ella sang “A Tisket, a Tasket” at the Apollo, a Ukrainian-born cantor named Yossele Rosenblatt revolutionized Jewish cantorial music at the neighborhood’s Ohab Tzedek synagogue. Rosenblatt introduced tearful sounds – krechts, as they’re called in Yiddish – before an adoring congregation. As the Roaring Twenties opened, Harlem was the third largest Jewish community in the world, after the Lower East Side and Warsaw, Poland. Between 175,000 and 200,000 Jews lived here. More than 100 synagogues and Torah study centers flourished. Perhaps my own grandparents lived right in East Harlem with the other Jewish factory workers. I’d never thought of it.

Jewish Harlem was never romanticized like the Lower East Side, even though Broadway composer Richard Rodgers and radio/TV show creator Gertrude Edelstein, who wrote The Goldbergs, lived in Harlem; the beloved Goldbergs lived in the Bronx.

What happened to the rich Jewish life in Harlem? Black Americans moved to New York City from the south, seeking inexpensive housing in the northern part of the city. The Depression shriveled economic opportunity. Unemployment and crime escalated.

Jews fled to the Bronx, Brooklyn and the Upper West Side. By 1930, only 5,000 Jewish residents remained of the hundreds of thousands who had lived in Harlem.

Although the majority of property owners in the neighborhood were now black, Jewish business owners, landlords and shopkeepers who had remained there became the target of frustrated, poverty-stricken residents. Three years before Kristallnacht, rioters smashed windows and looted Jewish shops in Harlem. One by one, the great synagogues of Harlem became churches. Today, Ohab Tzedek is the Baptist Temple Church. Other churches retained their stained-glass windows and women’s galleries. Only Old Broadway Synagogue has remained. It began as a minyan meeting in storefronts, and just as the tides were changing in the Jewish community in 1921, it inaugurated its building.

Despite the touted gentrification of the area, as we walk to synagogue, a parade of men and women marches down 125th Street carrying a banner calling for the end of neighborhood shootings. A well-dressed, middle-aged woman is preaching at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Plaza about the destruction of the Israelites. Turns out she’s reading our own Isaiah. Gwendolyn Pratt says she’s answering a calling to wake up the people of the neighborhood. I invite her to the synagogue lecture.

The stained-glass windows with the Star of David on Old Broadway Street are a welcome sight. The windows, boarded up after the brick-throwing in the violent 1960s, have been restored with a grant from New York Landmarks Conservancy. Congregants step out of the sanctuary to meet us. Coffee and tea are waiting in the women’s gallery.

The wooden pews are old and unvarnished, the ceiling peeling. About 30 men and women have come to Shabbat services, two-thirds of them Caucasian, one-third black. The man leading the prayer service isn’t Rosenblatt, but has a melodious voice. The only unusual touch in this standard Orthodox Shabbat service is that after the misheberach for sick Jewish men and women, prayers for the ill among non-Jews are elicited as well.

Says Radensky, “We are in much better shape than we were a few years ago. The Jewish population in the neighborhood is growing. I suspect that most of the Jews in the neighborhood are young and not connected Jewishly, and if they are, they are largely not connected to Orthodox Judaism. But I think the prospects are good that more religious Jews will move in over time.”

After services, everyone takes part in spicy vegetarian cholent and Middle Eastern salads while they hear about Torah and science. A Saturday night program is announced: An Israeli musician, originally from Ethiopia, will perform together with local talent. We say the Grace after Meals, introducing it with Psalm 126, “Shir Hama’alot.” It was Rosenblatt’s most famous piece, a runner-up to “Hatikva” as our national anthem. “Those who tearfully sow, will reap in glad song. He who bears the measure of seeds, walk along weeping, but will return in exultation, a bearer of his sheaves.”

I think of the ebb and surge of the tides of Jewish history, not only in Europe, but here, in the most Jewish of all Diaspora cities. The liquor store near our apartment already has five different kosher wines, a sure sign that the Jews are moving back. Harlem will be Jewish again, but the shadows of the past are not easily banished, at least not for this short-term tenant from Jerusalem.

The author is a Jerusalem writer who focuses on the wondrous stories of modern Israel. She serves as the Israel Director of Public Relations for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. The views in her columns are her own.