Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow Exhibition

September 7, 2018 through May 3, 2019 – Various hours

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow explores the struggle for full citizenship and racial quality that unfolded in the 50 years after the Civil War. When slavery ended in 1865, a period of Reconstruction began, leading to such achievements as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. By 1868, all persons born in the United States were citizens and equal under the law. But efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. A harsh backlash ensued, ushering in a half century of the “separate but equal” age of Jim Crow.

Opening to mark the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the exhibition is organized chronologically from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I and highlights the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights. It also examines the depth and breadth of opposition to black advancement. Art, artifacts, photographs, and media will help visitors explore these transformative decades in American history, and understand their continuing relevance today. Curated by Marci Reaven, vice president of history exhibitions, and Lily Wong, assistant curator.

Please check schedule and hours which vary.

Cost: Free to $21. Prices vary for children under 4 yrs old, students, adults and seniors.

New-York Historical Society

170 Central Park West at 77th Street
New York NY 10024 US

More Info

Words of Praise, and Loss, for Malcolm X’s Grandson

Malcolm Shabazz never knew his grandfather, Malcolm X, but in his struggle to understand his legacy, he learned to quote the man verbatim, his aunt, Ilyasah Shabazz, recalled on Thursday during a memorial service for Mr. Shabazz at a church in Harlem. So studious was Mr. Shabazz that he would correct others, even if only a single word was out of place.

Ilyasah Shabazz spoke during the memorial service Thursday for Malcolm Shabazz at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem.

Ilyasah Shabazz spoke during the memorial service Thursday for Malcolm Shabazz at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem.

“He idolized his grandfather,” Ms. Shabazz told about 250 people gathered at First Corinthian Baptist Church, where her sister Malaak is a member. Mr. Shabazz, 28, became fond of telling people, even relatives: “I am the seventh descendant of Malcolm X, and I am his first male heir.”

“And we would look at him like, ‘Really, Buddy?’ ” Ms. Shabazz said, eliciting laughter. “But it turns out that Malcolm would step into his grandfather’s shoes.”

At the memorial service, family and friends remembered Mr. Shabazz, who was fatally beaten on May 9 in Mexico City, as a reflection of his grandfather. They also sought to celebrate the man he was becoming, looking beyond the troubles of his youth: the fire he started at 12, which killed his grandmother, Malcolm X’s widow Betty Shabazz; his stints in prison; and his own violent end.

The police in Mexico City arrested two waiters at a downtown bar for his murder, in what the city prosecutor called a dispute over a bill. Mr. Shabazz had traveled there to meet with a labor activist and friend who had been deported.

“He was an emerging light,” the imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, said during the service.

In recent years, Mr. Shabazz had traveled throughout the United States and abroad for speaking engagements. The trips allowed him to escape from the shadow cast by his tumultuous youth and to step into a role that his grandfather played later in life, that of a human-rights activist. Mr. Shabazz spoke about social justice and rallied support for black causes worldwide.

“His sincerity connected with people instantly,” said Etan Thomas, a former player for the N.B.A., who recalled the time he and Mr. Shabazz spoke to about 500 young men at the prison on Rikers Island as part of President Obama’s fatherhood initiative. “That’s power.”

“Malcolm,” he added, “was just scratching the surface of where he wanted to go.”

Others spoke of the paradox of the family. Mr. Shabazz’s great-grandfather, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and supporter of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. In 1931, his body was reportedly found lying across trolley tracks in Lansing, Mich. Then, in 1965, his grandfather, Malcolm X, was assassinated inside a ballroom at the Audubon Theater in Washington Heights, at age 39.

The Shabazz family, like the Kennedys and the Rockefellers, has been marked by tragedy, said the Rev. Conrad Tillard, a former minister of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 7, where Malcolm X preached. “They have gone through so much and suffered so greatly,” he said. “But in spite of all of the challenges and suffering, they continue to hold on.”

Other speakers included the author and activist Sister Souljah; Adelaide L. Sanford, vice chancellor emeritus of the New York State Board of Regents; and Mayor Ernest D. Davis of Mount Vernon, in Westchester County. There were spoken word performances, and the R&B singer Jaheim sang a song he had written for Mr. Shabazz.

Relatives and close friends shared what Mr. Shabazz’s grandmother, Betty Shabazz, often said: “Find the good, and praise it.”

Mr. Shabazz was remembered as a bookworm, a charmer, and a young warrior.

The service started with a procession of African drummers, followed by Mr. Shabazz’s two aunts and other relatives. During the two-hour service, a 10-minute video presentation was played on a giant screen, entitled “Malcolm Latif Shabazz.” One segment featured an interview with Press TV, a news outlet in Iran, about the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Mr. Shabazz expressed his sympathy, then noted, after he listed about a half-dozen other names, that Trayvon Martin’s death was not an isolated episode. “There are hundreds of black men that are getting murdered throughout the country,” he said, his eyes intent, “with impunity.”


Published: May 30, 2013

Wendy Hilliard: Teaching life lessons to Harlem’s kids

514b2d678a6fa_preview-300The next Olympic gymnastics champion just might be training in Harlem right now. Pioneering gymnast Wendy Hilliard makes the beauty of the elusive sport she loves accessible to all.

Since 1996, the Wendy Hilliard Foundation has served more than 10,000 kids, teaching them about the discipline of the sport, as well as valuable life lessons. “I wanted to make gymnastics more grassroots,” she told the AmNews.

Wendy grew up in Detroit. She was intrigued by gymnastics, but it was a challenge finding training. She took classes at a recreation center. Though a late bloomer to the sport, at age 12, she excelled and found her niche, by chance, with rhythmic gymnastics, which combines traditional gymnastic elements with performance while using props such as balls, hoops and ribbons. The first competition in the sport was held in the Soviet Union in 1949. It became an Olympic sport in 1984. Continue reading

School In Harlem Shows Success Using Korean Educational Model

Here is an interesting story about a school in Harlem that is based on the Korean educational model to include making it mandatory for students to learn Korean as a second language:

“One of the big values I took away from Korea is that even though the Korean education system is one of the best in the world, nobody here thinks that the Korean education system is good enough and nobody is satisfied with being one of the best countries in the world,” said Seth Andrew, the 31-year-old New Yorker who founded a revolutionary school in Harlem that boosted the education level of under-privileged students in New York following a Korean model.

Andrew spoke as a guest speaker at an international education conference in Seoul on Thursday, where he was critical of the educational system in the United States, stating that there are 15 million low-income students, only half of whom graduate from high school.

And he said that “the belief that you can do better” has propelled Democracy Prep, which has lottery-based admission and free tuition and now sees over 5,000 students apply for the school in one of the poorer congressional districts in the United States.

At the conference, he was once more reunited with the educator who gave him heartfelt respect for the Korean educational model — the principal of a middle school in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, he had taught in over a decade ago.

Andrew, who was on a 10-day trip to Korea with his wife, stated that a huge inspiration for following the Korean educational model was thanks to the positive experience he had as an English teacher here, where he was moved by the hospitality of the Dong-sung Middle School principal and faculty.

“They welcomed me to their community with open arms, took me out to meals and made me feel like family,” he said, and he was awed by the environment in which teachers are treated with reverence.

He brought that experience with him to the United States, where he founded Democracy Prepatory Charter School in Harlem, New York, in 2005, which has slowly expanded to six campuses from kindergarten to the high-school level and has plans to expand the school by two campuses a year. Students in the Democracy Prep Charter High School work longer hours than the average New York student and are required to learn Korean as a second language.


A curator’s mission: Keep art exhibits at East Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio informative and interesting

El Museo del Barrio curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado strives to put on exhibits that are historic as well as contemporary

Here’s how Rocío Aranda-Alvarado describes her mission as curator at East Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio.

Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, curator of East Harlem's El Museo del Barrio  Read more:“It requires a lot of intellectual curiosity, and you have to care about how you’re conveying your message to the public,” she said. “You want them to come away with a complete story about something they might not have known about or cared about before.

“You have to make them interested, make them want to learn more and acknowledge the importance of whatever it is they just saw.”

El Museo del Barrio’s massive and varied collection is almost tailor made to that end, she said.

“The museum’s mission comes from the collection, which has pre-Colombian objects in it, Colonial objects in it, modern and contemporary objects as well as objects that fall into popular traditions, handmade objects made by artists who were not trained in a traditional way.

“So we have to pay attention to all those things,” she said. “We have to do shows that are historic as well as shows that are contemporary.

“In a way, the historic shows are more important because they contribute to developing a history of art that is more inclusive,” Aranda-Alvarado said. “It’s not just about what was going on in Europe. It’s about what was happening here also.”

Aranda-Alvarado discovered a love for art when she was a 16-year-old volunteer at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. She worked the Sunday shift with her mother, Elsie Alvarado, riding in together from their Silver Spring, Md. home.

The family had immigrated to the United States from Chile in 1974 and lived on the West Coast and in the Midwest before settling in Maryland.

Volunteering at the National Gallery most often meant giving directions to the nearest bathroom, but what hooked Aranda-Alvarado was the behind the scenes tours of the museum departments.

“I remember once we were about to visit the department of prints and drawings, and we saw a print by the German Renaissance Artist Albrecht Durer,” she said. “To be there, three feet from the unframed print, was an amazing experience.”

(Following tradition, Aranda-Alvarado took her mother’s surname but added her attorney father’s, Patricio Aranda. Her husband, James Congregane, is facilities manager at the Bard Graduate Center.)

Aranda-Alvarado would go on to earn a bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s from Tulane University, and a Ph.D. from City University of New York, each in a specialized area of art history.

She teaches an introductory art class at CUNY and joined El Museo in 2006 after nine years at the Jersey City Museum.

And she’s glad to be there.

“I love my job, I love my colleagues,” Aranda-Alvarado said. “My favorite part of my job is visiting with an artist in their studio and listening to them talk about what they think, where the ideas come from, why they do the work they do. Because making art is one of the hardest things you can do. Artists follow their paths because its something they love and something they can’t stop themselves from doing. They take our culture and kinda make sense of it.

“East Harlem has a rich art scene, from graffiti, street art and murals throughout the neighborhood to the monthly shows mounted by Taller Boricua at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center and the well-known artists who still live in the neighborhood, like Diogenes Ballester.

“Artists continue to live here, and new artists come all the time, so there is a vibrant art community,” Aranda-Alvarado said.

As curator Aranda-Alvarado organizes El Museo’s exhibits, which are usually either from the permanent collection, which stay up for about a year, or temporary exhibitions mounted in five of the museum’s galleries, which stay up about six months.

In June, El Museo will join with The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Queens Museum of Art to mount a show that was six years in the making.

That exhibit, “Caribbean, Crossroads of the World,” will feature more than 435 art pieces gathered from Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean and all across New York and the United States, to explore six broad themes — including tobacco and sugar crops, water, race, and languages — which shaped the history and making of art in the Caribbean.

The exhibit “involved two years of traveling research where curators from the Studio Museum, Queens Museum and El Museo went to different parts of the Caribbean to meet with artists, art museums, art historians, and museum colleagues,” Aranda-Alvarado said.

The show is so huge it will involve three opening nights – El Museo del Barrio, June 12; The Studio Museum on June 14, and Queens Museum of Art on June 17.

“It’s something that has not been done before,” Aranda-Alvarado said. “It’s not like there was a gap in the scholarship, because there are many Caribbean scholars. It’s just that there was kind of a need to bring some people together and bring objects together to tell the story.

“We felt it was a great project to focus on because our mission is Latin American, Caribbean and Puerto Rican art,” she said. “This exhibit dovetails with our mission and it expands our purview into the non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean.”

For more on the museums hosting the Caribbean exhibit, see the websites,;; and

Read more:

Central Park – Harlem Travel Guide – iPhone, iPad, and iPod

The most visited urban park in the U.S. 

Central Park, both a National Historic Landmark and the first New York City Scenic Landmark, is located between 59th and 110th Streets between Central Park West (Eighth Ave.) and Fifth Avenue, and is 843 acres in size. The northern area of the park is located in both East and Central Harlem. It is among the most famous parks in the world and was the first landscaped public park in the United States. The land for the park was purchased for $5 million in 1856 and consisted of swamps, bluffs, and rocky outcroppings. In 1857, the Central Park Commission held the country’s first landscape design contest and selected the Greensward Plan submitted by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, considered the founders of the landscape architecture profession in the United States. Entirely man-made, Central Park is one of the urban wonders of the world, a green oasis in the midst of the great concrete high-rise landscape of New York City. The building of the park was one of the nineteenth century’s most massive public projects, with some 200,000 workers used to pull off this great feat. The park first opened for public use in the winter of 1859.

The park contains eighteen different entrances, nearly fifty fountains and monuments, twenty-one playgrounds, fifty-one sculptures, and thirty-six bridges and arches. There are 58 miles of pedestrian paths, 4.5 miles of bridle paths, 6.5 miles of park drives and 7 miles of benches (nearly 9,000 benches in total). Today there are 26,000 trees, including 1,700 American elms. It is visited by over 25 million people each year. Some of the most popular places to visit in the park are the Great Lawn, where the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera hold two free concerts in the summer; the Delacorte Theatre, which is home to “Shakespeare in the Park”; Strawberry Fields, which is the garden of peace built in memory of Beatles member John Lennon; Summer-Stage at Rumsey Playfield, where music, spoken word, and dance performances are held during the summer; and Wollman Ice Skating Rink, to name a few. In the portion of the park located in Harlem, you will find the Conservatory Garden, which is the only formal garden in Central Park; the Harlem Meer, an 11-acre lake that makes it the second largest man-made body of water in the park; the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, which is the park’s only environmental educational center; the Blockhouse, a fort still standing from the War of 1812; Lasker Pool and Rink; and Duke Ellington Circle, featuring the first monument in New York City dedicated to an African American and the first memorial in the United States honoring jazz music giant Duke Ellington.

Facilities: Baseball fields, basketball courts, bicycling and greenways, dog runs, fishing, horseback riding trails, ice skating rinks, swimming pool, nature centers, paddle boat, rowboat, and canoe rentals, playgrounds, recreation centers, restaurants, soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, zoos, and aquariums.

There is absolutely no reason to leave the park until you want something to eat and there are two great places nearby – Ottomanelli Bros., for great burgers and steaks and a fabulous pre-fix brunch Saturday and Sunday for just $9.95; and Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread who serves up real soul food, at great prices.

Transportation: Bus—M1, M2, M3, M4, M10, M96, M106. Subway—B, C, 2, 3, 6 to 110th St.

Enjoy the show


  • More than 360 entries with over 2000 photographs
  • This visually rich app consists of detailed New York City visitor’s information from visitor centers, tourist websites, weather, news, holidays, sales tax, smoking rules, tipping and transportation to and from airports and in the city
  • Detailed descriptions which include uncommonly known cultural and historical facts, websites, phone numbers, hours of operation, prices, menus and hyperlinks that link entries and lead to websites for additional historical and factual information.
  • Entries sorted by name, category, distance, price, and neighborhood
  • Once click to websites, phones, online ordering, online reservations, current menus and more
  • Live calendar
  • Ability to share user comments and mark and save favorites
  • Ask the authors questions through in-app comments to get personalized feedback at your finger tips
  • YouTube videos
  • GPS enabled Google maps with walking, driving and mass transit directions
  • Access offline content anytime
  • Free upgrades for life

What’s inside

  • Nightlife and entertainment from jazz, Latin salsa, opera to classical music;
  • Theatre, dance, spoken word and more;
  • Restaurants featuring soul food to French cuisine and everything in between;
  • Unique ethnic retail shops;
  • Museums that celebrate various cultures;
  • Fine art galleries;
  • Majestic churches and gospel music;
  • Amazing landmarks;
  • Parks and free recreational activities;
  • Guest accommodations;
  • Free internet access and Wi-fi locations;
  • Authentic tours of Harlem;
  • Annual events and festivals;
  • Sales & Deals

   Literally a guide in my pocket

Posted by Max on 13th Jan 2012

I can only subscribe to what other people already have told about the guide. It’s just great that I can read a place description, actually give a call its manager, find it on a map and even hook up on its Twitter channel to keep my eye on it. Very smart!

Download the free Sutro World @ and purchase the Harlem Travel Guide today for $2.99!

Follow Welcome to Harlem on:

Website –
Yelp –
Trip Advisor –

London Calling: NYC exports Apollo Amateur Night

The legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem is exporting its Amateur Night to London for a limited engagement.

The legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem is exporting its Amateur Night to London for a limited engagement.

The New York showplace that launched careers from Stevie Wonder to the Jackson 5 is partnering with London’s Hackney Empire theater.

The London show on July 14 will pit aspiring artists from the United States and Great Britain.

The Apollo said Tuesday that its Manhattan auditions will be held March 31 and April 1. Four winners of the May 23 New York semifinals will get expense-paid trips to London.

Semifinals to pick four amateurs in London will be held in June.

Since 1934, Amateur Night has been one of New York City’s most popular live entertainment events.

London’s Hackney, built in 1901, has hosted stars like Charlie Chaplin and Houdini.

Originally published Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

The Promise of Black Power, Seen Through a European Lens

A documentary reminds us why the black power movement is still relevant

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 , released on DVD this month, is a documentary culled from Swedish television footage of the American black power movement. As such, it presents an unsettlingly European perspective on race in America. From bloated, aging white sunbathers on Miami Beach to apparently menacing, poor, black Harlem residents glimpsed through bus windows, Americans, one and all, are turned into anthropological oddities, quaint parables, and eccentric amusements. In short, the Swedes do to us what we are so accustomed to doing to the rest of the world.

The turnabout definitely has an air of enjoyable schadenfreude. But there’s a painful touch of truth there as well. The Swedes are much more sympathetic to the oppressed black underclass than they are to the oppressive white majority government. And yet we’re all being watched through that European lens. What white and black Americans have never quite been able to do for ourselves, the Swedes do for us, granting every race equality through the blind justice of documentary condescension.

That isn’t to say that an American documentary on this topic would be better. Quite the opposite. The Swedes are clearly repulsed by what they perceive as white America’s smugness and brutality, and are fascinated by black America’s courage, resistance…and brutality. As Stokely Carmichael explains in a fascinating 1967 interview, the black power movement had respect and even reverence for Martin Luther King, but it defined itself in large part in opposition to his non-violent tactics.

“[Dr. King] is a man who could accept the uncivilized behavior of white Americans, their unceasing taunts, and still have in his heart forgiveness,” Carmichael says. “Unfortunately, I am from a younger generation. I am not as patient as Dr. King and I am not as merciful as Dr. King. And their unwillingness to deal with someone like Dr. King just means they have to deal with this younger generation.”

And so, deal with it they did, mostly by shooting it and putting it in jail. One of the more painful moments in the film is an interview with Bobby Seale, where he explains calmly, earnestly, and convincingly that the Black Panther party is armed and will shoot any “racist dog policeman” who tries to give it trouble because the members of the party are “bent on surviving.” Of course, those racist dog policemen eventually imprisoned Seale for years, and racist dog FBI agents broke the Panthers apart. The fatal flaw with black power is that however many guns you buy, whitey always has more.

Or at least, whitey always had more. Today, the man with the most guns in the entire world is black. I’m sure Barack Obama could wax more eloquent than I on the mistakes of the Black Panthers, but there’s a very real sense in which he is the ultimate fulfillment of their dream as much, if not more, than of Martin Luther King’s. Eldridge Cleaver, for example, speaking from exile in Algeria, talks about his hope that black communities in the U.S. might obtain a limited sovereignty. And now, 40+ years later, a black man commands not a limited sovereignty, but the whole sovereignty kaboodle.

Similarly, in one of the modern voice-overs appended to the footage throughout, Erykah Badu insists that a people must have the right to defend themselves and their families. She certainly has a point, but it’s the same point that Obama (or, for that matter, Bush) has when he explains why it’s necessary for us to have our troops wandering around with guns here, there, and everywhere. The logic of power is the logic of power. Stokely Carmichael laid it out, but Obama followed it through to its conclusion—not least by calibrating his rhetoric and compromising his policies in a way that Carmichael never would have. When it comes to the exercise of force, the pragmatist, as it turns out, has a good bit to teach the revolutionary.

If Obama fulfills, and indeed transcends, the black power movement’s visions of empowerment, he also demonstrates vividly the extent to which empowerment, per se, was not the only vision. The Black Panthers weren’t just guns and force and promising to shoot the pigs. They were also free clinics, and food distribution programs, and community building. In this respect, the footage here demonstrates how important women were to the movement. It was they who keeping the social kept running and a dream of change alive while the men followed the dream of violence into prison cells or, at worst, death.

Perhaps the person who makes this aspect of the movement clearest is Angela Davis. In a 1974 interview in her prison cell, a Swedish interviewer asks her if she approves of violence. With some exasperation, she explains that in a society like the United States, violence is going to occur—and then goes on to a heartfelt condemnation of the racist brutality and bombings she experienced growing up in Birmingham, Alabama. Though she doesn’t reject violence the way King did, there is in her answer an understanding of violence, and a horror of it. No doubt she’s mellowed some over the years. But still, I don’t think there’s actually any disconnect between her fiery statements about violence from 1974 and a voice over from 2010 near the end of the film in which she insists that even now, “under a black president,” we have to work together for “a future without war and without racism and without prisons.”

The black power movement, as seen here, had multiple goals. On the one hand, it hoped to give black people the kind of power that white people had. And you could argue that, despite the massive continuing disparities between black and white in this country, with Obama that hope was to some extent fulfilled. But the black power movement also hoped for a different kind of world; a world where violence would not be necessary, where America would forswear imperial adventures like Vietnam. It hoped for a world where, as Davis said, there would be no racism and no prison, and where, as someone else said, justice would roll on like rivers and righteousness like a mighty stream. This second goal was more ambitious, and the progress in attaining it has perhaps inevitably been less. But the dream isn’t dead as long as we remember it. The creators of The Black Power Mixtape, white and black, Swedish and American, deserve credit for helping us to do so.