Facts About Harlem To Know About This Culturally Rich City | Kidadl


Facts About Harlem To Know About This Culturally Rich City

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

When most people think of New York City, they think of the bright lights and towering skyscrapers of Manhattan.

But there is another side to this iconic city – a side that is rich in history and culture. Harlem, located in the heart of Manhattan, is one of the most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods in New York.

If you're looking for a cultural experience in the heart of New York City, look no further than Harlem. This iconic neighborhood is home to some of the most beautiful architecture and history in the city. From world-famous jazz clubs to stunning brownstone townhouses, Harlem has something for everyone. Come explore this fascinating area and discover all that it has to offer through this article!

History Of Harlem

Harlem is an iconic neighborhood in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. The origin of the word 'Harlem' comes from Dutch settlers who settled there first before English-speaking colonists arrived and bought land from them in around 1664 when it was still called Nieuw Haarlem after a city near Amsterdam which had already been established by then (1225). Harlem then became part of the greater New York City area in 1898 when the five boroughs were consolidated into one.

In the late 1800s, rail systems were extended north on Eighth and Ninth Avenues, enticing further growth. Development happened again in 1895, especially in the form of lovely apartment buildings. The Lenox Avenue IRT subway line opened in 1904, and many people predicted that Harlem would become very popular among those who lived in lower Manhattan. Thousands of tenement housing units were constructed anticipating the influx of people from lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, the IRT made Harlem accessible to people from all over town. Phillip A. Payton, a real estate broker, and entrepreneur approached several Harlem landlords with the offer of renting their empty or partially occupied homes to Black people. The concept was accepted, and Payton began moving Black families into structures in Central Harlem's 130s. Phillip A. Payton is acknowledged as the 'Father of Black Harlem,' although Harlem Heritage Tours considers him to be its founder. From the 17th century onward, the influx of Black people from lower Manhattan, the American South, and the Caribbean have bolstered Harlem's population. Many immigrants departed for their native countries during the First World War, leaving employment possibilities in northern war industries open.

During the ’20s, Harlem blossomed with culture and creative expression. This era was dubbed the 'Harlem Renaissance'. Figures such as Langston Hughes, Aaron Douglas, and Alain Locke felt that their artistic talents could be used to illustrate to America and the world that Blacks are intelligent, creative, and humane, and should be treated accordingly. The Great Depression of 1929 wreaked chaos in the country, particularly in Black communities like Harlem. During the Second World War, few chances for advancement existed for Blacks, yet they mobilized against the war industry in order for it to be fair. During the tumultuous period of the Civil Rights Movement, Harlem was both stage and actor. Religious and political leaders spoke for the people from street corners and pulpits throughout the community, expressing their sentiments. Figures like Malcolm X, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. used Harlem as a platform for political, social, and economic empowerment efforts during the ’60s.

During the late ’60s through the early ’80s, social problems reduced Harlem's population, leaving a high concentration of underprivileged individuals and fast deteriorating housing stock. From the ’90s through the first decade of the 21st century, Harlem flourished once again. Between 1990 and 2006, the neighborhood's population increased by 16.9%.

Tourist Attraction In Harlem

Harlem is known for its rich culture, history, and architecture. There are tons of things to do there if you're looking for a good time – from world-famous jazz clubs to amazing restaurants serving up soul food classics.

125th Street's Apollo Theater, which opened in a former burlesque house on January 26, 1934, was the city's first major movie theater. The Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue, which became known for swing dancing and is remembered in a popular tune of the era 'Stompin'. At The Savoy', was one of several famous dance clubs in Harlem during the ’20s and ’30s. Between Lenox and Seventh Avenues in the central part of Harlem, over 125 entertainment places operated throughout the Prohibition era, including cellars, speakeasies, cafes, taverns, lounges, supper clubs, rib joints, dance halls, theaters, and bars and grills.

On the street formerly known as 'Swing Street', which became notorious for its cabarets, speakeasies, and jazz venues during Prohibition, it was referred to as 'Jungle Alley' owing to 'inter-racial mixing' on the street. Some jazz venues, such as the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington performed, were limited to whites only. Others were integrated, including the Renaissance Ballroom and the Savoy Ballroom.

One of the world's largest cathedrals, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, is located in Valletta, Malta. The interior and exterior of this magnificent Gothic cathedral are truly wonderful. The Apollo Theater is a renowned theater in Harlem, home to several legendary events by musicians including Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Ella Fitzgerald. Alexander Hamilton Grange National Memorial is a monument that honors Alexander Hamilton, one of America's founding fathers who was born in the Caribbean but later settled down in Harlem with his wife Eliza Schuyler after they were married.

South Harlem is located in the north section of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Food And Culture

When most people think of Harlem, soul food and jazz music come to mind. And for good reason – both are integral parts of the neighborhood's culture. So if you're looking for a taste of some real Harlem culture, be sure to check out the food and music scene there!

Harlem's Black community was more concentrated in Central Harlem North, while its white population was more concentrated in Central Harlem South, and the Hispanic/Latino community was divided equally. The population of West Harlem, which is half Latino and Hispanic and about a quarter African American, represents a significant portion of the community. Originally, the neighborhood of East Harlem was nearly entirely Italian-American. It is now mostly Hispanic/Latino ethnic groups and has a significant African- American population.

The 'Harlem Renaissance' in the ’20s and ’30s focused on Central and West Harlem when it was the epicenter of Black culture in the United States. Though Harlem musicians and writers are known throughout the world, numerous actors and theater companies have also called Harlem home, including New Heritage Repertory Theater, National Black Theater, and Lafayette Players, among others. The largest African American Day Parade in the world is held each year in Harlem, which embraces the culture of the African diaspora in America. The parade was initially held in the spring of 1969 with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. as its Grand Marshall.

Dance Theatre of Harlem was formed by a ballet dancer and choreographer, Arthur Mitchell. It is deemed the first Black classical ballet company and also the first major ballet company to prioritize the dancers of the Black community.

There are also tons of great restaurants and bars in Harlem that you should check out if you're looking for a good time! Some favorites include Red Rooster, Sylvia's, and the Cotton Club. Be sure to explore the neighborhood and discover all it has to offer.


Why is Harlem so important?

Harlem is an important place because it's where African-Americans and Latinos can come together and celebrate their culture. There are many great restaurants, music venues, and museums here that help keep the traditions alive. It's also a very welcoming community.

Why was Harlem called the Black Mecca?

Harlem was called the Black Mecca in the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and still is today because it is where African-Americans could come together and celebrate their culture. It is also deemed so due to the 'Harlem renaissance'.

Where is Harlem located?

The neighborhood of Harlem is located in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It is surrounded on the west by the Hudson River, on the north by the Harlem River and 155th Street, on the east by Fifth Avenue, and on the south by Central Park North.

Which best describes an overall effect of the Harlem renaissance?

The Harlem renaissance had a positive overall effect on Blacks because it helped to promote their culture and gave them a place where they could come together and celebrate. It also led to more opportunities for them in terms of education, work and politics. However, not everyone benefited from the renaissance equally - wealthier black people tended to do better than those who were not. Despite this, it was still an important time for the community as a whole.

How to watch Godfather of Harlem?

Godfather of Harlem can be watched online at Epix or Hulu Plus, and it is also available on DVD. You can purchase the series through those sources as well. The show stars Forest Whitaker who plays Bumpy Johnson in ’60s New York City where he tries to reclaim his turf from rival gangs while dealing with his own personal demons - including substance addiction, gambling debts and marital problems.

Which woman was a writer associated with the Harlem renaissance?

Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most important writers associated with the Harlem renaissance. She wrote many novels and short stories that reflected the lives of Blacks in Florida during segregation, including 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'.

What did Harlem renaissance artists use sculpture to express?

Harlem Renaissance artists used sculpture to express the idea that African Americans were just as sophisticated and artistic as any other race or culture. The sculptures reflected this by depicting human forms in a naturalistic style, not stylized like previous periods' works had been done before them.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?