Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. It is located in
the city of New York (New York) in the United States, its area is
bounded by 96th Street to the south, Morningside Heights to the
west, Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) to the east and 155th Street to the
north. Known by the natives as Muscoota (or plain) in 1658 it was
baptized as Nieuw Haarlem (New Harlem) by the Dutch governor Peter
Stuyvesant (the Dutch were the first to occupy the neighborhood) in
honor of the Dutch city of Haarlem. Years later, in 1664, it was the
English who took control of the Dutch colony, baptizing it as Harlem.
Harlem is a neighborhood located north of Manhattan in New York City.
The first human settlement in what is now known as Harlem was
made by the Dutch and was baptized in 1658 with the name Nieuw
Haarlem ('New Haarlem'), in honor of the Dutch city of Haarlem.
In 1664, the British took control of the Dutch colony and christened the
In the 19th century, Harlem was a place full of farms, like the one
owned by James Roosevelt east of Fifth Avenue between 110 and 125
streets. Today, it is the center of the Hispanic area of Harlem, the
so-called Spanish Harlem or Harlem Hispano or El Barrio. At the
end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, African
Americans, due to their economic problems, began to move from the
southern states to the north of the country and found refuge precisely
in Harlem, thanks to the low rents present in the district.
Since 1920 it has been one of the largest centers of residence for
many African-Americans, currently estimated to make up 72% of the
population. Although the name is sometimes used to refer to the entire
northern section of the island of Manhattan, Harlem is
traditionally bounded by 96th Street to the south, the Hudson River to
the west, and 155th Street on the border with the Bronx ( some point to
160th Street as the boundary) along with the Harlem River to the north
and the East River to the east. It currently has a population of
approximately 215,000 people.
The first African Americans to arrive in Harlem did so in the
early 20th century, their number having quadrupled in 1919. In
the 1920s, Harlem was the center of the flourishing of an
African-American culture known as the #Harlem Renaissance. It
was a time of artistic creations like jazz, whose shows - ironically -
were offered almost exclusively to white people. At the
well-known Cotton Club, a Harlem club that found its heyday during and
after the Prohibition era, despite the fame of African-American artists
who frequently played there, people from African-American race.
The Harlem Renaissance was the revival of American art during the
1920s and early 1930s, led by the neighborhood's African-American
community. Jazz music, literature and painting stood out significantly
among the artistic creations of the main components of this artistic
In the early 1920s three key works showcased the new African-American
literary creativity. Harlem Shadows (1922) by Claude McKay, became one
of the first African-American works published by a major publishing
house with a national reach. Cane (1923), by Jean Toomer, is an
experimental novel that combines poetry and prose to depict rural
southern and urban life in northern America for black Americans.
Finally, Confusion (1924), Jessie Fauset's first novel, depicts the life
of the African American middle class from a woman's point of view.
These three works being the literary foundations, there were also
three events between 1924 and 1926 that launched the Harlem Renaissance.
The first occurred on March 21, 1924, when National Urban
League member Charles S. Johnson hosted a dinner to recognize emerging
African-American literary talent and introduce young writers to New
York's literary elite. Thanks to this dinner, Survey Graphic, a journal
of social analysis and criticism that was interested in cultural
pluralism, published an issue on Harlem in March 1925. The lead article
was on defining the aesthetics of African American literature and art,
and was prepared by an African American philosopher and professor of
literature named Alain Locke. Later, Locke expanded the number by
publishing the anthology The New Negro. The second major event was the
publication of Nigger Heaven (1926) by the white novelist Carl Van
Vechten. The book was very popular and depicted life in Harlem, despite
being offensive to some African Americans.
Harlem helped shape the artistic expression of the 20th century and
today plays a vital role in the world of arts and culture. From blues
and jazz to poetry, literature, and the visual and performing arts,
Harlem has been home to innovative concepts for many decades.
Today, the arts community is still very vibrant in Harlem.
The jazz traditional and contemporary music found new audiences in the
historic jazz clubs. New art gallery spacesand studios have taken root
in West Harlem, and hundreds of local artists support each other through
organizations like the Harlem Arts Alliance. At the Apollo Theater,
stars are still born and legends are made. These are just a few examples
of the creative community at work in Harlem today. Neighborhood
residents come together in other ways as well. Civic engagement thrives
in West Harlem, from the community board and local schools, to
faith-based, philanthropic, and other community-based organizations.
There are several religious institutions in Harlem: Greek Orthodox
Churches and Roman Catholic Churches, including the Holy Rosary of East
Harlem and the traditional Russian Orthodox Church. It is possible to
find Baptist churches throughout Harlem, one of the best known is
"Antioch Baptist Church" where choirs, music and dance are the
ingredients of a good mass or gospel service.