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Black History Women's History

Madam C.J. Walker, Harlem’s self-made millionaire, and her daughter A’Lelia, patron of the Jazz Age

PODCAST The story of Harlem’s hair care queen and her daughter A’Lelia, a patron of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1867, Sarah Breedlove was born to parents who had once been enslaved on a Louisiana plantation. Less than fifty years later, Breedlove (as the hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker) would be the richest African-American woman […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Romare Bearden: ‘An American Odyssey’ through the Harlem Renaissance and the SoHo art scene

Sometimes an artist’s biography can work on two levels, providing both the sweep of history within the subject matter of the artist’s own output and a grand view of American art history in the artist’s working life. In Mary Schmidt Campbell’s absorbing biography of the painter, illustrator and collagist Romare Bearden, we get to look at […]

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Writers and Artists

Happy birthday Langston Hughes! A few stops in Harlem to celebrate

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had an affinity for writer Langston Hughes, the revolutionary jazz poet who was born 115 years ago today in 1902. I grew up in Springfield, Mo., about an hour away from Langston’s birthplace in Joplin. One of the brightest lights of the Harlem Renaissance grew up here?, I frequently pondered in English class. […]

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It's Showtime Podcasts

Billie Holiday’s New York: Here’s to Swing Street, Harlem’s 133rd Street and other landmarks of jazz

  PODCAST Grab your fedora and take a trip with the Bowery Boys into the heart of New York City’s jazz scene — late nights, smoky bars, neon signs — through the eyes of one of the greatest American vocalists who ever lived here — Billie Holiday. Eleanora Fagan walked out of Pennsylvania Station in […]

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Landmarks Podcasts

The Hotel Theresa: An historic treasure of Harlem

The Hotel Theresa, as it looks today, White Castle and all. PODCAST The Hotel Theresa is considered a genuine (if under-appreciated) Harlem gem, both for its unique architecture and its special place in history as the hub for African-American life in the 1940s and 50s. The luxurious apartment hotel was built by a German lace […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Langston Hughes: A few Harlem stops on his birthday

Dapper gentlemen: At a 1924 celebration in Langston’s honor, at the home of Regina Andrews on 580 St. Nicholas Avenue. The author is to the far left, followed by future sociologists Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier; novelist and future doctor Rudolph Fisher; and Hubert T. Delany, who would become a New York justice […]