"An excellent contribution to the history of East Harlem, history of ethnic immigration and social inequality in the United States, and finally to understanding the phenomenon of the ethnically and class segregated U.S. inner city."--Philippe Bourgois, author of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio "The Tenants of East Harlem is an excellent and absorbing book on the way immigration and ethnic change have affected East Harlem and its residents. Through engaging, and often extremely moving, life stories of several residents of the community, Russell Sharman provides a window into the processes of change in this well-known New York City neighborhood."--Nancy Foner, author of From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration
Overshadowed by the fame of Harlem and the wealth of the Upper East Side, East Harlem is rarely noted as a historical enclave. However, from the early 1800s through today, East Harlem has welcomed wave after wave of immigrants struggling for a place in the nation's most famous city. African Americans, Irish, Germans, European Jews, Italians, Scandinavians, Puerto Ricans, and Latinos are among the ethnic groups who have shaped this neighborhood, bringing with them their religious, social, and culinary traditions. East Harlem is the first volume to tell this neighborhood's history through images. Photographs of the iron, stone, and rubber factories, the tenements, the 100th Street community, famous politicians such as Fiorella LaGuardia, the Second and Third Avenue elevated subways, St. Cecilia's, and many other subjects capture East Harlem's past in one memorable collection.
East Harlem Revisited presents a fresh look at this historic neighborhood through rare photographic images. Photographs taken from tenement rooftops, at family gatherings, and of sports and events celebrate a bygone era and the neighborhood's diversity. A neighborhood of many ethnicities and languages, at one time a section of East Harlem made up the largest Little Italy in the country. The landmarks that have been preserved throughout the years detail the importance and impact of architectural development on East Harlem's history. Photographs of the neighborhood's tenements and public housing depict East Harlem's changing landscape, while images of famous residents celebrate the many talented individuals who have called East Harlem home.
The community of East Harlem in New York City lays claim to a rich and culturally diverse history. Once home to 35 ethnicities and 27 languages, the neighborhood attracted Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrants in the early 20th century and later saw an influx of Puerto Rican immigrants and African Americans. In this oral history, former and current residents recount the early days, the post–World War II rise of public housing, the departure of Eastern European inhabitants, the growth of Latino and African American populations, the spirited 1960s, the urban blight of the 1980s, and the more recent resurgence and gentrification. This story of strength and struggle provides a vivid portrait of a fascinating community and the many resilient people who have called it home.
Ren?, all of seventeen and streetwise, is about to give up on the ñAmerican Dream.î Petty crimes, drug running and ghetto adventures bring him and his gang closer to an illusory Eldorado. But soon, his daydreams of limousines, fine clothes and finer women turn into a living nightmare that threatens to end his life and the lives of those he loves.
I moved to East Harlem, also known as El Barrio, on December 1, 2011. Before I moved, I had my doubts if I should, because East Harlem had a reputation for not being safe. I wanted to develop my own opinion, so I explored the places around East Harlem for several days. I found out that the whole area had changed. Crime rates weren’t surging, and the streets weren’t full of people using drugs. And because I visited the area long ago, I knew the difference. After living in the neighborhood for eight years, I confirmed that East Harlem had indeed changed for the better. East Harlem’s residents are committed to making this neighborhood a great place to live by getting more involved in the community’s political and social events, such as attending community meetings to discuss the residents’ needs. They also do their own cultural parades, and some do volunteer work for people in need. Besides that, there are food banks, community kitchens, and food pantries for hungry people. East Harlem also has the best representatives ever. They are working diligently for the advancement of the community. They are fighting hard to preserve affordable rent for the residents and to keep them in the area by preventing their landlords from increasing their rents to a level that they cannot afford. Also, the residents of East Harlem do not stay home when it comes to voting, which gives them the chance to speak up when their rights are violated.
Why do the vast majority of heroin users live in cities? In his provocative history of heroin in the United States, Eric C. Schneider explains what is distinctively urban about this undisputed king of underworld drugs. During the twentieth century, New York City was the nation's heroin capital—over half of all known addicts lived there, and underworld bosses like Vito Genovese, Nicky Barnes, and Frank Lucas used their international networks to import and distribute the drug to cities throughout the country, generating vast sums of capital in return. Schneider uncovers how New York, as the principal distribution hub, organized the global trade in heroin and sustained the subcultures that supported its use. Through interviews with former junkies and clinic workers and in-depth archival research, Schneider also chronicles the dramatically shifting demographic profile of heroin users. Originally popular among working-class whites in the 1920s, heroin became associated with jazz musicians and Beat writers in the 1940s. Musician Red Rodney called heroin the trademark of the bebop generation. "It was the thing that gave us membership in a unique club," he proclaimed. Smack takes readers through the typical haunts of heroin users—52nd Street jazz clubs, Times Square cafeterias, Chicago's South Side street corners—to explain how young people were initiated into the drug culture. Smack recounts the explosion of heroin use among middle-class young people in the 1960s and 1970s. It became the drug of choice among a wide swath of youth, from hippies in Haight-Ashbury and soldiers in Vietnam to punks on the Lower East Side. Panics over the drug led to the passage of increasingly severe legislation that entrapped heroin users in the criminal justice system without addressing the issues that led to its use in the first place. The book ends with a meditation on the evolution of the war on drugs and addresses why efforts to solve the drug problem must go beyond eliminating supply.
Spanish Harlem’s musical development thrived between the 1930s and 1980s in New York City. This area was called El Barrio by its inhabitants and Spanish Harlem by all others. It was a neighborhood where musicians from the Caribbean or their descendants organized musical groups, thereby adding to the diaspora that began in Africa and Spain. The music now called salsa had its roots in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, and it continued developing on another island: Manhattan.
The Four Hundred Year History from Dutch Village to Capital of Black America
Author: Jonathan Gill
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Harlem is perhaps the most famous, iconic neighborhood in the United States. A bastion of freedom and the capital of Black America, Harlem's twentieth century renaissance changed our arts, culture, and politics forever. But this is only one of the many chapters in a wonderfully rich and varied history. In Harlem, historian Jonathan Gill presents the first complete chronicle of this remarkable place. From Henry Hudson's first contact with native Harlemites, through Harlem's years as a colonial outpost on the edge of the known world, Gill traces the neighborhood's story, marshaling a tremendous wealth of detail and a host of fascinating figures from George Washington to Langston Hughes. Harlem was an agricultural center under British rule and the site of a key early battle in the Revolutionary War. Later, wealthy elites including Alexander Hamilton built great estates there for entertainment and respite from the epidemics ravaging downtown. In the nineteenth century, transportation urbanized Harlem and brought waves of immigrants from Germany, Italy, Ireland, and elsewhere. Harlem's mix of cultures, extraordinary wealth and extreme poverty was electrifying and explosive. Extensively researched, impressively synthesized, eminently readable, and overflowing with captivating characters, Harlem is an ambitious, sweeping history, and an impressive achievement.
Rene, all of seventeen and street-wise, is about to give up on the American Dream. Petty crimes, running drugs and ghetto adventures bring him and his gang closer to an illusory Eldorado. But soon, his daydreams of limousines, fine clothes and finer women turn into a living nightmare that threatens to end his life and the lives of those he loves. Eldorado in East Harlem is a page-turner of a novel, full of intrigue, surprise turns of plot and memorable characters. Victor Rodriguez has captured the essence of barrio life during the early 1960's. His evocation of youthful ambition and disillusionment, along with the music and historical events that helped shape the times, provides rich texture to this tale of restless coming of age.