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Learn About New York City's African-American History

This interactive tool will help you explore New York City's landmarks and historic districts that recognize and represent the City's significant African-American heritage. Click Next to begin.
This interactive tool will help you explore New York City's landmarks and historic districts that recognize and represent the City's significant African-American heritage. Click Next to begin.
 Part I  Free and Enslaved Africans in Colonial New York City
 
The Dutch introduced the practice of African enslavement to New Amsterdam in 1626 and it continued after the colony of New Netherland was taken over by the British in 1664. New York merchants exploited the labor of enslaved Africans to operate the port, to supplement the pool of skilled craftsmen, to work in heavy transport, construction, and domestic labor, and in farming and milling. In addition to enslaved Africans, there were numerous free Africans in New York, some of whom were descendants of people who had been freed by the Dutch West India Company during its tenure of New Amsterdam. 
 
 Part I  Free and Enslaved Africans in Colonial New York City
 
The Dutch introduced the practice of African enslavement to New Amsterdam in 1626 and it continued after the colony of New Netherland was taken over by the British in 1664. New York merchants exploited the labor of enslaved Africans to operate the port, to supplement the pool of skilled craftsmen, to work in heavy transport, construction, and domestic labor, and in farming and milling. In addition to enslaved Africans, there were numerous free Africans in New York, some of whom were descendants of people who had been freed by the Dutch West India Company during its tenure of New Amsterdam. 
 
Which of these is New York City’s only archaeological historic district?
 
Hint: It contains a National Monument dedicated to Americans of African descent.
 
Image: Survey map of the Van Borsum Patent/"Negroes Burial Ground" showing location in relation to Chambers, Reade, and Duane Streets. From Hoffman, Vol. 2, Diagram 8 
Street Plan of New Amsterdam and Colonial New York
African Burial Ground and the Commons Historic District
South Street Seaport Historic District
Ellis Island Historic District
The African Burial Ground and the Commons Historic District, designated in 1993, was the first archaeological historic district and is the oldest known African-American cemetery in New York City. The New Amsterdam Commons, an area formed by the Dutch colonial government, experienced intense public use starting in the mid-17th century, resulting in the overlay of many significant historic improvements and resources – both above ground and below – all of which document the changing nature of this important area long devoted to communal, public, and civic purposes.
 
Throughout much of the 18th century, and possibly earlier, New York’s free and enslaved Africans buried their dead in a portion of the New Amsterdam Commons which is now north of City Hall Park. Archaeological excavations revealed the presence of the burial ground under much of the site, due to deep levels of fill that have protected the original ground surface and an intact stratum of burials. The approximately 400 burials fully excavated by archaeologists have provided rare, important material evidence of 18th century African life and culture in New York. The African Burial Ground serves as a memorial to a people who came to America in bondage rather than by choice, and who lived, died, and were buried within a community which has been largely unacknowledged in historical studies of the colonial world. 
 
Proclaimed a National Monument in 2006 and opened in 2007 to visitors, the African Burial Ground “remains the final resting-place of some of New York's earliest African and African-American pioneers. And it is an enduring testament to their history,” wrote historian and former LPC Commissioner Christopher Moore in this essay.
 
Image: Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress
The African Burial Ground and the Commons Historic District, designated in 1993, was the first archaeological historic district and is the oldest known African-American cemetery in New York City. The New Amsterdam Commons, an area formed by the Dutch colonial government, experienced intense public use starting in the mid-17th century, resulting in the overlay of many significant historic improvements and resources – both above ground and below – all of which document the changing nature of this important area long devoted to communal, public, and civic purposes.
 
Throughout much of the 18th century, and possibly earlier, New York’s free and enslaved Africans buried their dead in a portion of the New Amsterdam Commons which is now north of City Hall Park. Archaeological excavations revealed the presence of the burial ground under much of the site, due to deep levels of fill that have protected the original ground surface and an intact stratum of burials. The approximately 400 burials fully excavated by archaeologists have provided rare, important material evidence of 18th century African life and culture in New York. The African Burial Ground serves as a memorial to a people who came to America in bondage rather than by choice, and who lived, died, and were buried within a community which has been largely unacknowledged in historical studies of the colonial world. 
 
Proclaimed a National Monument in 2006 and opened in 2007 to visitors, the African Burial Ground “remains the final resting-place of some of New York's earliest African and African-American pioneers. And it is an enduring testament to their history,” wrote historian and former LPC Commissioner Christopher Moore in this essay.
 
Image: Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress
 Part II  19th Century Reform Movements and Free Black Communities
 
New York City played an important role in the effort to abolish slavery nationwide and to assist those seeking to escape it. This section highlights landmarks associated with New York’s free black communities established in the 19th century in the period before nationwide emancipation, and landmarks associated with the multiple ways people and institutions engaged with the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War, whether through political and religious activism or by housing freedom seekers as part of Underground Railroad networks. 
 
 Part II  19th Century Reform Movements and Free Black Communities
 
New York City played an important role in the effort to abolish slavery nationwide and to assist those seeking to escape it. This section highlights landmarks associated with New York’s free black communities established in the 19th century in the period before nationwide emancipation, and landmarks associated with the multiple ways people and institutions engaged with the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War, whether through political and religious activism or by housing freedom seekers as part of Underground Railroad networks. 
 
The c.1830 Houses on Hunterfly Road are the oldest known extant structures in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a unique residential enclave built parallel to a colonial road, and are significant remnants of the early 19th century free African-American settlement known by which name?
 
Image: LPC
New Lots
New Haven
Cypress Hills
Weeksville
The Houses on Hunterfly Road (nos. 1698, 1700, 1702-04, and 1706-08)  were part of Weeksville, a community of African-American landowners established by 1838, when several African Americans purchased lots in Brooklyn’s 9th ward and built wood frame houses. It was named for one of the original property owners, James Weeks, who purchased property from the Lefferts family estate in 1838 and lived there with his family until his death in 1864. This early African-American community, historically located in a remote and rural area, was a safe haven for African-Americans free and enslaved, and was a principal refuge for Black families that fled the violent Draft Riots of 1863. The village offered African-American landowners full citizenship and voting rights during the pre-Civil War era, and provided safety to those on the road to freedom.
 
Restored in 2005 as the Weeksville Heritage Center, a living museum of African-American history and culture, the Houses on Hunterfly Road now serve as a multidisciplinary museum with a mission to document, preserve, and interpret the history of free African-American communities in Weeksville and beyond.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons user Anonitect
The Houses on Hunterfly Road (nos. 1698, 1700, 1702-04, and 1706-08)  were part of Weeksville, a community of African-American landowners established by 1838, when several African Americans purchased lots in Brooklyn’s 9th ward and built wood frame houses. It was named for one of the original property owners, James Weeks, who purchased property from the Lefferts family estate in 1838 and lived there with his family until his death in 1864. This early African-American community, historically located in a remote and rural area, was a safe haven for African-Americans free and enslaved, and was a principal refuge for Black families that fled the violent Draft Riots of 1863. The village offered African-American landowners full citizenship and voting rights during the pre-Civil War era, and provided safety to those on the road to freedom.
 
Restored in 2005 as the Weeksville Heritage Center, a living museum of African-American history and culture, the Houses on Hunterfly Road now serve as a multidisciplinary museum with a mission to document, preserve, and interpret the history of free African-American communities in Weeksville and beyond.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons user Anonitect
The Rossville AME Zion Church (left) and the 565 and 569 Bloomingdale Road Cottages (right), all designated New York City landmarks, represent the history of what thriving community of free African Americans on Staten Island established prior to the Civil War?
 
Left image: LPC
Right image: Wikimedia Commons/Peter Greenberg 
Saint George
Sandy Ground
Richmondtown
Annadale
Staten Island was home to both enslaved and free people of African descent in the early 19th century. Drawn by the abundant and inexpensive acreage and favorable laws, many free Blacks relocated from the Chesapeake Bay area and settled on the island. Two decades prior to the Civil War, Sandy Ground emerged as a thriving community for free African Americans there. Many of the residents worked in the oyster trade, owned their own property, built substantial houses and established successful businesses and institutions, chief among them the Rossville AME Zion Church
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Oyster workers, 1894. Staten Island Historical Society, Alice Austen Collection viaMapping the African American Past
Staten Island was home to both enslaved and free people of African descent in the early 19th century. Drawn by the abundant and inexpensive acreage and favorable laws, many free Blacks relocated from the Chesapeake Bay area and settled on the island. Two decades prior to the Civil War, Sandy Ground emerged as a thriving community for free African Americans there. Many of the residents worked in the oyster trade, owned their own property, built substantial houses and established successful businesses and institutions, chief among them the Rossville AME Zion Church
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Oyster workers, 1894. Staten Island Historical Society, Alice Austen Collection viaMapping the African American Past
The home of Abby and James Gibbons in the Lamartine Place Historic District was attacked and burned during the 1863 Draft Riots as a result of their association with which 19th century movement?
 
Image: LPC
Mysticism
Temperance
Abolitionism
Transcendentalism
The Lamartine Place Historic District is an intact row of houses constructed in the late-1840s and early 1850s. It includes the home of prominent abolitionists Abby Hopper Gibbons and James Sloan Gibbons, whose house at 339 West 29th Street was used as a meeting place for influential people in the movement and as a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. Because of their abolitionist activity, the house was attacked and burned during the 1863 Draft Riots, mob violence against African-Americans, abolitionists, and supporters of the Republican Party. The riots from July 13-16 came in response to the United States’ first national conscription act, which was meant to augment battle-strained federal forces and combat high rates of desertion in the Civil War. Among the rioters, outrage at reports that affluent individuals were able to purchase exemptions to the draft gave way to pent-up hostility toward free Blacks and their supporters, which was expressed through the destruction of their property, violent attacks, and the murders of targeted individuals.
 
On Lamartine Place, several Gibbons family members escaped the fire and the mob by climbing over neighboring roofs to a waiting carriage on Ninth Avenue. While this building was the prime target of the rioters on this block, other houses in the row played an important role in these events. Abby Gibbons’ sister and her family lived at 335 Lamartine Place and members of the Hopper family took refuge there during the attack. The Lamartine Place Historic District was designated in 2009.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: The Riots in New York: Destruction of the Colored Orphan Asylum. Illustrated London News, August 15, 1863, p. 168. New-York Historical Society Library. 
The Lamartine Place Historic District is an intact row of houses constructed in the late-1840s and early 1850s. It includes the home of prominent abolitionists Abby Hopper Gibbons and James Sloan Gibbons, whose house at 339 West 29th Street was used as a meeting place for influential people in the movement and as a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. Because of their abolitionist activity, the house was attacked and burned during the 1863 Draft Riots, mob violence against African-Americans, abolitionists, and supporters of the Republican Party. The riots from July 13-16 came in response to the United States’ first national conscription act, which was meant to augment battle-strained federal forces and combat high rates of desertion in the Civil War. Among the rioters, outrage at reports that affluent individuals were able to purchase exemptions to the draft gave way to pent-up hostility toward free Blacks and their supporters, which was expressed through the destruction of their property, violent attacks, and the murders of targeted individuals.
 
On Lamartine Place, several Gibbons family members escaped the fire and the mob by climbing over neighboring roofs to a waiting carriage on Ninth Avenue. While this building was the prime target of the rioters on this block, other houses in the row played an important role in these events. Abby Gibbons’ sister and her family lived at 335 Lamartine Place and members of the Hopper family took refuge there during the attack. The Lamartine Place Historic District was designated in 2009.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: The Riots in New York: Destruction of the Colored Orphan Asylum. Illustrated London News, August 15, 1863, p. 168. New-York Historical Society Library. 
Which of these designated Brooklyn houses of worship played an important role in the abolition movement?
 
Image, left: Church of the Pilgrims, LPC
Image, center: First Free Congregational, LPC
Image, right: Plymouth Church, LPC
Church of the Pilgrims
First Free Congregational Church
Plymouth Church
All of the above
All of these places were significant in the mid-19th-century campaign to end slavery in the United States. Located within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, Church of the Pilgrims (Richard Upjohn, 1844) (left) included abolitionist Henry C. Bowen among its founders, and its minister Richard Salter Storrs preached against slavery. Also within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, Plymouth Church (1849) (center) was nationally prominent as the home of abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher and was a center of Underground Railroad activity.
 
Built in 1847 and designated in 1981, the impressive Greek Revival-style First Free Congregational Church at 311 Bridge Street (right) was purchased by Brooklyn’s oldest continuously active African-American congregation, the African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1854. A major site of abolition activism, this building may have played a role in the Underground Railroad. In 1938, following initial pushback from white residents of the Bedford-Stuyvesant area, the congregation moved to the former Grace Presbyterian Church (Leeming & Kirk, c. 1907) within the Bedford Stuyvesant/Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, where it remains active as the Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Plymouth Church (Henry Ward Beecher's), Brooklyn, New York, a wood engraving sketched by C. H. Wells and published in Harper's Weekly, August 1866
All of these places were significant in the mid-19th-century campaign to end slavery in the United States. Located within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, Church of the Pilgrims (Richard Upjohn, 1844) (left) included abolitionist Henry C. Bowen among its founders, and its minister Richard Salter Storrs preached against slavery. Also within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, Plymouth Church (1849) (center) was nationally prominent as the home of abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher and was a center of Underground Railroad activity.
 
Built in 1847 and designated in 1981, the impressive Greek Revival-style First Free Congregational Church at 311 Bridge Street (right) was purchased by Brooklyn’s oldest continuously active African-American congregation, the African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1854. A major site of abolition activism, this building may have played a role in the Underground Railroad. In 1938, following initial pushback from white residents of the Bedford-Stuyvesant area, the congregation moved to the former Grace Presbyterian Church (Leeming & Kirk, c. 1907) within the Bedford Stuyvesant/Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, where it remains active as the Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church.
 
For more information on the city’s designated landmarks and the abolition movement, visit LPC's story map New York City and the Path to Freedom.
 
Image: Plymouth Church (Henry Ward Beecher's), Brooklyn, New York, a wood engraving sketched by C. H. Wells and published in Harper's Weekly, August 1866
 Part III  New York City in the Post-Reconstruction Era
 
Between 1890 and 1910, the African-American population of New York City grew from 23,601 to 91,709 with an influx of Southern-born African-Americans in search of work and opportunities unavailable in the Jim Crow-era South. In New York, even in the absence of de jure segregation, Black migrants were often met with prejudice or discrimination in other forms. The landmarks in this section recognize the significant contributions and remarkable achievements of African-American New Yorkers despite the hostile climate of the time.
 
 Part III  New York City in the Post-Reconstruction Era
 
Between 1890 and 1910, the African-American population of New York City grew from 23,601 to 91,709 with an influx of Southern-born African-Americans in search of work and opportunities unavailable in the Jim Crow-era South. In New York, even in the absence of de jure segregation, Black migrants were often met with prejudice or discrimination in other forms. The landmarks in this section recognize the significant contributions and remarkable achievements of African-American New Yorkers despite the hostile climate of the time.
 
Between 1893 and about 1910, West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue became home to the most significant concentration of sheet music publishers then known in New York City. The landmarks at 47 to 55 West 28th Street represent a number of milestones for the participation of African-American artists in mainstream music production and are known by what collective name?
 
Image: LPC
Music Row
Tin Pan Alley
Paisley Park
Electric Lady Studios
On Tin Pan Alley (47, 49, 51, 53, and 55 West 28th Street), composers, arrangers, lyricists, promoters, performers, and printers came together as collaborative firms of sheet music publishers and made an indelible impact on practices for the creation, production and promotion of American popular music.
 
Tin Pan Alley represents a number of milestones for the participation of African-American artists in mainstream music production. It arose at a time when significant post-Reconstruction limitations to the rights of African Americans were in place in the United States and substantial numbers of African Americans began to migrate to New York City in search of work and opportunities unavailable in the Jim Crow-era South. A number of Tin Pan Alley’s most notable songwriters were Black migrants whose participation in Tin Pan Alley was a milestone and a means for them to reclaim the epithets and stereotypes used against them in American entertainment of the era. Among other accomplishments, these artists brought ragtime, an upbeat musical genre that arose in Midwestern Black communities, into countless homes through the dissemination of their sheet music. On Tin Pan Alley, African-American musicians and publishers were able to create new and unprecedented opportunities for themselves in mainstream music production, and Tin Pan Alley represents their remarkable achievements despite the hostile climate of the time.
 
Image: 1937, New York Public Library, Lloyd Acker Collection
On Tin Pan Alley (47, 49, 51, 53, and 55 West 28th Street), composers, arrangers, lyricists, promoters, performers, and printers came together as collaborative firms of sheet music publishers and made an indelible impact on practices for the creation, production and promotion of American popular music.
 
Tin Pan Alley represents a number of milestones for the participation of African-American artists in mainstream music production. It arose at a time when significant post-Reconstruction limitations to the rights of African Americans were in place in the United States and substantial numbers of African Americans began to migrate to New York City in search of work and opportunities unavailable in the Jim Crow-era South. A number of Tin Pan Alley’s most notable songwriters were Black migrants whose participation in Tin Pan Alley was a milestone and a means for them to reclaim the epithets and stereotypes used against them in American entertainment of the era. Among other accomplishments, these artists brought ragtime, an upbeat musical genre that arose in Midwestern Black communities, into countless homes through the dissemination of their sheet music. On Tin Pan Alley, African-American musicians and publishers were able to create new and unprecedented opportunities for themselves in mainstream music production, and Tin Pan Alley represents their remarkable achievements despite the hostile climate of the time.
 
Image: 1937, New York Public Library, Lloyd Acker Collection
 Part IV  Harlem in the 1910s and 20s
 
After a real estate market collapse in Harlem in 1904-05, landlords began to reduce rents and to sell or lease their properties to real estate firms. African-American realtors, including Philip A. Payton and John M. Royall, were able to convince owners to sell or rent their properties to African-Americans tenants for the first time, and Harlem began its transition into an incomparable center of African-American life and culture. This section highlights landmarks that were built to serve the Black community of Harlem as the number of African-American residents there rose in the 1910s to the 1920s, at the start of the Great Migration (1916-1970).
 
 Part IV  Harlem in the 1910s and 20s
 
After a real estate market collapse in Harlem in 1904-05, landlords began to reduce rents and to sell or lease their properties to real estate firms. African-American realtors, including Philip A. Payton and John M. Royall, were able to convince owners to sell or rent their properties to African-Americans tenants for the first time, and Harlem began its transition into an incomparable center of African-American life and culture. This section highlights landmarks that were built to serve the Black community of Harlem as the number of African-American residents there rose in the 1910s to the 1920s, at the start of the Great Migration (1916-1970).
 
Harlem’s cultural and architectural significance is represented historic districts as well as individual landmarks, including stunning churches with rich African-American history. Which of these Harlem churches is a New York City landmark?
Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Abyssinian Baptist Church and Community House
Saint Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church
All of the above
Mother African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church (left) is home to the oldest African-American church congregation in New York and is the “mother” church of the A.M.E. Zion denomination. The 1923-35 church was designed by George W. Foster, Jr., one of the first Black architects in America and one of the first two African-American architects registered in the State of New Jersey. Abyssinian Baptist Church and Community House (center), built in 1922-23 by Charles W. Bolton & Son, is the second-oldest African-American church in New York City and is famous for its prominent ministers, Reverend Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., his son Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Reverend Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, and the current pastor Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (right) is the home of New York City’s oldest African-American Episcopal congregation which was established in Lower Manhattan in 1818. The neo-Gothic style church was designed in 1910-11 by Vertner Tandy and George W. Foster, Jr. two of America’s first African-American architects.
 
Left image: Mother A.M.E., c. 1925, Museum of the City of New York
Center image: Abyssinian, New York Public Library Digital Collections
Right image: St. Philip's, Brown Brothers via Columbia250
Mother African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church (left) is home to the oldest African-American church congregation in New York and is the “mother” church of the A.M.E. Zion denomination. The 1923-35 church was designed by George W. Foster, Jr., one of the first Black architects in America and one of the first two African-American architects registered in the State of New Jersey. Abyssinian Baptist Church and Community House (center), built in 1922-23 by Charles W. Bolton & Son, is the second-oldest African-American church in New York City and is famous for its prominent ministers, Reverend Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., his son Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Reverend Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, and the current pastor Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (right) is the home of New York City’s oldest African-American Episcopal congregation which was established in Lower Manhattan in 1818. The neo-Gothic style church was designed in 1910-11 by Vertner Tandy and George W. Foster, Jr. two of America’s first African-American architects.
 
Left image: Mother A.M.E., c. 1925, Museum of the City of New York
Center image: Abyssinian, New York Public Library Digital Collections
Right image: St. Philip's, Brown Brothers via Columbia250
This landmark in Harlem, named after a noted African-American poet, was the first large cooperative built for African Americans and was Manhattan’s earliest large garden apartment complex. What is the name of the landmark?
 
Image: LPC
Dunbar Apartments
Roosevelt Building
San Remo Apartments
Astor Row
The Dunbar Apartments, named after the famous poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906), occupies the entire block bounded by 149th and 150th streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues. Financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and designed by the architect Andrew J. Thomas, the complex was completed in 1928 and was destined, from the planning and sociological points of view, to occupy a pivotal place in the history of the Harlem community. The complex consists of six independent U-shaped buildings, containing 511 apartments clustered around a large interior garden court. With its lawns, shrubs and trees, the garden court provides a quiet, green oasis removed from the traffic and noise of the surrounding streets. Thomas avoided the cold monotony of many later housing projects by varying the heights of the buildings from five to six stories and introducing a variety of window alignments and sizes. The warm tones of the brick are set off by decorative accents of limestone. Wrought iron balconies and window guards and architectural terra cotta at the roof level complete the decorative scheme. The Dunbar Apartments were designated a New York City landmark in 1970.
 
Image: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) via Library of Congress
The Dunbar Apartments, named after the famous poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906), occupies the entire block bounded by 149th and 150th streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues. Financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and designed by the architect Andrew J. Thomas, the complex was completed in 1928 and was destined, from the planning and sociological points of view, to occupy a pivotal place in the history of the Harlem community. The complex consists of six independent U-shaped buildings, containing 511 apartments clustered around a large interior garden court. With its lawns, shrubs and trees, the garden court provides a quiet, green oasis removed from the traffic and noise of the surrounding streets. Thomas avoided the cold monotony of many later housing projects by varying the heights of the buildings from five to six stories and introducing a variety of window alignments and sizes. The warm tones of the brick are set off by decorative accents of limestone. Wrought iron balconies and window guards and architectural terra cotta at the roof level complete the decorative scheme. The Dunbar Apartments were designated a New York City landmark in 1970.
 
Image: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) via Library of Congress
 Part V  The Fight for Civil Rights
 
New York City was a locus of ardent, change-making activism in the movement to end legal discrimination and segregation in the United States. The landmark in this section includes the location of the planning headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, which  was instrumental in spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
 Part V  The Fight for Civil Rights
 
New York City was a locus of ardent, change-making activism in the movement to end legal discrimination and segregation in the United States. The landmark in this section includes the location of the planning headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, which  was instrumental in spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
Which northern Manhattan historic district was the location of the planning headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, an event which was instrumental in spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
 
Image: Werner Wolff, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Alfred Bendiner Memorial Collection, LC-DIG-ds-04560
SoHo–Cast Iron Historic District
Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District
Manhattan Avenue Historic District
Madison Square North Historic District
The Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Street Historic District consists of approximately 164 properties, primarily row houses with a handful of apartment and institutional buildings. The concentration of academics, reverends, doctors, activists, and musicians created the conditions that made this area home to an impressive variety of cultural, religious, civic, and political activity. The National Headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 was located at 170 West 130th Street in the historic district. The organizers demanded comprehensive and effective civil rights legislation. Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the march and from the headquarters he was involved in planning the route, participating in news conferences, and overseeing transportation and fundraising. Over 100 volunteers and paid employees at the headquarters worked towards mobilizing 100,000 people. Their efforts culminated in what at the time was the nation’s largest political demonstration that helped spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The historic district was designated in 2018.
 
Explore the Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District here.
 
Image: Streetscape with 164-170 West 130th Street, LPC
The Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Street Historic District consists of approximately 164 properties, primarily row houses with a handful of apartment and institutional buildings. The concentration of academics, reverends, doctors, activists, and musicians created the conditions that made this area home to an impressive variety of cultural, religious, civic, and political activity. The National Headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 was located at 170 West 130th Street in the historic district. The organizers demanded comprehensive and effective civil rights legislation. Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the march and from the headquarters he was involved in planning the route, participating in news conferences, and overseeing transportation and fundraising. Over 100 volunteers and paid employees at the headquarters worked towards mobilizing 100,000 people. Their efforts culminated in what at the time was the nation’s largest political demonstration that helped spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The historic district was designated in 2018.
 
Explore the Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District here.
 
Image: Streetscape with 164-170 West 130th Street, LPC
 Part VI  African-American Activists, Creatives, and Pioneers
 
African Americans have made immeasurable contributions to establishing and advocating for the inclusion of black artists in cultural circles. This section explores just a few of the landmarks and historic districts where boundary-breaking members of the African American creative community seeking personal and professional success have lived and worked in New York City.
 Part VI  African-American Activists, Creatives, and Pioneers
 
African Americans have made immeasurable contributions to establishing and advocating for the inclusion of black artists in cultural circles. This section explores just a few of the landmarks and historic districts where boundary-breaking members of the African American creative community seeking personal and professional success have lived and worked in New York City.
The Mount Morris Park Historic District and extension, which are home to one of New York City’s most vibrant African-American communities, became an important part of Black Harlem and home to numerous prominent Black residents by the late 1920s. Which civil rights activist, poet, and author of the memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) was a resident there for the last decade of her remarkable life?
 
Image: LPC
Gwendolyn Brooks
Maya Angelou
Audre Lorde
Lucille Clifton
By the late 1920s, the rows of handsome townhouses and notable churches in the Mount Morris Park Historic District and extension began to attract a substantial African-American population as owners in the area began to rent and sell to Black tenants for the first time. The area became home to and remains one of New York City’s most vibrant African-American communities.
 
The acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou (1928-2014) owned 58 West 120th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District from 2002-2014, splitting her time between that brownstone townhouse and North Carolina from 2004 onward. Angelou joined the Harlem Writer’s Guild in the late 1950s and published 36 books, including 7 autobiographies, over the course of her career. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
 
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
 
From Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, 1978 
Find the full poem here.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons courtesy William J. Clinton Presidential Library
By the late 1920s, the rows of handsome townhouses and notable churches in the Mount Morris Park Historic District and extension began to attract a substantial African-American population as owners in the area began to rent and sell to Black tenants for the first time. The area became home to and remains one of New York City’s most vibrant African-American communities.
 
The acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou (1928-2014) owned 58 West 120th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District from 2002-2014, splitting her time between that brownstone townhouse and North Carolina from 2004 onward. Angelou joined the Harlem Writer’s Guild in the late 1950s and published 36 books, including 7 autobiographies, over the course of her career. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
 
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
 
From Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, 1978 
Find the full poem here.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons courtesy William J. Clinton Presidential Library
In which historic district did the prominent poet, essayist, feminist, and Civil Rights activist Audre Lorde live for much of her important career?
 
Hint: Her house is also an individual landmark.
 
Image: Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images, courtesy of Robert Alexander
Greenwich Village Historic District
Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
St. Paul's Avenue–Stapleton Heights Historic District
Crown Heights North II Historic District
From 1972 to 1987, Audre Lorde (1934-1992) lived at 207 St. Paul’s Avenue in the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, where she wrote many of her most famous poems and books, including her third volume of poetry, From a Land Where Other People Live, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1973. In 1991, Lorde was appointed as the Poet Laureate for New York State for her contributions to literature and activism. Her neo-Colonial-style house, which was constructed in 1898, was designated an individual New York City landmark in 2019.  
 
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter 
before they bear. 
 
From “Who Said It Was Simple,” From a Land Where Other People Live, Audre Lorde, 1973
 
Image: 207 St. Paul's Avenue, LPC
From 1972 to 1987, Audre Lorde (1934-1992) lived at 207 St. Paul’s Avenue in the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, where she wrote many of her most famous poems and books, including her third volume of poetry, From a Land Where Other People Live, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1973. In 1991, Lorde was appointed as the Poet Laureate for New York State for her contributions to literature and activism. Her neo-Colonial-style house, which was constructed in 1898, was designated an individual New York City landmark in 2019.  
 
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter 
before they bear. 
 
From “Who Said It Was Simple,” From a Land Where Other People Live, Audre Lorde, 1973
 
Image: 207 St. Paul's Avenue, LPC
Harlem-born poet, novelist, essayist, and civil rights advocate James Baldwin “read every single book” in the New York Public Library’s 135th Street branch as a child and studied under the legendary Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen. In which historic district is the house where he lived from 1966-1987 located?
 
Hint: His house was designated an individual landmark in 2019.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Allan Warren
Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District
St. Nicholas Historic District
Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
Greenpoint Historic District
The author of canonical LGBT-themed novels and poems including Giovanni’s Room and “Guilt, Desire and Love,” and a leading voice of the Civil Rights movement with works including Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name, James Baldwin (1924-1987) grew up in Harlem and left New York for Paris in his mid-20s before returning to purchase the small apartment house at 137 West 71st Street in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District. The house, designated an individual landmark last year, became a gathering place for writers such as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, and Rosa Guy. Baldwin had previously lived at 81 Horatio Street in the Greenwich Village Historic District between 1958 and 1961.
 
Just as the birds above our heads
circling
are singing,
knowing
that, in what lies before them,
the always unknown passage,
wind, water, air,
the failing light
the failing night
the blinding sun
they must get the journey done. 
 
From “Munich, Winter 1973 (for Y.S.)”, from Jimmy’s Blues, James Baldwin
 
Image: 137 West 71st Street, LPC
The author of canonical LGBT-themed novels and poems including Giovanni’s Room and “Guilt, Desire and Love,” and a leading voice of the Civil Rights movement with works including Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name, James Baldwin (1924-1987) grew up in Harlem and left New York for Paris in his mid-20s before returning to purchase the small apartment house at 137 West 71st Street in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District. The house, designated an individual landmark last year, became a gathering place for writers such as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, and Rosa Guy. Baldwin had previously lived at 81 Horatio Street in the Greenwich Village Historic District between 1958 and 1961.
 
Just as the birds above our heads
circling
are singing,
knowing
that, in what lies before them,
the always unknown passage,
wind, water, air,
the failing light
the failing night
the blinding sun
they must get the journey done. 
 
From “Munich, Winter 1973 (for Y.S.)”, from Jimmy’s Blues, James Baldwin
 
Image: 137 West 71st Street, LPC
Which prominent Harlem Renaissance poet and chronicler of urban African-American life wrote the canonical work "Montage of a Dream Deferred" while a resident of 20 East 127th Street?  Hint: The house is a New York City landmark, named for the poet. 
 
Image: LPC
Claude McKay
Langston Hughes
Countee Cullen
Gloria Douglas Johnson
As a poet, columnist, novelist, dramatist, and activist, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the foremost creative voices of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a resident of the brownstone row house at 20 East 127th Street—now the individual landmark Langston Hughes House—from 1947-1967. Hughes wrote of his attraction to New York City: "More than Paris, or the Shakespeare country, or Berlin, or the Alps, I wanted to see Harlem, the greatest Negro city in the world."
 
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly. 
 
From “Dreams,” Langston Hughes, 1932
 
Image: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, facing left, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 
As a poet, columnist, novelist, dramatist, and activist, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the foremost creative voices of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a resident of the brownstone row house at 20 East 127th Street—now the individual landmark Langston Hughes House—from 1947-1967. Hughes wrote of his attraction to New York City: "More than Paris, or the Shakespeare country, or Berlin, or the Alps, I wanted to see Harlem, the greatest Negro city in the world."
 
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly. 
 
From “Dreams,” Langston Hughes, 1932
 
Image: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, facing left, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 
In addition to the Louis Armstrong House, in Corona, designated an individual landmark in 1988 and operating as a house museum, which Queens historic district contains homes of influential musicians, performers, athletes and professionals, including W.E.B. DuBois (left), “Fats” Waller, “Count” Basie, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald (center), Lena Horne, Joe Louis, and Jackie Robinson (right)?
 
Left image: DuBois, Library of Congress, C. M. Battery, 1919 
Center image: Fitzgerald, Library of Congress, William P. Gottleib, 1917
Right image: Robinson, Museum of the City of New York, Frank Bauman, 1949
Addisleigh Park Historic District
Sunnyside Gardens Historic District
Central Ridgewood Historic District
Douglaston Historic District
Although the area was subject to restrictive covenants that forbade the sale of its properties to African Americans in the 1930s-40s, by 1947 the Addisleigh Park Historic District was home to 48 African-American families, including those of district residents Lena Horne and Count Basie. In 1948, the United States Supreme Court ruled that restrictive covenants were in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and by 1952, the magazine Our World called Addisleigh Park home to the “richest and most gifted” African Americans in New York.  
 
Though usually associated with the New Orleans music scene, Louis Armstrong lived in his house in the Corona neighborhood for 28 years, almost half his life. His wife Lucille bought the house at 34-56 107th Street in 1943 without informing him, saying “Louis didn't live anywhere then and didn't want to.” Louis (1901-1971) and Lucille (1914-1983) Armstrong lived in the brick house for the rest of their lives. New York City Mayor John Lindsey said of Armstrong, "From a humble, two-room shack in New Orleans, he rose to the top of the world… and having risen to the top of the world, he came to live in Corona.”
 
Image: LPC
Although the area was subject to restrictive covenants that forbade the sale of its properties to African Americans in the 1930s-40s, by 1947 the Addisleigh Park Historic District was home to 48 African-American families, including those of district residents Lena Horne and Count Basie. In 1948, the United States Supreme Court ruled that restrictive covenants were in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and by 1952, the magazine Our World called Addisleigh Park home to the “richest and most gifted” African Americans in New York.  
 
Though usually associated with the New Orleans music scene, Louis Armstrong lived in his house in the Corona neighborhood for 28 years, almost half his life. His wife Lucille bought the house at 34-56 107th Street in 1943 without informing him, saying “Louis didn't live anywhere then and didn't want to.” Louis (1901-1971) and Lucille (1914-1983) Armstrong lived in the brick house for the rest of their lives. New York City Mayor John Lindsey said of Armstrong, "From a humble, two-room shack in New Orleans, he rose to the top of the world… and having risen to the top of the world, he came to live in Corona.”
 
Image: LPC
Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), a onetime resident of both the Crown Heights North II and Crown Heights North III historic districts, was a political pioneer, activist, and educator. Which of the following milestone accomplishments is she know for?
 
Image: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm announcing her candidacy for the presidential nomination, Thomas J. O’Halloran, Library of Congress
The first Black woman to be a member of the United States Congress
The first Black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States
The first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination
All of the above

Born in Bedford-Stuyvesant to Caribbean immigrant parents, Shirley Chisholm moved to 1094 Prospect Place in the Crown Heights North III Historic District with her parents in 1945, when she was in her early 20s. At the time, this neighborhood, with its hundreds of distinguished houses and apartment buildings constructed in the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and other popular late-19th and early-20th-century styles, was becoming one of the city’s largest and most prominent African- and Caribbean-American communities.

Chisholm was a graduate of Girls' High School (a designated New York City landmark), Brooklyn College, and Teachers College at Columbia University, whose involvement in local chapters of the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Democratic Party Club, and other activist organizations laid the foundation for her remarkable political career. In 1964, she became the second ever Black member of the New York State Legislature and was a resident of the Betsy Ross Apartments at 751 St. Mark's (upper left) in the Crown Heights North II Historic District in 1965-66 while she held that office. She was a resident of 1165 Sterling Place (lower left) when she won election to the United States Congress in 1968 and became its first Black female member, and a resident of 1028 St. John’s Place, which became her campaign headquarters, when she undertook her run for President of the United States in 1972; both addresses are in the Crown Heights North III Historic District.
 
Chisholm became the first Black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and the first woman to appear in a United States presidential debate. Although she did not secure the nomination, her presidential campaign was inspirational to countless Americans, in particular to women and African Americans who later went on to pursue elective office or otherwise work for social and political change.
 
"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
– Shirley Chisholm
 
Image, upper left: 751 St. Mark's Avenue, LPC
Image, lower left: 1165 Sterling Place, LPC
Image, right: Shirley Chisholm presidential campaign poster, Library of Congress

Born in Bedford-Stuyvesant to Caribbean immigrant parents, Shirley Chisholm moved to 1094 Prospect Place in the Crown Heights North III Historic District with her parents in 1945, when she was in her early 20s. At the time, this neighborhood, with its hundreds of distinguished houses and apartment buildings constructed in the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and other popular late-19th and early-20th-century styles, was becoming one of the city’s largest and most prominent African- and Caribbean-American communities.

Chisholm was a graduate of Girls' High School (a designated New York City landmark), Brooklyn College, and Teachers College at Columbia University, whose involvement in local chapters of the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Democratic Party Club, and other activist organizations laid the foundation for her remarkable political career. In 1964, she became the second ever Black member of the New York State Legislature and was a resident of the Betsy Ross Apartments at 751 St. Mark's (upper left) in the Crown Heights North II Historic District in 1965-66 while she held that office. She was a resident of 1165 Sterling Place (lower left) when she won election to the United States Congress in 1968 and became its first Black female member, and a resident of 1028 St. John’s Place, which became her campaign headquarters, when she undertook her run for President of the United States in 1972; both addresses are in the Crown Heights North III Historic District.
 
Chisholm became the first Black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and the first woman to appear in a United States presidential debate. Although she did not secure the nomination, her presidential campaign was inspirational to countless Americans, in particular to women and African Americans who later went on to pursue elective office or otherwise work for social and political change.
 
"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
– Shirley Chisholm
 
Image, upper left: 751 St. Mark's Avenue, LPC
Image, lower left: 1165 Sterling Place, LPC
Image, right: Shirley Chisholm presidential campaign poster, Library of Congress
Which community facility now bears the name of a celebrity who devoted 25 years of service to the organization after his retirement?
 
Image: LPC
Barrymore Theater
Wilson Major Morris Community Center
Jackie Robinson YMCA
Hamilton Fish Park Play Center
The Jackie Robinson YMCA (formerly the Young Men’s Christian Association Building, Harlem Branch) was an important center of Harlem intellectual and social life and was associated with notable African-American figures such as James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Paul Robeson, John Henrik Clarke, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison.
 
The YMCA was a segregated organization from the time of its founding in 1851 until 1946. African Americans were encouraged to organize and build their own facilities. The 1918-19 facility on West 135th Street was based on a standardized set of design guidelines issued by the YMCA organization. In the time of the Great Migration, such community facilities were greatly needed. When the functions of the organization outgrew the building, a second building was constructed across the street—the 135th Street Branch, now the Harlem YMCA, also a New York City landmark—and the older building became home to the Boys Department of the YMCA. Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) and his teammate Roy Campenella (1921-1993) acted as coaches and mentors starting in 1947 and Robinson was involved with the organization for the remainder of his life. The Jackie Robinson YMCA was designated an individual landmark in 2016.
 
Image: MCNY, 1949
The Jackie Robinson YMCA (formerly the Young Men’s Christian Association Building, Harlem Branch) was an important center of Harlem intellectual and social life and was associated with notable African-American figures such as James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Paul Robeson, John Henrik Clarke, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison.
 
The YMCA was a segregated organization from the time of its founding in 1851 until 1946. African Americans were encouraged to organize and build their own facilities. The 1918-19 facility on West 135th Street was based on a standardized set of design guidelines issued by the YMCA organization. In the time of the Great Migration, such community facilities were greatly needed. When the functions of the organization outgrew the building, a second building was constructed across the street—the 135th Street Branch, now the Harlem YMCA, also a New York City landmark—and the older building became home to the Boys Department of the YMCA. Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) and his teammate Roy Campenella (1921-1993) acted as coaches and mentors starting in 1947 and Robinson was involved with the organization for the remainder of his life. The Jackie Robinson YMCA was designated an individual landmark in 2016.
 
Image: MCNY, 1949
The Apollo Theater in Harlem is one of the foremost American venues to spotlight the work of African-American performers and is known worldwide as a site "where stars are born and legends are made." Which of these eminent African-American entertainers got her start at the Apollo Theater?
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ajay Suresh
Ella Fitzgerald
Lena Horne
Billie Holiday
All of the above
The Apollo Theater at 253 West 125th Street in Harlem was built in 1913-14 to the design of architect George Keister. Under its lease as a burlesque theater from 1914-33, the venue did not permit entrance to African-American audience members or performers. In 1934, in the wake of a substantial migration of Black New Yorkers to Harlem and in light of Harlem’s reputation as the urban cultural capital of Black America in the Harlem Renaissance, theater owner Sidney Cohen sought to draw the African-American population of Harlem to his 125th Street Apollo Theater with new events, entertainment formats, and advertisements. From then on, because its longtime emphasis was on the work of African-American artists, the Apollo was without equal in terms of its impact on the careers of generations of African-American performers and their contributions to American entertainment.
 
In 1934, the Apollo held its first Wednesday night amateur contest, the first prize of which was a week's engagement at the theater. As contest winners, Ella Fitzgerald (far left), Pearl Bailey (left), Sarah Vaughan, and others won significant boosts in their careers as professional singers. Billie Holiday (right) and Lena Horne (far right) debuted at the Apollo Theater in 1935 with Count Basie Orchestra.
 
The Apollo Theater was designated both an individual and interior landmark in 1983. Both designation reports contain partial listings of the Apollo’s incredible performers before the time of designation, noting which were winners of the legendary amateur contest.
 
Image, far left: Ella Fitzgerald, ca. Nov 1946, Library of Congress
Image, left: Pearl Bailey, Wikimedia Commons/William Morris Agency/Public Domain
Image, right: Billie Holiday, ca. Feb 1947, Library of Congress
Image, far right: Lena Horne, Wikimedai Commons/Public Domain
 
The Apollo Theater at 253 West 125th Street in Harlem was built in 1913-14 to the design of architect George Keister. Under its lease as a burlesque theater from 1914-33, the venue did not permit entrance to African-American audience members or performers. In 1934, in the wake of a substantial migration of Black New Yorkers to Harlem and in light of Harlem’s reputation as the urban cultural capital of Black America in the Harlem Renaissance, theater owner Sidney Cohen sought to draw the African-American population of Harlem to his 125th Street Apollo Theater with new events, entertainment formats, and advertisements. From then on, because its longtime emphasis was on the work of African-American artists, the Apollo was without equal in terms of its impact on the careers of generations of African-American performers and their contributions to American entertainment.
 
In 1934, the Apollo held its first Wednesday night amateur contest, the first prize of which was a week's engagement at the theater. As contest winners, Ella Fitzgerald (far left), Pearl Bailey (left), Sarah Vaughan, and others won significant boosts in their careers as professional singers. Billie Holiday (right) and Lena Horne (far right) debuted at the Apollo Theater in 1935 with Count Basie Orchestra.
 
The Apollo Theater was designated both an individual and interior landmark in 1983. Both designation reports contain partial listings of the Apollo’s incredible performers before the time of designation, noting which were winners of the legendary amateur contest.
 
Image, far left: Ella Fitzgerald, ca. Nov 1946, Library of Congress
Image, left: Pearl Bailey, Wikimedia Commons/William Morris Agency/Public Domain
Image, right: Billie Holiday, ca. Feb 1947, Library of Congress
Image, far right: Lena Horne, Wikimedai Commons/Public Domain
 
Which hotel associated with Malcolm X, Duke Ellington, Sugar Ray Robinson, Josephine Baker and Lena Horne was known as “Harlem’s first great hotel” and “the Waldorf of Harlem”?
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ajay Suresh
Hotel Marseilles
Chelsea Hotel
Hotel Wolcott
Hotel Theresa
The Hotel Theresa was built in 1912-13 as an apartment hotel intended for longer stays. Most of the rooms were configured as suites with one or more bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, and room service. Notable for its inventive use of terra cotta decorative elements, the hotel was a major work of the architecture firm of George and Edward Blum. When it was desegregated in 1940, the Hotel Theresa was one of the few hotels of its kind to permit African-American tenants and it became an epicenter of Harlem society. The Hotel Theresa was a popular site for grand weddings and banquets, as well as rallies and press conferences. Many prominent African Americans lived at the hotel and it was home to notable African-American organizations such as Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity.
 
Image: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King fly over the Theresa Hotel, in a mural by Faith Ringgold, 1996, at West Side IRT Station, 125th Street, Harlem, 2011, Library of Congress
The Hotel Theresa was built in 1912-13 as an apartment hotel intended for longer stays. Most of the rooms were configured as suites with one or more bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, and room service. Notable for its inventive use of terra cotta decorative elements, the hotel was a major work of the architecture firm of George and Edward Blum. When it was desegregated in 1940, the Hotel Theresa was one of the few hotels of its kind to permit African-American tenants and it became an epicenter of Harlem society. The Hotel Theresa was a popular site for grand weddings and banquets, as well as rallies and press conferences. Many prominent African Americans lived at the hotel and it was home to notable African-American organizations such as Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity.
 
Image: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King fly over the Theresa Hotel, in a mural by Faith Ringgold, 1996, at West Side IRT Station, 125th Street, Harlem, 2011, Library of Congress
In what historic district did author Alex Haley interview Malcolm X for his celebrated “Autobiography”?
 
Image: "Autobiography" cover, Library Cat
Greenwich Village
Fort Greene
Mount Morris Park Extension
St. Albans
In summer 1963 Malcolm X began meeting with Haley at 92 Grove Street, a small apartment building in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Located between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue South, these 50 interviews resulted in the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in October 1965.
 
Did you know that this powerful and important book has been published in 30 languages?
 
Image: 92 Grove Street, LPC
In summer 1963 Malcolm X began meeting with Haley at 92 Grove Street, a small apartment building in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Located between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue South, these 50 interviews resulted in the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in October 1965.
 
Did you know that this powerful and important book has been published in 30 languages?
 
Image: 92 Grove Street, LPC
Which two famous African-American artists resided at the Beaumont Apartments at 730 Riverside Drive?
 
Image: LPC
Marian Anderson and Ralph Waldo Ellison
Charles Mingus and Ella Fitzgerald
Diahann Carroll and Alex Haley
Billie Holiday and Richard Wright
The Beaumont Apartments were built in 1912-1913 and designed by architects George and Edward Blum. The building was designated a New York City landmark in 2013. The Beaumont housed a number of famous tenants over the years, including U.S. Representative Jacob K. Javits; architect Alfred Fellheimer; legendary African-American contralto Marian Anderson; and African-American writer Ralph W. Ellison, author of Invisible Man (1952), who lived in the building for four decades until his death in 1994.
 
Marian Anderson (left, 1897-1993) resided at the Beaumont during the 1960s. She was a pioneering classical singer, who performed in the US and Europe, gave a famous concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 to a crowd of more than 75,000 and broadcast on the radio, and in 1955 became the first African American to perform a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.
 
Ralph Waldo Ellison (right, 1914-1994) was one of the Beaumont’s longest residents, residing there with his wife, the activist Fannie McConnell Ellison, from 1953 until their deathes in 1994 and 2005, respectively. Ellison wrote both his critically acclaimed first novel, Invisible Man, and his last novel, Juneteenth, while residing at the Beaumont Apartments. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, and there is a monument dedicated to him in Riverside Park.
 
Left image: Marian Anderson, Library of Congress
Right image: Ralph Waldo Ellison, Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The Beaumont Apartments were built in 1912-1913 and designed by architects George and Edward Blum. The building was designated a New York City landmark in 2013. The Beaumont housed a number of famous tenants over the years, including U.S. Representative Jacob K. Javits; architect Alfred Fellheimer; legendary African-American contralto Marian Anderson; and African-American writer Ralph W. Ellison, author of Invisible Man (1952), who lived in the building for four decades until his death in 1994.
 
Marian Anderson (left, 1897-1993) resided at the Beaumont during the 1960s. She was a pioneering classical singer, who performed in the US and Europe, gave a famous concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 to a crowd of more than 75,000 and broadcast on the radio, and in 1955 became the first African American to perform a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.
 
Ralph Waldo Ellison (right, 1914-1994) was one of the Beaumont’s longest residents, residing there with his wife, the activist Fannie McConnell Ellison, from 1953 until their deathes in 1994 and 2005, respectively. Ellison wrote both his critically acclaimed first novel, Invisible Man, and his last novel, Juneteenth, while residing at the Beaumont Apartments. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, and there is a monument dedicated to him in Riverside Park.
 
Left image: Marian Anderson, Library of Congress
Right image: Ralph Waldo Ellison, Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
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