Historic architecture, cultural landmarks, and more
With Eric K. Washington
“There is so much to see in Harlem!” Columbia Community Scholar Eric K. Washington borrows Langston Hughes’ apt quote to kick off a decidedly quirky overview tour. Walking between Harlem’s visceral and commercial main streets–from 135th Street down to 125th Street–the tour takes several cues from the subject of Eric’s upcoming biography of James H. Williams (1878-1948): once Chief of Grand Central Terminal’s army of “Red Caps,” a role that made him an influential force of the Harlem Renaissance. Waypoints reflecting Harlem as a varying seat of Victorian gentility, African-American migration, Jazz-age jive and current gentrification may include such sites and themes as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; WPA-era art projects; the exuberant, and often gender-bending performance scene; the Harlem YMCA; Strivers’ Row; New Amsterdam Musical Association; Astor Row, Apollo Theatre and much more.