150th Commemoration of the U.S.C.T. 26th Regiment In Harlem

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2 Replies to “150th Commemoration of the U.S.C.T. 26th Regiment In Harlem”

  1. Emerging Harlem

    It is both refreshing and affirming to have received such an article!

    I was raised in Harlem and have always considered it MY HOME and over the years…more than 50, when I am asked “where I am from or where my accent is from?” I proudly say “I am from Harlem, NYC”

    This is no doubt the reason that a dear friend, actually college room mate of the late 60’s, sent this to me. (She is also an author of an African American book on genealogy, which is probably how she came across your publication.)

    I am wondering who is behind the scenes of this publication; 2-whether it is going to focus on the glory of Harlem and its the African American (AA) people, who have lived in Harlem since the early 1900’s; or 3-is it being published as a way to show the merging, of what can be easily observed on a trip to Harlem now. A trip that reveals it being overrun with high risers -to expensive for most AA to afford, shops, boutiques, freshly planted trees and flowers and specialized delis. All for the purpose of “squeezing out” families that have called Harlem home for more than a century; while at the same time making it more attractive to entice newer residents.

    Upon getting this article initially I was really excited, then as I began to reply to this, it suddenly hit me about what might really be going on here…I began remembering how it makes me feel with each year that I return and how the place I called home was destroyed and a huge project-type condo structure is sitting there in place of it…I remember how it feels to see so many non-AA pushing baby carriages and strolling by and looking so absolutely comfortable, along side street that now have trees, where there were none before.ie, no doubt, gentrification at its optimum.

    It seems that the beginning of the end of the Harlem I grew up in started around the late 70’s when my mother and my brother. Philip, were trying to convince me to return home to live upon finishing school. They were thrilled to tell me that Harlem residents could purchase a brownstone (tenement) for a $1.00! Further that a cousin and owner of a famous Funeral Parlor in Harlem, had been designated to was to assist with purchases.
    Though seriously intrigued, I was to embroiled in finishing my graduate degree, in California, at the time. However, my brother did make a purchase, but later found out that there were several other “hoops to jump through” before it could be finalized, and was not able to sustain his purchase.

    My immediate family members are ALL now just a memory. When I return home each year, to visit family and friends, it is always so bitter-sweet; as I observe the demise of what I fondly remember as home and see the foreboding changes -not just in Harlem, but all over the City, with it being parceled out into areas with strange names that NEVER existed before: Delany, SoHo, NoHo, Murray Hill, Turtle Bay and worst of all -Morningside Heights!! THAT is an area carved OUT of Harlem, where my home used to be. My apartment building was destroyed and replaced and gentrified! So-called Morningside Heights is almost a third of Harlem!!

    Going home is not home. Yet, at times both refreshing and disturbing because I see some positive uplift of the community as a whole. I see a new generation coming along and stepping into this new way of life. This includes 3 of my nieces. Yes, they are Philip’s grand daughters, who I view as carrying on our family roots as residents representing the new New York City. Two of which graduated from Columbia University. All three are apparently loving it and thriving in the evolving Harlem, just as I once did.

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