HWM Props: The Top 7 Harlem Books To Read This Summer

June 3, 2023

Our editors are at it again, they have compiled book picks right before the Harlem Book Fair and more this summer from our partners at Amazon.

Harlem: Lost and Found 

In this beautifully illustrated study, historian Michael Henry Adams presents an evocative portrait of the various and divergent Harlems of yesteryear, from the Native American settlements discovered by the Dutch in the seventeenth century to the vibrant community of present-day preservationists.

Price: $ 62.06

Dance Theatre of Harlem

This definitive history is a celebration of the first African-American ballet company, from its 1960s origins in a Harlem basement to the performances, community engagement, and education message of empowerment through the arts for all which the Company continues to carry forward today. Illustrated with hundreds of never before seen photos from the founding during the Civil Rights Movement by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook through to today, this visual history tells the story that fueled Dance Theatre of Harlem’s growth into one of the most influential and revolutionary American ballet companies of the last five decades.

Price: $ 25.00

Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America

In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less backbreaking work onshore. As factory owners sought their labor and anti-Asian immigration laws closed in around them, these men built clandestine networks that stretched from the northeastern waterfront across the industrial Midwest.

Price: $ 26.00

Harlem Renaissance

As Rampersad notes, “Harlem Renaissance” remains an indispensable guide to the facts and features, the puzzles and mysteries, of one of the most provocative episodes in African-American and American history.” Indeed, Huggins offers a brilliant account of the creative explosion in Harlem during these pivotal years. Blending the fields of history, literature, music, psychology, and folklore, he illuminates the thought and writing of such key figures as Alain Locke, James Weldon Johnson, and W.E.B. DuBois and provides sharp-eyed analyses of the poetry of Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes. 

Price: $ 19.95

Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir

With his now-legendary store on 125th Street in Harlem, Dapper Dan pioneered high-end streetwear in the 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own innovative, glamorous designs. But before he reinvented haute couture, he was a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, a teen who daringly gambled drug dealers out of their money, and a young man in a prison cell who found nourishment in books. In this remarkable memoir, he tells his full story for the first time.

Price: $ 7.40

On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance

A revealing personal account by the legendary basketball star traces his childhood in Harlem, his professional career, and the pivotal influence of the Harlem Renaissance on black culture in the United States, in a volume that features interview excerpts from Magic Johnson, Quincy Jones, Spike Lee, Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, and others—100,000 first printing.

Price: $ 25.98

Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives 

New York Times photo editor Darcy Eveleigh made an unwitting discovery when she found dozens of never-before-published photographs from Black history in the crowded bins of the Times archives in 2016. She and three colleagues, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave, and Rachel L. Swarns, began exploring the often untold stories behind the images and chronicling them in a series entitled “Unpublished Black History” later published by the newspaper.

Price: $ 17.99

HWM Props is our roundup of all the Harlem products in the world of Harlem World from Harlem World Magazine. 

Harlem World Magazine participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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