Harlem’s Zelda Wynn Valdes, 1940’s

The legendary Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. Continue Reading →


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Pod’s And Jerry’s, A Legendary Harlem Speakeasy, Billie Holidays First Gig, And More

Pod’s and Jerry’s, officially the Catagonia Club, was a cabaret and jazz club on 133rd Street in Harlem, New York from 1925-1948. Continue Reading →


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Owney “The Killer” Madden Owner Of Harlem’s Cotton Club, 1925-1931

Owen Vincent Madden, December 18, 1891 – April 24, 1965, known as Owney Madden and nicknamed “The Killer”, was a leading underworld figure in Manhattan, most notable for his involvement in organized crime during Prohibition. Continue Reading →


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In 1949, Hugh Hefner Commissions Harlem’s Zelda Wynn Valdes To Design The Playboy Bunny Custome

The legendary Harlemite Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes, June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001, was an African-American fashion designer and customer based in Harlem who designed the original Playboy Bunny costume. Continue Reading →


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Mae West’s Harlem State Of Mind, 1930’s (video)

Harlem has always been a combination of high and low, from the 1920’s to the 1930’s Mae West made a name for herself on the Vaudeville circuit with plays as a connoisseur of Harlem culture. Continue Reading →


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Leonard Harper, Harlem, New York 1925

leonard harper in harlem1Leonard Harper (born April 9, 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama- died February 4, 1943, Harlem, New York) was a producer /stager/ choreographer in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s. Continue Reading →


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