Harlem has long been synonymous with black culture. In the early 20th century the neighborhood was the setting for African-American-led movements in music, literature, dance and art—collectively known as the Harlem Renaissance—that featured innovators like Bessie Smith, Langston Hughes and Josephine Baker. That legacy is still evident today, especially along the area’s main thoroughfare, 125th Street, which is anchored by the Apollo Theater. Other highlights include art at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and stalwart restaurants like Sylvia’s and Amy Ruth’s (which serve soul food par excellence), as well as newer entries like Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster.
Harlem is a hotbed for live music, museums and virtually any kind of dining.
Historic music venues, a wealth of cultural institutions and world-class dining make Harlem a must-see destination.
It's showtime at one of NYC's most famous attractions, a center of black culture. Schedule
The Malcolm X and Dr.
The Mama Foundation for the Arts offers "The Harlem Gospel Experience" through its acclaimed productions of shows such as "Mama, I Want to Sing: The Next Generation" and "Sing, Harlem, Sing!" which are presented weekly at Harlem's Dempsey Theater (127 W.)
The Poet’s Den Gallery and Theater hosts art and photo exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, dance performances and dramatic productions—both original works and classics by the likes of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.
Puerto Rican-born black scholar and bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg curated this important library—a national research center devoted to collecting and preserving documents that reflect the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world—until his death is 1938.
Casa Frela Gallery emphasizes the rich artistic history of Harlem with exhibitions that draw on the past—like a recent show that examined images of black journalists from antebellum through the civil rights era—as well as the present-day culture of Harlem, which the gallery engages through enterprises like the community-based Art Wall Project of Harlem.
Stickball—a baseball variation specially developed to be played in busy urban areas that lacked parks and fields—flourished in New York City around the turn of the 20th century, thriving among the City's many immigrant communities.
Opened in homage to painter Joseph David Jacobs, this Harlem art gallery (the brainchild of Jacobs' son, Yusuf Rashad) is directed by Harlem's own Paula Coleman and features the work of modern and contemporary artists across the world.