Throughout the twentieth century, Harlem has served as the home and key inspiration to generations of novelists, poets, musicians, and actors. The pace of New York City, the blend of backgrounds of the people who settled in Harlem, and the difficulties associated with living in Harlem were among the experiences that found expression in theater, fiction, and music, among other art forms.
Robert O'Meally, in a video interview, discusses stride piano and Harlem's other great musical traditions and why that richness couldn't have emerged anywhere else. View
A. Philip Randolph (18891979) President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, recalls his interactions with the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. View
Farah Griffin, in a video interview, remembers best-selling novelist Ann Petry, whose work as a reporter, actress, and consumer activist in Harlem is reflected in her rich descriptions of the neighborhood and its people. View
Dorothy Height, the civil-rights leader, moved to Harlem in 1929. She went club-hopping with W. C. Handy, and attended plays at the Lafayette Theatre. View
Casey Blake, in a multimedia presentation, reflects on the disappointments of the Harlem Renaissance. Despite the explosion of white interest in Harlem, African American culture continued to be misunderstood. View
Langston Hughes was a pioneering writer and Columbia student. The New Yorker magazine reflected on Hughes at Columbia in a piece published after his death in 1967. View
"Harlem, New York, was a place where for the first time Negroes got out into the mainstream of the dramatic world. You had extraordinarily large dramatic movements." —A. Philip Randolph
Harlem at different times was a magnet for Jews, West Indians, and African Americans from across the United States.
Reflections on Adam Clayton Powell, the odyssey of David Dinkins and political culture itself in Harlem.
Keeping members of nearby communities informed about services, events, and projects of general interest.
Programs for residents and community organizations beyond the Columbia campus.
Quotations on Columbia’s role in the Harlem community.
The Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia.
One of the most prominent black Americans of the 1930s and 1940s, Robeson won critical and popular acclaim for his stage and screen roles.
From Sid Luckman to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Columbians have often been ahead of their time.