Columbia Next Door

Throughout the last century of Columbia's history, the University has had a relationship with the surrounding neighborhood of Harlem. Harlem politicians, writers, and musicians have found public audiences at the University while members of the university community have been involved in Harlem's cultural life. Faculty members participating in C250's History of Harlem Web site recall some specific instances of this interaction.

Farah Griffin

Petry spent a lot of time taking all kinds of classes when she was in Harlem, but probably the classes that she took that were the most important to her were a series of writing workshops that she took at Columbia University, taught by Mabel Louise Robinson, who became a mentor to her.

They were legendary writing seminars, and Petry'd heard, someone told her if you want to be a writer you really should enroll in this seminar. She came and she had an interview with the teacher, with Ms. Robinson, who encouraged her, While she was in the class, she stopped getting rejection slips for her fiction, she finally began to publish her fiction. And so she always credits that class and that teacher with really setting her on her way as a writer.

David Dinkins

I was one of those people back in the '60s, along with Basil Paterson and others who were picketing up here at Columbia, and so I'm proud of Columbia's involvement in the broader community.

Bob O'Meally

One of my colleagues when I taught at Howard University was named Arthur P. Davis, from Virginia. He came to Columbia because he said to do so in the '20s was to have a front row seat on the Harlem Renaissance.

Arts and Culture
The flowering of Harlem music, theater, and writing is explored by Columbia faculty and recalled by eminent African Americans social leaders.

The Neighborhood
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.

The Alexander Gumby Scrapbooks
A treasure in the collections of the University Libraries, these scrapbooks tell the recent history of African Americans through decades of clipping by one Harlem enthusiast.

Keeping members of nearby communities informed about services, events, and projects of general interest.

Programs for residents and community organizations beyond the Columbia campus.

Write Columbia's History
Columbia's history, as seen by those who have studied, taught, and worked here.
C250 Celebrates | C250 Perspectives | C250 Forum | C250 Events | C250 To Go |
Contact C250 | Privacy Policy | About This Web Site | © Copyright 2004 Columbia University