With its gleaming shopping centers and refurbished row houses, today’s Harlem bears little resemblance to the neighborhood of the midcentury urban crisis. In The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem, first published in 2017 by Harvard University Press, Brian D. Goldstein traces Harlem’s Second Renaissance to a surprising source: the radical social movements of the 1960s that resisted city officials and fought to give Harlemites control of their own destiny. Inspired by the civil rights movement, young activists envisioned a Harlem built by and for its low-income, predominantly African American population. In the succeeding decades, however, the community-based organizations they founded came to pursue a very different goal: a neighborhood with national retailers and increasingly affluent residents.
Sculpture artist Zaq Landsberg created and presented the illustrations for this piece during the last administration, prior to COVID-19 and our citywide shutdown. It was inspired by Buddhist imagery, and meant to depict our iconic American landmark, weary, reclining, and asking the question ~ “what stage of America are we in.” COVID-19 closed our city, and Reclining Lady lay waiting, like all of us, for better days.
Continuing with The Studio Museum in Harlem ~ outside the walls, inHarlem announced its next two projects in and around the community, in collaboration with Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
The exhibition, Marching On: The Politics of Performance at Storefront for Art and Architecture explores the legacy of marching and organized forms of performance within the African-American community, as “agents of cultural and political expression, celebrating collective identities and asserting rights to public space and visibility.”
Marching On: The Politics of Performance – Final performance on Saturday, June 9th from 5-6:30pm at Storefront for Art and Architecture, 97 Kenmare Street.