Category Archives: History

Petition Seeks New Name for Rikers Island Over Historic Ties to Slavery

 Jacob Morris is circulating a petition to change the name of Rikers Island based on the island's namesake's connection to slavery.
RIKERS ISLAND — The head of the Harlem Historical Society wants Rikers Island renamed based on the namesake family’s connection to slavery.

The embattled jail complex, which has been beset with scandal over poor treatment of inmates and calls to shut it down, gets its name from the family of Abraham Rycken, a Dutch immigrant who settled in New York in the 1600s, according to the New York Historical Society.


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Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street

Bobby Womack Photo: 159512

We continue to be fascinated by “where Harlem begins and ends”. Not just in terms of Harlem’s physical boundaries.  But in terms of the many changes happening in and around Harlem which alter day to day life within Harlem, as well as people’s perceptions of what Harlem has been, is and can/will be.

Which is why it’s important to stay connected to artifacts connecting us to Harlem’s past.

To that end, a reader from Central Harlem and attending Columbia  University reintroduced us to Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street.  Thank you!

The video and lyrics are presented below.  Please take a moment to listen, enjoy, reflect and perhaps most importantly – share.

VIDEO

LYRICS

I was the third brother of five
Doing whatever I had to do to survive
I’m not saying what I did was alright
Trying to break out of the ghetto was a day to day fight

Been down so long, getting up didn’t cross my mind
I knew there was a better way of life and I was just trying to find
You don’t know what you’ll do until you’re put under pressure
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that’s weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won’t let the junkie go free

Across 110th Street
Woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street, oh

I got one more thing I’d like to yell about right now
Hey brother, there’s a better way out
Snorting that coke, shooting that dope man, you’re copping out
Take my advice, it’s either live or die
You’ve got to be strong, if you want to survive

The family on the other side of town
Would catch hell without a ghetto around
In every city you find the same thing going down
Harlem is the capital of every ghetto town
Help me sing it

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that’s weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won’t let the junkie go free

Oh, across 110th Street
A woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street
Yes, he can

Oh, look around you, look around you
Look around you, look around you, yeah

Songwriters
WOMACK, BOBBY

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Read more: Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street Lyrics | MetroLyrics

-Herve Jean-Baptiste

Infamous Harlem: Izola Ware Curry Who Stabbed King in 1958 Dies

Izola Ware Curry, Who Stabbed King in 1958, Dies at 98
www.nytimes.com
In 1958, Ms. Curry stabbed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a Harlem book signing — an episode that a decade later would become a rhetorical touchstone in the last oration of his life.


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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

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“Your feet will bring you
to where your heart is.”

  • Irish Proverb

Happy St. Patty’s Day Harlem!