Category: History

April 19th, 2014 by HarlemGuy

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The latest addition to the HarlemCondoLife store was recently featured in the New York Times.

“All God’s Dangers” is an all but forgotten but critically important sharecropper’s story that won a National Book Award in 1975.

It is an oral history of an illiterate black Alabama sharecropper. Its author, the man who compiled it from extensive interviews, was writer Theodore Rosengarten.

“There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness….Now there is another one, Nate Shaw’s.” — The New York Times

“Extraordinarily rich and compelling…possesses the same luminous power we associate with Faulkner…the same marvelous idiom, the same wry, sardonic humor…[it] will stun the listener-reader, hold him in its grip, and never really quite let go of him? — Washington Post

“Eloquent and revelatory. When, finally, this big book is put down, one feels exhilarated. This is an anthem to human endurance.” — Studs Terkel, New Republic –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw


New From: $11.99 USD In Stock

Posted in Books, HarlemCondoLife, History Tagged with: , , , , ,

April 4th, 2014 by HarlemGuy

We are living at the intersection of many crossroads.  One such crossroad is  race and wealth.

One of the manifestations of which is Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.   Which is exactly what it sounds like: an interactive exploration of the world’s richest folk.

The site is an interesting blend of design, functionality and content.  It is also interesting by what it omits – exploration by race or ethnic origin.  I tried to solve this in the long term by sending the Bloomberg team an email requesting this feature (no response yet).     But in the short term, I did some plain old research using Google, and then looked for the results (also published in Forbes) in the tool.

I’m not going to spoil the results.  I am going to let you enjoy using the site to satisfy your own curiosities.

But I can tell you that of the top 10 richest blacks in the world, I found one of them in the Index.   Lower down in the list than I had hoped.  Not someone I would have expected.  A man.  The second richest black is a woman.  She is not on the list since her wealth at almost 4 billion apparently does not make the cut.  Both their fortunes originate in and emanate from Africa.

It’s interesting to note how little we hear about Africa’s slow, steady and inexorable advancement as a world economic power.  It’s no wonder that many nations and businesses – Big oil, telecom, finance and the Chinese, have set their sights on Africa, and are investing heavily there.

Posted in HarlemCondoLife, History Tagged with: , , , ,

March 16th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American Jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era.

Jimmie Lunceford is the odd man out in jazz history. This bandleader made no waves with his musicianship – his preferred instrument was the conductor’s baton – and he possessed neither the elegance of Ellington nor the hipster hauteur of Calloway. But Lunceford knew how to entertain an audience, and he led one of the finest jazz bands of the 1930s. When Lunceford’s ensemble took a booking at the Cotton Club, following in the footsteps of Cab and the Duke, dancers would hardly have missed a beat. “Harlem Shout” demonstrates the core virtues of this orchestra: its swinging riff-based charts, its hot and polished section work, and (another calling card of Lunceford’s bands) high-note trumpet theatrics, provided here by Paul Webster. Like a hearty band of soldiers, this ensemble always maintained discipline under fire, and there was inevitably plenty of hot stuff around when folks like Sy Oliver and Eddie Durham were handing out the parts. Perhaps if Lunceford had lived longer – he died, reportedly of a heart attack (although under suspicious circumstances), at age 45 – he might have been fêted as elder statesman of jazz. But, as it stands, he is little more than a half-remembered name for most younger jazz fans. Tis pity, ’cause this band was sublime.  Reviewer Credit: Ted Gioia

Read Wikipedia on Jimmie Lunceford stating rumors about his death (suspicious circumstances) that he was actually poisoned in Seaside, Oregon by a restaurant owner.

Tain’t What You Do – Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford and His Dance Orchestra 1936 (LIVE)

Harlem Shout – Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra

Posted in Art and Culture, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Dance, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, History, Music, New York City, Sunday Jazz Corner, West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 20th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

– Malcolm X

* Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925.  On February 21, 1965, he was preparing to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom when a man who was seated in the front row of the 400-person audience rushed forward and shot him.  Then two other men charged the stage and shot Malcolm X several times.  He was pronounced dead at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital at 3:30 pm.

A Public viewing was held at Harlem’s Unity Funeral Home from February 23 through February 26.  Estimates of the number of mourners attending varied from 14,000 to 30,000.  The funeral was held on February 27 at the Faith Temple of the Church of God in Christ in Harlem.  A local television station broadcast the funeral live.  Actor and activist Ossie Davis delivered the eulogy, where he described Malcolm X as “our shining black prince.”

Posted in Central Harlem, Community, East Harlem, Harlem, History, New York City, North Harlem, Quote, South Harlem (SOHA), West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 15th, 2014 by HarlemGuy

black stats via harlemcondolife

I recently had an opportunity to listen to and then meet Monique W. Morris and Khalil Gibran Muhammad discussing Monique’s new book: Black Stats.

This book is a vast compendium of revealing facts about blacks in the 20th Century.  It is the first ever work of it’s kind.

When asked what was the most surprising fact she came across,  Ms. Morris mentioned a timely stat regarding views on gay marriage.  She also shared a stat regarding incarceration rates that people might find surprising.   Mr. Muhammad provided a fascinating perspective on how facts can be used to illuminate or  perpetuate bias.

Monique W. Morris is co-founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. She is a Soros Justice Fellow and formerly served as Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy, and Research for the NAACP. A faculty member at St. Mary’s College of California, she is the author of the novel Too Beautiful for Words.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library and the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.

This and other books, music, etc can be found on HarlemCondoLife’s recently upgrade store, located here.

Posted in Books, History Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 21st, 2014 by HarlemGuy

church via HarlemCondoLife.com twitter: HarlemHCL

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine could become a landmark under a deal between the church, Community Board 9 and developers of a new 14-story building set to be built alongside the cathedral.

Community Board 9 approved a resolution asking  the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the entire cathedral campus with an exception for a 14-story, 428-unit apartment building.  Revenue from that project will fund church repairs, upgrades and ongoing operations.  The 121-year-old  cathedral is in need of millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades.

Previously the church leased land on 110th Street and Morningside Avenue to the developers who built Avalon Morningside Park, a 20-story luxury apartment building, in 2007 that includes 20 percent affordable housing.

The area from the church eastward towards Frederick Douglass Circle is part of what is known as “Gateway To Harlem”, which continues to undergo dramatic change, and into what some are now calling SOHA (South Harlem).

For more information: St. John the Divine Campus Could be Landmarked in Deal With CB 9 – Morningside Heights – DNAinfo.com New York.

See our previous post See our post previous post on Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

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Posted in Community, Faith/Religion, Harlem Real Estate, HarlemCondoLife, History, New York City, Real Estate, South Harlem (SOHA), Worship Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 19th, 2014 by HarlemGuy

via harlemcondolife martin-luther-king-jr-day-L-xGOagM1

Join us in Harlem to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday.

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2014

2:00 PM-3:30 PM. Riverside Church Hosts Rev. Michael Walrond, Martin Luther King III & Others to Celebrate MLK Jr.’s Legacy.  2:00-3:30 PM in the Nave, 490 Riverside Drive (bet. 120th & 122nd), Morningside Heights. |www.theriversidechurch.org 

 

3:00 PM – Apollo Uptown Hall | WNYC & Apollo Present Dreams for NYC Inspired by MLK: WNYC’s annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration.  FREE and open to the public. Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street | Ph: 212.531.5300 |www.apollotheater.org

 

3:00 PM – Jazz for Martin with the Hamiet Bluiett Group: Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church presents a concert in celebration of MLK with Hamiet Bluiett.  $10. Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church, 16-20 Mount Morris Park West @ 122nd Street | Ph: 212.831.6800

 

9:00 PM – 2:00 AM – MLK Weekend Celebration with Sundae Sermon and Soul Summit  $5 Cover. Ginny’s Supper Club, 310 Lenox Avenue @ 125th Street | www.ginnyssupperclub.com

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 20, 2014

 

9:00 AM-2:30 PM – 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr “Nonviolence: Seeks to Win Friendship and Understanding”: The Abyssinian Baptist Church Ministry of Christian Social Concern.  Continental Breakfast and Lunch Served. Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th Street | Ph: 212.862.7474 |http://abyssinian.org

 

1:00 PM – Big Onion Walking Tours | MLK Day Tour in Historic Harlem: At the center of African-American history and culture.  $20. Rain or shine. Visit the site to book in advance or meet the group at 1PM @ the Northwest corner of 135th Street & Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X) – in front of the Schomburg Center. | Tour Hotline: 800.606.WALK |www.bigonion.com/tour/martin-luther-king/

via Harlem Celebrates MLK | MORNINGSIDER.  See their excellent coverage for rich details regarding each event.

Posted in Free!, HarlemCondoLife, History, Holiday Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 31st, 2013 by harlemcondolife

IDL TIFF file

People say never talk about religion (or politics) because everyone has their own beliefs and opinions and it always ends in an argument.  Keeping this in mind, here are some end of the year thoughts on all religions to consider coming into the New Year, 2014:

Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Confucianism, Buddhism, Seventh-Day Adventist, Mormonism, however you were raised or whatever religion you have chosen as a vehicle to help you on your path to a higher place, should be respected and not judged.  So much of religion has to do with location and where we were born into the world, geographically.  This is sometimes lost in the bigger picture of things and definitely complicates our political differences.

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Lets try together globally in 2014 to learn more about one another around the world and accept each other for who we are as well as our differences.  There are similarities with many religions and beliefs that people would be surprised to learn about.  It is really quite interesting and empowering to learn about other cultures, traditions and languages.  More and more our society is becoming multi cultural and globally in tune.  As we continue to grow and understand we can learn that our differences are sometimes more similar than we thought.

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Posted in Art and Culture, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, East Harlem, Education, Faith/Religion, HarlemCondoLife, History, New York City, North Harlem, South Harlem (SOHA), West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 15th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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It’s been awhile since our last podcast but we are happy to say that Blue Skies (Vol. 1) is now ready for FREE DOWNLOAD on iTunes for your listening pleasure.  On this mix you can expect to hear a few modern day remixers from trap to club mixed together with old jazz classics.  Including a spoken word intro from “Lady Sings The Blues” soundtrack, the Billie Holiday story.  Also a spoken word jazz remix of Ursula Rucker and a beautiful track by Meshell Ndegeocello – Four Women (Pour use ame souveraine) –  a dedication to Nina Simone.

See the full playlist below.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee, a martini or glass of wine and enjoy some classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right.

DOWNLOAD: Blue Skies (New Harlem Meets Old Jazz) Vol. 1

PLAYLIST –

1. Intro – Billie Sneaks Into Dean & Dean’s / Swingin’ Uptown
2. Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Billie Holiday
3. God Bless The Child (Remix Edit) – Billie Holiday
4. Corcovado (TOKiMONSTA Remix) Getz & Gilberto
5. Supa Sista (Society Nu’mericana Jazz Mix) – Ursula Rucker
6. Georgia On My Mind (Brown Stone Mix) – Ray Charles
7. I Love…Dub (Edit) – Funky DL
8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (DJ Carnage & Victor Niglio Mix) – Dinah Washington
9. Bei mir bist du schon (Dub) – Waldeck
10. Avenue du Gare (Martini Dub Mix) – Tape Five
11. Four Women (Dedication to Nina Simone) – Meshell Ndegeocello
12. Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Mix) – Ella Fitzgerald
13. My Man – Billie Holiday
14. My Man (Toro Y Moi Dub Mix) – Billie Holiday
15. So Nice (Summer Samba) (Azari & Ill Mix) – Astrud Gilberto
16. Haunted Town (Remix Edit) – Lena Horne
17. Bodysnatchin’ (On the Isle) – Rubberoom
18. Right Here – DJ Mitsu
19. Fly Me To The Moon (Kaskade Remix) – Astrud Gilberto
20. Tequila (Pistel Remix) – The Champs
21. Mama Guela (STUHR Remix) – Tito Rodriguez
22. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix) – Nina Simone
23. Feeling Good (Bassnectar Dub Edit) – Nina Simone
24. All Night – Billa Quase
25. Just Move (Remix Edit) – Uneeq

Posted in Art and Culture, Dance, Free!, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, History, Music, New York City, Podcasts Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 14th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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King of the stride, Fats Waller was a colorful comedic personality and jazz legend in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.  Waller was an influential pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano.  His best-known compositions, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.

Fats Waller (Thomas Wright Waller), was born in New York City in 1904.  He started playing piano when he was six and by the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater.  Within twelve months he had written his first rag (ragtime) song.

By the age of fifteen he became a professional pianist, overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, working in cabarets and theaters.  Waller went on to become one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe.  He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Squeeze Me”.

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s.  He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts.  While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI.  He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather  which you can view a video clip of below.  It was released in 1943 just months before his death.

Multi-talented Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion.  Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, “Ain’t Misbehavin'”).  In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records.  These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were ever performed on a full-sized church organ.

His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, that included trumpeter Don Hirleman.  Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill.  He contracted pneumonia on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on December 15, 1943.  Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board.  Coincidence or providential?

More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.  Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., delivered the eulogy, and said that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”

I highly recommend FATS WALLER “compilation” on iTunes.
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See below 2 Videos by Fats Waller.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943) – FATS WALLER

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter (1935) – FATS WALLER

Posted in Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Education, Entertainment, HarlemCondoLife, History, Music, New York City, Sunday Jazz Corner Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,