The Changing Face of Harlem is a new one-hour documentary that examines the revitalization of Harlem told through the deeply personal stories of its residents, small business owners, politicians, developers, and clergy.
The piece takes a critical look at Harlem’s history, early development, and its present transformation, and highlights how a community deals with the challenge of maintaining identity while accepting change.
Three central characters serve as a thread throughout the film providing personal insight into the changes.
Frank, affectionately known as the “mayor of 114th street,” has lived on the same block since the 1940. Tekima, a florist located in Mart 125 located across from the Apollo Theater on 125th street, opened in 1986. Asadah, an educator who teaches youth in East Harlem.
Other contributors include Congressman Charlie Rangel, Rev. Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church, local architect Zevilla Preston, Nellie Bailey, Director of Harlem Tenants Alliance, Karen Phillips, co-founder of Abyssinian Development Corporation, and Russell and Maurice Grey, father and son owners of Edward Sisters Realty, a black owned and operated agency that has serviced the Harlem community for three generations.