Harlem was a Dutch village that was settled in the 1650’s, and was named after a city in the Netherlands called Haarlem. Harlem became a destination for many African-Americans during the the Great Migration in hopes for better job opportunities and to provide a better life for their families as well. By the 1910’s African Americans only account for 10% of Harlem’s population, and by the 1930’s they made up 70% of the population. With the population rise of African Americans in Harlem it is no surprise it became a mecca for the culture and people along with a major tourist destination. I have complied a short list of things to do while visiting Harlem.
Dine at a Soul-food Restaurant
Take your picture at the famous Apollo Theater and catch a show
- Prior to it being the Apollo the building opened in 1914 as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater, during this time in history blacks were not allowed to attend or perform. In 1934, it later became the Apollo Theater and was known as the center for live entertainment for African Americans.
- Be sure to check out their calendar in advance regarding future events.
Catch some live music
Take a walk down the historical Striver’s Row, view the beautiful homes, and book a walking tour.
- Striver’s Row is located on 138th and 139th between 7th avenue (Adam Clayton Powell Blvd) and 8th avenue (Fredrick Douglass Blvd)
- Originally, these homes were built for upper middle class white families. In the early 1900’s alot of the homes were abandoned by the whites and prominent and wealthy blacks were able to purchase the homes they were once denied before.
- To book a tour in Harlem I recommend using Harlem Heritage Tours BECAUSE all tours are conducted by those were BORN and RAISED in Harlem.
Check out the Schomburg Collection for Research in Black Culture
- It has been recognized as having some of the rarest Afrocentric artifacts of any public library in the United States.
- The center host art exhibits, readings, discussions, and theatrical events that are open to the pubic as well. Feel free to check out their calendar.