Harlem

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Harlem, East 96th Street-141st Street (east), West 110th Street-155th Street (central), West 125th Street-155th Street (west).
Harlem was added to New York City in 1873. Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural, and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Harlem has been defined by a series of boom-and-bust cycles, with significant ethnic shifts accompanying each cycle. Black residents began to arrive en masse in 1904, with numbers fed by the Great Migration. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Harlem neighborhood was the locus of the "Harlem Renaissance", an outpouring of artistic and professional works without precedent in the American black community. However with job losses in the time of the Great Depression and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased significantly.

New York's revival in the late 20th century has led to renewal in Harlem as well. By 1995, Harlem was experiencing social and economic socio-cultural changes. Though the percentage of residents who are black peaked in 1950, the area remains predominantly black.

Harlem Location and boundaries:
Harlem stretches from the East River west to the Hudson River between 155th Street; where it meets Washington Heights—to a ragged border along the south. Central Harlem begins at 110th Street, at the northern boundary of Central Park; Spanish Harlem extends east of Harlem's boundaries south to 96th Street, while in the west it begins north of Upper West Side, which gives an irregular border west of Morningside Avenue. Harlem's boundaries have changed over the years; as Ralph Ellison said, "Wherever Some live uptown is considered Harlem."
The Harlem neighborhood contains a number of smaller districts:
* Central Harlem
o Astor Row, centered on 130th Street
o Mount Morris, extending west from Marcus Garvey Park
* Spanish Harlem, also known as East Harlem or El Barrio (east of Fifth Avenue)
o Strivers' Row, centered on 139th Street
* West Harlem (west of St. Nicholas Avenue and north of 123rd Street)
o Hamilton Heights, around the Hamilton Grange
o Manhattanville, north of Morningside Heights
o Sugar Hill
The New York City Police Department patrols five precincts located within Harlem. The areas of West Harlem are served by the 30th Precinct, the areas of Central Harlem are served by the 28th and 32nd Precincts, and the areas of East Harlem are served by the 23rd and 25th Precincts.
Harlem is represented by New York's 15th congressional district, the New York State Senate's 30th district, the New York State Assembly's 68th and 70th districts, and the New York City Council's 7th, 8th, and 9th districts.

Harlem landmarks:
* 125th Street
* Abyssinian Baptist Church
* Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building
* Apollo Theater
* Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
* Astor Row
* City College of New York
* Cotton Club
* Duke Ellington Circle
* Dunbar Apartments
* First Corinthian Baptist Church
* Frederick Douglass Circle
* Graham Court
* Hamilton Grange
* Hamilton Heights
* Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts
* Harlem Children's Zone
* Harlem Hospital Center
* The Harlem School of the Arts
* Harlem Stage
* Harlem YMCA
* Hotel Theresa
* James Bailey House
* Langston Hughes House
* La Marqueta
* Lenox Lounge
* Mink Building
* Minton's Playhouse
* Morningside Park
* Mount Morris Park Historic District
* Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
* El Museo Del Barrio
* Museum of the City of New York
* National Black Theater
* Rucker Park
* St. Martin's Episcopal Church (formerly Trinity Church) designed by William Appleton Potter
* Savoy Ballroom (no longer open)
* St. Nicholas Houses
* Strivers' Row
* Studio Museum in Harlem
* Sylvia's Soul Food

Harlem Education:
Among the public schools for children are charter schools. In 2010, about one in five age-eligible children in Harlem are enrolled in charter schools.
The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, diagonally across 125th Street from the Apollo Theater, opened its doors in September 2007 in the former Blumstein's Department Store building. The New York Public Library operates the Harlem Branch Library at 9 West 124th Street, the 115th Street Branch Library at 203 West 115th Street, and the 125th Street Branch Library at 224 East 125th Street, near Third Avenue.

Harlem Recent history:
By changing federal and city policies, including fierce crime-fighting and a concerted effort to develop the retail corridor on 125th Street. Starting in 1994, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone funneled money into new developments after four decades of decline, Harlem's population bottomed out in the 1990 census, at 101,026. It had decreased by 57% from its peak of 237,468 in 1950. Between 1990 and 2006 the Harlem neighborhood's population grew by 16.9%, including new middle-class residents of African-American, European-American, Hispanic and Asian descent.
Harlem began to see rapid gentrification in the late 1990s. The number of housing units in Harlem increased 14% between 1990 and 2000. The rate of increase has been much more rapid in recent years. Property values in Central Harlem increased nearly 300% during the 1990s, while the rest of New York City saw only a 12% increase. Even empty shells of buildings in the Harlem neighborhood were, as of 2007, routinely selling for nearly $1,000,000 each. Since completing his second term in the White House in 2001, former U.S. President Bill Clinton has maintained his office at 55 West 125th Street. After years of false starts.

The Harlem Renaissance was a time of amazing artistic production, but blacks were sometimes excluded from viewing what their peers were creating. Some jazz venues, including most famously the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington played, and Connie's Inn, were restricted to whites only. Others were integrated, including the Renaissance Ballroom and the Savoy Ballroom. Culture and environment as a center of black life in the 1920s, Harlem was the center of a flowering of black culture that became known as the Harlem Renaissance. Since the 1920s, this period of Harlem's history has been highly romanticized. With the increase in a poor population, it was also the time when the Harlem neighborhood began to deteriorate to a slum, and some of the storied traditions of the Harlem Renaissance were driven by poverty, crime, or other social ills. For example, in this period, Harlem became known for "rent parties", informal gatherings in which bootleg alcohol was served and music played. Harlem Neighbors paid to attend, and thus enabled the host to make his or her monthly rent. Though picturesque, these parties were thrown out of necessity. Further, over a quarter of black households in Harlem made their monthly rent by taking in lodgers, who sometimes brought bad habits or even crime that disrupted the lives of respectable families. Urban reformers campaigned to eliminate the "lodger evil" but the problem got worse before it got better; in 1940, still affected by the Depression, 40% of black families in Harlem were taking in lodgers.
The high rents and poor maintenance of housing stock, which Harlem residents suffered through much of the 20th century, was not merely the product of racism by white landlords. Though precise statistics are not available, wealthier blacks purchased land in Harlem, and even by 1920, a significant portion of the Harlem neighborhood was owned by blacks. By the late 1960s, 60% of the businesses in Harlem responding to surveys reported ownership by blacks, and an overwhelming fraction of new businesses were black owned after that time.
In 1928, the first effort at housing reform was attempted in Harlem with the construction of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Houses, backed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. These were intended to give working people of modest means the opportunity to live in and, over time, purchase houses of their own. The Great Depression hit shortly after the buildings opened, and the experiment failed. They were followed in 1936 by the Harlem River Houses, a more modest experiment in housing projects. And by 1964, nine giant public housing projects had been constructed in the Harlem neighborhood, housing over 41,000 people.
The Apollo Theater opened on 125th Street on January 26, 1934, in a former burlesque house. The Savoy Ballroom, on Lenox Avenue, was a renowned venue for swing dancing, and was immortalized in a popular song of the era, "Stompin' At The Savoy". In the 1920s and 1930s, between Lenox and Seventh avenues in central Harlem, over 125 entertainment places operated, including speakeasies, cellars, lounges, cafes, taverns, supper clubs, rib joints, theaters, dance halls, and bars and grills.
Though Harlem musicians and writers are particularly well remembered, the community has also hosted numerous actors and theater companies, including the New Heritage Repertory Theater, National Black Theater, Lafayette Players, Harlem Suitcase Theater, The Playwrights, American Black Theater, and the Rose McClendon Players. In 1936, Orson Welles produced his famous black Macbeth at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem. Grand theaters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were torn down or converted to churches. Harlem lacked any permanent performance space until the creation of the Gatehouse Theater in an old pumping station on 135th Street in 2006.
Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of NYC's blacks, but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America. The character of the community changed in the years after the war, as middle-class blacks left for the outer boroughs (primarily the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn) and suburbs in the post-World War II era, The percentage of Harlem that was black peaked in 1950, at 98.2%. Thereafter, Hispanics and, more recently, white residents have increased their share.
Black Harlem has always been religious. The Harlem area is home to over 400 churches. Major Christian denominations include Baptists, Methodists (generally African Methodist Episcopalian, or "AME"), Episcopalians, and Roman Catholic. The Abyssinian Baptist Church has been a particularly potent organization, long influential because of its large congregation, and recently wealthy as a result of its extensive real estate holdings.
There are mosques in Harlem, including the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque No. 7 (formerly Mosque No. 7 Nation of Islam), the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood and Masjid Aqsa. The Mormon church established a chapel at 128th Street in 2005. Many of the area's churches are "storefront churches", which operate out of an empty store, or a building's basement, or a converted brownstone townhouse. These congregations may have fewer than 30–50 members each, but there are hundreds of them. Judaism, too, maintains a presence in Harlem, including The Old Broadway Synagogue, Temple Healing from Heaven, and Temple of Joy. A non-mainstream synagogue of black Jews known as Commandment Keepers, was based in a synagogue at 1 West 123rd Street until 2008. Especially in the years before World War II, Harlem produced popular Christian charismatic "cult" leaders, including George Wilson Becton and Father Divine.
Since 1965, the community has been home to the Harlem Boys Choir, a famous touring choir and education program for young boys, most of whom are black. The Girls Choir of Harlem was founded in 1988.
Harlem is also home to the largest African American Day Parade which celebrates the culture of African diaspora in America. The parade was started up in the spring of 1969 with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. as the Grand Marshal of the first celebration.
Arthur Mitchell, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, established Dance Theatre of Harlem as a school and company of classical ballet and theater training in the late 1960s. The company has toured nationally and internationally. Generations of theater artists have gotten a start at the school.
Manhattan's contribution to hip-hop stems largely from the artists who have Harlem roots, including Kurtis Blow, and P. Diddy. Harlem is also the birthplace of popular hip-hop dances such as the Harlem shake, toe wop, and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Harlem Crime:
In 1981, 6,500 robberies were reported in Harlem. The number dropped to 4,800 in 1990, perhaps due to an increase in the number of police assigned to the Harlem neighborhood. With the end of the "crack wars" in the mid 90s and with the initiation of aggressive policing under mayor Rudolph Giuliani, crime in Harlem plummeted. In 2000, 1,700 robberies were reported. There have been similar changes in all categories of crimes tracked by the New York City Police Department. In the 32nd Precinct, which services Central Harlem above 127th Street, for example, between 1990 and 2008, the murder rate dropped 80%, the rape rate dropped 58%, the robbery rate dropped 73%, burglary dropped 86%, and the total number of crime complaints dropped 73%.
As a neighborhood with a long history of marginalization and economic deprivation, Harlem has long been associated with high rates of crime. In the 1920s, the Jewish and Italian-American Mafia played major roles in running the whites-only nightclubs and the speakeasies that catered to a white audience. Mobster Dutch Schultz controlled all liquor production and distribution in Harlem during Prohibition in the 1920s.
Rather than compete with the established mobs, black gangsters concentrated on the "policy racket," also called the Numbers game, or bolita in Spanish Harlem. This was a gambling scheme similar to a lottery that could be played, illegally, from countless locations around Harlem. According to Francis Ianni, "By 1925 there were thirty black policy banks in Harlem, several of them large enough to collect bets in an area of twenty city blocks and across three or four avenues."
By the early 1950s, the total money at play amounted to billions of dollars, and the police force had been thoroughly corrupted by bribes from numbers bosses. These bosses became financial powerhouses, providing capital for loans for those who could not qualify for them from traditional financial institutions, and investing in legitimate businesses and real estate. One of the powerful early numbers bosses was a woman, Madame Stephanie St. Clair.
The popularity of playing the numbers waned with the introduction of the state lottery, which has higher payouts and is legal. The practice continues on a smaller scale among those who prefer the numbers tradition or who prefer to trust their local numbers bank over the state.
1940 statistics show about 100 murders per year in Harlem, "but rape is very rare." By 1950, essentially all of the whites had left Harlem and by 1960, much of the black middle class had departed. At the same time, control of organized crime shifted from Jewish and Italian syndicates to local black, Puerto Rican, and Cuban groups that were somewhat less formally organized. At the time of the 1964 riots, the drug addiction rate in Harlem was ten times higher than the New York City average, and twelve times higher than the United States as a whole. Of the 30,000 drug addicts then estimated to live in New York City, 15,000 to 20,000 lived in Harlem. Property crime was pervasive, and the murder rate was six times higher than New York's average. Half of the children in Harlem grew up with one parent, or none, and lack of supervision contributed to juvenile delinquency; between 1953 and 1962, the crime rate among young people increased throughout New York City, but was consistently 50% higher in Harlem than in New York City as a whole.
Injecting heroin grew in popularity in Harlem through the 1950s and 1960s, though the use of this drug then leveled off. In the 1980s, use of crack cocaine became widespread, which produced collateral crime as addicts stole to finance their purchasing of additional drugs, and as dealers fought for the right to sell in particular regions, or over deals gone bad.

Recent Harlem 1990–present:
The city's sale of confiscated houses was intended to improve the Harlem community by placing property in the hands of people who would live in them and maintain them. In many cases, the city would even pay to completely renovate a property before selling it (by lottery) below market value. The program was soon beset by scandal—buyers were acquiring houses from the city, then making deals with churches or other charities in which they would inflate the appraised values of the properties and the church or charity would take out federally guaranteed 203(k) mortgage and buy it. The original buyer would realize a profit and the church or charity would default on the mortgage (presumably getting some kind of kickback from the developer). Abandoned shells were left to further deteriorate, and about a third of the properties sold by the city were tenements which still had tenants, who were left in particularly miserable conditions. The Harlem properties, and new restrictions on Harlem mortgages, bedeviled the Harlem residential real estate market for years.
From 1987 through 1990, the city removed long-unused trolley tracks from 125th Street, laid new water mains and sewers, installed new sidewalks, curbs, traffic lights, street lights, and planted trees. Two years later, national chains opened branches on 125th Street for the first time – The Body Shop opened a store at 125th street and 5th Avenue (still extant as of 2010), and a Ben & Jerry's ice cream franchise employing formerly homeless people opened across the street. The development of the region would leap forward a few years later with the introduction of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, which brought $300 million in development funds and $250 million in tax breaks.
There were plans for museums, shopping malls,and movie theaters; However, these plans were nearly dismissed in 1995 by the "Freddy's Fashion Mart" riot, which culminated in political eight deaths, and rampid arson. These riots did not resemble their predecessors, and were organized by black activists against Jewish shop owners on 125th street.
Five years later, the revitalization of 125th Street resumed, with the construction of a Starbucks outlet backed in part by Magic Johnson (1999), the first supermarket in Harlem in 30 years, the Harlem USA retail complex, which included the first first-run movie theater in many years (2000), and a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem (2001). In the same year, former president Bill Clinton took office space in Harlem. In 2002, a large retail and office complex called Harlem Center was completed at the corner of Lenox and 125th. There has been extensive new construction and rehabilitation of older buildings in the years since.
In January 2010, The New York Times reported that in "Greater Harlem," which they defined as running from the East River to the Hudson River, from 96th Street to 155th Street, blacks ceased to be a majority of the population in 1998, with the change largely attributable to the rapid arrival of new white and Hispanic residents. The paper reported that the population of the area had grown more since 2000 than in any decade since the 1940s.
The Harlem neighborhood's changes have provoked some discontent. James David Manning, pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary church on Lenox Avenue, has received press for declaring a boycott on all Harlem shops, restaurants, other businesses, and churches other than his own. He believes that this will cause an economic crash that will drive out white residents and drop property values to a level his supporters can afford. There have been rallies against gentrification.