…heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced, and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures...
—From the United Nations "Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Creativity,"
In the Face of What We Remember: Oral Histories of 409 and 555 EdgecombeAvenue, the definitive documentary of two buildings that were, perhaps, the sweetest addresses on Harlem’s Sugar Hill. The socioeconomically mixed dwellings were home to the entire early Black leadership of the NAACP, including James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as Paul Robeson, Count Basie, and Cassandra Wilson. In the Face of What we remember will be screened in the Inwood Film Festival’s Series, “Long Shorts: Black Heritage,” with two other filmsEbb Tide andBirth of a Union.
Fierce and Feminist in Harlem: Women and the Life of a Community will look at artists, activists, journeywomen, and others in various cultural and political phenomena whose presence and work in the Harlem community exemplify the concept of feminism. From the numbers racket, to the Harlem Renaissance, to involvement in the Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, and the Young Lords, Fierce and Feminist will consider the extraordinary influence women have had within the Harlem community and beyond and will honor women who were at the intersection of art, politics, and social change, such as pianist Hazel Scott, anthropologist Eslanda Goode Robeson, writer, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston and activist Yuri Kochiyama.
Presented by the Apollo Theater Education Program in collaboration with
While We Are Still Here.
Karen D. Taylor, Founder/Executive Director, While We Are Still Here
Author of When the World Was Their Stage: A History of the Young Lords in New York, 1969-1976
(Forthcoming, University of North Carolina Press)
While We Are Still Here (WWSH) ensures that the “post-gentrification” community of Harlem and beyond will honor and find a meaningful connection to the legacy of African American achievement, and its paramount importance to world culture.
To create lasting tributes to the movers and shakers of Edgecombe Avenue and beyond by erecting, publishing, and presenting: a monument, a book, and a series of public events. WWSH will also collect oral histories.
Will educate, enshrine, and preserve the extraordinary legacy of two historical landmark buildings that were vital to the intellectual, cultural, social, and political advancements of the Harlem community and the African Diaspora.
Programming In the Arts and Humanities.
LaShawn D. Harris, Author of Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy, Associate Professor of MSU Dept.
Karen Chilton, Actor, Dramatist, Author of Hazel Scott
Photo credit: James E. Alexander
Rosemari Mealy, Journalist, Activist, Author of Fidel & Malcolm