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Katherine Butler-Jones - 409

Educator, playwright, and author, Butler-Jones grew up at 409 Edgecombe Avenue, and, judging by her literary output and the oral history she shared with While We Are Still Here, the people in that building helped shape her creativity. Describing 409 as a socio-economically mixed residence, where one could find, “doctors, lawyers, a number runner, hot goods, and a hair dresser,” among other types of folk, Butler-Jones transformed her early experiences into a play called 409 Edgecombe Avenue: The House On Sugar Hill. She also penned an essay in Herb Boyd’s Harlem Reader about Madam Stephanie St. Clair, the numbers queen of Harlem, who also lived at 409. Of Butler-Jones’s memoir, Deeper Roots: An American Odyssey, Boyd stated, “…How wonderful to relive these splendid moments with a superb storyteller."

Katherine Butler-Jones