The Harrises of Harlem: Eight Generations—A Photography and Art Exhibit

Sugar Hill 2017

2017 When Sugar Hill Was Sweet​SM:

​Truth2Power Films and While We Are Still Here Present

In the Face of What We Remember:
​Oral Histories of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue

October Date TBD

Presentation of video, produced by Truth2Power Films and While We Are Still Here.


The history of theater in Harlem has been long and illustrious. This free-ranging discussion will touch upon the legacies of theater companies that include W.E.B. Du Bois and Regina Anderson’s KRIGWA; Langston Hughes and Louise Thompson’s Suitcase Theater; and the famed American Negro Theater on the development of successive companies that include those developed by Amiri Baraka, Gertrude Jennette, Barbara Ann Teer, Voza Rivers, and Jamal Joseph. 

Dramatic Reading (Excerpts)

Daniel Carlton|Benja K. Thomas

“Our Harlem,” by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee,

The Chip Woman’s Fortune, by Willis Richardson Pigfoot

Mary, Says Goodbye to the Harlem Renaissance, by Daniel Carlton

When Sugar Hill Was Sweet received the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, the Office of the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and the Office of City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

In the Face of What We Remember: Oral Histories of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue   

#Reading Across Harlem is inspired by One Book/One City, a project of the American Library Association.

In 2017-18, While We Are Still Here (WWSH) will use, as a primer, The Harlem Reader: A Celebration of New York’s Most Famous Neighborhood From the Renaissance to the 21stCentury, edited by Herb Boyd. 

Four events will accompany this community read, which will allow the people of Harlem and elsewhere to come together in dialogue. The participants will gain an understanding of the important events that took place in Harlem that resonated locally, nationally, and internationally. 

#Reading Across Harlem

Earlier Harlem from Alexander Hamilton to Marcus Garvey

Saturday, October 7, 2017  |  4-6

A discussion by Herb Boyd that covers the first nine chapters of The Harlem Reader
(pp. 1-33). 

#Reading Across Harlem

Radicals, Rhythm, Religion, and West Indians

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Countee Cullen Library

Herb Boyd, Jeffrey B. Perry

#Reading Across Harlem

Theater-In-Black In Harlem

The Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dramatic Reading—Featuring a delightful reading of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee’s
“Our Harlem,” by Harlem actors, Daniel Carlton and Benja K. Thomas 

Voza Rivers, Susan Watson-Turner

Moderator: Byron C. Saunders 

 Looking Back, Moving Forward

While We Are Still Here (WWSH) is offering a broad range of programming to highlight the extraordinary history and influence of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue, as well as Harlem as a whole.

Join us for great experiences!

Echoes of the Eras II: Terri Lyne Carrington Quartet and #Reading Across HarlemKick Off,
featuring Book Signing by Herb Boyd

Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn, High Bridge Park, 155thStreet and Edgecombe AvenueHarlem, NY

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 3-7


Terri Lyne Carrington is a GRAMMY® Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader. After an extensive touring career , spanning more than twenty years, with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Joe Sample, Cassandra Wilson, Clark Terry, Dianne Reeves, and others, she returned to her hometown where she was appointed professor at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music. Terri Lyne also received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 2003.

Melba Joyce is a singer’s singer. She has performed with Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, the Count Basie Orchestra, and many others. She was also a background singer, who toured with Smokey Robinson. She is also a professor of music at the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.

The Sugar HillQuartet is led by multi-reed player and flutist, Patience Higgins. The group has an outstanding flexibility and an extremely broad repertoire, which is why it has been the bedrock of the Harlem jam-session scene for more than twenty years. The Quartet’s members each have extraordinary resumes that include stints with some of the world’s most renowned jazz performers. They include, the Count Basie Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Savion Glover, Lionel Hampton, Elvin Jones, Cecil McBee, Hilton Ruiz, McCoy Tyner, Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Fortune, the Pointer Sisters, Tito PuenteMax Roach, Jimmy Scott, and Sun Ra. 

An Indigogo Campaign To Help Fund An Important, Necessary Documentary Film

CALL US  (929) 266-3952

Produced by Jamal Joseph, TRUTH2POWER, and While We Are Still Here

The Mildred Harris Jackson Collection 

Leroy Neiman Arts Center, 2785 Frederick Douglass Boulevard

November  8-26

Friday, November 11, 6-9, Opening Reception

Mildred Harris Jackson was born in Darlington, South Carolina and raised in Harlem. She is ninety years old. At the age of ten, her father, Eddy Early Harris, bought her a Kodak box camera, and she began to capture her family and the streets of the “Black Capital of the World” through the camera’s lens. The pictures she took, during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, are an important chronicle of Harlem’s social history, and include events at the famed Savoy Ballroom, her sister’s wedding at Mt Olivet Baptist Church, and family outings in Central Park.

“The Harrises of Harlem” draws from her archive, which also includes a James Vanderzee portrait of her baby brother. Ms. Jackson's collection includes  her great grandfather, who was born during the slavery era. Her great grandmother, Amanda Jackson, was a slave who had the unusual honor of having an ornate headstone, which was photographed by another family member.

A retired educator, Ms. Jackson is also a painter, and three of her works will be presented in this show.