Harlem is a large neighbourhood in the northern section of Manhattan, New York City. Harlem has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business centre, since the 1920s. At first, it was a Dutch village, which was formally organized in 1658. It is named after a city in the Netherlands, Haarlem.
Harlem’s history has been defined by a series of money-based boom-and-bust cycle, with significant population shifts going along with each cycle
In 1905, big groups of African-American residents begin to arrive in Harlem, with numbers fed by the Great Migration.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the focus of the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ which is an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American black community.
Due to a great number of 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.
In the 1950s, the Harlem’s African-American population peaked immensely. While in 2008, the United States Census found that for the first time since the 1930s, less than half of residents were coloured, which only counted for 40% of the population.
If you are visiting New York City make sure to take the Uptown Bus route to Apollo Theatre, a short walk from the bus stop you can also visit 2 local places of interest, namely The Studio Museum in Harlem and Dwyer Cultural Centre. Try to visit Harlem on Wednesdays to join the Gospel Tour which start at 5:30pm. From Thursdays-Saturdays you can join the Harlem Cultural Heritage Walking Tours which start at 10am. If you have time left in between, visit Cloisters Museum and Gardens which is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to medieval art and architecture.
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