As part of the UNAOC EF Summer School, we were given the option of choosing between four tours. Harlem, which has long been synonymous with African-American culture, was one of the options and of course that’s what I chose. So I went to this place which was the setting for African-American-led movements in various fields, collectively known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Made a stop at the “Know Your Rights” mural, which was a community led project undertaken over six months to consult about the messaging and design. The paintwork itself was also done by residents, activists and artists.
As part of the Harlem tour, we were taken to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The centre is home to more than 11 million items—manuscripts, recordings, photographs and prints—that document the experiences of peoples of African descent across the world. What struck me most about the centre is how it has positioned itself not as a space for academics, but for the community at large. It also contains a variety of children’s literature focused on black people and runs programmes that have also made it very child friendly.