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The Ghetto, from Venice to Vilna to Harlem

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, by Mitchell Duneier. 2016, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 304 pages. AS MITCHELL DUNEIER, a sociology professor at Princeton,  points out in the preface to his inspired book, Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an […]

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Channel Esther: Infinite Possibilities

By Esther Cohen I AM THE EMBODIMENT OF INFINITE POSSIBLITIES (First Corinthian Baptist Church) A few thousand people (yes) wait in line for the third service of the morning, at the Black Church in Harlem where my South African daughter in law Chesray Dolpha, attends most Sundays. I am not a stranger to religious institutions […]

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January 26: The Apollo Theater

Harlem’s Apollo Theater opened its doors as an entertainment center for the African-American community for the first time on this date in 1934 with a show, “Jazz a la Carte,” headlined by Benny Carter and his Orchestra. All the proceeds of this show were donated to the Harlem Children’s Fresh Air Fund. Founded in 1913 […]

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January 14: Hail, Hail Rock and Roll

Alan Freed’s first landmark “Rock and Roll Ball” was staged in Harlem on this date in 1955, featuring Big Joe Turner, Fats Domino, the Moonglows, and the Drifters. Within a month, music industry trade papers were advertising “rock & roll” for the first time. Freed, the son of a Lithuanian Jewish father and a Welsh […]

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