There is no neighborhood in America as famous, infamous, and inspiring as Harlem. From its humble beginnings as a farming district and country retreat for the rich, Harlem grew to international prominence as the mecca of black art and culture, then fell from grace, despised as a crime-ridden slum and symbol of urban decay. But during all of these phases there was writing in Harlem—great writing that sprang from one of the richest and most unique communities in the world. From Harlem’s most revered icons (like Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Ann Petry, and Malcolm X) to voices of a new generation (including Willie Perdomo, Mase, Grace Edwards, and Piri Thomas), The Harlem Reader gathers a wealth of vital impressions, stories, and narratives and blends them with original accounts offered by living storytellers, famous and not so famous. Fresh and vivid, this volume perfectly captures the dramatic moments and personalities at the core of Harlem’s ever-evolving story.
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