When she was growing up in Harlem in the 1940s, Reverend Malika Lee Whitney played a lot of street games, like hopscotch, jacks, stick ball, and stoop ball.
Student protesters at City College (CCNY) explained why they organized a strike on their campus and what changes they wanted to achieve.
Although City College, where Audre Lorde taught, was in the predominantly Black and Latinx community of Harlem, there were very few Black or Latinx students who attended.
Not all New York City school boycotters wanted integration.
The Black Panther Party’s Harlem Branch, founded in 1966, defined Black Power as “having the right to self-determination or the power to decide what should go down in our community,” and “being the decision makers, the policy makers.
Harlem residents like Ella Baker and Mae Mallory, alongside other parents and community members in Brooklyn and in Jamaica, Queens, pushed the New York City Board of Education to integrate their schools.
Italian immigrant Leonard Covello was the principal of East Harlem’s Benjamin Franklin High School, an all-boys school.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Benjamin Franklin High School was a dynamic place.
Benjamin Franklin High School students came together in clubs that celebrated their cultural identities, like Club Borinquen and clubs focused on Italian-American culture.
On March 19, 1935, rumors spread through Harlem that police had beaten a young man to death after they arrested him for allegedly stealing a knife from a local store.
School zones establish where students go to school, often on the basis of where they live.
On April 16, 1937, Lucile Spence and the Teachers Union of New York organized a conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania in downtown Manhattan to discuss schools in Harlem.
In March 1925, The Survey Graphic published a special issue.