Harlem holds a special place in American political and cultural history. The bustling New York City neighborhood was a cornerstone for both the civil-rights movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the explosion of artistic expression that propelled groundbreaking forms of music, literature, art, and theater. Spend just one day wandering the streets where Malcolm X, Billie Holiday, and Zora Neale Hurston once called home and you will experience the awe-inspiring architecture of an old-world Dutch colony, the smell of Southern-style cooking, and the sounds of jazz and gospel that sometimes fill the streets. Tracking from the founding days and weaving through history to the present, Assouline books captures the essence of a truly remarkable place in its new publication, In the Spirit of Harlem by Naomi Fertitta, out Feb. 25.
Here, a photo (circa 1970) of the renowned Cotton Club, where Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole once performed.