Category: harlem

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A decade removed from fame and recently out of rehab, a 24-year-old Frankie Lymon shows off dance moves to a cheering crowd from his old neighborhood in Harlem in 1967. Frankie is also pictured shopping for music and chatting with his neighbor Margaret Williams. Frankie and his group once rehearsed in her apartment. Frankie was preparing for a comeback before he relapsed and died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25 on February 27, 1968.

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Fidel Castro meets

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser

at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, September 1960.

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James Baldwin photographed by Carl Van Vechten on September 13, 1955.

Eartha Kitt photographed by Carl Van Vechten on October 19, 1952.

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Malcolm X with his daughter Qubilah Shabazz

in Harlem

on February 20, 1965.  

He was assassinated the next day at the Audubon Ballroom in front of his wife and children.

(Photos by Duilio Pallottelli)

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Malcolm X and Redd Foxx reunited in the early 1960′s.

In the early 1940s before converting to The Nation of Islam, Malcolm Little then known as “Detroit Red” became close friends with Jon Sanford aka Redd Foxx then known as “Chicago Red”. They both were sharp dressers and resembled each other with their red hair. They worked at Jimmy’s Chicken Shack in Harlem and hustled the street together. Redd confided to Anthony Major, who ran Redd Foxx Productions in the mid-1980s, that Malcolm was the only person he really trusted. “They used to rob places together and sleep on rooftops together. Redd said he knew Malcolm has his back and trusted him. If Redd was in a fight, he could turn his back and know Malcolm was gonna be in the other side, fighting with him.“

For a while they were partners in crime stealing suits and reselling them, dealing marijuana and other petty crimes. They had a falling out as Malcolm’s criminal activities increased resulting in his 6 year incarceration which led to his rebirth as Malcolm X. 

“Malcolm didn’t have the showbiz talent so he didn’t give a damn what he got into,” Redd said. “He’d take on anything to get some dough. He was a little bit more aggressive, but I’d rather be sleeping with a broad and go somewhere [to a club] and do fifteen minutes of comedy.” (Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story)

“We became good buddies in a speakeasy where later on I was a waiter; Chicago Red was the funniest dishwasher on this earth. Now he’s making his living being funny as a nationally known stage and nightclub comedian. I don’t see any reason why old Chicago Red would mind me telling that he is Redd Foxx.“ – Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)

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Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Hazel Scott on their wedding day in Harlem on August 1, 1945.

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A decade removed from fame and recently out of rehab, a 24-year-old Frankie Lymon shows off dance moves to a cheering crowd from his old neighborhood in Harlem in 1967. Lymon is also pictured shopping for music and chatting with his neighbor Margaret Williams. Frankie and his group once rehearsed in her apartment. Lymon was preparing for a comeback before he relapsed and died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25 on February 27, 1968.

W.E.B. Du Bois photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1946.  

Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, March 1964.

On February 25, 1964 Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) won the World Heavyweight boxing title against Sonny Liston. Many had predicted an easy knockout for Liston but Malcolm X told the press otherwise: “Clay will win. He is the finest Negro athlete I have ever known and he will mean more to his people than Jackie Robinson. Robinson is an establishment hero. Clay will be our hero…. Not many people know the quality of mind he has in there. One forgets that though the clown never imitates the wise man, a wise man can imitate the clown.”