East Harlem Remembered

Oral Histories of Community and Diversity


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About the Book

The community of East Harlem in New York City lays claim to a rich and culturally diverse history. Once home to 35 ethnicities and 27 languages, the neighborhood attracted Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrants in the early 20th century and later saw an influx of Puerto Rican immigrants and African Americans.
In this oral history, former and current residents recount the early days, the post–World War II rise of public housing, the departure of Eastern European inhabitants, the growth of Latino and African American populations, the spirited 1960s, the urban blight of the 1980s, and the more recent resurgence and gentrification. This story of strength and struggle provides a vivid portrait of a fascinating community and the many resilient people who have called it home.

About the Author(s)

Christopher Bell, a historian and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) member, lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher Bell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6808-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9254-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. Planting Roots (1900–1920) 9

 2. The Great Depression and World War II (1930s–1940s) 45

 3. Marc (Vito Marcantonio) 58

 4. Planting Roots II (1945–1950) 75

 5. Community and Diversity 91

 6. 1950s—Three Strikes: Public Warehousing, Drugs,

     Tribalism of Gangs 103

 7. 1960s—Decade of Change 146

 8. 1970s—Fruits of Labor 186

 9. 1980s—Dr. King’s Dream Lives On 199

10. 1990s—Rebirth of East Harlem 207

Epilogue 219

Chapter Notes 223

Bibliography 229

Index 23

Book Reviews & Awards

“Every chapter is full of stories Bell collected, but he provides continuity and helps them to tell a wider story”—Reference & Research Book News.