Image: Langston Hughes (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In the 1920s and ‘30s, Langston Hughes was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. And after the movement ended, he didn’t go far: The writer moved into a brownstone on Harlem’s 127th Street, where he lived for the last 20 years of his life. The building is a national landmark, but it’s been mostly empty for decades. In that time, Harlem has begun to gentrify. Now, in an effort to keep Hughes’ former home from becoming one more high-end co-op, a neighborhood nonprofit is raising money to lease the building as an arts center.

Langston Hughes’ Harlem Home May Get Its Own Renaissance — As An Art Center

joemygod.com
LET'S DO THIS: Turn an abandoned hateful church into an LGBT homeless youth shelter
Yesterday we learned that Harlem’s infamous “Jesus Would Stone Homos” hate church has been ordered to public auction due to over $1M in unpaid bills.

Remember Atlah Worldwide Church in Harlem? The church that wrote “Jesus Would Stone Homos” and other anti-LGBT messages on its marquee?

They racked up over a million dollars in unpaid bills, and now the building is up for public auction. The Ali Forney Center, which houses about 107 homeless LGBT youth in New York City, is ready and willing to make an offer, buy the space and convert it into an LGBT homeless youth shelter – if we can help them come up with the money. 

Since 2014, local Harlem residents have opposed Rev. Manning’s messages of hatred and violence by organizing a series of events to raise funds for the Ali Forney Center, as well as to increase awareness of the needs of homeless LGBT youths. Also they have organized a series of protests outside of Atlah Church. These efforts, under the name of Love Not Hate, have been coordinated by Stacy Parker Le Melle.

“I am ecstatic to imagine a future where our Harlem corner will be a home of compassion, not hatred.  We have a homeless problem in New York City. The de Blasio administration is working hard to remedy this, but LGBT young people are especially vulnerable with the shelter system. They need protection.  The Ali Forney Center is a beacon, but they need more space for transitional housing and job training. I can’t imagine a better use for that property.  Who needs more luxury condos?  We need to care for the most vulnerable in our midst.”

Le Melle continued “When the ATLAH story broke on Thursday, immediately I heard from neighbors: wouldn’t it be amazing if an LGBT group could acquire the property? What if it were the Ali Forney Center?  We all knew that this would be poetic justice. We need to care for those kicked out of homes, often on religious-based grounds. We need to care for those most vulnerable to ATLAH’s hate speech.”

Ali Forney needs at least $200k to begin to make this happen. If you can, donate. If you can’t, spread the word. There’s a whole lot of need in Harlem, and how amazing would it be to take a place that was a site of such hurt and vitriol and turn it into something truly life-saving?

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Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Black excellence from Harlem ‘70

Since ‘20 Harlem has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Harlem has great Black cultural heritage and has been recognized as a trendsetter.
America can’t eliminate African-Americans from its history even though wants it’s badly.

#BlackExcellence

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(via Beautiful Vintage Inspired New York Brownstone of Nina Persson)

If you want to read more about (the renovations of) brownstones than you can check out these books: 

Restoring a House in the City: A Guide to Renovating Townhouses, Brownstones, and Row Houses wth Great Style by Ingrid Abramovitch

Design Brooklyn: Renovation, Restoration, Innovation, Industry by Anne Hellman

Bricks and Brownstone: The New York Row House 1783-1929 (Classical America Series in Art and Architecture) by Charles Lockwood

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