Although it was the largest black community in New York for only a brief time, Harlem has long served as the crucible of political action and the home territory for many of last century's African American politicians. Personal experience and scholarly analysis offer reflection on what gives Harlem the edge.
A Tremendous Force A. Philip Randolph (1889–1979), labor leader and journalist, remembers his friend Marcus Garvey, and marvels at the strength of Garvey's movement in the late 1910s and the 1920s.
Anything's Possible To Manning Marable, a Harlemite is a person with a degree of political and cultural sophistication, who ably navigates cultural difference. Adam Clayton Powell and Malcolm X were two good examples.
The Fox's Disciple When David Dinkins reflects on his own career, he remains filled with admiration for the other Harlem politicians with whom he traveled.
Adam's Friends and Foes Bayard Rustin (1912–87), political organizer and national civil-rights activist, recalls Harlem congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., without much fondness.