The Address: Edgecombe Avenue, Harlem, NY
The Story:There should be a sign as you drive up Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem that reads, “Black excellence started here.” A place of royalty. The home of Black Kings and Queens.
Known as “Harlem’s House of Celebrities,” residents of Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood included W.E.B DuBois, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet James Weldon Johnson, boxer Joe Louis, and musicians, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne, just to name a few.
Their apartments were a place of aspirations. A place of respite in a world that was hostile to Black folks who were audacious enough to expect more from life than struggle and sacrifice.
Their community was a place where an artist’s dreams could come to life and where a revolutionary could come to incubate ideas.
Edgecombe Avenue housed the hopes of so many Black people who changed the world that it should be an essential stop on anyone’s visit to NY.
Today we take you there, into the homes and into the stories of this special place.