About the Book

Harlem on My Mind

Harlem on My Mind

Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968
October 2007
Trade Paperback · 258 Pages
$24.95 U.S.
ISBN 9781595581587
The New Press


Recommended for These Courses


Long before Harlem became one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the red-hot real estate market of Manhattan, it was a metaphor for African American culture at its richest. Allon Schoener’s celebrated Harlem on My Mind is the classic record of Harlem life during some of the most exciting and turbulent years of its history, a beautiful—and poignant—reminder of a powerful moment in African America history.

Including the work of some of Harlem’s most treasured photographers, among them James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks, there are photographs of Harlem’s literary lights—Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Richard Wright; its politicians—Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.; and its musicians—Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. The book also includes the photographs of the everyday folk who gave life to this legendary community.

These extraordinary images are juxtaposed with articles from publications such as the New York Times and the Amsterdam News, which have helped to record the life of one of New York’s most memorialized neighborhoods.

Originally published in 1969 as the catalogue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s controversial exhibition of the same name, Harlem on My Mind is as compelling today as it was when first published.

About the Author

Allon Schoener was the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 1969 exhibition Harlem on My Mind. His books include New York: An Illustrated History of the People, The Italian Americans, and The American Jewish Album. He lives in Hudson, New York. Democratic Congressman Charles B. Rangel represents the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York. He lives in Harlem.