July 1, 2011
Not Your Typical Guide to Black New York
For years, African Americans visiting New York made sure to take a trip to the epicenter of the city’s black history — Harlem. But in the past decade, as the uptown community has undergone a dramatic revitalization, New York’s best-kept secret has exploded in popularity. Now tourists from around the world visit the sites of the original 1920s Renaissance, attend Sunday church services, cheer and jeer at the Apollo Theater and pull up to plates of soul food at Sylvia’s Restaurant.
But black New York is much more than just Harlem. The Big Apple has a rich heritage of African-American history — if you know where to find it.
So avoid the crowds and check out what else New York has to offer us:
Weeksville Heritage Center
1698 Bergen St., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
You know Bedford-Stuyvesant, aka Bed-Stuy, from Spike Lee’s movies Do the Right Thing and Crooklyn and as the setting of the TV show Everybody Hates Chris. Although, like Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant is rapidly morphing into a multicultural mecca, back in the day when hip-hop icons like Jay-Z, Mos Def and Notorious B.I.G. were growing up there, “Do or Die Bed-Stuy” was much rougher.