A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 19, 2004
Little Africa
Several places were called "Little Africa."

8 January 1898, New York Times, pg. 5:
Church for Negroes on the West Side.
The Rev. P. Butler Thompkins, pastor of St. James's Presbyterian Church, 211 West Thirty-second Street, has issued an appeal, approved by the Session and Board of Trustees, for a fund to build a church for the negro population on the west side. The appeal says: "These people are coming to us from the South every year by the thousands, and literally no CHristian work is being done for them by our CHurch. In the great Synod of New York there are only four little churches among them. St. James's Church was organized by the Presbytery of New York, 1895. It is in the very heart of 'Little Africa." It is the only church of any denomination for these people between Twenty-sixth and Fifty-third Streets, and the Hudson and East Rivers. This is what is known as 'the Tenderloin DIstrict.' In this territory fully one-half of these people live. We have decided to raise $50,000 to purchase lots and to erect a church edifice."

12 June 1900, New York Times, pg. 9:
The disinfecting corps of the Health Department shifted its base of operations yesterday from "Little Italy" to "Little Africa," where during the afternoon nearly everything in sight, including droves of curious pickaninnies who followed the disinfectors about, was liberally sprinkled with germ-destroying liquid.

The sanitary squad lingered about the Italian quarter until nearly noon, and it was nearly 2 o'clock before the cellars and yards of colored tenants were invaded. THis section, where the colored population reigns supreme, takes in a territory bounded by Lexington Avenue on the west, Ninety-ninth Street on the north, Ninety-seventh Street on the south, and the river on the east.

31 June 1909, New York Times, pg. 1:
A fight between two negresses in 134th Street, near Lenox Avenue, in the heart of the district known as "little Africa," late last night started a riot in which the police of three precincts - ninety men in all - engaged with their clubs several thousand negroes armed with bricks, bottles and crockery.
Posted by Barry Popik
Neighborhoods • (0) Comments • Friday, November 19, 2004 • Permalink