As gentrification encroaches on historic Harlem, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award recipient Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts untangles the myth and meaning of its storied legacy. Drawing on Harlem's history and her own observations, Rhodes-Pitts introduces a variety of observers who shared a common hope that Harlem would become the ground from which blacks fully entered America's democracy. ". a glittering living tapestry ."-Publishers Weekly, starred review
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"The author explores Harlem's rich place in American society through her perspective as a native Texan who moves to New York and embraces the area's history and people. She crafts her urban portrait in an unorthodox yet effective manner: She walks the streets, stopping to reveal layers rooted in cultural history. She shows Harlem's people--proud and frustrated, genteel and graceful. Karen Chilton relies on tone more than accents in her narration, and her approach fits the book well. For example, residents at community meetings who are frustrated by the crushing wave of gentrification sound exactly as the author describes: frustrated, angry, in control but at the edge. Chilton expresses the dignity of the people being written about as the fabric of this unique part of America is stitched together for listeners. M.B. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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