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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Move to rename Harlem sparks outrage over erasing black history

New York City real estate companies’ attempts to rename a Harlem neighborhood “SoHa” have enraged long-time residents of the historically black enclave, who say the move erases the community’s rich cultural history.
The neighborhood served as home and inspiration to generations of leading African Americans, including activists W.E.B. Du Bois and Malcolm X, who dubbed it “Seventh Heaven,” and artists such as poet Langston Hughes, and singers Harry Belafonte and Ella Fitzgerald.
The appearance in real estate ads of the “SoHa” nickname, echoing the high-priced, largely white Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo in lower Manhattan, angered Harlem’s U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who vowed to introduce a House resolution to protect Harlem from being renamed.
This effort to halt the renaming of Harlem will fail - not for any reason you might think. The area will be renamed as any area is renamed by new people coming into it ... it may take years, decades or even centuries but the names places are called do change.
Whether or not it is an attempt to 'erase black history' we cannot say.
Remember the entirety of the area was once called New Amsterdam by the Dutch and was renamed New York and the indigenous peoples called it something else first.

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