Preserving the Past
While We Are Still Here is a 501(c)(3) organization that includes long-term residents of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue—the average number of years of residence is thirty. Non-resident members are interested in helping to preserve the grand history of these important sites.
When we began, in 2015, our work was, chiefly, focused on 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue, but, over time, due to the input of our neighbors, we broadened the scope to include Harlem, in general. And in including more of Harlem, we seek to expand the panorama of its historical narrative, because the lens continues to be tightly focused on the Renaissance of the 1920s; the ravages of 1960s/70s-era drug addiction and dealing (and later, the crack epidemic); the crime and poverty; and now gentrification—but Harlem, in reality, is so much more than all of these things.
Painting By: Ademola Olugbefola
Unidentified woman on Marcus Garvey Day at Marcus Garvey Park, August 17, 2019, at While We Are Still Here’s communally created poem, “What Does Harlem Mean To Me?”
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