Harlem Undercover – the maps

My article, "Harlem Undercover: Vice Investigators, Race, and Prostitution, 1910-1930," is now available in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Urban History. The abstract is below: In 1928, the Committee of Fourteen, New York City’s leading private antivice organization, employed a black teacher to conduct a five-month undercover investigation of Harlem’s nightlife.  It… Continue reading Harlem Undercover – the maps


Fuller Long: A teenager’s life in Harlem

Fuller Long* was a seventeen-year-old African American boy placed on probation in 1928, after having been convicted of having sexual intercourse with his underage girlfriend.  The map shows his life in Harlem. (* This name is a pseudonym, used at the request of the Municipal Archives) Together with his parents and two sisters, Long migrated… Continue reading Fuller Long: A teenager’s life in Harlem


Churches were the most prominent black places and institutions in Harlem. They made a powerful impression on visitors to the neighborhood, such as the (white?) journalist who wrote in The Independent in 1921 that “In the main, [Harlem] is impressive. Especially the churches.” This map shows 52 black church buildings located in the neighborhood. They… Continue reading Churches

Arrests for Numbers Gambling

The map of Numbers arrests is currently one of the Featured Maps on the Digital Harlem site; simply click on the image in the right hand column of the site to see the map. The pop-up box that opens contains an abbreviated version of the information contained in this post. In the 1920s, Numbers gambling… Continue reading Arrests for Numbers Gambling