Parades in 1920s Harlem

Harlem is also a parade ground. During the warmer months of the year no Sunday passes without several parades.  There are brass bands, marchers in resplendent regalia, and high dignitaries with gorgeous insignia riding in automobiles.  Almost any excuse for parading is sufficient -- the funeral of a member of the lodge, the laying of… Continue reading Parades in 1920s Harlem


Perry Brown: A Lodge member’s life in Harlem

Perry Brown* was a forty-five-year-old born in Pennsylvania, who was placed on probation after stealing coats from the building of which he was superintendent in 1930.  (*This name is a pseudonym, used at the request of the Municipal Archives).That crime came in response to his wife Pauline's long illness, and was a marked departure from… Continue reading Perry Brown: A Lodge member’s life in Harlem

“This Harlem Life” in the Journal of Social History

Our article "This Harlem Life: Black Families and Everyday Life in the 1920s and 1930s" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Social History.  (It appeared in the Fall 2010 issue). The article uses the Probation Department files to reconstruct the lives of five men "to highlight what the black metropolis offered those… Continue reading “This Harlem Life” in the Journal of Social History