In 1974, New York City celebrated its first Harlem Day, which was a tribute the unique history and cultural contributions of this highly influential urban neighborhood that was the site of the famous Harlem Renaissance in the early 20th century. Since then, Harlem Day has turned into Harlem Week which has turned into a season-long celebration and, with just over two million participants, the largest cultural festival in the United States.
Although Harlem Week has over 155 events and extended events associated with it that last all summer long, the key events take place between July 21st and August 26th. Some key events include “A Great Day in Harlem” (July 25), which honors the legacies of Teddy Pendergrass Patti LaBelle & Gamble & Huff and includes a National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and the “National Historic Black College Fair”(August 14), which salutes the efforts of black colleges and universities on our nation’s health. Events are enjoyed by a wide range of audiences and many are free to the public.
The theme of this year’s Harlem Week celebration is ” The 2nd Harlem Renaissance” which is aimed at remembering the economic, artistic and political flourishing of urban America in the international mecca of Hispanic and African American culture. All events are sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.