Letters to HarlemLIVE

Graphic by Justin Young

Posted May 1, 2003

From Adrienne Jerome@earthlink.net

Recently, I saw the editors of your website at a conference for Youth
Activism at Columbia University. I just want to say that organizations like
yours are what give the rest of the youth hope. You guys started it to be
able to express yourselves without any censorship. I appreciate what you
guys are doing and have done. In the community that I live in, youth have
next to no voice in what goes on. Recently, a bill was vetoed that would
have made a theater and art wing for the high school, rebuild a school whose building is almost condemned, and make some serious renovations on others.This bill was vetoed, of course, by adults who couldn’t give two shits less about how well the town’s students learn. They’re all either so old, they don’t have kids in the school system, or they’re so rich, they can afford to send their children to private schools. The youth in my town and the city next to us who can’t go to some fancy private school, get stuck with falling down buildings, awful curriculum, and no appreciation of the arts. When I saw what you guys had done to express yourselves without censorship, it made a deep impression on me.
Don’t ever stop trying,
Julia Jerome
Ama poldora, Aman tel’ Seldarine, ar’ tira ten’ rashwe tyara harwar.

Posted may 1,2003

From  Massimo Rania@pubblicitaspazio.com


Posted May 25, 2002

From writedmc@iamnow.net  
Subject: Thank You

To the Staff and Contributors of HarlemLive:

My name is Denise.  I’m interested in social issues, justice and equality and wanted you to know I appreciated reading some of what’s on your site.  It’s obviously a great force for change, inspiration, and community strength.

I don’t know who I would be without our artists, thinkers, believers, philosophers, musicians, writers, and so on.  I can’t imagine a world without the likes of Lauryn Hill, Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Dionne Farris, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes.  I could go on.  Sowing the seeds of future open hearts and bright minds is to everyone’s benefit.  Keep going, keep yourself on your path and know that people you may never meet believe in you.
Denise M. Colby  

Posted Dec. 7, 2001

From Shomo@hotmail.com

Hello my name is Corey. I just read the poem on the HarlemLive website and I thought it was outstanding! I would like to commend the author, you have spark an interset in me to consistently become more aware of the truths that strictly divide our lives. Thank you.

Read the Story

Posted Nov. 10, 2001

From Cyreeta- Taz80283@aol.com

I was definately impressed by the work put out by everyone involved. I was looking up info about black solidarity day and stumpbled upon Harlemlive. I am happy to see something like this out there and only want to be apart of it.

Keep up the good work.

Posted May 24, 2001

From Daniel Harty – Birmingham, England – Daniel@driver.co.uk

Hi my name is Daniel Harty. I am 21 years old and I am from Birmingham, England. I work for a car company in the estimating department. I came across Khalid’s web page by accident and realized that their is a lot of positive things happening in New York for young black people. I once wanted to be a computer technician like Khalid was but I was told that it is a hard business to get into without the appropriate grades. It’s good to see that in a America kids have the help of organizations like Harlemlive to live out their dreams. PEACE!!

Posted Feb 17, 2001

From Qua- Email: QuaDigga78@aol.com

I was turned on to HarlemLive by a friend who thought that because of my vision to start a youth oriented website I should check you guys out. I did and was simply blown away by the amount of hard work that is put in by such a young staff. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep up the good work! 

Posted Feb 17, 2001 

From Kerly Suffren- Email: INSONDUBOIS@aol.com 

This is Kerly Suffren, one of the old members of HarlemLive. I am writing this letter to share with you and all of the members of HarlemLive how extremely proud I am of you all. Over the years I watch a dream unfold. I clearly remember HarlemLive operating out of Columbia University (those were the days), where at time we struggled and worked almost endlessly to get things done. I witnessed how a dream, a desire was transform me into something spectacular. You all should be very proud of the work that you’ve done. As a member I can attest to the following: in many ways HarlemLive have held shape and mold me into the person that I am today. As a journalist and the PR person for the group I was always on duty, even when I wasn’t in the office.

I am delighted to say that I participated in the making of HarlemLive. Beyond having my work published, HarlemLive instilled something in me my own parents fail to do. The desire to explore, to inquire, to seek answers and learn to deal with people are among the many lessons that I learned.

As the group embarks to Rome, I felt so excited for you and the others that accompanied you. I remember being in the same spot once and that feeling is still with me today. I log on to the site eagerly to see the progress you guys were making overseas,and I was never disappointed. I smiled at the pictures and love reading the stories.

In closure, one of the most important things that HarlemLive has taught me is how to give back and how to say thank you. While reading the letter that you wrote to your sponsor, I felt passionate to say thank you to not only you but also every one that was there from day one. You guys have continued the legacy. You all paved that path and help bring to life a dream. I thank you deeply for being faithful members of HarlemLive. I thank you for your creativity and eagerness to seek answers. In conclusion keep in mind of the opportunities that Harlem Live offered you, keep in mind about the ways it altered your life. Implant in your spirit the many ways it made you a better person. In return take that lesson and change the lives of others and life in your community. Although I am overwhelmed in writing this letter, I fear that you all have already done what I said, but just in case please keep it in mind.

Forever a Fan of HarlemLive 

Posted Feb 16, 2001

From Gil A – Email: Leigharvie@aol.com

Absolutly a great web site!!! Very informative! I`m looking foward to visiting Harlem one day. Keep up the good work!!! 

Posted Feb. 1, 2001

From Hanif Sumner – Brooklyn, New York – Email: bklyns_finest@hotmail.com

Wow. First i would like to congradulate everyone who works at harlemlive. It is the perfect web site for NYC’s youth. I think you’ve done an excellent job at producing an online publication. Along with the fact that it is run by youth from all over the city is remarkable. NYC has so much talent i am not surprised. Yo i don’t even think brooklyn could have done it better. Good lookin’ out.

Posted Nov. 29, 2000

From L. W.- KSU, Kansas 

My name is L. W., and I am a student at Kansas State University where I am a student in journalism and mass communications. This summer, I worked for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. I researched and wrote about famous Kansans for their annual report. While searching on the internet, I found your site, and was surprised at the in depth article written about Langston Hughes’ life by Nicole Farrow. To the best of my knowledge, it is a well-researched and clearly written piece that was an interesting read. I was also impressed with Harlemlive as an organization.

Keep up the good work!

Posted Nov. 29, 2000

From Brian Stafford – Canada – Email: brian.stafford@cescom.ca

I for one am looking forward to seeing football played by our women athletes so we can experience the passion of witnessing a group of dedicated athletes who aren’t messed-up by multi-million dollar contracts and who continue to play in obscurity for the love of game…and the true fans. Another source of information and thoughtful opinion providing us with a window on the world is a welcome addition to our society.

Good luck with your publication. 

Posted Nov. 29, 2000

From Pamela Hales (ELS) Email: p.hales@elsevier.com

I just wanted to thank you for doing such a great article on ” The Collector’s Box”. I am sorry that I did not have the pleasure to meet the both of you, when you did the interview with my son. Contrary to what we hear about today’s youth, there are some positive and talented young people, which represent our neighborhoods. Keep up the good work! Always remember a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Posted Sept. 29, 2000 

From Patrick Band – Santa Rosa, CA – sirbateman@hotmail.com -website www.solidmag.org

Wow, You guys really have us outdone. I commend you on a job well done. I would love to tell as much as I can about you guys. After all, we both have the same mission, to improve the lives of those in our community. Till I hear from you, again Cheerio!

Posted Sept. 29, 2000 

From Chris Zippel – From Germany Axel_N@t-online.de

Your web is very interesting. Reading HarlemLive I get more News about African American people than other websites. But my english isn«t very good so I’ll stop here. 

Posted Sept. 28, 2000 

From Pamela Hales – Owner of “The Collector’s Box” – E-Mail:p.hales@elsevier.com

I just wanted to thank you for doing such a great article on ” The Collector’s Box”. I am sorry that I did not have the pleasure to meet the both of you, when you did the interview with my son. Contrary to what we hear about today’s youth, there are some positive and talented young people, which represent our neighborhoods. Keep up the good work! Always remember a mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

From Neil Barnhart – E-mail: barnhart@aps.edu

Hello, I teach at Eisenhower Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, and I just wanted to tell you how much my class has enjoyed your website, especially the writing. We are a diverse culture down here in the SW, but Harlem is a long way in more than distance. Thank you for sharing yourselves and opening some doors.

from Roman, Louisiana – Email: ctn01542@centurytel.net

I am a 16-year old junior who attends Welsh High School. I am the sports editor of my town’s newspaper, The Welsh Citizen, for three years running and I am ready to begin my fourth year there. As a fellow member of the press I would like to just say job well done! I enjoy visiting your website as much as I can. You all do a great job. It is great to see that I am not alone in this world when it comes to wanting to be focused on a positive task. My hat goes to you all on a job well done, great job. I enjoy meeting people on the web and making new friendships so any of you peeps can hit me up at ctn01542@centurytel.net . Since I saw everyones pic here is mine oh yeah and by the way the Yankees, Knicks, and Jets all suck! Peace 

from Miguel Flores, Mexico – Email: floco@acnet.net

I would like to contact African-American friends because I represent a new Organization in my Country, the Afro-Mexico Association that try to improve the conditions of life of African-Mexican comunities; specialy in the mexican state of Guerrero, near Acapulco. I would like about you and your work, and know that you have a lot of good friends in Mexico and in all the Afro-Latin America. Please forgive my redaction mistakes. Nice to meet you, thanks and good look ! sincerily your friend Migue Flores. 

from Luis,Sao Paulo, Brazil – Email: rmattos@attglobal.net

I come from a country where Education is not a priority, that’s why your site really got me. Ideas like your online paper tell me what kind of people will be in charge in a near future of our existense. The site is amazing, featuring that being gifted is not a matter of social position. ….your site also brings up people’s citzenship and fundamental moral values of respect and mutual acceptance….and that’s great. 

From Mark 

I’m an American, from Boulder, Colorado, now living in Tokyo. I saw the report on CNN International on Monday February 14. Just wanted to say I think what you’re doing is pretty cool and wish you the best of luck!

From Kurt Buche Email: Kurt Buche

That was a great story kid. keep up the good work. There is a news white-out outside of newyork on the reaction in new york to the diallo verdict. I found your web site today and hungrily read every word. what is going to happen on Sunday. are other marches planned. what is Sharpton going to do. does he have a web site. what are the preachers saying in their churches on sunday. what are the kids saying in school on monday. Will kids skip school to go to protest marches. Who is getting arrested and are they being released immediately or are they holding them. How racially diverse are the protestors. What are kids in Africa saying 

From Clemens Mewald Email: cl.me@aon.at 

Hi, I heard about Harlemlive on CNN. I was very surprised, that some guys (or women) started such an action in Harlem. I’m from Austria and visit a “computer-school.” What I wanted to say is, go on doing, what you did till now. Sorry about my English. 

From Jose Stephen Email: grizlie11@hotmail.com 

L.S, My name is Jose Stephen I am a 35 year old libririan on a high school in Amsterdam the netherlands(Europe). This Saturday I will visit harlem. I would like to compliment you guys for your site. 

From A Teacher in New Jersey Email: The ReeseMS17

Hello, I am a high school teacher at Midland Park High School in New Jersey. I have just visited your site for the first time and I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with all of the hard work and effort that you have put into each story that I read. Is there anything in New York that you don’t cover! I was primarily impressed with the personal accounts of students who were out in the field. Keep up the good work! I will definitely be returning and will share your site with my friends. 

from Chrsitina Lagdameo Email: anonymous@newschool.edusss

I would like to get the youth in my community involved in your organization. please contact me at the chelsea-elliott i have a dream program: chrsitina lagdameo

from J.Poschner Email: Kta22@aol.com

You are doing a great service to your community and country. If more people would get involved like you, the country would absolutly be a better place for everyone. Keep up the good work. 

sfrom Sebastian Westphal, Berlin, Germany Email: swest@zedat.fu-berlin.

I’m sebastian from germany. i just read about your web-project in a german economy magazine, and was overwhelmed. I think it’s awesome what you guys are doing, and i wish you all the best for the future. hopefully, a lot of kids will get jobs one way or the other through this project. I’m well aware that i’m pretty far away here in germany, and that i can’t do a whole lot for you guys, but carry on!!!! 

from Mark in Tokyo, Japan Email: yattaman@hotmail.com

Just wanted to say I think what you’re doing is pretty cool and wish you the best of luck!

from Brett Chance, Louisiana Enail: 107@bellsouth.net

This page is great, i’m a 16/m from Louisiana who was always raised to not even thing about harlem, as a place of going. This site has really changed my attitude about it. It’s amazing how you all work together and do this it just hits a chord or something, because it’s not like you see something everyday like this. I’m very proud of you guys and thanks for letting me know the real truth about Harlem. With most gratitude thanks for the enjoyment and letting me know the real world just a little better.

from Mr. Adrian ISRAEL Email: universal.universal@surfree.net.il

I want to say that today I saw on CNN the report on HarlemLive and after the report, I visited the site, and I can say that HarlemLive is a very fantastic site, and a will return to him every day, because it’s a very very very wonderful web site. 

from Germany Email: 101.254906@germanynet.de

Just saw your site,when I was surfing around the net,so I want to tell,that you girls and guys seem to do a very good job,it`s interesting to see,what`s going on in Harlem! Have a good time and Hi from good old Germany:Hartmut!

from Chi-Kin Nam, Lincoln, UK Email: Chi-Kin.Nam@city.lincs.sch.uk

Hi, I saw your work on CNN dot com on Sunday 12th and I think that what you all do is fantastic. I’m from Lincoln, UK and I am tring to start up something similar involving some school friends. Wishing you the best of luck for the future. 

from Phillip Brame, Germany Email: Phillip.Brame@ramstein.af.mil

Hello young ladies and gentlemen, my name is CPL Brame and I am emailing you from Germany. I am a US Soldier and I have been soldiering in one way or another for 25 years. The TV station (AFRTS) here ran a segment on your Miracle project there in Harlem in recognition of Black History month. I just want to congradulate you on a job well done and to thank the folks who made that project happen. I have heard of a group of fighting men from Harlem know as the Harlem Hellfighters, they were very instrumental in bringing about the liberation of many jews from the concentration camps of world war II. I know that if you could research and write about this group of men, you would do those men of honor a great service along with your country. You would also do your community a service by bringing to light a piece of Black History that Has been kept in the dark. 

from Serge, Belgiun Email: serge@varidex.com

Today i was wathcing CNN dot COM, and i must tell, wath you guys doing back there is just great. I hope your work will be appreciated. I think that a project like this should be possible all over the world. 

from Colm, Walsh Ireland Email: cbreathnach@tinet.ie

hello there saw news piece on CNN on satelite in Ireland. Keep up the good work yours Colm Walsh 

from Mark, Tokyo, Japan Email: yattaman@hotmail.com

I’m an American, from Boulder, Colorado, now living in Tokyo. I saw the report on CNN International on Monday February 14. Just wanted to say I think what you’re doing is pretty cool and wish you the best of luck! My Web Site http://home.catv.ne.jp/dd/weitzman

from Chris, Germany Email: Christian.Hinrichsen@uni-koeln.de

Saw a report on a TV magazine show a couple of minutes ago. Dialed your page and I’m truly impressed… Whatever some morons out there say about how useless such a place/program might be– this is a great initiative and you’re learning something productive. And what’s more important: You’re active in developing your community. My respect. 

from Pavel, Germany Email: prichter@hotmail.com

Hi folks, I am from Germany, and so it took some more days before CNN put the footage about your project in its international program. But I found it very interesting to hear about what you do and for whom and how you do it! Allthough I have been to New York a couple of times, I have never visted Harlem (what seems to be a mistake now). Therefor I am not familiar with your community and lack the knowledge to comment on the stuff that is on you Homepage. But I would like to encourage you all to keep this great work going – it pays back (in a emotinal way, a community way and – a financial way as well)!! Keep it going!! 

from ROBIN L. STOCK, PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA Email: robinls@eastcape.net


From John Marcus Email: John.Marcus@HomeStore.com

I just recently viewed the piece on CNN about your website and its great to see all the great work that you are doing. I wish I had that type of chance at your various ages you currently have. This is the age of opportunity, now’s the time, turn it into a career! John Marcus (San Francisco) If you want to check out the companies web site I work for it is Homestore.com

From Mark Collins Email: m.g.collins@worldnet.att.net

Hey, I saw you guys on CNN and I got a mjor boost! Fantastic! I am proud to see my young brothers and sisters making moves with technology. I appreciate your efforts and will soon be in a position to contribute to your efforts. You keep on keeping on! Great web site! Let me leave you with a bit of knowledge I live by. What you do for yourself today, you do for all of us tomorrow. What you achieve today, is the foundation of the future. And what you believe is possible, will be! Sincerely Mark Collins – President of MCP (an independent company helping people see the world from a different perspective.)

From Randy Brown, Chattanooga, TN Email: “\R&B\”m.g.collins@worldnet.att.net”

Hi, Just a quick note from a 47 year old white guy in Tennessee(not all of us are “hillbillies” down here), to let you know that I sawthe report on CNN tonight, and was moved to tears (happy tears) at what’s up at Harlem Live! Though you’ll probably get thousands of e-mails like this as a result of your exposure on national TV, I do hope someone reads this one and extends my heartfelt encouragement to all the kids and staff at Harlem Live. And I dare say if there’s a prettier young lady on earth than Miracle, I have yet to see her. 🙂 Y’all are an inspiration to others. You have my most sincere best wishes! 

From Kurt Buche Email: kurtdb@earthlink.net


From Rgc Email: G7775@aol.com

Just saw the newstory on CNN about your site. It is very nice; I love it. I noticed in the newstory they interviewed someone who was trying to say children need to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. I think this site shows the amount of skills you used in reading, writing, geometry and arithmetic as well as artistic and creative skills. All of you have done a beautiful job. Please stay connected to the world wide web and keep advancing your skills. Don’t let anyone turn you around. You don’t need to respond to this e/mail … Keep up the good work.

From Paul Rigas Email: prigas@cpros.com

I have been following this tragic [Amadou Diallo] story through traditional media outlets. It is refreshing to see how “Harlem Live” has gotten into the guts of the city. Although I’d like to see some captioning under your photographs, they are well done exploring the visual feelings of many concerned people. Keep you your honest journalism and very good reportage. Best regards, Paul Rigas Photojournist Grants Pass, Oregon

From Kent F. Kruhoeffer Email: k.kruhoeffer@worldnet.att.net

Dear HarlemLive! Congratulations to ALL of you for the great and noble work you’re doing for the neighborhood kids ! I wish I had begun at that age! May you have continued success and fun working with computers, the Web and the kids too…my hat’s off to you! The future payback of your efforts is immeasurable. 

From Suzaye Email: suzaye@aol.com

I saw your piece on CNN tonight.Congratulations on all that you are doing! I am doing a charity website (www.kidscharities.org) and I think we may be able to assist one another. KidsCharities.org is a “mutual fund” of children’s charities and kids are going to play a very larg part in it . Please contact me at suzaye@aol.com if you would like to discuss this. Regards, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy Founder of Kids Charities

From Carlos Castillo, Indianapolis, Indiana Email: CCasti9980@aol.com

My name is Carlos (Charles) Castillo and believe it or not, but I was born in Harlem some fifty or so years ago at the Harlem Hospital on September 6, 1949 and lived on 110th Street. I grew up with my grandparents and moved to the then Polo Grounds projects in the Bronx, over by the then, Polo Grounds baseball park where I think the Yankees and Giants played. 

We then moved to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section and then to Bed-Stuy. So much for that, I now live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was watching CNN this evening and was very taken by the great things you kids and staff are doing there. I just wanted you to know that it makes me proud to see the youth of today doing something constructive with their life. I which these things were around when I was growing up there in the City. Good-luck and God-bless. If there is anything I can do for you from here in Indianapolis, let me know. Take care and keep up the fine work.

From mIchelle thomPSon, Las Vegas Email: punkasschelle@webtv.net

I love your web page. I learned about through the CNN interview which sure a lot of people have. I will be checking the news more often through you 

From MD STEPHENS, Texas Email: MDSTEPHENS@aol.com

Saw your article on CNN. Cool site. Even us Texans appreciate good work.

From Tony Klebenow, Hamburg, Germany Email: tony.klebenow@gmx.de

Hi there, I’m Tony (22) from Hamburg, Germany. I’ve just read an article about “HarlemLive” in a german buisness publication ( “Wirtschaftswoche”). They write about the advantages of the internet besides e-commerce. I do not know why exactly, but I’m very interested in Harlem since a very long time. I lived in the States for one year, well in Wisconsin. I stayed in Minneapolis, Chicago and Washington D.C. bur I’ve never made it to Harlem. Well, threre is still time to come. The idea of your homepage is great. It’s a fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the world what Harlem is like. Especially I thank you for the articles, features and photos from Harlem. From now on, I will be updated about your area and the people around you. I thank you and wish all of you just the best.

From Luugi Marsan, Montreal, Canada Email: l_marsan@ece.concordia.ca

Hi, I’m a young black computer engineering student living in Montreal, Canada. I saw you guys on CNN today. I just wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work.

From Michael Little Email: michael.little@internet.co.nz

I have just seen you guys on CNN over here in New Zealand. I am a web designer myself, and was very impressed with what your organisation has achieved. The education system here in New Zealand could learn a lot from you guys. I will make sure to keep updated with your newsletter. Anyway, have fun. 

From Bob Davidson, San Diego Email:bobwar@san.rr.com

Sitting here in San Diego, I took some time to see your site after watching CNN. It is truly fantastic. I feel like I am there! I especially liked your 42nd Street pics. Keep it up! 

From Jonathan Leake, Vancouver, BC, Canada Email: jleake1@home.com

Hello, Saw you guys on CNN on Saturday, I was impressed and just wanted to send an email to say hi and just let you know that you were very inspirational to many people. it is good to see a program achieve the success and excitement that Harlem Live has generated. I support you with my best wishes and will keep checking the web site. 

From C. Chamberlain, Global Village, Germany Email: GlobalVillage@t-online.deGlobalVillage@t-online.de

Dear Harlem relatives, We saw your effort on the CNN programme and want to maintain contact with you. Are you interested to operate outside America , especially to jointly develop a project for Africa? Hope to hear from you. 

From Myrahill2000 Email: Myrahill2000@aol.com

I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy the website. I came across it by accident when I was trying to see if the Figure Skaters in Harlem has a website and no such luck. (Perhaps it’s Figure Skating in Harlem). But I happened to see your website link from Altavista and decided to click on that link. What I like especially was the staff going to Sweden. It’s great to see people in Harlem are showing to the world that Harlem and the African-American youths do positive and influential things. Please keep up the good work. 

From Lizzy Email: jsem@postoffice.pacbell.net

waSSup Slam…how yaLL doin..I waNNa teLL you that Yo MagAzine is Off Tha MeTer..yaLL got yo ThanG Goin…Even though I’m a GuRl..I’m stiLL goNNa reaD tha Mag..cuz I know yaLL BroThaz be haTin on Us guRlz..But We Got GamE…So yaLL should PuBlish this Shout`out to aLL tha GuRlz who doin they ThaNg Wit BaSketBaLL.keEp WorkIn at It yaLL..and SlaM..keEp doin yaLL Thang 😉 ~LiZZy~

From Malcolm Email: malcolm4__99@excite.com

Your site is very informative and I’ll be returning to it again. I’m a poet/writer living in NJ/NYC area. 

From Lynn Radcliffe Email: radcliffelynn@africana.com

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for having HarlemLive made available to me on the Internet. ÊI’m a new user on the Internet and have signed up for Africana.com service. When I logged on to the Internet Friday, the top story listed was about HarlemLive. I read the entire article and then ventured to your website. 

ÊIt is such a joy reading about and seeing our young adults and children using the gifts that are in each of them to share something positive with the world. ÊDuring these times when many of our young people are so troubled, the staff and contributors to the stories and features of HarlemLive give me hope. ÊI have always believed in my heart that our children are special, if only someone takes the time to listen and help. Thank you for making my day. ÊI will be checking out HarlemLive every chance that I get and will share it with my children, grandchildren and friends. Ê

Your stories are inspirational and give me so much pleasure. ÊThe pictures are fantastic and so “regular” and real. They show that we can be whomever we want to be and have the talent to do so. ÊKeep up the great work. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

From Lynnette McBride Email: Lynnette@cometsystems.com

As a frequent visitor of Harlem and an enthusiast of the rich Harlem community, I visit your site often. I find your site entertaining, refreshing, and informative, but more importantly, I find your site to be a valuable resource regarding issues unique to the black community. 

From Lottie Khemraj Reynolds, Email: s2ckreyn@titan.vcu.edu

I wanted to commend and compliment the success of your organization! Currently i am a student @ Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA. The article struck a cord with me because of Richard Calton’s concern for after school activities for our young people! I grew up a child with no afterschool activities other than things that were idle.

My husband and I have a 5 year old daughter and now have a even more perfect reason to get it together, but not just for my daughter but for many, many kids! My major here is Crafts with a concertration in Metal Smithing and Jewelry, with a minor in Art Education and I graduate this December. I cam currently seeking advice from any and ALL for how to begin an after school program with a grain of substance! WITHOUT too many dimes to rub together!!!! If you have any suggestions as to what resources that I could look into other than my collection of friends ~ I would really appreciate it or even if you would like to just shoot the gift~ hit me back!

From Octavia R. S. Gatson, Email: octavia.gatson@africana.com

I am a 20 year old junior at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA where I am pursuing a B.A. in Public Policy with plans to complete a joint degree program of law and Public policy upon graduation.

I wanted to write to add my message of pride to the many others you receive. In this world it is so easy to become pessimistic and frustrated when in actuality the media only shows the bad and misled portion of our youth and our race at large. It’s a pity that had I not been a subscribed member of africana.com, where the focus is the promotion of our race, I would have probably never heard of HarlemLive or its mission. 

I just want to say thank you for not only pursuing your own individual dreams and objectives in this world but for showing our youth, the generations coming after you, that success can be theirs as well. Knowing that we learn best by example, I just want to thank all of you for setting some of the best examples I have seen in a while! Keep up the outstanding work and may God continue to bless each and everyone of you with peace, love, and perserverance.

 From Joy E. Chau Email: jhing@dclink.com

I just came from viewing the portion of the website on the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) and wanted to thank you for featuring the organization. I am a former Harlem resident (born and raised) and attended the Harlem School of the Arts for several years. The dance (ballet, modern, and ethnic), drama, piano, violin, and art classes that I took have served me well throughout my life. Although I am not currently working in the field of arts, my exposure to the various areas of music and art afforded me by HSA has given me an affinity and appreciation for theater, music, and dance that characterizes my daily existence. 

Reading about HSA brought back so many memories and am glad both that I was able to attend the school and that its doors are still open, allowing a whole new group of children to attend and benefit from the various programs offered. I intend to visit the site often and thank you for showing Harlem in a positive light. 

From Konstantin, Germany E-mail: kosijdfd@calvados.zrz.TU-Berlin.DE

I’d just like to say that I think you do a great job. I live in Germany and visited NYC last summer. On sunday I went to a church in Harlem (alone, not in a bus packed with tourists) and people gave me much love there. Your site reminds me of that very much. You have the energy to do something great and to be very special people. Be proud of that!!!! I’d like to get an answer and perhaps somebody who wants to know about life in Germany or talk about his life and work at HarlemLive can write back.



Hey folks,

cool page, good idea, nice stuff. This is about one of the best ways to spend one’s sparetime I’ve ever heard about. If you ever come to Munich, write me, and I will meet you folks in a beergarden :-))

bye, Ingo…



Hi, Staff from Harlem Live Homepage

Your Page is very good and helpful step in the new Millenium, thank you



I would first like to tell you how much I loved the article about the Black Rodeo.




Che bel sito! ho trovato delle cose molto interessanti, stimolanti direi, certo io non conosco l’inglese ma con un buon dictoniary of english ho potuto apprendere delle informazioni interessanti. Perché scrivere a voi? semplice, io sono un artista italiano(Roma)e apprez- zo le cose concepite con criterio, perfezione, buona volonta,…… e voi avete dimostrato appieno tutto questo. Io non conosco la vostra vita, il vostro quartiere, non conosco neanche l’America, tutto quello che so della vostra nazione e di N.Y. l’hocaptato, catturato ,digerito, tramite films, e t.v.. 

Quindi, e logico supporre che abbia un’immagine sfocata, e non esatta della vostra Realta. Questo forse potrebbe succedere anche a voi: mi è capitato di andare a Londra, e lì tutti pensavano che gli Italiani fossero mafiosi, gelosi, e che cantassero come Pavarotti. L’Italia non è per fortuna solo questo, anzi per il 99% di noi la vita è uguale al resto del mondo. 

La mattina ci si alza e si va a lavorare, la sera si sta in famiglia, e il fine settimana ci si ritrova con gli amici da Mcdonald. La mia vita certo è diversa, sto studiando per entrare a far parte della scuola Disney Italia, e vivo facendo degli immensi quadri d’illusione ottica (trompe l’oeil) Per il momento non guadagno molto ma chissa forse un giorno aprirò un piccolo studio a N.Y. Dimenticavo, io sono un ragazzo Bianco, ma mi sembra assurdo anche scriverlo, perchè facendolo sottolinerei la differenza che ci dovrebbe essere, e che invece non esiste. Vi sarei grato se mi rispondeste anche in Inglese(lo farei tradurre da un amica!)Grazie è buon lavoro!!!!


Editors Note: If anyone can translate this for us it would be greatly appreciated.



Thank you all so much! I am 15 i live in colorado i used to act like a thug then i got saved . I listen to you guys and you help me keep my head up and keep my path streight. you helped me get through some tuff time and i pray that you guys kep it up!

thank you so much love and god bless

Ashely Marie



Please let Brother Saleem know that I (Brother “Africa”) saw his reportage and interview of me conducted at the Starbucks location. He did a good job, I appreciated his product and want to encourage him to continue “speaking truth to power.”PEACE & PEACE Out !!!!!

From Solange, Brazil 


First of all I would like to congratulate you for this beautiful job of having the Harlem youth engaged in such a positive activity I am from Brazil, and plan to go to NYC next August. One of my greatest wish is to attend the Sunday Harlem Gospel ceremony.

I crawled on your site because I was anxious to find something about it but I did not succeed on my search.

In Salvador, the city where I live, there is a great African inheritance and there are also many interesting projects involving the poor Youth. Unfortunately, they are not connected to Internet yet. Otherwise, it would be very interesting for you to go through some of them. Hoping to hear from you soon, I wish you SUCCESS.




From Lemont Haskins Email: 


My Comment=Loved the site. I work at Harlem hospital with Eric and suggested I visit the site and I was not disappointed. I would like to volunteer some time and teach the kids juggling or magic which are my speciality skill. You can contact me at Harlem hospital or e-mail me. Keep the African American spirit alive and the good work. Peace

From Harry Le Grande Email:


Just discovered your site while watching Universoul Circus on HBO. Great site, we were fortunate enough to see the Lion King pre New York in Minneapolis in Summer of 1997. It is a great performance, thanks for the behind the scene interviews. We will be making our first trip to New York this Spring, hopefully we can see the HipHop Circus in May.

From Sid Washington Email: 


I think this is a great web site we need more sites like this for our communities, I commend all who helped developed this site. Keep up the good work! Let’s see if we can come together and do some work.

From Aziza Email: DDJW 


My name is Aziza, Director of the Def Dance Jam Workshop. Two of your reporters interviewed me at the AUDELCOawards. My dance company opened the show. I was impressed by the professional of your two reporters. Professionalism in business and creativity are main rules for members of DDJW.

We hope to work with HarlemLive again in someway. 1999 is the Fifth Anniversary of Def Dance Jam Workshop, we are the only program serving youth who are physically and developmentally challenged in the Harlem Community. 

Keep up the wonderful work that all of you are doing. 



I am a native of Harlem (110th Street and 5th Avenue) living in Los Angeles. I was delighted to stumble across this site!!!!!!!)

From Hans Bach, Denmark Email: 


My name is Hans, I am 18, and I live in Denmark.

In Denmark most people are told that Harlem is a area with a lot of crime and so on. I would like to hear your views on that.

From Dindi T.C. Doward, Email: 


I just wanted to say Hi and I think that you guys are doing a great job. It’s cool to see people from my block holding it down on a possitive vibe. All I hear from home is negative news. I am glad to see good things in Harlem. I have been stuck in Atlanta ( heart of the dirty south) for a Sec. trying unsuccessfully to come back uptop. But it’s good to know I can keep up with my uptown news through you. Keep up the good work. I love ya’ll and glad to see you doin ya’ thing.

From the Samaki Swim Team, Email: 


As the coach of the Samaki swim team I want to thank you for the nice article about our team. May I correct only one thing Our team name is SAMAKI which means dolphin in the African language of Swahili. We are not the Dolphins. When we go places and people ask what does Samaki mean, we say what it means and state we are the only competitive swim team in the Village of Harlem.

From Denise Turney, Email:  


Hi, I wanted to stop in and congratulate you on the good works you are doing. It did my heart good to come across your site. Keep stomping

From ,PAGMAMEL@aol.com

Wow…! I am planning a day in Harlem for the young people of my church. I was just surfing… looking for some ideas. When I came across your home page… I was hooked. You guys are doing a FANTASTIC job. I’ve never seen anything like this online. Of course I could not view everything at one time, so I put you guys in with my “favorite things”. I am a mother of two and I am overwhelmed with pride of all of you.

May God bless you all.

From Ailin, Email: 


WWWhhhaaaazzzz UUpppp!!! I’m a girl from Iran, but I live in Sweden. I’m 14 years old. I’m very interested in how it is to live in Harlem. When I get older I would like to travel to Africa and then to Brooklyn and Harlem. I know it’s hard to live there but I’m gonna make it. 

I am doing a paper in school about Harlem. You could write about the schools, how it is to work there, how it is in the streets, and then maybe a little about the Harlem Globetrotters. I LOVE Basketball.

Lot’s of Love

From Sharon Simmons, Email: 


We think this is a great project. We are going to link you to our website. Maimouna Keita School of African Dance Take Care.

From Eric, Email: 


I just wanted to say hello. I was referred to your website by a dear friend, Leslie Hall that works at Columbia University. I grew up in Harlem and find it quite hard to stay away from Harlem and all that it has going on. I currently commute to NY to teach and coach with Ice Hockey in a Harlem program. This is my 3rd year with them and i felt what a great opportunity – to teach the sport I love in Harlem where I grew up. I am also working on a book that will provide the history of Blacks in Hockey. Well that’s just a little about me and I will visit your website to keep up on your organization as well as Harlem activities.

I was quite shocked to hear that the Apollo Theatre stage crew was on strike a while ago. I often run bus trips from Philly to the Apollo’s amateur night show. I noticed that the Victoria 5 Theatre looked like it shut down, has it? Also there were brothers outside of MART 125 asking people to sign a petition to save the MART. Apparently, its up for sale or has a potential buyer.

Well I’ll spread the word about HarlemLive.

From Delcina Sledge, Email: 


There’s nothing greater than an idea whose time has come!

As one of your original advisors I’ve seen the growth of the organization. I have been in the shadows supporting you. There is no shortage in the talent department at HARLEMLIVE. 

Due to schedule constraints I have been unable to attend the meetings but I am trying to make arrangements for the November meeting. 

I no longer teach in Harlem but I teach and live in the Clinton Hill/Bedford Stuyvesant communities. My 7th and 8th graders would like to know if your down with Brooklyn writers and if you’ll accept poetry or other articles from them.

Editor’s note: Yes we greatly appreciate any contributions of poetry and writing from youth that’s appropiate for our site.

From Sakia Lynn Harris, Email: shortsny@hotmail.com

My name is Sakia Harris and I heard about your website from Mrs. Monroe. She was my sixth grade teacher and I am now a Junior in college and I still keep in touch with her. I just wanted to let you guys know that I think that it is a very positive thing that you are doing and I wish you all the luck and success that you deserve. I am in college in Wilberforce, Ohio and I haven’t been home since December of last year and I miss it very much. It is very expensive to go home. Anyway, when I looked at those pictures from home I began to cry. You never know how much you love something until you can’t have it and I love Harlem very much. If possible, could you take a few pictures of Grant Projects building 1315. That is where I live and I would love to see it. It would really make my day and my little brothers. Well I have to go back to class. Again, much luck!

From Karen Alston Email: 


Great site, the pictures of Savion were great (big fan). Also, the notes on Odell’s place the Sugar Shack were really nice. I went six months ago to eat and met a great person and inspiration in Odell. He is a wonderful man.

Harlem is beautiful, I try to get up to the city as much as possible. Please keep me in the loop as to the happenings..

From Tommy Webb Email:


Nice idea…. nice idea… we had something in mind for some young folks out in on Long Island…. but it take your kind of focus….. Good work..

From Darrell Parker, Rancho Cucamonga California Email: 


I stumbled on Harlemlive website by accident. Needless to say I spent a lot of time on it. I grew up in the Bronx and was very very pleased to see positive vibrations coming from your website about the infamous Harlem community. 

Keep up the good work and to everyone in th Community…..the struggle continues….but always to GOD be the Glory!

From Carina, Austria Email: 

cprantl@tyrol.at; Web Site: 


Hi, great website you got there. I am very impressed but now I have to go on with exploring it.

from Craig-Outback, Email: 


My name is Craig and I live in Orlando, FL. I was browsing around and came across your site today! Very very cool. I have always wondered what living in Harlem might be like. I always wonder what it would be like to grow up and live in a place other than where I came from.

I would love to visit NYC and just stay in Harlem the whole time and explore that part of the city. I currently work for Nickelodeon here in Orlando. When I finished my internship with them last summer I actually moved to NYC for four months and worked for MTV and Nickelodeon there. I live in Williamsburg in Brooklyn right near the water by the Williamsburg bridge. I love it in NYC.

from Ken Bailey, Email: 


I recently discovered your web site and was very surprised and glad to see youth of Harlem doing something so positive. I read the poem by Lamont Sparrow…..good job my brother! I am originally from New York and my father was born and raised in Harlem. He loved Harlem! I myself am a writer and artist and want to encourage all of you involved with “Harlem Live” web publication to keep up the good work and keep learning….keep strong, stay proud and let the creative juices flow! ( I got a good chuckle from that short film by Angel Colon)

By the way, do you accept written material for publication? The reason I ask is that I wrote a poem about my father and he passed away in January 1997, and as I mentioned before, Harlem was his heart. His favorite spot used to be the Dunbar Tavern on W. 150th Street and 8th Avenue. My grandfather lived on that same street.

Thanks for sending me an e-mail reply and thank you for the kind thought about my father. As I said before, my father loved Harlem….and so do I. Thank you for inspiring me too. God bless you all, and peace and love to all of you.

From Paul Gardner, Email: 


My name is Paul Leslie Gardner, a native New Yorker as well as a journalist and web-crawler. I was elated to see your Web-Site and to know that Harlem youth is active in its input. There is so much negative publicity about Harlem so it is always good to find a positive story. Although, as you may well know, there are lots of positive things in Harlem that the media never point out. Feel proud that you now have the power, the energy, and the youth to point out those positives and spread that message round the world.

Keep up the good work. It makes me proud as a former East Harlemite, a writer, and a Diasporan. Keep up the good work!

From Cynthia Verboven, Budapest, Hungary Email: 


HarlemLive truly demonstrates the best potential of the Internet. Your staff and contributors deserve the best regards for talent and worthy intentions.

Thank you for a nice voyage to Harlem

From Bruce Pearson, Email: 


Congratulations on your outstanding internet publication, Harlemlive. You’ve done a beautiful job.

From Jay

, Email: 


Yo! the sight is all that!! i’m a native New Yorker living in Dallas it’s good to see Harlem in a positive light i’m trying to give my kids some culture it’s like being on 125 eating a fish sandwich keep it moving!

From Kawi Mailutha, Bronx, NY; Email: 


What you are doing is wonderful!! I would love to help out in anyway possible. I am very interested in the work you do.

From Maureen, Harlem, NYC; Email: 


I just found you here by accident, and what a great pleasure and delight. I look forward to visiting this site very often. The work all of you are doing is excellent in every way. Plus, as a Harlem resident, it ís just great to find HOME on the Web!

P.S. I use a Mac also.

From SIPHIWE BLOSE, South Africa: Email:


Hi there anyone,

My name is Siphiwe Blose from SOWETO. Your site is one of my favorites and it has drawn so much interest to me in the way it portrays Harlem and the life style of students who are dying to do the right thing by helping others.

I’d like to propose to the South African government to develop a youth program that will have some kind of activities like yours maybe. That will also enable SOWETO Youth to share Ideas with the youth of HarlemLive. Maybe the visit of your president will make a dynamic difference in South Africa.

South Africa lacks interactivity with the outside world, Apartheid is still a cloth (?) on the youth of SOWETO. Changes are dragging along better in some areas of S.A. Technology such as computers are new to the people of South Africa. 

The objective of my mail is to ask you to help me draft a proposal document of establishing a center (maybe SOWETOLIVE will be a good Idea ) that has activities like computers, Internet, sports, journalism and learning programs. I hope this is not too much to ask from a stranger ;-))).

A copy of your white paper or proposal document will make a big change for SOWETO. In my mind, I see you as icons who have escaped from ROBBIN ISLAND just like my president. You know how to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight for what belongs to you. I guess I have asked the right people (my brothers and sisters).

Thank you,


From Joan , Denmark Email: 


My name is Joan and I’m writing to you from Denmark. After looking at your website I wanted to get in contact with you, hoping that you can help me. You see; I’m at a “project-school” called THE PLANET and we’re planning a study trip (hopefully) to NYC in late August. I thought maybe you would be interested in having a visit from us; and maybe you could help us with other contacts…

The Planet is a “project school”: well, actually for young unemployed, but most of us chose to be that ourselves to work with our own projects. We have painters, musicians, people making movies, radio programs, happenings…etc. At the school we have courses that we chose ourselves, and we’re in the middle of establishing a music studio, a graphic studio, a students union besides from the photo studio and jewelry shop we have already. We are about 55 students in the age of 20-27.

For our study trip we would like to meet some people with whom we can build up a network to exchanging ideas etc. -Maybe you know other projects similar to yours and ours??

From Nathan Martin, California Email: 


My name is Nathan Martin and I am a senior Recreation Administration major at California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, California. I am currently enrolled in a Dimensions of Diversity course and have a presentation to make on the subcultrue of Harlem. The research I have done has lead me only to obsolete information that gives me some history, but not any current updated information. Can you help? A point in the right direction would be much appreciated, and any info you could send via e-mail would help even more, as I want this presentation to depict Harlem as accurately as possible. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

From Ron Lester, NYC, Email: 


Thank you for such an amazing website. A lot of valuable information you have here. Keep it coming.

From Coriander, Email: 


Hi you guys,
I just read your newsletter and I’m stoked to see youth using their intelligence to the fullest. Ever since I decided to visit Harlem everyone who “used to live in NYC” has tried to convince me Harlem is NOT the place to be, but Manhattan is. From my own research, I think Harlem is the place I want to visit.
Thanks, Coriander

From FOXMOP, Email: 


Great article on Dr. Wilcox, very informative and thought provoking. Whowould have thought that such great amount of information existed in such a small space next to the world famous Apollo Theatre. A treasure trove! 

From Scot Anthony Robinson, 


Dear youth, I’m sooooooo proud of you and your site. My name is Vision Warrior, I am a foot soldier in the war on drugs, please visit my website I’m sure we will work together in the near future. god bless

From Eugene Gaddy, Mansfield, Ohio. Email: 


I Like what I have seen so far. I am also thinking of starting a program in my area so I am gettin some ideas from where ever I can. Please post and respond.

From Aldo Patriarca, Switzerland. Email: 


I lived for more than a half year in NYC, but I didn’t see Harlem. Hope you guys can help me to get some I never will see in my life.

From Ronald Haywood, Email


The best thing that ever happened to Harlem – Put out of business by local politicians and now in “Exile” in Atlanta, GA!

From: R. John Smith Esq, Email: 


Dear Harlem Live, congratulations on your excellent website.

From Michael A. Cummings, Email: 


I recently discovered your website , when I was interviewed at the quilt exhibit . I am also in your photograph with Cassardra Graves the quilter maker. This website is a great idea to introduce young people about tomorrow’s technology that will be an important part of everyone’s life in the next century. Also, focusing on Harlem is a much needed on going project. This section of the city is rich in history and cultural importance . Even today there are as you discover many artists living in Harlem and making history . And what better way to educate and learn about all the good things in Harlem , than to walk the beat and see and hear first hand our community. The press has given people of color a bad image, it produces articles that re-enforce the negative stereo types. Documenting your discoveries is also very important . 

Hopefully, your work and creativeness will help your viewers to see the big beautiful picture of life and to nurture their dreams. 

from Ricardo Wandeveld, Email: 


Acheei super interessante esse site, sempre tive uma vis„o horrivel do harlem, mais Here super interested in this site, always had a horrible vision of Harlem, more or ou menos parecida com o que voces acham do Brasil, com muita violencia, tive o less similar to that which you have of Brazil, with much violence, it was my prazer de conhecer e vi que n„o existe violencia nesse bairro simpatico. leasure to get to know and see that the violence does not exist in such a nice neighborhood voces ir„o gostar tambÈm. which you also like Editors’ Note: We will work on getting a translation.

from Denise

WHOAHHHHHHHHH! I say that the students at SVA should be worried (graduate and undergrad). They should all be required to take a look at what those students at http://www.harlemlive.org are doing they wouldn’t be so haughty!!!!!!! I’m impressed and it “blows me away” to see young children filled with creativity hope and optimism. It restores my faith in mankind. That’s the CIrcle of LIfe!!!!!!!!!Denise:))))))))))))) 

from Robbie R. Grier

, Flint MI Email: 


I want to be on your list because of the immensely positive things that you have accomplished. I APPLAUD YOU. Have a blessed day.

from Debbie Evans Washington D.C., Email: 


Could you please provide me with information on the Apollo Theater? In particular, I’m hoping that I could get ticket information, as it relates to prices and protocal of purchase; upcoming schedule, if available; lodging information; and/or phone number & address to the theater. I wanted to treat my daughter to her first trip to New York for her 17th birthday which is April 5th.

Editors Note: We at HarlemLive do all that we can to service our readers but we encourage those out their with information regarding these letters to contact these people and help them.

from Sam Taitt Email: 


I’m browsing your site, and will be featuring it on my radio program tomorrow morning on WLIB — “Internet Connect” My company is ndl.net – an African-American-owned Internet Access company.

from B Foster, Grand Island, Nebraska Email:

The staff writers doing WE ACT and JOE BRAGG have done an excellent job of reporting.These are examples of people doing a great job of using the web media,helping create wise media writers and helping others to become wise media consumers.This site continues to improve.To all involved, keep up the good work!

from Amanda Finkl, Chicago Il Email: 


I loved the book review on “Our America”. I’m a teacher in Chicago and one of my students had been raving about the book. We’ve been learning about and writing our own book reviews. It will be nice to show the students that their opinions are important and that they can be heard! Thank you.

from Maik Lindemann, Germany, Email: 


Hallo! I’m a student of city-planing in Germany. You really have a nice web-page here. I think you are doing a good job representing your district and doing something for your district and for the people who live there. I’ll have the chance to come to New York for couple days, maybe I’ll have the chance then to have a closer look at Harlem. So far so good…

from Gerard Figueroa-Mawn, Email: 


I loved visiting your site today! My reason for visiting is to find out to whom I should talk to within your organization to relay information on an off-Broadway show I’m presenting in April. It’s called Jim Beckwourth. On April 26, 1798 this Afican American was born and 1998 is a time to celebrate his accomplishments. I look forward to your response.

from Sanane lan, Zambiya Email: 


Merhaba manyak harlemliler Amerikanýn aðýzýna zýçtýnýz. Sizin yüzünüzden New York’a gelemez olduk. Fazla serserilik yapmayýn emi..

Editor’s Note: We’re not sure what this says but if anyone out there can give us a shoutout and translate this for us we’d appreciate it. What the deally?!

from Robert Parducci Email: 


I enjoyed the photo gallery and made a point to bookmark your home page right away! It’s great to see information about Harlem, U.S.A. on the internet.

from Ulla Skiden Email:


I was just told by a reporter friend at the New York Times that I should look up your web site and take a look at your work. By doing so I think that I definitely have run into something that will stand good chances of being successful in our international IT Awards Program the Global Bangemann Challenge! I am impressed!

from Cleon Yaphet Brinson, Email: 


With all the trash flying around on the web, it’s good to see a site with some serious cultural content. What’s even better to see is that it’s done by Black people. Maybe in the future this site can work with, or in some way connect, to the prison population, either by posting articles or creative writing by persons (particular youth offenders). But like I said maintain the work you’re doing. It’s well worth the bandwidth.

from Jady Glasgow, Scotland. Email: 


I have looked over your web-page and it has been a fascinating in-sight into your area. I am from Glasgow which is in Scotland and I got your page address from a magazine called ‘The Net’. Your sight is fantastic because it let’s me see your world…. Keep up the good work…..

from Sue Bowden, Britain. Email: 


I’m a white British woman and I came to New York in 1995. Whilst there, I went on a walking tour of Harlem and was impressed by the wonderful, non-violent feel on the streets, a far cry from the scaremongering that exists in the media. I liked it so much that I went back on my own on the Sunday morning to go to church – and no, I didn’t leave after thesinging, I stayed for the service, and was very ashamed of the people who did otherwise – and then went and watched the Africa Day parade before having a wonderful soul food meal. Everyone I met was courteous and friendly towards me and I liked the “Mor Hugging, Less Mugging” I saw around. I just wanted to say that I hope that your area stays this way and goes on to even bigger and better things. I certainly have been promoting Harlem ever since my return, telling people what a safe and friendly area it has become.

Thank you for a wonderful time!

from Annette, Germany. Email: 


Hi there, I am a german girl. My name is Annette and I am from Bavaria. I think it is great what you are doing with your magazine! – Annette

from Corey Pierce Email: 


Hello, I thought I’d comment on your website. I think it’s a great way to help out our youth in these times, for where there is knowledge, power and self-determination, people will conquer all. Keep up the good work. As a young entrepreneur, I am also learning and always open to different and new challenges. This is the natural order of things to further educate our young adults and teens, to help them strive for their goals in life. 

from G. Glover, Chicago Email: 


Saw information about your website in the NetNoir Newsletter, and I just love it! What a talented group of young people. I was especially impressed with the photography skills-the “Graffiti Pictures” by Shem were just what this homesick New Yorker who is presently living in Chicago, needed. I like the fact that the young ladies are involved with HarlemLive, and I encourage them to jump in and get totally involved-don’t stand on the edges waiting for things to come your way–go out and get what you want!

Keep up the good work, and if you need any help or information regarding Chicago, let me know, and I’ll do my best to help.
G. Glover

from Ricardo Wandeveld, Conheçam o Brasil Email: 

larrica@ddomain.com.br Web Site: 


Acheei super interessante esse site, sempre tive uma visão horrivel do harlem, mais ou menos parecida com o que voces acham do Brasil, com muita violencia, tive o prazer de conhecer e vi que não existe violencia nesse bairro simpatico.

voces irão gostar também.

Editors’ Note: We will work on getting a translation.

from Donnyel Thornton Email: 


I have been searching for information about present day Harlem on the internet, but have found my sources to be limited, and not very helpful. I did however get some interesting information from your website.
Be at Peace God Bless,

from Milford F. Plaines Email: 

khamet@tnp.com Web Site:


I just visited your website, I thought it was awesome. I applaude you for your efforts. Keep up the good efforts. I would like to suggest a website for you to visit it’s entitled the ” African American Holocaust”. The URL ishttp://www.tnp.com/holocaust.
Be at Peace God Bless,

from J.L. Smith of Cincinnati, OH Email: smithjl@email.uc.edu Web Site:oz.uc.edu/~smithjl

Editors’ Note: Mr. Smith didn’t send us any comments.. but we thought we’d share their URL.

from Bob Pryor of Brewton, Alabama(?) Email: Chicago@net1inc.net

What a facinating Web Site…keep up the great work and God bless our Black youths.

from Kellen Alexis Smith, E. Orange, NJ Email: 


I first read about your page in the USA Today and I decided to check it out. I found some really nice articles and a lot of information to share with my school’s Black Culture Club. We need more outlets in our community and I’m glad that you all are doing a page like this. Keep up the good work.

from Ronald McEachin Email: 


I visited the Institute for Learning Technologies recently. I met Richard Calton and some of the kids. Harlem Live is a great way of reaching others and letting them get to know you. You are doing an excellent job. Keep up the good work

from Trina M. Smith, Email: 


I found this web site invigorating. I am a homesick New Yorker living in Virginia Beach, VA., while attending graduate school. So I was very pleased when I saw pictures of my stomping grounds and favorite eatery, the Jamaican Hot Pot. I will be home this Christmas and I can’t wait to taste the jerk chicken, cabbage and macaroni with cheese. I commend the young people who are working on this web site. Is there anyone out there from uptown Harlem at 115th and 8th? I taught at the public school for 5 years and I sure do miss the diversity, culture and genuinness of the people in the neighborhood.

from Alicia D. Bonaparte Email: 


I just wanted to say that you guys are doing a wonderful job with the Internet site. I “accidentally” fell upon it doing research for a paper.

from Marni Gilbertson, Texas Email: 


You are all doing a fantastic job. Keep up the great work. I bookmarked this page and plan on visiting often.

from ‘Sober Girl’, Chicago Email: 


I am a recreational worker at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. I found your page by chance and really enjoy it. Keep up the great work and may God keep you safe and bless you.

from Steinar Hovland Email: 


I am writing from a small town in the eastern part of Norway. We are almost 18000 people in a regional center with mixed working opportunities, several educational options and a lot of pretty Nature. I like Your Web Site and the Idea of an opportunity for young people to express themselves. Later we will connect our Youth Center, now under development in a former phone company building in the town center. We hope to develop our service to the youngsters of our town by opening a youth center with Internet connections and a lot of activities.

from Bob Wurster Email: 

rmail@earthlink.net Web Site: 


I am looking for sites to exchange links …. YOURS is really great.

from Desi Ruiz Email: 


Osakwe: Congratulations on doing such a great job at the HarlemLive UYBC sight. I will be telling everyone that I know about your sight and about the great Job UYBC and HarlemLive is doing in educating our youth (and adults) with the internet. I’m sure that the experience we are all getting though our cyber connections ou interactions with each other can only help us to be better humans.

Regards & Love, Desi

from Joseph Akpan Email: 


Hi, Sorry for the delay in replying your mail, I thought I already wrote to someone in your organization. Anyway, I’m from Harlem, NY but I’m currently living in Pittsburgh. I do visit NY quite often and we’re trying to relocate back to NY/NJ. We’re still building the web site, and if you’re interested we will like to integrate you’re site into the Harlemm , once it’s complete. Let me know if you’re interested.

from Lorna Rios Email: 


Hi What a wonderful site! I have put links to your site on four pages of my site, Correctional Education Connections:

¥ Adult Education: http://www.io.com/~ellie/4.html

¥ Community: http://www.io.com/~ellie/3.html

¥ African American Culture: http://www.io.com/~ellie/21.html

¥ Corrections: http://www.io.com/~ellie/13.html

Keep up the good work! I will be telling our students about your site.

Sincerely, Lorna Rios

Correctional Education Connections http://www.io.com/~ellie/

from Kristin Ingul Email:


Great page. It is good to see that finally some positive things from Harlem are being shown. Keep up the good work.

from Ruth and Jerry Email: 


Your pictures are very beautiful. You should be proud of what you are doing.

from BW Email: 


You guys and gals did a wonderful article on kirk franklin and God’s property. keep in touch.

from Jan Hagen, Norway Email: 


I`m from Norway and visited this page, because of our hot net-tip in our countries biggest newspaper.

from Monique Matthews, Los Angeles, C.A. Email: 


I just want to congratulate you on your tenacity, creativity and inventiveness. As a native Harlemite, I grew up in St. Nick projects and attended both P.S. 92 (on 134th between 7th and 8th) and St. Aloysius, I want to tell you that I am very proud. Keep up the great work.

I’m currently managing editor of Rap Pages magazine, based in Los Angeles. I just want you guys to know that I’m going to recommend your website to all my readers in the January 1998 issue. Look for it, it’ll be the bomb.

p.s. your pictures of the African Day parade were on point. I sure do miss that parade. Take care.

Monique N. Matthew
Managing Editor, Rap Pages

from Ben Cook, Birmingham,AL Email: 


I have just discovered your web site. I am a 52-year old white man living in Birmingham, AL. I have a radio show and I am a writer, mostly sports, but some commentaries and a column that ran in one paper under the title “Random Thoughts.” It was about anything I wanted and I enjoyed writing it. I read the story tonight about Tone and P and was touched. Great writing is simply painting word pictures, and this story did. I am looking forward to reading more of the original work on this site. Keep up the good work and may God bless you all.

from Carol Ray Email: 


I live in Libby, MT and am working on a grant for the Montana Humanities Council on African Americans who were in the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 and 1934. Over 600 men from the Harlem area came to Montana during these two summers. We would like to find some of the surviving men for interviews about the experience. I am looking for ways of posting requests for information, church names and addresses, Veterans groups etc. that might put me in contact with any of these men. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or contacts that might help. Thanks.

from Liza Kim Forrest, New York City Email: 


I LOVE your website. As a fairly new Harlem resident there is a lot about the community I don’t know about. Your site has given me some ideas on places I want to visit. The pictures are excellent, I felt proud to show co-workers, some white, where I live. PLEASE keep up the excellent work. I look forward to more stories and pictures.

from Calvin E. Hill Email: 


I read something called HarlemLive and did some research to find out what is HarlemLive. I’m totally impressed with what I found out about HarlemLive. I have not been home (Brooklyn) in years. I used to go to Harlem Preparatory School on 2535 Eighth Ave and when I read about HarlemLive and the youths growing up there. I say….. . Right On

from Bobby Townsend, Sharon, Pennsylvania Email: 


I’ve only been to this site twice but both times have been very educational in understanding Harlem, I come to New York at least every other year, most of my relatives are originally from Brooklyn , N.Y.I really love visiting the CITY, every experience is different from the last, Love the Big Apple 

from kristin washington Email: 


Just found your Web Site, and I think it’s great. I read about it in USA TODAY. I’m watching Wyclef on MTV and flipping through your slides

Keep up the good work. I’ll stop by again.

from J. Herman Blake Email: 


Friends: I accessed your WEB Site for the first time today. I learned of it through USA Today. It is a wonderful WEB site and I write to thank you for bringing it to us. You are enriching the lives of many in doing so.

I grew up in Harlem in the 1940s-50s. I lived on 123rd between lenox and 7th, and 127th between Lenox and 7th. It was a rich and rewarding experience for me, although not always a happy one.

I plan to access your WEB site on a regular basis.

Keep on keeping on

from Jill Brown Email: 


Heya guys, This is a phat page. I come back everyday to see the new things! Keep up the good work.

from Lakesha Hammonds Email: 


I really love Kirk Franklin’s music but you go too far with telling the young people that it is ok to [mix dance and Gospel]. It’s not. But don’t take that the wrong way. Excellent job. Just keep the dance away a littlePostCall or Email your own Letter

from John Stearns, Edmonton, Canada Email: 


This is a excellent web site. The young people have done some nice work

from Ruth McAlister Email: 


I think it is great that you kids get to show your talents. It is It is too bad that more kids don’t get a chance. It is a shame to waste a brain.


keele.guy@fin.gc.ca, Ottowa, Canada

Great Stuff you guys….well done. The web site is great. I got the Web address from Yahoo Picks, and really enyoyed the tour and sites of Harlem.

from Gramma Email: 

olivers@total.net web site: 

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4704Love Gramma

Hi….Oh the wonder of the internet. I am a gramma up in Canada. I just taught myself computers and the internet…It’s fun and we get to meet people like the ones at “HarlemLive”. I think your site is terrific. I commend all the teachers and students for such a fine job. I have a comment for Peterson Metellus (Reporter / Photographer) and Poet….keep up the good work. As long as you are able to write your poetry there’s nothing that can stop your quest.I look forward to seeing more.

from B. Foster Email: 



Great to read your info. I am looking to find more about the time when “Jo Lewis Won the Title” to go with a story of the same name, for my third graders. I want them to see that this place is still interesting, and a place of culture. Perhaps, when you interview some of the women ,they will have information to share on this. Thanks!



We read about HarlemLive in USA Today. We were very excited to find your website. We have marked it as one of our favorite places. It has something for the whole family. Keep up the good work. We will visit often.

from Charles Mcgonigle, Indiana Email: 


Like your site-Never thought I would like to visit Harlem-but after seeing your site -might make it there.PostCall or Email your own Letter

from Peter

A very fine website… keep up the good work

from Rev. James Winfrey, III Email: 





I enjoyed your web site. I was reading USA Today newspaper and every week I look under the section of Home Tech to see what new for there pic of the week. I am a native New Yorker now living in Texas. I shared your website with my family. I felt a little at home. Good Luck on your site.

from Uschi Frebel Email: 


I´m from Germany and I like this. It´s very interesting to read ´bout Harlem and what people do there! I would like to e-mail with some of you!

from Gilbert Lopez of Salem, Oregon, Email: 


Hello My name is Gilbert Lopez. I live in Salem, Oregon & have my own upholstery business which I took over from my mother & father who were very poor & had no education. They knew they wanted something better for themselves & for their children. They started their own business in an area called Billygoat Acres In Downey, Ca. It was tough for them to get started but as a child I never knew that ’till I got older & understood the hardships. 

I have always been hassled by prejudice but it made me be better then every body else . It worked for me right or wrong!! I’m just so impressed by what I’ve seen on your web site! Carry on & stay strong! Hope to hear from you.

from: Peter Keizer e-mail: 

peterkeizer@hotmail.com, Zwolle, The Netherlands

I love your page. It is a great way for me to get in contact with a place I have heard so much about in Rap songs, movies, news, MTV etc., etc. It is also a great way to practice….if you ever want to become a journalist. Keep on working!

If you ever have questions about The Netherlands or Haarlem (the place Harlem is named after) or anything, contact me!PostCall or Email your own Letter


Stark@myself.com (?)

Keep up the GREAT webpage and congratulations on doing such a fine job!

from Eric Smith email: 

deena@cyberatl.net Web Site: “

www.cyberatl.net/~deena” & “


Harlem the way it really is . . . is not a street sign, a grand marquee nor lifestyle, but it is a collage of wonderfully different, creative geniuses of varying walks of life. Don’t ever let the world tell you who you are or validate your existance. You are who GOD says you are. As you’ve proven once again, you are special jewels in the heart and eyes of GOD!

from Angelique Anderson; Email:

 aa@akula.com; Web Site: 


For 3 years I have wanted to work with children in producing and publishing content on the computer and the internet. I have approached various individuals to help me get the ball rolling. Lots of words but no actions behind them. When I heard the interview on WBAI, I was ecstatic because you are doing what I have wanted to do.

Unfortunately, I only caught the last but enough to get the URL. I like the website and am impressed with what the children are producing.

Do you have room for me to instruct, work and share my talents with your children? What can I help with?

Editors: Angelique, we encourage all who would like to assist to “come forward” and talk to us to empower the youth. Contact Us ASAP! (smile)



I heard two of your creators on a WBAI interview this morning, and I was impressed by their outstanding communication skills. I am more impressed by your Web Site. It is very well planned and executed and helpful. I will add it to my “Favorite Places” Bookmark. 

Keep up the good work.PostCall or Email your own Letter

from John H. Lowery: email: 

Web Site: 


You have a great site and it was a pleasure to visit. I have you bookmarked for return trips.

from Carlos Manzano: email: 



Absolutely terrific. Will be back soon!

from Jose B. Rivera Rivera: email: 



Keep up the great work. Great idea.

from Pastor Sharon Land-Holley of Christian Templet United Church of Christ, email: 


HarlemLive is fantastic. I have truly enjoyed this. I am the pastor of a church in the inner city of Virginia and I am planning on letting our youth see this Web Site so that they too can see what can be done with belief in God and in yourself, determination, and tenacity. Keep up the good work!!! Pastor Sharon Land-Holley, Norfolk, Virginia.

from Marshall Heller, Virtual Consulting Group, Austin, TX

I commend you all for providing such a positive place for young people to develop their skills and build that much need confidence. You have a great web site. Keep up the great work.

A Kid’s-Eye View of Harlem

Published in the NYTimes, 1998

Angel Colon, 15, is the old man of HarlemLIVE, an online magazine put together by a volunteer staff of 40 or more Harlem teen-agers who write about life in their neighborhood. He began working on the magazine, when it was mere ink and paper, when he was 11.”I don’t like to write,” Angel said. “But if I have something to say, I’ll force myself to do it.”

Angel Colon, talking to NYTIMES reporter.

Now a 10th grader at the Manhattan Center of Mathematics/Science in East Harlem, he started learning computer skills in the sixth grade because he liked computer graphics. Kerly Suffern, 16, an 11th grader at Martin Luther King Jr. High School on the Upper West Side, also writes for the magazine. “I love to write,” he said. “It’s nice for the public to find out what we’re about, that kids in Harlem we’re not as bad as people think.” Richard Calton, 38, a former public-school teacher, founded the magazine three years ago at P.S. 206 in East Harlem. In 1995 he left his job to learn more about computer-based education at Columbia University’s Institute for Learning Technologies. The institute has donated 11 computers and office space for the students to continue HarlemLIVE on the Web.

WHAT YOU SEE In a section called “Off the Head” — Harlem kid slang for off-the-cuff or from-the-heart pronouncements — Fairusa Ibrahim, 14, writes about coming to America from Ghana, where her parents left her and another sister when Fairusa was 6. “We were told that we would join the rest of the family very shortly,” she wrote. “Very shortly to me was a month or so. I waited and waited but nobody came to get me.”Eight years later, when her mother reunited all of the family in New York, it was even more wrenching. “What is this thing named airplane? Why does it take my family away and not bring them back?” she remembered thinking. Her mother got off the plane, but she did not recognize Fairusa, and Fairusa did not recognize her. “Can you believe it? I didn’t recognize my own mother!! She had completely changed from the last time I saw her. I kept asking, ‘Where is my mother? Where is she?

‘”In another section, Kerly reviews a novel called “Friends and Lovers” by Jerome Dickie about romantic issues between black men and women. “The settings are set somewhere out in L.A., where two fine sistas and two fine brothas hook up and started their special love affair,” he writes. “The context and literature is very realistic and easy to relate to, the descriptions of the scenes are raw, just like the way we talk.”

Staff members also contribute descriptions of themselves. Angel, whose mother volunteers with HarlemLIVE, writes: “Evelyn Colon is my mother. She is also with HarlemLIVE. My mother is who I want to be like even though there is nothing wrong with my father. My mother is a teacher.”

LINKS Seventeen, including Harlem Overheard, another Harlem youth publication.

WHAT YOU GET Students telling about their families, friends and neighborhood, in their own voices. “I want to have a lot of little Harlem Lives so other kids can write about their neighborhoods,” Kerly said. 


by Danya Steele

Passion is a bold bastard.  Beliefs are even worse.  Oh just FORGET about “Innovation” or “Creativity.”  They’re all evil.  They’re all audacious bastards intent on grabbing hold of the human heart, forcing it to beat deeper and even stronger with each enduring pulse.  Yeah that’s it– a bunch of instigators with the NERVE to inspire young NYC teens into believing that they actually have a legitimate place and power in this world.  Passion, Innovation, Creativity, and Beliefs.  What IS this?  Who gave THEM the right to motivate and empower young people to yearnfor growth?  YEARNING for growth?  This is outrageous.  Those bastards!     

Well…sorry to tell you, but here at HarlemLive, we believe in that bastard.  We embrace the strength of having a passionate belief system, we grow through innovation, and we ARE creativity.  WE ARE HARLEMLIVE; the hottest online youth magazine, created, edited, and produced by teens of NYC.        

With that said, it’s only obvious and inevitable for us to include those very facets — passion, innovation, creativity, and a strong belief system — into our everyday production.  Constant inspiration and motivation is integral to our business of creative play.  Stagnant-ism is unattractive to the long term philosophy of HarlemLive’s future. We are prolific.  We are maturing.  This upsurge of growth is within us all. Therefore, it’s only NATURAL for us to want to progress, grow, and elevate to “The next level.”

That next level…is here. HarlemLive is going VIRTUAL…almost.  In previous years, HarlemLive has met and produced out of a small … but manageable space inside of 1330 5th avenue [W. 111th St.] in Harlem.  The space wasn’t horribly difficult to work with; you could take a short-winded stretch here and there…maybe inhale a few oxygen molecules without coughing…it was…manageable.  However recently, HarlemLive, an Internetpublication, has been relocated into a completely different space — drastically confined and equipped with limited and/or nonexistent Internet access.  This is an INTERNET publication; the pure logic is dwindling.

As a multi-award winning news publication, HarlemLive’s resources are commonly overestimated.  We’re assumed to have the of any resource deemed logically fit for a publication of our caliber, but that is but only…an assumption.  Our resources are quite limited as we’ve become masters of squeezing $1.50 out of a dollar. Ironically, HarlemLive has accomplished more than what many other organizations with less of a limited resource, only dream of doing.      

Now dream this.  A designated time, place, and world where every staff member of HarlemLive delves into the surreal, conjuring up the very essence of radical creativity and innovation, fueled by the active exchange of inspiration and ideas faster than the speed of DSL.   A virtual world where all of us here at HarlemLive get together to sculpt, build, and improve the quality of HarlemLive.org, the Internet publication that we’re all so dedicated to bringing onto the bright computer screens of our readers.  As opposed to getting into futile tuffs over square tiles or issues of drastically confined space, HarlemLive is flying into the unconfined.  We are now bringing you this online youth magazine from designated bases all over New York City–our homes.  That’s versatility. 

     We’ll be producing, editing, creating, laughing, and learning online. Designated staff members have been sent home with HarlemLive equipment, ranging from MAC PCs, IBooks, to digital cameras, conditioned to only two things:  creativity and responsibility.  A goal for everyone included in this new “Digital Dash” project is to equip every HarlemLive student with DSL Internet.  Students are allowed to maintain the equipment as long as they continue to assertively put forth effort into the HarlemLive program, attend meetings, go on stories, and so on. In any event that a HarlemLive staff member refuses or fails to keep up with their part of the “Digital Dash,” equipment is reclaimed, followed by a pending suspension until further notice. But who would want to do that anyway? This is literally, a VIRTUAL REALITY, with staff members who will combine minds and equipment, both online and offline, fundamentally networking at the speed of light…all the while being granted the simple yet powerful freedom to do whatever it is they deem fit for HarlemLive production and growth. This is too good. The “completely different space” that HarlemLive has been relocated to, will now be used as storage space for library books, or a small conference room in any case that students need to meet on a more personalized one-to-one basis. 

The mere focus and concentration that goes into work when it’s accompanied by a minimized level of distraction, is enough to propel HarlemLive to even greater heights of success. The usual environment of HarlemLive is similar to any newsroom; there’s constant motion, action, and talking going on.  We’re teenagers; there’s even the idle chat factor that can slow down production.  Not anymore.  Upon entering the “virtual reality” world that we’re now creating amongst ourselves, chatting is done…with a purpose.  You’re scheduling, you’re producing, you’re directing, you’re learning, you’re growing.  This is HOT! 

So yeah…ok…I’ll admit it.  As much as we can’t stand those bastards — passion, innovation, creativity, and beliefs — we’re using them, and holding them tightly as the thread to our foundation.  As a disregard for futile quarrels over insufficient “space,” we’re innovatively creating an unlimited space, a space that cannot be minimized because it is infinite. Essentially, it is a space within the mind… a precious, warm, and exorbitant area of existence where only your own inhibitions or lack of motivation can hinder your progression.  It’s from deep within this space that we plan to bring you an even better HarlemLive, packed with better content, faster production, and a new sense of focus and direction that we’ve yet to show you.  So when you notice a difference…that’s why. It’s because of those damn bastards…those instigators…infiltrating our minds and hearts, with the audacity and boldness to inspire, motivate, and pull us to become an even better HarlemLive than we’ve ever been before.  So yeah we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves.  Damnit!!!  We have the NERVE to be free. Passion is a bold bastard.

AOL Time Warner Paves The Way For HarlemLive

by Jonathan Kui 

First, HarlemLive would like to thank AOL Time Warner for their generosity. After receiving a 25,000 grant from AOL Time Warner , staff members of HarlemLive paid a visit to AOL Time Warner’s representatives. Throughout the day, we prepared our arguments for why HarlemLive was a wise investment, and our supervisor, Richard Calton, reassured us of our positions within the meeting. Although Rich guaranteed he wouldn’t say much at the meeting, he seemed to be the most nervous/talkative out of everyone.

After the initial anxiety and awkwardness, the crew relaxed. Everybody did their part and it went just as planned, if not better. The representatives were surprisingly “down to earth” and their personality helped us feel at ease. It was up to the AOL Time Warner representatives to pave the way for us. We entered knowing where we were coming from, and we left knowing where we were going; conclusively, we left knowing a little bit of our future.

All in all, the meeting was a success. HarlemLive left with a better knowledge of what to do in the future, and AOL Time Warner left with a better understanding of HarlemLive. We reassured the representatives they made a wise choice in teaming up with a media organization like HL. From now, we can only grow and get better with AOL Time Warner’s assistance.

Talking Drum

by Justin Young

With the exception of the Amish, technology transcends all cultures and races . It’s the one thing that binds us all together. It’s diverse in nature and yet speaks one common language. Through the Internet, people from different nations, cultures, and states can get together and talk about numerous subjects. 

Here at HarlemLive we strive to reach out to people across and beyond our nation. So when asked to find a symbol, something that will capture the essence of HarlemLive, Elaine Johnson (HarlemLive advisor) and Richard Calton (HarlemLive Director) came up with the idea of the Talking Drum. 

The Talking Drum (Donno Drum) is used for musical performances and signaling or sending messages. Due to the fact that each tribe has its own language, it was difficult for the tribes to communicate verbally. The drum itself crossed language barriers and served as a common language. The drum, when hit a certain way, gives off a sound that resembles speech. That is why it is called the “Talking Drum”. By using the drum, messages could be sent to far off distances. 

The drum was cultivated primarily by the Ashanti, Hausa, Yoruba, and Akan tribes. And while the origin of the drum remains unclear, it is speculated that the first to use this drum was the Atumpan tribe. 

The drum was made out of an assortment of types of trees such as Tweneboa (also known as Twenedura), Bontondie and Edar. The trees used to carve the drum undergo an extensive religious ritual. Before the tree can be cut down, eggs must first be sacrificed to the tree. After that, members of the tribe would then pray to the tree. Akan, for example, felt that the tree was a powerful spirit and must be honored. So they prayed and made sacrifices to the tree for protection from its powers as well as to honor it. When the drum is finished it is believed to house the spirit of the tree. 

Our goal here at HarlemLive is to reach the hearts and minds of people not only in our community but world wide in the tradition of the “Talking Drum.”