Art Kaleidoscope

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Harlem Heroes mosaics

Flying Home - Harlem Heroes and Heroines (representatives of Arts). Harlem metro station mosaics by Faith Ringgold

Flying Home – Harlem Heroes mosaics by Faith Ringgold

Harlem Heroes mosaics
African-American artist Faith Ringgold created glass mosaics “Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines” at the 125 Street (Harlem) metro station, lines 2, 3, in 1996. Faith Ringgold is Professor of University of California at San Diego, an artist, an illustrator of children’s books, sculptor and writer. The most famous of her works – paintings, stories on the quilt. The name “Flying Home” – taken from the name of Lionel Hampton’s “Flying Home” that Feith Ryngold heard in her childhood.
In fact, Hampton’s orchestra was popular during the 1940s and early 1950s. Harlem Heroes mosaics located on the walls of the station platform, depict the famous African-Americans. In particular, as the angels hovering over the equally famous buildings that played an important role in the history of Harlem.

Abyssinian Baptist Church - one of the most active churches in Harlem

Abyssinian Baptist Church – one of the most active churches in Harlem

Abyssinian Baptist Church – one of the most active churches in Harlem. Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940) – a publisher, journalist, speaker and an active leader of the Negro movement for equality and freedom from oppression. The founder of the World Association for the Advancement of Blacks (the Universal Negro Improvement Association, UNIA). Marcus Garvey is the first prophet of Rastafarianism. Adam Clayton Powell Jr (1908-1972) – the pastor and politician. His father – Adam Clayton Powell Senior was head of the Abyssinian Church.

The Hotel Theresa in the middle of the 20th century was the center of cultural life in Harlem. Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz held meetings at the hotel. Louis Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Duke Ellington, Muhammad Ali, Dinah Washington stayed or lived here. In 1960, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev met with Fidel Castro, and John F. Kennedy held executive election campaign here.

After canceling segregation African Americans had other alternatives where to stay, and the hotel was closed in 1967. It was refitted at offices and called the tower “Teresa” re-opened in 1971. The flying figures – Roy Wilkins, Malcolm X. Roy Wilkins (1901-1981) – a fighter for the rights of blacks. Was executive director of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Malcolm X (1925-1965) – the ideologist of the movement “Nation of Islam”, which had a huge impact on the “Black Panthers”. Malcolm X was shot to death in Harlem before public appearance.

NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NCNW – National Council of African American women. William Du Bois (1868-1963) – a fighter for the rights of blacks, the founder of the NAACP. His famous hat at number 45 can be seen at the metro station “23 Street”. Eunice Roberta Hunton Carter (1899-1970) – the first African-American woman who became a lawyer, then the district attorney.

Schomburg Center for Research of Black Culture – research library and archives, member of the New York City Library. Countee Cullen (May 30, 1903 – January 9, 1946) – poet, writer and translator. Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) – writer and anthropologist. Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) – poet, writer, journalist. Claude Brown (February 23, 1937 – February 2, 2002) – writer.

Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. On its stage were: Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basi, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters and many other celebrities.
Josephine Baker (1906-1975) – dancer, singer and actress 20s, defended France from the Nazis and fought racism in America.
Duke Ellington (1899-1974) – author and performer of jazz compositions, the founder of “concert of jazz.”
Bessie Smith (1894-1937) – blues singer in 1920-30-ies.

Studio Museum in Harlem
Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) – Artist (dynamic cubism)
Augusta Savage (February 29, 1892 – March 26, 1962) – sculptor (Harlem Renaissance)
Romare Bearden (September 2, 1911 – March 12, 1988) – Artist (cartoons, collages) and writer. His stained glass windows “City of Light” installed at the metro station “Westchester Square” in Bronx.
Norman W. Lewis (July 23, 1909 – August 27, 1979) – artist (abstract expressionism)
Aaron Douglas (May 26, 1899 – February 3, 1979) – Artist (Harlem Renaissance)

Harlem Heroes mosaics