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Harlem Neighborhoods Association records

Collection Data

Description
The Harlem Neighborhoods Association records chronicle the deteriorating quality of life in Harlem from the 1940s to the late 1970s. The collection consists of correspondence and memoranda, board of directors and committee minutes, financial reports, publicity and outreach materials, membership lists and printed matter. The committee and program files document an ongoing organizational concern for chronic social dysfunction and urban poverty in Harlem. The most substantive files are the Day Care Committee, 1952-1956; the Housing Committee, 1952-1956; the Recreation Committee, 1948-1958; the Parents Committee, 1952-1968, and several youth related programs spanning from 1948 to 1963. Other substantive issues include: school decentralization in Harlem, urban renewal, drug prevention and family planning. Frequent correspondents include James H. Robinson who served as chairman of the West Harlem Council of Social Agencies, Harriet Pickens and Mildred Fisher, respectively chairperson and executive secrtary of the Central Harlem Council for Community Planning, and committee chairpersons Exie Welsch, Eugene Houston and Gertrude Tanneyhill. Also included is a scrapbook of articles and other printed matter documenting local efforts in 1963 to raise funds for the construction of a two-hundred bed hospital in Mount Morris Park.
Names
Harlem Neighborhoods Association (Creator)
Fisher, Mildred (Correspondent)
Houston, Eugene (Correspondent)
Pickens, Harriet (Correspondent)
Robinson, James H (Correspondent)
Tanneyhill, Gertrude (Correspondent)
Welsch, Exie (Correspondent)
Central Harlem Council for Community Planning (Associated name)
Mount Morris Tuberculosis Hospital (Associated name)
West Harlem Council of Social Agencies (Associated name)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1941 - 1978
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
Shelf locator: Sc MG 364
Topics
African American youth -- Services for -- New York (N.Y.)
African Americans -- Hospitals -- New York (N.Y.)
African Americans -- Housing -- New York (N.Y.)
Community development, Urban -- New York (N.Y.)
Community organization -- New York (N.Y.)
Day care centers -- New York (N.Y.)
Schools -- Decentralization -- New York (N.Y.)
Slums -- New York (N.Y.)
Social service and race relations -- New York (N.Y.)
Urban renewal -- New York (N.Y.)
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- Archival resources
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- Social conditions
Harlem Neighborhoods Association
Genres
Correspondence
memorandums
Documents
Fliers (Printed matter)
Ephemera
Notes
Biographical/historical: The Harlem Neighborhoods Association (HANA) was launched in 1937 as the West Harlem Council of Social Agencies. Its mission was to serve as a clearinghouse for various social agencies operating in Harlem. Membership included churches and schools, community groups, social agencies and individuals. The organization began with an informal group of social service professionals which met in 1934 to deal with relief problems caused by the Depression. The West Harlem Council of Social Agencies gained affiliation with the Welfare and Health Council of New York City in the early 1940s, and subsequently changed its name to the Central Harlem Council for Community Planning. Its board of Directors included officers and administrators of local schools, libraries, hospitals, banks, welfare and youth organizations, child care centers, and local branches of the Urban League, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Council had a paid staff which included an executive secretary, the Council's long time chairperson, Harriet Ida Pickens and several committees. The Welfare and Health Council was reorganized into the Community Council of Greater New York in 1956, and ended its affiliation and funding programs with regional councils. As a result, the Central Harlem Council discontinued its exclusive relationship with social agencies and became a community and social planning group, with a new emphasis on grassroots participation. A membership drive was launched to enlist local community groups and individuals. A Founding Community Meeting was held in 1959 and the organization renamed itself the Harlem Neighborhoods Association (HANA). The new group received partial operating funds, as well as office space and some staffing, from the Community Services Society, a former member of the Central Harlem Council. HANA attracted more than 150 individual members and some twenty-four agencies during its first year of existence. For the next fifteen years, it organized public campaigns in Harlem around such issues as drug prevention and rehabilitation, housing renovation and preservation, community control in the area's public schools, better day care facilities for children, and health and youth services. HANA was one of the initial sponsors of “Harlem Youth Day” and the Haryou-Act project during the 1960s, and was instrumental in setting up a mental health clinic at Harlem Hospital. The organization lost its momentum in the late 1960s due partly to funding difficulties, and faded out of existence after 1976.
Content: The Harlem Neighborhoods Association Collection is a segment of that organization's records, salvaged from the rubble during renovation of the building where HANA was located. The collection has been divided into two series: RECORDS OF THE CENTRAL HARLEM COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY PLANNINGwhich span from 1941 to 1958, and RECORDS OF THE HARLEM NEIGHBORHOODS ASSOCIATION,1958 to 1978. Each series is in turn divided into two subseries: Board of Directors Records,and Committee and Program Files.The collection chronicles the deteriorating quality of life in Harlem over three decades, along with the often ill-adapted responses of social agencies and municipal bodies. The Board of Directors Recordsare arranged chronologically and consist of correspondence and memoranda, minutes, agendas and reports, publicity and outreach materials, financial records, membership lists and printed matter. The Committee and Program Filesin both series document an ongoing organizational concern for chronic social dysfunctions and urban poverty in Harlem. The most substantive files are: the Day Care Committee, 1950-1956; the Housing Committee, 1952-1956; the Recreation Committee, 1948-1958; the Parents Committee, 1952-1968; and several youth related programs spanning from 1948 to 1963. Other issues and projects documented in the collection include: the desegregation and decentralization of public schools in Harlem, urban planning and racial segregation, the Haryou-Act project, drug prevention, and family planning. Also included is a scrapbook of articles and other printed matter documenting local community efforts to raise funds for the construction of a new two hundred bed hospital in Mount Morris Park in 1963.
Content: Eight photographs of the United Hospital Fund Campaign Committee of Mount Morris Hospital transferred to the Photographs and Prints Division
Physical Description
Extent: 2.7 linear feet (8 archival boxes)
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
Other local Identifier: Sc MG 364
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11883987
MSS Unit ID: 20785
Archives collections id: archives_collections_20785
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 2a447010-e568-0138-1b0e-0b59e44c4cd9
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