In some ways Harlem is different. It is not the solidest or the best organized Negro community (Negro political representation came to Chicago a full decade before New York). It is not the most depressed, even in the New York area—that honor belongs to BedfordStuyvesant over in Brooklyn. But Harlem is a Negro capital, much as New York is an unofficial American capital. Harlem is big, teeming and brassy. It is where Marcus Garvey established the center of his Empirein-Exile, where Joe Louis was cheered after he knocked out Max Schmeling, where Fidel Castro came after the Cuban Revolution.
Finally, however, Harlem is much the same as any other Negro ghetto. It exists in the midst of a city where liberal rhetoric is required for election to public office. There is no legal segregation; there is a Fair Employment Practices law, a State Commission Against Discrimination, a municipal Open Occupancy law. And nevertheless, as everyone knows, the white man is still way ahead....
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