September 28, 2022

Exploring Black Culture by Neighborhood in New York

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As you walk the streets of New York, you can feel the influence of black culture in all five boroughs. It’s woven into the city’s identity — after all, it’s where you’ll find the largest and most diverse black population in the United States.

For everything from world famous music, fashion and food to visual and
performing arts, we reach out to our trusted experts at The Black Experience at
NYC. They indicate where to go and what to do to immerse yourself
Black culture across the city. Read on to discover key neighborhoods and
hotspots to celebrate the black community on your next visit to New York.

Why not spend the weekend discovering the restaurants, bars,
retailers and cultural attractions in Harlem? From the cozy neighborhood
Home Sweet Harlem cafe at the Kente Royal Gallery, you can
experience to your favorite things. Foodies will love Red Rooster Harlem for
dinner, but you have to go to The Edge for brunch. Shop lots of black-
owned small businesses that put the stamp of the neighborhood on fashion. And don’t forget to check out the history that runs along Edgecombe Avenue and the historic jazz bar, Minton’s Playhouse.

Randall’s Island
Travel here to meet Dr. George E. Blair, a descendant of the Buffalo Soldiers
and New York’s oldest black cowboy. Yes, you read correctly, there is
a small but old community of black cowboys and they are in New York! At 92, George, who produced an all-black cowboy rodeo in Harlem for more than 30 years, continues to teach visitors how to ride at his New York Riding Academy on Randall’s Island.

Exploring Black Culture by Neighborhood in New York
Al J. Thompson/NYC & Company

Bedford Stuyvesant
Welcome to the center of activism in the north during civil rights
movement of the 1960s. Leaders like Dr. Robert Palmer and Shirley
Chisholm mobilized people to fight the racism of those same streets – and
now these buildings feature amazing neighborhood murals highlighting
these civil rights figures and music icons. While history is rich, today
this destination is bursting with color and life with new restaurants and
vibrant shops that embody the spirit of black pride. Click here for an overview of the best places to visit.

You may have heard of Jamaica, Queens from artists like Nicki Minaj,
50 Cent, Run DMC and LL Cool J, but the region’s black cultural heritage runs deep, with jazz legends like John Coltrane, Lester Young and
Charlie Mingus having taken up residence in this region. A rambling area with lots of
heart, Jamaica is an often overlooked cultural hub.

Crown heights
Home to a large African diaspora population, this neighborhood has
hosted many Africans, African Americans and West Indian Americans
since the late 1960s. This is where you can find West Indian American
Day Carnival, the largest annual celebration of Caribbean culture in New
York. The best places here are Lakou Café for traditional Haitian dishes,
Colors Effect for sips and paint, and the Weeksville Heritage Center, a
historic site dedicated to sharing the story of one of the greatest free black people
communities in pre-Civil War America. To learn more about this area,
click here to see how you can spend a weekend here.

From Black Voices on Broadway to Top Black-Owned Restaurants and
companies, click here to start planning your next trip to discover the Black
Experience in New York.