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Race and Real EstateConflict and Cooperation in Harlem, 1890-1920$
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Kevin McGruder

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169141

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169141.001.0001

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The Growth in Property Ownership by African Americans in Harlem

The Growth in Property Ownership by African Americans in Harlem

(p.176) 7 The Growth in Property Ownership by African Americans in Harlem
Race and Real Estate

Kevin McGruder

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the increased property ownership of blacks in Harlem. From 1910 to 1920 the African American residential presence in Harlem continued to grow, pushed both by the movement of black New Yorkers from the midtown Manhattan neighborhoods and by the dramatic increase in blacks moving to New York after 1914. Racial restrictions on housing in Manhattan meant that many of these new residents came to Harlem, where they exacerbated a housing shortage that was being felt citywide. The late 1910s saw a significant rise in black property ownership. The close proximity of the apartment buildings purchased by blacks in Harlem, the acquisition of two full blocks of townhouses by African Americans, and the publicity about these purchases in the publication New York Age solidified the perception among African Americans that Harlem was a community in which the African American residents owned a significant amount of property. By the end of the decade, almost two-thirds of the blacks in Manhattan lived within the four assembly districts that spanned Harlem. Within these districts, African Americans accounted for approximately 22 percent of the population.

Keywords:   Harlem, blacks, African Americans, housing shortage, property ownership, real estate ownership

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