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So Others Ascend Righteously

Image by Tom Dillon

Uptown Baby

By: Carla Cherry and JP Howard, From Writer’s Bloom Poetry Workshop

Cotton Club.

Small’s Paradise on a Saturday night

but like Big Ma and Mamma said,

girl, get your butt moving

for church at

Abyssinian Baptist

Convent Avenue Baptist

St. James Presbyterian

Reverend Ike.

Minisink House

Harlem Writers Guild

The Negro Ensemble Company

Grace Giles Dance

Black Liberation Bookstore

Harlem School of the Arts



Sherman’s Barbecue

22 West

Copeland’s and Reliable’s.

Lenox Terrace

Esplanade Gardens

The Rucker

Mount Morris Park

Marcus Garvey Park

St. Nicholas Park

Double dutch

Jump ropes/sneakers/jellies smacking concrete

Old men sitting on stoops and benches

Young men on the corner

Played straight and box at the local numbers runner for Grandma

Mamas and grandmas looking out of the windows at their babies

Throwing down little bags of change for a run to the store and you better come right back

If you were good, you could use Mama’s change to buy yourself some

Green apple Jolly Ranchers


Pixie sticks

Bubble gum

Candy cigarettes with sugar smoke

Fun dip

Lemon heads


In the summer kids were running out front to Mr. Softee when he played his song.

On the dinner table there were collard greens

Rice and peas

Fried chicken

Macaroni and cheese and candied yams

Fried rice and chicken wing special from the Chinese take out on the corner

Sugar Hill Gang

Hip hop you don’t stop

We sang along with


The Jackson Five

Michael Jackson

Freddie Jackson

songs always on loop

Boom boxes

Eight tracks

Cassette tapes

A pencil in the middle when the tape fell out


Blowing dust off the needle before it hits the groove

Cardboard on the sidewalk

Spinning on your head

City College

Striver’s Row

Sugar Hill


Studio Museum of Harlem

The Schomburg

Red Rooster

Lenox Saphire

The Cecil

The 1/2/3/4/5/6/D/C/B/A train taking us uptown baby, uptown

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