When Harlem was the mecca of African-American culture, Langston Hughes was one of its luminaries. During the 1950s and ’60s, the great poet of the Harlem Renaissance lived in what was once a majestic brownstone house on E. 127th Street, between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.
Today, that house is in disrepair and could be lost in a wave of gentrification. But CNN reports that a group of Black artists are working to save it as a landmark.
Renee Watson, a writer who lives in the neighborhood, leads the effort.
“We—the community—must hold on to the space,” Watson told CNN. “I feel a sense of urgency.”
A few years ago, the house was up for sale with a $1 million price tag. It didn’t sell. But now that middle-class Whites are buying up properties in Harlem and luxury condos are popping up, the market value of Hughes’ former home, now empty, is estimated at $3 million.
Watson is spearheading the effort to raise funds through an Indiegogo campaign. So far supporters have raised nearly $28,000. Their goal is to accumulate $150,000, to rent the house and transform it into a cultural center.
“If someone made [the owner] an offer, she would definitely sell it, but like me, she doesn’t want it to become condos or a coffee shop,” Watson told the news outlet.
Hughes’ typewriter sits on a shelf in the house, according to CNN. In his memory, the group hopes to transform the parlor into an event space, perhaps for poetry readings.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter
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9 photos Launch gallery
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2. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Tamar Braxton's sister shouts "Haay, Michelle! Girl, you look so good!" at the White House Black History Month event
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3. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" performance at the Grammys
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4. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Melody Ellison becomes the third Black American Girl doll ever
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5. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Grandma Virginia McLaurin celebrates her 107th birthday
Source:Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
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6. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Beyonce's Black Panther "Formation" performance at the Super Bowl
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7. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Chris Rock hosts the Oscars admist the #OscarsSoWhite controversy
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8. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Rihanna delivers 'Black Girls Rock' 10th anniversary speech
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9. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2016: Bomani Jones wears 'Caucasians' shirt on ESPN
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