Video: Lance Freeman on “What makes Harlem Special?”


In A Haven and a Hell, Lance Freeman seeks to amplify the relationship between ‘the ghetto’ as a place, policy, and idea and as a black experience, source of resistance, and community. Using multiple places and narratives, this book renders ‘the ghetto’ as not only multifaceted but also critical to understanding the contemporary conditions of urban black America.

~John Hipp, University of California, Irvine

It’s Harlem Week 2020, and this year we reached out to Lance Freeman, professor in the Urban Planning Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, and asked him, “What Makes Harlem Special?”

He is the author of A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black AmericaI in which he  provides a powerful new understanding of urban black communities at a time when the future of many inner-city neighborhoods appears uncertain.

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