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Harlem Week Kicks Off with Gospel Music and Urban Fashion Show

Friday, July 29, 2011

Louis Delsarte's 'Spirit of Harlem,' a 30'x11' glass mosaic at the North Fork Bank at 280 West 125th Street in Harlem. Louis Delsarte's "Spirit of Harlem," a 30'x11' glass mosaic at the North Fork Bank at 280 West 125th Street in Harlem. (wallyg/flickr)

Harlem Day was started 37 years ago to pay tribute to the rich economic, political, and cultural history of Harlem. The one-day event morphed into Harlem Week, which has now attracted so many participants that it is more than a month of 100 plus events that promotes Harlem's proud culture and celebrates the community's African diaspora.

"We had a long history in this community and there is a lot more to come and share with the world," said Marko Nobles, who runs Harlem Week.

Last year, Harlem Week attracted some three million people from not only New York City and its surrounding regions, but also from different countries around the world, according to the organization. Nobles said that as such, Harlem Week set an example of what a vibrant cultural community can look like for other black communities in the U.S.

Harlem Week's first event, "A Great Day in Harlem," kicks off at noon on Sunday in the U.S. Grant National Memorial Park. Activities include a performance by the New York Gospel Caravan and an urban fashion show. For the rest of August, other events, from auto shows to dance performances to concerts to craft fairs and seminars will take place in the community. Harlem Week activities wrap up on Aug. 27 with a family health walk-a-thon.

To see a full schedule of events, click here, or scroll down to see what last year's events looked like.

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