Two More Harlem Streets Named for Black Leaders

Two More Harlem Streets Named for Black Leaders

Published November 11, 2009

Two more streets in Harlem were named in honor of civil rights leaders on Saturday.

All of 145th Street was named A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, in honor of the labor and political leader. The length of Bradhurst Avenue, running from West 141st Street to 155th Street, was named W. E. B. DuBois Avenue, after the scholar and writer who also helped found the NAACP.

Library of Congress 145th Street will also carry the name of A. Philip Randolph, the labor and civil rights leader.

Each man was a longtime resident of Harlem, though neither lived there when he died. “They walked those streets,” said Anthony Harmon, the president of the New York chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. “They were part of that community.” They did not live on the streets that are named after them.

DuBois died in Accra, Ghana, in 1963, one day before the “I Have a Dream” speech of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. At the time of Randolph’s death in 1979, he had lived in a Chelsea building affiliated with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union for well over a decade.

Randolph helped unionize Black workers and led the all-Black International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a significant force in the Civil Rights Movement.

The street namings, which were pushed largely by the Harlem Historical Society, were approved by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bloomberg last year. The director of the Harlem Historical Society, Jacob Morris, has made a campaign of having locations throughout the city named after Black historical figures large and obscure.

Several other Harlem streets, including Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard, have been named for African-American historical figures. To date, none have been named after historically iconic African-American women.

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