This Was Harlem: A Cultural Portrait, 1900-1950, by Jervis Anderson, hardcover (goo condition; there is a tear in the dust jacket)
Documents the migration of Blacks to Harlem at the turn of the century and chronicles Harlem's life and culture through their heyday in the 1920s to the neighborhood's decline in the 1950s.
Rear dust jacket notes: "This Was Harlem is an important essay in American cultural history, filled with incidents, insights and memorable characters, and most vividly evocative of the glamour and dreams of a time long past. The Harlem of which Anderson writes was an outpost of American optimism, a gathering place for the avant-garde in music, dance, and democratic interracial relationships; and, as the site and symbol of America's freewheeling sense of possibility, it was our own homegrown version of Paris. Today that Harlem is gone, but anyone who wishes to grasp what this nation has lost in Harlem's decline can find here some idea of how this single section of a great metropolis was able to endow New York City (and thus the entire nation) with so much of its hope, its style, its dash. Anderson's book is no less entertaining than it is instructive, and that, to my mind, is the most rewarding form of historical writing. From beginning to end, I read with utter engrossment." -Ralph Ellison