Flashback: A look at Harlem in the 1970s
Harlem, full of life
The people who chose not to move with the great exodus
IMAGE: JACK GAROFALO/PARIS MATCH VIA GETTY IMAGES
Jack Garofalo (1923-2004), one of the leading photographers for Paris Match magazine, spent six weeks in Harlem, New York, in the summer of 1970. His images were the cover story for Match in October that year.
In the 1960s, large numbers of residents left Harlem for neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, seeking better schools, improved housing and a stronger sense of safety. Left in Harlem were the people who couldn’t afford to or chose not to move.
Despite massive federal investment throughout the 1970s, in 1978 the New York Times would publish an article titled “Harlem’s Dreams Have Died in Last Decade, Leaders Say.”
Yet, as these pictures show, that didn’t mean Harlem in 1970 was lacking in vibrancy. In the words of Camilo José Vergara, another photographer documenting Harlem during the decade: “There was something vital going on in Harlem in the ’70s.”