from HuffPost Black Voices
Harlem’s renaissance hinged on the poetic musings of wordsmiths like Langston Hughes in the 1920s, much as its latest revival hinges on the poets Jessica Care Moore, Steve Colman and Black Ice.
The trio, along with four other “Def Poetry Jam” alumni and their predecessors The Last Poets, will take the stage at a new 20,000 square-foot cultural center called MIST Harlem Wednesday night, marking the unofficial opening of the uptown Manhattan entertainment space.
“There are people who are doing cinema, there are people who are doing music, there are people who may have a restaurant, but we’re the only place that you can have all of that under one roof,” MIST’s chief marketing officer, Taneshia Nash-Laird, told The Huffington Post.
In September, while still under construction, MIST hosted a one-day pop-up shop for the one-time Harlem mainstay Hue-Man Books, bringing in NBA star Dywane Wade for a reading and signing of his debut work, “A Father First.”
The venue aims to highlight the kind of talent on which Harlem’s fabled reputation was built — “the best in film, live music, spoken word, and comedy [either] performed or created by black and Latino artists,” Nash-Laird said. She added that the target audience is the neighborhood’s steady flow of tourists.
“Harlem has changed significantly over the years, but as long as I’ve been in the community, from a family standpoint, we have buses of tourists that come and there were few places that they could go from a commercial standpoint,” Nash-Laird said. The touchy nature of Harlem’s gentrification is not lost on MIST or its creators…