From restaurants to exhibits, Ruby Dee is having a major moment in Harlem

Updated: Jun 2, 2020


A vintage photo of Ruby Dee at the "Ballad for Harlem" exhibit at the Schomburg Center

Five years after her death at the age of 91, legendary actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee is having a major moment in Harlem–the neighborhood where she grew up and got her start. Here's where to soak up a bit of her light:

An assortment of vintage photos, letters and more from Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis on display in "A Ballad for Harlem" at the Schomburg Center

The archive of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Blvd and 135th St

Last year the Schomburg announced it had acquired the joint archive of Ruby Dee and her husband, Ossie Davis. The couple didn't just perform in memorable plays such as "A Raisin in the Sun," but was actively involved in the civil rights movement–from integrating Broadway to emceeing the 1963 March on Washington. A fascinating assortment of vintage photos, letters and theater memorabilia from those years are already on display in the new exhibit "A Ballad for Harlem."

Ruby's Vintage is named after Ruby Dee, who was raised in the same Harlem building

Ruby's Vintage

2340 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and 137th St

Occupying the ground floor of the building where Ruby Dee was raised, this restaurant named after the legendary actress has vintage vibes to match. Stop by for brunch or dinner, and don't forget to order a cocktail–a Ruby Spritz perhaps?

The corner of W 123rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue was co-named Ruby Dee Place and Ossie Davis Way in April of 2019

Ruby Dee Place and Ossie Davis Way

W 123rd St and St. Nicholas Ave

Thanks to a successful petition by the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem, the corner of W 123rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue was co-named Ruby Dee Place and Ossie Davis Way in April of this year. The street naming also highlights the couple's less visible–but just as important–work to advance the careers of African Americans in TV and film.

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