6 must-see Black murals in Harlem


A panel from "Parade" by Derek Fordjour

From decades-old murals that have recently undergone renovations to the newest subway art commissioned by the MTA, here's a shortlist of the best Black murals in Harlem—work by and about African Americans—and where to find them.


Listed from south to north, use it to go on your own personal tour:



1. “Spirit of Harlem" by Louis Delsarte

Southeast corner of 125th St and Frederick Douglass Blvd

Commissioned by North Fork Bank in 2005, this colorful glass mosaic was bricked over by a sneaker store in 2017. After a public outcry, it was quickly restored.




2. "Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines" by Faith Ringgold

125th Street station on the 2 and 3 lines, Lenox Ave and 125th St

This series of glass mosaic murals along the subway platform shows various historical figures, from Malcolm X to Josephine Baker, flying over well-known Harlem locations.




3. "Planet Harlem" by Paul Deo

Northwest corner of Malcolm X Blvd and 126th St

A playful mural depicting everyone from Langston Hughes to Barack Obama coming together to rejoice in their achievements.




4. "Dizzy Gillespie" by Brandan Bmike Odums and Marthalicia Matarrita

229 W 135th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

This towering mural—commissioned by Education Is Not a Crime, a campaign promoting education equality—celebrates the famous jazz artist's 100th birthday.




5. "Homage to Seurat: La Grande Jatte in Harlem" by Eva Cockcroft

Northwest corner of Amsterdam Ave and Hamilton Pl

Using Georges Seurat's famous pointillist painting as inspiration, Eva Cockcroft put her own spin by depicting various African Americans enjoying a leisurely afternoon. Originally painted in 1986, the mural was restored in 2009.




6. "Parade" by Derek Fordjour

145th Street Station on the 3 line, Lenox Ave and 145th St

These dazzling glass mosaics celebrate Harlem's legacy of parades via rows of impossibly limber line majors, hip-swaying dancers, and feathered-hat wearing drummers.



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