Harlem Restoration Project, Inc.
Presents The Harlem History Club and Fitness Program
Although, we are conscious of the changing demographics in our service area we still need to educate our young people about the importance of history. African American history and literature are intrinsically connected. African American literature, “testified against slavery and witness the urge to be free and literate, and embraced the European Enlightenment dream of reason and the American Experience liberty. The “black voice” that Wheatley aimed to unearth is the same voice that is present with Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and more.
This ongoing project offers young people in Harlem an opportunity to improve reading, analytical and speaking skills while developing awareness, physical fitness and appreciation for their cultural heritage.
The project will be available for young people that are recommended by local schools, Community Based Organizations, and local churches. Each eight-week session will include up to 20 students. During the session, each student will read a book a week and present their insights to the group in order facilitate discussion. The discussion will involve summary and analysis of the book and consideration of its relevance to the student’s lives and current events in their community, the city and the nation. The program will offer advice for coping with problems that they and their fellow student’s experience, with reference to the ideas presented in the books. On occasion, guest facilitator’s will join in the session.
The program will help students gain experience and confidence with public speaking, community engagement and constructive criticism. The books will alternate between fiction and non-fiction and will likely include: Their Eyes were Watching God, “ By Zora Neale Hurston; “ Native Son, by Richard Wright, “ the Bluest of Eyes, by “ Toni Morrison; Invisible man, “by Ralph Ellison; The souls of Black Folk, : The fire the next time, by James Baldwin; Up From Slavery, by Booker Washington; “ I know why the cage bird Sings, by may Angelou; “ Man-child in the Promised land, “ by Claude Brown and more.
In addition to reading and engaging conversations the program also provides physical fitness emphasizing: weight management, yoga, marital arts and healthy lifestyles. “It takes 21 days to develop a good habit; 3 days to develop a bad one.” The History and fitness program will promote self-esteem, Improve Academic Achievement, reduce disciplinary problems and encourage parental involvement.