Since before the Harlem Renaissance and right through the present day, Harlem has had a rich tradition of extraordinary African American writing and culture. With the Harlem Community Collection, Countee Cullen Library and Harlem Library have curated a selection of some of the most significant works written about, for, by, and in Harlem and its diverse communities. These books are reserved for circulation in Harlem to ensure easy community access to great works of literature that speak to the Black experience in America. Authors including Maya Angelou, Faith Ringgold, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Nikki Grimes, Walter Dean Myers, Toni Morrison, and Chester Himes feature in this growing collection.

Visit Countee Cullen Library and Harlem Library to explore the collection, borrow books, pick up a bookmark, and find more information. The collection will expand to 125th Street Library when the branch reopens following its historic renovation as part of the Carnegie Branch Renovation Program (expected fall 2023).

This initiative is made possible through the generous support of Friends of Webster Library.

To find out more about Black culture, history, and literature, visit the Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.