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Word Count: 331
THE EARLY YEARS Migration to Harlem During the late 1800s real estate brokers geared Harlem property to be set aside as an upper-class white residential neighborhood Wall Street stock brokers and other Whites who could afford it were to be lured uptown to reside with the Whites who lived there At this time Harlem was mostly made up of European immigrants The southeast corner of Harlem was Italian the central south section was largely Russian Jew the Germans and Irish were in the center and the north There were also sections made up of second and third generation American Whites A relatively small group of Blacks also resided in Harlem at the time however they lived in scattered pockets and their numbers were not large enough to raise concern amongst the other residents of Harlem 1 The majority of Blacks lived in a crowded ghetto on the west side of Manhattan in the Columbus Circle area known as San Juan Hill Some were able to find apartments in the west Twenties and Thirties 2 In any case Harlem in the late 1800s was New York Citys first suburb It was prime property and seemingly the perfect location to develop an upper class White residential enclave The expected real estate boom failed Real estate brokers overestimated the interests that Whites had in Harlem property and found themselves with an excessive amount of real estate on their hands Brokers began to panic In 1901 in desperation to earn back money invested in a fading boom Philip Payton an enterprising Black real estate broker proposed acting as a liaison to Black families who were willing to pay even higher rents then the prospective White tenants Harlem property interests soon attracted the creme de la creme of New Yorks Black business leaders They organized themselves into the Afro-American Realty Company which Payton founded in 1904 National support for the company came from Booker T Washington himself who
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