In the spirit of James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, Grant Harper Reid's Harlem Bible: In the Beginning is a memorable offering that helps readers rediscover the soul and spirit of Black culture in Harlem. In this spellbinding autobiography, the author relives wonderful and touching memories of his childhood, growing up as a black man in Harlem. The author explores the dreams of black families, poised for the revolution - perhaps gentle like the wind - that was a promise of an upward movement in the American economic status. Readers are introduced to the shift in culture, thanks to the advent of gentrified folk. But what was Harlem like among the black community? This book answers that question & offers more.
Harlem Bible: In the Beginning is a wonderful book, a well-crafted memoir that explores the dynamics of black culture in Harlem and redefines the very soul and spirit of the "black man" within a well defined historical context. The writing is beautiful, laced with arresting images and, I must say, Grant Harper Reid has a phraseology that gives a unique signature to his writings. The language is fluid and laced with humor and symbolism. For instance, just a few lines into the narrative, he describes his usual visits, accompanied by his dad, to the house of a wealthy man: "Whenever my dad and I went to visit Mr. Llewellyn, he'd be either wearing a smoking jacket or a bathrobe on his balcony deck. If that wasn't dressing for success, I don't know what is." The readers find themselves smiling quite often as they read through the gripping and enjoyable narrative, the culture and social commentaries opening a whole world for the reader to navigate.
Grant’s first book Rhythm For Sale was described as venturing, “Into the beating heart of the Harlem Renaissance which taps into an important cultural movement.” In Harlem Bible, the author aims his arrow with a book that hits the bulls-eye. We interlace through Grant's past with flashbacks and timelines, which he assembles with authentic historical references.
Harlem Bible comes to life by fetching up the writer’s impeccable memories of yesteryear. It’s a paperback comprised of the autobiographer’s meticulous diagram furnishing readers with slices of Harlem’s glorious past. Harlem Bible follows Grant in a Harlem full of upwardly mobile African-American families during the 1950-60s. We roll with the unseasoned youth at uptown hangouts, urban riots, suburban romances, civil rights, and the underworld with the groovy bitching music of the day. The tome’s also about the innocence of a black boy trying to get educated who discovering who he is.
I so enjoyed your story. You brought the world of Harlem and your family vividly to life. Your writing was compelling, honest and at times had the ability to grab the reader, shake them and say, "This is how it is." I thought your description of your father was handled in a frank, yet sensitive manner, and the love you have for your family jumps off the page."
This is a perspective of African-American history that is lesser know. Heartbreaking, racist and cruel moments in middle school and in high school give the book particularly important emotional and historical value. The book reads like a work of history. It could be especially useful to historians and students of American history.
Harlem's best kept secrets! Reid's spunky account of his young life throughout the sixties Harlem is an immensely enjoyable read. The detailed descriptions of characters, places, and situations he encountered make his story much more real. It is a colorful story of family, community, and the inevitably complex social constructs that have arisen from America's history. Everyone knows something about Harlem, but this book will make you see the city with brand new eyes!
Author Grant Harper Reid delivers a spellbinding homage to childhood, self-discovery and New York with Harlem Bible: In The Beginning. This immersive memoir navigates the author's unpredictable life and immediate circles of personal connections, as well as the vibrantly evolving landscape of Harlem through the middle of the 20th century. Distilling the grace of jazz and hard edges of life, while effortlessly transporting readers to a different time, Reid peels back layers of memory with artful and brutally honest precision.
Harlem Bible from Grant H. Reid transports you through time and space on a journey canvassing the concrete jungles of Harlem as well as the serene and picturesque setting of the suburbs of Teaneck, NJ. Although these cities are less than 100 miles apart, Grant's insight and close attention to detail makes these two destinations seem like they are on opposite ends of the earth. If you love anecdotes, then Grant has you covered. His witty humor and take on all things will have you in stitches.
Grant touches on multiple decades including the Woodstock era, where he had a Birdseye view to photograph and rub elbows with the great JIMI HENDRIX!!!
I highly recommend this book for its great storytelling and life lessons that Grant has candidly laid out. It takes great courage and cojones to be so honest and frank with your life, exposing yourself for the world to see. Grant does not shortchange his readers. Read Harlem Bible and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
The book (Harlem Bible) is full of days gone by and once familiar names such as the late, great, Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Both of Grant's books vividly portray a bygone era. They the Harlem Bible & Rhythm For Sale both capture the imagination and take the reader back to a time that the young don't know about and the elders have forgotten. They are perfect reading materials on a rainy day or while relaxing on a sunny day in the park. Either way, once you pick them up you won't want to put them down until the very last page.
Thank you, Grant
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. Grant Harper Reid, who recounts a time and place in history that many have either forgotten, don't know about, or deliberately ignore. The author's emotional and descriptive writing is almost cinematic - I feel as if I'm watching a movie or documentary. It's fascinating, heartbreaking, sometimes humorous, and unpredictable. The author, "As we matured, we began to understand that the battles of our childhood were things of the past."
In the " Harlem Bible " , it reveals that the truth will set you free. The power of Grant's words provide a warm sunny glow, of a beautiful Harlem's summer day. This memoir is a treasure within the Black American cultural society. Harlem Bible: In The Beginning, should be a required reading for all the good educational and reference libraries, that share the common revealing light, of a divine morality and truth.
For the "Harlem Bible-In The Beginning" & "Rhythm For Sale" which rediscovers the History, Soul, and Spirit of Harlem through the Eyes of the Author.
For the Black History and Creative Authorship
For convincing Major Motion Picture Corporations to make Charitable Donations for kids in the parks, religious institutions, beautification of the neighborhoods...
For Decades of Motion Picture and Theater History Research and the film industry in New Jersey the East-Coast's first Hollywood.
The New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission Award for Motion Picture Research
Grant was one of Actor/President/Activist Ossie Davis' First Interns & Produced their first television show.