Harlem artists spotlight businesses hit hard by pandemic

Harlem Parade is a creative organization celebrating black excellence and elevation within the community.
3:53 | 11/25/20

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Transcript for Harlem artists spotlight businesses hit hard by pandemic
Well, finally here on "Gma3" we want to introduce you to a vibrant community collective celebrating black excellence. Black culture, black community, black businesses all at the center of the spotlight of the Harlem parade. Take a look. Harlem parade is a nonprofit organization we started that leverages Harlem's artistic community to celebrate Harlem's businesses. I'm born raised in Harlem. Whenever I first got off the train at 15th street I was like, I am home. I wanted to do something that could shine light and awareness on the businesses and the creativity that lives here in Harlem. I was listening to Beyonce's "Black parade" song that came out on June 15th. My history is cursory I was very inspired. It started out as a music video. We wanted to film beautiful portraits to live inside of the music video, but as we sat down and spoke with the director, cool Luke, he's like, I feel like there's a deeper story here. The Harlem chamber of commerce reported that 38% of our small businesses closed. Our businesses need it now more than ever. With that, a whole entire website was birthed. How did it make you feel when you saw the video for the first time? When I first saw that black purveyed video, I felt like I was watching the portrayal of a new Harlem renaissance. When little girls see that video, they're going to see themselves. I got to tell you something -- Harlem parade has been so helpful to Harlem heritage tours. Unfortunately, with covid-19, everything came to a halt. Insert Harlem parade. They're making their business supporting small businesses. That's exactly what you need. Hey! When we got the call to be a part of it, we were like, oh, my god, this is really good -- after being so depressed and really sad because of the pandemic. And also everything that's going on now as far as, like, police brutality. We were losing a lot of hope. It was like that block party feel. Everybody was like, oh, they back outside! We're coming too! Harlem parade and the initiative and the video is all about getting business owners to work together, to thrive together, to prosper together, to share resources. And it really is something that business owners need. I think collective economics, collective resources is the only way we're going to succeed. It's just so nice they came up with this great idea, great concept and it really supported the businesses. It put a spotlight on Harlem and all that we represent, who we are, and really conveyed kind of the heartbeat of who we are. It was a really special opportunity for us to be a part of expressing that for the world to see. They actually opened us up to an opportunity that we didn't know was there in the sense of knowing all of the businesses and actually all of us coming together in order to do a collective project. The team behind Harlem parade is probably what we're most proud of. We were able to bring together 30 different creatives and artists to help create the concept that you see on harlemparade.org. We wanted to continue to tell the story and leave something behind that will forever be a gift. Harlem is swag. Harlem is rhythm. Harlem is love. I'm Harlem. You are Harlem. Harlem is the Mecca of black

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