The battle to save Langston Hughes’ home from gentrification:



Ivy still grows on the front of the home of Langston Hughes in Harlem. There are not many houses as he left in New York City. Estate agents believe that a value of over $3 million.

And that is before anyone speaks of the fact that one of the great writers of America – a hero of the Harlem Renaissance – lived for much of the 1950s and ‘ 60s, until he died. His typerwriter is still on a shelf.

Pressure to sell ‘Hughes House’ intensifies. The current owner it listed for a simple $1 million a few years ago, but it has not sold. For now, the House is empty. The owner doesn’t live there. Nobody does. Paint is eroded markets.

Renee Watson thinks it’s a tragedy. This is why she started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the House and turn it into a cultural center honoring Hughes.

“Changes most of Harlem, more I am motivated to do something,” said Watson, a writer who lives nearby and watched gentrification to flow. A Whole Foods is set to open in the area of early next year. Estate agents predict that prices will skyrocket even further.

“We – the community – need to hang on to the space,” said Watson. “I have a sense of urgency.”

So far, the initiative to save the House of Hughes has raised a little over $25,000.

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