Celebrating racing history at the Harlem Derby


Photo: Antoine DeBrill

Photo: Antoine DeBrill

The mint juleps were flowing, and the music, supplied by a jazz trio tucked into the dining room, was southern and sweet. Women in elaborately designed hats and men in snappy fedoras selected from a menu in which bourbon played a featured role, their Derby-best attire not deterring them from digging into the ribs that streamed from the kitchen on trays held high about the servers’ heads.

Louisville? Lexington?

Nope. Harlem.

On the afternoon of 7 May, a multiracial crowd packed New Harlem Besame to watch the 142nd Kentucky Derby, to celebrate Harlem style, fashion, and food, and to honor the African Americans who played such a prominent role in the early history of the race, only to all but disappear from the sport at the start of the 20th century.

Continue reading at The Guardian

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