Harlem Focus Docs

Harlem is a stage. Its residents are the stars.

The Grooming Doctor

Timothy Polo Greene, the Harlem native barber, states that a good haircut helps establish part of our personality. As he takes care of his customers, Mr. Greene shares his journey to become a master barber. He shares insight from being a master barber for more then twenty­-five years, that the barbershop is more than just a grooming gallery, but a type of social club within the Harlem community.

The Call of the Drum

Aurthur Toombs is a drummer who has a passion for djembe drums. As a hobby, he plays the drum on the streets of Harlem mostly everyday after work with his friends. To show his passion, Aurthur Toombs spreads the culture to have it continue in the future by teaching kids and performing his drumming talents at events.

Harlem Hustle


Chase Reed has a love affair with sneakers. And it is this love affair that propelled him to open Sneaker Pawn, a pawn shop dedicated solely to sneakers in Harlem. The 17 year old entrepreneur manages the store with the help of his father Troy Reed. As he inspects the sneakers and runs the shop, Chase gives us insight into his desire to make his family proud of him and the crazy costumer scenarios that come up with owning a pawn shop.

Eric Washington


Eric K. Washington, the Harlem native and historian, offers walking tours in Harlem. As he guides students, locals, and tourists through Harlem’s streets, he shares his wisdom that neighborhoods are organic, constantly evolving and leaving behind rich secrets of history.

21st Century Colonist

After living in Texas and Florida, Devante Lewis returns to a Harlem he doesn’t know. As Devante notices the changes in his neighborhood because of gentrification, he is seen as part of the probelm because of the way he now dresses and talks. Even though he is now seen as an outsider that the community can move past the gentrification and become more of a melting pot.

Sweet Harlem

Make My Cake a bakery based in Harlem started with Josephine Smith “Ma Smith” baking out of her home, but when the demand became too high she opened her first store front in the neighborhood. The bakery now has two locations and is run by Ma Smith’s daughter, Aliyyah Baylor, who refers to all her costumers as sweeties.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Use of Color

Dominique Duroseau is a sculpture artist very focused on her view of existentialism, but with a different approach. She believes that human actions and behaviors are not ruled by coincidence (as existentialism claims); rather they originate from afflictions and experience. Her work reveals how she questions aspects of society through her physical manifestation of concepts and emotions—yielding her sculptural work. Her view of the world includes war, socio-economic disparity, and psychological trauma; thus, her work invites viewers to slow down to observe and interpret.

Dark Fashion

Harlem is home to many creatives in the fashion world such as aspiring models, make-up artist, and fashion designers. Adrian Aliciea is a Harlem resident who draws from his surroundings to inspire his career as a fashion designer. He literally uses his two-bedroom apartment and people from the neighborhood to create art. This short documentary entitled “Dark fashion” provides insight into Adrians critique of the fashion industry and his plans to shake it up with his “out of the box” style.

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