Harlem's Mart 125: The American Dream

Rachelle Salnave, 2010,  75 mins.

Mart 125, formerly located in the heart of Harlem was an indoor market place that housed African vendors from all over the Diaspora. It was developed by government agencies to remove street vendors in the mid-1980s. Due to a host of politics, poor management and the redevelopment of Harlem, the Mart was forced to close down in 2002. The building is now up for bidding and the vendors have either been fortunate enough to get their own store fronts in Harlem or are back to vending on the streets. "Harlem's Mart 125: The American Dream" is an in-depth analysis of the history of Mart 125 and how it correlates to the "revitalization" of 125th street, Harlem's main commercial hub. This story depicts the economic transition from the late 1960s to present day. By using Mart 125 and the people behind it, the market provides an apt metaphor for the effects of gentrification on the Harlem community and urban centers everywhere.

Panel discussion with Moikgantsi Kgama, Founder & Executive Director Imagenation and Gregory Gates, Executive Producer for Imagenation,  Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum Harlem and Rachelle Salnave (director). The National Jazz Museum Harlem and Imagenation are slated for a museum and cinema respectively in the former Mart 125 site.

Followed by a reception sponsored by The Harlem Brewery and Sugar Hill Ale