© 2016 - my harlem film, LLC

Intro by Writer/Director, Jeff L. Lieberman

As a Harlem-based filmmaker, I wanted to write a tribute to my neighborhood to show off all the beautiful and historic aspects of this vibrant corner of New York City.  I also wanted to pay tribute to the people who fill its brownstones, restaurants, parks and jazz clubs, and I wanted to address the thorny issue of gentrification and the complications that arise as the neighborhood continues to shift.  Being a 5-year resident of Harlem, I also recognize that my presence is part of the problem and part of the solution - sometimes indistinguishable to passing people on the street.

However, the majority of Harlem (Black or White, New or Old) seems to agree that the church sign on 123rd and Lenox has taken the issue of gentrification and turned it into Hate Speech.  This particular church seems to take special enjoyment in targeting the LGBTIQ community, suggesting that “homos” be stoned or thrown off buildings, and often exacerbating tired stereotypes of gay men as sexual deviants out to “steal” the neighborhood.  But their hate doesn’t just apply to gays and lesbians.  They have targeted Black people, women, President Obama, and many others.  There is regular use of the “N-word” and violations of churches making political endorsements.   You won’t be surprised to know that the sign proclaimed glowing support for a President Trump.

Much of this might seem laughable or a desperate attempt for attention, but to Harlem residents who have to explain these hateful messages to their children every day, one realizes there is never a place for hate speech.  Several different community groups have tried unsuccessfully to have this sign removed - citing hate speech and historic preservations violations.  When it came to light this year that the church owed millions of dollars in unpaid bills and was heading to foreclosure, the end seemed near.  However, they have managed a way to delay, fight and today their hatred is on display - their message changed weekly.

I thought it would be fascinating to confront this sign and the underlying truth about gentrification with a story about two people forced into a conversation as they each stop and absorb the shocking message.  What developed was the story of Nathan and Langston, two men, one Black, one White, both gay, with very different reactions to  the sign.  It’s a film where being gay is not the primary focus, but issues of race, gentrification and sexuality are all combined into one. The film developed further in both its scope and complexity following the incidents of police brutality in Louisiana and Minnesota this summer.  Through the film, we see their individual communities: their roommates, families, co-workers, and neighbors all react not only to what’s taking place in Harlem, but in the wider world as we continue to work to dismantle racism, xenophobia, hate, and violence.  The hope for this film is that it will incite change and inspire healing for all of those affected by police shootings, for all those displaced from their homes, and for all those who have had to hear hateful and dangerous speech as a result of their sexuality or the color of their skin.  We hope to combat hatred with love and I hope you will join us in every step!
- Jeff
why we are making “MY HARLEM”
OUR crowd-funding 
JOIN US and help combat hatred with love!
myharlem kick-off celebration

231 lenox ave 
between 121st and 122nd
 “It is essentially a love story. A romantic comedy at its very heart, 
but it goes a lot deeper into issues that are more substantial 
than most films like that.”
Thank you to everyone who came out 
and took a stand against hate, 
and supportedour first event! 
more to come!
ronald appleton
david berry
melissa bloom
edgar byham
randy cannoy
davin carter
amelia Cary
barbara cepeda
Natasha Chisdes
Joseph Cirello
nancy cohn
paul decker
laura dion
natalie douglas
Cynthia M. Duncan
Gary Eichholz
lauree feldman
Anita Clair Fellman AND    
   Edward Steinhart
sarah frank
sarah AND harley friedman
Eli gorn
damon griffin
arthur gross
justin gurevitch
jessie hargrove
Ms Viv Hammell
allan holland
mitch jacobson
Kevin Jordan-Deen
Ramona AND Ken Karasick 
ian keeney 
Josh AND Rowena KleinmaN
Thomas LaFrance
merritt levitan
Sharon Lieblein
carole AND lucien lieberman
leanne lieberman AND 
  robert smith
Rich Ledson
leslie lui
josh marans
Chinyere Memeh
Liza AND Beth Milliner
terrence moss
Chris Nicholson
yalman onaran
christopher robinson
jennifer silverman
Daryl Sneed
sylvan solloway
Jordan Spayd
elizabeth stanford
ronnie AND barry tessler
Joanne Uhlmann
jenny wesly AND 
  margriet onland
Jill AND lorne Weinstein
kat williams
jeffrey AND reyna zack
evan zelnick
Become A Friend 
of The Film... 

Subscribe for quarterly newsletters about events, screenings, 
and more.
select a perk and contribution level:
Become A Friend 
of The Film... 

Subscribe for quarterly newsletters about events, screenings, 
and more.
OUR crowd-funding 
JOIN US and help combat hatred with love!
select a perk and contribution level:
JOIN US and help combat hatred with love!
select a perk and contribution level: