HONORING BLACK AND CUBAN ENTERTAINMENT HISTORY
The Harlem in Havana Project is a transmedia project produced by artist/ documentary filmmaker Leslie Cunningham. The mission of The Harlem in Havana Project is to entertain and educate audiences about the important role of Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana– a traveling “Jig show” that endured racism segregation and immigration laws to become popular in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Harlem in Havana played a major role in shaping American entertainment and popular culture for nearly four decades. Our aim is to explore and revive this little-known, rich history that had an expansive social impact before the Civil Rights Movement and the Cuban Revolution.
A preservation of top producer Leon Claxton’s legacy, this project shines a long overdue spotlight on his life as America’s top African American Impresario, and his many contributions to the world of entertainment.
The project will engage African Americans, Latinos and other communities of color who have been underserved in media. Ultimately, the Harlem in Havana Project is a celebration of our multi-faceted past and a path for the descendants of African-Americans and Latinos to look back, embrace the past, and liberate their own stories from historical amnesia.