Harlem Underground New York

Image by ghdunbar

Harlem Underground – Clothing factory

The two black female superheroes you see in the accompanying photograph, screened onto T-shirts, represent the forward-thinking ideas of this shop’s owners. They were designed to remind children, and everybody else, that the superhero world is not for ‘whites only’, as has been depicted since that world’s invention.

The store was very calm and peaceful the last day I visited, with quiet music filling the modern, high-ceilinged room, while manager Aushauni glided around making things ‘right’.

There are several heroes to consider from among many more kinds of work, all of it themed to black culture with one being a riff on the Black Power salute created by gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos, 200 metre victors at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Everyone knows the famous photograph in which Smith and Carlos each wear a black glove but few notice that one glove is on the right hand, the other on the left.

That is because between them they could find only one pair, so as black victors they wore the gloves, but all three, including the silver medalist Peter Norman, wore Olympic Project for Human Rights badges on their tunics.

Back in the day theirs was an extremely radical salute and gesture, sort of like how black superheroes are perceived today.

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Details about this spot



Frederick Douglass Boulevard 2217, New York

Telephone number


Opening Times

10:00 - 19:30 daily


Superhero shirt: US$ 35


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)