This outdoor Harlem market is run by the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque, the former religious home of the separationist Malcolm X.
From a childhood fraught with danger, Malcolm Little (later Malcolm X) survived the tempestuous Baptist upbringing of his civil rights activist father, who was a supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey.
The murder of his father by members of the Black Legion, a white supremacist organization, served as a catalyst that led to Malcom’s rise to spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and as his fame grew he worked to establish mosques in several US cities.
After whistleblowing the immoral sexual affairs of its leader, Malcolm X separated from the Nation of Islam but inflamed passions caused more radical members of The Nation… to shoot him fifteen times at a speaking engagement, where he died, in 1965.
Now at this market there is food, there is music, and there are bolts of fabric and clothes of the most exciting and colourful fabrics I have seen in ages—metallic silver stripes on sea blue, see-through gossamer, blood red and indigo wax prints overlaid with gold on cotton, chevrons of red, gold, blue and black on Kente Coth, Djellabas, Kaftans, Kofias and Kufis.
You might even find an Aso Oke hat—a soft fez—a fila made of hand woven Aso Oke or ‘top cloth’ by men in Yoruba.
Oils, incense and good vibes abound.