Harlem Shakes With Lots of Music and Dancing in Celebration of African American Day

20 Sep
Cobra Drummers Giving the Dancers a Beat to Work With

The second leg of the double parade weekend brought me into the heart of Harlem for the 53rd annual African American Day Parade. Dubbed as the largest display of African American culture in the US, the parade was a huge success with plenty of music, dancing, and good times. Families can be seen lined up and down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd with their tables full of home cooked food and lounge chairs ready to watch the energetic marchers put on a show. It was like a huge family picnic with all the fixings. A staging area was set up just north of 125th St. where the emcees introduced each group to the huge crowd. Fulfilling the honor of being the lead group of the parade, The Cobras Dance Group brought lots of energy and got the crowd worked up for a fun day of celebration.

Rev. Sharpton Greets the Crowd

NYC Mayor Adams Works the Crowd

Temple Guard Getting Ready to Bring It

Aside from all the great music and dancing the parade offers, there has always been a big push to bring awareness of social issues to the community at large. This year there was a more forward looking posture as opposed to looking at the past. Many community groups focused on the wealth of getting an education and staying healthy. Once all the politicians had their say at the reviewing section, then all the fun began. Parade revelers were treated to a special dance group that made some amazing moves. The Something Untouchable Dance Company lived up to their name with some high energy and amazing moves. How someone didn’t get hurt, I don’t know. They were amazing. One of the biggest Labor Unions of the city had a nice representation with the 1199SEIU dance group followed up with the real GQ band singing some of their best hits.

Something Untouchable Had All the Right Moves

The Real GQ Gets the Crowd Dancing to Their Hits

No Arguments From Me

A group of double dutch rope jumpers came up the parade route and invited people from the crowd to join in. That was fun to see how long they could last without tripping up. More dance groups made their way to the party. A Brooklyn based group had the moves. Power House Dance Company was having fun getting the crowd into their moves. Then the Queens arrived when the famous Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority danced their way up towards the reviewing stand. AKA was all royalty in their performance.

Making the Streets Your Playground

AKA East Coast Having Some Fun

Mass Destruction Working It

A perennial favorite of the parade are the high steppers from Baltimore. They always bring their colorful outfits and high energy dancing and drummers. The Attraction Marching Unit got things started with some amazing high stepping. They were soon followed by the New Baltimore Christian Warriors. They were really good. The showstopper had to go to the big Mass Destruction Marching Unit. They were amazing and got the crowd really worked up. This really was a fun day in Harlem and I couldn’t wait to head on over to Amy Ruth’s for the best chicken and waffles in town.

Ride With Ya Next Year!!!!

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