(BALTIMORE – February 10, 2023) – His name was Phillip Anthony Payton, Jr. (February 27, 1876 – August 1917), and he was a real estate entrepreneur who took the bull by the horns and made a difference for Blacks in New York City. Specifically, his territory was Harlem.
Born 11 years after chattel slavery was officially outlawed, he rose to prominence in a day and time when the masses of Blacks were just getting on their feet. He was a tenacious businessman who, with his wife at his side, went on to become known as the “Father of Harlem”.
One can only imagine the obstacles he faced, including racism, but history shows that he did not allow the color of his skin to preclude him from achieving success – even in the Big Apple.
His official story is below, but BMORENews.com had to acknowledge this legendary figure in Black History Month because he laid down a foundational success story – one that inspires many others of all races.
An untoward circumstance has been injected into the private dwelling market in the vicinity of 133rd and 134th Streets. During the last three years the flats in 134th between Lenox and Seventh Avenues, which were occupied entirely by white folks, have been captured for occupation by a Negro population. Its presence there has tended also to lend much color to conditions in 133rd and 135th Streets between Lenox and Seventh Avenues.
One Hundred and Thirty-third Street still shows some signs of resistance to the blending of colors in that street, but between Lenox and Seventh Avenues has practically succumbed to the ingress of colored tenants. Nearly all the old dwellings in 134th Street to midway in the block west from Seventh Avenue are occupied by colored tenants and real estate brokers predict that it is only a matter of time when the entire block, to Eighth Avenue, will be a stronghold of the Negro population.