It's done! The manuscript is completed and ready to be shared!

Dear Harlem Prep friends,

A photo of one of the pages in Chapter 9, from a printed copy.

A photo of one of the pages in Chapter 9, from a printed copy.

I hope you all are well! It is with great pleasure and even greater humility that I have wonderful news: I have completed the manuscript that has become the Harlem Prep Project, entitled “Learning, Liberation, and Love: The Story of Harlem Preparatory School, 1967-1974.” It’s still hard to believe and feels a bit surreal, to say the least. After first learning about Harlem Prep in 2012, I’ve  spent the last 6+ years – with your help, guidance, and generosity – working tirelessly to research and help further share the Harem Prep story. I won’t recap the whole process here – the moving interviews and stories you all have kindly shared with me, the thousands of pages of documents I’ve viewed and analyzed, and the numerous friendships I have developed along the way. Although it has been the most wonderful privilege of my life to write about Harlem Prep, it has also been a long journey, and there were many days where I felt like I would not be able to complete this project and to write the story that I had been researching for so many years.

I still feel like that on some days: that the story as I told it was not told completely, or as fully, or as humanely as it should be. There was, and still is, so much love that is part of Harlem Prep that go beyond words; so much brilliance, and determination, and sheer magic that is impossible to capture fully on paper. Yet, I thought of all of you each day – and it is your spirit that empowered me and guided me to give everything that I could to write this story of Harlem Prep to the best of my abilities. So, from the bottom of my heart: thank you for everything (click here for a short, formal acknowledgments thanking you, the Harlem Prep community, that is in the manuscript). I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

So, what does all this mean?! Well, the first phase of the Harlem Prep Project is done! Due to copyright issues, I cannot post the manuscript here, but if you contact me on Facebook, through e-mail (bmg2136@tc.columbia.edu), or via phone, I can send you a digital copy right away.  

A few notes about the manuscript: first, it’s very long! In total, it is 591 pages. But, don’t worry! While it is indeed long, many of those pages are not part of the narrative. Furthermore, it is long because of the way the pages are spaced and because of the “footnotes” (basically all of the citations and sources), and overall, it is not as long as it seems – I promise! Furthermore, after you get through the Introduction and chapter 1, the rest of the manuscript is much easier reading! “Part II” is the heart and soul of this story!

Finally, what’s next? Good question! I am in the process of reaching out to book publishers, with hopes of publishing this work into a formal book as soon as I can. I have a few leads already, and this summer, I am going to work as diligently as I can to turn this manuscript into the book that it deserves – and that the Harlem Prep community deserves. Once that happens, there is much to change: making the manuscript shorter, making changes and revisions, etc. But, I will keep you all updated this summer and beyond -- I promise!

In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions or would like to talk further. I would love to speak about it and share my immense gratitude! Thank you all for everything you have done to help me complete this first part of the project – and we’ll be back in touch soon!

With love,

-Barry