Hurricane Irene and an observation about hiring locally in Harlem

Being in Harlem before and after hurricane Irene was illuminating for many reasons.  But one reason stands out and is particularly encouraging. 

Despite the apocalyptic nature of the storm and the historic shut down of all mass transit as of noon Saturday, many Harlem businesses remained open late into Saturday and a few opened early on Sunday.

Upon further inquiry, it appears that in most cases, the businesses are either owned or staffed (or both) by local Harlem residents.  

Given ongoing (and recent) discussions regarding the need to hire locally and the impact of race and gentrification among other factors on doing so, this is an important observation worth recognizing, communicating, encouraging and – perhaps most importantly, embracing. 

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