About The Harlem in Havana Project

Leslie Cunningham

The Harlem in Havana Project transmedia documentary project aims to entertain, titillate and educate audiences across multiple platforms about the significant role Harlem in Havana played in shaping North American entertainment. Produced by artist and filmmaker Leslie Cunningham, the project is a preservation of the life of her grandfather, Leon Claxtonone of America's most beloved showmen whose vision, passion and courage produced a show that still resonates today.  The project will engage communities of color who are currently being underserved in media, as well as academic communities in order to enrich the whole of our cultural knowledge. Our aim is to explore his life and revive Harlem in Havana's rich history through a variety of thought-provoking content, including: 

-  a feature-length documentary film
-  a traveling photography exhibit and companion book 
- an interactive, entertaining and educational website

Ultimately, The Harlem in Havana Project is a celebration of our multi-faceted past and a path for the descendants of African-Americans and Latinos to reflect, embrace, and liberate their own stories from historical amnesia. 

Leon Claxton was a tireless humanitarian who used his popular stage shows as a vehicle to raise money for worthy organizations and needy children in the U.S. and Western Canada. In the spirit of his philanthropy work, we have selected StandUp~SpeakOut (SUSO) of North Carolina as the recipient of a monetary donation from the proceeds of the film. 

SUSO-NC helps at risk youth of color by providing advocacy and therapeutic support through art therapy. SUSO works with children and teenagers who are victims or witnesses to domestic violence and sexual abuse. To learn more or to donate directly to the organization, visit http://www.susonc.org. Thank you for your support.