NYC Honorary Street Names


Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan Way (Manhattan)
Present name:None
Location:Northeast corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard
Honoree: Dr. Yosef (Johannes) Ben-Jochannan (1918-2015) was a prolific author who challenged popular and often derogatory notions of Africa and its people. A world traveler, he led many excursions to the Nile Valley, allowing thousands of students and others to see for themselves what he had learned about African people. His writings and lectures emphasized the majesty of the woman through the ages and the primary contribution of Nile civilizations in history. He was the last of a distinguished list of Black Scholars who devoted their lives to the study of ancient Africa. With Prof. George Simmons, he founded the Alkebu-Ian Foundation in Harlem, located on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard for many years, which published many of his early works. He later worked with television journalist Gil Noble and with such leaders as Minister Farrakhan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Sister Kefa and Brother Bill Jones of the First World Alliance. He referred to Dr. John Henrik Clarke as his brother. Dr. Ben founded/co-founded or inspired the creation of several organizations including the Africana Studies Department of CCNY, African Nationalist in America (ANIA), The Blue Nile, The Craft, and the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAP). He began his journey on the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, in front of the famed Theresa Hotel, where he lectured to all who were willing to listen. He worked with Harlem's youth through HARYOU ACT in 1967. He was an adjunct Professor at Cornell University's Africana Studies and Research Center from 1973 to 1987 and lectured at most of New York City's institutions of higher learning. Dr. Ben held an honorary faculty position with the Rabbinical Academy at Beth Shalom Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Brooklyn. A polyglot, he taught in many African countries and lectured throughout Europe. (Perkins)

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