Middle of Harlem

by Gregory Abbott Music

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...about growing up in a special place in Harlem in New York City." It takes a village to raise a child".


Where I'm from the parents had one voice
you spoke respectfully when you met an elder
unheard of to not listen to an adult telling you when you were in error

We all knew that we were part
of something bigger there
not a day went by when we weren't told
son we're giving you a life here in the Riverton
and we've invested in you all our hopes

there is a place in the middle of Harlem
a time and a space called the Riverton
1200 families work in unison
to make a good life for them and their young

Some came from the Caribbean
or the south to call this place a new homeland
this place for celebrating opportunity a chance for a black man

Some have made it some are tainted but I realize
our parents sacrificed to help their own
and no matter where we are or where the bodies lie
we have our memories to keep us strong

Basketball, benches, girls in fine dresses
papa called Malcolm X "the one"
fights without guns, get in trouble and run
"Sugars" pink Cadillac flashing fun

My mother sighed for Adam Clayton Powell
the house parties kept moving around
and through it all the expectation
we wanted to make our people proud

Sent to the best schools study don't break the rules
they were giving us tools to hold our own
like fixing for war, such a challenge in store
racism pulled at their hearts with force

They hoped to save each of us from the pain
by teaching self respect and discipline
and to this very day I'm thankful
for growing up in the Riverton


released April 22, 2010



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Gregory Abbott Music Berkeley, California

Platinum recording artist, songwriter and producer Gregory Abbott's music has gone to number one on charts all over the world. He's had numerous top five hits both as an artist as well as producer for others. Abbotts' music has crossed every barrier imaginable. You hear the Caribbean/Spanish influence in his R&B/ Soul style, topped off with his incredibly smooth, soulful voice. ... more

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