Barbara From Harlem

Project 21 member “Barbara From Harlem” was a community and political activist in New York City. Born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, she raised five children as a single mother. She was also a small business owner and ran several nonprofits helping inner-city youth.

Barbara earned her nickname in the mid-90s from then-WABC talk radio host Jay Diamond. She was a frequent caller about the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which she thought was wrongly decided.

She then became a well-known voice of black conservatism in New York City and across the country. She was called the “godmother of black conservatives” by fellow podcaster Darius Mayfield.

She was the author of the book “Escaping the Racism of Low Expectations” (Simon & Schuster, 2018). In it, she explained:

I was a liberal by default. I asked no questions. I had no answers… But my eyes were opened to reject victimhood and lack of accountability. My journey has proven to me that when you have clarity of conscience, love of God and a deep-seated belief in America’s goodness, your life will be enriched and your focus will change to one of accountability.

With her daughter Bebe, Barbara co-hosted the “Our Urban Story.”

Barbara passed away in August 2023.


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