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Pioneer Harlem developer Chance Lucille Edwards

3/29/2012, 2:52 p.m.
Pioneer Harlem developer Chance Lucille Edwards

One of the worst mistakes made in Harlem in the 20th century was by African-Americans who did not own real estate in their community. On that, Chance Lucille Edwards was a woman ahead of her time.

She was born Dec. 8, 1899, in Guyana and immigrated to the United States in 1921. In 1925, with her sisters Sarah and Millicent, she founded Edwards Sisters Realty Associates, creating the first Black-owned and operated real estate firm in New York State. After 75 years, Edwards Sisters Realty Associates still stand today in Hamilton Heights.

Edwards was also an advocate for women's rights and a member of the National Association of Negro and Professional Women's Club.