A talisman for performers
Big Apple Jazz "Harlem's Tree of Hope"
NYC Dept. of Park and Recreation
The Tree of Hope, originally located in front of the Lafayette Theater at 132nd St. and 7th Ave. in the 1920s, was then moved (the stump of it) to the middle of 131st St. and 7th Ave., later removed and replaced by a plaque, which is now gone.
Legend has it that black performers hanging out by it got lucky and got jobs. It became a good luck symbol, and performers would kiss it before going into the Lafayette. A remnant of the tree still exists and is kissed before performers perform at the Apollo's amateur night.
There was once a sculpture and also a plaque, signed by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, at its location at 131st St. and 7th Ave., but it is all gone now. It needs to be replaced.