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Le Petit Senegal

Le Petit Sénégal, or Little Senegal, is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It has been called Le Petit Senegal by the West African immigrant community and Little Senegal by some people from outside the neighborhood.

Le Petit Senegal is a smaller section of the much larger, and older, neighborhood of Harlem. The neighborhood's exact borders are difficult to define as it is still new, growing from nonexistent in 1985 to 6,500 by 2005.[1][2] Le Petit Senegal is generally defined as located in Central Harlem. The neighborhood's main streets are the blocks surrounding W. 116th Street between Lenox Avenue / Malcolm X Bl. on the east and Frederick Douglass Bl. to the west.[3]

Le Petit Senegal is the main shopping and social area for many of Harlem's West African immigrants. The majority of these recent immigrants hail from (partially) French speaking Senegal, reflecting the French local name of Little Senegal. However, African languages, such as Wolof, are also spoken in this part of Manhattan. There are also immigrants from other West African countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Gambia, and Burkina Faso. West African stores, restaurants, bistros, bakeries, cafes, and other proprietorships can be found in the neighborhood.

Stores along 116th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues (Adam Clayton Powell Jr Bl. and Frederick Douglass Bl., respectively)


  1. ^ Kankam, Nana (July 22, 2007). "Uptown, Africa Toujours". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  2. ^ Daff, Marieme O. (January 1, 1997). "A Little Senegal in Harlem". Washington Square News. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  3. ^ Attah, Ayesha (July 30, 2007). "Mourides Celebrate 19 Years in North America". The AFRican. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 116th Street in Harlem, New York is aptly named Le Petit Senegal. It abounds in aromas of stewing mafe and yassa wafting out of restaurants, sidewalks turned into mosques and businesses stocked with merchandise right out of Dakar. 

Further reading

  • New York Times: A One-Woman Welcome Wagon in Le Petit Sénégal
  • Boston Globe (taken from the New York Times): In Dense Stews From Senegal, Intriguing Secrets
  • World Cup fans cheer on Senegal at Africa Kine restaurant
  • An unexpected taste of Vietnam in Harlem's Little West Africa

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