Cleveland F. Lassiter - was a preachers son, a WWII vet, social worker, Alpha man, jazz record collector who built his own amplifier & speakers, a second generation Howard grad (his father graduated Howard University in 1915) and former head of the New York City chapter of the Howard University Alumni Assn.
As the youngest of 3 sons, I grew up going to libraries & bookstores with my mom, stereo stores & concerts with my dad and playing stickball (we called it K-Box), playing guitar with "The Fellas", and getting "hand-me-down" stereo equipment from my older brothers. Our family moved from The Bronx, to Queens, eventually ending up in suburbia of White Plains, NY in Westchester County.
The collection is made up of a diverse combination of elements. Rare cultural artifacts passed down from both parents, items discovered in my travels over the past 40 years in New York, Washington, DC & Atlanta, as well as promotional items from 25+ years of promoting hip-hop, R & B, Reggae & other independent music. At it's core, my collection reflects my worldview. Books & recordings of Paul Robeson, photography books, to over 2,000 underground music magazines.
After taking several of my books to a rare book dealer, I've been called "the man with the beautiful books". My search is to collect every photo book, exhibit catalog, and/or art book relating to the creations of the African diaspora, with a special emphasis on popular culture.