"Shaking It in the Morning": Contestation and Congregation in Harlem during the New Negro Era

shannonking photo1 During Prohibition era New York, slumming whites flooded Harlem nightspots, where they lived out their desire for the exotic and the "uninhibited" souls of black folk. Exploring intraracial contestation over Harlem's geography of vice and leisure, this lecture explores how black Harlemites responded to this "white invasion" and how their responses constitute an aspects of New Negro politics. In the midst of this sea of whiteness, many black people suddenly found themselves to be treated as strangers within their own neighborhoods. Black Harlemites were pushed out, priced out, and even excluded from speakeasies and nightclubs in their own neighborhood. As Harlemites refashioned residential places for pay, play, and pleasure, seeking cultural authenticity and autonomy, others policed private space to recreate as sites of respectability and safety. By foregrounding intraracial conflict and cooperation, I endeavor to not only decenter Harlem as a site of interracial comity but also locate intraracial gender and labor conflict in public and private space as a way to think about how black folks understood the "political" in Harlem during the New Negro Era.

Guest Speaker: Shannon King, Associate Professor of History, College of Wooster

Date: Feb. 25, 2016
Time: 2:15-3:35PM
Location: Ruth Dill Crockett Johnson (RDCJ) conference room, 162 Ryders Lane, 1st floor
Open to the Public

232-041504 Rtgrs1