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The Resource Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance, James F. Wilson

Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance, James F. Wilson

Label
Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance
Title
Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies
Title remainder
performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance
Statement of responsibility
James F. Wilson
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
This work shines the spotlight on historically neglected plays and performances that challenged early twentieth-century notions of the stratification of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. On Broadway stages, in Harlem nightclubs and dance halls, and within private homes sponsoring rent parties, African American performers of the 1920s and early 1930s teased the limits of white middle-class morality. Blues-singing lesbians, popularly known as "bulldaggers," performed bawdy songs; cross-dressing men vied for the top prizes in lavish drag balls; and black and white women flaunted their sexuality in scandalous melodramas and musical revues. Race leaders, preachers, and theater critics spoke out against these performances that threatened to undermine social and political progress, but to no avail: mainstream audiences could not get enough of the riotous entertainment. Many of the plays and performances explored here, central to the cultural debates of their time, had been previously overlooked by theater historians. Among the performances discussed are David Belasco's controversial production of Edward Sheldon and Charles MacArthur's Lulu Belle (1926), with its raucous, libidinous view of Harlem. The title character, as performed by a white woman in blackface, became a symbol of defiance for the gay subculture and was simultaneously held up as a symbol of supposedly immoral black women. African Americans Florence Mills and Ethel Waters, two of the most famous performers of the 1920s, countered the Lulu Belle stereotype in written statements and through parody, thereby reflecting the powerful effect this fictional character had on the popular imagination. This work is based on historical archival research including readings of eyewitness accounts, newspaper reports, songs, and playscripts. Employing a cultural studies framework that incorporates queer and critical race theory, it argues against the widely held belief that the stereotypical forms of black, lesbian, and gay show business of the 1920s prohibited the emergence of distinctive new voices
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Wilson, James F
Dewey number
812/.5209896073
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
PS338.N4
LC item number
W555 2010
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • American drama
  • American drama
  • African Americans in the performing arts
  • Theater
  • African Americans
  • Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • African Americans in literature
  • Race in literature
  • Sex in the theater
Label
Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance, James F. Wilson
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents
Introduction: "It's getting dark on old Broadway" -- "Gimme a pigfoot and a bottle of beer": parties, performances, and privacy in the "other" Harlem Renaissance(s) -- "Harlem on my mind": New York's black belt on the Great White Way -- "That's the kind of gal I am": drag balls, "sexual perversion," and David Belasco's Lulu Belle -- "Hottentot potentates": the potent and hot performances of Florence Mills and Ethel Waters -- "In my well of loneliness": Gladys Bentley's Bulldykin' blues -- Conclusion: "You've seen Harlem at its best"
Control code
ocn466344607
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
ix, 260 p.
Isbn
9780472026968
Isbn Type
(ebk.)
Lccn
2009050344
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)466344607
Label
Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance, James F. Wilson
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents
Introduction: "It's getting dark on old Broadway" -- "Gimme a pigfoot and a bottle of beer": parties, performances, and privacy in the "other" Harlem Renaissance(s) -- "Harlem on my mind": New York's black belt on the Great White Way -- "That's the kind of gal I am": drag balls, "sexual perversion," and David Belasco's Lulu Belle -- "Hottentot potentates": the potent and hot performances of Florence Mills and Ethel Waters -- "In my well of loneliness": Gladys Bentley's Bulldykin' blues -- Conclusion: "You've seen Harlem at its best"
Control code
ocn466344607
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
ix, 260 p.
Isbn
9780472026968
Isbn Type
(ebk.)
Lccn
2009050344
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)466344607

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