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Black Manhattan

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In this classic work, first published in 1930, James Weldon Johnson, one of the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance, combined the skills of the historian, social scientist, and the reporter to trace the New York black experience from the earliest settlements on Chatham Square during the pre-revolutionary period to the triumphant achievements of Harlem in the 1920s. Featuring a foreword by Zadie Smith.

ISBN-13: 9781632461155

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Ig Publishing

Publication Date: 04-06-2021

Pages: 276

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was an early civil rights activist, a pioneering leader of the NAACP, and a leading figure in the creation and development of the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson's first success as a writer was the poem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (1899), which became known as the "Negro National Anthem." His published works include The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), God's Trombones (1927), and Black Manhattan (1930).

Table of Contents

Foreword Zadie Smith xiii

Preface xxi

Chapter 1 The black city within the white-Harlem, the metropolis of the Negro world-The anomaly of it-The beginning of the story of the Negro in New York-The Negro, five per cent of the population in 1626-Slavery under the Dutch-The beginning of the colony of black freemen-Growth of slavery under the English-The slave insurrection of 1712-The revolt of 1742-Number of slaves and freemen in New York at close of Revolutionary War. 3

Chapter 2 Changes in sentiment wrought by spirit of the Revolution-Forming of the Manumission Society, John Jay, president; Alexander Hamilton, secretary-Steps towards abolition of slavery-Efforts made by Negroes in New York-Methods employed-Number of Negroes in New York at close of Civil War. 10

Chapter 3 Beginnings of education-African Free School established in 1787; first free school in New York-Report on African Free School by committee from Common Council of the city-Growth of educated: leadership-Organization of churches-African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church organized, 1796-Negro Dutch Reformed Church, 1826-Widening of gap between white and black Christianity-Closing of gap between white and black education-Negro pupils and teachers in New York public school system. 16

Chapter 4 Period between abolishment of slavery in the state (1827) and in the nation (1863)-Negro suffrage in New York-Precarious situation of the freemen-Founding of FREEDOM'S JOURNAL, first Negro newspaper, in 1827-Growth of Negro press and part played by it in New York-Black anti-slavery agitators: Frederick Douglass, Samuel Ringgold Ward, Henry Highland Garnett, Alexander Crummell, James W, C. Pennington, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman-Slave insurrections in the South; their effect on the Negro freemen in the North-The Negro freemen, a problem and a menace. 22

Chapter 5 Rise of the idea of Negro colonization-Paul Cuffee, the first colonizer-The failure of colonization schemes-Attitude of Douglass and other leaders towards colonization-New economic pressure on Negroes in New York-Effect of rising tide of immigration on Negroes in New York. 32

Chapter 6 Outbreak of the Civil War-Pro-slavery sentiment in New York City-The fight for the chance to fight-New York Negro regiments in the war-The Draft Riots in New York City-The close of the war, and the lull that followed-Shift of race interests and activities to the South-Frederick Douglass, great New Yorker. 39

Chapter 7 Where the Negro lived in the earliest days of New York City-The steady shift northward-Sectional pride of the Greenwich Village colony-The shift to the upper Twenties and lower Thirties, west of Sixth Avenue-Brooklyn becomes centre of social life and respectability-Change in racial activities of the Negro in New York-v-Era of activities in the professional sports-The jockeys, the baseball players, the prize-fighters-Molineaux, the first American champion-His fight with Cribb in England for the championship of the world-Bill Richmond, New York Negro, a factor in the English prize-ring-World champions-New York, social and business centre of the Negro professionals in sports-Growth of New York's black Bohemia. 48

Chapter 8 New York's black Bohemia and its clubs-Where Negro theatrical and artistic effort was nourished-A cut-back to the earliest beginnings on the stage-The African Company in classic plays, 1821-Ira Aldridge, tragedian-His success in England and on the Continent-Ira Aldridge Memorial Chair for Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon-Actual professional start of Negro in American theatre made on minstrel stage-White Negro minstrels and black Negro minstrels-Sam Lucas-Charles Frohman started as a minstrel manager-The Frohmans, Sam Lucas, and his diamonds-Negro minstrelsy, the foundation of the middle period of Negro theatrical development. 61

Chapter 9 The middle theatrical period-The Creole Show SOUTH BEFORE THE WAR-THE OCTOROONS-ORIENTAL AMERICA-Worth's Museum-Bob Cole, a versatile genius-Some concert singers-Sissieretta Jones, the "Black Patti"-Black Pattis Troubadours-A TRIP TO COONTOWN, CLORINDY, THE ORIGIN OF THE CAKEWALK-Ernest Hogan. 80

Chapter 10 Williams and Walker come from out of the West-They make the cake-walk famous-They issue challenge for a cake-walk contest to William K. Vanderbilt-They play before King Edward-Bert Williams joins Ziegfeld follies-Cole and Johnson the shoofly regiment and the red moon. 88

Chapter 11 Negro as maker of nation's songs-"Listen to the Mocking Bird"-"Carve dot 'Possum"-James Bland, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" "Oh, dem Golden Slippers," "In the Morning by the Bright-light," "In the Evening by the Moonlight,"-Gussie L. Davis, Ernest Hogan, Cole and Johnson, and other makers of songs-Harry T. Burleigh, J. Rosamond Johnson, and Will Marion Cook-The West Fifty-third Street centre-The Marshall Hotel-Birth of the jazz orchestra-Jim Europe and the Clef Club-W C. Handy and the blues. 94

Chapter 12 The race riot of 1900-New York Negroes organize for action- The Citizens Protective League, the Afro-American Council-The national situation of the Negro-Booker T. Washington-W. E. Burghardt Du Bois-The Niagara Movement-The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-The National Urban League. 106

Chapter 13 The trek northward-The conquest of Harlem-The invasion- The opposition-The outbreak of the World War-Black labour at a premium-The exodus north-Jobs and money plentiful-Die purchase of Harlem-Taken over without violence-The migrants to New York, Southern and West Indian-They quickly become New Yorkers-New York's tolerant attitude-Will the Negroes hold Harlem? 122

Chapter 14 The fame of Harlem-Night life in the Negro metropolis-Other modes of enjoyment, strolling, going to church, parades-The churches and their place in Negro life-The "sets" in Harlem, respectable, social, fast, and underworld. 134

Chapter 15 Growth of a Negro theatre in Harlem-The Lafayette and the Lincoln players-The darktown follies-Beginning of the third theatrical period-The Colored Players open at the Garden Theatre, April 5, 1917-The Harlem night-clubs, nurseries for talent-The Krigwa Players. 142

Chapter 16 Charles Gilpin in Drinkwater's Abraham Lincoln-Charles Gilpin in O'Neil's emperor jones-The Drama League dinner, and the commotion it caused-Other playwrights who experimented with the Negro as dramatic material-Propaganda plays-Then came along shuffle along-Miller and Lyles, and Sissle and Blake-Some more "serious" plays-Paul Robeson in O'Neill's all god's chillun got wings-Riots in the air-Florence Mills, the child artist, the incomparable comedienne-Her death. 152

Chapter 17 A Negro playwright and his play-More plays-Jules Bledsoe in Green's in Abraham's bosom-Still more plays and musical comedies-The Theatre Guild produces porgy-blackbirds of 1928, with Bill Robinson and his dancing feet-Still more plays and comedies-Two other Negro playwrights attempt Broadway; one succeeds-the green pastures, the high mark of the Negro in the theatre-Seventy-five years of change in the position of the Negro in the theatre-Changes in the last twenty years, the last ten years-Well- known names-Ground gained by Negro actor and lost by Negro playwright-Harlem's relation to the Negro in the "Broadway" theatre-The Negro in the phonograph, radio, and moving-picture fields-The blues and some blues-singers-Carl Van Vechten's estimate of them. 168

Chapter 18 Harlem at the beginning of 1917-Stirrings of a new-born community-Birth of radicalism-Entry of the United States into the World War and its effect on Harlem-The Fifteenth Regiment formed; in camp; at the front; back home; under the Victory Arch-The Silent Protest Parade-The East St. Louis riots-Negro New York takes up its traditional role as defender-The Houston Affair-Committee of New York Negroes go before President Wilson with a petition-Prejudice follows the American black troops to France-Rebirth of radicalism-The radical press and the men behind it-The rise of Marcus Garvey-His fall, and some reasons for it-Garvey a tragic figure. 193

Chapter 19 The literary and artistic emergence of the Negro-A glance backward over the record of the Negro as a creative artist-The postwar poets-Claude McKay, a voice of power-The younger poets-Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes-The prose-writers-Jean Toomer, Walter White, Claude McKay, and others-The Harlem Number of the survey graphic-Some incentives to literary effort, the CRISIS prizes and opportunity prizes-Advance in music and other arts. 220

Chapter 20 Harlem still in the making-Harlem more than a community; a large-scale laboratory experiment in the race problem-Many facts discovered-Two hundred thousand Negroes live in the centre of Manhattan without race friction-Harlem Negroes an integral part of the citizenry of New York-Internal effects of the experiment- External effects-The influence of Harlem in shaping and reshaping public opinion about the Negro-One sentence with regard to the future. 239

Index 243