Home » Rough Amusements: The Story of ALelia Walker, Patroness of the Harlem Renaissances Down-Low Culture by Ben Neihart
Rough Amusements: The Story of ALelia Walker, Patroness of the Harlem Renaissances Down-Low Culture Ben Neihart

Rough Amusements: The Story of ALelia Walker, Patroness of the Harlem Renaissances Down-Low Culture

Ben Neihart

Published April 2nd 2003
ISBN : 9781582342856
Hardcover
160 pages
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 About the Book 

From acclaimed novelist Ben Neihart, a vibrant portrait of gay Harlems most memorable diva: ALelia Walker.When ALelia Walker died in 1931 after a midnight snack of lobster and chocolate cake washed down with champagne, it marked the end of one ofMoreFrom acclaimed novelist Ben Neihart, a vibrant portrait of gay Harlems most memorable diva: ALelia Walker.When ALelia Walker died in 1931 after a midnight snack of lobster and chocolate cake washed down with champagne, it marked the end of one of the most striking social careers in New Yorks history. The daughter of rags-to-riches multi-millionaire Madame C.J. Walker (the washerwoman who marketed the most successful straightening technique for African American hair), ALelia was Americas first black poor little rich girl, using her inheritance to throw elaborate, celebrity-packed parties in her Westchester Mansion and her 136th Street would-be salon, Dark Tower.In Rough Amusements, third in Bloomsburys Urban Historicals series, Neihart takes us into the heart of ALelias world-gay Harlem in the 1920s. In tracing its cultural antecedents, he delves into the sexual subculture of nineteenth-century New York, exploring mixed-race prostitution- the bachelorization of New York society- French Balls (the most sophisticated forum for testing the boundaries of urban sexual behavior)- and The Slide (New Yorks most depraved nineteenth-century bar). Using ALelias lavish parties as a jumping-off point, Neihart traces the line connecting Davy Crocketts world without women to Walt Whitmans boundless love of beautiful men to ALelias cultivation of the racial, social, and sexual risk that defined the Harlem Renaissance.