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The Product of Our SoulsRagtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace$
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David Gilbert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622699

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622699.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Appreciate the Noble and the Beautiful within Us

Appreciate the Noble and the Beautiful within Us

Ragging Uplift with Rhythmic Transgressions

(p.74) Chapter Three Appreciate the Noble and the Beautiful within Us
The Product of Our Souls

David Gilbert

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the Hotel Marshall musicians advanced new and transgressive approaches to racial politics and representations. Their visions of blackness saw beauty in the vernacular of the masses, even as they are snubbed by the cultural elitism of the Talented Tenth's own efforts at racial uplift. Instead of trying to change the masses, the Marshall community attempted to change the perception of black vernacular expression. The Marshall musicians' strategies for increasing the professional and cultural value of black commercial culture presented a different approach to racial uplift. Centering on professionalizing African American performers and expanding the number of blacks who could become full-time professionals, Marshall entertainers expanded the social respect, cultural authority, and weekly wages of hundreds of blacks, not only in New York but throughout America.

Keywords:   Hotel Marshall, Talented Tenth, racial uplift, black commercial culture, racial politics

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