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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: 24 September 2021

The Piano Man was it! the Man in Charge

The Piano Man was it! the Man in Charge

Black Nightclubs and Ragtime Identities in New York’s Tenderloin

(p.99) Chapter Four The Piano Man was it! the Man in Charge
The Product of Our Souls

David Gilbert

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores some of the social and cultural influences that shaped new forms of black identity in New York during the first decade and a half of the twentieth century. Ragtime identities called attention to the ways Tenderloin residents participated in the formation of Manhattan commercial leisure, and how they shaped their entertainments through their pocketbooks and personal tastes as much as popular entertainments fueled their own sense of themselves as modern New Yorkers. When Tenderloin residents spent their nights out, they financed the development of black-owned nightclubs, cafes, saloons, and cabarets—new commercial spaces that provided the terrain for the cultural innovation and social interactions that led to black New Yorkers' crafting of new senses of self.

Keywords:   black identity, New York, Manhattan, Tenderloin, commercial leisure, cultural innovation, black New Yorkers

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