Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century

Overview

From black female prostitution to homosexual brothels, from taxi dance halls to speakeasies, Kevin Mumford reconstructs the mixed-race underworld of the Great Migration and the Progressive era to reveal how these subcultures transformed not only race relations, but American culture as well.

A first-of-its-kind scholarly exploration of race and racism, and the explosive power of black/white cross-racial sexuality. Focusing on marginal groups in...

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Overview

From black female prostitution to homosexual brothels, from taxi dance halls to speakeasies, Kevin Mumford reconstructs the mixed-race underworld of the Great Migration and the Progressive era to reveal how these subcultures transformed not only race relations, but American culture as well.

A first-of-its-kind scholarly exploration of race and racism, and the explosive power of black/white cross-racial sexuality. Focusing on marginal groups in Chicago and New York in the early years of the twentieth century, Interzones engages the idea that black/white sexuality frequently extends beyond the interpersonal into the realm of the political. In clear and sometimes compelling prose that probes deeply into the complexities of its subject, this book is a must-read for everyone interested in the dynamics of race and sex in America. (Nellie McKay, author of Jean Toomer, Artist: A Study of His Literary Life and Work)

Mumford argues that the United States is unique in its historical anxiety about and regulation of black / white sex. Fears of &#145miscegenation´ played hidden but determinant roles in shaping racial and gender identities at the beginning of the twentieth century. . . .This racialization of sex . . . generated a new urban landscape. &#145Interzones´ were the black / white sex districts . . . located in neighborhoods with inhabitants who were black and white, heterosexual and homosexual, prostitute and customer. . . Interzones represents a significant and critical foray into the perplexities of the urban interracial universe. (culturefront)

The book is a good addition to an emerging body of creative and innovative work on thecultural history of race and the complicated relationship between marginal and mainstream culture in early twentieth-century America. (Amy Gilman Srebnick)

Interzones is an interesting addition to the ever-growing list of works dealing with questions of race and ethnicity. (Anna Notaro, University of Nottingham)

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Editorial Reviews

Nellie McKay
A first-of-its-kind scholarly exploration of race and racism, and the explosive power of black/white cross-racial sexuality. Focusing on marginal groups in Chicago and New York in the early years of the twentieth century, Interzones engages the idea that black/white sexuality frequently extends beyond the interpersonal into the realm of the political. In clear and sometimes compelling prose that probes deeply into the complexities of its subject, this book is a must-read for everyone interested in the dynamics of race and sex in America.
culturefront
Mumford argues that the United States is unique in its historical anxiety about and regulation of black / white sex. Fears of 'miscegenation´ played hidden but determinant roles in shaping racial and gender identities at the beginning of the twentieth century. . . .This racialization of sex . . . generated a new urban landscape. 'Interzones´ were the black / white sex districts . . . located in neighborhoods with inhabitants who were black and white, heterosexual and homosexual, prostitute and customer. . . Interzones represents a significant and critical foray into the perplexities of the urban interracial universe.
Amy Gilman Srebnick
A good addition to an emerging body of creative and innovative work on the cultural history of race and the complicated relationship between marginal and mainstream culture in early twentieth-century America.
Anna Notaro
An interesting addition to the ever-growing list of works dealing with questions of race and ethnicity.
American Studies (UK) - Anna Notaro

An interesting addition to the ever-growing list of works dealing with questions of race and ethnicity.

American Studies (UK)
An interesting addition to the ever-growing list of works dealing with questions of race and ethnicity.

— Anna Notaro, University of Nottingham

culturefront

Mumford argues that the United States is unique in its historical anxiety about and regulation of black / white sex. Fears of 'miscegenation'played hidden but determinant roles in shaping racial and gender identities at the beginning of the twentieth century....This racialization of sex... generated a new urban landscape. 'Interzones'were the black / white sex districts... located in neighborhoods with inhabitants who were black and white, heterosexual and homosexual, prostitute and customer... Interzones represents a significant and critical foray into the perplexities of the urban interracial universe.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231104920
  • Publisher: Perseus (for Columbia University Press)
  • Publication date: 7/9/1997
  • Series: Popular Cultures, Everyday Lives Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

KEVIN MUMFORD is an independent scholar who holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has taught at the University of Minnesota.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Part I--Drawing the Color Line in the Progressive Era

1. Interzones 1: Transforming Urban Geography2. Interzones 2: Reform and Representation

Part II--Crossing the Color Line in the 1920s

4. Leisure and Sexual Racism5. Interracial Intersections6. New Fallen Women

Part III--From Vice to Vogue

7. On Stage8. Slumming9. Racial Reactions

EpilogueNotesBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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