Past Event

Harlem Renaissance Men: Johnny Hudgins

November 18, 2020
7:00 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.

What is it that makes Johnny Hudgins and Jack Johnson Harlem Renaissance men?

Join Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Founder and Director of Columbia University’s Jazz Center this two-part series exploring the lives of Harlem Renaissance trailblazers.

Harlem Renaissance Man: Johnny Hudgins

Johnny Hudgins will seem an unlikely candidate for Harlem Renaissance Man honors. Blackface comic dancer, with absurd white-paint grin glowing against tar-blackened face, here’s a pantomimist almost completely lost to cultural history. And yet there he was! At the height of his fame a showstopper at Harlem’s Lafayette Theater.

Who was this man? How do we square the solid foundation of the Harlem Renaissance with the boomeranging ovals and circles of blackface comic dance? This talk will feature clips of the dancer, images from his extensive scrapbooks, and a live musical surprise.

For more information about the Uptown Triennial 2020 exhibition visit The Wallach Art Gallery