The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

Marva Griffin Carter

in Swing Along

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195108910
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865796 | DOI:
                   The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

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This chapter begins by discussing the designation of “Colored American Day” on August 25, 1893. It then explains that this day was designated in order to combat the exclusionary climate during the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, wherein almost all black Americans were excluded in the planning and execution of the fair’s exhibitions. Ida B. Wells and other African-Americans urged blacks to boycott the fair for they feared the event might provide whites with ammunition to mock the race. It discusses that “Colored American Day” was observed in a dignified manner and the appearance and demeanor of the participants brought honor to the race. This chapter adds that the event demonstrated that acculturation was the avenue to greater acceptance into the larger social order. The emergence of ragtime and The Creole Show was a cultural innovation, an important first step toward the development of the black musical comedies.

Keywords: Colored American Day; World’s Columbian Exposition; The Creole Show; ragtime; black musical comedies; Ida B. Wells

Chapter.  2957 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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