The Rules of the Game

ALLEN JONES and Mark Naison

in The Rat That Got Away

Third edition

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231027
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240821 | DOI:
The Rules of the Game

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  • Social and Cultural History


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The streets of the Bronx and Harlem in the early 1960s were not polite and were as risky as they were attractive to boys like Allen Jones. What went on in the street had a code of conduct and a language all their own, just like any other sport or game people play. The stakes were high and the game was more than sport. People played for keeps. There were basically two kinds of players on the streets, and they went by the names of “nigger” and “bitch.” However, among musicians, hustlers, ballplayers, and people who had to do some of their business on the streets, the term was a sign of belonging and even one of affection. “Bitch” is a term that women readers may not like hearing or seeing, and they may not enjoy reading about his treatment of women in much of Jones's early life. There was a different standard for women.

Keywords: Bronx; Harlem; Allen Jones; code of conduct; language; nigger; bitch; women

Chapter.  2786 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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