Black Voices in Conversation: A History of Cabaret on March 7

Alberta Hunter
Alberta Hunter

Chicago was the capital of cabaret in the US when so much was going on in the 1910s and 1920s. The Stroll on State Street between 31st to 39th Streets featured Black performers like Alberta Hunter and band leaders like Lil Hardin Armstrong. Harlem picked up the baton in the 30s. And Barney Josephson opened Café Society in lower Manhattan in the 40s expressly to create an environment where Black and white performers and audience could work and enjoy together.

Join us as we take a stroll through cabaret history, visiting some of Chicago’s most celebrated neighborhoods as well as Memphis and New York. We’ll take a look at the early days of cabaret (from Vaudeville to jazz) and follow the transitions in popular music from blues, to jitterbug, to rock and roll, and focus on the leading role of Black performers.

Here’s the first in what promises to be a fascinating series of conversations you won’t want to miss!

Moderated by broadcaster Mark Ruffin
Dan Johnson – Chicago’s History of Blacks in Cabaret
Natalie Douglas – Creator of many tribute shows celebrating Black artists
Lynn Colbert-Jones – Songwriter
Hermene Hartman – Publisher

Sunday, March 7, 2021 —Panel begins at 3:00 PM Central Time.
Room opens at 2:30 to meet and greet the panelists and each other.
Register at

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