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Swing AlongThe Musical Life of Will Marion Cook$
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Marva Carter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195108910.001.0001

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The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

(p.22) Chapter 3 The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893
Swing Along

Marva Griffin Carter

Oxford University Press

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

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