Black Women, Political Activism & The Urban Informal Economy

Lecture Description

This presentation places early twentieth century African American women at the center of New York City’s lucrative gambling racket. An examination of urban women gambling racketeers like Harlem’s infamous “Numbers Queen” Madame Stephanie St. Clair complicates masculine representations of urban underground economies and disrupts the view that women did not figure prominently in vice syndicates. Moreover, this lecture tells the untold story of why and how women used urban informal economies to creatively secure economic stability, wealth, and respectability and to make a bold statement about Jim Crow North.


African American New York

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