Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Under a Bad SignCriminal Self-Representation in African American Popular Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan Munby

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226550350

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226550374.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Original Gangsta Culture

Original Gangsta Culture

Fortune Economy and the Criminal Mediation of Black Entry into Urban Modernity

(p.23) 1 Original Gangsta Culture
Under a Bad Sign
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how and why the numbers racket (or policy) became one of the most definitive features of black Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s. It explains that the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance was also the golden age of the black gangster and that black gangster enterprise held powerful significance among African Americans as an emulative modern cultural practice. The chapter also considers folklorist insights about the so-called ill-logic of the black badman in relation to the struggle against racial subordination to the space and time of the city.

Keywords:   numbers racket, black Harlem, Harlem Renaissance, black gangster, modern cultural practice, black badman, racial subordination

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.