You won’t want to miss it. $5 in advance or $8 at the door. For couples: $8 in advance or $14 at the door. Come on, you know you’ve been wanting to ask that cutie out on a date? You can always pretend you are going just as friends in order to save money.
In June 1921, the poet Langston Hughes published a poem called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” At the start of the Harlem Renaissance, this gay, black poet reminded his readers of the ways black people all over the world were connected by rivers, “I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it./ I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln/ went down to New Orleans…”
The nerdy historian wants you to know this for two reasons:
- The theme of this year’s Rainbow Prom is THE NILE!
- Langston Hughes not only wrote really great poetry, he also participated in the drag balls that were prominent during the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote: “Strangest and gaudiest of all Harlem spectacles … is the annual Hamilton Club Lodge Ball… It is the ball where men dress as women and women dress as men…. [It] was fashionable for the intelligentsia and social leaders of both Harlem and the downtown area to occupy boxes at this ball and look down from above at the queerly assorted throng on the dancing floor, males in flowing gowns and feathered headdresses and females in tuxedoes and box-back suits.”
This is going to be a fabulous evening. Come dressed in your party best.