Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

January 15, 1927

On January 15, 1927, the Pittsburgh Courier ran an article about vaudeville producer Leonard Harper. Harper produced shows that appeared at the Cotton Club, Connie’s Inn, Lafayette Theater, and other Harlem venues. The Courier article described how Harper’s chorus girl shows were criticized for being too risqué. “What some of Mr. Harper’s critics take exception to in his show is what he calls the ‘hip movement,’” the article noted. “His defense is this: ‘The movement is in the same class with the hula dance. I trained my girls to do it because it is different. I got tired of putting on the hula. White girls can’t do the hip movement like the colored. I don’t know why, but they can’t. I have seen them try. That is one point which we have them bested. But I don’t teach anything I can’t do myself.”

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