Rhum Boogie

Ebay has a 1943 image of Rhum Boogie, and three dapper men walking past:

The song, Rhum Boogie has the following lyrics:

All Harlem’s got a brand new rhythm
And it’s burning up the dance halls
Because it’s so hot.
They took a little rhumba rhythm,
And they added boogie-woogie,
And-a look what they’ve got

It’s Harlem’s new creation
With a Cuban syncopation –
It’s a killer.

A native is a monkey
Both barbaric and a donkey –
It’s a killer.
Just plant your toes
And both feet in Honeyside –
Lets both hit the Jodeside.

Just through your body way back rhyme
Sing a little bit of the –

The native rhythm haunts you,
It’s barbaric and it taunts you –
It’s a killer.

Just plant you toes and both feet on each side,
Let both your hips and shoulders glide,
Then throw your body a-way back and ride.
Sing a little of
The rhumba
The boogie
The woogie
Then put them
Both all together
You have rhumboogie…

Then all together sing rhumboogie.
In Harlem or Havana
In Poughkeepsie or Savannah
It’s a killer.
It’s a killer this rhumboogie.

There’s nothing like rhumboogie!

Rhum Boogie was just south of the Lafayette Theater – the location where the ground-breaking performance of Macbeth was staged in the 1930’s with Orson Wells directing.

Black Theater Matters: https://blacktheatrematters.org/ has a great look at this period of Black theater.

Rhum Boogie would have been in the building behind the tree in the photo, above, 2221 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. This location (and entire block) is an apartment building:

Harlem’s Claire Oliver Gallery Represents Barbara Earl Thomas Who Replaces Stained Glass Windows At Yale

In June of 2016, Corey Menafee worked for Yale as a dishwasher at Yale’s Calhoun College, as he was cleaning a dining room Menafee stood on top of a table and used a broomstick to break a stained-glass window. The windows, installed in 1933, depicted enslaved Africans carrying bales of cotton. Menafee said the image was racist and degrading and that he had become sick of seeing it every day. The dining room windows that once contained romanticized depictions of the antebellum South and slavery now showcase the work of Barbara Earl Thomas, commissioned by Yale to produce 6 new windows, replacing the Calhoun stained glass with the artist’s beautiful and healing narratives.

Yale University unveils a major commission of stained-glass windows by Barbara Earl Thomas.

“I’m interested in how we connect the past to the present so that we don’t lose the link,” Ms. Thomas said in an interview. “I think in order to understand how we got here, you very much have to make clear where we’ve come from.”

stained-glass windows by artist Barbara Earl Thomas on display in Yale’s Grace Hopper Collage
Thomas’s new windows illustrate key transitions in the college’s history, honor the people who work in the dining hall, and represent the joyful music and community spirit that brighten the undergraduate experience at Yale.

“These new windows are a wonderful gift to the students and staff of Hopper College and the entire Yale community,” said President Peter Salovey. “They honor the strong sense of community that helps us to grow and flourish together.

Artist Barbara Earl Thomas discusses her works with residents of Grace Hopper Collage

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