“Disorderly Houses” in the Journal of the History of Sexuality

Our article "Disorderly Houses: Residences, Privacy and the Surveillance of Sexuality in 1920s Harlem" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. It will appear in 2012/2013. The article argues that despite overcrowding, Harlem's residences  provided privacy, due to the regular, extended absence of residents at work, the willingness of… Continue reading “Disorderly Houses” in the Journal of the History of Sexuality


Divorce Raids

Divorce raids were a staple of the Amsterdam News throughout the 1920s, and featured a cross section of respectable Harlem, from physicians, dentists, attorneys, insurance agents, musicians and bandleaders, to clergymen, prominent lodge members, churchgoers, and individuals simply identified as “well-known Harlemites,” caught throughout the neighborhood in bed with people other than their spouses.  Private… Continue reading Divorce Raids

Prostitution arrests

Prostitutes were among the blacks who migrated from the San Juan Hill neighborhood to Harlem.  As early as 1919, according to reformer Willoughby Waterman, they had relocated from West Side Ave between  34th and 56th Streets to the area of 7th Avenue from 132nd to 143rd Streets.  The number of black prostitutes arrested by police… Continue reading Prostitution arrests

Harlem Undercover – the maps

My article, "Harlem Undercover: Vice Investigators, Race, and Prostitution, 1910-1930," is now available in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Urban History. The abstract is below: In 1928, the Committee of Fourteen, New York City’s leading private antivice organization, employed a black teacher to conduct a five-month undercover investigation of Harlem’s nightlife.  It… Continue reading Harlem Undercover – the maps