New York during the Harlem Renaissance was the Cotton Club. Important black entertainers of the times played to all-white audiences. The attitude white Americans had toward African Americans, the African American entertainers, and the colorful atmosphere caused white Americans to be the clientele of the Cotton Club. The Cotton Club was a famous nightclub in the Harlem district of New York City. It opened under the name of Club Deluxe during the Harlem Renaissance in 1920, with former boxing champion, Jack Johnson, as owner.

In 1 922, Owen ‘Owner Madden took the club over. Renamed It the Cotton Club, and Limited It to white Americans. Lenox Avenue, where the Cotton Club was located, was said to be unsafe for white Americans after the race riots of 1935. They made up most of the Cotton Club’s customers, so it was forced to shut down on February 16, 1936. The Cotton Club then moved to Broadway and 48th Street, where it continued to be in business until June 1940 (PBS) (Obtain;ca). Harlem, In New York, started out as a black neighborhood and was thought of as a slum.

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The whites had a negative attitude toward African Americans because of slavery and no belief in racial equality. The segregation of the Cotton Club was strengthened by its representation of the African American employees as exotic savages or slaves. This race line divided the black employees and performers from the white customers. Many white Americans looked to black culture as a window Into a more ‘preemptively’ and Vital’ way of life. African Americans were seen as exotic animals at the Cotton Club which added to Its appeal.

The atmosphere gave the white Americans a mini vacation as they enjoyed the entertainers. (History) (Bland) (Winter). Famous African American entertainers performed at the Cotton Club for white audiences. Most of the Jazz musicians and singers of the Harlem Renaissance appeared at the Cotton Club at some point, Including Duke Elongating, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Waters, Vive Anderson, Lena Horn, Bill ‘Bespangles’ Robinson, Stein Fetch and The Nicholas Brothers. Duke Elongating was perhaps the most closely associated with the venue.

His orchestra was hired as the house band in 927. The primitive-style decor of the club inspired the ‘Jungle style’ of Elongation’s songs (ASS) (Britannica). The music at the Cotton Club was, most of the time, orchestrated to portray a Jungle atmosphere. The Cotton Club was decorated with African themes and the idea of a ‘stylish plantation environment’ for its white clientele, which meant the upper class of New York City. Dancers at the club had very strict requirements. They had to be as least 5’6″ tall, light-skinned with a slim tan, and under twenty-one years of age.

The angers were beautiful and always dressed to show off their bodies. The Cotton Club ones. (Bland) (Winter). The Cotton Club is one of the many reasons why people love the sass and the Harlem Renaissance. It had a white-only customer policy. White Americans made up the Cotton Club’s clientele because of the attitude they had toward African Americans, the African American entertainers, and the exotic atmosphere. Despite racial barriers, the Cotton Club was one of the greatest nightclubs in history. Works Cited “Black History Milestones.