The paths of African-American and Irish communities in Harlem – both parallel and crossed – and the contributions they have made to American culture are explored in “Black and White and Green: St. Patrick’s Day in Harlem,” a frank, entertaining discussion and performance timed to the traditional Irish holiday.
This final event in Irish Arts Center’s Two Roads Diverged series features cultural leader Lenwood O. Sloan and NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Music and Irish Studies Dr. Mick Moloney on March 12th at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street, in New York City). Tickets are $10 ($8 for IAC and Harlem Stage members) and can be purchased via www.harlemstage.org or by calling 212-281-9240 ext 19 or 20.
“Black and White and Green: St. Patrick’s Day in Harlem” comprises an evening of debate and discussion that explores the vaudeville-era exchanges and rivalries among African Americans and Irish Americans through the language, song, dance, costumes and performances of the time. Live music and dance performances accompany an open dialogue about the links between Harlem’s African American community and Hell’s Kitchen’s Irish origins.
Among the artists and institutions that inspired “Black and White and Green” are turn of the 20th century black comedian and dancer Billy Kersands, the controversial BBC television series “Black and White Minstrel Show,” the Black Patti record label, Irish vaudevillians Harrigan and Hart, black minstrel singers Williams and Walker, actor/singers Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson, and acclaimed tap dance team The Nicholas Brothers.
Mr. Sloan, who previously served as Pennsylvania Film Commissioner and Director of Cultural and Heritage Initiatives, and Dr. Moloney, Global Distinguished Professor of Music and Irish Studies at NYU, developed the Two Roads Diverged series. The series has delved into Irish American and African American cultural experiences; exploring fusions, exchanges and rivalries, and the cultural stereotypes that developed from the Caribbean and Southern communities in the 1650s through the birth of Broadway and vaudeville.
Two Roads Diverged is presented by Irish Arts Center in association with Harlem Stage, and with special thanks to the New York Public Library.
Tickets: $8 member / $10 non-member; available online at www.harlemstage.org or by phone at 212-281-9240 ext. 19 or 20