Cotton Club: The Staple of Black Talent in The Harlem Renaissance

In continuation of NYS Music’s series celebrating the Harlem Renaissance in its centennial years, it is important to highlight the Cotton Club which was instrumental in displaying Black talent.

Before it was the Cotton Club, the venue was owned by the first Black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson. It was called the Club Deluxe, a nightclub with 400 seats in 1920. It was located in the core part of Harlem, at 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue. About two years later in 1922, Owen “Owney” Madden, a leading figure of the underworld, purchased the venue while

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