shop by
Category
items
0 

Playing the Numbers : Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars (Hardcover)

Author: White, Shane

Customer Reviews   Write a Review

Be the first to review this item and earn 25 Rakuten Super Points™

Product Overview

The phrase ?Harlem in the 1920s? evokes images of the Harlem Renaissance, or of Marcus Garvey and soapbox orators haranguing crowds about politics and race. Yet the most ubiquitous feature of Harlem life between the world wars was the game of ?numbers.? Thousands of wagers, usually of a dime or less, would be placed on a daily number derived from U.S. bank statistics. The rewards of ?hitting the number,? a 600-to-1 payoff, tempted the ordinary men and women of the Black Metropolis with the chimera of the good life. Playing the Numbers tells the story of this illegal form of gambling and the central role it played in the lives of African Americans who flooded into Harlem in the wake of World War I.

For a dozen years the ?numbers game? was one of America?s rare black-owned businesses, turning over tens of millions of dollars every year. The most successful ?bankers? were known as Black Kings and Queens, and they lived royally. Yet the very success of ?bankers? like Stephanie St. Clair and Casper Holstein attracted Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, and organized crime to the game. By the late 1930s, most of the profits were being siphoned out of Harlem.

Playing the Numbers reveals a unique dimension of African American culture that made not only Harlem but New York City itself the vibrant and energizing metropolis it was. An interactive website allows readers to locate actors and events on Harlem?s streets.

Specifications

Publisher Harvard Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780674051072
SKU 212574045
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0674051076
Release Date 5/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0320
Publisher Harvard University Press
loading
Sold Out
Sorry, you missed the deal!
This product is currently not available.
ADVERTISEMENT
Promotions & Offers (1)
  •  custom promo
    5% Back* Sitewide with Promo Code Rewardme *See page for details
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT