Inventories Of Black Entertainment And Sports Institutions From 1865-2012 Research Paper

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Black Entertainment and Sports Institutions/Organizations in Atlanta, GA 1880s to the early 1900s -- "African-Americans in Atlanta were entertained by traveling minstrel companies and local orchestras which performed at social events held at the first Odd Fellows Hall, located on Piedmont Avenue. Atlanta University offered musically talented students, including James Weldon Johnson, brother of J. Rosamond Johnson, who entertained throughout the city during the late 1890s" (Mason, Jr. 10).

Circa 1900 -- "81 Theater" -- Blues Theater that became known as the home of Bessie Smith (Hill).

"…following the race riot of 1906 to the 1930s…Virtually every known entertainer and musician in the country appeared in Atlanta. These entertainers traveled the 'chittling circuit' and came to Atlanta on broken-down buses and down segregated back roads to perform on its states. For W.C. Handy, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, the Nicholas Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Jackie Wilson, Dina Washington, the Motown Revue, and even the legendary Billie Holiday and hundreds of others, Atlanta's club scene was a must stop. They resided at the Savoy Hotel, the Royal Hotel, the Forrest Arms…on Butler Street, and later Paschal's...


1909 -- 1979 -- City Auditorium replaced the old Armory. Site of many shows, including minstrel, ragtime, vaudeville, blues, jazz, classical, rhythm and blues, and soul (Mason, Jr. 6).

1910 -- 1915 -- Roof Garden -- of the Odd Fellows Hall was used for dances (Mason, Jr. 12).

1919 -- Washington Park -- first recreational park for blacks in Atlanta. "The park started with a gift of six and a half acres and expanded to 25 acres when completed in 1928. It originally included a swimming pool, dance hall, pavilions, and tennis courts" (National Park Service).

1920s and forward -- Sunset Casino -- one of the most popular Atlanta destinations for large dances, concerts, and recreational sports (Mason, Jr. 37). Later (1947) renamed the Magnolia Ballroom (Mason, Jr. 38)

1920s -- Lincoln Clubhouse

1937 -- Top Hat Club -- "Known as 'Club Beautiful,' the Top Hat Club was considered one of the finest clubs for African-Americans in the country (Sweetauburn).

1940s -- Club Poinciana -- so popular during WWII that many performers did after-hours shows there to capacity crowds after performing at the City Auditorium (Mason,…

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