Catalogue

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Miss Anne in Harlem : the white women of the Black Renaissance /
Carla Kaplan.
edition
1st edition.
imprint
New York, NY : Harper, [2013], c2013
description
xxxi, 505 p., 16 unnumbered p.s of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm
ISBN
0060882387, 9780060882389
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York, NY : Harper, [2013], c2013
isbn
0060882387
9780060882389
contents note
"A white girl's prayer" in "The poet's page," The Crisis -- Introduction: In search of MIss Anne -- 1. Miss Anne's world -- Black and white identity politics -- An erotics of race -- 2. Choosing blackness: sex, love, and passing -- Let me people go: Lillian E. Wood passes for Black -- Josephine Cogdell Schuyler: "The fall of a fair confederate" -- 3. Repudiating whiteness: politics, patronage, and primitivism -- Black souls: Annie Nathan Meyer writes Black -- Charlotte Osgood Mason: "Mother of the Primitives" -- 4. Rewards and costs: publishing, performance, and modern rebellion -- Imitation of life: Fannie Hurst's "Sensation in Harlem" -- Nancy Cunard: "I speak as if I were a Negro myself" -- Epilogue: "Love and consequences."
abstract
This interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance focuses on white women, collectively called "Miss Anne," who became Harlem Renaissance insiders during the 1920s.
catalogue key
9003895
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 357-478) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-06-03:
Northeastern University literature and gender studies scholar Kaplan (Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters) shares the previously untold story of a group of notable white women who embraced black culture-and life-in Harlem in the 1920s and '30s. Collectively known as "Miss Anne," these women served as hostesses, patrons, activists, comrades, lovers, writers, and editors at a time when the Ku Klux Klan was at its height, and when a white woman who became intimate with a "Negro" faced almost certain ostracism. A captivating group biography and social history, the book focuses on six women: Lillian Wood (Let My People Go), a teacher at a small black college; Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, a Texan heiress who married black journalist George Schuyler and became a writer herself, yet had to keep her interracial marriage hidden from her family; Barnard college founder Annie Nathan Meyer; influential patron Charlotte Osgood Mason; novelist Frannie Hurst; and English heiress Nancy Cunard. An empathetic and skillful writer, Kaplan has produced a valuable addition to the history of the period. As she shows, Miss Anne defied categorization, transcending her race, class, and gender, and introducing many of the ideas we hold today about inclusiveness and self-reinvention. 54 b&w photos and two 8-page color inserts. Agent: Brettne Bloom, Kneerim & Williams. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An empathetic and skillful writer, Kaplan has produced a valuable addition to the history of the period."
"An empathetic and skillful writer, Kaplan . . . shares the previously untold story of a group of notable white women who embraced black culture--and life--in Harlem in the 1920s and '30s. . . . Captivating."
"[An] utterly fascinating and deeply insightful account. . . . This fine book takes the Misses Anne seriously and goes further, to reveal the workings of interracial networks in one of the most important cultural phenomena in American history."
'[An] utterly fascinating and deeply insightful account. . . . This fine book takes the Misses Anne seriously and goes further, to reveal the workings of interracial networks in one of the most important cultural phenomena in American history.' (Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People )
"A work of meticulous and far-ranging scholarship, Miss Anne in Harlem matches its characters' shocking and subversive lives with explosive revelations and subtle insights. . . . Kaplan's haunting narrative forces a rethinking of race and gender."
"A work of meticulous and far-ranging scholarship, Miss Anne in Harlem matches its characters' shocking and subversive lives with explosive revelations and subtle insights. . . . Kaplan's haunting narrative forces a rethinking of the great binaries of race and gender."
'A work of meticulous and far-ranging scholarship, Miss Anne in Harlem matches its characters? shocking and subversive lives with explosive revelations and subtle insights. . . . Kaplan's haunting narrative forces a rethinking of the great binaries of race and gender.' (Megan Marshall, author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism )
"Carla Kaplan has taken on a dauntingly liminal topic and by force of scholarly rigor and narrative compassion rendered it central to our understanding of an era. Lush, original, and vigorously argued...."
"Endlessly fascinating, Miss Anne in Harlem reveals a whole new perspective on the Harlem Renaissance, and Carla Kaplan delivers an essential and absorbing portrait of race and sex in 20th century America."
"Kaplan always writes from inside her characters, and with a novelist's sense of scope--and compassion."
"Kaplan's meticulously documented and intrepid history of Miss Anne encompasses a unique vantage on the complexities of race and gender and a dramatic study in paradox."
"The fact that white women played a pivotal role in creating the Harlem Renaissance was a secret hiding in plain sight, but it took Carla Kaplan's keen eye, rigorous research, and crystal clear prose to reveal it. A surprising, delightful book."
"With superb, exhaustive research and finely dramatic writing, Carla Kaplan's brilliant Miss Anne in Harlem fills an aching void in our knowledge of the Harlem Renaissance. It also significantly deepens our understanding of American culture in the 1920s and American feminism in general."
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, June 2013
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The 1920s in New York was a time of passion and freedom, in which new forms of art, including jazz and modern dance, flourished. At the heart of this cultural explosion was Harlem, where everything was changing, including the influential denizens who helped define it. Among these were a little-known group of white women who for decades have been relegated to the shadows of history. In this groundbreaking cultural biography, Carla Kaplan offers a captivating and full-blooded portrait of this band of independent-minded and spirited white women, collectively referred to as Miss Anne.
Description for Library
Miss Anne refers collectively to the white women who participated in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, generally -upper-crust types considered scandalous by whites and disdained by some blacks. An authority on modernism, womens and African American history, and race relations, Kaplan is surely the woman to write this book. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Main Description
Celebrated scholar Carla Kaplans cultural biography, Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance, focuses on white women, collectively called "Miss Anne," who became Harlem Renaissance insiders. The 1920s in New York City was a time of freedom, experimentation, and passion--with Harlem at the epicenter. White men could go uptown to see jazz and modern dance, but women who embraced black culture too enthusiastically could be ostracized. Miss Anne in Harlem focuses on six of the unconventional, free-thinking women, some from Manhattan high society, many Jewish, who crossed race lines and defied social conventions to become a part of the culture and heartbeat of Harlem. Ethnic and gender studies professor Carla Kaplan brings the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance to life with vivid prose, extensive research, and period photographs.
Main Description
Celebrated scholar Carla Kaplan's cultural biography, Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance, focuses on white women, collectively called "Miss Anne," who became Harlem Renaissance insiders. The 1920s in New York City was a time of freedom, experimentation, and passionwith Harlem at the epicenter. White men could go uptown to see jazz and modern dance, but women who embraced black culture too enthusiastically could be ostracized. Miss Anne in Harlem focuses on six of the unconventional, free-thinking women, some from Manhattan high society, many Jewish, who crossed race lines and defied social conventions to become a part of the culture and heartbeat of Harlem. Ethnic and gender studies professor Carla Kaplan brings the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance to life with vivid prose, extensive research, and period photographs.
Main Description
New York City in the Jazz Age was host to a pulsating artistic and social revolution. Uptown, an unprecedented explosion in black music, literature, dance, and art sparked the Harlem Renaissance. While the history of this African-American awakening has been widely explored, one chapter remains untold: the story of a group of women collectively dubbed "Miss Anne."Sexualized and sensationalized in the mainstream press--portrayed as monstrous or insane--Miss Anne was sometimes derided within her chosen community of Harlem as well. While it was socially acceptable for white men to head uptown for "exotic" dancers and "hot" jazz, white women who were enthralled by life on West 125th Street took chances. Miss Anne in Harlem introduces these women--many from New York's wealthiest social echelons--who became patrons of, and romantic participants in, the Harlem Renaissance. They include Barnard College founder Annie Nathan Meyer, Texas heiress Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, British activist Nancy Cunard, philanthropist Charlotte Osgood Mason, educator Lillian E. Wood, and novelist Fannie Hurst--all women of accomplishment and renown in their day. Yet their contributions as hostesses, editors, activists, patrons, writers, friends, and lovers often went unacknowledged and have been lost to history until now.In a vibrant blend of social history and biography, award-winning writer Carla Kaplan offers a joint portrait of six iconoclastic women who risked ostracism to follow their inclinations--and raised hot-button issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the bargain. Returning Miss Anne to her rightful place in the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance, Kaplan's formidable work remaps the landscape of the 1920s, alters our perception of this historical moment, and brings Miss Anne to vivid life.
Main Description
New York City in the Jazz Age was host to a pulsating artistic and social revolution. Uptown, an unprecedented explosion in black music, literature, dance, and art sparked the Harlem Renaissance. While the history of this African-American awakening has been widely explored, one chapter remains untold: the story of a group of women collectively dubbed "Miss Anne." Sexualized and sensationalized in the mainstream pressportrayed as monstrous or insaneMiss Anne was sometimes derided within her chosen community of Harlem as well. While it was socially acceptable for white men to head uptown for "exotic" dancers and "hot" jazz, white women who were enthralled by life on West 125th Street took chances. Miss Anne in Harlem introduces these womenmany from New York's wealthiest social echelonswho became patrons of, and romantic participants in, the Harlem Renaissance. They include Barnard College founder Annie Nathan Meyer, Texas heiress Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, British activist Nancy Cunard, philanthropist Charlotte Osgood Mason, educator Lillian E. Wood, and novelist Fannie Hurstall women of accomplishment and renown in their day. Yet their contributions as hostesses, editors, activists, patrons, writers, friends, and lovers often went unacknowledged and have been lost to history until now. In a vibrant blend of social history and biography, award-winning writer Carla Kaplan offers a joint portrait of six iconoclastic women who risked ostracism to follow their inclinationsand raised hot-button issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the bargain. Returning Miss Anne to her rightful place in the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance, Kaplan's formidable work remaps the landscape of the 1920s, alters our perception of this historical moment, and brings Miss Anne to vivid life.

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