Congo Cabaret

In the Harlem Renaissance, they knew about “sissy men” and “mannish women,” but they didn’t know about the “wolves.”

Orchestra.jpg

Synopsis

“Congo Cabaret” is an adaptation of an episode from gay writer Claude McKay’s then-bestselling novel, Home to Harlem. Set in a small nightclub, this scene presents the little-known figure of a “wolf” (a masculine gay man) and features the performance of a Bessie Smith song, “Foolish Man Blues,” which refers in a joking manner to “a mannish acting woman and a skippin’ twistin’ woman-acting man.”

Bessie Smith, the woman who wrote and performed "Foolish Man Blues"                                           

Bessie Smith, the woman who wrote and performed "Foolish Man Blues"                                           

Home to Harlem jacket copy.jpg