Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

Hard Time Blues

Photographs of dancer and choreographer Pearl Primus dancing “Hard Time Blues,” her dance based on a folk song about sharecropping by singer Josh White. Primus was well known and widely celebrated for her dance performances based on important African American poems and songs, including “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes and “Strange Fruit” by Lewis Allen. Photographs by Carl Van Vechten, 1943.

Additional resources: Pearl Primus on Wikipedia; Josh White on Wikipedia; Carl Van Vechten on Wikipedia. All photographs by Carl Van Vechten are used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust; the permission of the Trust is required to reprint or use Van Vechten photographs in any way. To contact the Trust email: Van Vechten Trust.

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