Langston Hughes' collection of Rent Party Cards. Poetry in motion. Rent parties are exactly what the name implies -- social events to raise money for the rent. They featured live music, food (for an added fee), dancing, and other *social* activities. A fascinating piece of history currently on display at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Partying to Pay the Rent: Langston Hughes’ collection of rent party cards
"Rent parties allowed for the residents of Harlem and other poor ghettos to pay their rent on time and avoid eviction. For example, in “Rent Party Jazz”, written by William Miller, a jazz musician gives a rent party in order to raise money for a certain family in need. In this way, rent parties not only assisted people in paying the rent, but it also helped the growth and development of jazz as a music genre."
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Langston Hughes’s Collection of Rent Party Cards from Harlem Yale University’s Beinecke Library is displaying Langston Hughes’s collection of rent party cards, which advertised fundraising gatherings in an era of discriminatory Harlem rent.