Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

The Women

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p. xv

Map of Bricktop’s Paris

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Map Key

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Book I. Bricktop’s Paris

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pp. 1-4

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Introduction: The Other Americans, 1919–1939

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pp. 5-16

“Paris put my foot on the ground,” declared Lois Mailou Jones in a 1996 interview in the New York Amsterdam News.1 For Jones, Paris represented “freedom, [t]o be shackle free . . . released . . . from all of the pressure and stagnation which we suffered in this country. . . . France gave me my stability...

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1. Les Dames, Grand and Small, of Montmartre: The Paris of Bricktop

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pp. 17-72

On her last night in Paris, October 26, 1939, on the eve of World War II, those were Ada Smith Ducongé’s parting words. Gazing at the hôtels particuliers, illuminated architectural marvels, and the twinkling lights of the grand...

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2. The Gotham-Montparnasse Exchange

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pp. 73-114

As Montmartre continued to sizzle with the influx of jazzmen and women, Montparnasse and Saint-Germain hummed along as well, initiating writers and artists of all stripes to its café culture and salons. When Jessie Fauset, doyenne of the Harlem Renaissance, arrived in...

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3. Women of the Petit Boulevard: The Artist’s Haven

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pp. 115-142

By the time Lois Mailou Jones and Selma Hortense Burke arrived in Paris in 1937 and 1938, respectively, the exclusive, by virtue of its size rather than snobbery, haven of creativity and connections that had developed in Paris among African American women artists was fast disappearing. Jones, who was born on November 3, 1905, was a native of Boston...

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4. Black Paris: Cultural Politics and Prose

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pp. 143-154

By the time Eslanda “Essie” Goode Robeson embarked on a series of interviews that would appear in the literary magazine Challenge, the revolving door to Paris for African American women had been open seventeen years. She had already walked through that door in 1925, seven years before she conducted the interviews and eleven years before they were...

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5. Epilogue: “Homeward Tug at a Poet’s Heart”: The Return

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pp. 155-158

In a lengthy letter to Harold Jackman, Gwennie Bennett wrote of her upcoming return to New York in the summer of 1926 as a “homeward tug at a poet’s heart.” Love was calling her homeward, but so was the desire to show what she had learned in “fairytale” Paris. Jessie Fauset had...

Appendix: “Negro Dance,” Opus 25, No. 1, Nora Douglas Holt

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pp. 159-162

Book II. The Autobiography of Ada “Bricktop” Smith, or Miss Baker Regrets

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Foreword: Gained in Translation?

Alice Randall

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pp. 165-170

The Lost Generation lost its black women. Tracy Sharpley-Whiting found them. She’s found the streets and neighborhoods where they lived, worked, and visited. She’s found their boat tickets and telegraphs home for money, their menus and their men, but, more importantly, she’s found...

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Preface: History’s Marginalia, Autofictional Mysteries, and a Fondness for Matters French

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting

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pp. 171-176

It was at my grandmother’s white Formica kitchen table that I first learned about France and Josephine Baker. It was winter in St. Louis, and my paternal grandmother and great-grand were going through the morning ritual of coffee drinking and reminiscences as if they hadn’t just sat at that table the...

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The Autobiography of Ada “Bricktop” Smith, or Miss Baker Regrets

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pp. 177-346

My glossy red curls bounced wildly about my head as I jerked up hard at the sound of the Frenchman’s melodic voice.
Mon petit oiseau, my little bird.” He gestured grandly. The air kisses from his cupid’s-bow mouth blew to each side of my cheeks. He took up...

Glossary (Book II)

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pp. 347-348

Notes to Book I

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pp. 349-368

List of Archives and Libraries

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pp. 369-370

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 371-372

Index to Book 1

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pp. 373-378

Back Cover

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