Acknowledging historical realities of segregation during the Prohibition Era and celebrating Black creators of the Harlem Renaissance
As many of you know already, the Hooch Booch brand was inspired by the Prohibition Era of the 1920s - reimagined for the 2020s that we now live in today. This monumental era of massive advancements in technology and consumption created opportunities for some, bringing great prosperity. But for others, it was no Great Gatsby party - during that decade, more than 60% of Americans lived below the poverty line.
Although slavery had been abolished, Black people especially faced great poverty and struggle, forced to work low-paying, manual labor jobs. Discrimination against Black folks was seen throughout most other aspects of their lives as well, including with housing, schools and public settings, while also facing racially-motivated attacks on a regular basis.
At Hooch Booch, being a company influenced by Prohibition Era culture, we acknowledge these historical realities and again recognize there was so much more to this decade than the glitz and the glam. And during Black History Month, we want to celebrate and highlight those who played a pivotal role in changing the face of literature, art and music during this time. This cultural movement of liberation, coined the Harlem Renaissance, was formed as a result of thousands of African Americans migrating to the North (the Great Migration), with Harlem, New York being one of the most popular destinations.
Creators like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and so many more were all central to the Harlem Renaissance, and made contributions that changed the landscape of the arts, specifically music, forever. Jazz was the sound of the decade - a genre of song and dance deep-rooted in Black culture and the sound that roared at speakeasies alike. Jazz made people feel alive after World War I and inspired creativity and passion. To listen to some of our favorite jazz hits, follow the links below:
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) - Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
Don’t Forget to Mess Around - Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five
Hello Lola! - Coleman Hawkins Quintet
Devil’s Gonna Git You - Bessie Smith
Take the “A” Train - Duke Ellington
Centennial Features, Centennial Spotlights presents Inside the Roaring ‘20s: The Decade That Changed Everything, 2021