During the 1920’s and 30’s in Harlem, one of the social events of the year for gays was The Hamilton Lodge Ball. But this was no ordinary ball – it was a drag ball at the regal Rockland Palace, organized by Lodge #710 of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows.
Both men and women could be cross-dressed for the night, but only because organizers got police permits in advance. The event would draw thousands, most of them black.
The highlight of the night, of course, was the beauty contest – in which the fashionably-dressed drags would compete for the title of Queen of the Ball. A rip-roaring good time, the events were called “Spectacles of color” by poet Langston Hughes.
Harlem socialites and the white avant-garde filled the ballroom’s balconies to take it all in.
“The Rainbow Minute,” a radio show on WRIR, Richmond Independent Radio, is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM every Weekday at 9:03am, 12:30pm and 4:30pm. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.
The Rainbow Minute is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM, WRIR Richmond Independent Radio, every Weekday at 7:59 a.m, 12:29 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.
On Thursday, Diversity Richmond, in partnership with WRIR, will host its third radio show, this time on LGBT sexuality and in front of a live audience. The organization’s new monthly series that broadcasts on 97.3 FM addresses LGBT issues. Diversity Richmond’s first show launched two months ago and featured SAGE Central Virginia, a program Diversity [...]