Library News Blog
White Slavery: Chicago Style
“First in violence, deepest in dirt, lawless, unlovely, ill-smelling, irreverent, new; an overgrown gawk of a village, the ‘tough’ among cities, a spectacle for the nation,” so wrote the Progressive-era journalist Lincoln Steffens in the early twentieth century. He should also have remarked that Chicago was a leader in vice, especially in “white slavery,” or enforced prostitution. One of Chicago’s most infamous “red-light” districts was in the “Levee” in the First Ward run by Alderman Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna. From 18th to 22nd Streets near the wharves on Lake Michigan, you could find countless brothels, saloons, rough dives, dance halls, and other similar places of entertainment. The issue of white slavery was the object of many Chicago reformers. U.S. Attorney Edward Sims remarked in 1908 that “There is enough to indicate that no other city in America holds and harbors the evil of white slavery as Chicago.” For example, in a two month period in 1907, law enforcement or reformers rescued 278 girls under the age of fifteen from Levee brothels.
The Sealy Library recently acquired a number of books about Chicago vice, and published in Chicago, with titles such as The Tragedies of the White Slaves (the only recorded copy), From Dance Hall to White Slavery, and the small pamphlet, one of two known copies, Seventy Traps of White Slavers By Which They Trap Girls. The latter offers such tips as “Don’t take music lessons behind locked doors.” “Most all dancing schools are run by white slavers. This is a favorite trap by which they find victims. Beware!” “Never trust the old lady who comes to you.” We could go on, but the Levee fell to the reformers, the passage of the Mann Act in 1910 and the automobile, which allowed vice to move to outlying areas accessible by this new form of transportation.
Today, the “Levee” is a gentrified area surrounding the University of Illinois in Chicago. We are pleased, however, to have acquired such rare evidence of this crime, which adds once again to our outstanding reputation as a research library.
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 4:19pm
The library has just added new titles to its Oxford Bibliographies Online resources providing annotated citations and introductory overviews on a range of topics. Annotated sources include books, journal articles, websites, data sets and archives. In additon to the African Studies, Criminology, Latino Studies and Psychology bibliographies, the library now provides access to these titles:
- Atlantic History
- Chinese Studies
- Islamic Studies
- Military History
To access all titles now, click here.
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 6:08pm
The library now subscribes to this unique database for students and scholars of American History.
Use this database when you need background information, timelines, photographs, maps, points of view and a plethora of primary source documents on major issues and controversies in American History.
To start exploring now click here.
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 5:36pm
The Reserve Lab is now open until 11pm Mondays through Thursdays, thanks to your Student Council.
The Reserve Lab is located downstairs in the Library and offers computers (Mac & PC), printers, scanners, and study tables.
Some exceptions apply. See hours calendar.
Please note that the Reserve Desk, which circulates books on reserve, will be closed at the usual time.
Posted Monday, February 29, 2016 - 10:35am
This evening we'll be having our first walk-in clinic for graduate students. Come to the library classroom between 5-6pm for help getting started on that literature review. We'll be holding several more throughout the semester, so mark your calendars:
- Monday, Feb. 22, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Tuesday, March 15, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Wednesday, March 30, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Thursday, April 7, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Tuesday, April 12, 4:30-5:30 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Wednesday, April 20, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
Do you need one-on-one help with your research project or assistance finding appropriate resources for an assignment? Would you like to improve your research skills? If so, then drop in and get the help you need just when you need it most. Contact Kathleen Collins with any questions about the clinics.
February 22, 2016
Posted Monday, February 22, 2016 - 1:13pm
The library has a new exhibit called L♥VE IN THE LIBRARY COLLECTI♥NS in which we feature a selection of books, e-books and special collections on the topic of L♥VE, broadly defined. Each book is accompanied by a QR Code so that you can find more information, or, in the case of e-books a path to download it to your device. Here's a selection of featured books:
Aristaenetus, Erotic letters. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Cayton, Andrew R. L Love in the time of revolution : transatlantic literary radicalism and historical change, 1793-1818. Stacks - PR878 .L69 C39 2013
Duhamel, Denise Blowout (available as an ebook through ebrary)
Echols, Damien. Yours for eternity : a love story on death row Stacks BF575 .L8 E365 2014
Hayes, Sharon. Sex, love and abuse; discourses on domestic violence and sexual assault (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Horstman, Judith. The Scientific American book of love, sex, and the brain: the neuroscience of how, when, why, and who we love. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Love in western film and television: lonely hearts and happy trails. (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Nehring, Daniel. Intimacies and cultural change : perspectives on contemporary Mexico. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Screening the dark side of love: from Euro-horror to American cinema (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Todd, Erica. Passionate love and popular cinema: Romance and film genre. (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 5:47pm
The library just started a trial to the database World Politics Review which runs through April 1, 2016.
This is a daily, online publication and resource on political and foreign policy matters with articles written by a network of more than 400 contributors from around the world. You can search this resource using the EBSCO platform or on the World Policy Institute website, by geographic area, personal name, author, publication name, date and publication type, among other qualifiers.
Please send your feedback to Maureen Richards, Electronic Resources LIbrarian at email@example.com.
Posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - 5:16pm
The Reserve Lab (the downstairs computer lab in the Library) will be closed 9am–
12pm on Friday, January 15, 2016, for cleaning. Update: the Reserve Lab will be closed until approximately 4pm or later for cleaning.
At this time, the computers upstairs in the Library will be available for web browsing, using Microsoft Office, and printing. Scanners and copy machines are upstairs as well.
If specialized software like SPSS and ArcGIS is needed, other computer labs on campus will also be available: L2.72.00 in the New Building and 1404 in North Hall. More info about CLSS labs »
Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 10:47am
Brought to you by your Student Council, your Library, and Public Safety...
The 24-hour Library Lounge & Lab!
The Reserve Lab and Niederhoffer Lounge will be open continuously from 8:30am on December 7 until 10pm on December 22, 2015.
That's over 350 straight hours of open study space!
Computers (Mac & PC), printers, scanners, copiers, and study tables will be open for student use in these areas. Note that the Stacks (bookshelves) will not be open for student use.
We wish you success on your finals!
Posted Friday, December 4, 2015 - 4:34pm
Jessie Redmon Fauset and Countee Cullen
Image source: John Jay College Archives, Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Digital Collections.
When John Jay College of Criminal Justice moved into Haaren Hall, it was the third school to occupy the building. The H-shaped edifice, designed by Charles Snyder, was built in 1906 to house DeWitt Clinton High School. When DeWitt Clinton moved to the Bronx in 1927, the building was then occupied by Haaren High School until a merger with Park West High School in the late 1970s. After that, the building languished, empty for years until 1985, when it was briefly slated to become a telecommunications center called the “Metropolis,” which would feature two 30-foot-high indoor waterfalls. John Jay College moved into the building in 1988 after giving it a thorough gut-renovation.
If these walls could talk, they would tell of a century-long history of academia, of the thousands of graduates of the three schools. And they might tell of two notable Harlem Renaissance writers who roamed the old halls of DeWitt Clinton.
Jessie Redmon Fauset (1884-1961)
Fauset was a prolific writer: she wrote novels, poetry, and journalism, and, at the behest of W.E.B. Du Bois, edited The Crisis, the official journal of the NAACP. Born in Philadelphia, Fauset taught high school French before attending Cornell University on a prestigious scholarship, graduating in 1905, and then earning a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. At The Crisis, which she joined in 1919 as literary editor, she published the writings of Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and other writers (including herself). Fauset attended the Pan-African Conference in 1921, one of few women to participate. Her report on its proceedings sums up both the feeling of unity (“We felt our common blood with almost unbelievable unanimity”) and the struggle to overcome colonialism, particularly in Belgium (“We knew the tremendous power of capital organized to exploit the Congo”). Fauset returned to teaching in 1926, employed at DeWitt Clinton High School. (It’s possible she may have taught James Baldwin when he attended the school.) She left teaching in 1929 and continued to write, publishing two more novels before retiring.
Considered by many to be Fauset’s best novel, Plum Bun (1929) features a light-skinned young black woman who moves to New York City and decides to “pass” as white. She enters the world of white society, succeeding socially and professionally where she would not have been able to if recognized as black, but she struggles in her relationship with her darker-complected sister. Plum Bun was written while Fauset taught at DeWitt Clinton. The novel is included in Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s, which can be requested in the catalog from Brooklyn College.
The Chinaberry Tree (1931) tells the story of a young woman struggling with her “bad blood,” as her community refers to her mixed parentage. The novel depicts interracial relationships in a small-town environment haunted by secrets and prejudices. (John Jay Stacks PS 3511 .A864 C48 1995b; catalog record).
Image source: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Jessie Fauset, author." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Link.
Countee Cullen (1903–1946)
Cullen was the adopted son of an activist minister whose Methodist church in Harlem boasted a congregation in the thousands. Cullen was a studious boy who attended DeWitt Clinton High School from 1918–21, where he edited the DeWitt Clinton literary magazine, Magpie. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from NYU, he went on to earn a master’s degree from Harvard in 1927. From the time he was in high school, he began to gain recognition for his poetry, appearing in magazines like The Crisis, Poetry, and Opportunity. Before he was 25, he published his first two volumes of poetry, Color (1925) and Copper Sun (1927). He won more literary prizes than any other black writer in the 1920s, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1928 (as the second ever African-American recipient). His writing was dramatic, lyrical, and traditional in style. He wrote of race and alienation but did not focus solely on racial identity.
Cullen’s best-known poems are collected in On These I Stand (John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U287 A6 1947; catalog record). See p. 3 for what is arguably Cullen’s most quoted poem, “Yet Do I Marvel,” and pp. 104–137 for “The Black Christ,” which was warmly praised by The New York Times Book Review in 1929.
More of Cullen’s writing, including a novel, essays, speeches, and an interview, is collected in My Soul’s High Song (John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U287 A6 1991; catalog record). See p. 325 for “Life’s Rendezvous,” for which Cullen won a citywide poetry contest while he was still attending DeWitt Clinton.
Image source: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. "Countee Cullen." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1925. Link.
- “Cullen, Countee.” Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 2nd ed. 2006.
- “Fauset, Jessie Redmon.” Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 2nd ed. 2006.
- Nash, E. “F.Y.I.” The New York Times 16 Dec. 2001. (Brief history of Haaren Hall.)
- Shucard, A. Countee Cullen. Boston: Twayne, 1984. (Available as ebook and at John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U297 Z88 1984; catalog record.)
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:48pm