Nigger Heaven (first published in 1926) is a fictional novel set during the Harlem Renaissance in the United States in the 1920s. The book and its title have been controversial since its publication. The title refers to the balconies of movie theaters during the Jim Crow years, when balconies were reserved for African Americans, as the white audience sat below.
The novel, on the other hand, is a portrayal of life in the "great black walled city" of Harlem. It describes the interactions of intellectuals, political activists, bacchanalian workers, and other Harlem characters. The plot of the novel concerns two people, a quiet librarian and an aspiring writer, who try to keep their love alive as racism denies them every opportunity.
The novel became an instant bestseller and served as an informal pocket guide to Harlem. It also split the black literary community, as some, e.g. Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Wallace Thurman, appreciated it, while others like Countee Cullen, W.E.B. DuBois, and Alain Locke regarded it as an "affront to the hospitality of black folks". The book fueled a period of "Harlemania", during which the area of Harlem became en vogue among white people, who then frequented its cabarets, bars, and so on.
Published by Grosset & Dunlap, 1928. Hard Cover, 286 pages. Book Condition: Very Fine. Strong binding. No rips or missing pages. Pencil inscription first page. Slight edge wear to cloth cover and slight scuffing to back.
Interestingly, the novel also features 2 pages entitled, "Glossary of Negro Words and Phrases".
Constructed of tin with a glass cover and a cardboard backing, the puzzle is in all original, very nice condition, with the Blackamoor graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions with all paint intact! (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.) Very light soiling may be seen on the underside of the glass cover and could be cleaned if desired.
This German-made puzzle is marked with its country of origin: D.RG.M.116769. The cardboard puzzle back has suffered from wear with approximately 2/3 of the paper surface advertising peeled away. What remains indicates that this game was used to advertise a canned food product by the Anderson Food Company of Camden, New Jersey.
A delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!
This sign was found in storage inside of an old Austin, Texas, gas station and likely designated the COLORED ONLY entrance to a local public building or room within.
This historic sign is enameled on both sides with the word "COLORED" and a downward pointing arrow. Colors are blue with cream background.
The sign is in all-original condition with several chips to the porcelain enamel as well as subtle edge wear. It likely was posted on the interior of a building as its overall condition is really quite fine and does not evidence any characteristics one would expect of a sign that was subject to the ravages of Mother Nature. Or...perhaps the sign was simply never used-- a mystery never to be solved!
An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history that is quite likely the only one of its kind extant today!
Please take a moment to view the second "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era sign I currently have the pleasure of offering.
Measuring 6.75 inches wide x 8 inches long, the book is illustrated in both black silhouette and colored, line drawings. 16 pages long. Great condition-- tight binding, no tips or missing pages, clean. Cloth-bound hard covers.
A delightful addition to one's Black Memorabilia collector!!
This circa 1910-30's Johnny Griffin item is exceedingly rare, being the only example of this form ever seen by this seller either in print, on the internet or “in person”. Clearly, very few of these smoking and/or tobacco stands were produced in comparison to other Johnny Griffin novelties!
The smoking stand is constructed of two different metals- from the intricately embossed “corn stalk” pot metal cigarette and cigar holders, to the brass plated tray, match holder, base and stand. It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 30 inches high x 9 inches wide at the tray. It does not retain any marking other than mold number 3104 located on the underside of the tray. This very unusual smoking and/or tobacco stand is a heavy, sturdy piece, and is well-made.
Johnny Griffin Black Americana collectibles are a very interesting and infrequently found collectible form, and they should rightfully constitute the cornerstone of any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To see all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
This great piece is in very nice condition with the exception of a light spider hairline to the GLAZE ONLY of the top of the chef hat. The spider does not penetrate to the ceramic. He also has two very tiny edge flea bites by his shoes. Other than these very minor obtrusions, this wonderful piece remains free of other fleabites or hairlines as well as free of repaint, paint wear, or repairs.
The chef's head "bobbles" or "nods" on a metal spring adding much whimsy to this piece! His face has wonderful detailing--as does his body, and he has a very pleasant facial expression!! His big wide smile accentuates his pearly whites! This cute chef holds a yellow wooden spoon in his right hand and wears an adorable red bowtie!
**PLEASE NOTE: ANY WHITE SPOTS ON THE CHEF'S FACE ARE THE RESULT OF CAMERA FLASH ONLY-- NOT PAINT IMPERFECTIONS!**
A delightful piece!!
This extremely rare SAMPLE doll was, at one time, exhibited by Mrs. Park at a Van Buren drug store for marketing purposes--orders would be taken at the drug store based upon her sample doll or dolls that were displayed.
This richly detailed, finely executed doll wears 2 authenticating cloth tags (see photos) that attest to this doll’s provenance; one tag is a hand-inked-in-script tag sewn to the base of the doll’s apron that reads “Sample”, and the other is a machine-printed tag that is stitched to the waist band of the apron and reads, “Designed by Ruie Ann Park, Van Buren, Ark., All Rights Reserved”.
This lovely, 13 ½ inch long, old black Granny doll has a delicately designed, serious looking face that has been carefully hand-etched in ink. Her curly gray hair pulled back into a bun at the nape of her neck is crafted from yarn, and she wears a small, proper brown cloth hat with pink banding. Her body is quite firmly stuffed with cotton, her hands are stitched to delineate her fingers and (separated) thumbs, and her outfit is machine-stitched and completely original. She wears unbleached, ruffle-edged, muslin pantaloons and underskirt. Her dress is cream colored cotton calico printed with black and pink flowers, and further accented with the most delicate, pink-trimmed, pink polka-dotted, lace cuffs and collar. Her unbleached muslin apron is trimmed with light pink ric-a-rac along its hem and single pocket. Her outfit is completed with black cotton stockings and authentically detailed black, lace-up leather boots.
This extraordinarily rare doll with her very unusual, documented provenance is in very, very fine condition! A truly superb Black doll beckoning to the most sophisticated of doll collectors! Also offered from the same wonderful doll collection is a circa 1920 black cloth doll named "Sallie"- another must-have!
This doll depicts the black stick or kindling gatherer. He holds a bunch of sticks tied together with string that has been flung over his right shoulder. In his left hand, he holds a wooden walking stick. This is an older gentleman who wears a straw hat, gray beard and hair and has embroidered facial features –most characteristic of these dolls. Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. This gent has lost his shingle stand but the remnants are still visible glued to the bottom of his leather shoes. Clothing is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the patch on his left knee and the red hanker chief poking out of his right pocket. His body is brown cotton stuffed with cotton batting.
A very special doll that takes a snapshot of history in capturing the life of the poor southern black of the Depression era.
Cheerily entitled, “Down Where The Cotton Blossoms Grow”, the scene encapsulates a moment in time in the life of poor, southern, Black folk living as part of a tenant farming family in a wooden cabin at the edge of a expansive cotton field. A young, barefoot black boy and his graying mama are caught in a happy moment smiling and dancing next to a freshly-picked burlap bag of cotton.
This artwork has been completed on a tightly woven piece of tan cotton, with the outline of the basic design either pre-stenciled or hand-painted with black India ink. (Without removing the piece from its frame and examining it under the stronger power of a microscope, this is difficult to determine.)
The artist then used watercolors to paint in the broad areas of color prior to using embroidery cotton and silk thread to stitch the title, and to outline the trees, the landscape, the wooden cabin, the two black figures and their clothing, etc. The final touch was to paint in the cotton blossoms and aspects of the folk’s facial features with a white oil paint. The result is a larger scale, utterly charming Folk Art Black Americana scene!
The condition of the piece, which is framed under glass, is excellent with no staining, tears, or other damage to the cotton fabric. The original solid oak frame shows some scuffing and subtle traces of paint. The original wood backing remains as well as several original square head nails.
This piece is truly a unique example of traditional, late 19th century, American Folk Art! Coupled with its Black Americana theme, this artistic rendering is a rare and precious offering!
The figure is decorated in underglaze black, measures 9 inches high, and is in perfect condition with the exception of expected and appropriate superficial crackling to the glaze, and a shallow and very tight, early hairline to the back of the figure at its base. It is titled “Uncle Tom & Eva” on the front base.
An very exceptional piece of Black Memorabilia for the discriminating collector.
A wonderful addition to any vintage toy or Black Memorabilia collection, this vividly colorful toy remains in great working condition. Wind up the alligator, and his mouth viciously snaps open and closed as he rolls along, with the black native balancing on his back! (Mr. Alligator is a bit fussy with regard to what type of surface he will roll upon, but the mechanism functions fine!)
Some missing paint here and there as would be expected given its 80+ years of age (please see photos), as well as some superficial scratches, and some crimping to the alligator's tail.
A seldom-found toy!
Please note that white spots in photos are the result of flash reflection and not imperfections to the toy.
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately are a second set of rarely found, Georgia, child's, slave shackles (no key with this set) that is featured in the last photo. An additional set of ADULT shackles is also available. Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find all 3 sets of shackles currently offered for sale.
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."