[Unused Ticket for] Epic of a Race.
Chicago, Illinois: . 2¼” x 5½”. Admission ticket printed on card stock, recto only. Near fine with a bit of edge wear.
This is a ticket to the first of two annual events targeted to African Americans at Soldier Field as part of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. The grand spectacle had approximately 4500 performers and singers and covered eleven different periods in Black history. Attendance at the event was poor and likely due to the fact that it was not supported by The Chicago Defender. A week before the show, the paper published a letter by influential African American politician Oscar DePriest which stated that he would not attend because the ticket did not allow admission to the fair (the ticket reads along its bottom “not good for admission to exposition grounds”). DePriest also voiced concerns as to where profits from the production might be used. Promotions for Ne*ro Day anticipated 200,000 attendees, but the number of people who actually attended that day dropped by 100,000 from the day before. The Defender also panned the performance, writing, “rather than depicting the progress of the race for the past hundred years, it seemed to show we have retrograded in that time.”
When it was announced that the fair would be extended one year, Black community leaders planned another event, this one supported by the Defender. With legendary band leader Noble Sissle managing the performance, it was far more successful and well received. Near fine. Item #7116