WNYC Investigates The Bureaucratic Dance To End New York City's Anti-Dance Cabaret Law

People dance a final impromptu jitterbug session at the Savoy Ballroom in the Harlem section of New York before the close of the landmark dance hall on Oct. 3, 1958.
People dance a final impromptu jitterbug session at the Savoy Ballroom in the Harlem section of New York before the close of the landmark dance hall on Oct. 3, 1958.
Photo: WNYC

The Cabaret Law is a law in New York City established in the 1920s that prohibits three or more people from dancing in a club or bar that does not have a proper license. It was originally created to break up black jazz clubs in Harlem, yet is still somewhat enforced today. In this audio clip from WNYC and the Brian Lehrer Show, see what is being done to remove this racist law from the books.

Lauren Evans, freelance writer and contributor at The Village Voice and Jezebel, discusses her story about New York City's "racist" and "draconian" cabaret law and the fight to end it and Rafael Espinal, City Council member representing the 37th district, weighs in on how it effects his constituents.

via WNYC

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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