"scufflin’ in"

Published December 7, 1941


Scufflin’ in from HARLEM as seen by hirschfeld, 1941


In a country otherwise populated by lades wearing white gloves, Harlem was probably one of the most liberated neighborhoods in existence. True, Harlemites were largely restricted socially to their own environs, but they were also liberated by them, and by their own innovation.

The couple in Scufflin’ In is dynamic just standing still. This sensuous sway of dancing started by liberating Harlem, but from here, it eventually liberated the whole nation. And dig that crazy zoot suit the gent is wearing. Dance and music were being transformed on a nearly nightly basis in Harlem during this very musical era at places like the Savoy Ballroom and Baron Wilkins.

Al Hirschfeld makes us want to break out into verse:

Scufflin’ In Reminds Us Of A

Symphony of Spirits

An Unabashed Coming Together

Of the Universal Life Forces

That Propels and Inspires Us

Toward Divine Goals

-Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis

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