Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finnie's Halloween Balls

One of the things I was fascinated to discover when I started perusing the digital copies of EBONY and JET magazines that are now online thanks to Google's deal with Johnson Publishing Company was that they covered the Finnie's Halloween drag ball in Chicago and another affair at the Rockland Palace in New York.

Finnie's Ball got its start in 1935, and quickly became a must attend event for gay and straight South Side denizens.   It blew up to the point that it was attended by thousands of people and was featured in a 1952 EBONY magazine article on it and a similar event in New York.

Through the 50's, 60's and 70's if you peruse the issues of JET published in November it was almost a given that pictures of the drag kings and queens from the Finnie's Ball would be appearing on its pages.

Alfred Finnie didn't live long enough to see the ball he started grow to become the elaborate must attend Halloween event it did and garner the media coverage it did for decades.   

But seeing these pictures of Halloweens past is making me wonder if they will be having any type of ball on the South Side tonight? 

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