About the Episode

The local newspapers of Lancaster, Pennsylvania wrote often about Jennie Taylor, the daughter of a formerly enslaved man. She made the papers when she was attacked by boyfriends, when she was arrested for public drunkenness or for running a “disorderly” house, and when she fought police officers. What do the unpublished Vice Files add to this publicity about Jennie Taylor? This episode focuses on how race shaped the public and secret sides of Jennie Taylor.

Resource List

Harris, Lashawn. Sex Workers, Psychixs, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York CIty’s Underground Economy. Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2016.

Hicks, Cheryl. “‘Bright and Good Looking Colored Girl’: Black Women’s Sexuality and ‘Harmful Intimacy’ in Early-Twentieth Century New York.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 18, no. 3, September 2008, pp. 418-456.

Robertson, Stephen, et. al. “Disorderly Houses: Residences, Privacy, and the Surveillance of Sexuality in 1920s Harlem.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 21, no. 3, 2012, pp. 443-456


Writer and Producer: M. Alison Kibler
Narrator: Rachel Rubins
Research Team: Jayden LaCoe, Kylie Loughney, Rachel Rubins, Dylan Sykes
Genealogical research by Hope Glidden
Financial Support from the Center for Sustained Engagement with Lancaster at Franklin & Marshall College
Additional Support from LancasterHistory