In Horse Thief 1898, 25-year-old Scott Joplin befriends 14-year-old Charlie at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where they are both performing. Charlie is intrigued by ragtime, which he has never heard before. Even more, he is delighted by the brief friendship they share, which helps him understand how lonely he has been and moves him toward an important decision.
As well, Charlie begins to see for himself what he has only heard about: racism in post-Civil War America. Charlie’s Quaker cousin Silas has been involved with this for a long time, and Charlie has overheard adult discussions on the topic, but only now do they begin to make sense to him.
I’ll post more about Scott Joplin under the Historical Figures link next week.
Here’s my question for the week: What do you know about how racism impacted the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair?
I hope you’re having a great weekend!