Thursday, December 02, 2010

Juke Joints

Juke joint (or jook joint) is the vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by Blacks. The term "juke" is believed to derive from the Gullah word joog, meaning rowdy or disorderly. It could also derive from the Irish language "deoch dionta" (drinking roofed place). Classic juke joints found, for example, at rural crossroads, catered to the rural work force that began to emerge after the emancipation. Plantations workers and sharecroppers needed a place to relax and socialize following a hard week, particularly since they were barred from most white establishments by Jim Crow laws. Set up on the outskirts of town, often in ramshackle buildings or private houses, juke joints offered food, drink, dancing and gambling for weary workers. Owners made extra money selling groceries or moonshine to patrons, or providing cheap room and board. (Wiki)

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