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Bill Bojangles Robinson Playground

W. 150 St., W/s 7 Ave.

Manhattan

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This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This modestly sized park is named for an important figure in African-American culture: entertainer and philanthropist Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878-1949). Born Luther Robinson in Richmond, Virginia, he was orphaned when still an infant. His grandmother, a former slave, raised him and his two siblings. Robinson left home at the age of eight for Washington, D.C., where he worked as a stable boy at the Benning Race Track. Around this time he assumed the name of his brother William and earned his nickname “Bojangles” after stealing a beaver cap from a hat maker named Boujasson.

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