I distinctly remember looking over a writer’s resume and portfolio online with a friend last year and being in awe of the site and said writer’s extensive background. My friend and I both agreed that we needed to step our own respective games up.

A year later I find out through a colleague that this writer now finds themselves unemployed and forced to throw a party in their apartment to cover the month’s rent.

I’ve already touched on how the journalism world is in scrambles with writers young and old finding themselves out of work.

But it’s not just media marvels throwing parties to keep themselves out of the shelters.

It’s people who have had their wages cut, their work hours lessened, or their jobs eliminated altogether.


In New York, in Los Angeles, and in small towns all across the country you will now find many hard hit Americans throwing parties and charging covers with the hopes that they can scrap up just enough to keep stay under their roofs.

Though this growing trend was recently profiled on Good Morning America “the rent party” itself is not a new concept.


The idea originated during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s where tenants would hire a musician or band to provide music for a house party organized to raise money for rent. The rent party helped paved the way for the development of jazz and blues. 

Now you'll find the soundtrack to rent parties spanning different genres — evidence of how inclusive the problem to stay afloat has become. 


Have you had to throw your own rent party or something just as creative in order to make ends meet?

Email me at therecessiondiaries@gmail.com

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.