LOVE THEFT BLACKFACE MINSTRELSY AND THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS RACE AND AMERICAN CULTURE

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Love Theft

Author : Eric Lott
ISBN : 9780199361632
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 27.24 MB
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For over two centuries, America has celebrated the same African-American culture it attempts to control and repress, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the strange practice of blackface performance. Born of extreme racial and class conflicts, the blackface minstrel show appropriated black dialect, music, and dance; at once applauded and lampooned black culture; and, ironically, contributed to a "blackening of America." Drawing on recent research in cultural studies and social history, Eric Lott examines the role of the blackface minstrel show in the political struggles of the years leading up to the Civil War. Reading minstrel music, lyrics, jokes, burlesque skits, and illustrations in tandem with working-class racial ideologies and the sex/gender system, Love and Theft argues that blackface minstrelsy both embodied and disrupted the racial tendencies of its largely white, male, working-class audiences. Underwritten by envy as well as repulsion, sympathetic identification as well as fear--a dialectic of "love and theft"--the minstrel show continually transgressed the color line even as it enabled the formation of a self-consciously white working class. Lott exposes minstrelsy as a signifier for multiple breaches: the rift between high and low cultures, the commodification of the dispossessed by the empowered, the attraction mixed with guilt of whites caught in the act of cultural thievery. This new edition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of this landmark volume. It features a new foreword by renowned critic Greil Marcus that discusses the book's influence on American cultural studies as well as its relationship to Bob Dylan's 2001 album of the same name, "Love & Theft." In addition, Lott has written a new afterword that extends the study's range to the twenty-first century.
Category: Literary Criticism

Love And Theft Blackface Minstrelsy And The American Working Class

Author : Department of English University of Virginia Eric Lott Associate Professor
ISBN : 0199762244
Genre : Minstrel shows
File Size : 46.72 MB
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For over two centuries, America has celebrated the very black culture it attempts to control and repress, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the strange practice of blackface performance. Born of extreme racial and class conflicts, the blackface minstrel show sometimes usefully intensified them. Based on the appropriation of black dialect, music, and dance, minstrelsy at once applauded and lampooned black culture, ironically contributing to a "blackening of America." Drawing on recent research in cultural studies and social history, Eric Lott examines the role of the blackface minstrel show in the political struggles of the years leading up to the Civil War. Reading minstrel music, lyrics, jokes, burlesque skits, and illustrations in tandem with working-class racial ideologies and the sex/gender system, Love and Theft argues that blackface minstrelsy both embodied and disrupted the racial tendencies of its largely white, male, working-class audiences. Underwritten by envy as well as repulsion, sympathetic identification as well as fear--a dialectic of "love and theft"--the minstrel show continually transgressed the color line even as it enabled the formation of a self-consciously white working class. Lott exposes minstrelsy as a signifier for multiple breaches: the rift between high and low cultures, the commodification of the dispossessed by the empowered, the attraction mixed with guilt of whites caught in the act of cultural thievery.
Category: Minstrel shows

Inside The Minstrel Mask

Author : Annemarie Bean
ISBN : 0819563005
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 67.72 MB
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A sourcebook of contemporary and historical commentary on America's first popular mass entertainment.
Category: Literary Criticism

Black Like You

Author : John Strausbaugh
ISBN : 1585425931
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 34.96 MB
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Presents an analysis of American racial attitudes as reflected by the historical practice of "blackface," exploring its past role in entertainment, its continuing impact, and its role as a symbol of positive advances in modern race relations.
Category: Political Science

Black Mirror

Author : Eric Lott
ISBN : 9780674981485
Genre : History
File Size : 42.64 MB
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Blackness is a prized commodity in American pop culture. Marketed to white consumers, it invites whites to view themselves in a mirror of racial difference, while remaining “wholly” white. From sports to literature, film, and music to investigative journalism, Eric Lott reveals the hidden dynamics of this self-and-other racial mirroring.
Category: History

Burnt Cork

Author : Stephen Johnson
ISBN : 9781558499348
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 62.72 MB
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This collection of original essays brings together a group of prominent scholars of blackface performance to reflect on this complex and troublesome tradition. The essays consider the early relationship of the blackface performer with American politics and the antislavery movement; the relationship of minstrels to the commonplace compromises of the touring 'show' business and to the mechanisation of the industrial revolution; and much more.
Category: Literary Criticism

Darkest America Black Minstrelsy From Slavery To Hip Hop

Author : Yuval Taylor
ISBN : 9780393070989
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 42.17 MB
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Investigates the origin and heyday of black minstrelsy and discusses whether or not the art form is actually still alive in the work of contemporary performers--from Dave Chappelle and Flavor Flav to Spike Lee.
Category: Performing Arts

The Creolization Of American Culture

Author : Christopher J Smith
ISBN : 9780252095047
Genre : Music
File Size : 50.1 MB
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The Creolization of American Culture examines the artworks, letters, sketchbooks, music collection, and biography of the painter William Sidney Mount (1807–1868) as a lens through which to see the multiethnic antebellum world that gave birth to blackface minstrelsy. As a young man living in the multiethnic working-class community of New York's Lower East Side, Mount took part in the black-white musical interchange his paintings depict. An avid musician and tune collector as well as an artist, he was the among the first to depict vernacular fiddlers, banjo players, and dancers precisely and sympathetically. His close observations and meticulous renderings provide rich evidence of performance techniques and class-inflected paths of musical apprenticeship that connected white and black practitioners. Looking closely at the bodies and instruments Mount depicts in his paintings as well as other ephemera, Christopher J. Smith traces the performance practices of African American and Anglo-European music-and-dance traditions while recovering the sounds of that world. Further, Smith uses Mount's depictions of black and white music-making to open up fresh perspectives on cross-ethnic cultural transference in Northern and urban contexts, showing how rivers, waterfronts, and other sites of interracial interaction shaped musical practices by transporting musical culture from the South to the North and back. The "Africanization" of Anglo-Celtic tunes created minstrelsy's musical "creole synthesis," a body of melodic and rhythmic vocabularies, repertoires, tunes, and musical techniques that became the foundation of American popular music. Reading Mount's renderings of black and white musicians against a background of historical sites and practices of cross-racial interaction, Smith offers a sophisticated interrogation and reinterpretation of minstrelsy, significantly broadening historical views of black-white musical exchange.
Category: Music

Blackface Minstrelsy In Britain

Author : Michael Pickering
ISBN : 9781351573511
Genre : Music
File Size : 35.58 MB
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Blackface minstrelsy is associated particularly with popular culture in the United States and Britain, yet despite the continual two-way flow of performers, troupes and companies across the Atlantic, there is little in Britain to match the scholarship of blackface studies in the States. This book concentrates on the distinctively British trajectory of minstrelsy. The historical study and cultural analysis of minstrelsy is important because of the significant role it played in Britain as a form of song, music and theatrical entertainment. Minstrelsy had a marked impact on popular music, dance and other aspects of popular culture, both in Britain and the United States. Its impact in the United States fed into significant song and music genres that were assimilated in Britain, from ragtime and jazz onwards, but prior to these influences, minstrelsy in Britain developed many distinct features and was adapted to operate within various conventions, themes and traditions in British popular culture. Pickering provides a convincing counter-argument to the assumption among writers in the United States that blackface was exclusively American and its British counterpart purely imitative. Minstrelsy was not confined to its value as song, music and dance. Jokes at the expense of black people along with demeaning racial stereotypes were integral to minstrel shows. As a form of popular entertainment, British minstrelsy created a cultural low-Other that offered confirmation of white racial ascendancy and imperial dominion around the world. The book attends closely to how this influence on colonialism and imperialism operated and proved ideologically so effective. At the same time British minstrelsy cannot be reduced to its racist and imperialist connections. Enormously important as those connections are, Pickering demonstrates the complexity of the subject by insisting that the minstrel show and minstrel performers are understood also in terms of their own theatrical dynamics, t
Category: Music

Raising Cain

Author : W. T. Lhamon
ISBN : 0674747119
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 39.82 MB
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Cain made the first blackface turn, blackface minstrels liked to say of the first man forced to wander the world acting out his low place in life. It wasn't the "approved" reading, but then, blackface wasn't the "approved" culture either--yet somehow we're still dancing to its renegade tune. The story of an insubordinate, rebellious, truly popular culture stretching from Jim Crow to hip hop is told for the first time in Raising Cain, a provocative look at how the outcasts of official culture have made their own place in the world. Unearthing a wealth of long-buried plays and songs, rethinking materials often deemed too troubling or lowly to handle, and overturning cherished ideas about classics from Uncle Tom's Cabin to Benito Cereno to The Jazz Singer, W. T. Lhamon Jr. sets out a startlingly original history of blackface as a cultural ritual that, for all its racist elements, was ultimately liberating. He shows that early blackface, dating back to the 1830s, put forward an interpretation of blackness as that which endured a commonly felt scorn and often outwitted it. To follow the subsequent turns taken by the many forms of blackface is to pursue the way modern social shifts produce and disperse culture. Raising Cain follows these forms as they prolong and adapt folk performance and popular rites for industrial commerce, then project themselves into the rougher modes of postmodern life through such heirs of blackface as stand-up comedy, rock 'n' roll, talk TV, and hip hop. Formally raising Cain in its myriad variants, blackface appears here as a racial project more radical even than abolitionism. Lhamon's account of its provenance and persistence is a major reinterpretation of American culture.
Category: Performing Arts