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In Dahomey (1902) Paul Lawrence Dunbar (lyrics) Jesse A. Shipp (book) Will Marion Cook (music) Part I of II.

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Presentation on theme: "In Dahomey (1902) Paul Lawrence Dunbar (lyrics) Jesse A. Shipp (book) Will Marion Cook (music) Part I of II."— Presentation transcript:

1 In Dahomey (1902) Paul Lawrence Dunbar (lyrics) Jesse A. Shipp (book) Will Marion Cook (music) Part I of II

2 The History of the Minstrel Show 1)1769- Lewis Hallman performs is blackface in the play The Padlock 2) Performers of so-called “Negro Music” increasingly use blackface in their performances and are dubbed “minstrels” 3)1843- The Virginia Minstrels perform at the New York Bowery Ampitheatre 4)1843- E.P. Christy founds the Christy Minstrels, who establish the template for minstrel show for the next three decades 5) The rise of minstrelsy coincides with the growing abolitionist movement in the U.S., and is often used as propaganda to promote the image of the contented slave 6)1860s- Blackface begins to serve as a sort of fool’s mask, allowing the performers to lampoon virtually anything without offending the audience. 7)1860s- The minstrel show increasingly becomes associated with social criticism during the Civil War, advocating for abolition, women’s rights, and temperance. Black performers begin to use blackface 8)1890s- Vaudeville gradually replaces minstrelsy as America’s favorite genre of theatrical comedy

3 The Structure of the Minstrel Show PART 1- The entire troupe danced onto stage singing a popular song. Upon the instruction of the interlocutor, a sort of host, they sat in a semicircle. Various stock characters always took the same positions: the genteel interlocutor in the middle, flanked by Tambo and Bones, who served as the endmen or cornermen. The interlocutor acted as a master of ceremonies and as a dignified, if pompous, straight man while the endmen exchanged jokes and performed a variety of humorous songs. Over time, the first act came to include maudlin numbers not always in dialect. One minstrel, usually a tenor, came to specialize in this part; such singers often became celebrities, especially with women. Initially, an upbeat plantation song and dance ended the act; later it was more common for the first act to end with a walkaround, including dances in the style of a cakewalk PART 2- The “olio”-” had of a variety show structure. Performers danced, played instruments, did acrobatics, and demonstrated other amusing talents. Troupes offered parodies of European-style entertainments, and European troupes themselves sometimes performed. PART 3/FINALE- Uusually one actor, typically one of the endmen, delivered a faux-black-dialect stump speech, a long oration about anything from nonsense to science, society, or politics, during which the dim- witted character tried to speak eloquently, only to deliver countless malapropisms, jokes, and unintentional puns. All the while, the speaker moved about like a clown, standing on his head and almost always falling off his stump at some point. With blackface makeup serving as fool’s mask, these stump speakers could deliver biting social criticism without offending the audience, although the focus was usually on sending up unpopular issues and making fun of blacks' ability to make sense of them.

4 Stump Speech

5 Endmen Comedy Routine

6 Endmen Dancing

7 Cakewalk

8 Musical Number

9 In Dahomey? The origins of Dahomey (present day Benin) can be traced back to a group of Aja from the coastal kingdom of Allada who moved northward and settled among the Fon People of the interior. By about 1650, the Aja managed to dominate the Fon, and Wegbaja declared himself king of their joint territory. Based in his capital of Agbome, Wegbaja and his successors succeeded in establishing a highly centralized state with a deep-rooted kingship cult of sacrificial offerings. These included an emphasis on human sacrifices in large numbers, to the ancestors of the monarch Economically, however, Wegbaja and his successors profited mainly from the slave trade and relations with slavers along the coast. As Dahomey's kings embarked on wars to expand their territory, they began using rifles and other firearms traded with French and Spanish slave traders for young men captured in battle, who fetched a very high price from the European slave merchants. Talking Points 1)Given its history, describe the multiple ironies at work (and their significances) in making Dahomey the Society’s chosen point of return? To what types of ignorance and affiliation does it point? How does it help us make sense of the fate the eventually befalls the colonizers?

10 Hybridity and In Dahomey: Reworking Theatrical Conventions by Manipulating Theatrical “Contracts” Minstrelsy Vaudeville Popular Art Folklore Musical Comedy/ Light Opera African-American Christianity Farce designed to Lampoon “Repatriation” as a solution to the “Race Problem”

11 Key Themes, Theatrical Devices, and Symbols 1)Minstrelsy/Black Face 2)Atavistic Primitivism 3)Cultural Production as Cultural Fabric 4)Early Pan-Africanism: The Agendas of Origin 5)Black Nationalism and Internationalism 6)Racial Hybridity and Difference 7)The (in)compatability of European Forms and African- American Expression 8)Using Theatre to Redress Issues and Concerns that, in part, are the creation of the theatre of times past (turning to minstrelsy to help solve the race problem) 9)Meta-theatricality 10)The idea that the origin of African-American identity lies in the cultural production of the Southern plantation 11)Afro-Christianity

12 Moses and Carrie Brown The Absence of African American Theatre and the Indispensable Cultural Fabric of African American Culture: A Problem with No Home-Grown Solution? MOSES (loudly) Mad about the stage was Carrie Brown, She served at a draper's shop in town; Each new piece they play'd, There you'd find this maid First night in the gall'ry sitting down. Carrie could recite, "The Soldier's Dream"; All the shopgirls held her in esteem, For in the dining hall She would entertain them all, And, when applauded, she would almost scream: CHORUS I wants to be a actor lady Playing, you know, Star in the show; Spotlight for me; no back row shady; I'm the real thing; I dance and sing; Miss Terry may make Shakespeare go, But she can't sing, "Flo from Pimlico," And I wants to be a actor lady too -- indeed I do! Carrie said that Shakespeare was an ass, Barrie wasn't bad, but still no class; "If George Sims," said she, "Wrote a play for me, You to see me act could get no pass." "Over my dead body first, you cur! Death to life with you, I much prefer!" "Farewell, Claude, we must part! You have broke my trusting heart!" With lines like them I'd make all London stir. CHORUS I wants to be a actor lady Playing you know, Star in the show; Spotlight for me, no back row shady, I'm the real thing, I dance and sing; Miss Mary Moore is splendid truly, But she can't warble "Mister Dooley;" I wants to be a actor lady too -- indeed I do! Carrie wrote to Mister Beerbohm Tree: "Though to you I may a stranger be, When your season starts, Of the ladies' parts Give the most important one to me; Olga Nethersole is very fine, But her acting can't compare with mine; I'm just about her height; Herbert, don't forget to write, And say a five years' contract I may sign!" Talking Points 1) Describe the paradox faced by Carrie Brown? What does she want? Why can’t she have it? What is her proposed remedy? 2) How does the Chorus frame matters with respect to the relationship between African-American performance and African American aesthetic production? In other words, how would you characterize the symbolic importance of Carrie’s Boast the “Terry may make Shakespeare go. But she can’t s Sing, ‘Flo from Pimlico’” 3) What is the intertextual significance wrought by the fact that Moses leading this chorus?

13 Williams and Walker: A More Sophisticated Black Theatre? George Walker and Egbert Austin Williams were a vaudeville comedy team and had one of the most renowned and successful stage partnerships in American theatrical history. They decided to team up when they met in San Francisco in the early 1890's. Williams and Walker pioneered a new kind of "Black" humor and eventually developed their own company. With musical shows such as "Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk," "Sons of Ham," and "In Dahomey," they opened the door for other African- American actors, singers, dancers, and musicians, and sought to redefine the boundaries of Black Theater.

14 Inset Williams and Walker Clip

15 Paul Lawrence Dunbar ( ) 1)The first African-American poet to garner national critical acclaim. 2)Dunbar penned a large body of dialect poems, standard English poems, essays, novels and short stories before he died at the age of 33. 3)His work often addressed the difficulties encountered by members of his race and the efforts of African-Americans to achieve equality in America. He was praised both by the prominent literary critics of his time and his literary contemporaries. 4) Dunbar decided to publish a book of poems. Oak and Ivy, his first collection, was published in ) In 1893, he was invited to recite at the World's Fair, where he met Frederick Douglass, the renowned abolitionist who rose from slavery to political and literary prominence in America. Douglass called Dunbar "the most promising young colored man in America." 6)Dunbar's second book, Majors and Minors propelled him to national fame. 7)In 1897, Dunbar traveled to England to recite his works on the London literary circuit. 8)In 1902, Dunbar and his wife separated. 9)He ultimately produced 12 books of poetry, four books of short stories, a play and five novels. His work appeared in Harper's Weekly, the Sunday Evening Post, the Denver Post, Current Literature and a number of other magazines and journals. 10)) Dunbar’s burden of representativity is well-documented to have, at times, nearly drove him mad.

16 Will Marion Cook ( ) 1) The first great African-American composer for the musical stage. 2) Trained at the Oberlin Conservatory, the National Conservatory of Music in New York under Anton Dvorak and in Berlin, Germany at Hochschule fur Musik. 3) IN 1890, he begins to compose that drew on the idioms and themes of African-American folklore and music. 4) Throughout the 1890s and 1900s, he composed for the stage shows of Bert Williams, the leading black comic and vaudevillian. I 5) In 1889 Cook produced and wrote the music for Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk. This debut in the theater world was a series of skits. The skits were written in an hour-long session between Cook and the celebrated African American dialect poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. It was the first musical comedy written, directed, and performed entirely by African-American artists. The show opened at the Casino Theater Roof Garden in New York to rave reviews and enjoyed success on Broadway and in London. The beauty of the lead dancer Ada Overton Walker prompted the cakewalk dance craze among even the high-society of New York. 6) Named Composer-in-Chief and Musical Director for William Walker's Broadway shows. He went on to compose the music for a number of popular black musicals, including In Dahomey (1903) 7) Cook composed Abyssinia in 1906, but his reliance on ragtime left him behind the changing tastes. He led his Southern Syncopated Orchestra, a huge ragtime and concert ensemble, and composed "I'm Coming, Virginia" and "Mammy" in the 1910s. 8) His last European tour by his orchestra was in It was then that critics noted that he had developed an emerging jazz style

17 Jesse Shipp Writer, Director, Lyricist ON BROADWAY Productions Dates of Production Kilpatrick's Old-Time Minstrels [Original, Musical, Minstrel]Kilpatrick's Old-Time Minstrels Staged by Jesse A. Shipp Apr 19, Apr 26, 1930 The Green Pastures [Original, Play, Play with music]The Green Pastures Performer: Jesse A. Shipp [Abraham]; Performer: Jesse A. Shipp [Archangel] Feb 26, Aug 29, 1931 Mr. Lode of Koal [Original, Musical]Mr. Lode of Koal Book by Jesse A. Shipp; Lyrics by Jesse A. Shipp Nov 1, Dec 4, 1909 Bandanna Land [Original, Musical, Comedy]Bandanna Land Starring: Jesse A. Shipp [Mose Blackstone]; Staged by Jesse A. Shipp; Book by Jesse A. Shipp; Lyrics by Jesse A. Shipp Feb 3, Apr 18, 1908 Abyssinia [Original, Musical, Comedy]Abyssinia Performer: Jesse A. Shipp [The Affa Negus Tegulet]; Staged by Jesse A. Shipp; Dahomey [Original, Musical, Farce] Dahomey Performer: Jesse A. Shipp [Hustling Charley]; Book by Jesse A. Shipp Feb 18, Apr 4, 1903 Sons of Ham [Revival, Musical, Comedy]Sons of Ham Performer: Jesse A. Shipp [Professor Switchen]; Staged by Jesse A. Shipp; Book by Jesse A. Shipp Apr 29, May 4, The Policy Players [Original, Musical, Comedy, Farce]The Policy Players Directed by Jesse A. Shipp Oct 16, Apr 9, 1900

18 The Theatrical Dilemmas of Representing the “Race Problem” for a New Black Theatre Part I, II, III…GO! 1)The problem of origin, the absence of precedent, and the drive (and/or refusal) to infuse a hostile theatrical environment with elements of Black folk/popular Culture. 2) How does one infuse “authentic” African-American culture into a cultural milieu where both African-Americans and Africa have already been “invented” in different terms to suit different aims? 3) The problem of reworking “contaminated” genres and meta-narratives to suit new aims while, at the same time, fore-fronting the dangers of this “contamination.” (Or: How does one show both “sides of the story” without ignoring cross-pollination.)

19 Hybridity and In Dahomey: Reworking Theatrical Conventions by Manipulating Theatrical “Contracts” Minstrelsy Vaudeville Popular Art Folklore Musical Comedy/ Light Opera African-American Christianity Farce designed to Lampoon “Repatriation” as a solution to the “Race Problem”

20 Minstrelsy, Tricksterism, and the “Race Problem”: The Race Problem and the Problem of Representing Race Act 1 (Public Square with a house doorway. Above the door is a sign: "Intelligence Office." A crowd is assembled around a medicine show pitchman. Applause at rise of curtain. A banjo player acts as an interlocutor as Tambo, and Bones tell one or two jokes. The banjoist sings a song. Dr. Straight, the pitchman, addresses the crowd.) [...] DR. STRAIGHT Wait, wait, wait, this is not all. I have another preparation, Oblicuticus, "Obli" -- in this case, being an abbreviation of the word "obliterate." "Cuti" -- taken from the word "cuticle," the outer skin, and "cuss" is what everybody does when the desired results are not obtained, but there is no such word as "fail." This wonderful face bleach removes the outer skin and leaves in its place a peachlike complexion that can't be duplicated -- even by peaches. Changing black to white and vice versa. I am going to spend only one day in your city, but I am going to convince you by exhibiting a living evidence of my assertions that these two grand preparations Straightaline and Oblicuticus are the most wonderful discovery of modern times. Talking Points 1)What are the implications refashioning (and in a sense, returning to his roots) the figure of the interlocutor as the M.C. at a medicine show? 2)What is Dr. Straight’s cure for the race problem? How do the very names of his potions speak to the nature of his solution to the race problem? 3)Consider the implications and ironies of the use of Blackface in this scene. (Black Actors in Blackface calling for the obliteration of all things black). What purposes do they serve?

21 American Colonization Society: Emigration, Repatriation, or Colonization? In 1822, the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.) which was the primary vehicle for returning black Americans to greater freedom in Africa, established Liberia as a place to send people who were formerly enslaved. This movement of black people by the A.C.S. had broad support nationwide among white people in America, including prominent leaders such as Henry Clay and James Monroe, who saw this as preferable to emancipation in America, with Clay believing "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country". STAMPFIELD You shouldn't let trifles annoy you. I'll dare say you'll find the population of Dahomey quite as much a source of annoyance as the colored population of this country. Your exalted opinion of the ideal life to be found in a barbarous country is beyond my comprehension. MOSES It's all right for you, son, to argue that way, 'cause you 'specs to live and die amongst these white folks here in the United States, but the colonization society that leaves this country for Dahomey takes a different view of the matter. In the first place, we've 'vestigated the country and found out just what's what. STAMPFIELD In other words, the existing conditions. MOSES (doubtfully) Yes. Everything points to success. They tell me that gold and silver in Dahomey is plentiful, as the whiskey is on election day in Bosting [Boston]. The climate's fine -- just the right thing for raisin' chickens and watermelons. It never snows so you don't need no clothes (pauses) sich as the people wear here, and who know but what you can get a few franchises from the king to start street cars, 'lectric lights and saloons to running. STAMPFIELD You've fine, big ideas, but suppose the natives suddenly don't take kindly to the new order of things and refuse to be electric lighted, salooned and otherwise fixed up with blessings of civilization. Suppose they look upon you as intruders and instead of receiving you with open arms (pause) make war on you. MOSES (slowly) If it comes to that, we'll arrange with dem gentlemen like Uncle Sam did with the Indians. STAMPFIELD How is that? MOSES Kick the stuffin' out of dem and put them on a reservation. Talking Points 1) What is beyond the comprehension of Stampfield?. How do his lack of understanding (or concerns) speak to the play’s political concerns and treatments? 2) What are the ironies and metaphorical import of Moses’ remark about Indians and reservations? How does it complicate his earlier Rejection of the U.S.? How Does it distance him from the Natives and what is the impact Of this distancing? 3) What seems to be the chief motivation behind the society’s efforts? How is this drive both in and out of step with the “American Dream?”

22 Reverse Passage? HUSTLING CHARLEY Well, there's a society down in Florida that's been pilin' up coin for years. Now that they're flush, they're goin' to go blow. They ain't satisfied to see their noodles ain't swelled on account of their dough, but they figure this country's a dead one. Some bloke tipped off Dahomey as the original Klondike and they're goin' against the brace, hook, line, and sinker. I'm goin' to steer the gang down to Gatorville where the main Gazaboo of the whole push hangs out. Say, fellows, I get two dollars a head from the captain of the dugout that snatches 'em away from this burg, and I've got a contract with a medicine shark, in all cases of sea sickness, we split the purse fifty-fifty. If anybody pegs out on the trip, I've got an undertaker waitin' at the wharf that gives me 35 percent of the net. Am I asleep at the switch, ask me? Talking Points 1)What traditional figure does Hustling Charlie evoke? 2)Given this association, how is Shipp deploying African American folklore to lampoon the Colonization movement? 3)What else do you think Shipp and Dunbar are trying to suggest about “community” (and nationalism) with the figure of Hustling Charley? 4)How does history, in a theatrical venue (granted) repeat itself in Hustling Charley’s con?

23 Vaudeville: “The Heart of American Show Business ”’ 1)Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. 2)Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. 3)Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, minstrels and movies. 4)Although its origins may lie in Voix de Ville, it is a distinctly American form of polite, bourgeoisie entertainment.

24 Pop Culture In Dahomey as Meta-Theatre RAREBACK You're just as much a detective as you're ever going to be. I can see now that you'll never be a Nick Carter or an Old Sleuth. SHYLOCK You always castin' up reflections. I never heard of dis man Nick Carter or old Hoof either. RAREBACK Never heard of Nick Carter and Old Sleuth? Why, Shy, they're the greatest detectives in the world. Nick Carter is the only man living that's been shot through the heart forty-one times, and Old Sleuth's been knocked in the head with his arms tied behind him and a gag in his mouth and throwed in every sewer in the country. Talking Points 1)Why do Dunbar and Shipp choose to infuse a literary tradition tied to mass culture into an “authentic” African- American Play? 2)What does this infusion ask of the audience? And what are the implications and resonances of this suggestion? 3) How does the fact that these to Black black- faced“minstrel/trickster characters take fictional white detectives as role models impact your take on Shylock and Rareback? 4)Names and Vaudeville

25 Folklore: Harris, Uncle Remus, Mars John and Old Black Joe: “to preserve in permanent shape those curious mementoes of a period that will no doubt be sadly misrepresented by historians of the future." Joel Chandler Harris “Ol’ Black Joe” ( ) Stephen Collins Foster ( ) “Emancipation Day” (Repeat chorus) Many long years ago there was poor Old Black Joe; Use to walk just like this for a prize. There was big Jasper Brown, the cake walker clown, Walk'd like this with his best gal Miss Lize. Old Tildy Snow, and Bill Jones, with his rheumatic bones, To see them walk was fun. With that old- style prance, they have no chance When this late-style cake walk is done.

26 The Question of a Common Origin: Setting and Settling:There’s No Place Like Home--Boston, Gatorville, Dahomey Act 2, Scene 1 (Exterior of LIGHTFOOT home, garden of the summer house. Chorus sings "For Florida.") For Florida our home so bright. Our voices ring with true delight. From verdant vale to arid stand, She is for 'ere a summer land. Her tree, her rocks, her streamlets clear, To all our loyal hearts are dear. So let us sing it loud and long, For Florida, a song, a song. We are the children of the sun. Upon our brows His work is done. Tho' rude and black our faces be, Our hearts are brave, our hands are free. And as we sing, so shall we strive, As long as loyalty's alive. Our hearts, our arms, our souls, hurrah, For Florida! For Florida! (Enter from the house, CICERO LIGHTFOOT in shirt sleeves and apron, spoon in hand) CICERO Dat song expresses my sentiments to the letter. After all, there ain't no place like Florida. MOSES 'Ceptin' Dahomey, but outside of Dahomey and Boston, I endorse your statements. CICERO I don't know nothin' about no other place 'cept Florida. It might be the worse place in the world, but whether it's worst or best, it's home, and, Mose (cautiously), if Dahomey pulls up shy, I'm comin' back here. TALKING POINTS 1)Puzzle out the symbolic importance of all three sites (Boston, Gatorville, and Dahomey) with respect to the play’s figuration of “homeland.” For whom or for whatdo these places constitute homes? 2)To what multiple displacements does Moses’ and Cicero’s conversation speak and what is the metaphorical resonance of these displacements in this context? 3)What are some the multiple symbolic resonances of the character’s names, an how do these names position the characters vis-à-vis the concept of nation and government. What multiple ironies are, again, at work? 4)Cicero as “contented darkie”?

27 Cat’s Eye Shells Trans-Atlantic Hoodoo RAREBACK It won't do any good for you and I to squabble over what can't be helped. I'm in just as bad a fix as you are, and I believe all our bad luck came through the silver box I got hold of just about three hours before we struck the wharf. SHYLOCK I don't know nothin' about our bad luck, but I do know all about my bad luck, when the man came on board the boat with that rusty lookin' coat on and wanted to sell that silver box, I was the fust man that reached out my hand to get it, but jist as soon as I seen dat a cat was scratched on the back, I turned round three times, walked backwards four steps, throwed a hand full of salt over my left shoulder, and I give him back that box so quick, if I was superstitious, I'd a swore I seen that cat's whiskers move. [....] RAREBACK Instead of being bad luck, a cat turns out to be the best friend we ever had. After this you ought to hug and kiss every cat you run across. SHYLOCK I've got to admit if it wasn't for that cat's picture, you couldn't tell that box from no other silver box; therefore, I'm bound to respect cats but no fust-class detective ain't goin' round huggin' and kissin' cats, no matter how much he respects them. In America, cat's eye shells are commonly found in African-American mojo bags prepared for protection from evil, for uncrossing, and to break a jinx. This probably derives from their use in European folk-magic and is not the remnant of a central African custom, since the evil eye belief itself -- and thus the use of eye-charms to repel the evil eye-- is Middle-Eastern in origin and spread from there to India and to Europe. Cultural appropriation being what it is, however, cat's eye shells are a regular component of voodoo practice and have been for at least a couple of centuries. Talking Points 1)The reversal of luck 2)Given what you know of cat’s eye shells (and their different valences in African and African-American “folklore) and the fact that the box belongs to Cicero, what do the multiple ironies at work in this passage suggest about African-American origins? 3)What role, if any, does “The American Dream” (as accumulation) play in Rareback and Shylock’s assessments of what’s lucky and what is not?

28 On Broadway in Dahomey vs. In Dahomey on Broadway RAREBACK (laughing) Stick to me and after we're in Dahomey six months if you like it, I'll buy it for you. I'll tell the King over there that I'm a surveyor, and you're a contractor. If he asks for a recommendation, I'll tell him to go over to New York City and take a look at Broadway -- it's the best job the firm ever did, and if he don't mind, we'll build him a Broadway in the jungle. (song) If we went to Dahomey, suppose the King would say We want a Broadway built for us, we want it right away. We'd git a bunch of natives, say ten thousand or more Wid banyan trees, build a big department store. We'd sell big Georgia possums, some water melons, too. To get the coin for other things we'd like to do. If we couldn't have real horse cars, we'd use zebras for awhile On the face of the Broadway clock, use a crockodial. CHORUS On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye We'll build a Bamboo Railway to the sky. You'll see on the sides of the rocks and hills, On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye. We'd git some large Gorillas and use them for police, then git a Hippopotamus for Justice of the Peace. We'd build a nice roof garden somewhere along the line, Serve Giraffe Highballs and real Cokenut wine. We'd use Montana Diamonds to make Electric light, And then have Wagner sung by parrots ev'ry night. We'd have a savage festival, serve Rhine-os-erus stew, Have pork chops and U-need-a Biscuit too.

29 The Scriptures

30 The Ham Nation Parodying Emigration, Atavistic Primitivism, “Biblical” Justifications for Slavery, and Early Iterations of Pan-Africanism CICERO Now dat I've got this gold, I'm goin' to have my pedigree wrote. There's a gentleman down in Cheaterville dat can find the Royal ancestors for anybody dat got fifty dollars to spare for his trouble. In fact, he said there was a time when every darkey was a king. (song) Evah Darkey Is a King Dar's mighty curious circumstance Dat's a botherin' all de nation. All de yankees is dissatisfied Wid a deir untitled station. Dey is huntin' after title Wid a golden net to snare 'em! But dey ain't got all de title For it is a 'culiar ting. When a dahkey stahts to huntin' He is sho' to prove a king. CHORUS Evah darkey is a king! Royalty is jes' de ting. If yo' social life's a bungle, Jes you go back to yo' jungle, And remember dat your daddy was a king. Scriptures say dat Ham was de first black man. Ham's de father of our nation. All de black folks to dis very day B'longs right in de Ham creation. Ham, he was a king in ancient days, An' he reigned in all his glory. So ef we is all de Sons of Ham, Natcherlly dat tells de story. White folks what's got dahkey servants Try an' get dem every thing. You must nevah speak insulting. You may be talking to a king.

31 Emancipation Day Cakewalks, Continuity, Jubilee, Origins, and American Promises CHORUS On Emancipation Day, All you white fo'ks clear de way. Brass ban' playin' sev'ral tunes, Darkies eyes look jes' lo'k moons, Marshall of de day a struttin', Lord but he is gay. Coons dress'd up lak masqueraders, Porters arm'd lak rude invaders. When dey hear dem ragtime tunes, White fo'ks try to pass fo' coons on Emancipation Day. Heah um cry, My oh my, When de'cession shows it head. Majors brown Ridin' down on cart hosses deck'd in red. Teeth lak pearls, Greet the girls standin' dere lak dusky storms. Oh! my pet, What a set of owdacious uniforms. Generals stiff as hick'ry sticks In de dress of seventy-six. (Repeat chorus) That's How the Cake Walk's Done Cake-walking craze, it's a fad nowadays With black folks and white folks too, And I really declare it's done ev'rywhere, Though it may be something new to you. 'Twas introduced years ago down in Dixie you know, By Black folks in Tennessee. So just to show you, I'm going to do A cake walk of a high degree. CHORUS Bow to the right, bow to the left, Then you proudly take your place. Be sure to have a smile on your face, Step high with lots of style and grace. With a salty prance do a ragtime dance, Step way back and get your gun. With a bow, look wise, make goo-goo eyes, For that's the way the cake walk's done. My Grandmother told me that she used to be The best cake walker in the state, When she walk'd down the line, lord, chile she did shine. But of course her style is out of date; The Parisians, you know, they all walk just so, They call it ze cake walk dance. But with me you'll agree, That the folks from Paree In this cake walk would have no chance.

32 Reluctant Prophets: First Class Jonah Men My hard luck started when I was born, leas' so the old folks say. Dat same hard luck been my bes' fren' up to dis very day. When I was young my mamma's frens to find a name they tried. They named me after Papa and the same day Papa died. For I'm a Jonah, I'm an unlucky man. My family for many years would look on me and then shed tears, Why am I dis Jonah I sho' can't understand, But I'm a good substantial full-fledged real first-class Jonah man. A fren' of mine gave me a six-month meal ticket one day. He said, "It wont do me no good, I've got to go away." I thanked him as my heart wid joy and gratitude did bound. But when I reach'd the restaurant the place had just burn'd down. For I'm a Jonah, I'm a unlucky man. It sounds just like that old, old tale, But sometimes I feel like a whale. Why am I dis Jonah I sho' can't understand, But I'm a good substantial full-fledged real first-class Jonah man.

33 On Broadway in Dahomey RAREBACK (laughing) Stick to me and after we're in Dahomey six months if you like it, I'll buy it for you. I'll tell the King over there that I'm a surveyor, and you're a contractor. If he asks for a recommendation, I'll tell him to go over to New York City and take a look at Broadway -- it's the best job the firm ever did, and if he don't mind, we'll build him a Broadway in the jungle. (song) If we went to Dahomey, suppose the King would say We want a Broadway built for us, we want it right away. We'd git a bunch of natives, say ten thousand or more Wid banyan trees, build a big department store. We'd sell big Georgia possums, some water melons, too To get the coin for other things we'd like to do. If we couldn't have real horse cars, we'd use zebras for awhile On the face of the Broadway clock, use a crocko-dial. CHORUS On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye We'll build a Bamboo Railway to the sky. You'll see on the sides of the rocks and hills, On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye. We'd git some large Gorillas and use them for police, then git a Hippopotamus for Justice of the Peace. We'd build a nice roof garden somewhere along the line, Serve Giraffe Highballs and real Cokenut wine. We'd use Montana Diamonds to make Electric light, And then have Wagner sung by parrots ev'ry night. We'd have a savage festival, serve Rhine-os-erus stew, Have pork chops and U-need-a Biscuit too.

34 Playing-Out Good and Bad Solutions: The Third Act

35 Act 3: “My Lady Frog”: Parodying Sophomoric Solutions Act 3 My Lady Frog (sung by chorus) Where the water-lilies cluster 'Neath drooping willows; When the moon so soft and tender Peeps through the trees; Where the vines of brilliant lustre, Find mossy pillows; Where the ferns so tall and slender Sway with the breeze, There lived a lady frog, green pollywog was she; Her lover tho' was one of brown. Throughout the whole night long a little song sang he, And whispered for the moon was looking down. (sung by male frog) My lady frog of opal hue, Here on this log, I sing to you. Bright as the flies That light this bog, So are your eyes, My lady frog. (sung by chorus) As the lovers sat a-waiting, From o'er the way Came a frog with chest a swelling, A bull frog green. Told he of a palace waiting, In grand array, How the lady of his dwelling, Would be a queen. And tho' 'tis sad to say, he took away this maid. The frog of brown now croaks with pain, And when the night is still, from o'er the hill, 'tis said You hear in mournful tones the old refrain. Talking Points 1)

36 Act 3: “My Dahomian Queen”: Parodying Sophomoric Solutions (Repeat male solo) (Exit Chorus and lights out. Change to Garden of the King of Dahomey) My Dahomian Queen In Dahomey so grand, Just along side the strand, Lives a Moorish maid so near and dear to me. When I sought her heart and hand, She made me understand That if I wish'd my little bride she'd be. When the moon is brightly beamin', From the azure skies a streamin', In my cottage I'm a dreamin', A dreamin' of our weddin' day. Natives of exalted station, Potentates from ev'ry nation. Will be there to hear me when I say -- CHORUS My Dahomian queen, My dusky turtle dove, What a beautiful scene, Me and my lady love. She's so sweet and serene, Fresh from the jungle green, Royal Dahomian queen, My Dahomian queen. When I become a king, All the jingle bells will ring, While through the streets on palanquins we're borne. 'Twill be the grandest thing, Just to hear the natives sing, As loyally they fall before my throne. Caboceers will be our sentry, 'Rabian knights will be our gentry, The wonder of the twentieth century. A-makin' even sunlight fade. Seems the breezes will be sighin' Nature with itself be a-vieing A-singin' while my babe and I parade -- (Repeat chorus) Caboceers Entrance We are the loyal subjects of King Eat-Em-All, The ruler over all our states both great and small. Great is his name, more great his fame, Before his Majesty all nations prostrate fall. Forward with chargers dashing, Their armor brightly flashing, With bayonets a clashing Like demons they hunt the fray. The Caboceers! We greet with cheers! The Caboceers, long be their years! The Caboceers! We greet with cheers! The Caboceers, long be their years! Mighty their reign and glorious, Their power all victorious, Like gods of light before us They come, the world to sway, to sway, to sway.

37 Embracing a Dark(ie) Past: Cicero: Reclaiming the “Shameful” Instead of the Imaginary (Chorus enters as African chiefs, soldiers, natives, dancing girls. After march, chorus comes to front of stage, kneels and sings choral descriptive of glories of Cannibal King and Caboceers. At the middle of the choral, they rise at the words "Mighty ruler of our nation" and sway to and fro with swinging palm leaves. At the end, the chorus falls prostrate to the floor on their faces to greet SHYLOCK HOMESTEAD and RAREBACK PUNKERTON dressed as Caboceers. Song: "Every Darkey Is a King." Dialogue follows in which the box with cat's eye is found. CICERO LIGHTFOOT is disgusted with Dahomey and announces his return to America. The musical concludes with two rousing numbers: "Emancipation Day," and a triumphant cake-walk -- most popular dance of the era -- a production number that lasted twenty minutes.) Talking Points 1)

38 American Colonization Society: Emigration, Repatriation, or Colonization? In 1822, the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.) which was the primary vehicle for returning black Americans to greater freedom in Africa, established Liberia as a place to send people who were formerly enslaved. This movement of black people by the A.C.S. had broad support nationwide among white people in America, including prominent leaders such as Henry Clay and James Monroe, who saw this as preferable to emancipation in America, with Clay believing "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country". STAMPFIELD You shouldn't let trifles annoy you. I'll dare say you'll find the population of Dahomey quite as much a source of annoyance as the colored population of this country. Your exalted opinion of the ideal life to be found in a barbarous country is beyond my comprehension. MOSES It's all right for you, son, to argue that way, 'cause you 'specs to live and die amongst these white folks here in the United States, but the colonization society that leaves this country for Dahomey takes a different view of the matter. In the first place, we've 'vestigated the country and found out just what's what. STAMPFIELD In other words, the existing conditions. MOSES (doubtfully) Yes. Everything points to success. They tell me that gold and silver in Dahomey is plentiful, as the whiskey is on election day in Bosting [Boston]. The climate's fine -- just the right thing for raisin' chickens and watermelons. It never snows so you don't need no clothes (pauses) sich as the people wear here, and who know but what you can get a few franchises from the king to start street cars, 'lectric lights and saloons to running. STAMPFIELD You've fine, big ideas, but suppose the natives suddenly don't take kindly to the new order of things and refuse to be electric lighted, salooned and otherwise fixed up with blessings of civilization. Suppose they look upon you as intruders and instead of receiving you with open arms (pause) make war on you. MOSES (slowly) If it comes to that, we'll arrange with dem gentlemen like Uncle Sam did with the Indians. STAMPFIELD How is that? MOSES Kick the stuffin' out of dem and put them on a reservation. Talking Points 1) What is beyond the comprehension of Stampfield?. How do his lack of understanding (or concerns) speak to the play’s political concerns and treatments? 2) What are the ironies and metaphorical import of Moses’ remark about Indians and reservations? How does it complicate his earlier Rejection of the U.S.? How Does it distance him from the Natives and what is the impact Of this distancing? 3) What seems to be the chief motivation behind the society’s efforts? How is this drive both in and out of step with the “American Dream?”

39 Reverse Passage? HUSTLING CHARLEY Well, there's a society down in Florida that's been pilin' up coin for years. Now that they're flush, they're goin' to go blow. They ain't satisfied to see their noodles ain't swelled on account of their dough, but they figure this country's a dead one. Some bloke tipped off Dahomey as the original Klondike and they're goin' against the brace, hook, line, and sinker. I'm goin' to steer the gang down to Gatorville where the main Gazaboo of the whole push hangs out. Say, fellows, I get two dollars a head from the captain of the dugout that snatches 'em away from this burg, and I've got a contract with a medicine shark, in all cases of sea sickness, we split the purse fifty-fifty. If anybody pegs out on the trip, I've got an undertaker waitin' at the wharf that gives me 35 percent of the net. Am I asleep at the switch, ask me? Talking Points 1)What traditional figure does Hustling Charlie evoke? 2)Given this association, how is Shipp deploying African American folklore to lampoon the Colonization movement? 3)What else do you think Shipp and Dunbar are trying to suggest about “community” (and nationalism) with the figure of Hustling Charley? 4)How does history, in a theatrical venue (granted) repeat itself in Hustling Charley’s con?

40 Vaudeville: “The Heart of American Show Business ”’ 1)Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. 2)Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. 3)Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, minstrels and movies. 4)Although its origins may lie in Voix de Ville, it is a distinctly American form of polite, bourgeoisie entertainment.

41 Pop Culture In Dahomey as Meta-Theatre RAREBACK You're just as much a detective as you're ever going to be. I can see now that you'll never be a Nick Carter or an Old Sleuth. SHYLOCK You always castin' up reflections. I never heard of dis man Nick Carter or old Hoof either. RAREBACK Never heard of Nick Carter and Old Sleuth? Why, Shy, they're the greatest detectives in the world. Nick Carter is the only man living that's been shot through the heart forty-one times, and Old Sleuth's been knocked in the head with his arms tied behind him and a gag in his mouth and throwed in every sewer in the country. Talking Points 1)Why do Dunbar and Shipp choose to infuse a literary tradition tied to mass culture into an “authentic” African- American Play? 2)What does this infusion ask of the audience? And what are the implications and resonances of this suggestion? 3) How does the fact that these to Black black- faced“minstrel/trickster characters take fictional white detectives as role models impact your take on Shylock and Rareback? 4)Names and Vaudeville

42 Folklore: Harris, Uncle Remus, Mars John and Old Black Joe: “to preserve in permanent shape those curious mementoes of a period that will no doubt be sadly misrepresented by historians of the future." Joel Chandler Harris “Ol’ Black Joe” ( ) Stephen Collins Foster ( ) “Emancipation Day” (Repeat chorus) Many long years ago there was poor Old Black Joe; Use to walk just like this for a prize. There was big Jasper Brown, the cake walker clown, Walk'd like this with his best gal Miss Lize. Old Tildy Snow, and Bill Jones, with his rheumatic bones, To see them walk was fun. With that old- style prance, they have no chance When this late-style cake walk is done.

43 The Question of a Common Origin: Setting and Settling:There’s No Place Like Home--Boston, Gatorville, Dahomey Act 2, Scene 1 (Exterior of LIGHTFOOT home, garden of the summer house. Chorus sings "For Florida.") For Florida our home so bright. Our voices ring with true delight. From verdant vale to arid stand, She is for 'ere a summer land. Her tree, her rocks, her streamlets clear, To all our loyal hearts are dear. So let us sing it loud and long, For Florida, a song, a song. We are the children of the sun. Upon our brows His work is done. Tho' rude and black our faces be, Our hearts are brave, our hands are free. And as we sing, so shall we strive, As long as loyalty's alive. Our hearts, our arms, our souls, hurrah, For Florida! For Florida! (Enter from the house, CICERO LIGHTFOOT in shirt sleeves and apron, spoon in hand) CICERO Dat song expresses my sentiments to the letter. After all, there ain't no place like Florida. MOSES 'Ceptin' Dahomey, but outside of Dahomey and Boston, I endorse your statements. CICERO I don't know nothin' about no other place 'cept Florida. It might be the worse place in the world, but whether it's worst or best, it's home, and, Mose (cautiously), if Dahomey pulls up shy, I'm comin' back here. TALKING POINTS 1)Puzzle out the symbolic importance of all three sites (Boston, Gatorville, and Dahomey) with respect to the play’s figuration of “homeland.” For whom or for whatdo these places constitute homes? 2)To what multiple displacements does Moses’ and Cicero’s conversation speak and what is the metaphorical resonance of these displacements in this context? 3)What are some the multiple symbolic resonances of the character’s names, an how do these names position the characters vis-à-vis the concept of nation and government. What multiple ironies are, again, at work? 4)Cicero as “contented darkie”?

44 Cat’s Eye Shells Trans-Atlantic Hoodoo RAREBACK It won't do any good for you and I to squabble over what can't be helped. I'm in just as bad a fix as you are, and I believe all our bad luck came through the silver box I got hold of just about three hours before we struck the wharf. SHYLOCK I don't know nothin' about our bad luck, but I do know all about my bad luck, when the man came on board the boat with that rusty lookin' coat on and wanted to sell that silver box, I was the fust man that reached out my hand to get it, but jist as soon as I seen dat a cat was scratched on the back, I turned round three times, walked backwards four steps, throwed a hand full of salt over my left shoulder, and I give him back that box so quick, if I was superstitious, I'd a swore I seen that cat's whiskers move. [....] RAREBACK Instead of being bad luck, a cat turns out to be the best friend we ever had. After this you ought to hug and kiss every cat you run across. SHYLOCK I've got to admit if it wasn't for that cat's picture, you couldn't tell that box from no other silver box; therefore, I'm bound to respect cats but no fust-class detective ain't goin' round huggin' and kissin' cats, no matter how much he respects them. In America, cat's eye shells are commonly found in African-American mojo bags prepared for protection from evil, for uncrossing, and to break a jinx. This probably derives from their use in European folk-magic and is not the remnant of a central African custom, since the evil eye belief itself -- and thus the use of eye-charms to repel the evil eye-- is Middle-Eastern in origin and spread from there to India and to Europe. Cultural appropriation being what it is, however, cat's eye shells are a regular component of voodoo practice and have been for at least a couple of centuries. Talking Points 1)The reversal of luck: the tension between our and my 2)Given what you know of cat’s eye shells (and their different valences in African and African-American “folklore) and the fact that the box belongs to Cicero, what do the multiple ironies at work in this passage suggest about African-American origins? 3)What role, if any, does “The American Dream” (as accumulation) play in Rareback and Shylock’s assessments of what’s lucky and what is not?

45 On Broadway in Dahomey vs. In Dahomey on Broadway RAREBACK (laughing) Stick to me and after we're in Dahomey six months if you like it, I'll buy it for you. I'll tell the King over there that I'm a surveyor, and you're a contractor. If he asks for a recommendation, I'll tell him to go over to New York City and take a look at Broadway -- it's the best job the firm ever did, and if he don't mind, we'll build him a Broadway in the jungle. (song) If we went to Dahomey, suppose the King would say We want a Broadway built for us, we want it right away. We'd git a bunch of natives, say ten thousand or more Wid banyan trees, build a big department store. We'd sell big Georgia possums, some water melons, too To get the coin for other things we'd like to do. If we couldn't have real horse cars, we'd use zebras for awhile On the face of the Broadway clock, use a crocko-dial. CHORUS On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye We'll build a Bamboo Railway to the sky. You'll see on the sides of the rocks and hills, On Broadway in Dahomey bye and bye. We'd git some large Gorillas and use them for police, then git a Hippopotamus for Justice of the Peace. We'd build a nice roof garden somewhere along the line, Serve Giraffe Highballs and real Cokenut wine. We'd use Montana Diamonds to make Electric light, And then have Wagner sung by parrots ev'ry night. We'd have a savage festival, serve Rhine-os-erus stew, Have pork chops and U-need-a Biscuit too. Talking Points 1)Given what the play has already revealed to us (via that cat shells) distinct differences (reversals, really) between Africans and African-Americans, describe the different resonances and significance of the two phrases in the slide’s title. 2)To what multiple effects is Dunbar using dialect in this song? 3)Describe the multiple misconceptions and ambitions of Rarerback (and the Chorus) with respect to Dahomey.

46 Playing-Out Good and Bad Solutions to the “Race Problem”: The Third Act

47 Act 3: “My Lady Frog”: Parodying Sophomoric Solutions Act 3 My Lady Frog (sung by chorus) Where the water-lilies cluster 'Neath drooping willows; When the moon so soft and tender Peeps through the trees; Where the vines of brilliant lustre, Find mossy pillows; Where the ferns so tall and slender Sway with the breeze, There lived a lady frog, green pollywog was she; Her lover tho' was one of brown. Throughout the whole night long a little song sang he, And whispered for the moon was looking down. (sung by male frog) My lady frog of opal hue, Here on this log, I sing to you. Bright as the flies That light this bog, So are your eyes, My lady frog. (sung by chorus) As the lovers sat a-waiting, From o'er the way Came a frog with chest a swelling, A bull frog green. Told he of a palace waiting, In grand array, How the lady of his dwelling, Would be a queen. And tho' 'tis sad to say, he took away this maid. The frog of brown now croaks with pain, And when the night is still, from o'er the hill, 'tis said You hear in mournful tones the old refrain. Talking Points- 1)What is the allegory being drawn here? Speculate as to the audience reaction with respect to the beginning of the third act (a duet between frogs). Given that a minstrel show’s “olio” would, most likely, begin with a long romantic song of lost love (sung my a woman) meant to evoke pathos, what type of parody is occurring here? What does the gender inversion, if anything,signify? What are the multiple reasons and resonances of the reasons that has led to the frog’s lost love, and how do they, when considered in light of Moses’s efforts, make a satiric commentary on the Colonization movement (or the idea of repatriation)? 2)Remember that these actors would be playing “frogs” in blackface. What commentary does the play make on the stage with respect to race-relations (and race-relations on [as as, in part, manufactured] by the stage) make by have actors in black face perform the parts of Blacks as well as of the parts of these frogs? 3)Speculate as to the multiple reasons why the third act (our entrance to Dahomey) would begin with a ludicrous tale of lost love song by what amount to, more or less, “fairy-tale” frogs?

48 Act 3: “My Dahomian Queen”: Parodying Sophomoric Solutions (Repeat male solo) (Exit Chorus and lights out. Change to Garden of the King of Dahomey) My Dahomian Queen In Dahomey so grand, Just along side the strand, Lives a Moorish maid so near and dear to me. When I sought her heart and hand, She made me understand That if I wish'd my little bride she'd be. When the moon is brightly beamin', From the azure skies a streamin', In my cottage I'm a dreamin', A dreamin' of our weddin' day. Natives of exalted station, Potentates from ev'ry nation. Will be there to hear me when I say -- CHORUS My Dahomian queen, My dusky turtle dove, What a beautiful scene, Me and my lady love. She's so sweet and serene, Fresh from the jungle green, Royal Dahomian queen, My Dahomian queen. When I become a king, All the jingle bells will ring, While through the streets on palanquins we're borne. 'Twill be the grandest thing, Just to hear the natives sing, As loyally they fall before my throne. Caboceers will be our sentry, 'Rabian knights will be our gentry, The wonder of the twentieth century. A-makin' even sunlight fade. Seems the breezes will be sighin' Nature with itself be a-vieing A-singin' while my babe and I parade -- (Repeat chorus) Caboceers Entrance We are the loyal subjects of King Eat-Em-All, The ruler over all our states both great and small. Great is his name, more great his fame, Before his Majesty all nations prostrate fall. Forward with chargers dashing, Their armor brightly flashing, With bayonets a clashing Like demons they hunt the fray. The Caboceers! We greet with cheers! The Caboceers, long be their years! The Caboceers! We greet with cheers! The Caboceers, long be their years! Mighty their reign and glorious, Their power all victorious, Like gods of light before us They come, the world to sway, to sway, to sway. Talking Points 1)What are the multiple ironies involved when Dunbar chooses to have the Chorus sing about “My Dahomian Queen”? How does the very phrasing of this appellation (as we all as the use of the term “natives”) implicitly critique these settlers, and how does their ultimate desire (to possess a Dahomenian queen) both critique movements like the ACS and speak to the projects of black nationalism and internationalism? 2)We have our first depiction of the natives here. How would you characterize it? Is it realistic? If not, what does the appearance of King-Eat-Em-All, 3)What are the multiple ironies invoked by the presence of the Caboceers and their likening to gods by the settlers?

49 African-American Christianity and the Scriptures in In Dahomey

50 The Ham Nation Parodying Emigration, Atavistic Primitivism, “Biblical” Justifications for Slavery, and Early Iterations of Pan-Africanism CICERO Now dat I've got this gold, I'm goin' to have my pedigree wrote. There's a gentleman down in Cheaterville dat can find the Royal ancestors for anybody dat got fifty dollars to spare for his trouble. In fact, he said there was a time when every darkey was a king. (song) Evah Darkey Is a King Dar's mighty curious circumstance Dat's a botherin' all de nation. All de yankees is dissatisfied Wid a deir untitled station. Dey is huntin' after title Wid a golden net to snare 'em! But dey ain't got all de title For it is a 'culiar ting. When a dahkey stahts to huntin' He is sho' to prove a king. CHORUS Evah darkey is a king! Royalty is jes' de ting. If yo' social life's a bungle, Jes you go back to yo' jungle, And remember dat your daddy was a king. Scriptures say dat Ham was de first black man. Ham's de father of our nation. All de black folks to dis very day B'longs right in de Ham creation. Ham, he was a king in ancient days, An' he reigned in all his glory. So ef we is all de Sons of Ham, Natcherlly dat tells de story. White folks what's got dahkey servants Try an' get dem every thing. You must nevah speak insulting. You may be talking to a king. Talking Points 1)By the play’s end, we know that both Moses and Cicero have both been “tricked,” but, in this scene, we learn that they were tricked in different ways. Describe the differences (and the multiple resonance of these differences) between the rationales (or forces) motivating Cicero and Moses to return to Africa? How do these differences speak to the notions of atavistic primitivism, U.S. imperialism, Black nationalism, and the potential for an international “Colored” collective? 2)Describe the multiple ironies at work in the phrase “there was a time when every darkey was a king” (especially when considered in light of the gentleman from “Cheaterville). What commentary on black nationalism and primitivism is being made here? 3)What is the curse of Ham, and how does it relate to the descendants of Canaan? Given what you now know of this curse and its relationship to the legacy of slavery, what are the multiple ironies at work in the Chorus’ (a chorus with a desire to “return to Africa”) self- identification of Sons of Ham and “Darkeys”? 4)To what overall effect is Dunbar deploying the “curse of Ham?” Is it wholly parodic? Or is something else going on? Is Dunbar critiquing Christianity here? If so, what is the nature of the critique?

51 Moses and Jonah: Emancipators and Reluctant Prophets Moses Parts the Red Sea Jonah Cast-Back onto the Shore My hard luck started when I was born, leas' so the old folks say. Dat same hard luck been my bes' fren' up to dis very day. When I was young my mamma's frens to find a name they tried. They named me after Papa and the same day Papa died. For I'm a Jonah, I'm an unlucky man. My family for many years would look on me and then shed tears, Why am I dis Jonah I sho' can't understand, But I'm a good substantial full-fledged real first-class Jonah man. A fren' of mine gave me a six-month meal ticket one day. He said, "It wont do me no good, I've got to go away." I thanked him as my heart wid joy and gratitude did bound. But when I reach'd the restaurant the place had just burn'd down. For I'm a Jonah, I'm a unlucky man. It sounds just like that old, old tale, But sometimes I feel like a whale. Why am I dis Jonah I sho' can't understand, But I'm a good substantial full-fledged real first-class Jonah man. Talking Points 1)What is the story of Jonah in the Bible? How does in contrast to that of Moses’? How are both he and Moses “reluctant prophets,” and what is the significance of this reluctance? 2)The figure of Moses and the predicament of Jewish slavery in ancient Egypt has been of long import to the African American Church and to African American literature. Why might this be so, and how is Dunbar refashioning this traditional trope, here, for other purposes? 3)Dunbar’s lyrics present us with a singer who implicitly rejects self-identification with Moses, figuring himself as a “first class Jonah man.” What are the multiple significances of this self-identification (keeping in mind the middle passage)? How (and to what effect) do these significances speak to a refashioning of the Bible and to the refashioning of Afro-Christianity? How does all of this speak to the issues of Black nationalism and internationalism?

52 Emancipation Day Cakewalks, Continuity, Jubilee, Origins, American Promises, and Embracing a Darkie Past CHORUS On Emancipation Day, All you white fo'ks clear de way. Brass ban' playin' sev'ral tunes, Darkies eyes look jes' lo'k moons, Marshall of de day a struttin', Lord but he is gay. Coons dress'd up lak masqueraders, Porters arm'd lak rude invaders. When dey hear dem ragtime tunes, White fo'ks try to pass fo' coons on Emancipation Day. Heah um cry, My oh my, When de'cession shows it head. Majors brown Ridin' down on cart hosses deck'd in red. Teeth lak pearls, Greet the girls standin' dere lak dusky storms. Oh! my pet, What a set of owdacious uniforms. Generals stiff as hick'ry sticks In de dress of seventy-six. (Repeat chorus) That's How the Cake Walk's Done Cake-walking craze, it's a fad nowadays With black folks and white folks too, And I really declare it's done ev'rywhere, Though it may be something new to you. 'Twas introduced years ago down in Dixie you know, By Black folks in Tennessee. So just to show you, I'm going to do A cake walk of a high degree. CHORUS Bow to the right, bow to the left, Then you proudly take your place. Be sure to have a smile on your face, Step high with lots of style and grace. With a salty prance do a ragtime dance, Step way back and get your gun. With a bow, look wise, make goo-goo eyes, For that's the way the cake walk's done. My Grandmother told me that she used to be The best cake walker in the state, When she walk'd down the line, lord, chile she did shine. But of course her style is out of date; The Parisians, you know, they all walk just so, They call it ze cake walk dance. But with me you'll agree, That the folks from Paree In this cake walk would have no chance. Talking Points 1)Keep in mind the face that the traditional minstrel shows first act ended with a cakewalk and that its third part ended with a stump speech. In Cicero’s decision to return to Florida, we have what is left of the stump speech (which, of course, advocates for a return home “back to Florida”). Here, both elements (speech and cakewalk) of the Minstrel Show are juxtaposed. What are the multiple effects produced by this juxtaposition? 2)The U.S. South, Old Black Joe, and the Cakewalk are all lauded in “Emancipation Day.” To what other days (or series of days), in recent history and in Judaic and Christian cosmologies, is “Emancipation Day” tied? 3)What effect is produced by the chorus taking pride in how their ancestors used to perform the cakewalk? What additional effects are produced by the invocation of Paris given the international acclaim of minstrelsy and the cakewalk? 4)If indeed the Chorus in here embracing a shared past (a shared point of origin), what is it and what is the significance of locating African-American origins there? How might this “call” from the Chorus cause Black audience members to revalue their pasts, historical and theatrical?


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