Presentation on theme: "Blackface and Minstrel Shows. Blackface White performers would blacken their faces with burnt cork or greasepaint, dress in outlandish costumes, and then."— Presentation transcript:
Blackface and Minstrel Shows
Blackface White performers would blacken their faces with burnt cork or greasepaint, dress in outlandish costumes, and then perform songs and skits that mocked African Americans as lazy, buffoonish, dumb, superstitious and musical
Why is Minstrelsy Relevant to Rock Music? Blues musicians such as Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith got their initial start with Minstrel shows.
Why is Minstrelsy Relevant to Rock Music?. Minstrel shows are a perfect example of syncretism – “blending of cultures,” that created a uniquely American music, which still continues to present day. This theme of white appropriation of African American culture will reappear again and again throughout the history of American music.
Does Minstrelsy Exist in the 21 st Century?
Spike Lee ''A lot of the black programs on television are minstrel shows, and they are written by black writers.'' “My point is that gangsta rappers such as Dogg Pound, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube do not meaningfully represent black life. Instead, they socially construct a world that is little different in kind from that created by the old minstrel show.”
Other Artists Disagree Lee's ''better off'' sticking to directing instead of insulting African American comics. ''With the most respect I can give him, I think he needs to back off a little bit,'' Foxx tells EW.com. ''He 's not a comedian, and he doesn't know what we do.'’(J. Foxx) Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘This is a coon; this is a buffoon.’(T.Perry)
In Living Color
Stanley Crouch “Like it or not, the precious First Amendment right to free speech gives every one of the hip-hop minstrels currently being hyped by cynical record labels and television execs a constitutionally protected right to act like complete jackasses before a national audience. It also gives the rest of us the right to speak up and denounce such buffoonery as what it is: a direct throwback to the days of burnt cork and blackface, when fortunes were made from America's seemingly bottomless appetite for demeaning images featuring black folks shuffling, cutting up, dancing jigs and generally behaving like fools.”
Homework Assignment Do the images, lyrics and/or music in any of these videos constitute modern day minstrelsy? Remember, in this assignment we are criticizing the institution of minstrelsy. We are not criticizing the performers or the audience.
Chain Hang Low “Jibbs”
Chicken Noodle Soup
References Websites of Interest PBS Explanation of Blackface Minstrelsy e/sf_minstrelsy.html e/sf_minstrelsy.html Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia (Great explanation and images of caricatures) u.htm u.htm Blog by student Ashley Martin