AllenLowe

from my book, Turn Me Loose, White Man.....

30 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, HutchFan said:

Holy shit. Ugh!

Are they being ironic?!?!

 

I don't think so. After all, there are people in 'Murica who believe the slaves should have been grateful for being brung to the greatest country in the world, then fed, clothed, and sheltered at no cost to themselves.

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3 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

Does that mean the rest of the cast was in blackface?

Yes.  

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:32 PM, medjuck said:

64 years ago I was in junior high and the principal of my school organized a minstrel show.  This was in a city in Eastern Canada of about 15,000 people in which there were about 5 Black families.  There was a tradition of minstrel  shows there with the local Y's Mens Club doing a yearly one called The Smokey Mokes. (It included at least one Black member who performed in Black face. ) 

IIIRC ours  was a traditional minstrel show with a large chorus singing old songs of the kind barbershop quartets might sing. Seated in the front were myself in the center with other students in Black face on both sides of me doing old bad jokes. 

I don't think we thought of it as having anything to do with actual Negroes (as we would have called them at the time) but rather as referencing some fictional fantasy world.

It didn't make much of an impression on me at the time and I don't remember any of the jokes though I do remember some of the songs. (e.g. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen.) 

BTW the most famous person from my home town was local hero Willie O'Ree-- the first  Black man to play in the NHL.

I wish I knew more about the history of Minstrel Shows; especially Black Minstrel Shows.  

It now seems to me that  there is often (maybe always) some condescension in the appropriation of  language and tropes from another culture even in, for example, many of the lyrics of Hoagy Carmichael.   But taken to the extremes it would mean that non-Jews shouldn't use  the word "chutzpah".  

 

 

take this at your own risk (since you not long ago described me as a terrible human being), but here are 2 books which can teach you a lot about the minstrel show:

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Minstrel-Mask-Nineteenth-Century-Minstrelsy/dp/0819563005/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=minstrelsy&qid=1580671288&s=books&sr=1-3

and:

https://www.amazon.com/Disorder-Cambridge-Studies-American-Theatre/dp/0521568285/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=dale+cockrell&qid=1580671334&s=books&sr=1-2

 

 

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...or is the point that it's all (whiteness, blackness, any thing we might be said to be) just a pose, an illusion, a construct, a trap, etc.?

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I will just say this:  I think that there is a huge difference between minstrelsy and most white people in urban areas today who carry themselves not in an entirely "white" way.  The former is a stage show, where white people "blacken up" and pretend to be something that they are not.   The latter is much more genuine, often white people who grew up exposed to, and sometimes surrounded by, African American culture and sensibilities.  It becomes a part of them.  That is not to say that there is no such thing as modern day minstrelsy.  But it is not that simple       

Edited by John L

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