Beyond Blackface: African Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930 (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series)
Publish Date: 2011-07-15
This collection of thirteen essays, edited by historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, brings together original work from sixteen scholars in various disciplines, ranging from theater and literature to history and music, to address the complex roles of black performers, entrepreneurs, and consumers in American mass culture during the early twentieth century.
Moving beyond the familiar territory of blackface and minstrelsy, these essays present a fresh look at the history of African Americans and mass culture. With subjects ranging from representations of race in sheet music illustrations to African American interest in Haitian culture, Beyond Blackface recovers the history of forgotten or obscure cultural figures and shows how these historical actors played a role in the creation of American mass culture. The essays explore the predicament that blacks faced at a time when white supremacy crested and innovations in consumption, technology, and leisure made mass culture possible. Underscoring the importance and complexity of race in the emergence of mass culture, Beyond Blackface depicts popular culture as a crucial arena in which African Americans struggled to secure a foothold as masters of their own representation and architects of the nation's emerging consumer society.
The contributors are: Davarian L. Baldwin, Trinity College W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Clare Corbould, University of Sydney Susan Curtis, Purdue University Stephanie Dunson, Williams College Lewis A. Erenberg, Loyola University Chicago Stephen Garton, University of Sydney John M. Giggie, University of Alabama Grace Elizabeth Hale, University of Virginia Robert Jackson, University of Tulsa David Krasner, Emerson College Thomas Riis, University of Colorado at Boulder Stephen Robertson, University of Sydney John Stauffer, Harvard University Graham White, University of Sydney Shane White, University of Sydney