Darkest America

Darkest America

Black Minstrelsy From Slavery to Hip-hop

Book - 2012
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Investigates the origin and heyday of black minstrelsy, which in modern times is considered an embarrassment, 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.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, [2012]
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780393070989
Branch Call Number: 791.12 T2195D 2012
Characteristics: xvi, 364 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Austen, Jake


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Nov 18, 2015

A mostly fascinating book about a fascinating topic: blackface, minstrelsy, and ideas of "blackness." The two Chicago-based authors are less interested in the history (for that check out "Love and Theft") and more in the cultural aspects and how there are contemporary examples on film and television and in music, especially hip-hop. It's mostly insightful and always provocative, getting you to think about the images we see of blackness and how it can as much of a construct as gender or sexuality. It might also encourage you to see out Spike Lee' s minor flop, "Bamboozled"; one montage they call "the greatest survey of racially insensitive images ever assembled." A good read both for those interested in race and cultural studies.


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