Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop

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9780393070989: Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop
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An exploration and celebration of a controversial tradition that, contrary to popular opinion, is alive and active after more than 150 years.

Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form―and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating. 12 illustrations

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"Before Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen wrote this important book, the minstrel era had regressed into vague and dusty African-American history; its aftereffects were felt but little understood. Darkest America plunges us back into an unenlightened age and shows us that the villains and the heroes aren't always who we thought they were. Taylor and Austen's book is a meticulously researched, eye-opening, action-packed read." --James Gavin, author of Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne

About the Author:

Yuval Taylor, senior editor at the Chicago Review Press, is coauthor of Faking It and Darkest America, and editor of I Was Born a Slave. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form-and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating. Seller Inventory # AAS9780393070989

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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form-and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating. Seller Inventory # AAS9780393070989

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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form-and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating. Seller Inventory # BTE9780393070989

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