This week, we talked about the roots of American and global popular culture in the tradition of blackface minstrelsy, and connections between African-American culture and popular culture in general in America. We explored this through video, recordings, audio, texts, and lecture. This brings us from 1845 to roughly 1945.
- We watched segments from Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled (IMDB, Wikipedia, subtitle file).
- We listened to some tracks from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol. IV.
Here are some videos, mp3s, and texts of some use to the class:
Minstrelsy and Blackface:
- A blackface puppet show from 1937.
- A blackface show titled “Harlem Revue”.
- A documentary segment on a modern, educational blackface show.
- Jungle Jitters, a Warner Brothers cartoon which was banned for containing racist depictions of blacks Africans.
- The Old Mill Pond, a banned MGM cartoon containing blackface.
The Harlem Renaissance:
- Stranger in the Village (essay)
- Parchman Farm (lyrics)