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Old 04-05-2014, 01:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The cakewalk carried on the tradition of the minstrel show in that noise was the raison d’etre. From the New York Age May 11, 1889 we read: “Prof. Banks’ prize cane and cake walk caught the crowd that was looking for fun ‘off the Bristol.’ The walkers were numerous and the din was equal to an indoor cyclone. The lucky walkers were carried off their feet, so great was the din.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkjsN-J27aU
Michigan J. Frog doing “Hello Ma Baby” and “The Michigan Rag.” The high-stepping dance he does with top hat and cane descended from the cakewalk which was just how the men dressed and moved.

Minstrelsy gave the world some of its best-known songs: Dixie, Camptown Races, Oh Susanna, My Old Kentucky Home, Old Folks at Home, Ring Ring de Banjo, The Arkansas Traveler, Blue Tail Fly (Jimmy Crack Corn), Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (Virginia’s state song), Golden Slippers, Turkey in the Straw (The Zip Coon song), Jenny Get Your Hoe Cake Done, Old Dan Tucker, Miss Lucy Long, The Old Grey Goose, Possum Up the Gum-Tree, Darling Nelly Gray, Little Brown Jug, Nelly Bly, Jingle Bells, Buffalo Gals, etc. Even some songs that weren't written for the minstrel stage came to the American consciousness (and ultimately the world) via minstrelsy such as "Comin' ‘Round the Mountain" which was originally a hymn sung in various African-American churches that the minstrel men picked up on--anything to get the audience clapping and singing along.

The minstrel tradition has not died but was simply so deeply absorbed into American culture that we take it for granted. Rock and roll, for example, is an outgrowth of minstrelsy. In fact, the parallels are startling. The white minstrel man onstage singing and dancing like a black man was updated in the form of Elvis Presley—a white man who went onstage to sing and dance like a black man. Or what was the difference between Dan Emmett singing, “I wish I wuz in de land ob cotton” and Wild Cherry singing, “Play dat funky music, white boy”? Did minstrelsy engender the same reaction among parents of young, white children that rock and roll did? Although I have no evidence that this was the case, we would have to assume this would have happened to some degree. Like rock and roll, minstrelsy was a loud, noisy music meant as a form of rebellion against authority. Many of the strands of rock and roll were directly influenced by minstrelsy—blues, jazz, country and folk. If the reader could be transported back in time to a real minstrel show, he or she would likely be surprised at the amount of audience participation reminiscent of a rock show as well as periodic violence breaking out.

Bluegrass, for example, is really modern day minstrelsy. The song structures, lyrics and instrumentation used in bluegrass is pure minstrelsy. I have argued with people online who try to insist that bluegrass came out of the Celtic tradition. This is sentiment echoed all over the internet and often by people who should know better. Bluegrass sounds NOTHING like Celtic music. When I asked these people for a single example of true Celtic music that resembled bluegrass, I never received a response. I know they checked but, obviously, none found anything because there isn’t anything. Bill Munroe basically invented bluegrass (which is actually younger than Western swing) and many of his original sidemen were former minstrel musicians. While bluegrass does have some roots in old time mountain music which is largely English and Scottish, bluegrass is more firmly rooted in rags, blues and jazz. That “built-in” bluegrass beat is certainly like nothing ever produced in native European music. Some proto-bluegrass musicians as Uncle Dave Macon were also former minstrel musicians whose music has strains of the bluegrass that was to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8b-Pbr2GVQ
Uncle Dave Macon doing a Dan Emmett song in the traditional style. As one can hear, minstrelsy had a tremendous influence on bluegrass which is not derived from Celtic music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZuREMOLxAk
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver do a song that is pure bluegrass but has no resemblance to the indigenous music of the U.K. This song could have been performed at a 19th century minstrel show without anyone finding it particularly odd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_iRIcxsz0
Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans” is not bluegrass but it is still PURE minstrel fare. Someone could have performed this on the minstrel stage in the 1840 and had a huge hit overnight.

The point is that there was no stylistic difference between what whites played and what blacks played in America. Although we might think of whites and blacks as keeping segregated prior to the Civil War, this was not any kind of rule. The New York newspapers were full of stories and notices of blacks playing for white dances, black and white marriages and even blacks and whites teaming up as con artists (think of the beginning of the movie “The Sting”—that was not all that rare). Black and white musicians knew each, respected each other’s talents and taught each other songs and techniques.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Elu4YHm-e0
A. C. “Eck” Robertson is one of the founders of country music who made his first recordings in the early 1920s. This song is called “There’s a Brown-Skinned Girl Down the Road Somewhere” which strongly indicates that it derives from black fiddlers. All the available evidence shows however that there was no difference in the way black fiddlers and white fiddlers played. Robertson’s partner, Henry Gilliland, even fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and believed in the “Lost Cause” ideology but still drew musical inspiration from the black musicians around him rather than from European music.

Perhaps white men as Robertson and Gilliland understood at least implicitly the importance of the Africa-American influence in the forging of a purely American style of music. Indeed many European composers understood this explicitly. One was Claude Debussy who wrote “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” in 1913:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JURdxCs2Uls
10-year-old Umi Garrett plays “Golliwog’s Cakewalk.” Since ragtime has a child-like quality to it, then perhaps we can best capture its spirit listening to children play it. Indeed Debussy wrote the piece for his own daughter, Emma-Claude (whom he called “Chouchou”) as one of six pieces that comprised his work “Children’s Corner” and a separate work, “La Boîte à joujoux” (The Toy Box).

Hsin-Yin Ko writes in his doctoral thesis, Evocations from Childhood: Stylistic Influences and Musical Quotations in Claude Debussy’s Children’s Corner and La Boîte à Joujoux:

It was John Phillip Sousa [whom Debussy referred to as “The king of American music] who brought ragtime to Europe at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and his influences would soon reveal in Debussy’s music. Although Debussy had first heard music from the “New World” in the 1890’s, artistic representations and historic portrayals of American culture and its Negro heritage began surfacing in Europe around 1900. The earliest documented manifestations of such exposés appeared in fairs and boardwalks in the French resort of Deauville. One of the main characteristics of minstrel groups was their use of the cakewalk. As a musical form, this 19th century dance of African-American origin incorporated syncopation and a habanera-like rhythm into the regular march rhythm…

The composer Antonin Dvorak came to America to study its folk traditions and afterwards states that “the future American school will be based upon the music of the Negro.” This was considered radical for its time but he has been indisputably correct. When Dvorak was appointed director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, his assistant was a young African-American named Harry T. Burleigh. Burleigh said he often sang the plantation songs he learned as a boy from his grandfather (a slave who bought his freedom) to Dvorak. The music Dvorak heard inspired his composition “New World Symphony”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETNoPqYAIPI

Concerning the piece, Burleigh stated that Dvorak based it quite consciously on “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” He wrote: “Part of this old ‘spiritual’ will be found in the second theme of the first movement ... given out by the flute. Dvorak saturated himself with the spirit of these old tunes and then invented his own themes. There is a subsidiary theme in G minor in the first movement with a flatted seventh [a blue note] and I feel sure the composer caught this peculiarity of most of the slave songs from some that I sang to him; for he used to stop me and ask if that was the way the slaves sang.”

When Burleigh sang “Go Down Moses” for Dvorak, he said, “Burleigh, that is as great as a Beethoven theme.” This was no off-the-cuff remark for Dvorak who so idolized Beethoven that he had his students develop themes and then apply them to a Beethoven sonata as a skeleton and follow it measure for measure to teach them about key relationships and modulation in composition.

Burleigh belonged to the free African Church of St. Philip’s in New York in the Tenderloin district. Dvorak was very impressed by the skill of the St. Philip’s musicians and choir. Two other musicians from St. Philip’s were recruited to study under Dvorak at the conservatory, Edward B. Kinney and Charles Bolin (who later changed the spelling to “Bohlen”). Before Dvorak’s tenure as director was over (1895), over 150 African-Americans were enrolled at a conservatory with a student body of 600 seats. Kinney and Dvorak would conduct the St. Philip’s choir at Madison Square Garden in 1894 while Bohlen would go on to work with James Reese Europe at Carnegie Hall in the 1910s.


Antonin Dvorak.


Harry Thacker Burleigh spent much of the rest of his long musical career making artistic expressions of African-American folk music as he learned to do from his esteemed mentor, Dvorak. When Joplin moved New York, he lived in the Tenderloin district where he certainly would have heard about the efforts of Dvorak and Burleigh and so the work of these two men played a large role in the eventual transformation of jazz into art music.

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Old 07-27-2014, 07:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Blackface Minstrel Show Sand Dance - YouTube

Ned Haverly was the grandson of J.H. Haverly who ran Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels. He learned his craft from the best of the best.



What's interesting are the words to the song he sings:

I want you to know that I’m ragged but right
Hopin’ like I'm livin’ like you people that’s white
Hoedown steak everyday for my board
That’s more than all you rounders in ‘is town afford

I’m a mighty good man to have hang around
I’m tailor-made I’m not a hand-me-down
I’m a Eagle, I’m a Mason, I’m a Elk, I’m a Knight
I’m ragged but right
You hear me talkin’
I’m ragged but right


On the surface, Haverly is a black man telling white people that despite his hand-me-down clothes and 2nd hand belongings, he's as good as they are. He's "right" (as in "righteous") because he is there to do the things that need doing that white people don't want to do for themselves and so hire him to do them, i.e. their dirty work. He is saying, "You think you don't need me until you suddenly realize how much you need me. I cook for you, clean for you, I repair your appliances and fix your yards. I know all your family's dirty, little secrets and I keep them secret. Where would you be without me? And that's not all--I also belong to all the same high-falutin' secret societies that you do. So maybe you're rich but I'm righteous, you hear me? You're rich but I'm righteous!"

But underneath that black veneer is a working white man delivering that same message to the nobility of American society. "Maybe you rich folk have it all, but who manufactures all those goods you own? And who fixes them when you break them? Why, that would be me! I know all about you because I work in your house and I maintain your car and trim your trees. And what do you know about me? Nothing. You wouldn't be caught dead visiting my house or riding in my car and you wouldn't know the first thing about how to fix it. You're so dependent on me, it's ridiculous. AND I belong to all the same secret societies you do. So maybe you're rich but I'm righteous, you hear me? You're rich but I'm righteous!"

It's the same message that minstrelsy has delivered since the days of the United Mastodons--today, rich folks, we put you on notice: changes are coming. There's going to be some changes made around here. Jazz, that latter-day minstrelsy, expressed the same, identical sentiment (in fact, you can even sing it to the same tune as Ned Haverly's song):

For there's a change in the weather, there's a change in the sea,
So from now on there'll be a change in me.
My walk will be different, my talk and my name,
Nothing about me is going to be the same.
I'm going to change my way of living if that ain't enough,
Then I'll change the way I strut my stuff
Cause nobody wants you when you're old and gray.
There'll be some changes made today, there'll be some changes made.
For there's a change in the fashions, ask the feminine folks,
Even Jack Benny has been changing jokes,
I must make some changes from old to the new,
I must do things just the same as others do.
I'm going to change my long tall Mama for a little short fat,
Going to change the number where I live at.
I must have some loving or I'll fade away.
There'll be some changes made today, there'll be some changes made

Last edited by Lord Larehip; 10-04-2014 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Okay--lets recap what we've learned thus far about minstrelsy and the early ragtime era:

So how then did whites in America see the blackface minstrel? Did the burnt cork on the face mean only that this person represented a black slave or freedman or did it signify something else? Seeing the close ties between mummers, Morris-dancers and Zwarte Piet to blackface minstrelsy, we see something else at play than simple crude racism—although there is plenty of that too. In many areas where minstrelsy was quite popular, blacks had been all but run out and kept out. Why would whites do that only to crowd into the theaters to watch a minstrel performance of whites with blackened faces? Because they did not wish to see real blacks. What they wanted to see was themselves from a past they viewed as idyllic. Minstrelsy was popular in the urban areas and in large cities, northern cities in particular—New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and on into California. The whites that populated these cities had left the farms and rural existences of their childhoods were vicariously returning to it through the watching of minstrel performances.

In the minstrel show, blacks were not worked from sunrise to sunset, were not whipped or punished to any significant degree and had an inordinate amount of leisure time on their hands—much of it spent on finding ways to get out of work than actually working. Even then the work was nothing more than sweeping up, polishing the silverware, cleaning up after supper, etc. In other words, the blackface slaves, who rarely if ever called themselves slaves, were really children with their daily chores around the house. In the minstrel shows, massa and missy were rarely seen and, when they were, they were there to be deceived by a slave trying to get out of work. Sometimes, they delivered a light scolding or rebuke for the slave's deception or laziness but there was always easy forgiveness and security in the form of love, food and clothing. In turn, the slaves loved their masters in spite of constantly deceiving them. The slaves were happy but knew that their happiness depended upon the moods of their masters and even outright lying to them was acceptable if it kept them happy. Again, this was nothing more than the family relationship of parent-to-child and child-to-parent. The slaves thought of the masters as their parents and the masters treated the slaves as though the latter were children.

Minstrelsy then provided an outlet for the white city-dweller to relive his or her idyllic childhood back on the farm. As earlier stated, the country was in the grip of tremendous changes—physically, socially, technologically, demographically, economically, politically, culturally, etc. Many white Americans suffered a culture shock. Instead of living off the land as their own bosses, they now worked in factories for meager earnings and a boss who didn't care about them and thought nothing of overworking them or throwing them out on the street. They were largely wage slaves not particularly better off than the black slaves in the South. Those slaves at least had a roof over their heads and some amount of food in their bellies and no fear of being fired or laid off. The wealthier whites had social respectability to maintain and upon them fell the white man's burden. They were expected to lead the way and pay for it.

So what was the meaning of the blackened face? Even many black minstrel singers donned the burnt cork residue. Why would they have to? We must remember that the concept of "white" as a race was new. What did it really mean to be white? White Americans were not sure. As hard as they looked into it, the concept of being white meant nothing without differentiating it from being non-white. In the modern age, we are used to white supremacists counting every technological innovation to come out of Europe as proof of the superiority of the white race, but in the 19th century such a device was rarely resorted to for the simple reason that most Americans today termed as white did not think of each other as white. Americans of English descent, for example, often did not regard those of German descent as white and vice-versa.


Although a black man, Bert Williams frequently performed in black face. While whites in black face were imitating blacks, Williams was imitating whites imitating blacks.

After all, the English had a global empire, why should they include anyone else as being on their level who was not part of building it? Neither English nor Germans regarded Italians as white and so on. The Irish and the Dutch (who once dominated the extremely lucrative spice trade via the Dutch East India Company or VOC as it was known before the British took over) were often excluded from the white race in the American mentality as were Jews, Poles, Slavs, Spaniards, Portuguese, Danes, Greeks, Gypsies and others. Basically, white Americans were just starting to embrace the idea of being "white" as a globally dominant race rather than as disparate cultures rooted in Europe.

The idea that all these various European nations—England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, etcetera could or should be combined into one and whose innovations, inventions and cultures were the expression of a single great race was only just tentatively taking hold in the 1830s. It ascended in the national consciousness along with minstrelsy and progressed in step along with it until the culmination of Theosophy and Aryanism in the late 19th century that seemed to fill in the missing pieces (even if in a pseudo-scientific, non-verifiable fashion) at which point minstrelsy began a slow decline.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Perhaps the earliest expression of white supremacy in the American conscious was the concept of Manifest Destiny. Not surprisingly, it too arose with minstrelsy starting in 1845 when John L. O'Sullivan coined the term in an article entitled Annexation that appeared in the July/August issue of United States Magazine and Democratic Review. In the article, O'Sullivan urged to the annexation of the Republic of Texas because, he wrote, the United States had a "manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions."

O'Sullivan again used the term later that same year in another article to advocate the annexation of the territory of Oregon. However, what needs be noted is that Manifest Destiny was not explicitly based on the idea of a type of lebensraum, i.e. expanding white race taking up new lands as living space, but rather it championed the spread of democracy across North America as something divinely ordained. That this expansion would present extremely serious problems for the Native Indians and possibly expand the practice of slavery into these new lands became part of the struggle for white Americans to understand who they were and what they were doing and whether or not their actions were morally correct by the laws of God or man. Minstrelsy was one of the attempts they made to find an answer.

White supremacy was implicit in Manifest Destiny because if democracy, "liberty and federated self-government" were divinely ordained to spread over the American continent, the ones doing the spreading were not going to be black slaves, Native Indians or Chinese railroad slaves. To look at the plight of these people and reconcile that with American Exceptionalism may have caused Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Calhoun and Lincoln to oppose further expansion but the idea of a white super race chosen by God to hold dominion over the earth was not explicitly expressed in Manifest Destiny and the original conception died by the time of Lincoln's election in 1860 when he switched it over to foreign policy where it remains a dominant theme to this day.

Manifest Destiny planted the seeds of white racial consciousness in America that slowly shifted ideological superiority over to racial superiority. But the steps required to accomplish this shift were not a clear path but many tentative paths, most of them abandoned and incomplete. As far as minstrelsy was concerned in this shift, whites tried to understand who and what they were by ironically re-imagining themselves as black. Having done so, they then drew themselves a picture of racial harmony and indemnity by depicting the slaves as errant, mischievous but lovable children—themselves in "idyllic" times (i.e. back on the farms of their childhoods). These slaves were best off in the employ of white people because they cannot care for themselves. Since the idea of liberty was not inherent in their nature, they will basically make the best of any situation and be perfectly content with it. In 1895, a black minstrel extravaganza called "Black America" received a write up in The Illustrated American that read in part:

Note the yard-wide laugh of "God's image in ebony" over the card game and the eager interest displayed by the bystanders, and you seize the essence of the character of this easily-pleased, happy-go-lucky people!


"American Progress" by John Gast circa 1872 depicts Columbia (a 19th century representation of the U.S. who is also depicted in the Statue of Liberty and on the dome of the Capitol) walking westward stringing telegraph wire as she goes. In her hand is a schoolbook, i.e. education is the key to enacting and fulfilling manifest destiny. Before her are settlers and explorers blazing her trail and behind her follow the railroads and ships. the Indians are in the shadows, i.e. the sun has set on them, who are eschew her approach by fleeing into futility.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:43 PM   #26 (permalink)
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As stated earlier, in areas where minstrelsy was most popular they had kept blacks out but, having done so, found themselves in a white America that could not determine its own nature, could not figure itself out. If to be white was to be privileged or free, then who does the manual labor and menial jobs in an all-white America? White Americans realized that they could not define themselves without comparisons to the non-whites around them. Without these non-whites present, white Americans were like a single finger trying to touch itself. In this way, they found themselves as much owned by blacks as owning them.

Minstrelsy offered them a way to find themselves and on their own terms. The blackened face then was an attempt to erase their race in an effort to see themselves through fresh eyes. They were saying to themselves, "If we are superior because we are white, there must be something there that accounts for it other than simple skin pigmentation. It must be something in our character and not magically bestowed upon us by dint of our lightness otherwise we are superior by complete accident or by a totally random choice of God (who could have as easily chosen someone else) rather than chosen by Him because He made us better or because He recognizes our superior character and talents. To be superior means we must conquer other lesser peoples and employ them doing what is necessary work but beneath our important station but for which they are perfectly suited."



So the audience at the minstrel show was as much a part of the performance as the act onstage. The blackface performer showed the audience a mythical black man who was innocent, child-like and at least likable if not lovable—the white people themselves before their fall into urbanization. The audience was white people in whiteface watching the antics onstage of whites in blackface with a pang of nostalgia for their lost childhoods. Here, they could set aside all their social responsibilities for a while and re-live their fun, innocent days by imagining themselves as black people living the way they thought black people lived, namely as easily-pleased and happy-go-lucky. All was well with the world after all. After the show, shouldering the white man's burden seemed a bit lighter and more purposeful. Their mission as white people seemed a bit clearer to them and they were able to make some sense of themselves as a race of white people. They could stop worrying if they were doing the right thing. It had to be right because there was no other way.

The other important thing about presenting blacks as children in the minstrel show was to always make the black man sexually non-threatening. In minstrelsy, the adult black male is a man-child whose goal is to please massa and missy while doing as little as possible to achieve it. From this, we can see that there had to be an underlying feeling of insecurity in general on the part of white males even if only mildly. The psychology behind this fear was that light-hued people tend to regard dark-hued people as sexually superior to themselves.

In the South, the idea of the sexually threatening black man was so great that preserving the purity of white Southern womanhood became a battle cry revealing both the sexual insecurity of the Southern white male as well as the moral and intellectual vacuum that was really white superiority. The idea that black men must be stopped from raping white women by any means necessary is too ridiculous to entertain seriously. Obviously, no one should be allowed to rape anyone else under any circumstances. A black man raping a white woman is certainly no worse than a white man who does the same. They may as well have demanded that black men must not be allowed to burn down apartment buildings with white women in them or be allowed to run into the streets firing shotguns and throwing firebombs indiscriminately where it might possibly injure or kill a white woman. The white supremacist argument is completely ridiculous and insulting to anyone who can think with any clarity. If this was the superior white Southern culture, it was a pitiful thing indeed worthy of nothing but contempt.

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Old 10-31-2014, 02:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Minstrelsy as a comedy designed to point out and therefore avoid certain social pitfalls was a failure. Minstrelsy was originally driven by anti-slavery sentiments expressed by people as George Washington Dixon and Stephen Foster. But as the Civil War raged, whites wanted theater to take them away from the turmoil, to show them joy and wholeness. So they were treated to the sight of a white man, dressed up as a black man singing, "Oh, I wish I was in de lan' ob cotton…" at a time when hundreds of real blacks were fleeing North. That the South would adopt the song as an unofficial anthem was a bit ridiculous and apparently the irony was not lost on the song's author, Dan Emmett, who was furious when he heard what the Confederacy had done.

The song was intended as racial harmony and happiness and to have the slaveholders adopt it was galling to him. But the song also demonstrated the failure of minstrelsy for depicting what could not be true: that blacks were happy down South, so much so that those up North longed to return to it. And since whites could not apparently be happy without convincing themselves that blacks were happy, the fact that blacks were really not happy meant that whites were really not happy either. Minstrelsy simply sold a blatant illusion that could not be maintained once the war ended and the slaves freed because white=free, black=chattel was simply not true anymore and so all such associations in minstrelsy had to be redefined.

New innovations in minstrelsy occurred such as clogging, female impersonation, redface (Native Indian) minstrelsy and cakewalking. Although the Yellow Peril hysteria was strong, there was little of yellowface minstrelsy to be seen. Shortly after the war, there was a minstrel troupe known as The Flying Black Japs but they soon disbanded. Most of America had no experience of the Chinese who were enslaved on the railroads or running tiny businesses on the West Coast in hopes of eking out an existence. Even on the West Coast where the hatred of the Chinese was strong, whites seemed not to notice them except to segregate themselves from them.

Robert Louis Stevenson traveled from his native Scotland to ride the rails of the Union Pacific Railroad across the plains to California in 1879 and noted that Chinese passengers, many of them men who had slaved sunup to sundown to lay the tracks their train was riding on, were forced to ride in a segregated car. Stevenson noticed that the whites took these Chinese railroad builders for granted, totally ignoring them except to occasionally vent "the stupid ill-feeling" as he called it. By 1897, Dan W. Quinn sang "Mr. Jappy Jap Jappy" and James T. Powers followed this in 1898 with "Chin Chin Chinaman" but yellowface minstrelsy never seemed to click. These Asians came from a foreign land and could not represent an idyllic pre-Fall life for the white audiences. There was no relating. Asians are, after all, "inscrutable."


Yellow Peril fear was just as strong in Europe as in America as this German depiction makes clear.


Dan W. Quinn "Chin Chin Chinaman" The Geisha -- from 1898, Berliner disc 525 - YouTube
Dan W. Quinn's version of "Chin Chin Chinaman" from an 1898 disc is full of pidgin English stereotypes not to mention that "Chinaman" is considered a slur among Asian-Americans. It is part of a larger work called "The Geisha" betraying the Westerner's usual careless confusing of Japanese and Chinese. A Chinese person who didn't know the difference between the English and the Germans would be considered a complete idiot in the West.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:49 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Larehip
Although people generally think today of ragtime music as being started by Scott Joplin, it was not.....
No but Scott was excellent!!

I recently got a cassette of pieces he made on a piano roll and they are goregous! (The pieces were recorded from the actual rolls)

I havent ever heard such beautiful piano playing!
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