Authenticity, mimicry, and early African American entertainment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research for this essay was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota. 1. “Bowery Theatre,” Knickerbocker: Or, New-York Monthly Magazine, vol. 16 (July 1840), 84. 2. James Weldon Johnson, Black Manhattan (1930; repr. New York: Arno 1967), 87. 3. Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, “Lessons in Blackbody Minstrelsy: Old Plantation and Manufacture of Black Authenticity,” TDR 57.2 (2013): 102–3. 4. Daphne Brooks, Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 223. 5. Lester A. Walton, “A Long Step Forward,” New York Age, January 13, 1916. 6. “Boston, Mass., Theatrical Notes,” The Freeman (Indianapolis), January 22, 1916. 7. “J. H. Gray, Gibson’s New Standard Theatre, Philadelphia,” The Freeman, October 21, 1916. 8. Quoted in Sean Metzger, Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), 56. 9. Metzger, Chinese Looks, 43. 10. “Mark Twain and Bret Harte’s New Play at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York—Mark Twain’s Funny Speech (reprinted from the New York World),” San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, August 9, 1877. 11. J. D. Howard, “Cook and Stevens,” The Freeman, October 23, 1909. 12. Howard. 13. “At the Crown Garden Theatre, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Clarks,” The Freeman, May 6, 1911. 14. “At the New Crown Garden: Margie Crosby—the Girl with a Jew Face,” The Freeman, August 16, 1913. The allusion to “Ephram Jones” appears in the lyrics of “Old Massa Had a Yaller Gal,” collected in Newman Ivey White’s American Negro Folk-Songs (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1928).

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