Sign in or register
for additional privileges

Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Introduction, page 1 of 17
Previous page on path     Next page on path


You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

Introduction, Page 1

Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and published in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery tale that revolves around an elderly slave, Uncle Tom. The best selling novel of the nineteenth century, Uncle Tom's Cabin is credited with furthering the abolitionist cause, although the many plays and adaptations it inspired reinforced pernicious stereotypes about African Americans. 

This 1903 silent film adaptation by Edwin S. Porter condenses the text into four short vignettes, performed by white actors in blackface. Framed by a static camera in stagey two-dimensional sets, the actors express themselves in the melodramatic mode popular at the time.

When the film was made, the musical accompaniment would have been live and the accompanist—whether pianist, organist, band, or small orchestra—would have played a score made up of recognizable musical motifs, such as melodies from Dan Emmett's Dixie or Stephen Foster's My Old Kentucky Home, to signify location and set mood. In this way, even the music that accompanied performances could further stereotypes.

Comment on this page

Discussion of "Introduction, Page 1"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Introduction, page 1 of 17 Next page on path

Related:  Space, Page 193Space, Page 146Performance, Page 43Performance, Page 44Space, Page 183Conclusion, Page 275Race, Page 219Space, Page 172Introduction, Page 29Conclusion, Page 302Performance, Page 62Race, Page 239Introduction, Page 21Race, Page 213Space, Page 163Space, Page 182Race, Page 235Conclusion, Page 278Space, Page 194Introduction, Page 30Conclusion, Page 273Space, Page 196Conclusion, Page 290Introduction, Page 4Space, Page 175Conclusion, Page 284Space, Page 178Performance, Page 42Space, Page 138Performance, Page 47Labor, Page 113Race, Page 221Space, Page 141Space, Page 155Conclusion, Page 304Race, Page 261Race, Page 224Conclusion, Page 298Introduction, Page 16Space, Page 191Conclusion, Page 286Introduction, Page 15Conclusion, Page 296Space, Page 195Introduction, Page 26Space, Page 187Race, Page 258Space, Page 192Performance, Page 72Race, Page 231Race, Page 225Space, Page 188Race, Page 254Labor, Page 98Performance, Page 35Labor, Page 109Conclusion, Page 289Introduction, Page 2Introduction, Page 20Performance, Page 45Race, Page 206Conclusion, Page 292introduction-page-22Race, Page 248Introduction, Page 23Space, Page 189Race, Page 204Performance, Page 77Labor, Page 115Race, Page 252Space, Page 197Performance, Page 41Conclusion, Page 303Space, Page 181Space, Page 170Introduction, Page 14Performance, Page 82Performance, Page 46Performance, Page 34Labor, Page 110Labor, Page 122Space, Page 143Performance, Page 60Conclusion, Page 291Race, Page 253Space, Page 177Space, Page 150Space, Page 190Labor, Page 133Labor, Page 88Space, Page 162Labor, Page 112Labor, Page 123Performance, Page 54Labor, Page 128Labor, Page 132Performance, Page 74Performance, Page 84Performance, Page 52Introduction, Page 6Race, Page 229Race, Page 220Conclusion, Page 272Race, Page 247Space, Page 148Performance, Page 50Race, Page 232Space, Page 165Race, Page 230Race, Page 251Conclusion, Page 300