Sign in or register
for additional privileges

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

Nicholas Sammond, Author

This page was created by Patricia Hill.  The last update was by Alice Xue.

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 21

Animators and the cartoons they produced were and are the twentieth-century inheritors of the iconography, conventions, and performance tropes of blackface minstrelsy.

In Harman and Ising's Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid, circa 1930, Bosko performs the audience interaction common to both minstrelsy and vaudeville. By the late 1930s, the associative links between cartoons and the minstrel stage had become largely vestigial, but at the beginning of the decade they still had currency. Bosko performs a classic two-act with animator Rudy Ising as his interlocutor, in a dynamic that Disney would reprise in performances of the father/son relationship between Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.   

In the 1840s—not long after the mythical "originator" of the practice of blackface minstrelsy Thomas Dartmouth Rice began blacking up as Jim Crow—Stephen Foster began writing minstrel classics such as "Old Folks at Home" and "Camptown Races." But Rice had already penned the most enduring minstrel song, "Old Zip Coon," which later became "Turkey in the Straw." That tune is well-known today, not as a staple of the minstrel stage but as the innocuous melody that heralds ice cream trucks
Comment on this page

Discussion of "Introduction, Page 21"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Introduction, page 12 of 17 Next page on path

Related:  Race, Page 221Labor, Page 112Race, Page 220Labor, Page 109Labor, Page 119Space, Page 137Race, Page 204Race, Page 252Performance, Page 45Space, Page 183Race, Page 224Space, Page 189Introduction, Page 2Race, Page 251Conclusion, Page 289Race, Page 225Space, Page 197Space, Page 181Introduction, Page 6Labor, Page 129Race, Page 239Performance, Page 70Race, Page 253Space, Page 152Performance, Page 35Performance, Page 42Conclusion, Page 286Performance, Page 54Space, Page 150Labor, Page 122Space, Page 190Conclusion, Page 298Space, Page 194Labor, Page 128Space, Page 182Race, Page 232Space, Page 193Space, Page 177Conclusion, Page 290Performance, Page 44Performance, Page 82Space, Page 188Introduction, Page 16Space, Page 175Space, Page 172Space, Page 141Conclusion, Page 292Conclusion, Page 273Space, Page 146Space, Page 187Performance, Page 60Race, Page 254Race, Page 229Space, Page 195Introduction, Page 30Conclusion, Page 284Race, Page 213Race, Page 206Space, Page 184Space, Page 191Labor, Page 110Performance, Page 46Performance, Page 84Race, Page 248Race, Page 231Conclusion, Page 304Introduction, Page 26Labor, Page 123Space, Page 178Race, Page 258Race, Page 230Space, Page 170Performance, Page 34Labor, Page 132Race, Page 219Performance, Page 43Space, Page 162Introduction, Page 4Race, Page 261Performance, Page 72Space, Page 165Conclusion, Page 302Labor, Page 98Space, Page 163Space, Page 148Performance, Page 47Race, Page 247Space, Page 155Performance, Page 50Space, Page 143Introduction, Page 23Labor, Page 88Race, Page 245Space, Page 138Conclusion, Page 291Space, Page 171Labor, Page 133Space, Page 196Conclusion, Page 300Performance, Page 74Performance, Page 77Introduction, Page 1Performance, Page 52Conclusion, Page 296Race, Page 235Introduction, Page 14Labor, Page 113Introduction, Page 29Conclusion, Page 275Conclusion, Page 303Labor, Page 131Performance, Page 41Conclusion, Page 278Labor, Page 101