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

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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Introduction to the Overview

Introduction to the Overview

There are three main paths in this overview: Animation, Minstrelsy, and Vaudeville. Each of these paths offers an historical overview and illustrates that history with documents, films, and audio recordings. The Animation path talks about the beginnings of American commercial animation in the early twentieth century. The Vaudeville path gives a snapshot of the types of shows that were common then, and discusses how animation became part of those shows. The Minstrelsy path looks at blackface minstrelsy,  an incredibly popular performance form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It examines how minstrelsy found its way onto the vaudeville stage, and how it found a home in the new medium of animation. It also offers examples of recent twentieth and twenty-first century minstrelsy.
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