Sign in or register
for additional privileges

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

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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.

Space, Page 138

In the finale of what is often considered the first "talkie", The Jazz Singer (1927), Al Jolson performs the song "Mammy" in blackface. His mother sits in the audience as he sings about his devotion to her, his "Mammy." His performance attempts to reconcile his desire to be a famous singer, his devotion to his family, and his Jewish faith.

Jolson uses blackface and the sentimental caricature of the black Mammy who contentedly accepted slavery and happily nurtured the white family, thus conflating his love for his own mother with that of a Mammy. Jolson's signature blackface performance points out the essential place of sentimentality and nostalgia in racial formations of the 1930s. 

Comment on this page

Discussion of "Space, Page 138"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Space, page 2 of 36 Next page on path

Related:  Performance, Page 74Space, Page 175Performance, Page 42Labor, Page 123Race, Page 231Labor, Page 132Space, Page 146Conclusion, Page 298Space, Page 143Space, Page 183Race, Page 224Performance, Page 82Race, Page 258Introduction, Page 23Conclusion, Page 300Introduction, Page 14Labor, Page 119Performance, Page 72Conclusion, Page 292Race, Page 261Race, Page 206Space, Page 197Performance, Page 60Labor, Page 98Introduction, Page 4Space, Page 141Labor, Page 88Race, Page 239Race, Page 232Conclusion, Page 284Space, Page 189Performance, Page 84Labor, Page 133Race, Page 253Space, Page 188Space, Page 150Introduction, Page 16Conclusion, Page 273Introduction, Page 29Performance, Page 34Race, Page 247Performance, Page 47Race, Page 235Conclusion, Page 290Performance, Page 44Labor, Page 112Race, Page 252Race, Page 204Performance, Page 35Space, Page 162Space, Page 169Labor, Page 110Performance, Page 41Labor, Page 122Space, Page 182Labor, Page 102Race, Page 251Introduction, Page 6Race, Page 254Space, Page 159Space, Page 193Race, Page 225Conclusion, Page 303Introduction, Page 15Labor, Page 129Space, Page 170Labor, Page 109Conclusion, Page 302Labor, Page 128Space, Page 187Space, Page 163Space, Page 194Space, Page 181Race, Page 230Introduction, Page 1Space, Page 172Performance, Page 54Race, Page 221Space, Page 148Race, Page 242Labor, Page 93Space, Page 155Conclusion, Page 278Conclusion, Page 304Performance, Page 46Space, Page 177Space, Page 178Space, Page 152Race, Page 229Conclusion, Page 286Race, Page 213Introduction, Page 30Space, Page 195Performance, Page 76Space, Page 166Introduction, Page 21Space, Page 165Conclusion, Page 275Space, Page 190Space, Page 191Conclusion, Page 289Conclusion, Page 291Conclusion, Page 296Race, Page 248Performance, Page 43Performance, Page 45Labor, Page 101Labor, Page 113Introduction, Page 2Conclusion, Page 268Performance, Page 52Race, Page 220Space, Page 184Performance, Page 50Space, Page 156Performance, Page 77