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