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