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

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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Space, Page 141

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, cartoons were key to selling sound films into movie-going audiences, and they took the place of liver performers in combination shows.

In Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929), Rudy Ising meets Bosko, whom he has just drawn. Playing on vaudeville and blackface minstrelsy, Harman and Ising created a character who was a minstrel, right down to singing Al Jolson's blackface minstrel hit "Sonny Boy" (1928). Bosko's body mirrored the minstrel's fluidity of motion and resistance to control, and he gleefully performs the ongoing battle between the maker (Rudy) and the thing made (Bosko).
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