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Book Cover
Author Thompson, Katrina Dyonne, author

Title Ring shout, wheel about : the racial politics of music and dance in North American slavery / Katrina Dyonne Thompson
Published Urbana [Illinois] : University of Illinois Press, 2014
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Description 1 online resource (257 pages)
Series New Black Studies Series
New Black studies series.
Contents The script : "Africa was but a blank canvas for Europe's imagination" -- Casting : "They sang their home-songs, and danced, each with his free foot slapping the deck" -- Onstage : "Dance you damned niggers, dance" -- Backstage : "White folks do as they please, and the darkies do as they can" -- Advertisement : "Dancing through the Streets and act lively" -- Same script, different actors : "Eb'ry time I weel about, I jump Jim Crow" -- Epilogue : the show must go on --
Summary "In this ambitious project, historian Katrina Thompson examines the conceptualization and staging of race through the performance, sometimes coerced, of black dance from the slave ship to the minstrel stage. Drawing on a rich variety of sources, Thompson explicates how black musical performance was used by white Europeans and Americans to justify enslavement, perpetuate the existing racial hierarchy, and mask the brutality of the domestic slave trade. Whether on slave ships, at the auction block, or on plantations, whites often used coerced performances to oppress and demean the enslaved. As Thompson shows, however, blacks' "backstage" use of musical performance often served quite a different purpose. Through creolization and other means, enslaved people preserved some native musical and dance traditions and invented or adopted new traditions that built community and even aided rebellion. Thompson shows how these traditions evolved into nineteenth-century minstrelsy and, ultimately, raises the question of whether today's mass media performances and depictions of African Americans are so very far removed from their troublesome roots"-- Provided by publisher
Notes Includes index
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Text in English
Print verison record
Subject African American dance -- History.
Plantation life -- United States.
Race in the theater -- United States -- History.
Racism in popular culture -- United States -- History.
Slavery -- United States -- Justification
Slaves -- Southern States -- Songs and music.
Slaves -- United States -- Social life and customs.
Theater and society -- United States -- History.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0252096118 (electronic bk.)
9780252096112 (electronic bk.)