Essays On African American

Riley in 1830, further demonstrate the transmission of this stereotype of African-Americans to society: "I'm a full blooded niggar, ob de real ole stock, and wid my head and shoulder I can split a horse block.White women, men and children across the country embraced the image of the fat, wide-eyed, grinning black man.It was perpetuated over and over, shaping enduring attitudes toward African-Americans for centuries. Rice is the acknowledged "originator" of the American blackface minstrelsy.In fact, "a stereotype may be so consistently and authoritatively transmitted in each generation from parent to child that it seems almost a biological fact" (Boskin, 1986, p. The stereotyping of African-Americans was brought to the theatrical stage with the advent of the blackface minstrel (Engle, 1978). His inspiration for the famous minstrel dance-and-comedy routine was an old, crippled, black man dressed in rags, whom he saw dancing in the street (Engle, 1978).Beginning in the early 19th century, white performers darkened their faces with burnt cork, painted grotesquely exaggerated white mouths over their own, donned woolly black wigs and took the stage to entertain society. This "city dandy" was the northern counterpart to the southern "plantation darky," the Sambo (Engle, 1978 p. During that time, a law prohibited African-Americans from dancing because it was said to be "crossing your feet against the lord" (Hoffmann, 1986, video).Acts of racial violence were justified and encouraged through the emphasis on this stereotype of the Savage.The urgent message to whites was, we must put blacks in their place or else (Boskin, 1986).Images of the Sambo, Jim Crow, the Savage, Mammy, Aunt Jemimah, Sapphire, and Jezebelle may not be as powerful today, yet they are still alive.One of the most enduring stereotypes in American history is that of the Sambo (Boskin, 1986).In 1830, when "Daddy" Rice performed this same dance, "..effect was electric..." (Bean et al., 1996, p. White actors throughout the north began performing "the Jim Crow" to enormous crowds, as noted by a New York newspaper."Entering the theater, we found it crammed from pit to dome..." (Engle, 1978, p. This popularity continued, and at the height of the minstrel era, the decades preceding and following the Civil War, there were at least 30 full-time blackface minstrel companies performing across the nation (Engle, 1978).

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