Songs like “Camptown Races” and “Turkey in the Straw” are the basis of America’s soundtrack, but there is a troubling side to some of our country’s most recognizable songs.
A significant part of our country’s shared musical heritage emerged from 19th century blackface minstrelsy. Minstrelsy was the first uniquely American entertainment, and the first American entertainment craze. Pioneering DJ Amanda Wilde explores how this controversial phenomenon laid the foundation for American performance, and how its influence reached beyond its era of popularity. The talk discusses race in American music by looking under the blackface mask and coming to terms with this mixed heritage, concentrating on music as a powerful agent of transformation.
Funded project of Humanities Washington. Humanities Washington is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.