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Blackface Nation – Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925

Brian Roberts


As the United States transitioned from a rural nation to an urbanized, industrial giant between the War of 1812 and the early twentieth century, ordinary people struggled over the question of what it meant to be American. Blackface Nation argues that this struggle is especially evident in popular culture and the interplay between two specific strains of music: the songs of middle-class reform and blackface minstrelsy. The songs of middle-class reformers, such as the popular Hutchinson Family Singers, expressed an American identity rooted in communal values, with lyrics focusing on abolition, w ... More

Keywords: blackface mMinstrelsy, popular music, national identity, popular culture, Hutchinson Family Singers, Nineteenth Century, African Americans, racism, abolitionism, patriotism, United States History

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226451503
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226451787.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian Roberts, author
University of Northern Iowa