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Guide to the Caricatures of Black Americans : sheet music
M690  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Caricatures of Black Americans : sheet music
    Dates: 1861-1947
    Collection number: M690
    Collection Size: 3 linear ft. 310 items
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: White perceptions of African American as portrayed in the cover illustrations of sheet music. The quality of the artwork varies with its depictions, from crude racism to fairly refined perceptions of Black life over the period from the overthrow of slavery to the Great Depression.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Caricatures of Black Americans : sheet music, M690. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1994.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    White perceptions of African American as portrayed in the cover illustrations of sheet music. The quality of the artwork varies with its depictions, from crude racism to fairly refined perceptions of Black life over the period from the overthrow of slavery to the Great Depression. From the generally positive images of the Civil War period, these views of African Americans descend into heavily caricatured White versions of ragtime, followed by the generally racist minstrel and vaudeville presentations that featured Moran and Mack, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Amos & Andy. Even music primarily written or performed by Blacks (e.g., Bert Williams) is generally subject to negative caricature. At the same time, the rise of Jim Crow in the South was accompanied by a type of music based on a presumed Black nostalgia for the "good old days" of slavery and field work. The few positive images from the period include a portryal of African American troops from the Spanish American war. Two baseball cover themes include Ring Lardner's first piece of sheet music. The collection concludes with material from the 1930's that reflects a blending of jazz themes with stylized art deco motifs.

    Arrangement

    Arranged alphabetically by lyricist, several sheets to each folder.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Cantor, Eddie, 1892-1964.
    Jolson, Al, d. 1950.
    Lardner, Ring, 1885-1933.
    Williams, Bert, 1874-1922.
    Amos and Andy.
    Moran and Mack.
    African Americans in popular culture--Songs and music.
    Ethnic attitudes.
    Jazz--United States.
    Music.
    Piano music.
    Popular music.
    Race relations--History.
    Songs with piano.
    Ragtime music.
    Spanish-American War, 1898.
    United States--Social life and customs.
    Drawings.
    Sheet music.