Behind the Burnt Cork Mask

Behind the Burnt Cork Mask : Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture

3.62 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Promises to redefine the study of blackface minstrelsy, charting new directions for future inquiries by scholars in American studies, popular culture, and musicology
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 472 pages
  • 157.48 x 223.52 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0252066960
  • 9780252066962
  • 2,140,948

Back cover copy

Blackface conventions both criticized the changes occurring in antebellum American life and helped shape images of race, gender, and class. Through the songs, dances, jokes, parodies, spoofs, and skits of blackface, white performers could satirize majority values without directly attacking them. Burnt cork served as a masking device for these entertainers, shielding them from any direct personal identification with the material they were performing.

Behind the Burnt Cork Mask reassesses relationships between blackface comedy and other genres and traditions of Western theater; between the music of minstrel shows and its European sources; between blackface performance and socially constructed identities; and between "popular" and "elite" culture.
show more

Review quote

"Make[s] available much valuable and fascinating material found nowhere else in the literature on blackface minstrelsy, so much so that Behind the Burnt Cork Mask can itself serve as a primary source for further research." -- Charles Hamm, Journal of the American Musicological Society
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2)
4 38% (3)
3 25% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 12% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X