Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Creolization of American CultureWilliam Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christopher J. Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037764

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037764.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

The Creole Synthesis in the New World

The Creole Synthesis in the New World

Cultures in Contact

(p.28) 2 The Creole Synthesis in the New World
The Creolization of American Culture

Christopher J. Smith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the musical, cultural, and sociological elements of blackface minstrelsy's “creole synthesis” throughout the Caribbean and the British colonies of North America. It argues that the conditions for the creole synthesis were present virtually from the first encounters of Anglo-Europeans and Africans in the New World. The chapter discusses the riverine, maritime, and frontier social contexts that shaped the music of blackface's African American sources and their Anglo-Celtic imitators. In particular, it considers creole synthesis in the Caribbean and in frontiers such as New Orleans and the Ohio. It also looks at a preliminary example of iconographic analysis that reflects the riverine and maritime creole synthesis: James Henry Beard's 1846 painting Western Raftsmen. The chapter contends that blackface minstrelsy was pioneered by George Washington Dixon and Thomas Dartmouth Rice in the 1830s and codified by Joel Walker Sweeney and Daniel Decatur Emmett (and the blackface troupes they founded) in the early 1840s, and thus represents the earliest comparatively accurate and extensive observation, description, and imitation of African American performance in the New World.

Keywords:   blackface minstrelsy, creole synthesis, Caribbean, North America, New World, minstrelsy, James Henry Beard, Western Raftsmen, George Washington Dixon, Thomas Dartmouth Rice

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.