Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
May IrwinSinging, Shouting, and the Shadow of Minstrelsy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sharon Ammen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040658

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040658.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The Road to Rainbow’s End

The Road to Rainbow’s End

(p.161) 7 The Road to Rainbow’s End
May Irwin

Sharon Ammen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter follows May Irwin’s personal and public life from 1915 to her last performance of the “Frog Song” at a Mark Twain centennial celebration in 1935 followed by her retirement to the Thousand Islands and her death in 1937. The author then analyzes the five interconnected strategies that Irwin used to maintain success, including her use of domesticity and its connection to the private sphere/public sphere argument in feminism. She also looks at how Irwin embodied the American myth of success and concludes that Irwin’s most skillful balance of shifting identities was in her performance of the coon song. Irwin unconsciously embodied the combination of love and envy that critic Eric Lott has found in the dominant white culture’s attempt at black cultural appropriation.

Keywords:   Mark Twain centennial, Thousand Islands, private sphere/public sphere, suffragism, myth of success, Eric Lott, black cultural appropriation

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.