Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Modern MovesDancing Race during the Ragtime and Jazz Eras$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Danielle Robinson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779215.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 February 2020

“A Colorful Nightmare”

“A Colorful Nightmare”

Immigrant Ragtime Dancing as Participatory Minstrelsy

Chapter:
(p.59) Chapter 2 “A Colorful Nightmare”
Source:
Modern Moves
Author(s):

Danielle Robinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779215.003.0003

Chapter two considers ragtime dancing among European immigrant youth within the contexts of American minstrelsy, African American migration, and European immigration. Based on period sheet music and investigative reports by the Committee of Fourteen (a Manhattan-based, middle-class community watchdog organization that was active from 1900 to 1930 and concerned with social vice), the chapter argues that ragtime dancing of the early twentieth century can be understood as a form of participatory minstrelsy, a social practice transformed from theatrical practice. This form of dancing allowed movers to borrow markers of blackness in a way that built upon “coon singing” and prefigured the covering of black music by white artists in the wake of race records. Read through the minstrelsy scholarship in dance, theatre, literature, and film—especially that by social historian Eric Lott—while dancing “black” to ragtime music, European immigrant youth found a means of assimilation as Americans.

Keywords:   ragtime, European immigration, blackface minstrelsy, youths, assimilation, appropriation

Oxford 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 .