Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation


In Birth of an Industry, Nicholas Sammond describes how well known early American sketch characters have been derived from blackface minstrelsy. He charts the industrialization of animation within the early 20th century, its illustration within the cartoons themselves, and the way very important blackface minstrels have been to that functionality, status in for the frustrations of animation staff. adored comic strip characters, corresponding to Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat, have been conceived and built utilizing blackface minstrelsy's visible and performative conventions: those characters usually are not like minstrels; they're minstrels. They play out the social, cultural, political, and racial anxieties and needs that hyperlink race to the laboring physique, simply as reside minstrel express performers did. rigorously interpreting how early animation helped to naturalize virulent racial formations, Sammond explores how cartoons used laughter and sentimentality to make these stereotypes appear not just much less merciless, yet truly fulfilling. even though the noticeable hyperlinks among caricature characters and the minstrel level light some time past, Sammond indicates how very important these hyperlinks are to puzzling over animation then and now, and approximately how cartoons proceed to aid to light up the relevant position of race in American cultural and social life.

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