Highlight denotes Black author or source | Highly recommended ︎


Blackface, early musical theater, Jim Crow-era “popular” music.
Origins: Early to mid-19th century.


  • Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-Century America by Robert C. Toll, 1977.

  • Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class by Eric Lott, 1993. ︎ 

  • Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy, Ed. by Brooks McNamara, Mel Watkins, 1996.

  • Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop by W. T. Lhamon, Jr., 2000.

  • Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895 by Lynn Abbott, Doug Seroff, 2003.

  • Blackface Cuba, 1840-1895 by Jill Lane, 2005.

  • Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern by Jayna Brown, 2008.

  • Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star by Camille F. Forbes, 2010. ︎ 

  • Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop by Jake Austen and Yuval Taylor, 2012.

  • The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy by Jeremy C. Smith, 2013.

  • Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery by Katrina Dyonne Thompson, 2014.︎

  • Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925 by Brian Roberts, 2017. ︎ 

  • The Blackface Minstrel Show in Mass Media: 20th Century Performances on Radio, Records, Film & Television by Tim Brooks, 2019.

  • Exporting Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in South Africa and Beyond by Chinua Thelwell, 2020. 

  • Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib, March 2021.︎



  • Bamboozled by Spike Lee, 2000. 2hr 16 mins.

  • "Sam Lucas" by Sandra Graham, American Music Educational Project, 2019. 30m.