Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop

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Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Jake Austen is the editor of Roctober magazine, He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Yuval Taylor is the coauthor of Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop and Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Antioch Review, the Oxford American, and other publications. He lives in Chicago.
Mel Watkins is a widely known American critic, author, and former staff member of The New York Times, where is was the first African-American editor of the Times Sunday Book Review.


Exciting... convincing... entertaining and well-paced... rich in detail.
A comprehensive history and critique of black minstrelsy.... This well-informed work deepens our understanding of a lasting element of American culture.
Starred review. A provocative, compelling exploration of one of the most controversial elements of the black entertainment world... An innovative, marvelous book about comedy, stereotypes and the struggle to steer through the sometimes-fierce internal debates over African-American identity in a society still struggling with its racial past.
[This] illuminating book demonstrates serious regard for the history of black performance and... encourages further exploration. It will interest both general readers and specialists in black entertainment.
While the authors acknowledge the appalling truth about minstrelsy, its carefree trafficking in vicious stereotype, they also successfully suggest that we've averted our eyes too quickly... Darkest America contains delicious twists... [and] carries a truth so heavy it trumps race.--Preston Lauterbach