BLACKFACE – A presentation by Dick Ford
February 25, 2016 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
RACE –THE AMERICAN OBSESSION NURTURED AND AFFIRMED THROUGH POPULAR MUSIC (1850-1940).
Long before TV, LPs and CDs the promotion of songs was through sheet music, theatre, radio, and the 78 recordings played on a Victrola. Millions of families owned as piano and someone played church hymns and/or popular songs. Race-themed songs were popular and profitable for composers, lyricists, artists, and music publishers. Verses and cover art caricatures projected African-American men and women as ignorant, lazy, lustful or, in contrast, as mellow citizens basking in the South (Dixieland). Words commonly used in race songs are: coons, darkies, wench, pickaninny, mammy. cakewalk,and rag.
Photo Michelle Gabel
Musician and head of Signature Music in Syracuse, Dick Ford, will lead a discussion, play songs ranging from the civil war era to the” roaring 20s” and display over 100 images from sheet music which helped popularize racism in our culture. Dick has played jazz and dance music since the 1950s. He has received awards for his contributions in music education, community leadership, and social justice.
Free to the Public