:: Title :: Knock Jim Crow
:: Genre :: ring play
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Jones, Bessie
:: Setting :: Alan Lomax's apartment, 3rd Street
:: Location :: Greenwich Village, New York City (New York), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Southern U.S., African American, Sea Islands, Georgia
:: Session :: Bessie Jones VII 10/61
:: Date :: 10/12/1961
:: Reference Information :: T983.0, Track 9 (00:00:36)
:: Original Format :: Reel to Reel
:: Session Notes ::
1 - 13 of 21 recording sessions with Bessie Jones.
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - "Probably, to begin with, 'Jim Crow' was a bird, as Mrs. Jones and Mr. Davis suggest, but during the late 1820's the name became attached to a young white actor, Thomas D. Rice, who had invented a stage characterization of the 'jolly, carefree' plantation slave. In this role, which rapidly became a popular stereotype in the minstrel theater, the young vaudevillian, wearing blackface and in comical rags, did a little eccentric dance while singing." Reportedly, he had heard this refrain from an old Negro man some years earlier. 'Jim Crow' thus developed from a dance imitating the motions of birds and hunters, and quite possibly magical in nature, into a comical caricature. No wonder the term, when used in a political context, has a bitter taste today. The Islanders, however, clearly regard this as a pleasurable dance, probably about birds, and 'Knock Jim Crow' with enthusiasm and alacrity." --Step It Down [Source: Step It Down book]
:: Collection :: Bessie Jones 1961-1962

 

 

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