Trigger/content warning: racist language, blackface minstrelsy.
Rihanna wearing a Catholic bishop’s mitre at the gala for the Metropolitan Museum show “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”
Is this cultural appropriation? (Watch the whole thing.)
What about this?
“Oh, Susanna” is sung from the point of view of an African-American man, apparently free and wandering with a banjo from Alabama to Louisiana (in 1846!). He sings in a thick dialect that is Foster’s own invention, and the second verse, which is never sung today, contains the unforgettable line:
“Oh, Susannah” was written for a blackface minstrel troupe, the Ethiopian Serenaders.But the song used to be sung by most American schoolchildren. Here is the Canadian folk ensemble The Be Good Tanyas’ version.
What about this, more in the original context?
We’ll be discussing these things at length this semester.