A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 16 October 1880

A hundred years ago, The Matawan Journal often contained stylized transcripts of exchanges between African Americans meant to amuse a mostly white readership. These minstrel show pieces were very popular from the late 1840s, eventually becoming part of vaudeville in the early 1880s. Blackface emerged from this form of the arts now considered grossly racist.

Here's an example from page 4 of the 16 October 1880 edition.

A Colloquy -- "Who flung dat mud at me, Sam Jones?"
                        "Flung at who?"
                        "Why at me, you stupid Hancock ape."
                        "Look heah, Jim Garfish, you'd better shut up about flinging mud. Ef you'd just keep out of dat rotten wooden pavement hole, dare would have been no casion to try to white-wash yourself now. Dat am a fixed fact, sab."


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