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By Karen Sotiropoulos

Staging Race casts a focus at the iteration of black artists who got here of age among 1890 and international battle I in an period of Jim Crow segregation and heightened racial tensions. As public leisure improved via vaudeville, minstrel exhibits, and world's gala's, black performers, just like the degree duo of Bert Williams and George Walker, used the conventions of blackface to seem in entrance of, and attract, white audiences. whilst, they communicated a leitmotif of black cultural humor and political remark to the black audiences segregated in balcony seats. With ingenuity and innovation, they enacted racial stereotypes onstage whereas hoping to unmask the fictions that upheld them offstage.

Drawing broadly on black newspapers and remark of the interval, Karen Sotiropoulos indicates how black performers and composers participated in a politically charged debate in regards to the function of the expressive arts within the fight for equality. regardless of the racial violence, disenfranchisement, and the segregation of almost all public area, they used America's new companies of well known leisure as automobiles for his or her personal creativity and as spheres for political engagement.

the tale of the way African americans entered the degree door and remodeled pop culture is a mostly untold tale. even if eventually not able to erase racist stereotypes, those pioneering artists introduced black song and dance into America's mainstream and helped to spur racial development.

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