The picture below is from a performance of “Jim Crow” by T.D. Rice
My goal for next week through May 2 is to write 2000 words mostly on Rice with my main points being that:
- Rice engaged in a cannibilistic consumption of folklore, dance, and other elements of 19th century black culture to create “Jim Crow; ”
- In the process, Rice re-shaped black culture into a fantasy of blackness that addressed the heightened cultural needs of white laboring men during early industrialization.
- Beginning with Rice, fantasies of blackness became a bedrock element in white popular culture and white identity.
Because I’m retired, have health problems, and am obligated to do much of the housework, I have trouble organizing my time. But that’s nothing compared to the mental health problems I experience while writing. Some sort of early trauma is always triggered while I’m writing and I’m not sure what it is because my infants brain surgery, abusive father, and mother going through 5 childbirths in six years provided so much identifiable trauma. I also feel that all my memories of these things are being reconfigured in terms of the traumas being inflicted on black people as the enjoyment of black suffering became crucial to white identity and cultural practice.
More observations on the picture of Rice as “JIm Crow” tomorrow.