Blackface, White Noise: The Jewish Jazz Singer Finds His Voice

  title={Blackface, White Noise: The Jewish Jazz Singer Finds His Voice},
  author={Michael Paul Rogin},
  journal={Critical Inquiry},
  pages={417 - 453}
  • M. Rogin
  • Published 1 April 1992
  • Art, History
  • Critical Inquiry
Each transformative moment in the history of American film has founded itself on the surplus symbolic value of blacks, the power to make African Americans stand for something besides themselves. There have been four such moments. Edwin S. Porter's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903), bringing the most performed theatrical spectacle of the late nineteenth century into the movies, marked the transition from popular theater to motion pictures that characterized the prehistory of classic Hollywood cinema. The… 

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Some Intersections ofJews, Music, and Theater

  • Blues People: Negro Music in White America
  • 1963

For the link between Kol Nidre and "My Mammy," as for so much in my approach here, I am indebted to Norman Jacobson; however, he would

  • Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art
  • 1952

Is 'TheJazz Singer' Good for the Jews?" p. 31; Shaw, The Jazz Age

    and, most egregiously, the lavish 1930 Paul Whiteman film, King of Jazz. Compare also Moore, Yankee Blues. For the jazz/speech analogy, see Reed Dickerson

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    • 1926

    Adolph Zukor's desire "to kill the slum tradition in the movies" is quoted in Miriam Hansen

    • Steppin' Out: New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture
    • 1981

    King Jazz and the Jazz Kings

    • Seldes