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Darkest America


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About the Author

Yuval Taylor, senior editor at Chicago Review Press, is the coauthor of Faking It and the editor of I Was Born a Slave. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Jake Austen is the editor of Roctober magazine, He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


"[A] fascinating and authoritative critical history that traces the roots of minstrelsy back to Africa and the Civil War era... Whatever your perspective on the sensitive issues it raises, Darkest America is a thoughtful and well-written exploration of themes that cut to the heart of our national identity and culture." -- Reed Johnson - Los Angeles Times
"While the authors acknowledge the appalling truth about minstrelsy, its carefree trafficking in vicious stereotype, they also successfully suggest that we've averted our eyes too quickly... Darkest America contains delicious twists... [and] carries a truth so heavy it trumps race." -- Preston Lauterbach - Wall Street Journal
"In the long, powerful title chapter, [the authors] tell a story absent from the many minstrelsy studies to arrive since Robert Toll's Blacking Up in 1974.... Their polemic is convincing." -- Robert Christgau - Barnes and Noble Review
"Exciting... convincing... entertaining and well-paced... rich in detail." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"A comprehensive history and critique of black minstrelsy.... This well-informed work deepens our understanding of a lasting element of American culture." -- Publishers Weekly
"Starred review. A provocative, compelling exploration of one of the most controversial elements of the black entertainment world... An innovative, marvelous book about comedy, stereotypes and the struggle to steer through the sometimes-fierce internal debates over African-American identity in a society still struggling with its racial past." -- Kirkus Reviews
"[This] illuminating book demonstrates serious regard for the history of black performance and... encourages further exploration. It will interest both general readers and specialists in black entertainment." -- Library Journal

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