I'm about to carve a new Jim Crow and I was going to ask on here if anyone has pictured of theirs as I'm wondering exactly how to paint him. But first I did a little Internet research and discovered the following:
Taken from: http://www.swisseduc.ch/english/resourc ... .html#name
"Come listen all you galls and boys,
I'm going to sing a little song,
My name is Jim Crow.
Weel about and turn about and do jis so,
Eb'ry time I weel about I jump Jim Crow."
These words are from the song, "Jim Crow," as it appeared in sheet music written by Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice… in 1828 Rice appeared on stage as "Jim Crow" -- an exaggerated, highly stereotypical Black character.
Rice, a White man, was one of the first performers to wear blackface makeup -- his skin was darkened with burnt cork. His Jim Crow song-and-dance routine was an astounding success that took him from Louisville to Cincinnati to Pittsburg to Philadelphia and finally to New York in 1832…White audiences were receptive to the portrayals of Blacks as singing, dancing, grinning fools.
By 1838, the term "Jim Crow" was being used as a collective racial epithet for Blacks, not as offensive as nigger, but as offensive as coon or darkie… the popularity of minstrel shows aided the spread of Jim Crow as a racial slur.
Rice, and his imitators, by their stereotypical depictions of Blacks, helped to popularize the belief that Blacks were lazy, stupid, inherently less human, and unworthy of integration... Ironically, years later when Blacks replaced White minstrels, the Blacks also "blackened" their faces, thereby pretending to be Whites pretending to be Blacks.
Daddy Rice, the original Jim Crow, became rich and famous because of his skills as a minstrel. However, he lived an extravagant lifestyle, and when he died in New York on September 19, 1860, he was in poverty.
My current, admittedly rather crude, Jim Crow:
Now I've never intended my Jim Crow routine to be a racial slur. In fact, the kids love him as he talks directly to them more than any other character. But since reading the above I'm having second thoughts about including him at all. And if I do, how should I depict him and, given the historical background, should I be changing his name? Having said that, we use the word Squaw to depict an American Indian's wife yet, literally translated, it is about the most misogynistic term one can use for a woman – then and now.