Second in a series of reposts from the always insightful History is Made at Night blog. This entry deals with one of my abiding interests as a scholar, how boundaries of race are maintained, negotiated and challenged in popular culture. It also highlights the power of a “fictional” writing approach to capture the truth of a “non-fictional” events.
Dancing in the Dark (2005) by Caryl Phillips is a fictionalised account of the life of Bert Williams (1874-1922), a Bahamas-born performer who became famous on the American stage in the era when black actors were expected to wear ‘blackface’ to conform to white audience’s expectations. (to read more)