Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Guidry, Justin Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04122007-113729 Title Grinning with the Devil: The Use of Humor in Race Record Advertisements Degree Master of Arts (M.A.) Department History Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Charles Shindo Committee Chair Gaines Foster Committee Member John Rodrigue Committee Member Keywords
- blues music
Date of Defense 2007-04-09 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe advertisements that appeared in black newspapers for race records in the 1920s were employed to interest the buying public in a new mode of music: the rural blues. Although blues music is characterized by its sadness and despair, these advertisements employed humor and cartoon illustrations in the advertisements. While at first thought, this method of advertising seems inappropriate, further examination of advertisersí and the publicís perceptions of blues music, as well as some of the qualities of the genre itself illuminate these elaborately drawn advertisements.
While older modes of plantation stereotyping informed the advertisers and illustrators producing the ads, many of the more racially offensive qualities associated with previous, antebellum depictions of American-Americans were eliminated because of the black publicís emergence as a consumer group. The fact that humor was still used reflects not only the stereotypes that advertisers were working with. It also demonstrates popular perceptions of the blues, which itself frequently incorporated humor and sexual imagery.
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