On Jo Baker & Scott Joplin battling Blackface in the Classroom

Mar 11, 2014
“Pampi, what a show! … You really captured the sprightly spirit of Ms. Josephine. You did an awesome job. Also, your comments about the performance were intriguing. This week, my literature class read Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal.” I talked to them about the origin of Jim Crow and showed them a film clip of a man in black face dancing to “Jump Jim Crow” in a minstrel show. I am working your video into my lesson plan for tomorrow, as we will discuss entertainment during that era.”
Mar 21, 2014
“Hi Pampi. … I did show your performance to my literature class. I also read them your thoughts on blackface. It was quite powerful because we had discussed Jim Crow and the Harlem Renaissance. Slavery and the Jim Crow era are still touchy subjects in the South. Your point that blackface comes in all colors was a critical part of our discussion. Again, thanks for sharing and for helping to make a sensitive subject more palatable for some down here in the former Confederacy. I sure hope that you consider writing more about blackface for publication.”

All the best,


Professor of Literature, College of Central Florida
Author of: Consider the Ravens