Jump Jim Crow  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jump Jim Crow is a song and dance from 1828 that was done in blackface by white comedian Thomas Dartmouth (T.D.) "Daddy" Rice. The first song sheet edition appeared in the early 1830s, published by E. Riley. The number was supposedly inspired by the song and dance of a crippled African in Cincinnati called Jim Cuff or Jim Crow. The song became a great 19th century hit and Rice performed all over the country as Daddy Jim Crow.

Jump Jim Crow was a key initial step in a tradition of popular music in the United States that was based on the mockery of African-Americans. A couple of decades would see the mockery genre explode in popularity with the rise of the minstrel show. It was also the initial step in the still extant tradition in popular music of incorporating African styles and subject matter.

The tune became very well known not only in the United States but internationally; in 1841 the USA ambassador to Central America, John Lloyd Stephens, wrote that upon his arrival in Mérida, Yucatán, the local brass band played "Jump Jim Crow" under the mistaken impression that it was the USA's national anthem.

With time Jim Crow became a term often used to refer to African-Americans, and from this the laws of racial segregation became known as Jim Crow laws.

The expression to jump Jim Crow came to mean "to act like a stereotyped stage caricature of a black person". See Uncle Tom.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jump Jim Crow" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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