Black History Month 2011-Day 16

Hello everyone. This is one that is not the best Black first, but it is important to note. I could not find much more information on this film, but I hope you find the information on the history of Blackface interesting.

Day 16- “The Wooing & Wedding of a Coon”

The Wooing and Wedding of a Coon is the earliest known American-made film with an all-black cast came out in 1905. A derogatory one-reel film, it presented undisguised mockery of black life and featured the first movie version of a “coon.” One of the most insulting black caricatures, the coon (a short version of raccoon) depicted the person as lazy, inarticulate, easily frightened, and a buffoon. The caricature was born during the slavery period and reflected the masters’ and overseers’ view of their slaves as “slow,” “lazy,” and “trifling.” Hollywood films as well as minstrel shows did much to extend the coon image and to lay the groundwork for movies of the 1930s and 1940s that used the image.

Source: Carney Smith, Jessie. Black Firsts: Groundbreaking Events in African American History. New York: Fall River Press, 2009.

For information on the history of Blackface look here:

http://black-face.com/

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