Performers and Programs

Program Information

Program name: The Black America Show: The Plantation Comes to Brooklyn
Program category: History
Multicultural- Other
Program length: 60 minutes
Audience level: All ages
Audience size: 10-100
Program description: After exposing the public to a huckstered version of life in the West--via his Wild West Show--Nate Salsbury initiated a new production in 1895 called Black America. Black America set out not merely to entertain, but to educate the public about the lives blacks had led in the antebellum south. Though the show included some acts that were not typical elements of plantation life--juggling, tight-rope walking, and drills by black cavalry troops--it also featured a village with over 100 cabins where blacks portrayed activities such as picking cotton, operating cotton gins, itinerant preaching, and socializing. Among the singing and dancing performances were examples of black culture that had developed under slavery, as well as newer creations. Show business considerations, as well as stereotypical thinking, resulted in the inclusion of minstrel songs, cakewalks, and tap dancing, but Salsbury's original purpose for creating the show was largely one of public education, and the Black America Show was less exploitative than other contemporary productions. It gave many African-Americans a foot in the door for careers in show business, and increased public awareness of their many skills and talents. Black America had runs in Brooklyn and several other U.S. cities.
Space/special requirements:
Travel restrictions:
Program fee: Up to $100
Is this fee negotiable? Yes
Mileage included? No
If no, cost per mile: $0.50
Notes about the fee: No travel expenses charged for venues in the Albany/Saratoga/Glens Falls area. Fee is flexible. Contact me.
Other notes: Mr. Fiske is the author of Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery.
Regions this program
can be performed in:
Western
Rochester
Central
South Central
Capital District
North Country
Metro
Southeastern
Long Island
Program last updated: 06/06/2017
   
Performer Information (see all of this performer's programs)
Performer name: David Fiske
Phone: 518-577-4997
Mailing address:
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
E-mail address: info@fiskeresearch.com
Website: http://fiskeresearch.com
   
Previous appearances at: New York State Library, Schenectady County Public Library, Saratoga Springs History Museum, Solomon Northup Day, Saratoga Springs, Rensselaerville Festival of Writers
Contact information for New York State Public Libraries
Performer information last updated: 06/06/2017

 

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