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Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery. Prof Joe Ciolino Letter for Al Jolson Way. A defense in support of Community Board 5 recommendation for RE-NAMING PART OF BROADWAY IN HONOR OF AL JOLSON Written for His Honorable Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Presented by Joseph Ciolino, Asst. Professor, NYU; Lecturer Music History, New School University. Your Honorable Mayor: In my capacity as teacher of young people, and, having myself been taught the importance of stimulating and nourishing respect for history and persons of importance and influence, I am writing this “defense” in support of the above-referenced recommendation.

I sincerely believe that this honor is long overdue, and that it would be a powerful dynamic in the perpetration of the great legend and prominence of the Broadway stage, and in New York’s unsurpassed status in show business history. Thus, In the lore and legend of American show business there has been no person, personality, or entertainer, of the magnitude or impact of Al Jolson. Jolson was the unanimous king of Broadway for close to thirty years. Digital History. Slavery in the United States. Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of chattel slavery that existed in the United States of America in the 17th to 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British North America from early colonial days, and was recognized in the Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

When the United States was founded, even though some free persons of color were present, the status of slave was largely limited to those of African descent, creating a system and legacy in which race played an influential role. After the Revolutionary War, abolitionist sentiment gradually spread in the Northern states, while the rapid expansion of the cotton industry from 1800 led to the Southern states strongly identifying with slavery, and attempting to extend it into the new Western territories. The United States was polarized by slavery into slave and free states along the Mason-Dixon Line, which separated Maryland (slave) and Pennsylvania (free). Atlantic slave trade. The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade took place across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th through to the 19th centuries.

The vast majority of those enslaved that were transported to the New World were West Africans from the central and western parts of the continent, sold by West Africans to Western European slave traders, or by direct European capture to the Americas. The numbers were so great that Africans who came by way of the slave trade became the most numerous Old-World immigrants in both North and South America before the late 18th century.[1] Far more slaves were taken to South America than to the north. The South Atlantic economic system centered on producing commodity crops, and making goods and clothing to sell in Europe, and increasing the numbers of African slaves brought to the New World. This was crucial to those Western European countries which, in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.[2] Al Jolson—The Greatest Entertainer of the First Half of the 20th Century.

Record keeping was hit and miss and life perilous in Jewish village of Srednik near Kaunas in Lithuania, then part of Tsarist Russia around 1886 so Asa Yoelson was never sure about his birthday. Years later he would pick May 26 out of a hat to serve and it has been dutifully reported by biographers ever since. He was the son of a Rabbi and Canter and had three surviving siblings including a brother Hirsh. His father Moses immigrated to the United States in 1891 and was able to send for his family when he found employment at Washington, D.C.’s Talmud Torah Synagogue in 1894.

Asa and Hirsh became fascinated with American music and show business hanging out on streets outside taverns and music halls. By 1897 they were performing for spare change on the sidewalks. In 1902 Asa launched a paying career as a singing usher in a traveling circus. Soon after he teamed of with Hirsh and working as Al and Harry Jolson were doing specialties on the burlesque stage. Jolson was back in the big time. How Many Slaves Landed in the U.S.? | The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.

Perhaps you, like me, were raised essentially to think of the slave experience primarily in terms of our black ancestors here in the United States. In other words, slavery was primarily about us, right, from Crispus Attucks and Phillis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker and Richard Allen, all the way to Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass. Think of this as an instance of what we might think of as African-American exceptionalism. (In other words, if it’s in “the black Experience,” it’s got to be about black Americans.)

Well, think again. The most comprehensive analysis of shipping records over the course of the slave trade is the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, edited by professors David Eltis and David Richardson. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Diagram of a slave ship from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1790-1 (Public Domain) May 26: Al Jolson | Jewish Currents. Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson), American’s most famous entertainer in the 1930s and the star of the first full-length talking movie, The Jazz Singer (1927), was born in Lithuania on this date in 1886 (he actually did not know his date of birth but selected May 26th). He came to the U.S. in 1894 and lost his mother shortly after. By 1902, he was a circus and burlesque singer; between 1911 and his retirement from the stage in 1926, he starred in a series of smash hits on Broadway, including George Gershwin’s Swanee.

Jolson was a hammy, high-energy performer, and worked regularly in blackface — which many today view as racist and ridiculous — but Jolson insisted that it symbolized his identification with African-American suffering and music. The Amsterdam News in Harlem called The Jazz Singer, in which he sang several songs in blackface, as “one of the greatest pictures ever produced . . .

Main/Blackface. Al Jolson - Biography. Al Jolson - Jew - Entertainment - Jew Watch News. Al Jolson Name -Asa Yoelson Al Jolson was a Jewish singer, comedian, and actor. In Al Jolson's heyday, Al Jolson was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer".[1] Al Jolson's performing style was brash and extroverted, and Al Jolson popularized a large number of songs that benefited from Al Jolson's "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach".[2] Al Jolson was born on May 26, 1886. Al Jolson died on October 23, 1950. Numerous well-known singers were influenced by Al Jolson's music, including Bing Crosby[3] Judy Garland, rock and country entertainer Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bob Dylan, who once referred to him as "somebody whose life I can feel".[4] Broadway critic Gilbert Seldes compared him to "the Greek God Pan", claiming that Jolson represented "the concentration of our national health and gaiety According to the St.

Al Jolson enjoyed performing in blackface makeup—a theatrical convention since the mid-19th century. Early life Al Jolson, circa 1916 Stage performer Burlesque and vaudeville. What-would-mammy-say-actor-to-play-al-jolson-without-blacking-up-1625970. The decision not to include a full blackface scene in Jolson & Co – the Musical at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh next month is likely to invoke allegations of over-the-top political correctness. The production embarks on a UK tour after the Edinburgh run. The UK spokesman for the International Al Jolson Society, Reg Reeves, said it was best to leave out a full blackface scene. “There was no problem at all when Jolson was performing. It was only afterwards. But we live in an age of political correctness where people seem to get upset about most things.” The show’s producer, Michael Harrison, defended his decision to make the show’s star, Allan Stewart, perform without the black make-up. “The important point is that blackface is not ignored within the show.

An Equity spokesman, Paul Brown, said the union opposed the use of blackface but the Jolson show was “one of the very limited times when we might not actively object”. Al Jolson: Star of the Golden Age. Al Jolson - Judaica Sound Archives. Born: March 26, 1886 (?) In Srednike (Jewish village in Lithuanian region of Imperial Russia) Died: October 23. 1950 in San Francisco of a heart attack Original Name: Asa Yoelson Known as: The World’s Greatest Entertainer Claim to Fame: Starred in The Jazz Singer, the first commercially successful talking motion picture (1927).

Marriages: Henrietta Keller (1907-1918), Ethel Delmar (1922-1926), Ruby Keeler (1928-1939), Erle Galbraith (1945-1950) This vintage collection of songs originally recorded by Al Jolson on 78 rpm discs between 1911 and 1919 was digitized and compiled by The Judaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University Libraries. It is a miracle of life that even from difficult and humble beginnings magnificent things can grow.

At the age of 4 young Asa Yoelson’s father became a rabbi and left the old country to find a better life. Young Asa soon became known as Al and his older brother Hirsh became Harry. His 1911 rendition of George M. Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer - Neatorama. Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. Ask most movie fans. "What was the first 'talkie'? " and the most frequent reply has always been The Jazz Singer (1927) starring Al Jolson. This is a "sort of" correct answer, but not really.

The earliest sound movies were made by synchronizing motion pictures to phonograph records. Warner Brothers also released the first actual all-talking, feature-length motion picture in 1928. The Jazz Singer was actually a silent movie with poorly synchronized musical numbers and a few sentences of spoken words. Many current movie fans are familiar, at least somewhat, with Jolson and his show business legacy, but he had few current-day fans. Jolson didn't always use blackface in his act, but because most people of today only know him by The Jazz Singer, his reputation today is that of, while maybe not racist, still, a symbol of a very backward time.

Is it racist listening to Al Jolson? Al Jolson. From New World Encyclopedia Asa "Al Jolson" Yoelson (May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an acclaimed American singer and actor whose career lasted from 1911 until his death in 1950. He was one of the most popular entertainers of the twentieth century whose influence extended to other popular performers, including Bing Crosby and Eddie Fisher.

Jolson is best known today for his appearance in one of the first "talkies," The Jazz Singer, the first feature film with sound to enjoy wide commercial success, in 1927. Performing the song "Mammy" in blackface, Jolson ad-libbed his signature catchphrase, "You ain't heard nothing yet! " Along with being one of the supreme performers of the vaudeville stage, Jolson was also the first musical artist to sell over 10 million records. Early life and career Jolson was born in Seredzius, Lithuania, as Asa Yoelson.

By 1911 he had parlayed a supporting appearance in the Broadway musical, La Belle Paree, into a starring role. The Jolson Story Death Legacy. Why is blackface racially, socially and politically incorrect? The act of applying blackface has been a volatile issue since, in the early 1800s, white performers began rubbing burnt cork on their face during minstrel shows to portray African-Americans in a negative way. During the early part of the 20th century, more and more Caucasian actors blackened their faces to become African-Americans on the stage, in the movies and on TV. Due to the civil rights movement, the advancement African-Americans have made and the derogatory connotations associated with blackface, it was deemed inappropriate. The incidents of the use of blackface have sharply decreased, and any use is seen as a racial slur. The roots of blackface are seeped in ugly racial stereotypes; however, recently, many college campuses around the United State have found a new use for it: as a Halloween costume, a joke, a prank.

The history behind this make-up causes these actions to be deemed socially unacceptable and consequent action to be taken. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Al Jolson Wasn’t Racist! Was Al Jolson 'Bamboozled'? PALM SPRINGS — On a recent Saturday afternoon, while patrons at the Starbucks on Palm Canyon Drive sipped cappuccinos, across the street a crowd stood listening to a man who's been dead for 50 years. "If my song can reach your shoes and start you tappin' your feet, I'm happy," warbled Al Jolson on a CD player.

The 70-odd fans who had gathered to witness Jolson's name placed in the city's "Walk of Stars" looked pretty happy too. As the ceremony got underway, there were speeches by members of the International Al Jolson Society (sponsors of the event), a proclamation read by the city's mayor pro tem, and a spirited impression of the "mammy singer" by performer Richard Halpern. Fans came from around the U.S. and even England where a hit show about Jolson played the West End in 1995. Using black actors in blackface of burnt cork, he casts them as Rastus, Sambo, Aunt Jemima and other archetypally offensive stereotypes. "Bamboozled" opened to tepid box-office returns and mixed reviews. Mobile.thegrio. #218. Al Jolson | Stuff Black People Don't Like 2.0. #218. Al Jolson Al Jolson might not be a household name anymore, but at one point in American history, he was the most popular comedian in the nation.

The openly Jewish comedian, who had numerous hit-songs, was also a major proponent of Black-face comedy – the art of a White comedian donning Black paint on his face to give the impression he was a Black person – and is fondly remembered for his performances while appearing blackened in the face. Born Asa Yoelson, Jolson was instrumental in bringing Black musicians and entertainers into mainstream White America – remember, up until 1964, the United States was 90 percent White – at a time most White people were reluctant to listen to “darkies” sing. The problem is that Black people view anyone who wears Black face now, as a vehement racist and a deplorable person.

Wearing Black face is a cardinal sin, punishable only by ostracism and, potentially flogging. So to Black people, Al Jolson is a notorious racist. Like this: Like Loading... Was Jolson's persona racist? From: David P. Hayes Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films Date: Thursday, April 02, 1998 3:12 PM Last night, just before and just after TCM ran the 1927 version of "The Jazz Singer," when Robert Osborne delivered his remarks about the landmark Al Jolson picture, he said nothing about Jolson's blackface appearances during the film.

This is in stark contrast to his remarks about the film last year, at the time the film was shown on the 70th anniversary of its premiere on October 6, 1997; at that time, Osborne devoted airtime to statements of blackface being an unfortunate part of the earlier era of showbiz. (That same month, TCM's website had scholarly articles about "The Jazz Singer"; they diminished the positive words for this first-of-its-kind film by inveighing against its alleged stereotypes.) It has seemingly become mandatory for the popular media of today to accompany any reference to blackface performances with denunciations of the racism allegedly inherent in the tradition. And: Al Jolson: A Megastar Long Buried Under a Layer of Blackface- Page 3. Blackface! - The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes. TIL Al Jolson famous for performing in blackface was the only white man who was allowed into the all-black nightclubs in Harlem. The reason being that he helped many black people succeed in the music business and fought against racial discrimination. : to.

After 60 years Al Jolson mimic is banned from blacking up.