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Lhamon provides a superb follow-up to his outstanding Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop. This study focuses on the character of Jim Crow (a 'cultural collage') as evolved largely by actor Tomas D. Rice (1806-1860), before the meaning of the name became chiseled in stone...At the heart of the book are expertly and thoroughly edited texts of thirteen songs, nine plays (including the never-published Otello), and two street prose versions of Jim Crow's life. These, along with illustrations and a perceptive, many-layered, and lengthy analytical introduction, make for the most complete offering of primary sources and criticism available to lead readers toward an understanding of these complex texts, their coding, and the controversial figure of Jim Crow.
— D. B. Wilmeth