Thomas D. Rice Photo

Thomas D. Rice

Born: May 20, 1808

Death: Sep 19, 1860

Birthplace: New York City

Nationality: United States

Thomas D. Rice

Date of Birth : May 20, 1808
Date of Death : Sep 19, 1860
Birth Place : New York City

Thomas Dartmouth Rice was an American performer and playwright who appropriated African-American vernacular speech, song, and dance to become one of the most popular minstrel show entertainers of his time. He is considered the "father of American minstrelsy". Though his act drew on aspects of African American culture and popularized them with a national, and later international, audience, Rice’s “Jim Crow" persona was a racial caricature contrived to flatter contemporary belief in white superiority. The character was based on a folk trickster named Jim Crow that was long popular among black slaves. Rice also adapted and popularized a traditional slave song called "Jump Jim Crow".

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  • Thomas Rice
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