The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

More Jack Johnson

Chez Geitner Simmons: stuff on the Jim Jeffries fight and lots of other good things.

(He works in a quote from C Vann Woodward's The Strange Death of Jim Crow which deals with, inter alia, the perplexing business of enforcing Jim Crow in respect of passengers in flight. Which I'd not considered before, but I'm pretty sure had keen Southern minds burning the midnight oil.

Woodward says
No Jim Crow law has been found that applies to passengers while they are in the air.
which I think is a bit of a gyp!)

When Johnson entered the ring, a brass band played and some twenty thousand rabidly partisan Jeffries fans sang the popular hit "All Coons Look Alike to Me."

I mentioned the song (by Negro blackface performer Ernest Hogan) before, I think, as being one of the first sold to a publisher in exchange for royalties rather than cash down. (Still haven't managed to stand that up online!)

A page on popular song of the time points out that the meaning of the song is utterly different from, for example, that apparently assumed by the Jeffries crowd:
The song tells of a black woman named Lucy Janey Stubbles who, attracted to a new black barber in town, casts off a boyfriend, telling him that she has no eyes for any other man. She is attracted only to the new man. In other words, all other men "look alike" to her, with all men looking essentially the same insofar as the woman is not interested in them.

It's not a reading of the title (essentially out of context) that I would have picked in a million years.

The sheet music is on the Library of Congress site. The cover with its contrasting caricatures is intended, no doubt, to illustrate the depth of the girl's infatuation. Oh, yes...

Jackson was last mentioned here on February 29 in connection with the miscegenation amendment proposed in 1912 by Rep Seaborn Roddenbery (not Roddenberry).

(From a cursory re-look, I can see nothing more of substance on the amendment, or Roddenbery, online.)

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