African American Theatre
Although the black performing arts population had to take the road of survival to gain self satisfaction in the theater, it was not painless. For a long time, black people were not allowed on the stage; instead black actors were mocked by white actors in "black face." Black face was a technique where white actors would physically cover their face with black paint and act as a black character. It was from this misrepresentation of the "black actor" that the names tom, coon, mulatto, mammy and buck derived. According to Donald Bogle, none of the types were meant to do great harm, although at various times individual ones did. He proceeds to say, that they were all merely filmic reproductions of black stereotypes that had existed since the days of slavery and were already popularized in American life and arts (4-9).
The Tom ' represented the African-American who was badgered and
Bibliography: Bogle, Donald. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Buck. New York: The Viking asdfffPress, 1973. 4-18 and 41. Jones, G W. Black Cinema Treasures Lost and Found. Denton: University of North Texas asdfffP, 1991. 129. Lewis Jon. The New American Cinema. Durham and London: Duke University Press, asdfff1998. 47-50. Macrae, Suzanne H. "Black African American Cinema." African American Review asdfff (1997). Rogin, Michael. Blackface, White Noise. Berkely: University of California Press, 1990. asdfff41 and 76-77.