The theory that Daniel Emmett learned “Dixie” from the Snowdens, a family of African American performers from Ohio, is explored in this book. But the Sacks are interested in far more than just this question. This interesting volume is more concerned with the relationship between “white” and “black” music and the influence of black musicians on minstrelsy.
Lott explores the enormously popular practice of blackface minstrelsy and the questions it raises. Why were white working class audiences so fascinated with black expressions, language, and appearance? Were they drawn to the genre by admiration or contempt?