"All Because His Face was Brown.." - Aspects of Racism in Bob Dylan's Early Lyrics

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 36 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (Institut fur Anglistik), course: Proseminar "Pop and Poetry," 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: The term paper at hand discusses different conceptions of racism as found in two of Bob Dylan's early songs, namely "Oxford Town" and "Only a Pawn in Their Game." It also contains in-depth analyses of the songs' lyrics., abstract: Few phenomena shook and transformed the American public in the 20th century like the one labelled "White racism" by American sociologist Joe R. Feagin in his 1995 book White racism: the basics. Since the 1890s, racial relations in the United States had become worse. During the early decades of the century, lynchings of black Americans, most of them occurring in the South, sometimes averaged 150 a year, with many cases going unreported.1 In addition to these terrible outbursts of violence, virtually all blacks had to deal with "everyday discrimination" when it came to employment, housing, education and other sectors of daily life. This racist segregation was sanctioned in most cases by legislation. Towards the middle of the century, the situation for Americans of African descent seemed to get better as a number of those so-called "Jim Crow laws," statutes aimed at segregating blacks and nicknamed after a stereotypical black character of 19th century minstrel shows, were repealed. As the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other Civil Rights groups slowly made progress, racism more and more entered the consciousness of the general public. In the United States, Racism, especially "White Racism" directed toward blacks, had always been the subject of "literature proper," be it prosaic or poetic in nature (Harriet Beecher Stowe and Phyllis Wheatley come to mind as prime exponents of both divisions). It had also been treated extensively in (black) popular song, a"

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