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Melvin Patrick Ely
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The First Edition
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Forty million Americans indulged in a national obsession in 1930: they eagerly tuned in Amos 'n' Andy, the nightly radio comedy in which a pair of white actors portrayed the adventures of two black men making a new life in the big city. Meanwhile, some angry African Americans demanded that Amos 'n' Andy be banned, even as others gathered in the barbershops and radio stores of Harlem to chuckle over the adventures of Amos, Andy, and the Kingfish.
Melvin Patrick Ely unveils a fascinating tale of America's shifting color line, in which two professional directors of blackface minstrel shows manage to produce a series so rich and complex that it wins admirers ranging from ultra-racists to outspoken racial egalitarians. Eventually, the pair stir further controversy when they bring their show to television.
In a preface written especially for this new edition of his acclaimed classic, Ely shows how white and black responses to his Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy since 1991 tell a revealing story of their own about racial hopes and fears at the turn of the twenty-first century.
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