Between Blackface and Bondage: The Incompletely Forgotten Failure of The Underground Railroad‘s 1879 Midwestern Tour

In 1879, nineteen-year-old Pauline Hopkins’s musical slave drama, The Underground Railroad, flopped. Reviews panned the production, suggesting the plagiaristic knock-off of Joseph Bradford’s Out of Bondage “lacked interest and was devoid of plot.” Audiences noted the lackluster performances, asserting “the company can’t sing like the Hyers sisters” (the pioneering African American sister act who had […]

Also posted in Vol. 26, No. 1 | Comments closed
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