An exhibit of material from the collection of Lewis Becker, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law. March 13, 2006 – April 28, 2006 Falvey Memorial Library Villanova University
African American Songs (Exhibit Case 9)
The bulk of printed songs dealing with African Americans in the early parts of the 19th century was mostly racist and minstrel in nature. Only the occasional poem recognized the plight of slaves.
This volume contains five individual publications: Charley Fox’s Ethiopian Songster, George Christy’s Joke Book No. 2, George Christy’s Joke Book No. 3, Charley Fox’s Bijou Songster, and The Sable Songster
Damon, S. Foster. Series of Old American Songs; Reproduced in Facsimile from Original or Early Editions in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays, Brown University.
Providence, R.I.: Brown University Library, 1936
Includes 50 separate reproductions of song sheets with brief annotations
After the Civil War there was an increase in the publication of books containing African American religious songs.
This book is considered to be the seminal collection of slave songs
Later, scholars and collectors began collecting non-religious folksongs and other African American traditional songs.