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Friday, February 8, 2013

African American History Month: Nebuchadnezzar Whoa, Sah! c1870s

WARNING: The below 19th century strip contains racist imagery and language.

Continuing our African American History Month coverage, we present the circa 1870s fold-out comic strip Nebuchadnezzar Whoa, Sah!, published for Crescent Tobacco, by C.A. Jackson & Co. This giveaway comic, is one of many published in the 19th Century. While all types of products used such racist images to sell their goods, tobacco (and soap) companies could be particularly vile (we’ll see one of the worst examples I own, later this month). The story appearing here, is either ripped off from the 1873 popular humorous illustrated prose novel “Fred Douglass and His Mule”, by Bricktop; or possibly, both stories derive from a yet earlier tale (I don’t know). Both are likely inspired as parodies on the (very brief) Reconstruction-period policy of providing “40 acres and a mule” to freed slaves.

I would normally say “Enjoy!” at this point. But instead, I’ll just say, here’s the kind of material advertisers in the 1870′s used to sell their product.

Doug Wheeler

BlackHistory AdvertisingStrips


Doug

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