Mummers Anthem Was Composed By a Black Guy

Well this complicates the whole blackface conversation.

So it turns out the Mummers unofficial anthem, “Oh Dem Golden Slippers,” was composed in 1879 by a black Philadelphian who went by the name of James A. Bland.

In his time, Bland was a popular songwriter and minstrel performer. “The people who were performing as Mummers in the parade, they grew up listening to this music,” said Charles Carson, professor of musicology at the University of Texas in Austin.

So maybe all those blackface troupes were just “honoring” African-Americans all this time! Or, um, not. [Newsworks]

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  • Byron C Mayes

    Given the longevity and relative popularity of the song — it’s not just known/used by Mummers — I’m actually more surprised that this is “news” today in 2014.