Ambolena Snow. An Afro-American Military Band Ballad [cover title]
Written by two white composers, this ragtime song first appeared in an illustrated newspaper supplement. For this supplement, a grotesque cover art illustration was used, based upon racist stereotypes typical of this genre.
In this sheet music edition, the gross caricature illustrations from the newspaper supplement were replaced with a graphic of an elegantly-dressed African American woman inspecting an all-Black military regiment.
The new cover art suggest that publishers S. Brainard’s Sons Co. may have believed that the song’s original and obviously racist cover art would not be acceptable to the audience they intended to market the song to.
The racist content of the lyrics, however, remained unchanged.
Description: Ambolena Snow. An Afro-American Military Band Ballad [cover title]
New York and Chicago: The S. Brainard’s Sons Co., 1896. 8pp. Folio. Illustrated. Scattered offsetting and toning; very good.