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Thomas Rice
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    (May 20, 1808-September 19, 1860)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Performer, playwright and minstrel show entertainer
    Created the character Jim Crow by performing in blackface and using African American vernacular speech, song and dance in his act
    His character's namesake used to describe U.S. segregation, known as Jim Crow laws
    Heavy drinking starting in 1840 lead to gradual partial paralysis and eventual death at age 52
    His middle name was Dartmouth.
    He was a high school drop-out.
    He made a lot of money using blatant racial stereotype performances.
    Dressing in rags, battered hat and torn shoes, he became a smooth talking African American field hand who sang, 'Turn about and wheel about, and do just so. And every time I turn about I Jump Jim Crow,' dancing in an overtly comical style.
    Once he became an in-demand blackface actor, he couldn't get work as a white performer.
    Spending all his money in later life on booze, he died broke and was buried in a pauper's grave.
    After his death blackface performances dwindled, but Jim Crow segregation laws were just beginning to take affect.
    His father was a friend of George Washington.
    He grew up in a racially integrated Manhattan neighborhood, and befriended people of both black and white races.
    From around 1832 to 1844, when his popularity was at a peak, he often performed to sold-out houses, with audiences demanding many encores.
    He married Charlotte Gladstone in 1837, but she died in 1847, and none of their children survived infancy.
    He was dead by the time Jim Crow laws took shape to create a negative impact on U.S. history.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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