I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

This song has roots in oppression.

“Dinah” is a caricature of the African American “Mammy.” “ ..these caricatures were used to defend and romanticize slavery, and the characters were never shown as particularly smart or able to function well outside their role as domestic servants, as they neglected their own rowdy families. After slavery, these stereotypes encouraged employers to restrict African Americans to low-income drudgery work.” (source)

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