Sheet Music cover for "Dem Golden Slippers," words and music by James. A. Bland, originally published by Oliver Ditson Co., 1880.
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Cover illustration: engraving of Afro-American couple shaking hands in front of a cabin. The man carries a satchel.

Credit: Library of Congress

Written by James Bland in the late 1870s, "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" celebrated the end of slavery and hope for a better future. As African American prospects dimmed after the end of Reconstruction, the song took on a new meaning and great popularity among white minstrel and variety groups performing in blackface, included generations of Philadelphia string band musicians who in the early 1900s made it the unofficial theme song of the Philadelphia's Mummer Parade.

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