shine on the titanic

Through fictional, nonfictional and folkloric accounts of the sinking of the Titanic, social and metaphorical representations of blackness and whiteness are explored.

Stimulated by my recollection of the folk poem “Shine on the Titanic” , a tall tale about a steamship's boiler room worker who follows his mind and abandons the sinking vessel by jumping in the water and swimming home, I initiated a search for documentation.

In my quest, I found that this tale is pretty well known among Black folks but hardly known by whites. Even more curious, there were no Black passengers or crew members on the Titanic! Yet, if you ask anyone in the Black community who was on the Titanic, your answer will be