A dance developed by emancipated slaves in the South who imitated their former owners’ ballroom dance styles; couples competed to show off their style and the winners would receive a cake or some other extravagant prize. It soon became an event of its own, and eventually it in turn became a target for imitation by whites, often in blackface minstrel shows.
Cake-Walk Term Timeline in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
The timeline below shows where the term Cake-Walk appears in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.