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Explicit references to blackface minstrelsy and even outright theft of its conventions occur in Eliot's better-known works. Many of Eliot's essays on poetry and drama during the 1920s look to the "primitive" arts as a model for a revitalized theater, but he never betrays that African ritual music and drama, and its deseen-dant, blackface minstrelsy, more than Greek tragedy, serves as a model. As in blackface minstrelsy, the misspellings, mispronunciations, and ungrammatical usages of the Bolo poems evince a self-consciously illiterate literariness. The Bolo poems re-rehearse the obsession with African American sexuality that blackface minstrelsy always acts out. While Bolo lyrics themselves remained suppressed, the impulse toward the disruptive masking of blackface minstrelsy conventions that they exemplified could not help but manifest itself in Eliot's most serious works. The masking poetics of blackface minstrelsy helped Eliot promulgate performative, rather than essential, aspects of racial, not to mention sexual, class, and national, identities.