Chapter One is an assessment, over time, of those commentators who have shaped the record of the past on this subject. As the collection of accounts grew in number during my research, I was taken by the almost eccentric array of whites—American and European, women and men—who found African American culture interesting enough to write about it, notate its music, or make drawings. I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the viewers and the viewed, particularly in the realm of cultural difference. Taking into account the lack of understanding on the part of the white observer witnessing black culture, a deficit that they often readily admitted, I believe that it is important to begin with a discussion of this group.