Emerging around 1897, Ragtime followed the followed the Jazz genre leading into the 20th century. It incorporated Jazz characteristics with syncopated rhythms into mainly piano music that was occasionally accompanied by whistling. The genre was made popular for whites because of “Cakewalks”. Cakewalks where when Black people would dress as slave masters and pretending to live like them. Cakewalks eventually turned into competitions among Black people where a winner would win a cake.
Ragtime had a specific marketing scheme of degenerating typical lyrics sung in a Negro dialect. However it was not always sang by Black people; many whites dressed in Black face and performed in minstrel shows. Scott Joplin and Eubie Blake were just two of the artists that created music within the Ragtime genre. I believe that the Ragtime genre was a way for Black people to express a side of them that they were never able to show and with that, they were able to create an uplifting and historic genre.