minstrel show


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minstrel show,

stage entertainment by white performers made up as blacks. Thomas Dartmouth Rice, who gave (c.1828) the first solo performance in blackface and introduced the song-and-dance act Jim Crow, is called the "father of American minstrelsy." The first public performance of a minstrel show was given in 1843 by the Virginia Minstrels, headed by Daniel Decatur Emmett. Christy's Minstrels (for whom Stephen FosterFoster, Stephen Collins,
1826–64, American songwriter and composer, b. Lawrenceville, Pa. His pioneer family was aware of his talent for music, but not understanding it they provided him with little formal musical education.
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 wrote some of his most popular songs) appeared in 1846, headed by Edwin P. ChristyChristy, Edwin P.,
1815–62, American showman, b. Philadelphia. He established c.1846 in Buffalo, N.Y., a company of minstrels that came to be known as Christy's Minstrels.
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. In the first part of the minstrel show the company, in blackface and gaudy costumes, paraded to chairs placed in a semicircle on the stage. The interlocutor then cracked jokes with the end men, and, for a finale, the company passed in review in the "walk around." This part of the minstrel show caricatured the black man, representing him by grotesque stereotypes that were retained in the minds of white American audiences for many decades. In the second part of the show vaudeville or olio (medley) acts were presented. The third or afterpart was a burlesque on a play or an opera. The minstrel show was at its peak from 1850 to 1870 but passed with the coming of vaudeville, motion pictures, and radio.

Bibliography

See C. Wittke, Tambo and Bones: A History of the American Minstrel Stage (1930, repr. 1968).

minstrel show

a theatrical entertainment consisting of songs, dances, comic turns, etc., performed by a troupe of actors wearing black face make-up
References in periodicals archive ?
Henry Church in New Orleans hosted a minstrel show as an annual parish fundraiser during the 1940s and 1950s.
That was an offence what [Davies] did and painting your face black and singing that song - it's something they sing in the Black and White Minstrel Show and it's a racist show."
Davies denied focusing on and making a beeline for Miss Dayley and said he did not agree the Black and White Minstrel show "mocked" black people, saying: "I just thought it was a show with songs and dance."
Douglass was appalled by the damage done to public perception of the Afro-American by such minstrel shows and their spin-offs.
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I grew up with the Black and White Minstrel Show on TV, which attracted an audience of 18 million.
industrialization, minstrel show. The wars abroad were over, but the
The Scottsboro Boys is not a minstrel show. The creators have taken the minstrelsy idea and turned it upside down in a manner so drenched in irony that it ultimately empowers and ennobles the performers.
For logistical reasons, 'The stump-speech [has to] occupy the time necessary to get the stage ready for the play', the main performance (such as Plantation Bitters) that follows the minstrel show. The speech should, according to the stage directions, be delivered with great care; the speaker 'should make herself as ridiculous as possible', but she should 'enter the hall by the outer door and pass up through the audience' (p.
"By screening this film, the organizers are sanctioning the racism it contains, and subjecting new audiences (including children and Asian-Americans) to a minstrel show of racist ideology," wrote Ursula Liang, a Bronx woman who organized an online petition last week that has gathered more than 200 signatures.
IT was an age before anyone had ever heard of political correctness, but back in the late 1950s Al Jolson was still a star despite his last film appearing in 1949 and was often portrayed on BBC television's Black and White Minstrel Show. So in the 1950s and early 1960s when Al Wales from Acklam, Middlesbrough would put on his make-up and appear at local clubs as the famous American singer, he went down a storm.
But for "The Scottsboro Boys" there's a catch: The production is presented as a minstrel show. And marketers are finding that with "Scottsboro," it's not enough simply to reach out to African-American auds.