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Howard Jones Minstrel Shows - ever seen one? (26) RE: Minstrel Shows - ever seen one? 04 Dec 20


The Black and White Minstrel Show didn't reproduce the traditional minstrel show as described in several of the previous posts. It was a fairly standard TV variety show of its time, although with a tendency to favour Stephen Foster material alongside more modern popular (but not "pop") songs. The men were all blacked up but were accompanied by white female singers and dancers. Like the others, there was no malice in it and I think it was seen as a bit of nostalgia, most of its target audience would have seen minstrel shows in their youth. It was hugely popular and a lot of people, including the performers, were surprised and upset that people could be offended by it.

As a child, it never occurred to me that they might represent actual black people, the stylised make-up and costumes more resembled golliwogs, which I also never dreamed were meant to be black people and not simply toys. However there weren't many black people around then.


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