The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the American Civil War, African Americans in blackface. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A variety show or variety entertainment is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts especially Musical performances and Comedy Skits and Dance (from French danser, perhaps from Frankish) is an Art form that generally refers to movement of the body usually rhythmic Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. Blackface in the narrow sense is a style of theatrical Makeup that originated in the United Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa
Minstrel shows lampooned blacks in disparaging ways: as ignorant, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, joyous, and musical. The minstrel show began with brief burlesques and comic entr'actes in the early 1830s and emerged as a full-fledged form in the next decade. Entr'acte is French for "between the acts" (German Zwischenspiel, Italian Intermezzo) By the turn of the century, the minstrel show enjoyed but a shadow of its former popularity, having been replaced for the most part by vaudeville. Vaudeville was a Genre of variety entertainment prevalent on the stage in the United States and Canada, from the early 1880s It survived as professional entertainment until about 1910; amateur performances continued until the 1950s in high schools, fraternities, and local theaters. As African Americans began to score legal and social victories against racism and to successfully assert political power, minstrelsy lost popularity.
The typical minstrel performance followed a three-act structure. The troupe first danced onto stage then exchanged wisecracks and sang songs. The second part featured a variety of entertainments, including the pun-filled stump speech. The stump speech was a comic Monologue from Blackface minstrelsy. The final act consisted of a slapstick musical plantation skit or a send-up of a popular play. Slapstick is a type of Comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense such as a character being hit in the face with Fundamentally a plantation is usually a large Farm or estate, especially in a tropical or semitropical country on which Cotton, Tobacco Minstrel songs and sketches featured several stock characters, most popularly the slave and the dandy. A stock character is one which relies heavily on cultural types or names for his or her personality manner of speech and other characteristics Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted until the passage of the Thirteenth A dandy (also known as a beau gallant or flamboyant person is a man who places particular importance upon Physical appearance, refined language and leisurely hobbies These were further divided into sub-archetypes such as the mammy, her counterpart the old darky, the provocative mulatto wench, and the black soldier. The Mammy Archetype is the portrayal within a narrative framework or other imagery of a domestic servant of African descent generally good-natured often Mulatto is a term used to describe a person with one white parent and one black parent or a person whose Ancestry is a mixture of black and white Minstrels claimed that their songs and dances were authentically black, although the extent of the black influence remains debated. Spirituals (known as jubilees) entered the repertoire in the 1870s, marking the first undeniably black music to be used in minstrelsy. Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are songs which were created by African slaves in America.
Blackface minstrelsy was the first distinctly American theatrical form. In the 1830s and 1840s, it was at the core of the rise of an American music industry, and for several decades it provided the lens through which white America saw black America. The music industry is the business of Music. Although it encompasses the activity of many music-related businesses and organizations it is currently dominated by the "big On the one hand, it had strong racist aspects; on the other, it resulted in the first broad awareness by white Americans of aspects of black folk culture. List of racism-related topics|Racism by country Racism, by its simplest definition is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that
Although white theatrical portrayals of black characters date back to as early as 1604, the minstrel show as such has later origins. Thomas Dartmouth (TD "Daddy" Rice ( May 20, 1808 &ndash September 19, 1860) was a comedian in the Blackface form of comedy Blackface characters began appearing on the American stage by the late 17th century, usually as servant types with little role but to provide some element of comic relief. Blackface in the narrow sense is a style of theatrical Makeup that originated in the United Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character or scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work often to relieve tension  Eventually, similar performers appeared in entr'actes in New York theaters and in less respectable venues like taverns and circuses. Entr'acte is French for "between the acts" (German Zwischenspiel, Italian Intermezzo) The City of New York As a result, the blackface Sambo came to supplant the tall tale Yankee and Frontiersman characters in popularity. Sambo is a racial term for a person with mixed Amerindian and African heritage in the Caribbean, also for a black or South Asian person Tall Tale, also known as Tall Tale The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill is a 1995 family Western movie starring Patrick The term Yankee, sometimes abbreviated to Yank, has a few related meanings often referring to someone of U Charles Mathews, George Washington Dixon, and Edwin Forrest built reputations as blackface performers. Charles Mathews ( June 28, 1776, London - June 28, 1835, Devonport) was an English theatre manager and Comic George Washington Dixon (1801?–March 2 1861 was an American singer stage actor and Newspaper editor. Edwin Forrest ( March 9, 1806 - December 12, 1872) was an American Actor. Constance Rourke even claimed that Forrest's impression was so good he could fool blacks when he mingled with them in the streets. Constance Mayfield Rourke ( November 14, 1885 - March 29, 1941) was an American Author and educator  Thomas Dartmouth Rice's song and dance number "Jump Jim Crow" brought blackface performance to a new level of prominence in the early 1830s. Thomas Dartmouth (TD "Daddy" Rice ( May 20, 1808 &ndash September 19, 1860) was a comedian in the Blackface form of comedy Jump Jim Crow is a song and dance from 1828 that was done in Blackface by white comedian Thomas Dartmouth (T At the height of Rice's success, The Boston Post wrote, "The two most popular characters in the world at the present are Victoria and Jim Crow. The Boston Post was the most popular daily Newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956 Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901 was from 20 June 1837 the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland " By the 1840s, blackface performers took to calling themselves "Ethiopian delineators" and performed solo and in small teams.
Blackface soon found a home in the taverns of New York's less respectable precincts of Lower Broadway, the Bowery, and Chatham Street. Broadway, as the name implies is a wide avenue in New York City. Bowery (ˈbaʊɚi or /ˈbaʊri/ is the name of a street and a small neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It also invaded the more respectable stage as part of the era's general stratification of theaters. These upper-class houses at first limited the number of such acts they would show, but beginning in 1841, blackface performers frequently took to the stage at even the classy Park Theatre, much to the dismay of some patrons. For the other New York City theatre of this name see Park Theatre (Brooklyn. Theater was a participatory activity, and the lower classes came to dominate the playhouse. They threw things at actors or orchestras who performed unpopular material, and rowdy audiences eventually prevented the Bowery Theatre from staging high drama at all. The Bowery Theatre was a Playhouse in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City.  Typical blackface acts of the period were short burlesques, often with mock Shakespearean titles like "Hamlet the Dainty", "Bad Breath, the Crane of Chowder", "Julius Sneezer", or "Dars-de-Money". Burlesque is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease) 
Meanwhile, at least some whites were interested in black song and dance by actual black performers. Nineteenth century New York slaves shingle danced for spare change on their days off, and musicians played what they claimed to be "Negro music" on so-called black instruments like the banjo. Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted until the passage of the Thirteenth Shingle dancing is a form of solo dancing akin to Tap dancing, of African American origin usually associated with Old-time music. Negro is a term referring to people of Black African ancestry The banjo is a Stringed instrument developed by enslaved Africans in the United States, adapted from several African instruments The New Orleans Picayune wrote that a singing New Orleans street vendor called Old Corn Meal would bring "a fortune to any man who would start on a professional tour with him". The Times-Picayune is a daily Newspaper published in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana Old Corn Meal, or Signor Cormeali, was an African American Street vendor in New Orleans, Louisiana who became famous in the late 1830s  Rice responded by adding a "Corn Meal" skit to his act. Meanwhile, there had been several attempts at legitimate black stage performance, the most ambitious probably being New York's African Grove theater, founded and operated by free blacks in 1821, with a repertoire drawing heavily on Shakespeare. The African Grove was a theater founded and operated by African Americans in New York City in 1821 a full six years before enslavement of blacks was outlawed in It was harassed out of existence by authorities unwilling to tolerate its mostly black audiences behaving in the same boisterous manner typical of all New York theatergoers of the time.
White, working-class Northerners could identify with the characters portrayed in early blackface performances. This coincided with the rise of groups struggling for workingman's nativism and pro-Southern causes, and faux black performances came to confirm pre-existing racist concepts and to establish new ones. Nativism is an Opposition to immigration which originated in United States politics with roots in the country's historic role as a Melting pot. Following a pattern that had been pioneered by Rice, minstrelsy united workers and "class superiors" against a common black enemy, symbolized especially by the character of the black dandy.  In this same period, the class-conscious but racially inclusive rhetoric of "wage slavery" was largely supplanted by a racist one of "white slavery". Wage slavery is a term first coined by the Lowell Mill Girls in 1836 though articulated as a concept at least as early as Cicero and elaborated by subsequent thinkers This suggested that the abuses against northern factory workers were a graver ill than the treatment of black slaves—or by a less class-conscious rhetoric of "productive" vs. "unproductive" elements of society.  On the other hand, views on slavery were fairly evenly presented in minstrelsy, and some songs even suggested the creation of a coalition of working blacks and whites to end the institution. 
Among the appeals and racial stereotypes of early blackface performance were the pleasure of the grotesque and its infantilization of blacks. A stereotype (from Greek: stereo + týpos = "solid impression" is a generalized perception of first impressions behaviors presumed by a group When used in conversation grotesque commonly means strange fantastic ugly or bizarre and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween These allowed—by proxy, and without full identification—childish fun and other low pleasures in an industrializing world where workers were increasingly expected to abandon such things.  Meanwhile, the more respectable could view the vulgar audience itself as a spectacle.
With the Panic of 1837, theater attendance suffered, and concerts were one of the few attractions that could still make money. The Panic of 1837 was a Panic in the United States built on a speculative fever A concert is a live Performance, usually of Music, before an Audience. In 1843, four blackface performers led by Dan Emmett combined to stage just such a concert at the New York Bowery Amphitheatre, calling themselves the Virginia Minstrels. Daniel Decatur "Dan" Emmett ( October 29, 1815 &ndash June 28, 1904) was an American songwriter and entertainer founder The Bowery Amphitheatre was a building in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City. The Virginia Minstrels or Virginia Serenaders was a group of 19th century American Entertainers known for helping to invent the entertainment form known The minstrel show as a complete evening's entertainment was born. The show had little structure. The four sat in a semicircle, played songs, and traded wisecracks. One gave a stump speech in dialect, and they ended with a lively plantation song. The stump speech was a comic Monologue from Blackface minstrelsy. The term minstrel had previously been reserved for traveling white singing groups, but Emmett and company made it synonymous with blackface performance, and by using it, signalled that they were reaching out to a new, middle-class audience. minstrel was a medieval European Bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories about distant places or about real or imaginary historical events  The Herald wrote that the production was "entirely exempt from the vulgarities and other objectionable features, which have hitherto characterized negro extravaganzas. Extravaganza refers to a literary or musical work (often Musical theatre) characterized by freedom of style and structure and usually containing elements of burlesque " In 1845, the Ethiopian Serenaders purged their show of low humor and surpassed the Virginia Minstrels in popularity. The Ethiopian Serenaders was a Blackface minstrel troupe from the 1840s Shortly thereafter, Edwin Pearce Christy founded Christy's Minstrels, combining the refined singing of the Ethiopian Serenaders (epitomized by the work of Christy's composer Stephen Foster) with the Virginia Minstrels' bawdy schtick. Edwin Pearce Christy ( November 28, 1815 &ndash May 21, 1862) was an American composer singer actor and stage producer Christy's Minstrels, sometimes referred to as the Christy Minstrels, were a Blackface group formed by Edwin Pearce Christy, a well-known ballad singer Stephen Collins Foster (July 4 1826 – January 13 1864 known as the "father of American music" was the pre-eminent Songwriter in the United States Christy's company established the three-act template into which minstrel shows would fall for the next few decades. This change to respectability prompted theater owners to enforce new rules to make playhouses calmer and quieter.
Minstrels toured the same circuits as opera companies, circuses, and European itinerant entertainers, with venues ranging from lavish opera houses to makeshift tavern stages. Life on the road entailed "endless series of one-nighters, travel on accident-prone railroads, [living] in poor housing subject to fires, [playing] in empty rooms that they had to convert into theaters, [facing] arrest on trumped up charges, [being] exposed to deadly diseases, and [enduring] managers and agents who skipped out with all the troupe's money. " The more popular groups stuck to the main circuit that ran through the Northeast; some even went to Europe, which allowed their competitors to establish themselves in their absence. By the late 1840s, a southern tour had opened from Baltimore to New Orleans. Circuits through the Midwest and as far as California followed by the 1860s. As its popularity increased, theaters sprang up specifically for minstrel performance, often with names such as the Ethiopian Opera House and the like. Many amateur troupes performed only a few local shows before disbanding. Meanwhile, celebrities like Emmett continued to perform solo.
The rise of the minstrel show coincided with the growth of the abolitionist movement. Abolitionism was a political movement of the 18th and 19th century which sought to make Slavery illegal particularly in the United States and British West Indies Many Northerners were concerned for the oppressed blacks of the South, but most had no idea how these slaves lived day-to-day. Blackface performance had been inconsistent on this subject; some slaves were happy, others victims of a cruel and inhuman institution.  However, in the 1850s minstrelsy became decidedly mean-spirited and pro-slavery as race replaced class as its main focus.  Most minstrels projected a greatly romanticized and exaggerated image of black life with cheerful, simple slaves always ready to sing and dance and to please their masters. (Less frequently, the masters cruelly split up black lovers or sexually assaulted black women. ) The lyrics and dialogue were generally racist, satiric, and largely white in origin. Songs about slaves yearning to return to their masters were plentiful. The message was clear: do not worry about the slaves; they are happy with their lot in life.  Figures like the Northern dandy and the homesick ex-slave reinforced the idea that blacks did not belong, nor did they want to belong, in Northern society. 
Minstrelsy's reaction to Uncle Tom's Cabin is indicative of plantation content at the time. Uncle Tom's Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly is an anti- Slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Tom acts largely came to replace other plantation narratives, particularly in the third act. These sketches sometimes supported Stowe's novel, but just as often they turned it on its head or attacked the author. Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14 1811 – July 1 1896 was an American Author and Abolitionist, whose Novel Uncle Tom's Cabin Whatever the intended message, it was usually lost in the joyous, slapstick atmosphere of the piece. Characters such as Simon Legree sometimes disappeared, and the title was frequently changed to something more cheerful like "Happy Uncle Tom" or "Uncle Dad's Cabin". Uncle Tom himself was frequently portrayed as a harmless bootlicker to be ridiculed. Uncle Tom is a Pejorative for a black person who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures or Troupes known as Tommer companies specialized in such burlesques, and theatrical Tom shows integrated elements of the minstrel show and competed with it for a time. Uncle Tom's Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly is an anti- Slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
Minstrelsy's racism (and misogyny) could be rather vicious. List of racism-related topics|Racism by country Racism, by its simplest definition is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that Misogyny (mɪˈsɒdʒɪni is hatred (or contemptof women Misogyny is parallel to Misandry — the hatred of men There were comic songs in which blacks were "roasted, fished for, smoked like tobacco, peeled like potatoes, planted in the soil, or dried up and hung as advertisements", and there were multiple songs in which a black man accidentally put out a black woman's eyes.  On the other hand, the fact that the minstrel show broached the subjects of slavery and race at all is perhaps more significant than the racist manner in which it did so.  Despite these pro-plantation attitudes, minstrelsy was banned in many Southern cities.  Its association with the North was such that as secessionist attitudes grew stronger, minstrels on Southern tours became convenient targets of anti-Yankee sentiment. 
Non-race-related humor came from lampoons of other subjects, including aristocratic whites such as politicians, doctors, and lawyers. Women's rights was the only other serious subject to appear with any regularity in antebellum minstrelsy, almost always to ridicule the notion. The women's rights lecture became common in stump speeches. When one character joked, "Jim, I tink de ladies oughter vote," another replied, "No, Mr. Johnson, ladies am supposed to care berry little about polytick, and yet de majority ob em am strongly tached to parties. " Minstrel humor was simple and relied heavily on slapstick and wordplay. Slapstick is a type of Comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense such as a character being hit in the face with Word play is a Literary technique in which the nature of the words that are used become the main subject of the work Performers told nonsense riddles: "The difference between a schoolmaster and an engineer is that one trains the mind and the other minds the train. "
With the outbreak of the American Civil War, minstrels remained mostly neutral and satirized both sides. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South However, as the war reached Northern soil, troupes turned their loyalties to the Union. Sad songs and sketches came to dominate in reflection of the mood of a bereaved nation. Troupes performed skits about dying soldiers and their weeping widows, and about mourning white mothers. "Weeping, Sad, and Lonely" became the hit of the period, selling over a million copies of sheet music.  To balance the somber mood, minstrels put on patriotic numbers like "The Star Spangled Banner", accompanied by depictions of scenes from American history that lionized figures like George Washington and Andrew Jackson. Social commentary grew increasingly important to the show. Performers criticized Northern society and those they felt responsible for the breakup of the country, who opposed reunification, or who profited from a nation at war. Emancipation was either opposed through happy plantation material or mildy supported with pieces that depicted slavery in a negative light. Eventually, direct criticism of the South became more biting. 
Minstrelsy lost popularity during the war. Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels was a Blackface minstrel troupe created in 1877 when J New entertainments such as variety shows, musical comedies, and vaudeville appeared in the North, backed by master promoters like P. T. Barnum who wooed audiences away. A variety show or variety entertainment is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts especially Musical performances and Comedy Skits and Musical theatre is a form of Theatre combining Music, Songs spoken Dialogue and Dance. Vaudeville was a Genre of variety entertainment prevalent on the stage in the United States and Canada, from the early 1880s Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5 1810 &ndash April 7 1891 was an American Showman remembered for Hoaxes and for founding the Circus that became the Blackface troupes responded by traveling farther and farther afield, with their primary base now in the South and Midwest.
Those minstrels who stayed in New York and similar cities followed Barnum's lead by advertising relentlessly and emphasizing the spectacle of minstrelsy. Advertising is a form of Communication that typically attempts to persuade potential Customers to Purchase or to consume more of a particular Brand Troupes ballooned; as many as 19 performers could be on stage at once, and J. H. Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels had over 100 members. J H Haverly was an Entrepreneur and Promoter of Blackface Minstrel shows During the 1870s and 1880s he created an entertainment empire Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels was a Blackface minstrel troupe created in 1877 when J  Scenery grew lavish and expensive, and specialty acts like Japanese acrobats or circus freaks sometimes appeared. Generally considered in contemporary times as a highly inappropriate and dehumanizing term a freak show is an exhibition of rarities "freaks of nature" — such These changes made minstrelsy unprofitable for smaller troupes.
Other minstrel troupes tried to satisfy outlying tastes. Female acts had made a stir in variety shows, and Madame Rentz's Female Minstrels ran with the idea, first performing in 1870 in skimpy costumes and tights. Madame Rentz's Female Minstrels was a Blackface minstrel troupe composed completely of women. Their success gave rise to at least 11 all-female troupes by 1871, one of which did away with blackface altogether. Ultimately, the girlie show emerged as a form in its own right. Mainstream minstrelsy continued to emphasize its propriety, but traditional troupes adopted some of these elements in the guise of the female impersonator. A drag queen is a person usually a man who dresses (or "drags" in female clothes and make-up for special occasions and usually because they are performing and entertaining A well-played wench character became critical to success in the postwar period. 
This new minstrelsy maintained an emphasis on refined music. Most troupes added jubilees, or spirituals, to their repertoire in the 1870s. Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are songs which were created by African slaves in America. These were fairly authentic religious slave songs borrowed from traveling black singing groups. Other troupes drifted further from minstrelsy's roots. When George Primrose and Billy West broke with Haverly's Mastadons in 1877, they did away with blackface for all but the endmen and dressed themselves in lavish finery and powdered wigs. Primrose and West was the name of a Blackface song-and-dance team made up of partners George Primrose and William H Primrose and West was the name of a Blackface song-and-dance team made up of partners George Primrose and William H They decorated the stage with elaborate backdrops and performed no slapstick whatsoever. Their brand of minstrelsy differed from other entertainments only in name. 
Social commentary continued to dominate most performances, with plantation material constituting only a small part of the repertoire. This effect was amplified as minstrelsy featuring black performers took off in its own right and stressed its connection to the old plantations. The main target of criticism was the moral decay of the urbanized North. Cities were painted as corrupt, as homes to unjust poverty, and as dens of "city slickers" who lay in wait to prey upon new arrivals. City slicker, a synonym for Fop, is an idiomatic expression for someone accustomed to a city or urban lifestyle and unsuited Minstrels stressed traditional family life; stories told of reunification between mothers and sons thought dead in the war. Women's rights, disrespectful children, low church attendance, and sexual promiscuity became symptoms of decline in family values and of moral decay. Of course, Northern black characters carried these vices even further.  African American members of Congress were one example, pictured as pawns of the Radical Republicans. African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa The Radical Republicans is a term applied to a loose faction of American politicians within the Republican party from about 1854 (before the American Civil War 
By the 1890s, minstrelsy formed only a small part of American entertainment, and by 1919 a mere three troupes dominated the scene. Small companies and amateurs carried the traditional minstrel show into the 20th century, now with an audience mostly in the rural South, while black-owned troupes continued traveling to more outlying areas like the West. These black troupes were one of minstrelsy's last bastions, as more white actors moved into vaudeville. 
In the 1840s and 50s, William Henry Lane and Thomas Dilward became the first African Americans to perform on the minstrel stage. Master Juba (c 1825 – c 1852/1853 was an African American dancer active in the 1840s Thomas Dilward, also known by the Stage name Japanese Tommy, was an African American dwarf who performed in the Blackface  All-black troupes followed as early as 1855. These companies emphasized that their ethnicity made them the only true delineators of black song and dance, with one advertisement describing a troupe as "SEVEN SLAVES just from Alabama, who are EARNING THEIR FREEDOM by giving concerts under the guidance of their Northern friends. " White curiosity proved a powerful motivator, and the shows were patronized by people who wanted to see blacks acting "spontaneously" and "naturally", as if on exhibit.  Promoters seized on this, one billing his troupe as "THE DARKY AS HE IS AT HOME, DARKY LIFE IN THE CORNFIELD, CANEBRAKE, BARNYARD, AND ON THE LEVEE AND FLATBOAT. " Keeping with convention, black minstrels still corked the faces of at least the endmen. One commentator described a mostly uncorked black troupe as "mulattoes of a medium shade except two, who were light. . . . The end men were each rendered thoroughly black by burnt cork. " The minstrels themselves promoted their performing abilities, quoting reviews that favorably compared them to popular white troupes. These black companies often featured female minstrels.
One or two African American troupes dominated the scene for much of the late 1860s and 1870s. The first of these was Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels, who played the Northeast around 1865. Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels was the first successful African American Blackface minstrel troupe Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels formed shortly thereafter and toured England to great success beginning in 1866. Sam Hague was a British Blackface minstrel Dancer and troupe owner In the 1870s, white entrepreneurs bought most of the successful black companies. Charles Callender obtained Sam Hague's troupe in 1872 and renamed it Callender's Georgia Minstrels. Charles Callender was the owner of Blackface minstrel troupes that featured African American performers They became the most popular black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy. J. H. Haverly in turn purchased Callender's troupe in 1878 and applied his strategy of enlarging troupe size and embellishing sets. When this company went to Europe, Gustave and Charles Frohman took the opportunity to promote their Callender's Consolidated Colored Minstrels. Gustave Frohman ( c1854 – August 16, 1930) was a Theatre producer and Advance man. Charles Frohman ( July 15 1856 – May 7, 1915) was a Jewish American theatrical producer Their success was such that the Frohmans bought Haverly's group and merged it with theirs, creating a virtual monopoly on the market. The company split in three to better canvas the nation and dominated black minstrelsy throughout the 1880s.  Individual black performers like Billy Kersands, James A. Bland, Sam Lucas, and Wallace King grew famous as any featured white performer. Billy Kersands (c 1842–1915 was an African American Comedian and Dancer. James Alan Bland (also known as Jimmy Bland) ( 12 October 1854 &ndash 6 May 1911) was an African American Musician Sam Lucas (1850 – 5 January 1916) was an African American Actor, Comedian, Singer, and Songwriter. Wallace King was an African American Blackface minstrel performer from the 19th century 
Racism made black minstrelsy a difficult profession. When playing Southern towns, performers had to stay in character even off stage, dressed in ragged "slave clothes" and perpetually smiling. Troupes left town quickly after each performance, and some had so much trouble securing lodging that they hired out whole trains or had cars custom built to sleep in, complete with hidden compartments in which to hide should things turn ugly.  Even these were no haven, as whites sometimes used the cars for target practice. Their salaries, though higher than those of most blacks of the period, failed to reach levels earned by white performers; even superstars like Kersands earned slightly less than featured white minstrels.  Unsurprisingly, most black troupes did not last long. 
In content, early black minstrelsy differed little from its white counterpart. As white troupes drifted from plantation subjects in the mid-1870s however, black troupes placed a new emphasis on it. The addition of jubilee singing gave black minstrelsy a popularity boost as the black troupes were rightly believed to be the most authentic performers of such material.  Other significant differences were that the black minstrels added religious themes to their shows while whites shied from them, and that the black companies commonly ended the first act of the show with a military high-stepping, brass band burlesque, a practice adopted after Callender's Minstrels used it in 1875 or 1876. A brass band is a Musical group generally consisting entirely of Brass instruments, most often with a percussion section Although black minstrelsy lent credence to racist ideals of blackness, many African American minstrels worked to subtly alter these stereotypes and to poke fun at white society. One jubilee described heaven as a place "where de white folks must let the darkeys be" and they could not be "bought and sold".  In plantation material, aged black characters were rarely reunited with long-lost masters like they were in white minstrelsy. 
African Americans formed a large part of the black minstrels' audience, especially for smaller troupes. In fact, their numbers were so great that many theater owners had to relax rules relegating black patrons to certain areas.  Theories as to why blacks would look favorably upon negative images of themselves vary. Perhaps they felt in on the joke, laughing at the over-the-top characters from a sense of "in-group recognition".  Maybe they even implicitly endorsed the racist antics, or they felt some connection to elements of an African culture that had been suppressed but was visible, albeit in racist, exaggerated form, in minstrel personages.  They certainly got many jokes that flew over whites' heads or registered as only quaint distractions.  Another draw for black audiences was simply seeing fellow African Americans on stage; black minstrels were largely viewed as celebrities.  Formally educated African Americans, on the other hand, either disregarded black minstrelsy or openly disdained it.  Still, black minstrelsy was the first large-scale opportunity for African Americans to enter American show business. 
The Christy Minstrels established the basic structure of the minstrel show in the 1840s. A crowd-gathering parade to the theater often preceded the performance. The show itself was divided into three major sections. During the first, the entire troupe danced onto stage singing a popular song and doing a dance called the walkaround. A walkaround (also spelled walk-around or walk around, or called a horay) was a Dance from the Blackface Minstrel shows Upon the instruction of the interlocutor, a sort of host, they sat in a semicircle. Various stock characters always took the same positions: the genteel interlocutor in the middle, flanked by Tambo and Bones, who served as the endmen or cornermen. The interlocutor and the endmen exchanged jokes and performed a variety of humorous songs. Over time, these came to include maudlin numbers not always in dialect. One minstrel, usually a tenor, came to specialize in this part; such singers often became celebrities, especially with women. The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice An upbeat plantation song and dance ended the act.
The second portion of the show, called the olio, was historically the last to evolve, as its real purpose was to allow for the setting of the stage for act three behind the curtain. It had more of a variety show structure. Performers danced, played instruments, did acrobatics, and demonstrated other amusing talents. Troupes offered parodies of European-style entertainments, and European troupes themselves sometimes performed. The highlight was when one actor, typically one of the endmen, delivered a faux-black-dialect stump speech, a long oration about anything from nonsense to science, society, or politics, during which the dim-witted character tried to speak eloquently, only to deliver countless malapropisms, jokes, and unintentional puns. All the while, the speaker moved about like a clown, standing on his head and almost always falling off his stump at some point. With blackface makeup serving as fool's mask, these stump speakers could deliver biting social criticism without offending the audience, although the focus was usually on sending up unpopular issues and making fun of blacks' ability to make sense of them. A jester, joker, jokester, fool, wit-cracker, prankster, or buffoon is a member of a profession that came into popularity  Many troupes employed a stump specialist with a trademark style and material.
"A Meeting of the Limkiln Club"
The afterpiece rounded out the production. An afterpiece is a short usually Humorous one-act playlet following the main attraction the full-length play and concluding the theatrical evening In the early days of the minstrel show, this was often a skit set on a Southern plantation that usually included song-and-dance numbers and featured Sambo- and Mammy-type characters in slapstick situations. Fundamentally a plantation is usually a large Farm or estate, especially in a tropical or semitropical country on which Cotton, Tobacco The emphasis lay on an idealized plantation life and the happy slaves who lived there. Nevertheless, antislavery viewpoints sometimes surfaced in the guise of family members separated by slavery, runaways, or even slave uprisings.  A few stories highlighted black trickster figures who managed to get the better of their masters. In Mythology, and in the study of Folklore and Religion, a trickster is a God, Goddess, spirit, man woman or anthropomorphic  Beginning in the mid-1850s, performers did burlesque renditions of other plays; both Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights were common targets. Burlesque is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease) The humor of these came from the inept black characters trying to perform some element of high white culture. Slapstick humor pervaded the afterpiece, including cream pies to the face, inflated bladders, and on-stage fireworks. Slapstick is a type of Comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense such as a character being hit in the face with  Material from Uncle Tom's Cabin dominated beginning in 1853. The afterpiece allowed the minstrels to introduce new characters, some of whom became quite popular and spread from troupe to troupe.
The earliest minstrel characters took as their base popular white stage archetypes—frontiersmen, fishermen, hunters, and riverboatsmen whose depictions drew heavily from the tall tale—and added exaggerated blackface speech and makeup. Tall Tale, also known as Tall Tale The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill is a 1995 family Western movie starring Patrick These Jim Crows and Gumbo Chaffs fought and boasted that they could "wip [their] weight in wildcats" or "eat an alligator". " Gumbo Chaff " also spelled " Gombo Chaff " is an American Song, first performed in the early 1830s  As public opinion toward blacks changed, however, so did the minstrel stereotypes. Eventually, several stock characters emerged. Chief among these were the slave, who often maintained the earlier name Jim Crow, and the dandy, known frequently as Zip Coon. The two formed a dichotomy of blackness, both equally ludicrous. 
The white actors who portrayed these characters spoke an ersatz, exaggerated form of Black Vernacular English. African American Vernacular English ( AAVE) – also called African American English; less precisely Black English, Black Vernacular, These characters were stupid and silly at best, grotesque and alien at worst. The blackface makeup and illustrations on programs and sheet music depicted them with huge eyeballs, overly wide noses, and thick-lipped mouths that hung open or grinned foolishly; one character expressed his love for a woman with "lips so large a lover could not kiss them all at once".  They had huge feet and preferred "possum" and "coon" to more civilized fare. Minstrel characters were often described in animalistic terms, with "wool" instead of hair, "bleating" like sheep, and having "darky cubs" instead of children. Other ludicrous claims were that blacks had to drink ink when they got sick "to restore their color" and that they had to file their hair rather than cut it. They were inherently musical, dancing and frolicking through the night with no need for sleep. 
Thomas "Daddy" Rice introduced the earliest slave archetype with his song "Jump Jim Crow" and its accompanying dance. Jump Jim Crow is a song and dance from 1828 that was done in Blackface by white comedian Thomas Dartmouth (T He claimed to have learned the number by watching an old, limping black stable hand dancing and singing, "Wheel about and turn about and do jus' so/Eb'ry time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow. " Other early minstrel performers quickly adopted Rice's character.
Slave characters in general came to be low-comedy types with names that matched the instruments they played: Brudder Tambo (or simply Tambo) for the tambourine and Brudder Bones (or Bones) for the bone castanets or bones. Low comedy is a type of Comedy characterized by "horseplay" slapstick and/or Farce. The tambourine or Marine is a Musical instrument of the percussion family consisting of a frame often of wood or plastic with pairs of small metal jingles The bones are a Musical instrument (more specifically a folk instrument which at the simplest consists of a pair of animal Bones or pieces of wood or These endmen (for their position in the minstrel semicircle) were ignorant and poorly spoken, being conned, electrocuted, or run over in various sketches. They happily shared their stupidity; one slave character said that to get to China, one had only to go up in a balloon and wait for the world to rotate below.  Highly musical and unable to sit still, they constantly contorted their bodies wildly while singing.
Tambo and Bones's simple-mindedness and lack of sophistication were highlighted by pairing them with a straight man master of ceremonies called the interlocutor. Straight Man (New York Random House, 1997 is a Novel by Richard Russo set at the fictional West Central Pennsylvania State University in Railton This character, although usually in blackface, spoke in aristocratic English and used a much larger vocabulary. The humor of these exchanges came from the misunderstandings on the part of the endmen when talking to the interlocutor:
Tambo and Bones were favorites of the audience, and their repartee with the interlocutor was for many the best part of the show. There was an element of laughing with them for the audience, as they frequently made light of the interlocutor's grandiose ways. 
The interlocutor was responsible for beginning and ending each segment of the show. To this end, he had to be able to gauge the mood of the audience and know when it was time to move on. Accordingly, the actor who played the role was paid very well in comparison to other non-featured performers. 
There were many variants on the slave archetype. The old darky or old uncle formed the head of the idyllic black family. Like other slave characters, he was highly musical and none-too-bright, but he had favorable aspects like his loving nature and the sentiments he raised regarding love for the aged, ideas of old friendships, and the cohesiveness of the family. His death and the pain it caused his master was a common theme in sentimental songs. Alternatively, the master could die, leaving the old darky to mourn. Stephen Foster's "Old Uncle Ned" was the most popular song on this subject.  Less frequently, the old darky might be cast out by a cruel master when he grew too old to work. After the Civil War, this character became the most common figure in plantation sketches. He frequently cried about the loss of his home during the war, only to meet up with someone from the past such as the child of his former master.  In contrast, the trickster, often called Jasper Jack, appeared less frequently. By outsmarting his white master, he exemplified antislavery sentiment. 
Female characters ranged from the sexually provocative to the laughable. These roles were almost always played by men in drag (most famously George Christy, Francis Leon, and Barney Williams), even though American theater outside minstrelsy was filled with actresses at this time. George Christy (born George Harrington) was one of the leading Blackface performers during the early years of the blackface Minstrel show in the 1840s Francis Leon (b 21 Nov 1844 was a Blackface minstrel performer best known for his work as a Female impersonator. For the boxer see Battling Levinsky Barney Guillermo Williams (born March 13, 1977 in San Martín de los Mammy or the old auntie was the old darky's counterpart. The Mammy Archetype is the portrayal within a narrative framework or other imagery of a domestic servant of African descent generally good-natured often She often went by the name of Aunt Dinah Roh after the song of that title. Mammy was lovable to both blacks and whites, matronly, but hearkening to European peasant woman sensibilities. Her main role was to be the devoted mother figure in scenarios about the perfect plantation family. 
The wench, yaller gal, or prima donna was a mulatto who combined the light skin and facial features of a white woman with the perceived sexual promiscuity and exoticism of a black woman. A girl is any Female Human from birth through Childhood and Adolescence to attainment of Adulthood The term may also be used to mean Originally used in Opera companies " prima donna " is Italian for "first lady" Mulatto is a term used to describe a person with one white parent and one black parent or a person whose Ancestry is a mixture of black and white Her beauty and flirtatiousness made her a common target for male characters, although she usually proved capricious and elusive. After the Civil War, the wench emerged as the most important specialist role in the minstrel troupe; men could alternately be titillated and disgusted, while women could admire the illusion and high fashion.  The role was most strongly associated with the song "Miss Lucy Long", so the character many times bore that name. " Miss Lucy Long " also known as " Lucy Long " and other variants is an American song that was popularized in the Blackface Minstrel Actress Olive Logan commented that some actors were "marvelously well fitted by nature for it, having well-defined soprano voices, plump shoulders, beardless faces, and tiny hands and feet. " Many of these actors were teen-aged boys. In contrast was the funny old gal, a slapstick role played by a large man in motley clothing and large, flapping shoes. The humor she invoked often turned on the male characters' desire for a woman whom the audience would perceive as unattractive. 
The counterpart to the slave was the dandy, a common character in the afterpiece. A dandy (also known as a beau gallant or flamboyant person is a man who places particular importance upon Physical appearance, refined language and leisurely hobbies He was a northern urban black man trying to live above his station by mimicking white, upper-class speech and dress—usually to no good effect. Dandy characters often went by Zip Coon, after the song popularized by George Washington Dixon, although others had pretentious names like Count Julius Caesar Mars Napoleon Sinclair Brown. " Turkey in the Straw " is a well known American Folk song dating from the early 19th century Their clothing was a ludicrous parody of upper-class dress: coats with tails and padded shoulders, white gloves, monocles, fake mustaches, and gaudy watch chains. They spent their time primping and preening, going to parties, dancing and strutting, and wooing women. Like other urban black characters, the dandies' pretentiousness showed that they had no place in white society while sending up social changes like nouveau-riche white culture. 
The black soldier became another stock type during the Civil War and merged qualities of the slave and the dandy. He was acknowledged for playing some role in the war, but he was more frequently lampooned for bumbling through his drills or for thinking his uniform made him the equal of his white counterparts. He was usually better at retreating than fighting, and, like the dandy, he preferred partying to serious pursuits. Still, his introduction allowed for some return to themes of the breakup of the plantation family. 
Non-black stereotypes played a significant role in minstrelsy, and although still performed in blackface, were distinguished by their lack of black dialect. American Indians before the Civil War were usually depicted as innocent symbols of the pre-industrial world or as pitiable victims whose peaceful existence had been shattered by the encroachment of the white man. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States However, as the United States turned its attentions West, American Indians became savage, pagan obstacles to progress. These characters were formidable scalpers to be feared, not ridiculed; any humor in such scenarios usually derived from a black character trying to act like one of the frightful savages. One sketch began with white men and American Indians enjoying a communal meal in a frontier setting. As the American Indians became intoxicated, they grew more and more antagonistic, and the army ultimately had to intervene to prevent the massacre of the whites. Even favorably presented American Indian characters usually died tragically. The message conveyed was that such people had no place in American society. 
Depictions of East Asians began during the California Gold Rush when minstrels encountered Chinese out West. The California Gold Rush (1848&ndash1855 began on January 24 1848 when Gold was discovered by James Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California Minstrels caricatured them by their strange language ("ching chang chung"), odd eating habits (dogs and cats), and propensity for wearing pigtails. Parodies of Japanese became popular when a Japanese acrobat troupe toured the U. S. beginning in 1865. A run of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado in the mid-1880s inspired another wave of Asian characterizations. Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of Librettist W The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a Comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and Libretto by W 
The few white characters in minstrelsy were stereotypes of immigrant groups like the Irish and Germans. The Irish people ( Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a Western European Ethnic group who originate The German people (Deutsche are an Ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, descent and speaking the German language as Irish characters first appeared in the 1840s, portrayed as hotheaded, odious drunkards who spoke in a thick brogue. A brogue is a strong Dialectal accent, notably in Irish dialects of the English language. This portrayal was a reaction to both the Irish's Catholicness and their willingness to work for cheap wages, which frightened non-Irish workers.  However, beginning in the 1850s, many Irishmen joined minstrelsy, and Irish theatergoers probably came to represent a significant part of the audience, so this negative image was muted. By the 1870s, the Irish were still ready to fight and drink but were otherwise like any other white audience member. Germans, on the other hand, were portrayed favorably from their introduction to minstrelsy in the 1860s. They were responsible and sensible, though still humorous for their large size, hardy appetites, and heavy "Dutch" accents. Part of this positive portrayal no doubt came about because some of the actors portraying German characters were German themselves. 
Music and dance were the heart of the minstrel show and a large reason for its popularity. Troupes marketed sheet music of the songs they featured so that viewers could enjoy them at home and other minstrels could adopt them for their act.
How much influence black music had on minstrel performance remains a debated topic. Minstrel music certainly contained some element of black culture, added onto a base of European tradition with distinct Irish and Scottish folk music influences. Irish Music is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres on the entire island of Ireland, North and South of the border Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to Pop music Folk music can have a number of different meanings including Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous Musicologist Dale Cockrell argues that early minstrel music mixed both African and European traditions and that distinguishing black and white urban music during the 1830s is impossible.  Insofar as the minstrels had authentic contact with black culture, it was via neighborhoods, taverns, theaters, and waterfronts where blacks and whites could mingle freely. The inauthenticity of the music and the Irish and Scottish elements in it are explained by the fact that slaves were rarely allowed to play native African music and therefore had to adopt and adapt elements of European folk music. The music of Africa is as vast and varied as the continent's many regions, nations and Ethnic groups Although there is no distinctly pan-African  Compounding the problem is the difficulty in ascertaining how much minstrel music was written by black composers, as the custom at the time was to sell all rights to a song to publishers or other performers.  Nevertheless, many troupes claimed to have carried out more serious "fieldwork". 
Early blackface songs often consisted of unrelated verses strung together by a common chorus. In this pre-Emmett minstrelsy, the music "jangled the nerves of those who believed in music that was proper, respectable, polished, and harmonic, with recognizable melodies. " It was thus a juxtaposition of "vigorous earth-slapping footwork of black dances . . . with the Irish lineaments of blackface jigs and reels. " The minstrel show texts sometimes even mixed black lore, such as stories about talking animals or slave tricksters, with humor from the region southwest of the Appalachians, itself a mixture of traditions from different races and cultures. The talking animal or speaking animal term in general refers to any form of animal which can speak human languages Minstrel instruments were also a mélange: African banjo and tambourine with European fiddle and bones In short, early minstrel music and dance was not true black culture; it was a white reaction to it. The bones are a Musical instrument (more specifically a folk instrument which at the simplest consists of a pair of animal Bones or pieces of wood or  This was the first large-scale appropriation and commercial exploitation of black culture by American whites. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group 
In the late 1830s, a decidedly European structure and high-brow style became popular in minstrel music. The banjo, played with "scientific touches of perfection" and popularized by Joel Sweeney, became the heart of the minstrel band. Joel Walker Sweeney (1810 – October 29, 1860) also known as Joe Sweeney, was a musician and early Blackface minstrel performer Songs like the Virginia Minstrels' hit "Old Dan Tucker" have a catchy tune, energetic rhythm, and melody and harmony; minstrel music was now for singing as well as dancing. " Old Dan Tucker " also known as " Ole Dan Tucker " " Dan Tucker " and other variants is a popular American song. The Spirit of the Times even described the music as vulgar because it was "entirely too elegant" and that the "excellence" of the singing "[was] an objection to it. The Spirit of the Times A Chronicle of the Turf Agriculture Field Sports Literature and the Stage was an American Weekly newspaper published " Others complained that the minstrels had foregone their black roots.  In short, the Virginia Minstrels and their imitators wanted to please a new audience of predominantly white, middle-class Northerners, by playing music the spectators would find familiar and pleasant.
Despite the elements of ridicule contained in blackface performance, mid-19th century white audiences by and large believed the songs and dances to be authentically black. For their part, the minstrels always billed themselves and their music as such. The songs were called "plantation melodies" or "Ethiopian choruses", among other names. By using the black caricatures and so-called black music, the minstrels added a touch of the unknown to the evening's entertainment, which was enough to fool audiences into accepting the whole performance as authentic. 
The minstrels' dance styles, on the other hand, were much truer to their alleged source. Bryant's Minstrels was a Blackface minstrel troupe that performed in the mid-19th century primarily in New York City. The success of "Jump Jim Crow" is indicative: It was an old English tune with fairly standard lyrics, which leaves only Rice's dance—wild upper-body movements with little movement below the waist—to explain its popularity.  Dances like the Turkey Trot, the Buzzard Lope, and the Juba dance all had their origins in the plantations of the South, and some were popularized by black performers such as William Henry Lane, Signor Cornmeali ("Old Corn Meal"), and John "Picayune" Butler. A Turkey Trot is a Fun run or Footrace that is held on or around Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The Juba dance or hambone, originally known as Pattin' Juba ( Giouba, Haiti Djouba) is a style of Dance that involves stomping as John "Picayune" Butler (d 1864 was a black French singer and Banjo player who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. One performance by Lane in 1842 was described as consisting of "sliding steps, like a shuffle, and not the high steps of an Irish jig. '"Hoofer" redirects here For Wisconsin outdoor clubs see Wisconsin Hoofers Tap dance technique makes frequent use of Syncopation " Lane and the white men who mimicked him moved about the stage with no obvious foot movement. The walkaround, a common feature of the minstrel show's first act, was ultimately of West African origin and featured a competition between individuals hemmed in by the other minstrels. Elements of white tradition remained, of course, such as the fast-paced breakdown that formed part of the repertoire beginning with Rice. In Popular music a break is an Instrumental or percussion section or interlude during a song derived from or related to Stop-time &ndash being Minstrel dance was generally not held to the same mockery as other parts, although contemporaries such as Fanny Kemble argued that minstrel dance was merely a "faint, feeble, impotent—in a word, pale Northern reproductions of that ineffable black conception. This article refers an actress For other uses of the proper noun Kemble see the disambiguation page entitled Kemble. "
The introduction of the jubilee, or spiritual, marked the minstrels' first undeniable adoption of black music. Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are songs which were created by African slaves in America. These songs remained relatively authentic in nature, antiphonal with a repetitive structure that relied heavily on call and response. This article is about the musical term See Antiphon (person the orator of ancient Greece In Music, a call and response is a succession of two distinct phrases usually played by different Musicians where the second phrase is heard as a direct The black troupes sang the most authentic jubilees, while white companies inserted humorous verses and replaced religious themes with plantation imagery, often starring the old darky. Jubilee eventually became synonymous with plantation. 
The minstrel show played a powerful role in shaping assumptions about blacks. However, unlike vehemently anti-black propaganda from the time, minstrelsy made this attitude palatable to a wide audience by couching it in the guise of well intentioned paternalism.  Blacks were in turn expected to uphold these stereotypes or else risk white retaliation. 
Popular entertainment perpetuated the racist stereotype of the uneducated, ever-cheerful, and highly musical black well into the 1950s. Even as the minstrel show was dying out in all but amateur theater, blackface performers became common acts on vaudeville stages and in legitimate drama. These entertainers kept the familiar songs, dances, and pseudo-black dialect, often in nostalgic looks back at the old minstrel show. The most famous of these performers is probably Al Jolson, who took blackface to the big screen in the 1920s in films such as The Jazz Singer (1927). Al Jolson (May 26 1886 October 23 1950 born in Lithuania, Russian Empire, was a highly acclaimed American singer comedian and actor and the first openly The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American Musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized Dialogue His 1930 film Mammy uses the setting of a traveling minstrel show, giving an on-screen presentation of a performance. Likewise, when the sound era of cartoons began in the late 1920s, early animators such as Walt Disney gave characters like Mickey Mouse (who already resembled blackface performers) a minstrel-show personality; the early Mickey is constantly singing and dancing and smiling. Walter Elias Disney (December 5 1901 – December 15 1966 was a multiple Academy Award -winning American Film producer, director, Screenwriter Mickey Mouse is a comic animal Cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company.  As late as 1942, in the Warner Bros. cartoon "Fresh Hare," minstrel shows could be used as a gag (in this case, featuring Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny leading a chorus of "Camptown Races") with the expectation, presumably, that audiences would get the reference. Radio shows got into the act, a fact perhaps best exemplified by the popular radio shows Two Black Crows, Sam and Henry, and Amos 'n' Andy , A transcription survives from 1931 of The Blue Coal Minstrels , which uses many of the standard forms of the minstrel show, including Tambo, Bones and the interlocutor. Amos 'n' Andy was a situation comedy based on Stereotypes of African-Americans and popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s The National Broadcasting Company, in a 1930 pamphlet, used the minstrel show as a point of reference in selling its services. The National Broadcasting Company ( NBC) is an American Television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's 
As recently as the mid-1970s the BBC screened The Black and White Minstrel Show on television, starring the George Mitchell Minstrels. The Black and White Minstrel Show was a British television series that ran from 1958 until 1978 and was a popular stage show The racist archetypes that blackface minstrelsy helped to create persist to this day; some argue that this is even true in hip hop culture and movies. Hip hop is a Subculture, which is said to have begun with the work of DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and Afrika Bambaattaa The 2000 Spike Lee movie Bamboozled alleges that modern black entertainment exploits African American culture much as the minstrel shows did a century ago, for example. Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20 1957 is an Emmy Award -winning and Academy Award -nominated American Film director, Bamboozled is a 2000 satirical Film written and directed by Spike Lee about a modern televised Minstrel show 
Meanwhile, African American actors were limited to the same old minstrel-defined roles for years to come and by playing them, made them more believable to white audiences. On the other hand, these parts opened the entertainment industry to African American performers and gave them their first opportunity to alter those stereotypes.  Many famous singers and actors gained their start in black minstrelsy, including W. C. Handy, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and Butterbeans and Susie. William Christopher Handy ( November 16 1873 &ndash March 28 1958) was a Blues Composer and Musician, often Ida Cox (c 25 February 1896 &ndash 10 November 1967) was an African American Singer and Vaudeville performer Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett Rainey, better known as Ma Rainey ( April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known Bessie Smith (July 9 1892 or April 15 1894&ndash September 26 1937 was an American Blues singer Ethel Waters ( October 31, 1896 &ndash September 1, 1977) was an American Blues and Jazz Vocalist Butterbeans and Susie were a comedy duo made up of Jodie Edwards (1895-1967 and Susie Hawthorne (1896-1963 The Rabbit's Foot Company was a variety troupe, originally founded in 1900 by an African American, Pat Chappelle,  which drew on and developed the minstrel tradition while updating it and helping to develop and spread black musical styles. The Rabbit's Foot Company, also known as the Rabbit('s Foot Minstrels and colloquially as "The Foots" was a long running minstrel and variety troupe that Besides Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, later musicians working for "the Foots" included Louis Jordan, Brownie McGhee and Rufus Thomas, and the company was still touring as late as 1950. Louis Jordan ( July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was a pioneering American Jazz, Blues and Rhythm & blues Walter Brown ("Brownie" McGhee ( November 30 1915 - February 16 1996) was a folk - Blues Singer Rufus Thomas Jr ( March 26 1917 – December 15 2001) was a Rhythm and blues, Funk and soul singer and Its success was rivalled by other touring variety troupes, such as "Silas Green from New Orleans. Silas Green from New Orleans was an African American owned and run variety tent show which in various forms toured the southern states between about 1904 and 1957 "
The very structure of American entertainment bears minstrelsy's imprint. The endless barrage of gags and puns appears in the work of the Marx Brothers and David and Jerry Zucker. The Marx Brothers were a popular team of sibling Comedians who appeared in Vaudeville, stage plays film and television David Zucker (born October 16 1947) is an American Film director. Jerry Zucker (born March 11 1950) is an American Movie director known for his role in directing comedy spoof films The varied structure of songs, gags, "hokum" and dramatic pieces continued into vaudeville, variety shows, and to modern sketch comedy shows like Hee Haw or, more distantly, Saturday Night Live and In Living Color. This article refers to a particular song type of American Blues music and a comedic style prevalent in Blues and Country music. Sketch comedy consists of a series of short Comedy scenes or vignettes called "sketches" commonly between one and ten minutes long For the EP by The Birthday Party, see Hee Haw (EP Hee Haw was a Television Variety show co-hosted Saturday Night Live ( SNL) is a weekly late-night 90-minute American Sketch comedy / Variety show based in New York City This article is about the television series For the band see Living Colour.  Jokes once delivered by endmen are still told today: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "Why does a fireman wear red suspenders?" Other jokes form part of the repertoire of modern comedians: "Who was that lady I saw you with last night? That was no lady—that was my wife!" The stump speech is an important precursor to modern stand-up comedy. Stand-up comedy is a style of comedy where the performer speaks directly to the audience with the absence of the theatrical " Fourth wall " 
Another important legacy of minstrelsy is its music. The hokum blues genre carried over the dandy, the wench, the simple minded slave characters (sometimes rendered as the rustic white "rube") and even the interlocutor into early blues and country music incarnations through the medium of "race music" and "hillbilly" recordings. This article refers to a particular song type of American Blues music and a comedic style prevalent in Blues and Country music. A dandy (also known as a beau gallant or flamboyant person is a man who places particular importance upon Physical appearance, refined language and leisurely hobbies The Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of Music based on the use of the Blue notes It emerged as an accessible form of self-expression Country music is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Many minstrel tunes are now popular folk songs. Most have been expunged of the exaggerated black dialect and the overt references to blacks. "Dixie", for example, was adopted by the Confederacy as its unofficial national anthem and is still popular, and "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" was sanitized and made the state song of Virginia until 1997. " Dixie " also known as " I Wish I Was in Dixie " " Dixie's Land " and other titles is a popular American song. The Confederate States of America (also called the Confederacy, the Confederate States, and CSA) formed as the government set up from 1861 "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" is a song which was written by James A The Commonwealth of Virginia ( is an American state  "My Old Kentucky Home" remains the state song of Kentucky. " My Old Kentucky Home " (originally titled " Poor Uncle Tom Good Night! " and sometimes also titled " My Old Kentucky Home Good-Night! " The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. The instruments of the minstrel show were largely kept on, especially in the South. Minstrel performers from the last days of the shows, such as Uncle Dave Macon, helped popularize the banjo and fiddle in modern country music. Uncle Dave Macon ( October 7 1870 - March 22 1952)—also known as "The Dixie Dewdrop"—was an Country music is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. And by introducing America to black dance and musical style, minstrelsy opened the nation to black cultural forms for the first time on a large scale.