Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Change -

I'm grateful that times have changed as to entertainment. 

From Writer's Almanac:

It was on this day in 1843 that the first minstrel show was performed at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City. The performers were Dan Emmett, Billy Whitlock, Dick Pelham, and Frank Brower. They called themselves the Virginia Minstrels and performed in blackface. Blackface was already popular, but usually by one singer or dancer in a solo act.

The Virginia Minstrels made it a whole show, with a tambourine, bones, fiddle, and banjo. The shows featured songs, dances, jokes, and skits, all of them using insulting dialect and exaggerated stereotypes of blacks on Southern plantations — offensive characters like Jim Crow, Mammy, and Zip Coon. For the next 40 years, minstrel shows were the most popular form of entertainment in the United States.


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