1931: Minstrel show performers Alexander and Mose

Minstrel show performers Alexander and Mose. This image shows the outlandish makeup of blackface, and how minstrelsy was a sort of white parody on black culture.

vaudeville minstrel shows

Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, Barbershop Quartets & etc.

The earliest minstrel shows were staged by white male minstrels (traveling musicians) who, with their faces painted black, caricatured the singing and dancing of slaves. Scholars usually distinguish this form of the tradition as blackfaceThe earliest minstrel shows were staged by white male minstrels (traveling musicians) who, with their faces painted black, caricatured the singing and dancing of slaves. Scholars usually distinguish this form of the tradition as blackface minstrelsy. The…

The earliest minstrel shows were staged by white male minstrels (traveling musicians) who, with their faces painted black, caricatured the singing and dancing of slaves. Scholars usually distinguish this form of the tradition as blackfaceThe earliest minstrel shows were staged by white male minstrels (traveling musicians) who, with their faces painted black, caricatured the singing and dancing of slaves. Scholars usually distinguish this form of the tradition as blackface minstrelsy. The…

Born around 1842, Billy Kersands was the most popular Black comedian of the late-19th century specializing in minstrel shows. In addition to comedy, he was a talented dancer, singer, and acrobat. Kersands could also play a number of instruments making him the ultimateBorn around 1842, Billy Kersands was the most popular Black comedian of the late-19th century specializing in minstrel shows. In addition to comedy, he was a talented dancer, singer, and acrobat. Kersands could also play a…

Born around 1842, Billy Kersands was the most popular Black comedian of the late-19th century specializing in minstrel shows. In addition to comedy, he was a talented dancer, singer, and acrobat. Kersands could also play a number of instruments making him the ultimateBorn around 1842, Billy Kersands was the most popular Black comedian of the late-19th century specializing in minstrel shows. In addition to comedy, he was a talented dancer, singer, and acrobat. Kersands could also play a…

This seems like a classic Minstel picture. The skin is very dark with large red lips and stark whites of the eyes. Also the contrast between the black and white men is noticeable.

Color illustration of Wm. West’s Big Minstrel Jubilee. On the left actor Billy Van appears without makeup, and on the right he is made to appear black.

The Black & White Minstrel Show - saw them at the London Palladium. Didn't realise at the time how non-PC this was as I was only little.

The Black & White Minstrel Show was a popular British television show. A petition against it went to the BBC in The characters in Joe Egg make a few derogatory references about black people.

Ned Haverly, grandson of J.H. Haverly who ran the United Mastodon Minstrels.  Since he learned his act from one of the great 19th century minstrels shows, we get a good glimpse into how minstrel shows really looked and sounded.

Ned Haverly, grandson of J. Haverly who ran the United Mastodon Minstrels. Since he learned his act from one of the great century minstrels shows, we get a good glimpse into how minstrel shows really looked and sounded.

Four-member band in black face make-up playing tambourine, fiddle, banjo and percussion in exaggerated poses.

In 1843 Barney Williams also associated with The Virginia Minstrels, opening with his troupe February That same year he was listed in a minstrel company – the Kentucky Minstrels - playing at Vaux Hall. He danced a “cotton plantation jig.

Four-member band in black face make-up playing tambourine, fiddle, banjo and percussion in exaggerated poses.

Detail from cover of The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels, 1843

Minstrel Show Blackface Stump Speech

Slim Williams delivers a stump speech in blackface. This was an important part of nearly every minstrel show -- a performer delivers a political speech fille.

Al Jolson Blackface Minstrel Show

Al Jolson plays blackface minstrel performer EP Christy in "Swanee River" Jolson got his start in minstrel shows and was the most famous minstrel art.

In the 1840s and '50s, William Henry Lane and Thomas Dilward became the first African Americans to perform on the minstrel stage. 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 "SLAVES from Alabama, EARNING THEIR FREEDOM by giving concerts under the guidance of their Northern friends". 1859 playbill of Bryant's Minstrels

The Walkaround - To conclude the walkaround, the semicircle disbanded and the performers danced together. Detail from a playbill of the Bryant's Minstrels, 19 December

Pinterest
Search