Several weeks ago I read a post on Sheryl’s blog A Hundred Years Ago, about a school play put on in 1913 in which her Grandmother acted the part of Chloe, the maid, in black face. It wasn’t a minstrel show, but there was some discussion about what was accepted in those days and what is accepted now. I googled “minstrel shows” and found photos and articles which show minstrel shows occurring as late as the 1960s in the US. I didn’t realize how many schools, scouts and civic groups put on ministrel shows and plays using black face.
Later, I was looking through my father’s letters home to Detroit while he was a minister in Springfield, MA and I saw the article below about a church that was going to put on a minstrel show in 1947 in Springfield . The NAACP was trying to convince them that this was a bad idea that perpetuated stereotypes about black people that were not true. My father wrote the article below which appeared in the newspaper, The Springfield Republican.
The first link below goes to a page about blackface and racism, in the past and in the present, with links. The other pages are articles and pictures of minstrel shows from 1901 to 1967. I was surprised that there was a television show in Britain called “The Black and White Minstrel Show” that broadcast until 1978.
- Blackface! – The History of Black Racist Stereotypes
- The Last Minstrel Show – 1901 (Last one 1967)
- Minstrel Show At Trappe High School – 1951 & 1953
- The Junior Choir Minstrel Show -1957
- The Third Grade 1950 Minstrel Show
- Minstrel Show in Newspaper, April 11, 1960
- Golliwogg – Wikipedia
And a discussion of racism and stereotypes in comics