Minstrels Essay by The Research Group

Minstrels
An examination of their origin among slaves, their development, "black face," as art form, shows and the role of whites.
# 20334 | 1,800 words | 8 sources | 1993 | US
Published on Mar 19, 2003 in African-American Studies (General) , Music Studies (General)


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From the Paper:

"Minstrelsy was a product of the slave era and set a pattern whereby white musicians and performers would borrow heavily from black music and make it into a popular and commercial success. Minstrelsy in any form has fallen into disfavor with the success of the civil rights movement and with changed attitudes toward blacks. This was a type and style of performance that originated among slaves and was then adopted by white performers. Commercial minstrel shows began with white performers who blacked their faces; however, minstrelsy was not entirely a white prerogative as there were black minstrel troupes after the Civil War. Black minstrel performers also blacked their faces. Many of the performers, both black and white, became very well known in their day and influenced later performers and musicians in popular music into the beginning of this century."

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