African American Influence On Minstrel

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Minstrel shows have been around for almost 200 years, originating in the 1840’s. These shows became an instant sensation with fans, as white performers would rub burnt cork, or greasepaint, on their faces to give themselves the pigmentation of a black person. These white performers would dress in outlandish costumes while performing songs to audiences that mocked and negatively characterized the culture of African Americans in a demeaning way. In a couple years, these audiences would expand and soon become popular national sold out events. Consequently whites were exploiting black stereotypes in order to obtain a substantial amount of monetary gain, either through the entertainment being exhibited or in advertising, but they mostly felt comfortable

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