Minstrel: A Form Of African American Popular Culture

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Minstrel shows were forms of entertainment and have been around for almost 200 years, originating in the 1840s, in which these pivotal shows became an instant phenomenon with fans or supporters, as white performers that took part in these shows would rub burnt cork, or greasepaint, on their faces in order to give the impression and pigmentation of an African American. In return these white performs would dress in outlandish costumes while presenting to the audiences that ridiculed and negatively characterized the culture of African Americans in an extremely demeaning way. As a result, whites were taking advantage of black anti-sentiment and stereotypes in order to procure substantial monetary gain either through the entertainment being exhibited or in advertising, but they mostly felt comfortable with blacks being portrayed through only stereotyped roles: as contended subordinates on a plantation, as blissfully ignorant low-comedy fools, and as nonsensical, pretentious incompetents as they were considered inferior to whites. It became an instant success garnering significant momentum moving forward through the early 19th century as people at that time considered it mainstream entertainment and was believed to be the initial starting point for popular music in America.…show more content…
This also gave rise to the modern music industry, prompted swift expansion of the audience for popular music that we perceive today, contributed towards unprecedented innovations in technology that reinforced the dissemination of music to a national audience; and finally led to the manifestation of song and dance music styles that affected the subsequent development of popular music in the United States into what it has become

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