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Minstrelsy

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Minstrelsy is a form of entertainment that presents African American culture through comedy, song, dance, and satirical speech. The performances are called minstrel shows. A minstrel show comprises an actor, usually White, wearing blackface paint to represent the African American. Minstrel shows provided White actors the opportunity to manipulate Black identity on stage for entertainment and economic purposes. Manipulating Black identity on stage strengthened the belief that Whites were superior to Blacks, and it reinforced the need ...

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