MinstrelsyFoster - Blackface Minstrelsy Drew from the...

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Blackface Minstrelsy Drew from the tradition of blackface performing that was practiced in the United States from at least the early 19 th century. Two performers codified two stereotypes that were prevalent in minstrelsy and in later entertainment. •Thomas Dartmouth Rice: created a “Jim Crow” character based on a stable hand he had seen sing and dance. Used a song called “Jim Crow” for his song and dance. Jim Crow became a stock type for blackface performers: a rural, poor, uncouth, and dim- witted African American. (Rice was primarily a dancer, and his Jim Crow dance was widely imitated.) •George Washington Dixon: created a “Zip Coon” character, again through a song of the same name, who was the opposite of Jim Crow. Zip Coon was an urban dandy with exaggerated clothes and speech who in the end was defeated by his own foolishness. Dixon was primarily a singer. 1843: The Virginia Minstrels codified the minstrel show. Only four performers at first, including •Dan Emmett, a very important figure in the genre who performed and wrote many songs for the minstrel stage, among them “De Boatman’s Dance” and “Dixie” (“I Wish I Was in Dixie’s Land”). Emmett was a Northerner. •Eventually, the minstrel show added more performers and was in a set form: •A first part, which featured the performers seated in a semi- circle with “Interlocutor” in the middle and two stock characters – Mr.Tambo and Mr. Bones on either end.
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