Black Face Minstrels Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… If this were possible then there could never be permanent differences as people would be able to morph into whatever category or identity they choose, eliminating variance within groups and the need for races. Furthermore, by setting a limited standard for what a people look like negates any perceived identity within the group. There is no perceived individuality as David Roeadiger writes in reference to Ernest Hogan’s song “All Coons Look Alike,” the song “bore a title that suggested how thoroughly dehumanizing racist stage stereotypes could be” (Roediger 98). Second, these impersonations were only temporary displays. Theaters and show venues provided an “appropriate” setting to explore the world of Black entertainment and Indian civilization through the control of scripts and direction. There was an important difference between acting Black or Indian and being Black or Indian. To read from a script removes the actor from culpability and gives him a sense of innocence because it is his …show more content…
In the case of Black Face Minstrels, the unnaturally blackened skin, and the exaggerated white lips were not only obviously inaccurate but also intentionally so. Black entertainment was frequently lauded by white Americans for its “preindustrial joy” and “natural humor,” and its profitability in the show circuit was undeniable (Roediger 104). Once blackface replaced black entertainment, no longer were the “joys” genuine representations but ridiculed characterizations. From characters like Mammy, Old Jim Crow, and the Zip Coon, lower, middle, and aristocratic classes of “morally reformed” white Americans mocked the characters’ individual traits perceived as crass and unrefined. The Black Minstrel Shows allowed white men to “act black” for a time and reinforce stereotypes that separated Blacks from Whites and justify racist white supremacist ideologies while reveling in a kind of chaos of sin and folly, of misery and …show more content…
My knife has drunk the blood of the false one, yet it is not satisfied! White man, beware! The mighty spirits of the Wampanoag race are hovering o’er your heads; they stretch out their shadowy arms to me and ask for vengeance; they shall have it…” (Stone, 23).
Such intense, provocative and aggressive vocabulary would paint a picture, which coincided with the audience’s perception of Native Americans based on the political turmoil concerning the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the expulsion of Indians from their eastern territories. Depictions like the ones above would affirm why it was important to keep the races separate and further exempt Indian societies from an American Identity. Black Face Minstrelsy and Indian Plays both had major impacts on not only how White Americans viewed the representative groups but also in how the national identity was shaped. Whether the shows were simply for entertainment or political ploys it is undeniable that they both influenced both entertainment and politics for the long run of American

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