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Blackface! - A History of Minstrel Shows

Blackface! - A History of Minstrel Shows | Minstrel shows-Vaudeville | Scoop.it
A history of Minstrel Shows
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Black face was a common source of "entertainment," a form of vaudeville in the late 1800s that extended all the way into the 1960s (later came to a slow hinderance with the civil rights movement). This spectacle consisted of white actors who would paint their faces in "black" makeup and take on the supposed characteristics of African-American people; imitatig both dialect and mannerisms. This was a show based purely on racial stereotypes and insensitive humor.

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Jay Dee's curator insight, March 27, 2013 8:15 PM

In order understand these horrid acts we have to back to the beginning of when it started. When these minstrel where performed it was an all-white male cast portraying Americans are ignorant, uneducated, watermelon, chicken eating coons.This happened in the late 19th century and end in the mid-20th century.

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hirsutism-annie-jones-8.jpg (400x299 pixels)

hirsutism-annie-jones-8.jpg (400x299 pixels) | Minstrel shows-Vaudeville | Scoop.it
Raven Red-clash's insight:

The bearded lady was a famous relic of early entertainment (the freak show), where many would showcase their talents and abnormalities. This form of live entertainment, the ability to be entertained and capivated by the strange, gave way to early performances such as vaudeville and circus acts.

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PT 1 The Three Stooges In Monkey Businessmen

In This Stooges Short Called Monkey Businessmen It's About Tense Electricians Moe, Larry And Curly Are In For Some Shocking Surprises When They Admit Themsel...
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Buster Keaton in THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1921) -- Part 1 of 3

Buster is a bank clerk who gets into a sticky situation when he accidentally stumbles into the haunted hideaway of some bank robbers.
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Buster Keaton's early career began in vaudeville where he was born into a vaudeville family, The Three Keatons. Keaton's trademark involved his active participation in physical comedies, in which he performed highly dangerous stunts (without a stunt double). With his eventual transition into silent film in the 1920s, he carried on the legacy of earlier vaudeville acts and successfully translated its quality of humor onto screen. 

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The Three Stooges pull a tooth out

From the episode: All the World's a Stooge, the stooges pull out a tooth in this part o' the episode!
Raven Red-clash's insight:

The Three Stooges, orginally known as Ted Healy and His Stooges in earlier vaudeville, used their training to transition into a new form known as Screwball or "slapstick" comedies. This was yet a later adaption of Vaudeville that erupted after America's great depression. Similiar to its predecessor, they used forms of physical violence that were portrayed as comical.

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1950 Blackface Performance: Vernon & Ryan

Actors Glenn Vernon and Edward Ryan apply blackface make-up while on stage, and show us how blacks have been portrayed in minstrel shows for ages... The prod...
Raven Red-clash's insight:

The minstrel show was also born out of the complexity of vaudeville. This live performance and minstrel show performed by actors Glenn Vernon and Edward Ryan, was yet another inaccurate depiction of african americans whilst mimicking "black" mannerisms, slurring words, and hindering speech. This display, rather than  being abhorred was applauded. Political correctness had yet to be defined, and public displays of racism were still considered average amusement. Socially and politically, America was in its battle for civil rights. Concurrently, many of the movements/hardships of the time were reflected in the performances of the actors.

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The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- D. W. Griffith's ( From The "Public Domain" )

Here's the entirity of Birth of a Nation. Yeehaw.


Via james roberts
Raven Red-clash's insight:

D.W Griffith's Birth of a Nation is a depiction of a mid/ post-civil war era of America. The film portrays the "supposed" negative effects of the civil war on the white population by re-enacting "real" events in actual history. In order to achieve this relatively false depiction, D.W Griffith utilizes a common tool in early vaudeville, the minstrel show. He dresses white actors in black face and protrays them as savage, uneducated, vicious, corrupt, and more importantly, ravenous for virtuous white women. This purpose constructed by Griffith serves not only to degrade black men, but to also save the white population from its destruction and/ or distinction.

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PT Barnum's Freak Show PT Barnum 1810-1891

history of PT Barnum's freak show...


Via k3hamilton
Raven Red-clash's insight:

PT Barnum's Freak Show was an exhibition of extraordinary people with abnormal abilities. This spectacle both satisified the curiosity of the bizarre, and entertained the masses. The innate curiosity to witness the strange, the abnormal, and perhaps even the controversial was equally shared among vaudeville performances as well as the circus; where people could showcase their abnormalities. This previously offensive exhibition would then be applauded and considered socially acceptable if not extraordinary.

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Historic Footage- Vaudeville Acts 1898 to 1910 (Part 1 of 2)

Historic Footage- Vaudeville Acts 1898 to 1910 (Part 1 of 2)
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Animals were often trained in vaudeville as well. There wasn't much differentiation that existed between the circus and the early formation of vaudeville in the late 1800s.

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Charlie Chaplin - The Lion's Cage

For the scenes with the lions Chaplin made some 200 takes, in many of which he was actually inside the lion's cage. His looks of fear are not all merely acting.
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Performing dangerous but equally humorous stunts was a tactic used in vaudeville that almost always incited laughter.

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Vaudeville Act: Lowe, Hite and Stanley

WWII era vaudeville act... Three mental midgets show you how to be a good soldier. This is a cool soundie that was missing all titles so I had no idea who th...
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Humor and entertainment were woven into the would-be socially unacceptable and controversial. Vaudeville allowed for such displays to be valued as "amusing" rather than prejudice or racial. This form of live entertainment was constructed to amaze rather than to offend.  

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Who's on first?

Abbott and Costello perform the classic "Who's on first?" baseball sketch in their 1945 film "The Naughty Nineties" first performed as part of their stage ac...
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Vaudeville gave way to many comedic performers such as Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplain, and Buster Keaton (just to name a few). These actors used Vaudeville as their launching pad into early cinema that stretched as late as the 1950s with actors such as Abbott and Costello. They would commonly use the form of live, physical violence, similiar to the practice of early Vaudeville for comic relief. This source of entertainment helped to launch many newage actors into their later film careers.

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Historic Footage- Vaudeville Acts 1898 to 1910 (Part 2 of 2)

Historic Footage- Vaudeville Acts 1898 to 1910 (Part 2 of 2)
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A Spike Lee Joint: Bamboozled 2002 New Line Cinema

I Am Not Trying Infringe any Copyright and believe this does not infringe copyright (e.g. it is fair use under US law) Bamboozled is a 2000 satirical film wr...

Via cafonso
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Bamboozled, a film directed by Spike Lee in 2002 is a depiction of the modern day minstrel show.He applies many of the tactical antics used in early vaudeville. And although equally controversial, Lee's purpose is vastly different. This film is a response to the hinderances of the black man and his depiction in modern day society (and equally, his inability to advance in society unless it is translated into bafoonery). It reveals that although times have changed, racial stereotypes continue to actively thrive and produce racially fueled antics  (comedies.)

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Blackface! - A History of Minstrel Shows

Blackface! - A History of Minstrel Shows | Minstrel shows-Vaudeville | Scoop.it
A history of Minstrel Shows
Raven Red-clash's insight:

Black face was a common source of "entertainment," a form of vaudeville in the late 1800s that extended all the way into the 1960s (later came to a slow hinderance with the civil rights movement). This spectacle consisted of white actors who would paint their faces in "black" makeup and take on the supposed characteristics of African-American people; imitatig both dialect and mannerisms. This was a show based purely on racial stereotypes and insensitive humor.

more...
Jay Dee's curator insight, March 27, 2013 8:15 PM

In order understand these horrid acts we have to back to the beginning of when it started. When these minstrel where performed it was an all-white male cast portraying Americans are ignorant, uneducated, watermelon, chicken eating coons.This happened in the late 19th century and end in the mid-20th century.