Monday, November 16, 2015

Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used by performers to represent a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the proliferation of stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation" or the "dandified coon". In 1848, blackface minstrel shows were an American national art of the time, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. This reproduction of a 1900 William H. West minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the transformation from "white" to "black".