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MUS 347- Discussion: The Legacy of Minstrelsy

Aug 24, 2023

The Legacy of Minstrelsy

Do you perceive elements of the legacy of minstrelsy in contemporary popular culture and entertainment? If so, where? Use specific examples.

Discussion: The Legacy of Minstrelsy

The legacy of minstrelsy is one of the most popular theatrical cultures and it was widely famous around the early period of 19th and 20th centuries. Although this culture slowly developed and changed the medium to perform and reach the audience. The genres and elements of the legacy of minstrelsy sarcastically highlight the black community but also a comic genre (Byrne, 2020, p.23). The chorus usually started the stage with a warm quote and then it would go with several jokes.  As I have mentioned the theatrical culture of minstrelsy developed through the eras, it became one of the prime sources of entertainment in the time of civil war. The musicians of the minstrelsy used to travel through the countries and did a mimicry of black people and their status as a lazy community.

Even the genres of the music that have been applied here reflect the authenticity of the states but also the dark side of racism as it mostly refers to the white domination of the black community. As I have researched further, it shows the minstrel theatre is dying and the pop culture of the evolving era is growing rapidly. The influence of amateur theatre is gaining popularity but this section of the minstrel drama also got mixed and acclaimed further(Byrne, 2020, p.23). Furthermore, later in the era of 20th century this drama also changed its medium and it again started to be released on the radio and the BBC broadcast. One of the greatest examples of the legacy of minstrel theatre was the release of “The Black and White Minstrel Show” and featured one of the great artists George Mitchell Minstrels. I have also discovered that the influence of the minstrel was the main reason behind the concept of black people and the concept of paternalism.

I have also found several examples like “race music”, “Dixie”, “Saturday night live” and many other concepts that are a prime concept that is inspired by the concept of minstrel(Byrne, 2020, p.23).  Even many comical events like jokes and other mimicry are also the result of the influence of the minstrel show. although the purpose behind the show reflected the idea of spreading joy and laughter through sarcasm.


Byrne, K. J. (2020). Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age. Routledge.

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