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Essay On 19th Century American Entertainment

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During the 19th century, American had long working hours and have awful working condition because of the American Industrialization. In order to relieve their stress, entertainments were necessary. There were many forms of entertainment that were performed throughout America’s history. Two of the popular entertainment at that time were “minstrel show” and “freak show.” Minstrel show was also known as the “blackface,” which was a theatrical show that was mainly performed by white people with “blackface” makeup on. Another popular entertainment was the “freak show.” It was an exhibition of human with unusual body part. Some of them looked different because they were from cultures, while some of them had genetic mutation or diseases.

The minstrel show was a musical stage show performed by mostly whites. The performers blackened their faces and perform music, comic skit and dancing.“Jim Crow” was one of the popular character which represent a stereotype career slave. He was originated from a popular song called “jump jim crow.” Another character was Zip Coon, who represent the free blacks. The black face shows used these characters to make fun of blacks and provoke laughter. Since the show was rather racist, it became unpopular near 1950s as African American gained power in political.

Another popular entertainment was the Freak Show, which was
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Both of the two popular entertainments, blackface and freak show, targeted their audience as whites. In black face, they only allowed white performers and provoked laughter by making fun of blacks. In freak show, they not only made fun of deformed people, but also insult African cultures, like big buttlock and big lips. Sara Baartman was degraded and her large breast and buttlock were used to entertain the audiences, which affect the world’s view on black women. Even today, many black women devalued themselves and only value their buttlock and
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