Minstrel Military: How America Weaponized Blackface to Fight Nazis

General Programming

  • The Heyman Center Fellows
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

"Minstrel Military: How America Weaponized Blackface to Fight Nazis" will examine the role amateur blackface minstrel shows played in the United States during the Great Depression and World War II. In the century spanning the end of the Civil War to the birth of the Civil Rights Movement (an era called "Jim Crow," after the first blackface character), the American government refocused domestic and foreign policy to federalize, finance, distribute, codify, and produce racist amateur blackface music and plays in public schools, the military, and everyday American life as an expression of patriotic duty and citizenship.

  • Speaker Rhae Lynn Barnes Assistant Professor of History Princeton University