Welcome to a piece of American history. In the old music hall, white comedians and song 'n' dance men would splash their faces in charcoal, maybe throw on a pair of white gloves, then go through the step-n-fetchin' routine, the exotica and the buffoonery of perceived black culture. Jim Crow, Amos 'n' Andy, Mammy, L'il Black Sambo, Uncle Tom, and the Ten Pickaninnies were typical characters thrown on stage and screen for the amusement and mockery of white audiences.
What began as white actors in blackface evolved with the 1950s Amos and Andy Show on television, featuring black actors in blackface. The content remained the same, with Amos and Andy portrayed as lazy, ignorant, chicken eatin', banjo playin', shifty clowns. Once the show lost favor with an outraged public, the television studios put a halt on developing new shows about the black experience -- degrading or otherwise -- for several decades.
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