The Darktown Jamboree, 1953
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On March 21, 1953, the men’s Century Forum literary society put on its 5th annual minstrel show, the Darktown Jamboree, in Bowen Hall. This image shows three of the stereotypical roles in a minstrel show: the interlocutor, the endmen, and the chorus. The interlocutor (in the white jacket at left) is the only person not to perform in blackface. Standing next to the interlocutor (dressed in a dark suit) is one of the performers in the role of an endman. The interlocutor and endmen trade jokes between songs from the chorus, whose members sit in blackface make-up, dressed in black pants, white shirts and gloves, and oversized black bow ties. The use of the oversized ties was a way of portraying a buffoonish character. The students acting in the chorus or as endmen put on comedic performances that racially parodied Black people.The Century Forum literary society continued staging the minstrel show until 1956. The following year the society changed the format of the show by eliminating all blackface acts due to complaints lodged against them. This photo was originally published in the 1953 Boiling Pot yearbook.