Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Thursday, 18 July 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : BLACK AND WHITE MINSTREL SHOW - TAKING THE MEEKIE AND BEEN RACIST AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE :
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY The Black and White Minstrel Show was a British light entertainment show that ran on BBC television from 1958 to 1978 and was a popular stage show. It was a weekly light entertainment and variety show presenting traditional American minstrel and country songs, as well as show and music hall numbers, usually performed in blackface, and with lavish costumes. The show was created by George Mitchell.
By 1964, audiences were regularly exceeding 18 million. The Minstrels also had a theatrical show produced by Robert Luffwhich ran for 6,477 performances from 1960–1972 and established itself in The Guinness Book of Records as the stage show seen by the largest number of people. At this time, the creation gained considerable international kudos; in 1961 the show won a Golden Rose at Montreux for best light entertainment programme and the first three albums of songs (1960–1962) all did extremely well, the first two being long-running #1 albums in the UK Albums Chart. The first of these became the first album in UK album sales history to pass 100,000 sales.
While the show started off being broadcast in (genuine) black-and-white, the show was one of the very first to be shown in colour on BBC Two in 1967.
Several famous personalities guested on the show, while others started their careers there. Comedian Lenny Henry was one such star, being the first black comedian to appear, in 1975. In July 2009, Lenny Henry explained that he was contractually obliged to perform and regretted his part in the show.
The show's premise began to be seen as offensive on account of its portrayal of blacked-up characters behaving in a stereotypical manner and a petition against it was received by the BBC in 1967. In 1969, due to continuing accusations of racism, Music Music Music, a spin-off series in which the minstrels appeared without their blackface make-up, replaced The Black and White Minstrel Show. It failed badly, was cancelled after 10 episodes and The Black and White Minstrel Show returned to win back viewers.
Since its cancellation, The Black and White Minstrel Show has come to be seen more widely as an embarrassment, despite its huge popularity at the time.
The BBC1 TV show was cancelled in 1978 as part of a reduction in variety programming (by this point the blackface element had been reduced), while the stage show continued. Having left the Victoria Palace Theatre, where the stage show played from 1962 to 1972, the show toured almost every year to various big city and seaside resort theatres around the UK, including The Futurist in Scarborough, The Festival Theatre in Paignton and The Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth. This continued each summer until 1987, when a final tour of three Butlins resorts (Minehead,Bognor Regis and Barry Island) saw the last official Black and White Minstrel Show on stage.
In the late 1960s, Music Music Music, a "whiteface" version of the show, had been tried, only to lose viewers. In a 1973 episode of The Two Ronnies, a musical sketch, "The Short and Fat Minstrel Show", was performed as a parody of The Black and White Minstrel Show, featuring spoofs of various songs. "Alternative Roots", an episode of the BBC comedy series The Goodies, spoofed the popularity of The Black and White Minstrel Show, suggesting that any programme could double its viewing figures by being performed in blackface, and mentioning that a series of The Black and White Minstrel Show had been tried without make up.The Black and White Minstrel Show by having the male performers in blackface while the females (excluding Mrs. Slocombe) were not.