Blacks in Blackface

December 1, 2019 – 10:44 am

Eddie Rochester AndersonRuby Dandridge is best known for playing maids on radio, movies and television. All Ruby had to do was open her mouth and let that squeaky voice come forth, and audiences would break into hysterics.

Stepin Fetchit became a very wealthy man portraying "the laziest human being in the world"

Clinton "Dusty" Fletcher got his start in Hollywood in Rufus Jones for President (1933), but it was his role in Open the Door Richard (1945) that served as a showcase for his comedic talents.

Ruby Dandridge 1899-1987 Billy Kersands 1842-1915

Billy Kersands was the most famous negro blackface minstrel and vaudeville performer of the 19th century, who entertained audiences with comedy, dancing, singing, music and acrobatics. He was best known and remembered for the size of his mouth, which he could fill with billiard balls while reciting a monologue.

Best known for his signature routine "Here Come Da Judge." Although he performed exclusively for Black audiences until very late in his career, he refused to abandon blackface until the 1950s. It was as integral to his performance as any costume.

Hattie McDaniel is best known for her portrayal as "Mammy" in 1939's Gone with the Wind. She was the first African-American to win an Academy Award.

Butterfly McQueen is most famous for her role in Gone With the Wind (1939) as the slave " Prissy" with the high squeaky voice who didn't "know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies."

Allen Farina Hoskins 1920-1980

Moreland's defining role was that of Birmingham Brown, the loyal chauffeur to master detective Charlie Chan in fifteen films made by Monogram Studios in the 1940s.

He was called “the quintessential Tom” because of his cheerful and shameless subservience to whites in films. But in real life Robinson was the sort of man who, when refused service at an all-white luncheonette, would lay his pearl-handled revolver on the counter and demand to be served.

W.C. Fields called him "the funniest man I ever saw and the saddest man I ever knew." Unable to realize his highest ambitions, yet able to illuminate a degrading caricature with rare humanity, Bert Williams earned a place as one of the most significant figures in the history of American show business.

Spencer Williams - Andy Brown


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