Minstrelsy

1914 Minstrels. Trinity Ivy, 1914

Typical of the time period, Trinity students performed their own minstrel show in 1914 titled "A Study in Black." 

The illustration and program suggest that the performance followed a typical blackface minstrel format, described by the Britannica as follows:

"The format of the minstrel show, usually in two parts, was established by the Christy company and changed little thereafter. In part one the performers were arranged in a semicircle, with the interlocutor in the centre and the end men—Mr. Tambo, who played the tambourine, and Mr. Bones, who rattled the bones (a pair of clappers, named after the original material from which they were made)—at the ends. The interlocutor, in whiteface, usually wore formal attire; the others, in blackface, wore gaudy swallow-tailed coats and striped trousers. The program opened with a chorus, often as a grand entrance, and at the conclusion of the song the interlocutor gave the command, “Gentlemen, be seated.” Then followed a series of jokes between the interlocutor and end men, interspersed with ballads, comic songs, and instrumental numbers, chiefly on the banjo and violin. The second part, or olio (mixture or medley), consisted of a series of individual acts that concluded with a hoedown or walk-around in which every member did a specialty number while the others sang and clapped. Occasionally there was a third part consisting of a farceburlesque, or comic opera."

1914 Minstrels. "A Study in Black" Trinity Ivy, 1914