The Minstrel Show

These three stock characters were among several that reappeared in minstrel shows throughout the nineteenth century. "Jim Crow" was the stereotypical carefree slave, "Mr. Tambo" a joyous musician, and "Zip Coon" a free black attempting to "put on airs" or rise above his station. The parody in minstrel shows was often savage.





Dan Emmet, who claimed to have originated the form.


The final image, below, comes from minstrel show poster from the 1850s. Mr. Bones (who plays two "bones" clicked together) and Mr. Tambo are on far right and left.