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White blackface performers in the past used burnt cork and later greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips, often wearing woolly wigs, gloves, tailcoats, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation.
The best known stock character of this sort is Jim Crow, featured in innumerable stories, minstrel shows, and early films.
It told the story of a boy named Sambo who outwitted a group of hungry tigers.
"Sambo" refers to black men that were considered very happy, usually laughing, lazy, irresponsible, or carefree.
Krimmel's representation of a "[s]habbily dressed" fiddler and serving girl with "toothy smile" and "oversized red lips" marks him as "..of the first American artists to utilize physiognomical distortions as a basic element in the depiction of African-Americans." Minstrel shows portrayed and lampooned black people in stereotypical and often disparaging ways, as ignorant, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, joyous, and musical.
A comprehensive examination of the restrictions imposed upon African-Americans in the United States of America through culture is examined by art historian Guy C. Paintings like John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark (1778) and Samuel Jennings' Liberty Displaying the Arts and Sciences (1792) are early examples of the debate underway at that time as to the role of Black people in America. "You're wearing grey trousers today." He usually wore black, as did most of the other boys."Yes.