Brora Heritage Centre
Warning – some people may find this item offensive.
From the 1950s, there was a group of performers from Brora known as the Brora Entertainers. They performed variety shows in the village and all over the north of Scotland.
One such performance from 1975 involved the Entertainers mimicking the BBC’s light entertainment programme, ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’, which ran for 20 years from 1958. The troupe’s male singers applied dark make up to their faces, a process which is sometimes called ‘blacking up’ and is now considered highly offensive. The troupe performed song and dance routines, many of which had roots in slavery communities of America’s Deep South.
The photo gives us an insight into changing attitudes since this activity would no longer be considered acceptable but went largely unchallenged during these very different times. The photo of the ‘Brora Minstrels’ needs to be considered within the context of the time, since the performers would not have intended to give offense. It’s a great reminder of how much progress has been made over the last few decades.
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Materials : Paper
Size : 15cm x 20cm