Minstrel Jubilee Quartets

Jubilee Period

The jubilee period took place from 1880-1929. There was a variety of jubilee quartets such as University Jubilee Quartets, Barbershop Community Quartets, Shape-Note/Sacred Harp Quartets, Community Bases Quartets, and Minstrel Jubilee Quartets. Minstrel Quartets reflected the white racial imagination of African Americans.

Minstrel History Lesson

What exactly was the Minstrel Jubilee Quartets? During the jubilee period, the quartet group consisted of white actors that would dress up in “blackface” for these minstrel shows. This was the start of blackface where white people would paint their faces black with black features to portray black people as brainless. Minstrel shows were created by whites for the entertainment of white people. These shows included performance routines with songs, dances, and the type of dialogue that reflected what these white people thought about African Americans.


Black Minstrel Shows

After continuous embarrassment and disscrimation from the racist minstrel shows, companies that had an all-black cast created their own minstrel shows. This led to competition among black and whites of who could better depict slave life. Though, African Americans would focus on religious practices in their shoes.  

Jubilee Quartets

These Minstrel shows influenced Jubilee Quartets. For example, the Fisk Jubilee singer emerged providing religious materials for these black minstrel shows. Late in the 19th century, every minstrel company black or white tended to feature an African American jubilee singing group.

Pictured above are  the Fisk Jubilee Singers.


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