Minstrelsy was enormously popular. It was, perhaps, America's first truly original artform (pre-dating Jazz by half a century or more).
Some of the music was very good. Stephen Foster wrote extensively for the minstrel theater. 27Oh! Susanna28My Old Kentucky Home29Dixie30Camptown Races31Polly Wolly Doodle32Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair33But the bedrock of the minstrel show was a vicious mocking of black American culture, language, and predicament.
53It Zactly Suits Dis Chile54
Photo from the Library of Congress.
74Jim Crow75I'se in a perdickermunt." This is an example of the kind of humor and situation common in minstrel show comedy."