by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Movies & TV
The American Experience, the award-winning PBS series, has an episode on Stephen Foster that spends considerable time on blackface minstrelsy.
Spike Lee takes his typically controversial look at the tradition of minstrelsy in this 2000 film. Determined to broadcast an offensive television show that will get him fired, Pierre Delacroix produces Mantan: The New Millennium Minstrel Show. But far from a failing, the show is an enormous success. Plausible? Absurd? Lee makes you think about both the minstrel tradition and contemporary American culture.