Introduction, Page 26
By the 1850s the minstrel show had begun to take on the distinct form, divided into two or three sections, that it would have throughout the height of its popularity. Minstrel shows were sometimes organized along an imaginary North/South axis, with foppish characters such as Jim Dandy or Zip Coon lampooning free African Americans as northern dandies whose ignorance and confusion belied their pretensions to sophistication; these figures of folly contrasted with the ignorant slave characters who were meant to typify the South.
(George Dixon as Zip Coon; 012172093, Houghton Library, Harvard University.)
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