Black Stereotypes in Vermont History

Description

This is a collection of stereotypical and racist depictions of African Americans found in the collections of the Vermont Historical Society. It includes photographs of whites in blackface, advertising for minstrel shows, and demeaning images of Blacks used by stores to advertise products. These images are antithetical to modern standards of racial equality and may be disturbing to modern viewers. They are presented for research purposes as examples of what occurred during Vermont's past. They are not meant to show the totality of the African American experience, positive or negative, in Vermont history.
  • For a record of the accomplishments of African Americans in Vermont, see our Black Vermont History Database.
  • For a more complete examination of Kake Walk at UVM, see the University of Vermont Libraries' Kate Walk at UVM digital presentation.

Collection Tree

The College Pee-rade, Burlington, 1910
Real Photo Postcard of a parade float entitled "A Study in Black and (Bob) White." Five men are in a boxing ring, one appears to be in black face, one had a black eye, one has a megaphone, and two are sitting on stools wearing long robes. Outside…

Altimont Cornet Band Minstrels
Another example of a minstrel show being performed in a Vermont town. This one is for a group called the Altimont Cornet Band Minstrels performing at Hammond Hall in Ludlow in 1889

Apollo Club Minstrels, 1886
Another example of the prevalence of minstrel shows in Vermont, this is a flyer for a minstrel show put on by the Apollo Club, a local social club, at the Blanchard Opera House in Montpelier in 1886.