Came across a group of Minstrels in the park on the corner of Robert and Murry Streets in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain on Carnival Tuesday. Minstrels in the context of Trinidad carnival, are a “traditional” carnival character. Instead of white persons in black face, they are black persons who mask themselves white, mimicking white minstrels in American culture. I’ve heard that it began in solidarity with African American oppression, and to mock the irony of whites oppression of blacks juxtaposed with a fascination (and denegration of) black culture. I’m not sure whether the sharpness of this message is clear in the contemporary portrayals, but that might be a result of our loosing touch with history.
Here are a couple links for you to mull over: