Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (BMO Room) and via Zoom
Nicole Neatby: Professor, History Department, Saint Mary’s University
Abstract: Reviews in Halifax newspapers reveal that blackface performances provoked mixed reactions between the late 1830s when they first appeared and the 1860s. While these shows were clearly popular from the outset among many Haligonians, those who published reviews were highly critical in the early decades. However, it didn’t take long for reviewers’ assessments to evolve. By the 1860s, the derision had subsided and blackface shows gained favour as a form of acceptable mainstream entertainment. This lecture will explore the reasons behind this shift and to what extent these reactions can offer some insights into white Haligonians’ attitudes towards race and class.