Ministering Minstrels : Blackface Entertainment in Pioneer Utah
Utah Historical Quarterly
The popularity of the blackface minstrel show in pioneer Utah is examined. This form of entertainment appeared in Utah at least as early as 1853. Local and professional traveling minstrel troupes were popular in the Mormon communities until the turn of the century. Although Brigham Young was occasionally a caustic critic of extremism in this type of entertainment, the Salt Lake Theater frequently opened its stage to minstrelsy. The minstrel show continued to be produced by amateurs in local wards until the 1950s. The author raises some serious sociological questions about the Mormon fondness for minstrel entertainment.