Deleterious Presentation of a Black Man | University of Illinois Archives
2630002_ACT_2_Circus_1927.jpg (JPEG Image, 77.59 KB)
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A white student wears all black paint, fake bone jewelry, and wields a large club and a top hat. This image is evidently blackface, and an egregious form, so we have hidden the image, but you may request it for research purposes.
The interscholastic circus was an annual spring event where students, under the training of circus coach Carlos Wagner, trained as clowns and performers to put on a university circus show. There were awards presented to different categories focused on clownery, performance, and fraternity/sorority participation. Campus Greek life was integral to these performances every year. This year, 1927, was the 20th anniversary of the interscholastic circus, so certain norms and elements had been well established by then that we now lack the context for.
We are aware of the racial stigma of the blackface illustrated in this image. While we do not condone this behavior, we provide context for this student behavior through these digital entries.
Due to the volatile nature of nitrate film, the image can be found here:
Copyright Bernard A. Strauch.
Copyright of this image is NOT owned by the University of Illinois and the image is provided here for personal use only. Any other use of this image is strictly prohibited without the express permission of the copyright holder. Please contact us for more information.