October 26, 2020

Moon Interviewed about Civil War Era Black Performer

Professor of History and Director of American Studies Krystyn Moon

Professor of History and Director of American Studies Krystyn Moon

Professor of History and American Studies Krystyn Moon was recently interviewed by Atlas Obscura about Thomas Dilward, one of the first African-American performers to tour with all-white minstrel troupes during the Civil War. Dilward made history as a member of these troupes, whose performances featured racist caricatures and exclusion, the article states. Later, he joined several black troupes that emerged after the Civil War.

Black troupes still performed white stereotypes of black people, but their performances allowed black people to gain some control over how they were portrayed on stage, and there were few other ways to make a living as a black performer, Moon says. Read more.