The Black and White Minstrel show may well have been hated and considered racist by the "liberal thinking elite" but there were 55 million people in this country during its near 30 years run and the vast majority of those that had TVs enjoyed it immensely (It began in 1957, so not everyone had a TV). It was always entertaining. It neither set out to be, nor was, racist. It simply copied that which started in America (probably in the speakeasies) where black singers entertained the customers. They were very popular there from prohibition onwards and when the BBC imported the idea to Britain they naturally "blacked up" to copy the genre more closely because they could not get famous black singers, after all, there weren't that many blacks in this country at the time. Don't forget, Al Jolson was white and loved equally by both blacks and whites - not because he "blacked up" but because he had a wonderful voice. Similarly, the BBC's Black and White Minstrel Show had singers with good voices. It may be off the air now but that is more because "variety acts" are out of favour generally than because the B&WMS was racist.
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