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Harvard Theatre Collection

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Replicas of a minstrel banjo (foreground, photo 1) and a banza, an African stringed precursor to the banjo, are on view at the Loeb Music Library exhibition. An 1853 map (detail, photo 2) was borrowed from Harvard's Map Collection for the show. Students used the map to help illustrate minstrelsy's wide reach. Samuel Parler (photo 3), a Ph.D. candidate in music, and the chair of Harvard's Music Department Carol Oja conceived of the minstrelsy seminar and resulting exhibition.

Unmasking minstrelsy

Exhibition unearths fresh insights by shining light on song style with deeply racist roots