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Dad was a minstrel

Mark Brooky • Nov 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Gail of Grand Haven asked, “My dad was an ‘end man’ in the Elks Minstrels in the late 1950s to early ‘60s. He passed away 50 years ago now, and I would love a ‘video’ or even pictures of the show, but don't know where to find them. Any ideas?”

Answer:

It was a different time when these “minstrel” shows were staged in Grand Haven. This kind of show is now rightly considered racially offensive.

But it is part of our history.

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum supplied me with a couple of black-and-white (no pun intended) photos, but they may be from earlier than what Gail is seeking.

“These are the only two photos we have in the collection,” said the museum’s Alice Seaver.

Seaver said the photo with the five men was taken in the 1930s. The other one is not dated. They were taken in either the old Orpheum Theater or the Armory, she said.

Do you have a question for the Tribune? Email it to mbrooky@grandhaventribune.com, and type “Mailbag” in the subject line. Or mail it the old-fashioned way to: Grand Haven Tribune’s Mailbag, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. We'll do our best to get you an answer!

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