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Blackface at the Royall House, 1915

How can we understand the history of blackface in New England if we fail to understand the region's 150-year history of enslavement? This image from 1915 shows boys from Medford performing in the role of slaves at the three-day Pageant of the Royall House. A mural in the Medford Post Office shows "The Golden Triangle of Trade" traditionally associated with the South, but here -- appropriately sweeping north from the Caribbean to point straight toward Boston harbor.

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