Minstrel shows were a form of entertainment popular in America during the early 19th century. The shows were usually performed by white people wearing make-up for the purpose of portraying black characters (the practice is called "blackface"). Sometimes, African-American actors would participate too, although this was less common. Minstrel shows portrayed African Americans as foolish, superstitious, complacent and lazy. The popularity of minstrel shows declined with the emergence of vaudeville.