Early on, the roles that Blacks portrayed in any form of media was the "mammy" "uncle tom" "buck" "wench/jezebel" "mulatto" or "pickaninny" Sometimes, most times, blacks weren't even cast by blacks. They had whites in blackface portray Blacks on stage. http://black-face.com/
minstrel shows, using some elements of satire, criticized and stereotyped black Americans as stupid, happy, watermelon-eating, do domestic jobs or servant type of job, carefree, have thick lips and big mouths, superstitious, lazy, irresponsible, violent, aggressive, and threatening. Uncle Tom, Sambo, Mammy, Mulatto and Wench, Pickaninny, and Buck were the popular cartoon depiction of black Americans in the 19th century and early to mid 20th century.