What is Blackface?

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What is Blackface?

Do you really know?

What is Blackface? Thanks for asking!

Blackface is a form of theatre which consists of non-black performers wearing make-up to represent black characters. These depictions were often based on racial stereotypes and caricatures, with exaggerated physical features used to ridicule black people. This form of entertainment rose to popularity in 19th century America. It also became prominent in the UK. Blackface was most common in minstrel shows, which were a medley of singing, dancing, music and comedy scenes. Performers tended to be white, and used greasepaint or shoe polish to make their skin appear darker. The trend gradually disappeared in the second half of the 20th century, being recognised as offensive and racist. But it has come under the spotlight again recently. This is largely due to the Black Lives Matter movement and focus on racial inequality issues, following the death of George Floyd in May.

If blackface disappeared years ago, why is it still relevant today?

While minstrel shows are thankfully consigned to the past, there have still been many recent instances of white actors portraying black characters in popular culture. The latest rise in collective awareness has led to scenes and entire episodes with blackface depictions being removed from well-known shows. Some examples include The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs. A number of public figures have had to issue public apologies after past images of them in blackface surfacing. This isn’t just limited to the entertainment industry; even Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was found to have worn blackface makeup on multiple occasions for high school talent shows.

But isn’t removing blackface episodes just an easy way out? What are the alternative options then? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is an ecocide?

What is IQ?

What is Fintech?

 

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What is Blackface? Thanks for asking!

Blackface is a form of theatre which consists of non-black performers wearing make-up to represent black characters. These depictions were often based on racial stereotypes and caricatures, with exaggerated physical features used to ridicule black people. This form of entertainment rose to popularity in 19th century America. It also became prominent in the UK. Blackface was most common in minstrel shows, which were a medley of singing, dancing, music and comedy scenes. Performers tended to be white, and used greasepaint or shoe polish to make their skin appear darker. The trend gradually disappeared in the second half of the 20th century, being recognised as offensive and racist. But it has come under the spotlight again recently. This is largely due to the Black Lives Matter movement and focus on racial inequality issues, following the death of George Floyd in May.

If blackface disappeared years ago, why is it still relevant today?

While minstrel shows are thankfully consigned to the past, there have still been many recent instances of white actors portraying black characters in popular culture. The latest rise in collective awareness has led to scenes and entire episodes with blackface depictions being removed from well-known shows. Some examples include The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs. A number of public figures have had to issue public apologies after past images of them in blackface surfacing. This isn’t just limited to the entertainment industry; even Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was found to have worn blackface makeup on multiple occasions for high school talent shows.

But isn’t removing blackface episodes just an easy way out? What are the alternative options then? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is an ecocide?

What is IQ?

What is Fintech?

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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