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The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a of the subject. You may , discuss the issue on the , or , as appropriate. (December 2017)

This reproduction of a 1900 poster, originally published by the Strobridge Co., shows the transformation from "white" to "black".

Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a . The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of such as the "happy-go-lucky on the plantation" or the " ". In 1848, blackface shows were an American national art of the time, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right, until it ended in the United States with the of the 1960s.

Contents

History[]

Blackface was an important performance tradition in the American theater for roughly 100 years beginning around 1830. It quickly became popular elsewhere, particularly so in Britain, where the tradition lasted longer than in the U.S., occurring on primetime TV, most famously in , which ended in 1978, and in 's Christmas specials and finally . In both the United States and Britain, blackface was most commonly used in the minstrel performance tradition, which it both predated and outlasted. Early white performers in blackface used burnt cork and later greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips, often wearing woolly wigs, gloves, tailcoats, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation. Later, black artists also performed in blackface.

Stereotypes embodied in the stock characters of blackface minstrels not only played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist images, attitudes, and perceptions worldwide, but also in popularizing black culture. In some quarters, the caricatures that were the legacy of blackface persist to the present day and are a cause of ongoing controversy. Another view is that "blackface is a form of in which one puts on the insignias of a sex, class, or race that stands in opposition to one's own."

By the mid-20th century, changing attitudes about race and racism effectively ended the prominence of blackface makeup used in performance in the U.S. and elsewhere. remains in relatively limited use as a theatrical device and is more commonly used today as social commentary or . Perhaps the most enduring effect of blackface is the precedent it established in the introduction of to an international audience, albeit through a distorted lens. Blackface's ,, and of African-American culture—as well as the inter-ethnic artistic collaborations that stemmed from it—were but a prologue to the lucrative packaging, marketing, and dissemination of African-American cultural expression and its myriad derivative forms in today's world popular culture.

Racist archetypes[]

American actor John McCullough as Othello, 1878

There is no consensus about a single moment that constitutes the origin of blackface. places it as part of a tradition of "displaying Blackness for the enjoyment and edification of white viewers" that dates back at least to 1441, when captive West Africans were displayed in Portugal. Whites routinely portrayed the black characters in the and theater (see ), most famously in (1604). However, Othello and other plays of this era did not involve the emulation and caricature of "such supposed innate qualities of Blackness as inherent musicality, natural athleticism", etc. that Strausbaugh sees as crucial to blackface., a white blackface actor of fame, brought blackface in this more specific sense to prominence as a theatrical device in the United States when playing the role of "Mungo", an inebriated black man in , a British play that premiered in New York City at the on May 29, 1769. The play attracted notice, and other performers adopted the style. From at least the 1810s, blackface were popular in the United States. British actor toured the U.S. in 1822–23, and as a result added a "black" characterization to his repertoire of British regional types for his next show, A Trip to America, which included Mathews singing "Possum up a Gum Tree", a popular slave freedom song. played a plantation black in 1823, and was already building his stage career around blackface in 1828, but it was another white comic actor, , who truly popularized blackface. Rice introduced the song "" accompanied by a dance in his stage act in 1828 and scored stardom with it by 1832.

First on de heel tap, den on the toe
Every time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow.
I wheel about and turn about an do just so,
And every time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow.

This postcard, published c. 1908, shows a white minstrel team. While both are wearing wigs, the man on the left is in blackface and .

Rice traveled the U.S., performing under the "Daddy Jim Crow". The name Jim Crow later became attached to that codified the reinstitution of and after .

In the 1830s and early 1840s, blackface performances mixed skits with comic songs and vigorous dances. Initially, Rice and his peers performed only in relatively disreputable venues, but as blackface gained popularity they gained opportunities to perform as in theatrical venues of a higher class. Stereotyped blackface characters developed: buffoonish, lazy, superstitious, cowardly, and lascivious characters, who stole, lied pathologically, and mangled the English language. Early blackface minstrels were all male, so cross-dressing white men also played black women who were often portrayed as unappealingly and grotesquely mannish, in the matronly mold, or as highly sexually provocative. The 1830s American stage, where blackface first rose to prominence, featured similarly comic stereotypes of the clever Yankee and the larger-than-life Frontiersman; the late 19th- and early 20th-century American and British stage where it last prospered featured many other, mostly -based, comic stereotypes: conniving, venal ; drunken brawling with at the ready; oily Italians; stodgy Germans; and gullible rural rubes.

1830s and early 1840s blackface performers performed solo or as duos, with the occasional trio; the traveling troupes that would later characterize blackface minstrelsy arose only with the minstrel show. In New York City in 1843, and his broke blackface minstrelsy loose from its novelty act and entr'acte status and performed the first full-blown minstrel show: an evening's entertainment composed entirely of blackface performance. ( did more or less the same, apparently independently, earlier the same year in .) Their loosely structured show with the musicians sitting in a semicircle, a player on one end and a player on the other, set the precedent for what would soon become the first act of a standard three-act minstrel show. By 1852, the skits that had been part of blackface performance for decades expanded to one-act farces, often used as the show's third act.

The songs of composer figured prominently in blackface minstrel shows of the period. Though written in dialect and certainly by today's standards, his later songs were free of the ridicule and blatantly racist caricatures that typified other songs of the genre. Foster's works treated and the in general with an often cloying sentimentality that appealed to audiences of the day.

White minstrel shows featured white performers pretending to be blacks, playing their versions of black music and speaking . Minstrel shows dominated popular show business in the U.S. from that time through into the 1890s, also enjoying massive popularity in the UK and in other parts of Europe. As the minstrel show went into decline, blackface returned to its novelty act roots and became part of vaudeville. Blackface featured prominently in at least into the 1930s, and the "aural blackface" of the radio show lasted into the 1950s. Meanwhile, amateur blackface minstrel shows continued to be common at least into the 1950s. In the UK, one such blackface popular in the 1950s was Ricardo Warley from who toured around the North of England with a monkey called Bilbo.

As a result, the genre played an important role in shaping perceptions of and prejudices about blacks generally and in particular. Some social commentators have stated that blackface provided an outlet for whites' fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar, and a socially acceptable way of expressing their feelings and fears about race and control. Writes Eric Lott in Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, "The black mask offered a way to play with the collective fears of a degraded and threatening—and male—Other while at the same time maintaining some symbolic control over them."

However, at least initially, blackface could also give voice to an oppositional dynamic that was prohibited by society. As early as 1832, a blacked-up was singing, "An' I caution all white dandies not to come in my way, / For if dey insult me, dey'll in de gutter lay." It also on occasion equated lower-class white and lower-class black audiences; while parodying Shakespeare, Rice sang, "Aldough I'm a black man, de white is call'd my broder."

Film[]

Through the 1930s, many well-known entertainers of stage and screen also . Whites who performed in blackface in film included ,,,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and and in Boston Blackie's Rendezvous. As late as the 1940s, used blackface in a sketch in (1943) and by casting as a maid in (1945).

In the early years of film, black characters were routinely played by whites in blackface. In the first known of (1903) all of the major black roles were whites in blackface. Even the 1914 Uncle Tom starring African-American actor in the title role had a white male in blackface as Topsy.'s (1915) used whites in blackface to represent all of its major black characters, but reaction against the film's racism largely put an end to this practice in dramatic film roles. Thereafter, whites in blackface would appear almost exclusively in broad comedies or "ventriloquizing" blackness in the context of a vaudeville or minstrel performance within a film. This stands in contrast to made-up whites routinely playing Native Americans, Asians, Arabs, and so forth, for several more decades.

Blackface makeup was largely eliminated even from live film comedy in the U.S. after the end of the 1930s, when public sensibilities regarding began to change and blackface became increasingly associated with racism and . Still, the tradition did not end all at once. The radio program (1928–60) constituted a type of "aural blackface", in that the black characters were portrayed by whites and conformed to stage blackface stereotypes. The conventions of blackface also lived on unmodified at least into the 1950s in animated theatrical cartoons. Strausbaugh estimates that roughly one-third of late 1940s cartoons "included a blackface, coon, or mammy figure." appeared in blackface at least as late as in 1953.

Ballet[]

In 1910, the , choreographed by , premiered in Russia. The story behind the ballet was inspired by a tone poem written by . In the ballet the leading female character, Zobeide, is seduced by a Golden Slave. The dancer who portrayed the Golden Slave, the first being , would have his face and body painted brown for the performance. This was done to show the audience the slave was of a darker complexion. Later in 1912, Fokine choreographed the ballet , which was performed on stage. The ballet centers around three puppets that come to life, Petrushka, the Ballerina, and the Moor. When the ballet premiered, the part of the Moor, first danced by Alexander Orlov, was performed in full blackface. The Moor puppet is first seen onstage playing with a coconut, which he attempts to open with his . His movements are apelike. The Moor seduces the Ballerina and later savagely cuts off the head of the puppet Petrushka. When Petrushka is performed today, the part of the Moor is still done in full blackface, or occasionally blueface. The blackface has not been publicly criticized in the ballet community. Black and brownface appear in other ballets today, such as and , in the United States and Europe.

Black minstrel shows[]

was the only black member of the when he joined them in 1910. Shown here in blackface, he was the highest-paid African American entertainer of his day.

By 1840, black performers also were performing in blackface makeup. generally abhorred blackface and was one of the first people to write against the institution of blackface minstrelsy, condemning it as racist in nature, with inauthentic, northern, white origins. Douglass did, however, maintain: "It is something to be gained when the colored man in any form can appear before a white audience."

When all-black minstrel shows began to proliferate in the 1860s, they often were billed as "authentic" and "the real thing". These "colored minstrels" always claimed to be recently freed slaves (doubtlessly many were, but most were not) and were widely seen as authentic. This presumption of authenticity could be a bit of a trap, with white audiences seeing them more like "animals in a zoo" than skilled performers. Despite often smaller budgets and smaller venues, their public appeal sometimes rivalled that of white minstrel troupes. In March 1866, Booker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels may have been the country's most popular troupe, and were certainly among the most critically acclaimed.

These "colored" troupes—many using the name "Georgia Minstrels"—focused on "plantation" material, rather than the more explicit social commentary (and more nastily racist stereotyping) found in portrayals of northern blacks. In the execution of authentic black music and the , tradition of , when the only performers used were their hands and feet, clapping and slapping their bodies and shuffling and stomping their feet, black troupes particularly excelled. One of the most successful black minstrel companies was 's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels, managed by . This company eventually was taken over by . The Georgia Minstrels toured the United States and abroad and later became .

From the mid-1870s, as white blackface minstrelsy became increasingly lavish and moved away from "Negro subjects", black troupes took the opposite tack. The popularity of the and other jubilee singers had demonstrated northern white interest in white religious music as sung by blacks, especially . Some jubilee troupes pitched themselves as quasi-minstrels and even incorporated minstrel songs; meanwhile, blackface troupes began to adopt first jubilee material and then a broader range of southern black religious material. Within a few years, the word "jubilee", originally used by the Fisk Jubilee Singers to set themselves apart from blackface minstrels and to emphasize the religious character of their music, became little more than a synonym for "plantation" material. Where the jubilee singers tried to "clean up" Southern black religion for white consumption, blackface performers exaggerated its more exotic aspects.

African-American blackface productions also contained buffoonery and comedy, by way of self-parody. In the early days of African-American involvement in theatrical performance, blacks could not perform without blackface makeup, regardless of how dark-skinned they were. The 1860s "colored" troupes violated this convention for a time: the comedy-oriented endmen "corked up", but the other performers "astonished" commentators by the diversity of their hues. Still, their performances were largely in accord with established blackface stereotypes.

These black performers became stars within the broad African-American community, but were largely ignored or condemned by the . — a middle-class African American who had contempt for their "disgusting caricaturing" but admired their "highly musical culture"—wrote in 1882 that "few ... who condemned black minstrels for giving 'aid and comfort to the enemy'" had ever seen them perform. Unlike white audiences, black audiences presumably always recognized blackface performance as caricature, and took pleasure in seeing their own culture observed and reflected, much as they would half a century later in the performances of .

Despite reinforcing racist stereotypes, blackface minstrelsy was a practical and often relatively lucrative livelihood when compared to the menial labor to which most blacks were relegated. Owing to the discrimination of the day, "corking (or blacking) up" provided an often singular opportunity for African-American musicians, actors, and dancers to practice their crafts. Some minstrel shows, particularly when performing outside the South, also managed subtly to poke fun at the racist attitudes and double standards of white society or champion the cause. It was through blackface performers, white and black, that the richness and exuberance of , humor, and dance first reached mainstream, white audiences in the U.S. and abroad. It was through blackface minstrelsy that African American performers first entered the mainstream of American show business.Black performers used blackface performance to satirize white behavior. It was also a forum for the sexual gags that were frowned upon by white moralists. There was often a subtle message behind the outrageous vaudeville routines:

The laughter that cascaded out of the seats was directed parenthetically toward those in America who allowed themselves to imagine that such 'nigger' showtime was in any way respective of the way we live or thought about ourselves in the real world.:5, 92–92, 1983 ed.

With the rise of vaudeville, -born actor and comedian became 's highest-paid star and only African-American star.

In the (TOBA), an all-black vaudeville circuit organized in 1909, blackface acts were a popular staple. Called "Toby" for short, performers also nicknamed it "Tough on Black Actors" (or, variously, "Artists" or "Asses"), because earnings were so meager. Still, TOBA headliners like and Johnny Hudgins could make a very good living, and even for lesser players, TOBA provided fairly steady, more desirable work than generally was available elsewhere. Blackface served as a springboard for hundreds of artists and entertainers—black and white—many of whom later would go on to find work in other performance traditions. For example, one of the most famous stars of Haverly's European Minstrels was Sam Lucas, who became known as the "Grand Old Man of the Stage". Lucas later played the title role in the 1914 cinematic production of 's Uncle Tom's Cabin. From the early 1930s to the late 1940s, New York City's famous in featured skits in which almost all black male performers wore the blackface makeup and huge white painted lips, despite protests that it was degrading from the NAACP. The comics said they felt "naked" without it.:4, 1983 ed.

The minstrel show was appropriated by the black performer from the original white shows, but only in its general form. Blacks took over the form and made it their own. The professionalism of performance came from black theater. Some argue that the black minstrels gave the shows vitality and humor that the white shows never had. As the black social critic has written:

It is essential to realize that ... the idea of white men imitating, or caricaturing, what they consider certain generic characteristics of the black man's life in America is important if only because of the Negro's reaction to it. (And it is the Negro's reaction to America, first white and then black and white America, that I consider to have made him such a unique member of this society.)

The black minstrel performer was not only poking fun at himself but in a more profound way, he was poking fun at the white man. The is caricaturing white customs, while white theater companies attempted to satirize the cakewalk as a black dance. Again, as LeRoi Jones notes:

If the cakewalk is a Negro dance caricaturing certain white customs, what is that dance when, say, a white theater company attempts to satirize it as a Negro dance? I find the idea of white minstrels in blackface satirizing a dance satirizing themselves a remarkable king of irony—which, I suppose is the whole point of minstrel shows.

Authentic or counterfeit[]

The degree to which blackface performance drew on authentic African-American culture and traditions is controversial. Blacks, including slaves, were influenced by white culture, including white musical culture. Certainly this was the case with church music from very early times. Complicating matters further, once the blackface era began, some blackface minstrel songs unquestionably written by New York-based professionals (Stephen Foster, for example) made their way to the plantations in the South and merged into the body of African-American folk music.

It seems clear, however, that American music by the early 19th century was an interwoven mixture of many influences, and that blacks were quite aware of white musical traditions and incorporated these into their music.

In the early years of the nineteenth century, white-to-black and black-to-white musical influences were widespread, a fact documented in numerous contemporary accounts.... [I]t becomes clear that the prevailing musical interaction and influences in the nineteenth century American produced a black populace conversant with the music of both traditions.

Early blackface minstrels often said that their material was largely or entirely authentic to African-American culture; John Strausbaugh, author of Black Like You, said that such claims were likely to be untrue. Well into the 20th century, scholars took the stories at face value., one of the founders of what is now known as , largely assumed this as late as 1931. In the Civil Rights era there was a strong reaction against this view, to the point of denying that blackface was anything other than a white racist counterfeit. Starting no later than Robert Toll's Blacking Up (1974), a "third wave" has systematically studied the origins of blackface, and has put forward a nuanced picture: that blackface did, indeed, draw on African-American culture, but that it transformed, stereotyped, and caricatured that culture, resulting in often racist representations of black characters.

As discussed above, this picture becomes even more complicated after the , when many African Americans became blackface performers. They drew on much material of undoubted slave origins, but they also drew on a professional performer's instincts, while working within an established genre, and with the same motivation as white performers to make exaggerated claims of the authenticity of their own material.

Author Strausbaugh summed up as follows: "Some minstrel songs started as Negro folk songs, were adapted by White minstrels, became widely popular, and were readopted by Blacks," writes Strausbaugh. "The question of whether minstrelsy was white or black music was moot. It was a mix, a mutt – that is, it was American music."

's "" in 1895, described as "a horrid sight, the blackest gnome." Note the formal minstrel attire.

"Darky" iconography[]

The darky icon itself—, with inky skin, exaggerated white, pink or red lips, and bright, white teeth—became a common motif in entertainment, children's literature, mechanical banks, and other toys and games of all sorts, and , advertisements, jewelry, textiles, postcards, sheet music, food and packaging, and other consumer goods.

In 1895, the surfaced in Great Britain, the product of children's book illustrator , who modeled her rag doll character after a minstrel doll from her American childhood. "Golly", as he later affectionately came to be called, had a jet-black face, wild, woolly hair, bright, red lips, and sported formal minstrel attire. The generic British golliwog later made its way back across the Atlantic as dolls, toy tea sets, ladies' perfume, and in myriad of other forms. The word "golliwog" may have given rise to the "".

"Darky" iconography frequently adorned the covers of sheet music from the 1870s through the 1940s, but virtually disappeared by the 1950s. Grocery list pegboard with a blackface graphic

U.S. cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s often featured characters in blackface gags as well as other racial and caricatures. Blackface was one of the influences in the development of characters such as . The 1933 release ""—the name a corruption of "" thought to harken back to the earliest minstrel shows—was a film short based on a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin by the Disney characters. Mickey, of course, was already black, but the advertising poster for the film shows Mickey with exaggerated, orange lips; bushy, white sidewhiskers; and his now trademark white gloves.

Reproduction of an old tin sign advertising Picaninny Freeze, a frozen treat (1922)

In the U.S., by the 1950s, the had begun calling attention to such portrayals of African Americans and mounted a campaign to put an end to blackface performances and depictions. For decades, darky images had been seen in the branding of everyday products and commodities such as Freeze, the , and . With the eventual successes of the modern day , such blatantly racist branding practices ended in the U.S., and blackface became an American .

Continued Use in Asia[]

However, blackface-inspired iconography continue in popular media in Asia. In Japan, in the early 1960s, a toy called became hugely popular. Dakkochan was a black child with large red lips and a grass skirt. There were boy and girl dolls, with the girls being distinguished by a bow. The black skin of the dolls was said to have been significant and in-line with the rising popularity of jazz. Novelist went as far as to state, "We of the younger generation are outcasts from politics and society. In a way we are like Negroes, who have a long record of oppression and misunderstanding, and we feel akin to them." Japanese cartoons continue to prominently feature characters inspired by "darky" iconography, including well-known Mr. Popo in popular series .

To this present day, prominent brands continue to use the iconography, including Chinese toothpaste brand , which was re-named from "Darkie", and 'Black Man' in Thailand. Vaudeville-inspired blackface remains frequently utilized in commercials.

Darlie toothpaste package over the years

Modern-day manifestations[]

See also:

Background[]

Over time, blackface and "darky" iconography became artistic and stylistic devices associated with and the . By the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in Europe, where it was more widely tolerated, blackface became a kind of , convention in some artistic circles. was a popular British musical variety show that featured blackface performers, and remained on British television until 1978 and in stage shows until 1989. Many of the songs were from the , and folk traditions. Actors and dancers in blackface appeared in such as 's "" (1980, also part of her touring piece A One Man Show),'s "" (1982) and 's "" (1983).

When trade and tourism produce a confluence of cultures, bringing differing sensibilities regarding blackface into contact with one another, the results can be jarring. When Japanese toymaker Corporation exported a darky-icon character doll (the doll, , had fat, pink lips and rings in its ears) in the 1990s, the ensuing controversy prompted Sanrio to halt production.

Trademark for Conguitos, a confection manufactured by the LACASA Group features a tubby, little brown character with full, red lips. In Britain, "Golly", a character, fell out of favor in 2001 after almost a century as the trademark of jam producer , but the debate still continues whether the golliwog should be banished in all forms from further commercial production and display, or preserved as a treasured childhood icon. In France, the chocolate powder still uses a little black boy with large red lips as its emblem. The licorice brand Tabu, owned by and distributed in Europe, introduced a cartoon minstrel mascot in the 1980s inspired by 's blackface performance in , which is still in use today.

The influence of blackface on branding and advertising, as well as on perceptions and portrayals of blacks, generally, can be found worldwide.

High tech[]

Digital media provide opportunities to inhabit and perform black identity without actually painting one's face. In 1999, Adam Clayton Powell III coined the term "high-tech blackface" to refer to stereotypical portrayals of . David Leonard writes that "The desire to 'be black' because of the stereotypical visions of strength, athleticism, power and sexual potency all play out within the virtual reality of sports games." Leonard's argument suggests that players perform a type of by controlling black avatars in sports games. Phillips and Reed argue that this type of blackface "is not only about whites assuming black roles, nor about exaggerated performances of blackness for the benefit of a racist audience. Rather, it is about performing a version of blackness that constrains it within the boundaries legible to white supremacy."

Social media has also facilitated the spread of blackface in culture. In 2016, a controversy emerged over 's filter, which allowed users to superimpose dark skin, dreadlocks, and a knitted cap over their own faces. A number of controversies have also emerged about students at American universities sharing images of themselves appearing to wear blackface makeup. Additionally, writers such as Lauren Michele Jackson and Victoria Princewill have criticized non-black people sharing animated images of black people or black-skinned , calling the practice "digital blackface".

Media[]

In 1980 the white members of appeared in blackface in their "Dream a Lie" video. The black members of the group wore white makeup on their faces to give the opposite appearance.

was a character in the comedy-horror TV show in the 1990s, and a subsequent movie. His exaggerated form of gypsy-styled blackface embodied the 'local' characters' fear of outsiders. It was revealed at the end of the series that this was his actual skin colour.[]

A sketch in a 2003 episode of features two characters who appear in blackface as minstrels, as regularly seen on British television until the 1980s. The same characters return for one 2005 sketch. In the sketches, the racist overtones are subverted with the characters presented as belonging to a race genuinely possessing the appearance of white men in blackface (referred to as "Minstrels") who are persecuted by the public and local government.

Comedians in many Asian countries continue to occasionally use minstrel-inspired blackface, with considerable and relentless frequency in South Korea.

Geographical[]

Australia[]

In October 2009, a talent-search skit on Australian TV's reunion show featured a tribute group for , the "Jackson Jive" in blackface, with the Michael Jackson character in . American performer was one of the guest judges and objected to the act, stating that he believed it was offensive to black people, and gave the troupe a score of zero. The show and the group later apologised to Connick, with the troupe leader of Indian descent stating that the skit was not intended to be offensive or racist.

Belgium and Netherlands[]

In , cartoonist uses a blackface type drawing style to depict the native Congolese. And in the Dutch comic , started in 1902, Sjimmy was initially depicted in the same way, but was gradually turned into a normal, but black, Dutch boy and in 1969, when took over the comic, his transformation to a normal boy was complete.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, people annually celebrate with accompanied by multiple in the form of adolescent boys and girls, and men and women, with their face painted black, or different colors or styles in some large city parades nowadays, wearing Moorish costumes. The Moorish Zwarte Piet character has been traced back to the middle of the 19th century when Jan Schenkman, a popular children's book author, added an African servant to the Sinterklaas story. However, the original and archetypal Zwarte Piet is believed to be a continuation of a much older custom in which people with black faces appeared in Winter Solstice rituals. In other parts of Western Europe and in Central Europe, black-faced and masked people also perform the role of companions of Saint Nicholas, who is known as Nikolo in Austria, Niklaus in Germany and Samichlaus in Switzerland. Also on 's Eve, black-faced men go around in processions through and the Lower Valley, in .

Zwarte Piet as a depiction of a Moorish page resembles many of the classic "darky" icons, and visitors are often surprised at the sight of white people made up in what appears to be classic blackface. Internal opposition to the practice has been present since the 1960s. Some of the stereotypical elements have been toned down in recent decades. However, a 2013 survey indicated support among the Dutch population is strong: 89% of the 19,000 respondents were opposed to altering the character's appearance, 5% favoured change, and 6% had no firm opinion either way.

Canada[]

Up until the early 2000s, white comedians sometimes used makeup to represent a black person, most often as a parody of an actual person. For example, the Montreal-based satiric group did so when comedian disguised himself as comedian and show host , making fun of his energetic personality (not of his racial background) on his television game show "Que le meilleur gagne". RBO also did a parody of a talk show where a strongly stereotypical fictitious Haitian man (Pelletier again) was easily offended, as well as a group parody of the Caribbean band and a sketch about the mangled lines of African-American actors in movie translations. Pelletier did another parody of Gregory Charles for the New Year's Eve TV special "Le Bye Bye de RBO" in 2006 (as an homage to Charles who had had a particularly successful year), along with a parody of Governor General in another sketch. And in RBO's 2007 "Bye Bye", impersonated a black Quebecer testifying during the , while in another sketch, Lepage, Pelletier and impersonated injured residents.

In September 2011, students caused a stir when using blackface to "pay tribute" to Jamaican sprinter during Frosh Week. The story went national, and was even covered on CNN. The university students were filmed in Jamaican flag colours, chanting "smoke weed" in a chorus. The University later apologized for the lack of consciousness of its student body.

In May 2013, comedian performed in blackface to imitate () an African immigrant-comedian and story-teller. Many notable Quebec journalists and pundits defended the practice and deny the history of blackface is part of Quebec's history. Boucar Diouf praised his fellow comedian for a sign of great open-mindedness.

In December 2013, white actor Joel Legendre () performed in blackface in the annual New Year's Eve TV special "Bye Bye 2013", in yet another parody of Gregory Charles, this time as host of the variety show "Le choc des générations".

In December 2014, the satirical end-of-year production by , a mainstream theatre company, included a blackface representation of hockey player by white actor Marc Saint-Martin. Despite some criticism the sketch was not withdrawn.

In June 2018, singer and director were accused of staging a black imitation that was reminiscent of blackface when they put together the show "SLĀV" at the Montreal Jazz Festival, notably because it included a scene where white performers were dressed as slaves as they picked cotton. After two initial performances, the rest of the run was canceled after singer refused to perform his own show at the same Festival, arguing that, in "SLĀV", "The only thing missing is black paint".

Cape Verde[]

There are some occurrences of blacking up (completely covering the entire exposed body) with afro wigs and stereotypical grass skirts and costume at festivals in this African country.

China[]

On February 15, 2018, a comedy sketch titled "Same Joy, Same Happiness" intending to celebrate on the , which draws an audience of up to 800 million, showed a Chinese actress in blackface makeup with a giant fake bottom playing an African mother, while a performer only exposing black arms playing a monkey accompanied her. At the end of the skit, the actress shouted, "I love Chinese people! I love China!" After being broadcast, the scene was widely criticized being "disgusting", "awkward" and "completely racist" on Twitter and . But according to the street interviews by the in Beijing on February 16, some Chinese people believed this kind of criticism was overblown. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, who also watched the skit, said that China had consistently opposed any form of racism, and added, "I want to say that if there are people who want to seize on an incident to exaggerate matters, and sow discord in China's relations with African countries, this is a doomed futile effort" at a daily news briefing on February 22.

Europe[]

In Europe, there are a number of folk dances or folk performances in which the black face appears to represent the night, or the coming of the longer nights associated with winter. Many fall or autumn North European folk black face customs are employed ritualistically to appease the forces of the oncoming winter, utilizing characters with blackened faces, or black masks.

Finland[]

In Finland, a version of the ' singing procession originating in the city of , a musical play known as Tiernapojat, has become established as a cherished Christmas tradition nationwide. The Tiernapojat show is a staple of Christmas festivities in schools, kindergartens, and elsewhere, and it is broadcast every Christmas on radio and television. The Finnish version contains non-biblical elements such as king Herod vanquishing the "king of the Moors", whose face in the play has traditionally been painted black. The character's color of skin is also a theme in the procession's lyrics.

Germany[]

A group of showmen in the called Negerköpp, founded in 1929, act with their hands and faces painted black.

The Germany-based Dutch musician stirred up controversy in 1983 by using dancers in blackface for his hit synthpop version of "".

In Germany, blackface was used in several theatrical productions.

Examples of theatrical productions include the many productions of the play "Unschuld" (Innocence) by the German writer , although in this play about two black African immigrants, the use of black-face is not part of the stage directions or instructions. The staging of the play "Unschuld" (Innocence) at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin was also subject of protest. The activist group "Bühnenwatch" (stage watch) performed a stunt in one of the stagings: 42 activists, posing as spectators, left the audience without a word and later distributed leaflets to the audience. Fundamental of the criticism was that the use of black-face solidifies stereotypes regardless of any good intentions and supports racist structures. The critics were invited to a discussion with the director, actors, theatre manager and other artists of the Deutsches Theater. As a result of the discussion, Deutsches Theater changed the design of actor make-up. Ulrich Khuon, the theatre manager, later admitted to being surprised by the protest and is now in a process of reflection.

German productions of 's almost always cast the role of Midge Carter, the black character, famously portrayed in the U.S. by , with a white actor in black makeup. The 2012 production of the play at the Berlin Schlosspark-Theater was the subject of protest. The director, Thomas Schendel, in his response to critics, argued that the classical and common plays would not offer enough roles that would justify a repertoire position for a black actor in a German theatre company. The protest grew considerably and was followed by media reports. While advocates of the theatre indicated that in principle it should be possible for any actor to play any character and that the play itself has an anti-racist message, the critics noted that the letter unwillingly disclosed the general, unexpressed policy of German theatres, i.e., that white actors are accounted to be qualified for all roles, even black ones, while black actors are suitable only for black roles. Other authors said that this problem in Germany generally exists for citizens with an immigrant background. The debate also received foreign media attention. The Schlosspark-Theater announced plans to continue the performances, and the German publishing company of Rappaport stated it will continue to grant permits for such performances.

German dramatists commented on the debate:

Unfortunately, I do not believe that our society has come to accept a black Faust in the theatre.

— Christian Tombeil, theater manager of Schauspiel Essen, 2012

We too have a problem to deal with issues of racism. We try to work it out by promoting tolerance, but tolerance is not a solution to racism. Why not? Because it does not matter whether our best friends are immigrants if, at the same time, we cannot cast a Black man for the part of Hamlet because then nobody could truly understand the "real" essence of that part. Issues of racism are primarily issues of representation, especially in the theatre.

— René Pollesch, director, 2012

In 2012, the American dramatist cancelled a German production of his play Clybourne Park when it was disclosed that a white actress would portray the African-American "Francine". A subsequent production using black German actors was successfully staged.

Guatemala[]

Guatemalan 2015 elected president, , was a comic actor. One of the characters he impersonated in his comic show "Moralejas" was called Black Pitaya which used blackface makeup. Jimmy Morales defended his blackface character saying he is adored by the country's black Garifuna and indigenous Mayan communities.

Iran[]

is a character in who appears in the streets by the beginning of the New Year festival of . His face is covered in black soot, which is to symbolize the dirt and dust from the previous year.

Japan[]

See also:

In , a subculture of hip-hoppers subscribe to the burapan style, and are referred to as blackfacers. The appearance of these blackfacers is evidence of the popularity of the hip-hop movement in Japan despite what is described as racist tendencies in the culture. Some Japanese fans of hip-hop find it embarrassing and ridiculous that blackface fans do this because they feel like they should not change their appearance to embrace the culture. In some instances it can be seen as a racist act, but for many of the young Japanese fans it is a way of immersing in the hip hop culture the way they see fit. The use of blackface is seen by some as a way to rebel against the culture of surface images in Japan.

Blackface also remains a contentious issue outside of hip hop. One Japanese R&B group, the Gosperats, has been known to wear blackface makeup during performances. In March 2015 a music television program produced by the network was scheduled to show a segment featuring two Japanese groups performing together in blackface, and . A picture was published online by one of the Rats & Star members after the segment was recorded, which led to a campaign against broadcasting of the segment. The program that aired on March 7 was edited by the network to remove the segment "after considering the overall circumstances", but the announcement did not acknowledge the campaign against the segment.

Mexico[]

In modern-day Mexico there are examples of images (usually caricatures) in blackface (e.g., ). Though there is backlash from international communities, Mexican society has not protested to have these images changed to racially sensitive images. On the contrary, in the controversial Memín Pinguín cartoon there has been support publicly and politically (chancellor for Mexico, ). Currently in Mexico, only 3–4% of the population are composed of (this percentage includes ).

A notorious example of blackface in Mexican media is a comedic episode based around the titled La guerra de secesión de los Estados Unidos (The U.S. Secession War) in which famous comedian did a skit in blackface.

Panama[]

Portobelo's Carnival and Congo dance in Panama include a use of blackface as a form of celebration of African history, an emancipatory symbol. Black men paint their faces with charcoal representing three things. Firstly, the blackface is used as a tool to remember their African descendants. Secondly, the black face is representative of the disguise or concealment on the run slaves would have used to evade the Spanish colonizers. Lastly, the practice of blackface is used as a way to signify the code or "secret language" slaves would have used during the time of Spanish occupation. During the celebration, for example, good morning will mean good night, and wearing black, or in this case blackface, which normally denotes a time of mourning, is used as a way to represent a time of celebration instead.

Portugal and Brazil[]

In Portugal, there is not a long history of use of actors in blackface for "serious" performances meant for realistic black character, but the use of blackface for comedy keeps being used frequently well into the 21st century. The talk-show , examples of which some episodes were hosted by Luís Filipe Borges and Pedro Fernandes, who have both done it, used it almost on a weekly basis. Recently, Eduardo Madeira dressed up as Serena Williams , adding an African accent the tennis player does not have in real life. Use of black performance in impersonations was quite frequently used in the (ongoing) song and impressions show A Tua Cara não Me É Estranha, with blackface impressions of ,,,,, among others.

In Brazil, there has been at least some history of non-comedic use of blackface, using white actors for black characters like (although the practice of "racelift", or making black/mulatto characters into /swarthy whites/, is more frequent than blackface). Use of blackface in humor has been used more rarely than in Portugal, although it also continues into this century (but it creates major uproar among the sizeable and more politically active community).

South Africa[]

Inspired by blackface minstrels who visited , South Africa, in 1848, former and took up the minstrel tradition, holding emancipation celebrations which consisted of music, dancing and parades. Such celebrations eventually became consolidated into an annual, year-end event called the "Coon Carnival" but now known as the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival or the .

Today, carnival minstrels are mostly ("mixed race"), -speaking revelers. Often in a pared-down style of blackface which exaggerates only the lips. They parade down the streets of the city in colorful costumes, in a celebration of culture. Participants also pay homage to the carnival's African-American roots, playing and featuring traditional jazz instruments, including , , and tambourines.

The South African actor and filmmaker is well known for employing the blackface technique in his filming to little or no controversy. But in 2013, the halted the airing of an ad wherein Schuster portrayed a stereotypically dishonest African politician in blackface. The action was in response to the following submitted complaint:

... the commercial is offensive as it portrays a stereotype that black politicians are liars. This technique is known as blackface, and is an inherently racist form of acting. The black character is depicted with derogatory intention, speaks with a thick accent, and recalls a stereotypical black dictator. To achieve the desired result of showing a corrupt official, there was no need for the man to be made out to be black.

South Africa has also been accused of using non-African actors in blackface in its advertising as opposed to simply using African actors. Some have denounced blackface as an artefact of apartheid, accusing broadcasters of lampooning Black people. Others continue to see it as "harmless fun". In 2014, photos of two white female students donning blackface makeup in an attempt at caricaturing Black surfaced on . The students were said to face disciplinary action for throwing the institution's name into disrepute, this despite having perpetrated the incident at a private party and later taking down the images. students Poekie Briedenhann and a friend drew much controversy after posting a picture of themselves in what appeared be dark paint and were subsequently accused of donning "blackface" and wrongfully suspended from their residence and later reinstated. The pair claimed they had been dressed up as purple aliens for a space-themed residence party.

Thailand[]

In , actors darken their faces to portray in a popular play by King (1868–1910), Ngo Pa (: เงาะป่า), which has been turned into a musical and a movie.

United Kingdom[]

Poachers and rioters[]

From 1723–1823, it was a criminal offence to blacken one's face in some circumstances, with a punishment of death. The was passed at a time of economic downturn that led to heightened social tensions, and in response to a series of raids by two groups of who blackened their faces to prevent identification. Blackening one's face with soot, lampblack, boot polish or coal dust being a traditional form of disguise, or masking, in the UK, especially at night when poaching.

The Welsh (1839–1843) used to blacken their faces and/or wear masks to prevent themselves being identified whilst breaking down turnpike gates, sometimes dressed as women.

Folk culture[]

South Western English traditional sometimes have a Turk Slaver character, probably from the on Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset in the early 17th Century by "" (where the English were the slaves captured and taken by force to North Africa). This character is usually played using a black face (or brownface).

Various forms of in England, including , have traditionally used blackface; its continuing use by some troupes is controversial.

and , both of whom are usually traditionally associated with midwinter festivals, often use blacked faces as a disguise. As the Molly dancers wished to avoid being identified by the landlords and petty nobles, who were also usually the local Magistrates, when they played tricks on those who failed to be generous enough in their gifts to the dancers. And the Guise dancers (disguised dancers) also wished to avoid any punishment for their mocking songs embarrassing the local gentry.

In , , the , wear black faces. Some[] believe the origin of this dance can be traced back to the influx of Cornish miners to northern England, and the black face relates to the dirty blackened faces associated with mining.

In , several celebrations are held; these were sometimes known as "Darkie Day" (a corruption of the original "Darking Day", referring to the darkening or painting of the faces) and involved local residents dancing through the streets in blackface to musical accompaniment. Although the origins of blacking-up for Mummer's Day have no racial connotations – the tradition is pagan in origin and goes back to the days of the Celts – controversially, in the festival, minstrel songs, such as one song with the words "He's gone where the good niggers go", were formerly included due to the popularity of minstrel songs during the early 20th century, perhaps due to people not being aware of the pagan origins of the face painting.

The traditional , that is considered to be good luck, sometimes has a partially blacked up face to suggest smears of soot. This depends on the performer but it was, and still is, unusual to have a full blackening. Though the complete covered "greyface" is known.

These two traditions, of chimney sweep and folk dancing, coincide in the sometimes lost traditions of (chimney)sweepers festivals. supports the Sweeps' Festival, revived in 1981, now claimed to be "the largest festival of Morris dance in the world". It takes place in around and features a character. Originally the chimney sweeps were little boys, and they used the day to beg for money, until this .

On 2017, participants in the , the best known of the , decided to abandon black face paint in their depiction of warriors.

United States[]

20th century[]

This elaborate, figural tabletop cigarette lighter, manufactured in 1936, is an example of an everyday consumer item rendered in classic darky iconographical style.

In the early 20th century, group of African-American laborers began a in the parade, dressed as and calling themselves "The Tramps". Wanting a flashier look, they renamed themselves "" and copied their costumes from a blackface vaudeville skit performed at a local black jazz club and cabaret. The result is one of the best known and most striking of Mardi Gras, the . Dressed in grass skirts, top hats and exaggerated blackface, the Zulus of New Orleans are controversial as well as popular.

An example of the disregard in American culture for racial boundaries and the [] was the popular duo , characters played by two white men. They gradually stripped off the blackface makeup during live 1929 performances while continuing to talk in dialect (see ).

In 1936 was touring his ; the lead actor, Maurice Ellis, fell ill, so Welles stepped into the role, performing in blackface.

The wearing of blackface was once a regular part of the annual in . Growing dissent from civil rights groups and the offense of the black community led to a 1964 city policy, ruling out blackface. Despite the ban on blackface, brownface was still used in the parade in 2016 to depict Mexicans, causing outrage once again among civil rights groups. Also in 1964, bowing to pressure from the interracial group Concern, teenagers in Norfolk, Connecticut, reluctantly agreed to discontinue using blackface in their traditional minstrel show that was a fund-raiser for the .

, singer of , was wearing blackface when they performed "Crown of Creation" and "" at in 1968. A clip is included in a 2004 documentary Fly Jefferson Airplane, directed by . is depicted in blackface on the covers of his , . In 1980, an , , was released, directed by and starring the band , which received controversy for blackface sequences.

has donned blackface numerous times throughout her career, even marketing her 1977 album using her alter ego "Art Nouveau" on her album cover .

Mitchell has remained unapologetic about her alter 'persona,' citing that she "does not have the soul of a white woman ... I write like a black poet. I frequently write from a black perspective" in an interview with . Her denial of any fault has not gone without criticism, as writes in her book "Joni romanticized being black, without the disadvantages. She would increasingly insist that her music was 'black' and that, as it progressed deeply into jazz, it should be played on black stations (it rarely was)."

is a 1986 American film featuring as Mark Watson a pampered rich college graduate who uses 'tanning pills' in order to qualify for a Graduate school scholarship to Harvard Law only available to African American students. He expects to be treated as a fellow student and instead learns the isolation of 'being black' on campus. Mark Watson later befriends and falls in love with the original candidate of the scholarship, a single mother who works as a waitress to support her education. The character later 'comes out' as white, leading to the famous defending line "Can you blame him for the color of his skin?" The film was met with vast criticism of a white man donning black face to humanize white ignorance at the expense of African American viewers. Despite a large box office intake, has scored low on every film critic platform. "A white man donning blackface is taboo," said "Conversation over — you can't win. But our intentions were pure: We wanted to make a funny movie that had a message about racism."

Former Illinois congressman and caused a minor stir in 1988, when on the he fondly recalled minstrel shows in which he had participated as a young man and expressed his regret that they had fallen out of fashion.

is a 1983 American film, telling the elaborate story of a commodities banker and street hustler crossing paths after being made part of a bet. The film features a scene between , , , and when they must don disguises to enter a train. For no reason relevant to the plot 's character puts on full black face make up, a dread locked wig and a Jamaican accent to fill the position of a Jamaican pot head. The film has received very little criticism for its use of racial and , even citing it as "featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire."

In 1993, white actor ignited a firestorm of controversy when he appeared at a in blackface, delivering a risqué written by his then love interest, African-American comedian .

Blackface and minstrelsy serve as the theme of 's film (2000). It tells of a disgruntled black television executive who reintroduces the old blackface style in a in an attempt to get himself fired, and is instead horrified by its success. The original design of the character caused controversy over its alleged resemblance to a blackface caricature. It has since been redesigned with a purple skin tone.

21st century[]

Commodities bearing iconic "darky" images, from tableware, soap and toy marbles to home accessories and T-shirts, continue to be manufactured and marketed. Some are reproductions of historical , while others are so-called "fantasy" items, newly designed for the marketplace. There is a thriving for such items in the U.S., particularly. The value of the original artifacts of darky iconography (vintage "negrobilia") has risen steadily since the 1970s.

There have been several inflammatory incidents of white college students donning blackface. Such incidents usually escalate around , with students using often accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes.

donned black paint over his body and used an exaggerated, accented voice to portray player on in 2003. Kimmel repeatedly impersonated the NBA player on The Man Show and even made an appearance on using his exaggerated to prank call about . Not much has been said about Kimmel's racial transgressions but many media news outlets reflect on his aversion of speaking about controversial subjects that would otherwise bring up his sordid past.

is a 2007 American film featuring playing , the wife of the kidnapped reporter . is of multiracial descent, born from an Afro-Chinese-Cuban mother and a Dutch Jewish father. She personally cast to play herself, defending the choice to have Jolie "sporting a spray tan and a corkscrew wig."

Mixed criticism of the film came in large part for the choice to have portray a woman of color in face make up and curly wig portraying . Defense of the casting choice was in large part due Pearl's mixed racial heritage, critics claimed it would have been impossible to find an Afro-Latina actress with the same crowd drawing caliber of . Director defended his casting choice in an interview, "To try and find a French actress who's half-Cuban, quarter-Chinese, half-Dutch who speaks great English and could do that part better — I mean, if there had been some more choices, I might have thought, 'Why don't we use that person?' ... I don't think there would have been anyone better."

A 2008 imitation of by comedian (of Venezuelan and Korean descent) on the popular television program caused some stir, with commentator openly asking why SNL did not hire an additional black actor to do the sketch; the show had only one black cast member at the time.

In the November 2010 episode "", the TV show comically explored if blackface could ever be done "right". One of the characters insists that 's blackface performance in was not offensive. In the same episode, the gang shows their , 5, in which the character Mac appears in blackface. In the season 9 episode "The Gang make Lethal Weapon 6", Mac once again dons black make-up, along with Dee, who plays his character's wife in the film.

The 2012 commercial showing actor with brown make-up on his face impersonating a stereotypical Indian person generated a storm of controversy and was eventually pulled by the company after complaints of racism. In the TV series , set in the 1960s in New York City, the character appears in blackface in the season 3 episode "My Old Kentucky Home". appeared in a satirical role as a white Australian actor donning blackface in . attracted controversy in October 2013 when she donned blackface as part of a Halloween costume depicting the character of "Crazy Eyes" from . Hough later apologized, stating on : "I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize."

impersonated in the 2012 Oscars opening montage. The scene depicts Crystal in black face paint wearing a oiled wave wig while talking to . In the scene Crystal leaves a parting remark to Bieber, "Have fun storming the ," a poor association to his famous line in "Have fun storming the castle." The skit was remarked as poor taste, considering he was chosen as the "safer" choice after bowed out following producer and creative partner 's homophobic remarks.

Comedian tweeted "Octavia Spencer's win shows just how far we've come since Billy Crystal performed in Blackface. #TheOscars"

was accused of using blackface in the trailer for her novel as well as in the book and its artwork. Gay white performer has used drag, blackface, and broad racial caricature while portraying a character named "" in his cabaret act, generally performed for all-white audiences. Knipp's outrageously stereotypical character has drawn criticism and prompted from black, gay and activists. "The Story of O.J", a song on 's album, has an accompanying music video which features an animated Jay-Z in exaggerated blackface.

The , based in used blackface in productions of the opera until 2015, though some have argued that the practice of using dark makeup for the character did not qualify as blackface.

In November 2005, controversy erupted when journalist posted a photograph on his blog. The image was of African American , a politician, then a candidate for . It had been doctored to include bushy, white eyebrows and big, red lips. The caption read, "I's simple and I's running for the big house." Gilliard, also African-American, defended the image, commenting that the politically conservative Steele has "refused to stand up for his people." (See .)

Blackface performances are not unusual within the Latino community of Miami. As Spanish-speakers from different countries, ethnic, racial, class, and educational blackgrounds settle in the United States, they have to grapple with being re-classified vis-a-vis other American-born and immigrant groups. Blackface performances have, for instance, tried to work through U.S. racial and ethnic classifications in conflict with national identities. A case in point is the representation of Latino and its popular embodiment as a stereotypical Dominican man.

USSR[]

In the 1976 Soviet film , performs the role of .

In the 1983 film , performed the role of a Cuban singer Clementine Fernandez.

Blackface minstrelsy was the conduit through which African-American and African-American-influenced music, comedy, and dance first reached the white American mainstream. It played a seminal role in the introduction of African-American culture to world audiences.

Though antebellum (minstrel) troupes were white, the form developed in a form of racial collaboration, illustrating the axiom that defined – and continues to define – American music as it developed over the next century and a half: African-American innovations metamorphose into American popular culture when white performers learn to mimic black ones.

— , jazz historian

Many of country's earliest stars, such as and , were veterans of blackface performance. More recently, the American country music television show (1969–1993) had the format and much of the content of a minstrel show.

The immense popularity and profitability of blackface were testaments to the power, appeal, and commercial viability of not only black music and dance, but also of black style. This led to cross-cultural collaborations, as Giddins writes; but the often ruthless exploitation of African-American artistic genius, as well—by other, white performers and composers; agents; promoters; publishers; and record company executives.

While blackface in the literal sense has played only a minor role in entertainment in recent decades, various writers see it as epitomizing an appropriation and imitation of black culture that continues today. As noted above, Strausbaugh sees blackface as central to a longer tradition of "displaying Blackness". "To this day," he writes, "Whites admire, envy and seek to emulate such supposed innate qualities of Blackness as inherent musicality, natural athleticism, the composure known as 'cool' and superior sexual endowment," a phenomemon he views as part of the history of blackface. For more than a century, when white performers have wanted to appear sexy, (like or ); or streetwise, (like ); or hip, (like ); they often have turned to African-American performance styles, stage presence and personas. Pop culture referencing and cultural appropriation of African-American performance and stylistic traditions is a tradition with origins in blackface minstrelsy.

This "browning", à la , of American and world popular culture began with blackface minstrelsy. It is a continuum of pervasive African-American influence which has many prominent manifestations today, among them the ubiquity of the and .

See also[]

Footnotes[]

  1. For the "darky"/"coon" distinction see, for example, note 34 on p. 167 of Edward Marx and Laura E. Franey's annotated edition of Yone Noguchi, The American Diary of a Japanese Girl, Temple University Press, 2007,  . See also Lewis A. Erenberg (1984), Steppin' Out: New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture, 1890–1930, University of Chicago Press, p. 73,  . For more on the "darky" stereotype, see J. Ronald Green (2000), Straight Lick: The Cinema of Oscar Micheaux, Indiana University Press, pp. 134, 206,  ; p. 151 of the same work also alludes to the specific "coon" archetype.
  2. Mahar, William John (1999). . University of Illinois Press. p. 9.  ..
  3. , Backintyme (2000), p. 25,  
  4. ^ , p. 62
  5. "The Father Christmas Affair". . Series 4. Episode 7. 1976-12-06. BBC1.
  6. "Roots?". . Series 8. Episode 8. 1981-12-24. BBC1.
  7. Lott, Eric. "Blackface and Blackness: The Minstrel Show in American Culture", in Annemarie Bean, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara (eds), Inside the minstrel mask: readings in nineteenth-century blackface minstrelsy, pp. 5–6.
  8. Rogin, Michael (University of California Press 1998) Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot (p. 30)
  9. ^ , pp. 17–18
  10. ^ , p. 82
  11. Inside the minstrel mask: Readings in nineteenth-century blackface minstrelsy by Bean, Annemarie, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara. 1996. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
  12. Jason Rodriquez, "Color-Blind Ideology and the Cultural Appropriation of Hip-Hop", Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 35, No. 6, 645–68 (2006).
  13. 2015-10-16 at the . by Eric Lott, African American Review, Spring 1997.
  14. ^ , pp. 35–36
  15. Tosches, Nick (2002). Where Dead Voices Gather. Back Bay. p. 10.  .
  16. , p. 68
  17. ^ & . . New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. p. 489.
  18. , p. 74 et. seq.
  19. , p. 211
  20. , p. 67
  21. Oakley, Giles (2nd Edition) The Devil's Music: A History of the Blues ( )
  22. Ronald L. F. Davis, June 1, 2007, at the ., The History of Jim Crow online, New York Life. Accessed 31 January 2008.
  23. , p. 27
  24. ^ , pp. 130–131
  25. Jody Rosen (2006), album notes to Jewface, Reboot Stereophonic CD RSR006
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  46. , pp. 211–12
  47. Michael Rogin, Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot (1998), University of California Press, p. 79,  .
  48. , p. 214
  49. , pp. 214–15
  50. , p. 225; the televised version (1951–53) used African-American actors.
  51. , p. 240
  52. , p. 241
  53. Au, Susan. Ballet and Modern Dance, 2nd ed. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002. Print.
  54. ^ , p. 136
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  56. Frederick Douglass, , originally published in The North Star (Rochester), 29 June 1849. Online in Stephen Railton, Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture, University of Virginia. Accessed online 31 January 2008.
  57. , p. 199
  58. , pp. 198, 236–37
  59. , p. 206
  60. ^ , p. 205
  61. , p. 203
  62. , pp. 179, 198
  63. , p. 234
  64. , pp. 236–37, 244
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Further reading[]

  • Abbott, Lynn, & Seroff, Doug (2008). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
  • Armstron-De Vreeze, Pamela (1997). "Surviving Zwarte Piet — a Black mother in the Netherlands copes with a racist institution in Dutch culture". magazine.[]
  • Bas, Marcel (2013). Zwarte Piet: discriminerend of fascinerend?. Aspekt Uitgeverij.  .
  • Chude-Sokei, Louis (2005). The Last Darky: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy and the African Diaspora. .  .
  • Cockrell, Dale (1997). Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and their World. Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama.  .
  • Levinthal, David (1999). Blackface. Arena.  .
  • Lhamon, Jr., W.T. (1998). Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop. .  .
  • ; Meltzer, Milton (1967). Black Magic: A Pictorial History of Black Entertainers in America. New York: Bonanza Books.  .
  • (1993). Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford University Press.  .
  • Malik, Sarita. . . Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  • Rogin, Michael (1998). Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot. University of California Press.  .
  • Sacks, Howard L., and Sacks, Judith (1993). Way up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Sammond, Nicholas (2015). Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Strausbaugh, John (2006). . Jeremy P. Tarcher / Penguin.  .
  • Toll, Robert C. (1974). Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-century America. New York: Oxford University Press.  .
  • (1924). "XIX, dictated 1906-11-30". Mark Twain's Autobiography. New York: Albert Bigelow Paine. 24025122.
  • Watkins, Mel (1999). On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock. Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books.  .

External links[]

General Zwarte Piet Balthazar in Spain