February 26, 2015 STAFF/STU

Your Daily Dose of Black History: Blackface

Blackface been around since the 1800s. People during this time would paint their faces back to mock people of color in theater productions. 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 cross-dressing in which one puts on the insignias of a sex, class, or race that stands in binary opposition to one’s own.”