by: In Our Words Staff
Welcome to this weeks Anyone’s Business, the article brought to us by you. This weeks question is:
Is blackface ever acceptable, especially in American comedy?
The British seem to have sketch comedians in blackface or presenting as different races with some regularity for some years, with Tracey Takes On… in the 90s and Come Fly With Me in 2010, and as recent as 2008 in Tropic Thunder, had an American in blackface.
But because of how blackface was used to degrade a population and make even humor and entertainment oppressive (to normalize racism to the point of it being something people wanted to go see, wanted to laugh along with) can a white person acting as a black person ever be done without a looming specter of hate and institutionalized racism?
More can also be said about the white people portraying exaggerations of other races, Charlie Chan being only played by white men (even in a revamp in the 80s) and the Cowboy and (American) Indian movies of the past, but because minstrelsy was so rampant in American entertainment, and that it seems to be currently ignored, we would like the focus to be on blackface. That said, you can discuss racial appropriation through roles in any way to prove your point.