Short Thought 242 (“black face”)

When I was a child and saw old movies with people in “black face” I didn’t understand what they were supposed to be. The clearly unnatural face color, cartoonishly drawn-on red lips, and perhaps most of all, the behavior portayed, didn’t jibe with anything I recognized. While the immediate area I lived in didn’t have a lot of black people, the large neighboring city did, but they appeared brown to me, and were nothing like the movie characters. I was genuinely puzzled and it wasn’t until I was older that I understood what the movie people in “black face” were supposed to be but even then it still didn’t make sense. 

6 thoughts on “Short Thought 242 (“black face”)

  1. AutumnAshbough

    I remember reading the blackface minstrelsy chapter in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and trying to figure out WTH was going on. It took me years and a film class on “The Jazz Singer” to figure out.

    I grew up in DC, which was predominantly Black American.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I’d forgotten about that in Wilder’s books (it’s been a long time). I assume the adults around me knew what “black face” was & more or less accepted it. I never put it together with actual black people.

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