Blackface: White Racist Fantasy

W. Fitzhugh Brundage
Feb 21, 2019 - 5:00

At the heart of the blackface tradition is a paradox: why do white men in the United States want to darken their skin to impersonate a disadvantaged and oppressed population? The seemingly obvious answer is that white men want to further the oppression of African Americans. Yet the white elected state officials in Virginia, Florida, and elsewhere who were recently exposed for having worn blackface profess to be champions of...

Login to continue reading.
Dont Have an account? join now
Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

2 Replies to “Blackface: White Racist Fantasy”

  1. Thank you for the in depth lesson on the origins of blackface. I realize that I had only a surface understanding of the history and now also have confirmation that what I suspected was at the root of white men’s obsession with this behavior.

  2. For me, as both a scholar and a white person, the history of blackface is one of the most compelling ways to trace white racism. The history of blackface helps explain the power of racism, which in part comes from the visceral pleasure of hatred and asserted superiority, but also from a power combination of ignorance, fascination, fantasy, and envy. Blackface, it seems to me, makes all of those impulses literally visible when whites apply shoe polish, coal ash, or whatever to their skin.
    Perhaps most important, blackface is something that whites invented and so it puts the onus on whites to explain it. We can’t dodge the responsibility by claiming that “everybody does it.”

Leave a Reply

Become a member and join TheNorthStar

Join Over 25, 000 members from all 50 states and 100+ countries to
help build and sustain the most courageous Community of liberation
journalism in the world.

More From The North Star

March on Washington 2020 Live...

March on Washington 2020 Live Blog: Thousands Gather in D.C. to End Police Brutality...Read More

Maria Perez, Nicole Rojas & Micah Schaffer

The Leader of the Proud Boys...

The Leader of the Proud Boys has been a Police Informant for the Past Decade...Read More

Shaun King

New Definitions: Redefining...

New Definitions: Redefining America Through Verse | Volume Three [Defining Insurrection]...Read More

Donney Rose

See more articles from W. Fitzhugh Brundage

Follow W. Fitzhugh Brundage to see more of their article on TheNorth