The Importance Of Blackface In Film
Whiteface minstrelsy has its roots in West Africa. Beginning with the first Portuguese explorers that landed on the continent in 1441, Africans mocked the European visitors. Africans would make up songs and dances that aped how the White sailors looked, dressed and moved and would often perform them in a show for their European guests. However, it was not until they were brought to America that the Africans begin to lighten their skin as a part of the mockery.
In the John Canoe or Junkanoo festival that spread throughout the Caribbean and the South, and in the related Pinkster celebrations up North, slaves whitened their face with flour, dressed in outrageous costumes and wigs that mimicked their masters’ and mistresses’ finest outfits, and marched around in open parody of Whites’ stiffest, most formal behavior. (Strausbaugh, 2006, pp. …show more content…
Royal Hampton. I am a white woman in America.” The hotel receptionist quickly acquiesces to “Brittney’s” request for a room without presenting identification (Yang & Ryser, 2008). By asserting her whiteness, “Brittney” is able to bypass the rules in order to get her way. Moreover, “these expressions of white entitlement resound also in blacks’ overt interpretation of the way of whiteness” (Smith-Shomade, 2008). From the Black perspective, privilege necessitates whiteness and the two are inherently