I am a 23-year-old black woman who, for a long time, tried to have discussions with white people about racism in America. I went to a white, liberal college in New York City where I thought such exchanges were welcomed. I actually believed there could be such a thing as a productive conversation on the matter, some type of engagement, a debate. I wrote speeches about the wealth gap between black and white families (a staggering $100,000 difference), the unforgivable incarceration rate of black men, the discriminatory education system. I even made a video about the misrepresentation and misuse of black women by pop culture and the media. Most of my revelations were met with silence and blank stares by my class of mostly white peers. Eventually the professor, typically a white man or woman, would clear his/her throat and ask, “Well, any questions for Tiffanie?” The students would whisper amongst themselves, but oddly, I was never asked to elaborate. It was understood, in their opinion, that I was the overly sensitive, angry black woman. The racist; a race baiter. Keep reading »
Elle France beauty editor Jeanne Deroo has learned the hard way that, nope, dressing up in blackface to “honor” your favorite musician, Solange Knowles, isn’t okay. Keep reading »
I see where you were going with this, Edinburgh University Law Society students. Dressing up like a pirate is fun. Alas, your choice of pirate was not the “Arrgh, matey, ye scurvy seawags!” type [Hahahaha, what? Scurvy seawags! -- Amelia] and instead a more true-to-life Somali pirate.
Alas, dressing in blackface is still not okay. Keep reading »
“I wasn’t offended. I thought it was a shame that she is in this country, that she would wear blackface and not understand the historical implications of that. I don’t think Julianne is making a specific informed choice to comment on blackness. I just think it’s out of this ignorance. That’s really sad.”
I really appreciate Laverne Cox‘s take on Julianne Hough wearing blackface as part of her Crazy Eyes/”Orange Is The New Black” Halloween costume because it draws attention to the larger context in which Hough would think that part of her costume was okay. That people have not been educated on the racist history of blackface and the forms it has taken over the years is sad. And it’s a shame that people who call out blackface for being racist are often dismissed as being too sensitive. It’s good that Julianne apologized and hopefully learned something from the incident, but it’s troubling that not a single person on her team or in her entourage thought to advise her against it, perhaps because they’re also ignorant about its racist history or perhaps don’t care. And Hough is hardly alone in wearing skin color as a Halloween costume; that so many people think blackface — as a costume, on fashion magazine covers, in advertisements, at parties etc. — is okay is the real problem. [Us Weekly]
I mean, really. I think I have written “blackface” more in the last few days than I have in the last year. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t make it any less offensive and racist, people! Alright, so I suppose one shouldn’t be surprised that when some fashion-industry dimwit throws a costume party called “Disco Africa,” some of their equally dimwitted friends are going to show up in offensive costumes. The entire party’s theme is problematic, so of course chances are good that guests who were happy to attend such an event would think nothing of slathering on grease paint like they’re a part of an ol’ timey racist minstrel show. Look at how pleased designer Allesandro Dell’Acqua (above middle) looks! And his pals Steffano Gabbana and Juan Fran Sierra don’t even seem embarrassed to be photographed with him. What is wrong with these people?
Oh but there’s more. After the jump, a few more offensive and racist costumes worn to this party, including white people in blackface wearing chains. LIKE SLAVES! LOL! Get it? Africa. It’s the theme! Sigh. Fuck all of this. [Fashion Bomb Daily] Keep reading »
Julianne Hough apparently did not get the memo that wearing blackface, no matter the reason — yes, even when dressing up as Crazy Eyes from “Orange is the New Black” — is racist and not okay. Melanin is not a costume! White people, you can dress up as someone of another race for Halloween without darkening your skin! Seriously, JUST SKIP THAT PART. [Photo: Pacific Coast News]
UPDATE: Julianne has issued the following apology:
I am a huge fan of the show “Orange is the New Black,” actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.
The only thing more facepalm-y than holding an “African-themed” birthday party — whatever that even means, it’s an entire continent, people! — is how she took to Tumblr to defend the photographs of her friends in blackface, “tribal paint,” and a KKK costume.
Now the whole world knows an Australian woman identified by Huffington Post as Olivia Mahon is an racist idiot. Keep reading »
Found on OKCupid: This 45-year-old “small business owner/failed comedian” who posted a profile picture of himself in blackface. The caption noted that he was dressed this way for Halloween. (And why OKC didn’t censor this photo in the first place is beyond me.) According to Jezebel, this charming lover of karaoke who “personally identifies with” the film “He’s Just Not That Into You,”came up as a 70 percent match for an African-American dater in Ontario. Naturally, she was horrified:
“I was completely shocked … It was doubly horrifying because this guy was supposed to be a ‘match’ for me! As an African-American woman, I am currently running the gambit of emotions ranging from being hurt, feeling disgusted and also rage. There is some point where algorithms should be damned! How can someone who is so racially insensitive (I refrain from using ‘racist’ because I have experienced true racism) be a 70% match for me!!!”
Keep reading »
You might have been sitting at your desk at work wondering to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if it’s a good idea now for fashion magazines to hire Caucasian fashion models and smear their faces in blackface paint.” I am here now to put your mind at ease. No, it’s still not a good idea. You got that, Vogue Netherlands?
The magazine’s May 2013 issue depicted light-skinned, Dutch model Querelle Jansen wearing a dark black face as she poses in homage to dancer Josephine Baker (right) and model/actress Grace Jones (left). (Both were inspirations to Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton collections, fall 2008 and spring 2009 respectively.) Yet instead of hiring actual, you know, black models, the magazine used a white model in blackface.
Vogue realizes that actual black models do work in the fashion industry, right? It’s not like they are unicorns. [Clutch Magazine]
This spread in Numero magazine is a headscratcher. Why did they hire a white model and cover her in brown makeup instead of just hiring a brown-skinned model? Or is she supposed to be a white woman in Africa who is, for some reason, Tanning Mom-level tan? Numero likely knew that photographing a 16-year-old white girl in heavy brown makeup, wearing colorfully printed clothing, next to the words “African Queen” would get people upset about blackface. And it worked. [Clutch Magazine]