A video of a man seemingly wearing blackface is being shared online and reignited discussions about racism.
The clip shows a woman walk up to a young Caucasian man wearing a dreadlocks wig and with dark coloured foundation on his face.
The woman, identified only as ‘Demi’, told him:
Do you not understand? You can’t wear this.
Then, she took the wig off him.
My friend snatched and collected this white boy in the smoking area 😂😭, they were kicked out shortly after for bein… https://t.co/vFdNxif2AL— Dom-Cap♑️ (@Dom-Cap♑️) 1524512148
The video was uploaded by her friend Tom, from Portsmouth, and the video has since racked up thousands of likes and shares.
@SmOOthCrimina_ @FireUpTune He went out in full on black face to a club and we don’t condone that— Dom-Cap♑️ (@Dom-Cap♑️) 1524554561
People are pointing out the offensive nature of wearing blackface – given the cultural and historical heritage.
@Tom_mph Was he in black face too? https://t.co/QldPjb33wA— von (@von) 1524533450
@Tom_mph Thought he was a mannequin. https://t.co/L9oNrQfy8E— Todororo⁷ (@Todororo⁷) 1524539641
Blackface is the act of a non-black person ‘dressing up’ as black for amusement. Its offence lies in the historical context within which it can be placed: it can be found in various colonialist relationships across the world – in America during the height of slavery, in Britain – where fair-skinned people painted their faces black as a form of entertainment, by exaggerating the aesthetics of black people.
In America, blackface originated in minstrel shows in the nineteenth century. White actors would paint their faces black using grease paint in their depictions of plantation slaves and free black people.
But these depictions often exaggerated offensive stereotypes at the time – that black people were lazy, that they were unintelligent and inferior in some way.
Within a slave, and then post-slave context, these caricatures reinforced harmful stereotypes.
It exists within a structure of power, and even today black people are disadvantaged in a variety of economic and cultural ways in parts of the western world. Wearing blackface is offensive because of this hierarchy of power.
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