Watch A Blackface PSA –
In my lifetime, I’ve seen this done in a number of ways for a variety of reasons. It’s within my generation that the BBC show ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ existed. I’ve seen friends party with black facers. I’ve seen it in films, TV shows and at festivals. It’s not a thing of the past, it definitely exists in the present, and we can recognise this since it features in headlines every year without fail.
But the question is…why?
Do people not know the history? Do people not care? Or maybe it’s just the final frontier for people that are so privileged that they believe that nothing should be off limits to them…
What is it about having black skin that people want to emulate so badly?
I’ve dressed up as white characters for Halloween in the past. I did a pretty sweet Alex from A Clock Work Orange when I was 19. But I never even considered that my costume would only work if I was to lighten my skin…never.
The grey areas
I’ve been asked since making this video about the grey areas…How dark does it have to be to be considered offensive? How much can I blacken my skin and still have plausible deniability when someone gets offended?
Why are people so cavalier with the feelings of others? Just keep your white skin and live your best life, damn.
BBC No Filter
The biggest surprise came the day we were due to release the video. I had originally hoped it could get picked up by a bigger platform than our own in order for it to reach more people and have a bigger impact. However, I truly thought that given the subject and the way it’s addressed, it would NEVER get the go ahead by a company like the BBC. A company I specifically show the logo of in one of the blackface examples, and the company that made Little Britain, which also features in one of the blackface examples.
You would not imagine my surprise when we were given the green light and told that it was well received by BBC No Filter. Unbelievable!
It’s frustrating and heartbreaking that this is still a discussion. Something that we even have to still address, but the support we have received so far gives us great hope that one day, we won’t have to feel like the butt of a Halloween joke.
Catch you next week,