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Topic: The black face debate  (Read 742 times)

linderlizzie

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The black face debate
« on: February 07, 2019, 09:43:40 am »
I happen to believe that not all cases of "blackface" were meant to demean people of color. How else could you emulate them properly? Al Jolson is an example. If you choose to read the article below, check out where I highlighted a couple of portions to prove my point.

The following is from The History of Minstrelsy.

"Al Jolson

Perhaps the most popular blackface artist of the 20th century, Al Jolson was a hugely influential entertainer, inspiring future artists such as Judy Garland, Jackie Wilson and Bob Dylan. A natural entertainer with impressive energy, Jolsonís performance style was over the top, wringing all the humor, sentimentality and melodrama from a song. His complete commitment to songs and characters entranced audiences.

Born in Lithuania in 1886, Asa Yoelson immigrated to New York as a child and grew up singing and performing in circuses, vaudeville shows, and burlesques. In 1909, he was hired as a blackface performer in Lew Dockstader's Minstrels, his first experience in the genre. In 1911, he made a smashing debut as an opening act for a play, singing Stephen Foster songs in blackface. His popularity soon overwhelmed Broadway and Jolson became a star and enjoyed a string of hit performances until he retired from the live stage in 1926.

Jolsonís crowning glory came in 1927 in the first full-length talking movie, The Jazz Singer. His semi-autobiographical character struggled to decide whether to pursue a career as a jazz singer or pursue his fatherís vocation as a cantor at a Jewish temple. Jolsonís liberal views on race and his belief that African and Jewish Americans shared experiences of discrimination and hate gave his performances depth and meaning that was missing from most white blackface entertainers before and since. Unlike the minstrel shows that came before, The Jazz Singer called attention to the fact that the performer wore a mask. His performance enthralled audiences around the country. It was even reported that black audiences wept during screenings.

Jolson starred in other major films during the 1930s and beyond, but The Jazz Singer is the film that vaulted him to international stardom. The filmís debut brought a flood of praise and broke all existing box office records. His performance is credited with popularizing African American music more than ever before and creating new interest in contemporary black artists such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Waller. The Jazz Singer also helped make Jolson the highest-paid entertainer of his day.

The practice of blackface continued in the U.S. for several more decades, steadily declining after the 1930s. The Civil Rights movement and changing attitudes on race helped relegate blackface to the dustbin of history."

I'm open to some frank discussion regarding this topic. This is just my point of view right now.

paints

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 11:07:39 pm »
"Emulate them properly?"   Do you honestly think blackface is what black people looked like? Or acted like?








 

nannycoe1

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 05:30:23 am »
I hate when politicians bring up crap that happen 30 years ago to try and demean someone. I am sure that we all have things from our younger days that we wish we had not done.

hitch0403

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 07:28:41 am »
I hate when politicians bring up crap that happen 30 years ago to try and demean someone. I am sure that we all have things from our younger days that we wish we had not done.
Amen Nanny.I guess thats why they say "if"is a big word.

dreamyxo

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 09:56:33 am »
When black people dress as white characters they don't have to paint their skin white to emulate them.

linderlizzie

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 12:06:23 pm »
When black people dress as white characters they don't have to paint their skin white to emulate them.

Do you have an example of this? I would like to see that. I'm not familiar with anyone of color doing that.

Jennibean5366

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 06:32:30 pm »
I do not think it is appropriate, however when Joy Behar showed her blackface picture, I thought she looked more beautiful than she does without it!!!

Ebony77

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 06:56:54 pm »
wow I havenot go approve yet

king4cash

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 06:59:12 pm »
enough with the Identy Politics, lets debate how we can create more jobs for the lower class...

JediJohnnie

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 08:14:50 pm »
I pretty much agree with the original poster. "Blackface" isn't always intended to be disrespectful. Nowadays most people are doing it to dress as a character for halloween or something. I think the girl from Dancing with the Stars got in trouble for that reason. I don't think she was trying to be disrespectful, she was just trying to emulate another actress/character.


In the case of stuff like Jolson, I can understand it being uncomfortable these days, because it looks more like a caricature of a black man the way he did it. But, again, it was a different time. I don't think it was intended to be 'hateful'. It was just a style of singing back then.

I'm not saying I would do 'Blackface' or encourage others to, but there's an awful lot of rhetoric about it, as if it's some unpardonable social offence, when 'hate' isn't necessarily always involved. 

Google JediJohnnie and May the Force be with you!

fjaz1

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2019, 11:29:08 pm »
Who really cares, but if people use to do that and no one makes a big deal then why is it such a big deal now?  Why don't they get upset when people try to dance or sing like them?  I think that would be offensive ??? Just another thing to complain about vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :bad: 8)

guapguysteven

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2019, 04:59:23 pm »
You should just be yourself and act like a smart person I don't really think people should feel obligated to act how a lot of people the same race as them act or be demeaned for it they should just be judged and discerned purely by their character, I'm sure there are reasons people act why they act they shouldn't be made to feel bad about it especially about a touchy subject but maybe instead carefully given some constructive criticism for how they could do better.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 07:28:24 pm by guapguysteven »

sfreeman8

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2019, 07:15:31 am »
I hate when politicians bring up crap that happen 30 years ago to try and demean someone. I am sure that we all have things from our younger days that we wish we had not done.

Me too. Since they want to only pick and choose certain politicians or another public figures, it's just not right. If they want to do that, then I suggest they investigate EVERY public figure/politician and put their past out there. but of course they won't do that.  Even Carol Burnett show would've been banned and/or trashed with today's attitude.  Everyone is offended over something, even minor things. Ridiculous!

hitch0403

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2019, 09:02:45 am »
I hate when politicians bring up crap that happen 30 years ago to try and demean someone. I am sure that we all have things from our younger days that we wish we had not done.

Me too. Since they want to only pick and choose certain politicians or another public figures, it's just not right. If they want to do that, then I suggest they investigate EVERY public figure/politician and put their past out there. but of course they won't do that.  Even Carol Burnett show would've been banned and/or trashed with today's attitude.  Everyone is offended over something, even minor things. Ridiculous!
I remember the Carol Burnette show.That is a very good example how she made us laugh and no one seemed to get offended.Times were different then.Love of greater number has cooled off as was predicted.


paints

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Re: The black face debate
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2019, 12:55:00 pm »
There are some eye-opening responses to "Why is blackface offensive?" at https://www.quora.com/Why-is-blackface-offensive

Sometimes we need another perspective. 

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