Monday, February 25, 2019

Blackface history month

They stand side by side in the grainy photograph, facing the stark, blinding full-on light of a camera flash: the grinning stereotype and the hooded enforcer, two antagonists posing for a picture in a kum ba yah meet & greet from the bizzarro world.

The dapper grinning gent on the left is a white man wearing stage makeup or shoe polish, chocolate syrup or any number of other, temporary agents with which to darken his face. The person on the right is dressed as a full-hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan.

The photo is from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page of Ralph S. Northam, who is now the Democratic governor of Virginia. Northam is either one figure in the photo or the other. He claims not to remember which one he is. ...

Read the full essay at The Omnibus @ Medium

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