Category Archives: blackface

UC San Diego Tries to Find Out Who Threw a “Compton Cookout” for Black History Month

The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.

Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.

Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.

History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. “The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]

My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.

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Connick speaks out about blackface down under

I  love it when stuff like this happens and is covered by mainstream media channels.  I saw this story on CNN a few mins ago.  Harry Connick, Jr…I’m going to have to throw you some dollars on iTunes real soon.  Your stock has gone up son.

Newsweek: Asked to appear on the Australian variety hour Hey Hey It’s Saturday as a guest judge, Harry Connick Jr. sputters in disbelief when a Jackson 5 impersonation group entirely in blackface appears onstage. He first gives the group a 0 scorecard for the performance while the audience boos; later, at about 4:40 into the clip, Connick launches into an impassioned race-relations lecture explaining why blackface is a bad thing. “If I knew that was going to be a part of the show, I definitely wouldn’t have done it,” Connick declares on live TV.  The host appears genuinely surprised.

Jackson Jive, huh?  Who says “jive” anymore?  I don’t know any black people who use that term anymore.  It’s amazing that some white people (most of them writers in Hollywood, it seems) still think we use that slang.  OH, and…um…how about you use BROWN face paint instead of JET BLACK!!!!   I mean…if you used actual flesh tones you might have gotten a pass.  Just saying.

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Acting in Blackface is BACK, Unfortunately

Acceptable????  Buffoonery???  Right, Buffoonery!!! Let one of my fav bloggers, Jasmyne A. Cannick,break it down for you. OH, and check out CNN’s take on it from this morning.

Buffoonery: Get some at a theater near you

Hollywood has finally found a way to get around hiring Black actors to portray Black people while at the same time further destroying the global image of the Black male-and make a couple million dollars in the process. Buffoonery, yes, it’s headed to a theater near you.

The latest assault on the Black image from Hollywood is the film Tropic Thunder that stares Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Hollywood’s favorite “white” drug addicted actor Robert Downey Jr.-in blackface.

In Tropic Thunder, a movie about a movie (how original), Downey, whom did I mention is white, takes on the character of an Oscar-winning actor named Kirk Lazarus-whose character in the war movie they are filming, Sgt. Osiris, is Black.

Still with me?

Now for the record, I don’t for one minute expect for Hollywood to take into consideration the history of blackface in America and how it makes me feel as a Black woman. I mean this is the same industry that forced Norbit on us-which single handedly managed to reinforce the negative stereotypes of obese Black women in 102 minutes to the tune of $95 million.

But at the same time, I know, like you know, that there won’t be any movies opening anytime soon that poke fun at or mimic their experience or their people.

I’m just saying that when it comes to Hollywood, the history of Black people in this country, and our image as a people, it’s like, “how much money do you need and how fast can you get the film done?”

Films like Tropic Thunder, to me, just open the floodgates and validate the use of blackface for entertainment purposes.

Consider this. Continue reading

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Warner removes racist cartoons from YouTube

We posted the YouTube link to a posting of these videos a few months ago.  I think it’s a very important thing for people, especially black folk.  They are part of the very racist history of American media and the sterotypical representations of African Americans on TV and film.  We love to post that type of stuff because in the present day people like to act as if racism has been done away with and that it doesn’t exist.  From the posts to the comments on this blog, it’s clearly alive and well.

From NY Times/Photo: Youtube
Among the millions of clips on the video-sharing Web site YouTube are 11 racially offensive Warner Brothers cartoons that have not been shown in an authorized release since 1968.

Despite efforts to suppress them, racist cartoons from the 1940s have been circulating on the Web.

Some of the cartoons were removed on April 16. A message saying the cartoons were no longer available because of a copyright claim by Warner appeared in their place. By evening the messages disappeared, and some of the cartoons were back. Representatives for YouTube and Warner would not confirm whether the companies had tried to remove the cartoons.

The cartoons, known as the “Censored 11,” have been unavailable to the public for 40 years. Postings no longer appear if YouTube is searched for “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs,” a parody of “Snow White” and the most famous of the cartoons. But a search for “Coal Black” does find the cartoon.

These cartoons were controversial when first released; the N.A.A.C.P. unsuccessfully protested “Coal Black” before it was shown in 1943. Richard McIntire, the director of communications for the N.A.A.C.P., wrote in an e-mail message that “the cartoons are despicable. We encourage the films’ owners to maintain them as they are — that is, locked away in their vaults.” Continue reading

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So Racist: From Piglet to “Niglet”

I was looking for information on racist comic act “Shirley Q. Liquor” and ran across this info. Oh my! It’s interesting how young white people these days are so comfortable with racist imagery and blackface, to the point where they just post things all over the net. CRAZY.

From Ban Shirley Q. Liquor – University of Alabama student Elizabeth Dennis recently changed her Facebook profile image from Piglet, a Winnie the Pooh character, that was in blackface with one hand holding a watermelon and the other holding a bucket of KFC Fried Chicken, with the word “Niglet” underneath. After it got around that the photo was up she posted a new pic and added the confession “the profile pic was a joke … Sorry if I offended.”

But after looking at all of the photos that she posted of herself in blackface, I am even more disappointed that she was apparently supported by other brothas and sistas to do what she did.

Elizabeth must have missed the big speech yesterday because these photos were up TODAY.

But America’s transcending race and blacks need to get over it. Yeah right!

I wonder what’s the percentage of white college students dressing up in blackface to black college students dressing up in whiteface and then being stupid enough or smart enough, depending on how you look at it, to post the photos on Facebook or Myspace. Continue reading

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New Ben Stiller comedy, featuring a black Robert Downey, Jr?

Who’s that man between Jack Black and Ben Stiller in this scene from the upcoming comedy? (Hint: he’s famous…and white)

TROPIC THUNDER How did people react at a test screening to Downey‘s character? ”It seems people really embrace it,” says Stiller Merie Weismiller Wallace
If you don’t recognize that African-American actor standing between Jack Black and Ben Stiller, there’s a good reason: He’s white. In Tropic Thunder, an epic action comedy co-written and directed by Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. plays Kirk Lazarus, a very serious Oscar-winning actor cast in the most expensive Vietnam War film ever. Problem is, Lazarus’s character, Sgt. Osiris, was originally written as black. So Lazarus decides to dye his skin and play Osiris, um, authentically. Funny? Sure. Dangerous? That’s an understatement. ”If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey says. ”If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”The film marks Stiller’s first directing effort since 2001’s Zoolander. With Thunder (opening Aug. 15), he takes aim at the sweetest target of all: actors. Downey plays one of a team of self-indulgent stars cast in the modern equivalent of Apocalypse Now. Stiller plays an action hero who has just adopted a baby from Asia but worries that ”all the good ones are gone.” Black portrays a comedian known for performing multiple roles in a single film — his latest is called The Fatties: Fart 2. But when the film’s director (Steve Coogan) and writer (Nick Nolte) get fed up with their prima donna cast, they drop them into the jungle to fend for themselves. The actors think they’re doing some sort of full-immersion filmmaking, but the danger they’re in is very real.Stiller got the idea for Thunder more than 20 years ago while shooting a small part in Steven Spielberg’s WWII drama Empire of the Sun. He’s continued to develop the script as his own star has risen, which makes taking on his brethren all the richer — watch for cameos from Tom Cruise and Tobey Maguire — and all the more perilous. For starters, Hollywood satires have a rocky box office record. And then there’s that little issue of a white guy playing a black guy. Stiller says that he and Downey always stayed focused on the fact that they were skewering insufferable actors, not African-Americans. ”I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality,” Stiller explains. ”I had no idea how people would respond to it.” He recently screened a rough cut of the film and it scored high with African-Americans. He was relieved at the reaction. ”It seems people really embrace it,” he says.Paramount is hoping so: The studio plans to debut the trailer online March 17, and Downey is all over it. (In one scene, he tries to bond with a real African-American castmate by quoting the theme song from The Jeffersons.) Downey, meanwhile, is confident he never crossed the line. ”At the end of the day, it’s always about how well you commit to the character,” he says. ”I dove in with both feet. If I didn’t feel it was morally sound, or that it would be easily misinterpreted that I’m just C. Thomas Howell in [Soul Man], I would’ve stayed home.”
Based on the pictue, I never would have guessed that he wasn’t really black… I can’t believe that’s Robert Downey, Jr.

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Scrub Me Mama: Classic Racist Cartoon from the 40’s

“‘Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat’ is a 1940 hit boogie-woogie song written by Don Raye. A bawdy, jazzy tune, the song describes a laundry woman from Harlem, New York whose technique is so unusual that people come from all around just to watch her scrub.

The cartoon rendition is set in ‘Lazy Town’ and is awash with blackface stereotypes of African American people and culture, and of life in the rural Southern United States.”

This has to be one of the most gross displays of the stereotype the black people are lazy…it’s just grossly grossly presented.

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