the minstrell show

Let’s look at these tags used to describe me in that last post:
>Black republican
Actually just conservative, thanks.
>sell out
I assure you there was no financial incentive that made me conservative
Proud of it, babe.
>Uncle Tom
Calling me a racist caricature from minstrel shows? How progressive of you.

I love how the white and ill-informed fans of Steven Universe are coming out of the woodwork to defend the blackface Garnet cosplay that’s being spread around.

Y’all need to fucking stop immediately because:

1. Blackface was created for entertainment purposes, and so is cosplay. You can’t divorce yourself from this concept when you’re emulating the exact same entertainment principles of Minstrel shows, only slightly more tame and with less red lipstick.

2. Being a white person and donning the features of a black person means you’re donning features that are usually demonized through colorism and racism, only you don’t have to deal with the systemic discrimination and mistreatment that goes along with those features.

3. Garnet has partially desaturated RED skin. She’s racially coded as black, has black features and has a black voice actress, but she’s still nonhuman and doesn’t have a human skin tone in the context of the show.

Any non-black cosplayer choosing to dress up as her could easily use her gem skin color and not be gross as hell.


is very fucking different than this

Especially when the cosplayer’s natural skin tone is this

TL;DR: Stop trying to say the Garnet cosplay isn’t blackface just because you think it’s only okay since they’re “showing appreciation”. 

Donning a race as a costume is shitty, full stop.

Just a Thought

It’s real interesting how black people have been straight robbed of everything they have over the centuries. And how they’re still being robbed to this day.

Black people have:
-been taken from their homeland
-forced to work under harsh conditions
-been sold, bought, traded and treated as property
-had their features exaggerated for entertainment
-had a hate group formed ENTIRELY to put them down out of fear of their advancement in society
-been forced to use separate facilities that weren’t equal (even though the law said they should be equal)
-been lynched, beaten and targeted by police for decades
-been living at an economic, political, and social disadvantage since slavery was abolished

And in the homeland
-have had resources taken for production and sale in other countries
-had their country ruled by people from outside it
-forced to mingle with other ethnic groups that they might not have contact with otherwise (which has led to many conflicts and even genocide)
-portrayed as poor and dirty and pitiful to the rest of the world

So you know, when we try to promote ourselves in various ways, it’s not a blatant fuck you to everyone else. It’s just us trying to help ourselves because no one else has cared to.

anonymous asked:

Peaches didn't get any recognition because she didn't trademark the term. But, Danielle doesn't deserve anything. Why is she being rewarded?

You really think it’s OKAY that Peaches has benefitted NOTHING from the fact that their vine went viral and sent a buzzword reaching out past black twitter into grubby white appropriating hands that then overused the term so much multiple companies turned around and capitalized on it on their products and ads?

You really think this whole situation is simply an issue of ‘trademark the things you say’ and not a more complex issue of AAVE constantly getting bastardized and capitalized on by white people while the black originators see not just not a single red cent but also not even a bit of respect and are simultaneously punished and insulted for using the very dialect white america loves to market?

Anyway Danielle is being rewarded for delighting America with her minstrel show.

A post wherein film writer Kimberly Luperi explores how Bill Robinson danced brilliantly through life. 

During an interview Bill Robinson once remarked, “Why not dance through life?” Robinson certainly did, despite the adversity he faced as an African-American performer working in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th. Famous for his intricate yet precise steps and cheerful performances, Robinson is said to have brought tap “up on its toes” and is credited with injecting a new lightness into the style. From busking outside beer gardens and traveling with minstrel shows during his youth, Robinson eventually worked his way up to vaudeville, Broadway and finally Hollywood, where he enjoyed the pinnacle of his popularity.  

 In September 1935, Robinson signed a contract with 20th Century Fox that guaranteed him $6500 a week while filming and also permitted him to appear in theater and nightclub acts, an unusual contractual allowance. Unfortunately, despite the high esteem his talents earned him, the racial climate of 1930s Hollywood confined him to lowly, oftentimes undignified roles. Consider this irony: Robinson sported a ten carat diamond ring that he had to remove before filming, because the characters he was relegated to play could never afford a piece like that.

Robinson acted in a handful of films throughout the 30s, but his engaging dance sequences alongside one of the Depression’s most popular stars, Shirley Temple, are perhaps his most memorable. Aside from being a delight to watch, certain routines stand out for Robinson’s creativity and the coverage he received, both of which allowed him to modestly transcend some of the racial limitations of the day.

With a 50 year age difference between them, Robinson and Temple appeared in four pictures together and broke new ground as the first interracial dance team on-screen. The duo’s most famous performance was the staircase dance in THE LITTLE COLONEL (’35), a Southern-set story in which Robinson plays a butler who helps care for Temple. Robinson modified the routine’s complex steps to accommodate his young co-star, devising a plan to have Temple lightly kick each riser before moving on. In the end, Robinson adopted the same moves, so it looks like she learns from him. In another stroke of genius, Robinson also rigged each step to produce a different pitch as they go.

Robinson’s brilliant choreography of this piece displays an ingenuity that confirms his exceptional abilities; furthermore, the way in which he uses his charm and fancy footwork to accomplish a common task (in this case, usher Temple to sleep) stands in stark contrast to the methods of Temple’s strict grandfather (Lionel Barrymore). Historian John F. Kasson suggests these ideas signify an “improvisational flight of freedom” on Robinson’s part that help elevate him above his otherwise restricting butler role.

Robinson also garnered considerable praise for THE LITTLE COLONEL (’35). The Los Angeles Times highlighted him alongside Temple and Barrymore in an article titled “Noted Trio in New Film”; The Billboard deemed the staircase routine “worth the price of admission alone”; and Variety reported that Robinson “grabs standout attention” and “reads lines with the best of ‘em." 

Certainly, Robinson and Temple’s chemistry contributed to the success of their musical collaborations, and off-screen the stars enjoyed a strong friendship that lasted until Robinson’s death in 1949. Years later, Temple remarked: "Bill Robinson treated me as an equal, which was very important to me. He didn’t talk down to me, like to a little girl. And I liked people like that. And Bill Robinson was the best of all.” If only Robinson had been treated as an equal during his lifetime, who knows what else he could have accomplished.

anonymous asked:

Re: cosplay cross-race, my view on it has always come down to "Race is not a costume." Which is why you don't try to change your skin color for a costume, because it's not part of the costume. This avoids callbacks to minstrel show as well, b/c those shows *did* treat race as a costume - a thing to be imitated and mocked, put on and taken off when convenient. When applied as a universal concept that really detangles a lot of those questions around cosplay for just about any situation.

That’s a good explanation. Thanks

Mardi Gras Day Parades: Krewe of Zulu

(All credits for this photo go to

Zulu has the distinction of being the first predominantly African-American parade in New Orleans and the third oldest parading krewe. Founded by a group that called themselves the Tramps, Zulu was originally made up of makeshift floats and was intended to be a spoof of the white krewes, especially Rex. The king wielded a banana scepter and sat on a throne of palmetto leaves. The parade followed no defined route and often stopped at popular bars in the African-American neighborhoods. As unlikely as it sounds, Zulu, not Bacchus, was the first krewe to feature a celebrity monarch when Louis Armstrong reigned in 1949. Members of Zulu wear blackface and grass skirts to openly mock the minstrel shows that were once popular in the past. Civil rights organizers from out of state pressured the Zulus to stop this tradition, and for a while they briefly did. However, the civil rights organizers eventually moved on to other issues and the traditions returned. Today, Zulu is an integral part of New Orleans Mardi Gras. Zulu coconuts, which are decorated by the krewe, are some of the most sought after throws in all of Carnival. Zulu features a unique cast of characters, including the Witch Doctor, Mr. Big Shot, Mr. Big Stuff, the Ambassador, and the Soulful Warriors. Zulu bravely chose to parade after Hurricane Katrina despite massive damage to its den and the death of several krewe members. It also was the first krewe to integrate. Zulu is truly a Mardi Gras treasure, and certainly will be for many years to come.

People Think The Wiz Live Was RACIST?

NBC’s live production of The Wiz was a big hit last November

The Wiz was a successful broadway show that always had a black cast. The point of it was that it was The Wizard of Oz story in the context of modern African American culture. They had to update some of it because obviously culture has changed since the 70’s when it opened. If it wasn’t an all black cast or at least mostly black it would completely ruin the point of the whole thing.

So the whole point of The Wiz was to tell the story with a modern African American cultural spin so it would be infinitely more offensive and basically a minstrel show if the cast wasn’t black. People are so ignorant sometimes don’t you think?

MA RAINEY 1886–1939

American singer and performer, and one of the earliest professional blues singers, often called The Mother of the Blues. She began performing as a young teenager, singing and dancing as part of a traveling minstrel show. She took her stage name after she married Will “Pa” Rainey; the two later headlined their own troupe. Rainey had her first exposure to the blues while traveling through the minstrel circuit in the south. She adopted the style as her own, singing it with her rough and powerful voice, but polished enough to appeal to a broader audience. The accompanying stage performance often began with her stepping out of a giant prop gramophone in a flashy sequin dress. It was immensely popular, and when Paramount approached her with a record deal, she became one of the earliest recorded blues performers—she made over 100 records within a span of five years. The blues were meant to be a little risqué, which might explain how she got away with the openly lesbian song “Prove It On Me,” which includes the line “Went out last night with a crowd of my friends. They must’ve been women, cause I don’t like no men.” The song could have been inspired by an incident in which the police raided an all-female party-turned-orgy that Rainey had been hosting. Bessie Smith, a fellow bisexual blues singer whom Rainey mentored, bailed her out of jail the following morning. Rainey was always in control of her own finances, and when the blues began to lose popularity, she returned to her hometown in Georgia. There she owned and ran two successful theaters until her death.

azealia banks was able to rap in spanish without putting on an accent but iggy azalea can’t rap in english without putting on a blaccent???


  • Seth Rogen: Okay, so it's a fucking animated movie about talking fucking food, and the fucking food says curse words and smokes fucking weed and has fucking sex, right? And all the food are racist caricatures straight out of a fucking minstrel show from the fucking 1880s - BUT FUCKING GET THIS, MAN - It's all a metaphor for how religion is evil and god is fucking dead, man! It's gonna blow fucking minds! And we'll fucking call it Sausage Party, because sausages are fucking dicks!
  • Producer: If you were anyone else in the world I'd have security escort you out and I'd make sure they'd break your writing hand to keep you from actually finishing this screenplay. But, you're a rich celebrity and you have tons of famous friends, so I have no choice but to give you carte blanche on this project.
  • Seth Rogen: Fucking weed! UH-HUH-HUH-HUH-HUH-HUH!!!!
  • Producer: Get the hell out of my office before I dip your weed in ricin and watch you smoke it.

Darth Jar Jar not only would have made the prequels as a whole better, but fixed up some of the #problematic aspects of the character. Like, we have this character who speaks in a dialect that had many critics comparing him to a minstrel show, whose mannerisms and dialect and status as a non-human have everyone writing him off as an idiot, and yet he’s the smartest one in the room the entire time.

Lucas was even going to address code switching in Episode II, even after pulling back on Jar Jar because of the response. Some drafts of the script have him telling Padme about learning diplodialect (the mainstream dialect of basic, the common language spoken throughout the galaxy) and switching back and forth between them depending on who’s in the room.

And all of that makes more sense than what we ended up with. It’s not impossible that a guy who spent twenty-five years developing a Tuskeegee Airmen movie is still racist in some ways but it did seem real strange for it to be like that.

studying film, one thing that all of the texts and resources offered to me at university really undersell is the fact that both film & radio built their foundations on minstrel shows and white men performing in both visual and vocal black face


Early Life

Hattie McDaniel was born on June 10, 1895, to a family of entertainers in Wichita, Kansas. She was her parents’ 13th child. Her father, Henry, was a Baptist minister who played the banjo and performed in minstrel shows. Her mother, Susan Holbert, was a gospel singer. In 1901, McDaniel and her family moved to Denver, Colorado.

McDaniel attended the 24th Street Elementary School in Denver, where she was one of only two black students in her class. Her natural flair for singing—in church, at school and in her home—was apparent early on, and gained her popularity among her classmates. Following her elementary schooling, McDaniel attended Denver East High School for two years.

Singing and Dancing

While still in high school, McDaniel started professionally singing, dancing and performing funny skits in minstrel shows. In 1910, she decided to leave school in order to train with her father’s minstrel troupe full time. In 1920, she became a member of Professor George Morrison’s orchestra, and toured with his and other vaudeville troops for the next five years. In 1925, she was invited to perform on Denver’s KOA radio station. The performance gave McDaniel the illustrious distinction of being the first African-American woman to sing on the radio in the United States.

Following her radio performance, McDaniel continued to work the vaudeville circuit for the next few years. When work was slow, she took a job as a restroom attendant to supplement her income. Much to her relief, in 1929, McDaniel landed a steady gig as a vocalist at Sam Pick’s Club in Milwaukee.

Acclaimed Actress

A year or so later, McDaniel’s brother, Sam, and sister, Etta, convinced her to move to Los Angeles, where they had managed to procure minor movie roles for themselves. Sam was also a regular on a KNX radio show, called The Optimistic Do-Nuts. Not long after arriving in L.A., McDaniel had a chance to appear on her brother’s radio show. She was a quick hit with listeners, and was dubbed “Hi-Hat Hattie” for donning formal wear during her first KNX radio performance.

In 1931 McDaniel scored her first small film role as an extra in a Hollywood musical. In 193, she won a larger role as a housekeeper in The Golden West. McDaniel continued to land bit parts here and there, but, as roles for blacks were hard to come by at the time, she was once again forced to take odd jobs to make ends meet.

McDaniel landed her first major on-screen break in 1934, singing a duet with Will Rogers in John Ford’s Judge Priest. The following year, McDaniel was awarded the role of Mom Beck, starring opposite Shirley Temple and Lionel Barrymore in The Little Colonel. The part gained McDaniel the attention of Hollywood directors, and was followed by a steady stream of offers.

In 1939, McDaniel accepted a role that would mark the highlight of her entertainment career. As Mammy, Scarlett O'Hara’s house servant in Gone with the Wind, McDaniel earned the 1940 Academy Award for best supporting actress—becoming the first African American to win an Oscar. All of the film’s black actors, including McDaniel, were barred from attending the film’s premiere in 1939, aired at the Loew’s Grand Theatre on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

Later, during World War II, McDaniel helped entertain American troops and promoted the sale of war bonds.


Through the mid-1940s, McDaniel appeared in additional films, primarily playing roles that members of the post-war progressive black community were beginning to cite as offensively old-fashioned. Since playing Mom Beck in The Little Colonel, McDaniel had been attacked by the media for taking parts that perpetuated a negative stereotype of blacks; she was criticized for playing servants and slaves who were seemingly content to retain their role as such.

Walter White, then president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pleaded with African-American actors to stop accepting such stereotypical roles, as he believed they degraded the black community. He also urged movie studios to start creating roles that portrayed blacks as capable of achieving far more than cooking and cleaning for white people.

In her defense, McDaniel responded by asserting her prerogative to accept whatever roles she chose. She also suggested that characters like Mammy proved themselves as more than just measuring up to their employers.

Later Life and Death

As the Civil Rights Movement progressed, the sort of roles for which McDaniel was typecast began to gradually disappear. As a result of her conflict with the NAACP, she was also no longer a popular choice for film roles. Movie offers eventually stopped coming altogether.

McDaniel reacted to the decline in her acting career by making a strategic return to radio in the late 1940s. In 1947, she took the starring role on CBS radio’s The Beulah Show. Although McDaniel was once again playing a maid, she managed—to the NAACP’s approval—to use her talents to break racial stereotypes rather than reinforce them.

In 1951, McDaniel started filming for a television version of The Beulah Show. Unexpectedly, she suffered a heart attack around the same time, but was able to resume filming after a short recovery period. When McDaniel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1952, actress Louise Beavers stepped in to assume her role on the TV show.

Hattie McDaniel lost her battle with cancer in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 1952. Since her death, McDaniel has been posthumously awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, in 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Reasons why I can’t trust white feminists/be friends with my mom on Facebook:

My mom somehow ended up befriending a circle of pretentious British writers on Facebook. They make a lot of posts back and forth to each other–usually a bunch of self-congratulating, pseudo-intellectual crap. One of these writers posted a video on my mom’s Facebook wall with the caption “PC? No. Enchanting? Yes.” Curiously, I clicked on the video, expecting to be thoroughly annoyed…and I was not disappointed. 

The video was literally the film version of a minstrel show from the 1930′s. There was blackface, unadulterated racism, and all. One of my mom’s friends (a white woman) comments on the post saying, “I don’t mind the blackface. It’s the portrayal of women I have a problem with.” AKA I don’t mind the racism because I’m white, but I draw the LINE at sexism. 

My mom essentially agreed with her. (My mom has said some horribly disgusting and racist comments about people of color in the past so this wasn’t surprising.) However, the next comment was my mother replying, “If my feminist daughter saw this, she would have a shit fit”–which of course is accurate. My mom proceeded to share my videos with this woman, who in turn said that “I needed to pull my head out of my behind,” among other lovely things. Like not only are you gonna excuse blatant, old-school racism, but you’re are gonna shit talk a 22 year old? Really? Why are you bringing me into this? I don’t even know you.

My mother’s “attempt” at defending me was, “She’s young. She has a lot to learn about the world.” So, basically two racist ass white women patting themselves on the back for fighting the good fight against “political correctness” and being condescending as all hell. Gag me.

To top it all off, my mom literally said, “She learned her feminist ways from me.” Uh, no. My feminism doesn’t include racist, anti-black bullshit–sorry.

So basically this is one of the many reasons I can’t trust ~white feminists~ and also why I can’t be Facebook friends with my mother.