The Representation of the Blackface
March 16, 2015
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Black is so much more than just a color. It is a gift, and a curse.
Black culture is a trend now, and it is only cool when it is in style or popular. When I say black I am not talking about a color; I am talking about an entire race of human beings that day by day are stripped of their culture and ripped from their roots while others steal it and try to make it their own. Things like music, clothing, dance, and fashion, which are all part of the way black people help to reunify and heal the damage that has been done to them, are now changed and modified to appeal to the masses.
While talking to Terry Lewis, a parent of one of the students here at King/Drew, she told me that she remembered a time when the afro was popular. She told me that it was a way for her, as a young black girl at the time, to feel connected with her roots. At one point in our conversation she began reminiscing about a time when she had gotten backlash from an older white woman about how “unpresentable” her hair was. But soon after, the afro became one of the biggest trends in high fashion and all across the nation, magazines displayed white women trying to imitate the so called “unpresentable hair.” Terry laughed afterward and said the same thing happened with the “lip trend.” One day little black girls were being made fun of for having full lips and the next day lip injections were in style. She finished by saying, “Even when we as people don’t try to compete, we still somehow lose.”
The negativity that comes along with the term “black” goes as far back as the beginning of recorded history. The word is used to demean an entire race rather than uplift one. Whether the culture is being mocked or appropriated makes little to no difference at the end of the day. Even in TV shows “black features” are exaggerated and used as a source of comical entertainment, but it is not just black culture this is happening to.
Misrepresentation of culture is seen in media often. For example, how is it possible to “celebrate” a culture by having white people dress up as them to be photographed and published? There have been multiple instances of white women posing as black, Hispanic, Indian, etcetera in things like magazines and movies. These things are then shown to a vast amount of people, but if they are going to do that why not actually find someone who can actually fulfill what they are looking for and be genuine?
It is a mystery to me how the black face is more appealing when matched with higher social standing.
As the popular saying goes “Black culture is popular, black people are not.”