National Black Movie Association


The use of blackface in minstrel shows and other forms of entertainment is deeply offensive and insensitive. It perpetuates harmful racial stereotypes and diminishes the humanity and dignity of Black people. Blackface not only distorts the physical appearance of Black people but also reduces them to caricatures. This practice has a long and painful history in the United States.

“Speak out, educate, do not be intimidated by the apologists, and do not let extreme racism be mainstreamed. Hopefully there will come a time when we don’t need to tell our kids that Halloween is no excuse for hate, and that blackface has no place in a civilized society.”

-Christine Pelosi

Blackface originated as a tool of white performers to mock and ridicule Black people who were enslaved or living in poverty. It was used to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about Black people being lazy, stupid, and overly sexual. White performers would exaggerate characteristics of Black people, such as their lips, hair, and skin color, in a way that was meant to be humorous but was actually dehumanizing.

The use of blackface continued in popular media throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with white performers portraying Black characters in minstrel shows, movies, and television programs. This perpetuated negative stereotypes about Black people and contributed to the marginalization and subjugation of the Black community.


“Negroes can never have impartial portraits at the hands of white artists. It seems to us next to impossible for white men to take likenesses of black men without grossly exaggerating their distinctive features…” reads part of a quote on a plaque in the lobby of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in southeast D.C.

Blackface has no place in modern society, as it continues to cause harm and dehumanize Black people. It is a reminder of the ongoing legacy of racism and discrimination in the United States. It is important that we recognize and acknowledge the harm that has been done, and work towards creating a society that is more inclusive and respectful of all people, regardless of race or ethnicity.In conclusion, the use of blackface is offensive and harmful. It perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to the marginalization and subjugation of the Black community. It is important that we continue to educate ourselves about the history and impact of blackface, and work towards creating a more inclusive and respectful society for all.

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The national black movie association
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