A teachable moment in blackface?


Three months ago there was a national discussion regarding blackface in America. When NBC host Megyn Kelly said it was OK when she was growing up for white people to dress up as black characters.  Kelly, spoke out against a controversy that erupted last year when Luann de Lesseps appeared to darken her face when she portrayed Diana Ross on “The Real Housewives of New York. Some of de Lesseps cast mates questioned her judgement.

Kelly  believed, “blackface” wasn’t racist. She believed it was okay as long as you were dressing up like a character.

Kelly’s “blackface” comment was discussed on every news channel in America for nearly two weeks. The story was in every Newspaper in America including the Sacramento Bee.  In a tweet, Megan Kelly said the paparazzi have been stationed outside her home.

After apologizing, the National Broadcasting Company cancelled her show.

December 2018, Megan was released from her contract.

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January 2019, Carmichael, California (a suburb of Sacramento)

Elementary Students at the Victory Christian School learned about the works of David Livingstone a British missionary and explorer who worked in Africa in the late 1800’s The guest speaker, wanting to make her role more realistic put on an African garb and darkened her skin to resemble an African woman.

Victory Christian School Black Face

 

 This presentation was approved by the school Superintendent John Huffman.

Many parents of this school were outraged. The Superintendent say’s he used poor judgement.

Huffman also issued a statement to FOX40 News which broke the story that reads in part  “I was wrong to allow the use of makeup no matter how innocent the intentions as it has offended some of my students and parents. I should have anticipated that this could be offensive, and I apologized to my students and parents asking to be forgiven for hurting them.

It’s difficult to believe the Superintendent was “that” tone deaf.   Good parents tell their children not to make fun of others.   As it is often mean and cruel. This is reinforced by our schools and religious communities.

Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers. (whites). These images were often exaggerated and the performances often reinforced stereotypes.   These stereotypes were not just limited to black people, other ethnicities were affected,  Mexicans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans, the list is long.

Megan Kelly, in defense of her statement ,mentioned people in “Whiteface”. No one challenged her.

The parents of the Victory Children’s School will have the final say on the future of Superintendent Huffman.

Not only is it 2019,this is Sacramento, California one of the most racially diverse cities in America, not Selma Alabama or Paris Texas.

CityFella

 

 

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