Talk:Blackface

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Former featured article Blackface is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 26, 2005.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 19, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
July 20, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
March 2, 2008 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Dan Aykroyd

I'm surprised Dan Aykroyd's blackface in Trading Places isn't mentioned.

Sarah Silverman Show

http://sarahsilvermanonline.com/2007/10/17/sarah-silverman-blackface-episode/

I think this episode might be relevant to the pop culture aspect of it. If anyone wants to talk add it in —Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.21.227.37 (talk) 04:54, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Jamie Kennedy and Dave Chappelle

Could Jamie Kennedy's big woman character be considered blackface?

What about Chappell's whiteface news anchor character?

Coffee5binky (talk) 04:23, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

shoop da whoop

isnt that blackface as well —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.188.101.60 (talk) 02:12, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

The Negro on the Stage, by Michael Hutton, Harpers Magazine #79, Jun-Dec 1889

Is this source useful here? The Negro on the Stage, by Michael Hutton, Harpers Magazine #79, Jun-Dec 1889 Jojalozzo 15:07, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

definition of "blackness" too broad, of "whiteness" too narrow

In his/her claim that the "Hee Haw" show, and the music and singing of Elvis Presley, Bob Wills, and Jimmie Rodgers are all rooted in "blackface" performance, the author seems to be assuming that all manifestations of "southern" white culture in popular media represent white misappropriation of African American culture. Southern white speech is, and was greatly more so in the days of Elvis Presley and Bob wills, a very rhythmic, "jivy" speech. I think that in modern America, as strong southern speech and behavior becomes less common among the white population, there is a growing tendency to consider most manifestations of southern culture as "black". I think that this is a harmful trend, as it draws too much separation between the races and creates a lot of general cultural confusion. Another thing I find irritating about the articles is this quote:

"Whites admire, envy and seek to emulate such supposed innate qualities of Blackness as inherent musicality, natural athleticism, the composure known as 'cool' and superior sexual endowment,"

I think that this statement does in fact ring true in many ways. However, I disagree with the idea that black people are the originators and sole legitimate proprietors of the concept of "being cool".

I feel that the author of this article has unresolved racial issues, and that the article should be greatly revised and edited, by someone in a less vindictive frame of mind. --Jimmy Spiz (talk) 05:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Please read the Wikipedia guidelines and policies (perhaps start with the five pillars) on editing articles, especially neutral point of view and original research. Note that editors are directed to base articles not on their own opinions and analysis but on the opinions and analysis of verifiable and reliable third parties (see WP:SOURCES). Quotes such as the ones you find troubling are actually useful content because they directly communicate the quoted author's ideas without being mediated by an editor's interpretation.
Readers and reviewers such as yourself play an important role in the project helping acheive its highest possible quality. It is important to remember to check an article's references to see what support it relies on and that all its claims and assertions are supported by reliable sources. However if a reliable source is used that a reader personally disagrees with that is not a fault of the editors or the article, it is just another facet of the article's topic. If a reader believes an article is lacking a point of view that is represented by a reliable source, it is helpful to point that out, but the project is not a discussion group and makes no space for readers who disagree with well sourced articles and cannot find supporting sources for their positions (i.e. original research).
I'm not claiming that this article is well sourced yet - most articles need improvement in that area - and I hope you can help us by locating some sources to round it out and offer alternative perspectives. Jojalozzo 13:27, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Maybe so, but when the author is using phrases such as "Whites admire, envy and seek to emulate such supposed innate qualities of Blackness as inherent musicality, natural athleticism, the composure known as 'cool' and superior sexual endowment," a phenomemon he views as part of the history of blackface."; these are sweeping generalizations of questionable things (composure, musicality, cool), almost impossible to quantify. You may as well use Stormfront or David Irving as a source while you're at it. Can you imagine Encyclopedia Britannica using such phrasing? I think not. Just because something is written in a book does not make it a legitimate source. Race-baiting and comparison of "coolness" of races is ridiculous. Very uncyclopedic BroMagnonMan (talk) 07:03, 2 October 2014 (UTC)BroMagnonMan

Blackface on All In The Family and SNL

The article should include references to the use of blackface by Carroll O'Connor on All In The Family in the 1970s and Fred Armisen on SNL currently (2008 to present - when he portrays U.S. President Barack Obama).

72.82.167.160 (talk) 14:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Also Daryl Hammond as Jessie Jackson and Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr. Really SNL does a lot of racial bending, does Amy Pohler as Michael Jackson count?

99.190.87.131 (talk) 15:12, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

"International" backlash against Memín Pinguín?

This section about "(Blackface in) México" is really American-centric. On the one hand, back in 2005 there were protests in the USA against the release of postage stamps portraying Memín Penguín, but those protests by the White House and by African-American communities are not an "international" backlash. And on the other hand, some "racially sensitive" and "controversial" images are so for the Americans, but not for the Mexicans, for the Latin-Americans or for others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.156.147.145 (talk) 08:40, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

United Kingdom

This both predates the current mentions and is considerably more relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_and_White_Minstrel_Show Thorsson64 (talk) 22:56, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Blackface role in forming sterotypes in introduction

Edits in the introduction concerning the role of blackface in the proliferation of stereotypes were reverted as POV and unsourced. There is no need for sources in the introduction if the statements are covered in the rest of the article (see Blackface#"Displaying Blackness" and the shaping of racist archetypes). I also do not understand how it is biased to connect blackface with racial issues since there is a no lack of sources to support it. Therefore I replaced the edits. Jojalozzo 17:56, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Zwarte Piet / The Netherlands

I believe that this article should stress a bit more the fact that modern days The Netherlands still holds its anual Sinterklaas fest with an army of blackface Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). The Dutch society is unfamiliar with where their childhood favorite of Zwarte Piet comes from. Let alone why they understand how it is actually racist. This is mainly due a lack of being educated and properly informed on how blackface connects to racism. This article should not be AngloSaxon centric- as it's The Netherlands which plays a very active role in keeping the blackface alive and therefor active development this racist character. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.4.130.106 (talk) 22:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I would like to add to this that I would like to know what the relation would be of this blackface page to the English Zwarte Pieten page? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwarte_Piet I see no link to the english language entry Zwarte Peit page on the blackface page. It says on the blackface page "There are blackface performance traditions the origins of which stem not from representation of racial stereotype and are not in the stereotypical blackface mode." I think Zwarte Piet as a Dutch version of blackface, but probably sources would be needed to make this point. I agree with the previous poster that blackface may be interpreted too Anglo centered. Blackface is an international phenomenon which has the most attention in the US. A comment can be made about how people in and outside of The Netherlands of African as well as European descendants consider Zwarte Piet racist. Many newspaper articles now exist on this issue. But there are also images which can be directly linked to the slavery heritage of Zwarte Piet. What is the best advice also since I want to translate the blackface page into Dutch and add sources on zwarte piet. What can I do and what shouldn't I do since this is specifically also about giving people correct information about zwarte piet. 87.210.62.31 (talk) 16:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

It's in the "Europe" section. Rwessel (talk) 17:22, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

It was interesting to read that the tradition of "zwarte piet" came from African Americans. I did not know that. As a person above 25 from the Netherlands I never heard this interpretation until I read this article. All my life I heard the explanation that the zwarte piet (Black Pete) came from Spain and became black by climbing through the Chimney. When I read this part of the article I get the impression that it is a common thought that everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium knows or thinks that zwarte piet is (what the Americans call) African Americans ore blackface. This is in my personal opinion an incorrect suggestion. Also it is not clear that it is a celebration pure for the little kids. On schools they tell the children at the age of about 8 years that it is a fairytale. Before that moment almost all kids know that zwarte piet is a story.80.114.179.237 (talk) 14:38, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Zwarte piet isn't from "african american's" at all, he is actually from christianized moroccan muslim descent and as such was of high standing, so he could become a "page", for a bishop (saint nicholas). A position comparable to a squire of a knight (the "Sancho Panza" of "Don Quixote").
The story about the "face is black from soot" is an early attempt (in the 1960's) to make zwarte piet more "politically correct" by attempting to slowly change him into a italian chimney sweep boy. Its what in the 60's was often told to kids that asked "why is zwarte piet black?", obviously with the disappearance of chimneys and open hearth's this "white lie" has become less successful. Mahjongg (talk) 19:56, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

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Zwarte Piet / The Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)

I believe the part about Zwarte Piet should be completely removed from this page. Zwarte Piet is not a product of the minstrel shows. It's not perceived as racist by the Dutch public only by foreign visitors.

I would also really like to see this line removed. Zwarte Piet inherited many of the classic darky icons, contemporaneous with the spread of darky iconography.[95] 95 does link to anything anymore. But you can still find the illustrations. I can't see how those illustrations prove Zwarte Piet inherited any of the classic icons of the darky characters.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.215.146.10 (talk) 03:33, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Your proposal merits consideration but I reverted your edits while we see what the consensus is.
  • Most importantly, please provide some sources that support your position. We can't make these changes in the article without them.
  • It is illogical to conclude that the inability of the Dutch to see harm in the tradition means there is none. If we have sources that discuss this Dutch perspective we could include it but it does not seem to me to be a reasonable basis for removing the content.
  • I am not convinced that the Dutch culture has rid itself of racism to the extent that Zwarte Piet reflects no elements of "darky iconography". We definitely need sources to support any statement about the lack of racism in the culture and this tradition.
  • There is a valid question as to the connection of this tradition to theatrical blackface as practiced in North America and Europe and a broader question of whether this article's topic extends to all cases of skin-darkening makeup. Jojalozzo 04:50, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
This article seems useful: Black Peters (Temple Hauptfleisch, Shulamith Lev-Aladgem, Jacqueline Martin, Willmar Sauter, and Henri Schoenmakers, ed., Amsterdam and New York: International Federation for Theatre Research, 2007, p. 293, accessed 16 Aug 2010). The parent article starting on page 291 is referenced on the Sinterklaas page. Jojalozzo 05:52, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

It seems that the Dutch are sensitive to this issue but that is not a reason to modify the contents of the page. We depend on reliable sources that connect Zwarte Piet to blackface. I think most of the explanation and justification is unnecessary since the role of the character is explained in the Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet articles. I propose that here we should focus on the blackface aspects of the character and the controversy that surrounds that. Jojalozzo 15:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

There is a large body of literature on this topic but mostly in Dutch. Here is one in English: Black Pete: Analyzing a Racialized Dutch Tradition Through the History of Western Creations of Stereotypes of Black Peoples by Izalina Tavares (Humanity in Action NL):

A new form of consciousness has to be learned: one which leads from the premise that being against prejudice doesn't automatically mean we are free from it—as a society or as individuals. That awareness is the first step not the last. That denial of existing racism is a form of racism in and of itself. When someone says Sinterklaas is not racist, answer, "what is racism," not "yes it is." When someone says they should be free to say whatever they want, tell them that you also should be free to point out the prejudice inherent in what they say. And furthermore, if they believed in what say they believe in, they would be not resistant but open to the comment because that is how growth and change takes place. When someone says Sinterklaas is an old Dutch tradition, ask them if they then believe that other cultures of people who have come to the Netherlands should hold on to all of their traditions regardless of anything else. This will expose the hypocrisy that often rests in their answer. And when they say again, (as they often will) "but it's our tradition," tell them: "so is racism."

Jojalozzo 16:03, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but the problem is that any semblance between a blackface minstrel and zwarte piet is completely coincidental, and Zwarte piet never was a racist caricature of a black person.
Historically zwarte piet was depicted, not as a slave from central Africa, but as a morisco, a Christianized Arab living in Spain of Moroccan descent. His depiction in this way in no way was done with the same intent as the caricatural depiction of a blackface.
Also most of the caricaturist elements that have sneaked into his depiction under American influences have been eliminated in the last few decades, because the Dutch do not want zwarte piet to be associated with the "darky iconography" from the US.
In this case racist intentions are simply in the eye of the beholder Mahjongg (talk) 16:16, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be useful to explain why a boy with a dark complexion was chosen to be st nicholas servant for his new book about sinterklaas by a schoolteacher in 1845. Traditionally before 1845 the servant was more or less a bogeyman, often depicted as a black devil. The schoolteacher wanted something less menacing to replace that tradition, while keeping some of the aspects. It's quite impossible to know his reasoning. but it is reasonable to suppose that is was something like this:
St Nicholas was a Bishop, who each year came from Spain to the Netherlands, that at least was the part of the legend that was kept unchanged. What needed change was to loose the bogeyman, so he needed to invent another "servant" of a Spanish Bishop, and it happened to be a fact that Spanish Bishops (and many Spanish royalties) in reality often had such servants, in the form of page boys. Spanish page boys at the period normally were boys from influential moriscan families. So the teacher simply decided to keep things factual, and that in his story the new servant should be a (morisco) page boy, in full page boy costume. The servant was simply called "piet", a very normal Dutch first name for a boy. To keep with the legend the boy also got the nickname "zwarte" (black), in accordance with the previous incarnations of st nicholas helpers, and so "Zwarte Piet" was invented, as far as can be determined without any racist intentions. Mahjongg (talk) 17:13, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Our purpose here is to decide how to present the Zwarte Piet tradition based on sources. From the sources we have already, even if Piet's Schenkman roots weren't racist (though I haven't seen reliable sources either way on that), racist/darky baggage was added to Piet's character over time. We depend on reliable sources. Anything else we view as original research and POV pushing. Jojalozzo 18:05, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
These sources exist, but you must remember that such "decisions" to remove "coon elements" (such as not using large golden earrings anymore, and toning down the clown sized lipstick) were not taken by popular vote, but simply happened spontaneously as a result of changing perspectives. So almost no written material exists that "documents" why this happened. Material that exist now was written in hindsight. I will try to find some more sources. Mahjongg (talk) 18:37, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I found one article (in Dutch) from a reliable source that mentions that in the past some elements of zwarte piet that had racist overtones were already removed, in this case the large golden earrings are mentioned. Obviously because there was never a "ruling" about it you can still find the odd piet that has earrings, but the custom is slowly disappearing. The reference, in Dutch. [1]
No, discussion sites are definitely not reliable:

"... self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable." -WP:SPS [my emphasis]

I believe your are working here in good faith and the best intentions but your participation is edging towards tenditious and edit warring. Since BRD is not your style, please discuss any edits here before proceeding to be sure what you are changing has proper sources and the support of other editors (seek consensus). Editors with a personal POV need to be particularly careful about their contributions or they risk being banned from the topic. Jojalozzo 02:12, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I suggest you find good secondary sources that summarize or identify cultural shifts. To be reliable these would be the work of credentialed historians or anthropologists, not our everyday bloggers or pundits. Ideally the sources would be peer-reviewed or independently published. Articles in notable mainstream magazines may also be good sources - especially if Internet accessible.
As I said before there are problems with the sources mostly being in Dutch. Because this is a controversial subject I think we will need English translations of critical sections even if they are produced by Wikipedians (see WP:NOENG).
I hope you are also willing to help find sources that identify racist elements in Piet's portrayal so we can present the topic with all views well represented. Jojalozzo 02:31, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You are still mistaken on the nature of www.joop.nl its NOT any of these "... self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets" Its a journalistic news site, one of the major ones of such in the Netherlands. Journalists write pieces on current events, then the site offers possibilities to discuss the item. The link is not quoting a user comment, but points to a piece written by a journalist! In fact www.joop.nl is very much like www.slate.com which is also used as a reliable source in this article.
Furthermore joop.nl is owned by the Dutch broadcasting organization VARA.
Obviously as this is a uniquely Dutch topic, very little stuff written about it will not be in Dutch. Its unfair to limit to material not written in Dutch, as WP:NOENG points out. You can use a translation engine to read it. I will translate the relevant sentence and put it in the footnote.
I am trying to "identify racist elements in Piet's portrayal", that is exactly what the link is about! Showing that by their behavior the Dutch more or less admit that some racial stereotyping can be read into the appearance of zwarte piet, and that they are already working to remove these. I'm putting the comment and its reliable source back, it makes the article more balanced, not less. Mahjongg (talk) 15:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Please stop adding material to the article without getting agreement here first. News articles are reliable but reader discussion on a news site is not reliable. Please ask at the reliable sources noticeboard before posting anything more from such sites. We need reliable sources in English or accompanied by English translation not anonymous statements by web site readers in Dutch.
Also, this article is more concerned with Piet's history as a darky icon, not so much his current status. Issues with current status belong more in the Zwarte Piet page not so much here. Jojalozzo 18:42, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, this has nothing to do with the fact that readers can react to this opinion piece, if you really dismiss this reliable source, than by exactly the same logic you should remove this link too: Slate.com: The racist Christmas tradition Dutch people have begun fighting about. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2011/12/zwarte_piet_holland_s_favorite_racist_christmas_tradition_.single.html which is exactly the same kind of site as joop.nl. I could have removed this link based on the same reasoning as you did, but I knew to do so would go against the spirit of wikipedia. Mahjongg (talk) 22:35, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand that you now have switched focus from the unreliable discussion that took place at the joop.nl page ("discussion site mentioning the trend to no longer use big golden earrings when dressing up as Zwarte piet" as you initially presented it) to the more reliable opinion piece itself. Perhaps this is simply a language issue but I understood you to be previously be proposing the discussion comments as your source. Since you are no longer doing that let's allow it to stay as long as we want the content it is sourcing.
Please do not load this article up with justifications and explanations of how the Dutch are now not racist. This article is mostly about the past and there's no need to defend anything. Let's just present the information from reliable sources without explaining how good everything is now. Piet's main page might be a better place for your point of view if you feel you must but in my opinion this article is now quite cluttered with denials and justifications. Jojalozzo 02:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It was never my intention to use the discussion as a reference, just the opinion piece itself, the sentence I was referring to was from the opinion piece, not from any of the comments. Perhaps the wording of the edit summary of my original post was a bit unfortunate. I'm not trying to defend any racist characteristics of piet, simply pointing out why he has this looks. Its now impossible to determine why Schenkman (the writer of the schoolbook that defined the current looks of zwarte piet) had any racist feelings when he made up piet, but its clear that some elements of his looks can be explained that way, and I wanted to point out that the Dutch generally are aware of it, and try to tone down these elements, without scrapping piet altogether. Mahjongg (talk) 13:42, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Bias and Neutrality

I don't have a problem with the article itself, but the opening lines immediately connect blackface with racial caricature, particularly in terms of the Minstrel Shows, even though the article indicates that blackface has a history prior to this which is not specifically rooted in racial caricature. This indicates a bias to me, as it immediately connects blackface to racism, even though the practice is neither consistently nor specifically rooted in racism. The performance history of Othello is considerably older than the U.S. minstrel tradition, and the performances did not seem to have mockery as a dominant element (although the main actors generally donned blackface or brownface makeup). I think this should be taken into consideration and the introduction of the article should be revised to reflect the historical complexity of blackface (as it once did in prior versions). Thank you in advance.108.223.14.211 (talk) 17:55, 25 October 2012 (UTC)James Lopez

I second this. The article is very US-centric, mainly talking about the racist angle of it, as if it was the "default" (e.g. covering the racist blackface history and putting everything else into "other context").
I would argue the article distorts the truth this way. In many countries you just don't have as many blacks as in the US and it is incredibly difficult to find a black actor to play a black character. How is it in any way racist to use blackface then? Wouldn't it be more racist to rewrite the character into a white person or even not-perform a play, just because it has a black character in it.
If I find some time, I'd like to rewrite this article. --RicardAnufriev (talk) 22:44, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

No country is named in the opening paragraph until the very end. This leaves the reader unclear of the geographic presence of blackface. Kdammers (talk) 12:53, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Modern Depictions of Blackface : Spain

I think one of the most blatant examples of blackface in Spain aside from Chinguitos is the mascot/logo/slogan of Teatro La Cubana on Gran Via in Madrid (basically the Broadway of Madrid where all the movie premiers happen). These are just google image searches but I can upload personal pictures to access. The slogan literally means "Eat my coconut, (negro)" and even asking Madrilenos from old to young wont give any other perspective on the phrase other than it's a joke and not meant to be offensive.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=come+me+el+coco+negro&rlz=1C1SKPC_enCA366&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=m2MmUdjFEoOCiwKN-IHoBA&biw=1600&bih=762&sei=n2MmUd37I43piwLv3IGgBQ#imgrc=8UpHVhce2Qx5DM%3A%3BwecKTt5zvcapHM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.gruposmedia.com%252Fcartel%252Fla-cubana-comeme-el-coco-negro.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.gruposmedia.com%252Fhistorico%252Fla-cubana-comeme-el-coco-negro%252F%3B1241%3B1755

http://www.gruposmedia.com/cartel/la-cubana-comeme-el-coco-negro.jpg 142.59.203.143 (talk) 18:34, 21 February 2013 (UTC)Rajimus123

Alexander Orlov [disambiguation needed]?

A [disambiguation needed] tag was recently added to the link to Alexander Orlov in the Blackface#Ballet section. None of the links on that dab page appear to be the correct person (so the link to the dab page is simply wrong). What exactly should happen in this case? A redlink to Alexander Orlov (dancer) or Alexander Orlov (ballerino), perhaps? Rwessel (talk) 23:25, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Germany

I've deleted the following sentence from the section on Germany: "It should be noted that only around 800,000 (1%) people living in Germany are black." I assume this is basically meant to say that any practices in Germany that can be viewed as racist are explained (away) by the relatively few black people living in Germany. That is a highly contestable point in its own right - it's an opinion and is not (and probably cannot be) backed with sources. As such it does not provide a NPOV and goes against Wikipedia policy. At the same time, it is also quite absurd as the German version of this page begins by stating "Blackface is a form of theater and entertainment characterised by racism" (as of 22 July 2014). So actually the German page itself seems to demonstrate that the "1% argument" is also wrong in this context.

Lost in space (talk) 12:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Removing the racism in Blackface

This article is harmful right now (due to the English Wiki's influence on popular opinion).

The article uses the American point of view (culture and history of slavery and segregation) as the definition and motivation for this method. Which leads to the flawed conclusion: Blackface = Racism

This statement (Blackfase = Racism) is applied to different cultures and different traditions. Suddenly traditions in other countries are regarded as racist although they are not meant to be racist (e.g. the black, holy king Caspar (see: Sternsinger)) Someone portraying a black character, using black paint to depict him/her is not automatically racist. See Oxford Dictionary: "Racism -- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior." People have the freedom to _perceive_ it as racist, but this does not make it objectively racist.

In the history and talk of this article you'll find a lot of "Our tradition is not racist, because...", which could be resolved by implementing the following changes:

We remove everything from the lead of the article. Except the first sentence. Maybe a sentence like "some people perceive blackface as a racist action".

The rest is moved into a "United States" part, where all the racism can be portrayed to its full extent.

Thus we defend other countries' cultural traditions from wrong allegations and have a better structured article.

What are your thoughts?

If no objections are given within 14 days, I'll implement these changes. --RicardAnufriev (talk) 04:29, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

We already have an "other contexts" section that describes contexts not related to American minstrel performance. Do you have sources for any proposed changes? We are not here to "defend" anything. VQuakr (talk) 07:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by sources. I'm not talking about adding or removing content, but restructuring the article.
I think you'll agree: The article implies blackface is primarily racist, while it's default intention is ridiculing black people.
The whole structure is based on the US anti-black view:
-- Introducing the racist minstrel versions first (although they are earlier examples of the practice)
-- "The practice gained popularity..." (which frames the whole practices with blackface=racism)
-- The history section starts with the racism assumption:
---- "Displaying Blackness" and the shaping of racist archetypes
---- Then it introduces some guy named John Strausbaugh and recites his view. Who is that guy? Why is he supposed to be the authority on this subject?
------- He only wrote one book on this topic. It has been controversial. It is now irrelevant. He does not source his assertions. It is not scientific. Just his personal views.
------- (That's like introducing the quantum physics article with the views and definitions of some self-proclaimed guru, who sells quantum-healing-crystals)
------- Positive characters are excluded from the definition (with Strausbaugh's definition of it), thus it _must_ be racist, right?
------- (Although you have millions of voices, who tell us "This is not racism! This is our culture!"
------- (attempted stop of Zwarte Piet tradition in Netherlands. Attempted stop of Caspar tradition in many European countries), etc.)
The whole "blackface is just used to represent a black character" comes after sooo much text (which is repeating itself all the time). Of course most people stop reading after a few pages of "blackface is racism" and adopt this view.
This leads to stuff like this: http://www.swr.de/landesschau-aktuell/bw/ist-die-sternsinger-tradition-rassistisch-drei-weisse-aus-dem-morgenland/-/id=1622/did=14826802/nid=1622/dmeiqk/index.html
To sum up the article: People see a foreign tradition, look up the article, think that it is racism, try to stop cultural traditions (which are NOT racist, ffs).
Since journalists are forced to be a lazy bunch ("efficient" research often leads to reading the wiki article, doing one google search and then just repeating the first few views)
Since other wikis have less manpower they copy the English wiki (see the German article) and just repeat the first few paragraphs as well as the German section.
The topic has many sides, racism is one of them. But due to the echo chamber of today it becomes the prime definition.
We are the source of many of today's opinions. In this case we lead to cultural destruction and our distorting presentation is to blame.
--RicardAnufriev (talk) 15:49, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
That would be John Strausbaugh. Your attacks on him have no place here or elsewhere on Wiki. I do not see why "he only wrote one book on the topic" is a particularly convincing argument. Comparing social to hard science topics is apples to oranges, and blackface's association with racism is hardly a fringe view. Protests regarding Zwarte Piet predate the existence of this article by several decades, so your hypothesis that this article is the source of those protests implausible. Again, our role is to reflect the available sources not promote or discourage "cultural destruction." Your unsupported opinion and silly hyperbole ("millions of voices") is useless to a discussion of improvements to the article. The term "blackface" primarily refers to the disenfranchising imitation of black stereotypes which is why this material is first. Chronological format does not make sense here. If you think a major structural revision is needed, I suggest a userspace draft (maybe of just a skeleton outline) and possibly a RfC to get broader opinions. VQuakr (talk) 03:29, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the original poster RicardAnufriev - while racism is a highly relevant factor and should form the substance of the article in a US context, in Europe the tradition has a different older connotation and is in origin a form of carnival disguise (Masque)that became associated with ethnic parody It is a little more complex than the article suggests as in Europe - particularly central Europe - the parody was often the cultural construct of the 'Turk' or the 'Moor' and related more to existential fears of Islamic invasion in the middle ages ie. Siege of Vienna and beyond Battle of Vienna celebrated in folk dance customs - see Moresca Moreška Morris dance etc. There is also textual evidence that blackface was use as a simple form of disguise of identity by criminals such as highwaymen or dissenters. Truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true; and she does not despise the jewel which she has rescued from the mud, but adds it to her former treasures 10:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nenniu (talkcontribs)

2015 Japan Controversy

The only source for this is an Op-Ed piece in an English language newspaper written by an American, in which the only two Japanese people quoted claim to not know that Blackface is considered racist in some countries. So you can claim that Blackface is controversial amoungst the ex-pat community, as this op-ed was written by them for them.

If you want to claim that Japanese people think that blackface is racist, please find a source that backs up these claims. The source quoted does not.

nagoyablue (talk) 04:28, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Where in the source does it say "mainly amongst non-Japanese?" That is the content and phrasing you added to the article, and the WP:BURDEN is on you to support it. VQuakr (talk) 04:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Then perhaps delete the whole section, as Op-Ed isn't a very good source in the first place? Or perhaps I should quote directly from those Japanese 'interviewed' in the op-ed to back-up my claim? Just read the article. There is no way you can claim that it provides evidence that Japanese people find blackface racist. All it really proves is that the author, a black American finds it racist. Also, it actually says '2015 Japan Controversy', but, in fact, outside this one Op-ed piece, there was no main stream media coverage at all. So, in fact, the idea that it was a controversy is wrong. I vote to remove this op-ed and all reference to it.nagoyablue (talk) 04:51, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The stable version states, "Blackface remains a contentious issue in Japan, and was criticized as recently as 2015 in the Japan Times." This is supported by the existing source. Your proposed addition, adding "mainly amongst non-Japanese" to the sentence, needs a source. Frame your reasoning in the context of policy rather than "voting", please. VQuakr (talk) 04:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, as the source is Op-ed, which cannot be taken as a statement of fact (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources), you cannot say that it is contentious in Japan. The source is not reliable. Thus, this should be removed.nagoyablue (talk) 05:00, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The source is by a staff writer, but I suggest you read WP:BIASED if you are going to cite it. In any case it still certainly doesn't constitute a source for your proposed addition. VQuakr (talk) 06:58, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Baye McNeil is 100% not a staff writer for the Japan Times. He is an ALT at a JHS in Yokohama, and a blogger. It's an ED-Op, and thus it's not reliable. nagoyablue (talk) 07:30, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I went with [2]. Your second sentence is incomprehensible. The policy you are citing does not say what you say it does. VQuakr (talk) 07:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I have updated the article to describe that the station pulled the segment, so while we can argue about how contentious the issue is, it is safe to say it is contentious enough for the company to act. By way of comment, the WSJ article includes a link to a blog run by one of the performers (in Japanese). There were about 15 comments by fans, but none of them even came close to mentioning the issue of why it was cancelled (or asking why if they were unaware). I will try to find any further discussion about the topic in Japanese sources. AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 06:17, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

There is no evidence in your source to say why it was pulled. To claim it was pulled due to blackface or the 'controversy' is speculation. You mention yourself that Japanese fans commenting on the performers blog made no metion of blackface, racism, or controversy, supporting all my arguments so far.nagoyablue (talk) 07:30, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
From the sources cited: "Japan’s Fuji Television Network said it canceled a portion of a program featuring artists in blackface after an online backlash broke out." "photographs promoting the episode... gathered widespread criticism on Twitter. An online petition on Change.org seeking to stop the segment from airing gathered approximately 4,600 signatures." "Anti-racist campaigners are celebrating a decision by Fuji TV to remove from a weekly music show a segment that purportedly showed performers sporting blackface makeup." "When the controversy first erupted on social media, the blackface picture was largely decried as evidence of Japan’s insensitivity to racism." @Nagoyabllue: you are completely making stuff up at this point. VQuakr (talk) 07:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
First quote is from a blog, thus not reliable. There is no direct quote from fuji TV saying they pulled the segment due to blackface, racism, or on-line outrage. I challenge you to find one that does. You won't be able to, because it doesn't exist. Without a reliable source quoting Fuji TV directly, you can only speculate as to why it was pulled.nagoyablue (talk) 08:02, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
See WP:NEWSBLOG. We do not need a "direct quote from fuji TV", that is your standard and it is not grounded in policy. It is pretty obvious that you are going to contest this content no matter what, so it seems safe to ignore your opinion as noise. VQuakr (talk) 08:06, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Nagoyabllue:, above you say "There is no evidence in your source to say why it was pulled. To claim it was pulled due to blackface or the 'controversy' is speculation." That is exactly why I was very careful in my wording of the last two sentences, which currently are:
A picture was published online by one of the Rats & Star members after the segment was recorded, which led to a campaign against broadcasting of the segment. The program that aired on March 7 was edited by the network to remove the segment "after considering the overall circumstances",[174] but the announcement did not acknowledge the campaign against the segment.[175]
I don't think there is a more neutural way of stating the issue based on the two current sources. If you can make any improvements then please go ahead. I have done a cursory search of Japanese news and there were certainly articles published about the issue before the show was cancelled. So there was at least some awareness amongst the general population before the show was cancelled.
But let's get real for a moment. (a) potentially racist culturally insensitive segment is filmed, (b) members of the race that it portrays kick up a fuss, (c) broadcast of the segment is cancelled. If the reader draws an inference from the current paragraph that the show was pulled because of the complaints, then I'd say it is a very fair inference to make. AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 08:37, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Athomeinkobe:Seems fair enough to me. Although I'd have to say that personally, I feel that without racist intent behind it, and it clearly has none, you can't really call it racist. Insensitive at worst, although insensitive to a tiny minority of people who might actually watch it (i.e. Black Americans living in Japan). But of course a Wikipedia page isn't the place for that kind of discussion. Cheers anyway. nagoyablue (talk) 23:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Nagoyabllue: I don't want to drag this on any longer, and it appears you don't either. But I just want to say you are definitely correct on the "racist" point. I said "potentially" racist, but even that is innaccurate so I have changed it.
For what it's worth, I am neither black nor American, but seeing the original picture online still made me cringe. But then again, I personally only became aware of the problem with blackface because of the Australian incident a few years ago that is described earlier in the article. I wonder whether these performers or the wider Japanese audience will learn from this... AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 00:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

stupid question

Why lips were painted as pink? I've never seen any dark-skinned person of any race who had (naturally) pink lips. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.218.23.54 (talk) 07:40, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

It is a good question, because this does not look obvious. If I search for a possible rational, I imagine that during a show it is important that the character is visible, and if the actor wanna express sadness or happiness it is necessary to better view its mouth. Painted as pink might improve the readability of the face, like if it was — can we still write it? — written black on white (Noir sur Blanc). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.199.96.193 (talk) 22:23, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

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Dangerous US-Centrism

First of all, I am not an American and "black face" is not perceived as something racist in my country. "Black face" and "brown face" was a common practice in european theaters in times when there was no black people around and someone needed to play Otello. This article lists many European traditions and puts them in a negative light, as something racist. Of course, sources are from biased American media like "Huffington Post" who preach tolerance but are actually deeply xenophobic and are not at all tolerant towards different cultures. Black face in different cultures are just the tip of an iceberg...apparently, everything that americans find offensive should become offensive to everyone. That's cultural imperialism. Whenever I asked an American why do they perceive "black face" as "racist", I got no straight answer. Whenever I told them that nobody would find "white face" racist, they did not reply. Why does this articles refuses to accept the fact that the world doesn't revolve around US of A? This is offensive to my culture" is nothing but a personal bias, regardless if we are talking about "black makeup" being offensive to someone from USA or bikini being offensive to someone from Iran. Different versions of "Your Face Sounds Familiar" TV show featured local white stars imitating famous black people. I will put just few example, out of many dozens: 1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2mUe_3pHuk 2)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS1mXHgVcPw 3)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0rGMS4AU8M 4)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U34abJin1Xc

Last two are from my country.

And is this..."yellow face"..."asian face"....korean face? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16I8fpGZGX4

I've seen American version just for the sake of this comment. It is terrible, non-nonsensical and I would be not surprised if it gets cancelled. Obvious auto-tune, stories of bad editing, terrible performances, terrible singing...and the worst thing of all, members of one race are not allowed to play someone of another race. Pathetic. And if I understood it correctly, there were no live performances....ok, I know that's irrelevant to this discussion, but I couldn't resist.

Disregard my comment about American version of this show. Read the comment section below the videos I posted. Do you notice that most of the dislikes and negative comments are from US of A? It's because your own taboos, your own cultural stigmas that do not make any sense and have nothing to do with actual racism. Stop it. You should be educating the english speaking world, not further encourage nonsensical cultural taboos. Explaining that something is seen as racist in USA is one thing, but when you are trying to force your own cultural values on everyone else...well, I mean... ....I mean, American forcing their own cultural values on the rest of the world it's nothing new, but it would still be nice if you stopped it. Please? And can someone kindly explain it to me, logically, why would a black face be racist? Is dying your hair blonde somehow discriminating against people with blonde hair? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.142.247.182 (talk) 16:30, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

what?? I think the article actually does a pretty good job explaining that blackface was still considered inoffensive in many countries outside the US long after blackface lost its popularity in the States.
As for why most of the article focuses on the US, that is to be expected as minstrelsy originated and thrived in the US. So it makes sense that most of the focus is on the US. Still, I think whoever wrote the article made a special point to show that blackface performances took place outside the US as well, and that they were viewed differently abroad than in America. I am really not sure what your complaint is about.
Also, whether you personally find blackface offensive has absolutely nothing to do with the article.--Captain Breakfast (talk) 05:54, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

American Latino community I deleted the sentence “A minstrel tradition exists throughout most of Latin America and Spain, and it has traveled to the United States.” Partial evidence for my claim that there is no minstrel tradition in Spanish –speaking countries comes from the Minstrel article in the Spanish Wikipedia: "Minstrel ... was a typically American musical and theatrical genre that flourished between 1840 and 1900. [Performers] would paint their faces black and perform songs and dances in which they imitated black people comically and with airs of superiority. " https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel The article provides no Spanish word equivalent to minstrel, which proves that it is a purely American cultural phenomenon. Mumbo-jumbophobe (talk) 08:05, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Grammar error in section 'United Kingdom'

The 'United Kingdom' section at 'in the 1980s' has no capital letter.86.22.8.235 (talk) 11:43, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Fixed PermStrump(talk) 18:46, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Can i change a few things please

May i please change somethings, some of your information is wrong and some is not updated. This is from a black american. Ksia 16:19, 12 September 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Akira johnson (talkcontribs)

Yes. KarlFrei (talk) 10:15, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

You left out major parts

Hello my name is ksia and i am a black American, you left out major events about black face. You forgot to mention "modern day black face" and culture assimilation. You also forgot to mention that they still practice black face or did i miss that. But you know what does a BLACK person know about BLACKFACE. Thank you. Ksia 16:34, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

@Akira johnson: hi, and welcome! Yes, there's lots to improve about this article, but we do have a large section on modern day usage. Please bear in mind that since content on Wikipedia needs to be verifiable, material from your personal experience generally shouldn't be added to an article unless it also can be reliably sourced. VQuakr (talk) 00:33, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

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Blacks in blackface

As the article says, there was a well-established tradition in late-19th and early-20th century vaudeville of African-American performers using blackface. For instance, this book says: "..[M]any of the top black comedians.. worked in blackface. This was a tradition that originated in white minstrel shows in the mid-1800s and that persisted in black musical shows and vaudeville well into the 1930s. The comedian used blackface makeup and wore baggy clothes and floppy shoes to achieve a comic effect and to maximize the contrast between himself and the well-dressed "straight" characters in the show. Most of the leading black comedians of the period worked in blackface...." So, the opening sentence - "...a form of theatrical makeup used by non-black performers..." - at least needs to be qualified as "used predominantly by non-black performers...". Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:33, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Poland

A section about Poland should be created. Examples include television show "Twoja twarz brzmi znajomo" aired by channel Polsat where white performers paint their faces black and alter facial features (enlarge noses etc) while acting as African-American singers such as Ray Charles, Usher, Shaggy etc. Here're sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg6kjesVyl8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YYiPYQKxVA&spfreload=5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgE065IOgEI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf6vQBF94xM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzWx46Ifh2E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUa9UvAJ6eI — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.29.226.89 (talk) 21:40, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

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Other examples

The article mentions several examples of blackened faces for other reasons than to appear ethnically black, such as disguise, camouflage or as a ritual manifestation to emulate night or darkness. They don't seem to be related in any way to the scope of the article, so I believe they should be culled and possibly inserted elsewhere. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 11:17, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

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US C20 history needs to move

I've been bold enough for one day, but I've found (and left untouched) another problem. The article begins with an extensive history section, and then goes on to modern manifestations, broken down by country. The US subsection has a long (sub sub) section on C20, before going on to C21. Shouldn't all of the C20 (and some of C21) be folded into the top history section, and keep "modern manifestations" for, I don't know, the last ten years or so? Carbon Caryatid (talk) 13:12, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

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Bias

Is this an article with a worldwide perspective or a US persepective? It looks as US as the first part of this article seems to describe the situation in the US and further reading it's a mix between US and worldwide view. We also have two definitions that are used on enwiki:

  • neutral definition from the start of this article: "Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a black person."
  • a biased definition on Blackface_(disambiguation): "Blackface is a theatrical makeup to portray a stereotype of African Americans."

This article is not sure which definition to follow. Is it possible to make this distinction clearer between the technique painted black in culture and the stereotyping of african american people? --Hannolans (talk) 00:04, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

As a non English native, I agree. If the concept of blackface has to be exported to other countries, it is needed that the original English version provide some kind of clarity on this topic, including, but not limited to:
Why and when is it racist?
Is this ridiculous and why? and always?
How is it perceived?
And where is the limit, if any?
Is it allowed to make a critic against somebody with black skin, such as Barack Obama?
Is it allowed to use blackface for antiracism?
Should we also attack people who wear a whiteface such as Clown#Whiteface_makeup and Pierrot as they do not provide an accurate image of the white man? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.199.96.193 (talk) 00:44, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
In the Dutch wikipedia I added an article about Jim Crow (character) as that character makes the sensitiveness the US much more clear than the blackface issue --Hannolans (talk) 01:13, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
I have placed a template above the article. Probably best is to split this article in a Blackface (United States) and an article Blackface (worlwide) to give an overview of black faces in folklore, theatre and film worldwide. --Hannolans (talk) 23:54, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with the need to split the article. However, I do think that more emphasis should be placed in the lead on the fact that, in the US and increasingly worldwide, the practice is seen as racist stereotyping. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:50, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
That emphasis was in the article before, but as that doesn't fit with the use of blackface in other countries, it was removed. If we don't split I would propose to keep the introduction neutral as it is and place all the US related paragraphs in the paragraph 'United States' under 'Geographical' as US is just one of the countries where blackface is used. --Hannolans (talk) 22:41, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
A summary of the details removed from the lead here should be reinstated in the opening section. The current version has a section purportedly about the United States that discusses the blackface tradition in Britain. It's a mess. It would be better to revert to the wording prior to these edits. Ghmyrtle (talk) 00:02, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it's a bit messy currently. Actually it was me who added '...in the United States' to 'History' as history is not describing the worldwide history but recent history in the States. I also don't get the chapter ""Darky" iconography" as that is not about theatrical make-up and blackfacing. --Hannolans (talk) 09:44, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
I moved the sentences about the UK to the UK. A big move would be to move all the US related content to the section US. That section would become most part of this article. --Hannolans (talk) 09:51, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Representation

" represent a black person" is in the first sentence, but the representation differs by culture and could have symbolic or religious representations. I would propose to remove this representation part in this first sentence or make it more generic. --Hannolans (talk) 22:14, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Name for American style blackface?

In videos about blackface in the United States I see faces where it is not black around the mouth and the eyes. Is there a name for this particular style of blackface? --Hannolans (talk) 23:05, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes. It's called "blackface". It's what this article is (or used to be) about. World's Lamest Critic (talk) 00:32, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
I am confused. I will post here two pair of pictures, The first one is from Otello ballet, second one is a clownesk/big lips style I see in videos about blackface. There is a big difference between the two styles to me. Both are blackface or the first not? And if both, what is the name of the second style of make-up? --Hannolans (talk) 07:44, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
You have made a lot of changes to this article for someone with such basic questions about the subject. World's Lamest Critic (talk) 15:33, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. I try to split the American use of blackface with the use of blackfaces in other cultures as this article currently has an US centered bias. That is not strange as before this article wrote about the representation of Afro-Americans in US theatre and minstrel shows. This article was changed some while ago to a worldwide definition, but the text was not broadened to place blackface theatre make-up in a global context, instead it still describes the US situation. If you don't agree with some of the edits please revert with comment or discuss here. I ask the question about that particular blackface style as we have the heading 'darky iconography'. The direct relation with blackface is not clear as that is discussing cartoons. One visual relation is the particular make up style used in minstrel shows that resembles the cartoon style. However, that relation is not described. I'm confused with your answer about that the right is called blackface and the left not, or do I misinterpret you? If not, I would like to know how that particular blackface style on the right is called. It is not mentioned in this article and I don't find a name in online literature. --Hannolans (talk) 18:40, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree this article is almost exclusively about US associations with the term. Other cultures may be less stereotypical (e.g. the Othello make up although that would still be cultural appropriation but that is another matter) or may be differently stereotypical (e.g. the underdeveloped African inhabitant as depicted in e.g. Tintin in the Congo and mid 20th century Dutch Zwarte Piet traditions). So I agree this article should either be renamed to clarify it focus in US traditions or needs to substantially rewritten to provide a global perspective. Arnoutf (talk) 09:52, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
I have reverted the recent massive changes made since December 18. There is a fundamental misunderstanding here - the images on the right are Blackface and the primary subject of this article, the images on the left are theatrical makeup that would be considered inappropriate today but is not really part of the Blackface tradition.--Pharos (talk) 19:22, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
That would make sense, but the definition is now still an international theatrical makeup definition. If this article is about the 'blackface tradition' in the US the introduction should change to something like 'Blackface was a theatrical tradition in the United States to portray a stereotype of African Americans.'. --Hannolans (talk) 19:49, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Definition seems to be the issue, so let's bring in some well renowned dictionaries. Oxford (a distinctly UK source) defines blackface as: "Make-up used by a non-black performer playing a black role." [3] with no mention of any tradition so the Oxford definition would definitely include Othello; and would give no special place to the minstrel traditions in the US. Merriam-Webster (a distinctly US source) on the other hand defines blackface as "makeup applied to a performer playing a black person especially in a minstrel show; also: a performer wearing such makeup. [4] which does include an explicit mention of and focus on the minstrel tradition. So apparently the definition of these 2 highly reputable English dictionaries does not align and they differ on exactly the divide that is central to the current discussion.
Personally I would argue in favour of the Oxford definition as that is the more encompassing version, while the Merriam-Webster definition appears to be more typically US usage of the term. A problem in my view of adopting the Merriam-Webster definition is the US bias, but if we accept that we would need reliable sources for each application of the term that is not about minstrel shows (which would basically make the whole section 5 in the article unsourced). Arnoutf (talk) 13:25, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

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