Monday, October 8, 2007
This picture represents a form of entertainment that occurred after African Americans were emancipated from slavery. I chose this topic because I find how they whites chose to represent the African Americans in plays, and even making African Americans play the role of themselves in black face to be intriguing. Using black face as a form of entertainment within plays during this time period was very popular, and white Americans took advantage of the fact that African Americans were still the minority of this time period, and inferior to the whites that they can skew their perception of the African Americans.
The way the African Americans were represented in America after they were free from slavery was a very drastic skew from how African Americans are in reality. Because many of the white Americans were unhappy about the slaves recent emancipation from slavery, their view of the African Americans were those that were close to savagery, and without being controlled as by slavery, they believe that they just let a bunch of wild animals free to run around among America. The black face was a very popular representation of African Americans during this time period, and they were included as a form of entertainment for the Americans. People in black face could either be black or white, and during the plays they would be represented as either happy or sad characteristics. One could easily tell that the representation of African Americans in black face was completely skewed as to how African Americans really are, because when African Americans use black face to represent their own race, certain features are exaggerated, such as the lips, and how dark their skin really is. Therefore, any other representation of black people, as advertised in various grocery store products, are obviously inaccurate to how the African American’s really are.
Overall, I believe that the white Americans poorly represented how the African Americans were during this time period. Black face is a very obvious case in which the representation of African Americans was completely skewed. Having African American’s dress up in black face only to represent their own selves is an obvious case that it is completely inaccurate. As the years went on, the viewpoints of African Americans slowly reduced from savagery and changed into representing them as actual human beings, even though it did take decades for this transformation to happen, it is still a very good transition.