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Blackface facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Minstrel PosterBillyVanWare edit
This reproduction of a 1900 William H. West minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the racist transformation from white to "black".

Blackface is a kind of costume or make up. Non-Black performers wear blackface so that they can represent racist images of a Black or Afrcan American person. Blackface became popular in the 19th century especially during Reconstruction after the American Civil War. It made racist stereotypes like the happy-go-lucky darky on a plantation more common.

By the mid 19th century, blackface minstrel shows became a distinctive artform. It translated formal works, like opera, into popular terms for general audiences.

Early in the 20th century, blackface came off the minstrel show. It became a form in its own right.

In the United States, blackface became less popular after the civil right movement.

It is generally considered highly offensive, disrespectful, and racist.

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