This website is documenting & analyzing my research in the field of contemporary visual arts. Kristofer Paetau
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picturepeople #49 : BLACKFACE

Bamboozled: All Up In Yo Black Face with Blackface

First on de heel tap,

I'm at a club. And except for me and a friend who is also African-American, everyone in the club tonight is white. Unless you want to count the three white people who showed up in blackface. Blackface.

Den on the toe

"Hey - what's your costume?" I ask. He looks at me. Smiles. "You like it?" he asks. "Actually, no, I don't like it at all, man. I think it's pretty offensive, and I know a lot of people who would find it offensive."

Every time I wheel about

"Look, I'm not stupid," he says. "I thought about this before I wore it out tonight. I don't see what the big deal is." "Obviously you didn't think hard enough," I say. "Do you understand the history of blackface? Its origins?

I jump Jim Crow.

"Last year I went out for Halloween as a woman. Dressed as a woman! I didn't offend any women."

Wheel about and turn about

I am not certain what this means. The look on his face says that he isn't so sure either.

En do j's so.

His wife walks over. She has the blackface, too. And a bone through her nose.

And every time I wheel about,

"Look, man, the fact that you're so defensive about this and completely unwilling to put yourself for one moment in the shoes of someone who might feel uncomfortable by what you're wearing tonight - I'm frustrated, you're not listening, and I'm done talking to you." Another pause. He smiles. "You went to college, didn't you?"

I jump Jim Crow.

A true story by Bryan Paul Thomas and Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice

These Pictures were collected by Marc Fischer. Thank you Marc!