This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Ernesta Harris 3 years ago.
In recent years and weeks we have been bombarded by newspaper or online articles about public figures or university students at Edinburgh and York getting into trouble by painting themselves brown or black for fancy-dress private parties. For many a year, media outlets have with few exceptions abbreviated doing this kind of make-up to “blacking up”.
So, here’s a scenario.
You are at a fancy dress party and you see someone in his make-up and outfit bearing a fairly close resemblance to Usher and because of the lighting is in your opinion the dead stamp of him until you realise the person is white (their words) and has darkened their skin.
Question: Are you offended?
What if he told you he is a huge fan of Usher, and that Usher is a hero of his, which is why he did it?
What if he said he had, to use his words, “blacked up” for fun?
What if an Asian woman or woman of Mediterranean, middle Eastern or Latina background did the same with Rihanna?
Would you be offended by any of the above and if so why?
If you are, is it the action or the terminology “blacking up” that offends you?
Firstly, are not Asian, Latina and Middle Eastern people often various shades of brown like people of African heritage or mixed African origin? I think the term black is taken well out of context, since when did our skin colour become black? As a person who knows colours, I am fully aware that my hair is near black in appearance and my skin is brown a milk chocolate colour, and my relatives are different shades of brown.
Second point, caucasian people tan a lot either naturally or by the use of fake products to darken the skin. I would argue that it is also a form of blackening the skin.
Third point, historically and even today, peoples of African descent have ridiculed by Europeans to make them feel less human.
You are so right sister.They’ve been ridiculing, insulting and dissing us for a long time, and talking so casually about “blacking up” is just one of the many ways they disrespect and trivialise us Afroic people. Have you ever heard them talking about “yellowing up” to “look like” an east Asian? Or “blacking up” in relation to any other race, including those countless south Asians far darker than us? I know I NEVER have.
Afroic people…yes I like that term. Infinitely better than “black people”. Respect due. At last a term that encompasses both Africans and displaced Africans and recognises the truth of our continental origins despite the biggest human trafficking event in history and the crimes against humanity that went with it. Boy, we are such strong and resilient people! Keep loving and embracing ourselves and our uniqueness.