Jul 4, 2020
Marvin McAllister is Associate Professor of Theatre at Winthrop University. He is the author of Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels and Stage Europeans in African American Performance.
McAllister explains the history and enduring power and damage of so-called “blackface” race minstrelsy. He also shares some hidden history about how black folks in America and across the Black Atlantic have performed “whiteness” as a means of striking back against racism – this cultural resistance also includes the centuries-old tradition of “white face” performance art.
McAllister and Chauncey also reflect on some iconic white face performances such as Dave Chappelle’s “Clayton Bigsby” and Eddie Murphy’s “White Like Me”. McAllister also shares why Robert Downey Jr.’s very controversial blackface performance in the film Tropic Thunder was so powerful – and an example of how and when “blackface” can be used in service to art.
Chauncey DeVega warns Donald Trump about the bad luck and horrible misfortunes that will befall him when he defiles the Sioux Nation’s sacred ground by hosting a horrible July 4th performance at Mount Rushmore.
And because he is such a good and patriotic American, Chauncey educates the public about the racist origins of the Star-Spangled Banner and the unapologetic and enthusiastic white supremacy of its writer Frances Scott Keys.
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Music at the end of this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show is by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. You can listen to some of their great music on Spotify.