Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Your annual reminder not to wear blackface on Halloween

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 2:41 PM

  • Photo via Brittany Donovan/Twitter
Protesters gathered outside a restaurant in St. Augustine this morning after photos surfaced of a white employee wearing blackface as a Halloween costume, which is something we apparently need to keep reminding people not to do.

According to WJAX, students from Flagler College began protesting outside the Bunnery Bakery & Cafe on Tuesday after the restaurant employee wore blackface to work.

Of course, the employee didn't mean to offend anyone and immediately washed it off after crowds started to form outside.
I suppose every year, till the end of time, we'll have to discuss that someone else's race isn't a costume, and even more specifically that blackface has an incredibly racially charged history.

Blackface dates back to the minstrel shows of the late 19th century, when white actors portrayed slaves and "free blacks" as complete buffoons. In fact, blackface is so deeply rooted in American racism that the term Jim Crow actually comes from an 1832 blackface minstrel song by Thomas D. Rice.

In a 2012 Huffington Post essay, David Leonard, chair of Washington State University's department of critical culture, gender and race studies, probably said it best: 

Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes...the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice.

So, in short, "PC culture" isn't ruining America; slavery, ignorance and racism is in fact much, much worse. Here's a handy guide to help you out:
  • Graphic via
Until next year.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation